organization is home to 16 studio workspaces, 12 of which are occupied by local artists, and a gallery. One of Contracommon’s tenants is Kelsey Baker, a local painter who also serves as gallery director. Baker said growing the gallery has been a team eort—one that is strongly supported by the Galle- ria, which allows the nonprot to lease the space at a reduced cost. “We’re trying to establish [Contracommon] as a local legitimate art gallery,” Baker said. “But we’re also really focused on supporting and giving the opportunity to artists who are just starting out.” As an Austin resident, Baker said she has enjoyed seeing the art that exists west of downtown. Mov- ing forward, Contracommon plans to garner more community interest with an art and music festival slated for June 5. Two doors down from Contracommon, Micah Pearman and her partner, an artist known as Cha- casso, are also working to support local creatives. Their company Flip’N Art rst opened in the Gal- leria in November 2018 to oer two components: a gallery space to highlight artists’ work and a custom art business. Pearman said she and Chacasso want to represent more artists than any other company and provide them with a living wage and medical benets. To date, Flip’N Art has employed more than 35 local artists to create custom paintings for clients. “Our main goal is to help artists thrive and to erad- icate the idea and thought process of starving art- ists,” Pearman said. The company’s latest endeavor involves becom- ing one of the rst crypto-backed art galleries in the world, Pearman said. The evolving technology referred to as non-fungible tokens or NFTs would allow an individual to purchase a digital representa- tion of an art piece along with an original copy. The unique proof of ownership will allow clients to own a digital asset valued at what they purchased the art for, which can then be traded for prot, according to Pearman, who said in return, the local artist makes a commission each time the piece is traded. Flip’N Art is gearing up to launch this new plat- form this summer with the hopes of establishing Bee Cave as a hub for the use of this technology in the industry. Adecades long interest in the arts While many have attested to a growing arts and culture movement in Lake Travis, there are several art-focused organizations that have served the com- munity for more than 20 years. One of those long-standing groups is Spicewood Arts, which was founded by three residents at a din- ner party inMarch 2000, according toMary Ann Jur- gens, vice president of publicity. Jurgens said founders Cindy Jackson, Dianne Frost-Silver and Madeleine Manigold had an appre- ciation for performance, visual and literary arts, and much like Albert, they did not want to travel 45 min- utes to Austin to experience it. The organization was born with a goal to provide residents of all ages with opportunities to experience the arts in Spicewood.While the founders had a partic- ular focus on classical music, Jurgens said operations have greatly expanded. Today, the nonprot hosts ve live concert events COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM
The Lake Travis-Westlake area presents several opportunities to enjoy a variety of visual arts. This list is not comprehensive.
Local art destinations
1 Bee Cave Sculpture Park 2 Contracommon, art gallery 3 Flip’N Art, gallery and art commissions 4 Hurst Creek Sculpture Garden 5 The Hive, community art center 6 Lakeway Boulevard bronze sculptures
ROYAL OAK LN.
7 Outdoor kinetic art sculptures 8 Murals at Hill Country Galleria 9 Bees of Bee Cave sculptures
Culture calendar This spring and summer, the Lake Travis region will host several art events from live music to lm festivals and gallery exhibitions. This list is not comprehensive.
APRIL 14MAY 31 Flip’N Art Humanity Art Show www.ipnart.business.site MAY 14 Spicewood Arts presents its “Toast to Tony” concert www.spicewoodarts.org
JUNE 5 Contracommon Summer Arts Festival www.contracommon.org JUNE 1013 Lake Travis Film Festival www.laketravislmfestival.com
JULY 9AUG. 14 Zilker Theatre Production presents “Little Shop of Horrors” at Hill Country Galleria www.zilker.org/summer-2021/ AUG. 2122 Lakeway Arts Committee cool arts sale and studio tour www.lakewayartsdistrict.com
SOURCES: LAKEWAY ARTS COMMITTEE, CONTRACOMMON, FLIP’N ART, LAKE TRAVIS FILM FESTIVAL, SPICEWOOD ARTSCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
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new cultural event, but she also said she is working to put Lake Travis on the industry map—a goal that could benet the entire community. LTFF received more than 300 submissions from lmmakers working in areas as close as Buda and as far as Vietnam, and Albert said industry profession- als have taken notice of the home-grown festival. Emerging studio space Much of the rising art scene in the region is con- centrated in Bee Cave’s main thoroughfare, the Hill Country Galleria—a center that has been recog- nized nationally for its endeavors in the arts, which include commissioned murals and festivals. In August, the Galleria was sanctioned as an art and culture hub and earned an innovation award from the International Council of Shopping Cen- ters for its multi-year eort to support local artists, according to a media release from the Galleria. Part of the Galleria’s mission to become a resource for local creatives involved securing aordable stu- dio and gallery space—amenities the region previ- ously lacked. The Galleria’s new art gallery, Contracommon, took advantage of that opportunity. The nonprot
Those long commutes became a driving force behind Albert’s decision to make an investment in the arts within her own community. After more than four years of work, she founded the area’s rst inter- national lm festival. “It felt like a cultural desert, and part of the reason I wanted to start this was because as a lmmaker I was driving over to the east side of Austin four or ve nights a week,” Albert said. “I just felt like it was wrong. Why do we always have to drive to East Aus- tin or Central Austin to do something cultural?” In 2019, the Lake Travis Film Festival held its inaugural event that featured 92 lms. The festival attracted more than 1,000 attendees, some of whom Albert said traveled from out of town, as evidenced by the more than 80 local hotel rooms booked for the event. Albert and her volunteers are gearing up for what she anticipates will be an even more successful second year, which will kick o June 10 at more than eight venues and restaurants in Lakeway and Bee Cave to showcase roughly 100 lm projects, according to Albert. Not only is she striving to provide residents with a
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