After I wrote about the new Fairmont Austin and its skyway to the Austin Convention Center, I wondered: how many skyways does Austin have? Time to investigate…
Austin City Hall is now hosting The People’s Gallery for 2018. Pieces by local artists are featured throughout the building, even in the stairwells. Visitors can vote for their top three favorites through October 26. Next year the City will purchase the winning artwork—the People’s Choice—to add to their permanent collection. The exhibition can be viewed through January 1, 2019 during regular City Hall business hours.
This year I did both weekends of the West Austin Studio Tour. According to their website, WEST 2018 featured “198 Artist Studios, 155 Exhibitions, 20 Happenings, and 8 Libraries.” With a few exceptions, these locations were west of I-35, east of Mopac, south of 183, and north of William Cannon. That’s a huge swath of Austin—it’s impossible to see everything even over two weekends. So, my strategy for WEST (and EAST) has always been to pick a few places that look interesting and then visit some other nearby spots.
The Texas Memorial Museum is located on north end of the University of Texas campus. It opened in 1939 as a state natural history museum, but was eventually transferred to UT in 1959. Many of their items are donations, bequests, or discoveries by university scientists. This museum is a popular field trip for school children, but I can vouch that adults will enjoy their visit as well.
Bill and I attended two benefit concerts as part of the sixth annual charity event called Mack, Jack & McConaughey. Mack Brown, the former UT football head coach, is now a sports commentator for ESPN. Jack Ingram is a singer/songwriter who just won a Country Music Award for co-writing Miranda Lambert’s hit, Tin Man. And actor Matthew McConaughey might be best-known around these parts for his naked bongo playing back in 1999. Daytime MJ&M events included a fashion show and a golf tournament, but we only attended the two evening concerts at the Austin City Limits / Moody Theater.
Almost 200 artists participated in the 68th annual Art City Austin. They came from all around the country, from Maine to California and many points in-between. About 20 of the artists were local, and two even traveled here from Canada. This annual fine arts festival is sponsored by Art Alliance Austin.
The Fairmont Austin is now open on the corner of Red River and Cesar Chavez, about two blocks from I-35. This 37-story building has 1048 guest rooms and suites. Bill and I stayed here during South by Southwest. The hotel had only been open a week, and finishing touches were still being done.
Twenty-four street bands participated in this year’s HONK!TX, an annual festival of community street bands held here in Austin. I have been able to attend all but one of the eight festivals. For the first time, the Friday evening performances were held at Mueller Lake Park. I liked this location better than those previous Fridays on South Congress. In Mueller, the bands were further apart (but not too far), parking was plentiful, and I didn’t have to worry about being hit by a car while crossing a busy street. My only suggestion is that more food trucks should be invited next time.