This past Sunday was the annual Austin Museum Day event where many local museums around Austin were free and open to the public. Museum Day itself is an initiative started by the Smithsonian Magazine. Now many cities around the country, including Austin, created their version of Museum Day, which is the same day as the Smithsonian Magazine's national day.
Austin had just over 40 museums open to the public Sunday, with many visitors joining in the fun.
"It's a beautiful day and its free," says one patron at The Contemporary about the day.
I was able to go to four local museums, this past Sunday to explore what the best of Austin museums had to offer. I was able to see Lan Tuazon’s Artist in Residence Gallery called In the Land of Real Shadows at the University of Texas Visual Arts Center; learned Texas history at the Bullock Texas State History Museum, and viewed some fine art at the Blanton Museum of Art and the Contemporary Austin Jones Center.
The UT Visual Arts Center has a collection of art created by their Artist in Residence Lan Tuazon called the In the Land of Real Shadows. Her collection called No Nouns Left Whole are six shelves holding future fossils. She also expanded her work from future fossils into showing the human body.
What might look like garbage to some Tuazon found a way to turn it into art.
"It's about thinking about the landscape and the planet and all the objects that are contained in it," says Tuazon. "Its made out of the smallest container to the largest container, ultimately that all these containers are nested together to indicate there are spaces between spaces."
The whole collection took three years to create. "There is no way to do this faster," she says "other than to collect as many objects as possible, cut them in half, and start arranging."
She continues to expand the six shelve collection and is still collecting and creating future fossils. The show runs until December 7th at the UT Visual Arts Center it's worth stopping by to see her work on display.
Austin Museum Day is a perfect family event. Many families were in all the museums that were open Sunday. The Bullock Texas State History Museum had a plethora of family-friendly activities for kids of all ages to do throughout the museum.
Another draw to Austin Museum Day is how easily accessible many of the museums are to each other. In three hours, I was able to take one of the dockless scooters or walk to many different museums. Of the 45 museums that were open during the event 24 of them are located in a mile and a quarter radius in downtown. Many people were riding on one of the motorized scooters around downtown Austin.
Museums are a way to expand a city's culture and having that many different museums and art galleries add to the culture of Austin. Austin is unique in that it has many museums within walking distance. That factor makes going to museums in Austin a mark for a great day. Instead of spending an afternoon on a bar crawl on Rainy St. you can spend a beautiful afternoon with friends or family going on a crawl of Austin Museums. Since they're in walking distance, you can use the money you saved on gas to pay for admission if you missed this fantastic free event. Hope to see you next year.