August Wrap Up: Part IV

There's been a bit of a delay in the resolution of my August wrap-up series. I went to Austin, Texas, after all. I was very excited to do so, because the spirit of my young mother lives there - I've visited multiple times in my life. Meg is attending the University of Texas for grad school, and so I met up with her and Patrick and helped her get settled with everything.

It was towards the end of August, so needless to say it was pretty hot. But it's the kind of hot that you forget about after a while? I didn't mind anyway- it adds to the aesthetic and ambiance of Austin. Anyway, we were running around getting acclimated and everything. Meg's house is really quaint, and her new housemates are friendly.

Barton Springs and bat bridges: Near Austin, there are many watering holes about. One natural spring has been around for quite a while as a popular hang-out during summer days, and so Patrick and I made our way over. At an average 68 degrees, it's a bit chilly, but after having been out in the heat it was exciting to try it out. The high and low points of this were actually the same event - we'd been standing in the cold water for a while chatting and moving about, when Patrick realized that his phone was still in his shorts' pocket. Needless to say, it was freaking out, and Patrick's phone was out of commission for a while. It was quite amusing, though. Later, we went with Meg to Congress bridge, where there are multiple bat colonies underneath. At about sunset, a plethora of bats - I mean, just a huge huge amount - come flying out from underneath the bridge to fetch food for themselves. It is really amazing to watch, and it goes on for forever. The best time to see it is in late August, so we had really good timing.

Austin Art Museum and the Blanton: We decided to go by the Austin Art Museum but were unfortunately a little disappointed with the spread. Chuck Close had some of his work there: several ridiculously clear daguerreotypes and images of well-known artists/poets next to prose/poetry of theirs. I felt that there could have been more innovation from Chuck, but no. The museum's permanent collection had a few nice things (like Polly apfelbaum's Townsville), but overall it was lackluster.

Which is why Patrick and I were blown away when we went to the Blanton Museum of Art later on. Funded by the University of Texas, the Blanton Museum of Art seemed to have had more to work with. They had a lot of interesting works to show from many time periods and movements. There was an installation by Brazilian artist Cildo Meireles called "How to Build Cathedrals," which includes 2,000 bones, 600,000 coins, and 800 communion wafers. Surrounded by a black bit of shrouding, one steps inside the bone canopy and can walk around the sea of coins. Patrick and I also liked Richard Tuttle's "Light Pink Octagon" and the many prints in the permanent collection. It was too bad that we had to go through there so quickly, but there were important meetings and appointments for us to get to (aka Harry Potter in 3D...)

Overall, it was really nice to be there with those two individuals and to be around Austin. It was a wonderful end to my trip, too.