JOE SWEC studio visit

I stopped by Joe Swec’s studio to see what he was up to in preparation for his solo show. ‘POOR BUT CLEAN’ opens THIS SATURDAY, December 13th at Common House. Here’s a peek into his world.
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JACKIE LEE YOUNG X SANDY CARSON AT LOWER LEFT

TOMORROW NIGHT in Austin! New works by Jackie Lee Young, curated by Sandy Carson, at new gallery space, Lower Left. This one is not to miss!LL2big

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TRAIN WRECK exhibit at Webb Gallery

We took a recent trip up to Waxahachie, Texas, to visit the incredible Webb Gallery. ‘TRAIN WRECK,’ new works from the Disaster series, by Tom & Judy, new work from Daniel Higgs as well as paintings from Anthony Dominguez. Show runs through February 1, 2015. ¬†DSC06347Tom & JudyDSC06338DSC06339DSC06331DSC06332DSC06340Daniel HiggsDSC06328DSC06353DSC06333Anthony DominguezDSC06316DSC06317DSC06324DSC06320DSC06326DSC06325DSC06345DSC06352DSC06313

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POOR BUT CLEAN

Proud to announce ‘POOR BUT CLEAN,’ a solo exhibit of new, meticulously crafted works by Austin’s own, Joe Swec, opens this Saturday at Common House!!!

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COVER

Thank you to all who braved the weather and joined us for the opening of ‘COVER.’ New works by Abi Daniel and Graham Francoise.

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WHERE DOES THE TIME GO? VOMA VISIONARY TOUR PART II

The next stop on the VOMA Visionary Tour was Birmingham, Alabama, specifically to visit and marvel over Joe Minter’s African Village in America. Joe has dedicated every square inch of his property to spreading the word of God through his art and blindingly bring to light the tragedies, oppression, and hypocrisy associated with the enslavement of African Americans in the United States. Minter’s art is made of trash, plain and simple, but each piece of trash has a powerful message and when you look past the materials, you start to see the silhouettes – the people.

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Joe’s property is adjacent to this cemetery. This photo was taken at dusk, around the time I realized there was not another human in sight and the only sound was that faint, droning buzz of bugs in the air and that I was literally standing on an African burial ground.

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Thought maybe I could see a skull…

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Now anyone who knows me is aware of my fascination with the illustrated eye, but I saw this tag later in the night in an alley in downtown Birmingham, and it just seems like an appropriate photo to end this post. Joe Minter’s African Village in America is a really heavy place, a beautiful and painful monument to our nation’s scarred history – another reminder that racism and injustice are as present as ever in our country – but most importantly a reminder, in light of more recent events, to ask yourself: What’s the point of living if you’re not trying to be a better person everyday?

For more information on Joe Minter’s African Village in America, click here and if you’re interested in reading¬† an amazing statement written by Joe himself about his life and work, click here.

–William Gaynor

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WHERE DOES THE TIME GO? VOMA VISIONARY TOUR PART I

On October 23 of this year, 2014, I left Austin for a couple weeks to tour the Deep South, reconnect with my roots in Virginia, and introduce myself to some more well, and lesser known folk art environments in the region. I deemed this trip the inaugural “VOMA Visionary Tour.” My first stop was the Abita Mystery House, formerly known as the UCM Museum, created and maintained by visionary artist/inventor, John Preble.

Disclaimer: All photos taken with Iphone 5 by crummy photographer

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In the small town of Abita Springs, Louisiana, most commonly known for its brewery, the Abita Mystery House sits hidden in plain sight just footsteps from the town square. Housed in an old gas station, the building now serves as part museum, antique mall, science lab, ongoing art installation, arcade, and finally, a soapbox for its creator to voice his feelings about FRACKING.

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Here we go.

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A good many of the dioramas and inventions were interactive – wherein you can push a button and things will start spinning around moving up and down.

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This is not a dream.

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Two tools necessary in making sincere art.

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(This photo was taken in a historic outdoor dance hall in downtown Abita Springs where I sat and smoked a cigarette and tried not to shit my pants from all the fun I had in New Orleans the night before. It was not part of the Abita Mystery House, but it was old and pretty, and begging to be Instagrammed.)

Thanks John Preble for this little nugget of American folk art gold. Definitely worth a visit if you’re heading north out of New Orleans. Stay tuned for the next installment of photos from the VOMA Visionary Tour, and for more information on the Abita Mystery House, google it or click here.

–Will Gaynor

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