Austin City Hall is donning new interior attire this month as more than 150 art works are installed inside the municipal building.
The art works will comprise this year’s People’s Gallery exhibition, an Economic Growth and Redevelopment Services Office program. A free opening reception for the 9th-annual, year-long art exhibition will be held Friday, Feb. 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. at City Hall.
City officials will make welcoming remarks and announce the winner of the People’s Choice Award for the 2012 exhibition at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers. Films from the Faces of Austin short film program will screen in Council Chambers beginning at 7 p.m.
The reception is free, and the public is invited to come meet the artists and enjoy art, music and light refreshments provided by Whole Foods Market.
“Having it in a public place, free to the public is really beneficial and really rare, because most art museums have to charge something at the door,” said Terra Goolsby, Exhibition specialist for the Cultural Arts Division. “Residents can spend an afternoon looking and talking about art, and enrich their lives, for free.”
The gallery demonstrates the City of Austin’s commitment to promoting our city’s arts and creative industries and sustaining its dynamic cultural vitality. Art displayed in the gallery is selected by a review panel of arts professionals, which is charged with choosing aesthetically-pleasing and culturally-significant art pieces.
One of the highlights this year will be the special exhibit by Mondo Gallery, which hires artists to create limited-edition, screen-printed posters for classic and contemporary films, vinyl movie soundtracks, VHS re-issues and apparel.
The trends in this year’s batch of art seem to be vibrant colors, use of textiles and references to the body, Goolsby said. The pieces are created by professional and amateur artists.
“A broad spectrum of mediums are permissible and a broad spectrum of skills are permissible,” Goolsby said. “Anybody that’s over 18 and living in the Austin area is eligible.”
The array of talented artists selected for the People’s Gallery exhibition represents only the surface of Austin’s deep pool of talent. In Austin, the creative sector accounts for nearly 49,000 jobs and $4.35 billion in economic impact.
The allure of the People’s Gallery for artists is the opportunity to display their work in City Hall’s architecturally-unique interior, to have their work highly visible for a whole year and to possibly sell their work.
For residents, it’s a chance to view art for free. The gallery will be open to the public during normal City Hall hours, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. through Jan. 9, 2014. Exhibition guides are available for visitors to take self-guided tours, and guided group tours are available upon request.