Creative spheres unite for week of art

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Directors from Art Alliance Austin Meredith Powell, Alison Specter and Harold Reynolds, Austin Energy’s Health and Safety Coordinator, put together the Art Week Austin for the panel and art performances, which started Tuesday at the Seaholm Power Plant and continues for five days.

Photo Credit: I-Hwa Cheng | Daily Texan Staff

From spontaneous piano playing to rapid-fire creative presentations, this year’s Art Week Austin will incorporate a diverse array of artistic projects.

Art Week Austin is a collaborative effort organized by Art Alliance Austin with Texas Biennial, the Austin Museum of Art, the Fusebox Festival and others groups to showcase and expand multiple platforms of art in the city. The five-day project begins tonight and will include creative pitches by Austin artists, bike tours, panel discussions on the arts and a public music performance to close off the event.

“The week is about the convergence of different artistic disciplines,” said Meredith Powell, Art Alliance Austin director and a UT alumna. “It is a platform for us to engage with great art and put on events that we would never have been able to put on alone.”

The first event is Pecha Kucha Night at the Seaholm Power Plant on West Avenue tonight. Pecha Kucha, Japanese for “chit chat,” is a timed presentation format where speakers have six minutes and 40 seconds to pitch their creative idea using 20 images.
The format was conceived in Tokyo in 2003 as a way for designers to network and share ideas in a concise, creative way. Pecha Kucha has since expanded to a variety of disciplines, from graphic design concepts to research projects or marketing ideas. It has also gone global, spreading to Europe and every major American city.

“Pecha Kucha is a great way to help kick off Art Week Austin because it brings together so many of Austin’s creative standouts in a unique and invigorating format,” said Lana McGilvray, co-director of Pecha Kucha Austin.

Pecha Kucha Night is free and open to the public. It will feature 10 presenters whose interests cover a range of creative disciplines, from burlesque dancing to furniture design. Speakers will include Tiffany Harelik, an Austin trailer food blogger, Grammy award-winning musician and producer Adrian Quesada and burlesque dancer Jori Lodes.

There are also four art bike rides, all leaving from Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop on Nueces Street, that showcase artistic highlights around Austin. The first ride, which leaves at 5:30 tonight, will include a stop at Bar Congress for cocktails and ends at Pecha Kucha Night.

Art Alliance Austin is also hosting Hybrid Arts Summit 2011 on Saturday, which will feature three panels discussing community building through cooperative artistic projects, artistic criticism and the promotion and the way technology is changing art today. The panels will each be at a different location near Congress Avenue and Eighth Street.

The summit and Art Week Austin will conclude with a musical performance by Golden Hornet Project at the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge. The group will perform a synchronized musical piece using pianos from the interactive art installation “Play Me, I’m Yours.”

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What: Art Week Austin
When: April 27- May 1
Where: Various locations
How Much: Most events are free. Collector’s Badges grant VIP access and are $195 for the week.