Insider Notes

It’s funny; when the season draws to a close, the art scene seems to rev up right before it slows down. Meet May, a month in which we find a blast of activity across the board, from the cultural pillars through to the underground.

As The Contemporary Austin prepares to showcase works from the renowned Fuhrman Family Collection, Devon Britt-Darby checks in with executive director Louis Grachos on the progress of the museum’s ongoing transformation. Meanwhile, Charissa Terranova’s meditation on former President George W. Bush’s transformation into a painter is not to be missed.

In more grassroots corners of the art world, Caitlin Greenwood hails Travis LaMothe as an exemplar of Dallas’s DIY art scene, and Michael McFadden talks with the University of Houston students behind Barbee Manshun, a bungalow-based art space where pop-up exhibitions and house parties go hand in hand. San Antonio gallerist Patricia Ruiz-Healy did invitation-only exhibits in a house for years, before recently opening a commercial space. Britt-Darby visited her new digs and learned about the trajectory of her program.

The big dance news this month is Dallas Black Dance Theatre founder Ann Williams’ farewell. Manny Mendoza sums up her enormous contribution to the field, while filling us in on the festivities at her farewell gala.

How best to leave ballet audiences? In Texas, the answer comes in the form of two swans and a beauty, as all three major troupes conclude their seasons on a classical note.

Of course, Texas would be the home of the largest educational theater event in the world. This month, the state’s young thespians storm Austin for The UIL One Act Play Competition at University of Texas. Julie Herman brings us into the thick of the storied competition, while Jacey Little examines the pros and cons of going Equity.

As the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts enters the final stages of construction, AtticRep contemplates its new home in the Tobin’s Alvarez Family Studio Theater. Scott Andrews updates us on AtticRep’s inaugural season in the new facility. Jennifer Smart visited with the puppeteers who bring “Joey” to life in War Horse, while Claire Canavan updates us on Rude Mechs’ recent Lincoln Center run and upcoming shows.

As usual, our digital home is stocked with web exclusives, from an interview with artist/scholar Julienne Greer on The Other Place at The Circle Theatre in Fort Worth, to Nancy Zastudil’s feature on the Houston Palestine Film Festival. It’s Spring, which, in Texas, means Summer; the heat is on. Let’s see some art.

Nancy Wozny
Editor in Chief