Last night, June 4th, was the Critics’ Table awards ceremony. As a contributor to the Austin Chronicle, I was invited to present some awards. Here’s a full list of nominees and full list of recipients.
Even through the nervousness and the massive eclipsing by my theater counterparts, it was my honor and pleasure to present certificates to:
“The Geometry of Hope,” Blanton Museum of Art, Gabriel Perez-Barreiro curator for Museum Exhibition
“Celebrated Skin,” Butridge Gallery, DAC, Christina Hiett, curator &
“Take Me to Bed Or Lose Me Forever,” Volitant Gallery, Leona Scull-Hons curator for Group Gallery Exhibition
Candace Briceno for Artist (of the year)
As further proof that I am not an eloquent speaker I provide some alternate endings to my presentations.
- Christina Hiett’s work on Celebrated Skin provided a rigorous yet fun look at the omnipresent tattoo in Austin.
- Celebrated Skin was so inspiring I went out and got a tattoo. [rolls up sleeve] No wait. That just a mole.
- It’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy Take Me to Bed, but I wish I would have had a preview before taking my kids. Then I wouldn’t have to explain why those lions were doing the Discovery Channel special.
- [after reading the list of nominees for Museum Exhibition] With all of these spanish names here, now I know why I was asked to present this award.
- [after heckler asks what’s my blog] I’m trying to be serious here. I said I wouldn’t shamelessly plug my blog. Now, let me tell you ’bout what I sees!
- All of these artist had a fabulous year. But this one stood out. After receiving press releases month after month for shows across Austin, across Texas and across the nation I had to email her. “UUUGGGGHhhhhh. I am so tired of seeing your name and art all over the place. Can you give it a rest already? Puh-leaze!” I was joking of course. Candace Briceno? Could I be more jealous?
While I’m rewriting history here, this comeback’s for that dude making fun of my mom in seventh grade. “Oh yeah? YO’ momma!”
It was a fun experience and I’m glad I participated. But a thought I mulled over in the parking lot – visual arts needs to represent! Sure this was created by theater folks and there are alot more individuals involved in creating their artform, but this was the time and the place to celebrate. When I think about the theater scene or the film and music scenes, part of the reason they are so visible in our city’s cultural landscape is because they rightfully celebrate their successes. Of course I’m not saying we should throw a party for every exhibition that gets thrown together. We are still a young scene. We are all connected by two degrees of separation at most. It should be easy to be happy for our colleagues, even if they are our competition.
I must admit that the younger spaces were decently represented. But it would have been more festive if the whole gang was present and emitted jubilance equal to or greater than Ron Berry and Refraction Arts. For our more established organizations, send someone, anyone. (I know who was present. My trips to the restroom were about more than just relieving myself) You’re busy, we’re busy, but this is the time when you can show your commitment to our community. Show us we truly are different from other more hierarchical cities. Show us that you do care about the ground level players.
What I would like to communicate to the visual arts community as shown by the theater community and these awards is that its okay to “Work Hard, Play Hard”. It is definitely more fun when we play hard together.
I’ll tell you ’bout what I sees.