Arts in Context: Somos Krudas

Having survived under a totalitarian regime, Cuban hip-hop duo Krudas Cubensi refuses to compromise. Lyrically, nothing is off limits as they spit fiery lines about politics and sexuality with a frankness and openness that is seldom seen. With a persistent Afro-Cuban rhythm, Odaymara Cuesta and Olivia Prendes use their art as a weapon “to fight against oppression, for justice, for balance, for our rights, to celebrate the life.” Now based out of Austin, Texas, Krudas Cubensi continues their fight for social justice through their incendiary, original hip-hop.

Arts in Context Shorts: Wildly Strange

This week’s Arts in Context Shorts features Ralph Eugene Meatyard’s eerie photographs that possess a “wildly strange” nature. Often employing masks, dolls and sometimes his own children set against abandoned buildings and other eerie backdrops, Meatyard’s work differed from the documentary, photo-journalism approach that defined the mainstream definition of the photographer in the 1950s. His photographs blur (often quite literally) the distinctions between literature and visual art, encouraging viewers to explore the role of fiction in the photographic images and their representation of reality.

Arts in Context: The Thing We Are Not

This week’s Arts in Context Shorts features the work of artist Denise Prince. Across the disciplines of film, photography, painting and object making, Prince’s work employs the commercial language of advertising to make explicit what is real or deftly, its counterpoint, fantasy. Prince’s portrait on cancer survivor and apparel designer Gail Chovan is supplemented by wit and made clear the pleasure with which she constructs narratives and then disrupts them. Through the artistic process, Prince has learned to live better by uncovering the thing we are not.

Arts In Context Shorts: Motor Canvas

At Austin Speed Shop, rusty frames and stock vehicles are canvases for a unique group of artists. Through the collaborative vision and skill of the Austin Speed Shop crew, these canvases are painstakingly transformed into interactive works of art. Founded in 2005 by John Joyoprayitno (a biotech engineer), Dr. Dan Peterson (a neurosurgeon), and Cory Moore (a music manager), Austin Speed Shop is dedicated to restoring custom American cars and trucks from the 1920s through the early 1960s. In order to bring the beauty of the hot rod tradition of the past to the present day, each stock vehicle is completely dismantled and then fully restored. The final result is a work of automotive art that has been hand built with custom metal work, parts, paint, and interiors.

If you want to see some of Austin Speed Shop’s work on display, stop by the 14th Annual Lonestar Round Up, taking place April 17th-18th at the Travis County Expo Center. The Speed Shop will be hosting an open house at their location (3507 Chapman Ln) the night of April 17th from 6-10 pm, followed by a party for registered Round Up attendees the next evening from 7pm till midnight. Tickets are $15 for the two-day event and free fro children under 12.

Arts In Context Shorts: Life Form Art

This week Arts In Context Shorts show how medical illustrations can make beautiful art. Brazilian-born cardiologist Carlos Machado first discovered Frank Netter’s celebrated medical illustrations as a six-year-old boy. Over the course of his life and even throughout his time in medical school, Machado has worked to hone his talent for illustration while embracing hyperrealism. Eventually, he was chosen to become the successor to Dr. Netter and worked as a valuable contributor to “The Netter Collection of Medical Illustrations.”

Arts In Context Shorts: Flow

This week, Arts In Context Shorts presents the art of thinking fast. Founded as a platform for hip-hop artists, the Austin Mic Exchange works tirelessly to create a community of aspiring and independent emcees. Their weekly open mic nights are a haven for artists seeking stage time,  a forum for the city’s best emcees to connect with their peers, and an invaluable opportunity to hone their craft. Freestylers electrify the crowd as they perform their highwire act – improvising frenetically and letting the flow take over them. Part showcase, part community event, and all love, these open mics cultivate the small but fiercely active hip-hop community in Austin.

Arts In Context Shorts: Light Night

This week Arts In Context Shorts explores the beauty of Waller Creek. On November 13, 2014, a small stretch of Waller Creek in downtown Austin, Texas was lit up with modern light installations created by five local architects and landscape designers.  These light pieces were designed to showcase the space’s potential, since soon a series of parks and connected trails will be developed in the location. Organized by the Waller Creek Conservancy and featuring live local music, the event drew strolling crowds to the walkways and various creekside businesses.

Arts In Context Shorts: At The Drive-in

This week, Arts In Context Shorts takes you to the drive-in movie theater. Located on the sprawling tarmac of the old Austin airport is the Blue Starlite Drive-in.  A few nights a week, up to fifty cars and a handful of walk-in moviegoers gradually fill the lot.  While some people drop tailgates and inflate air mattresses in truck beds, others arrange sofa cushions in hatchbacks or unfold lawn chairs around coolers.  As the sun sets behind the city skyline and the stars come out, people tune their radios into the theater’s own station attach one of many vintage speakers and settle in for the movie.  In this short, we see why the Blue Starlite has become a worthy member of Austin’s unique collection of independent cinemas.

Arts In Context Shorts: Bridging the Gap

Arts In Context Shorts features an innovative project using art to empower. Through education and training, Arc of the Arts makes professional artists out of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  The program gives new skills to artists both in making art and in marketing and selling their works, providing a viable career path for a population with limited options.  With a strong identity, a boost of confidence, self expression and platform for exposure, these artists meet new goals for refining their craft and for practicing social skills to use in their new career.

A shortened version of this story will air during PBS NewsHour Weekend on Saturday, September 13 at 6:30pm. 

Hispanic Heritage Month 2014

el taller

KLRU celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with a range of special programs and events that celebrate the Latino experience. Year round, KLRU provides content and events that give a diverse perspective on our community. This September & October, Austin’s PBS station focuses on local programs and events including a screening of El Taller: An Arts In Context Special.

KLRU and The Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center will host a preview screening of El Taller on Sept. 4th at 7 pm. Arts In Context director Mario Troncoso will be in attendance to answer questions about the film. The event is free but an RSVP is required. RSVP now

This documentary follows a group of students and volunteers at Talleres Infantiles for a year as they work together to improve their community while maintaining their culture.Talleres Infantiles is a year round Spanish language art program for mostly low income students.  El Taller will air on Thursday, September 25 at 9:00 pm.

Other programs airing on KLRU for Hispanic Heritage Month:

Be sure to go to klru.org/artsincontext to watch Arts In Context Shorts documentaries on Esquina Tango on 9/26 and Gina Chavez on 10/10.

Central Texas Gardener  “Spanish Melting Pot Garden Design
Saturday, September 13 at 12 noon and repeats at 4:00 pm.
It is also presented on Sunday, September 14 at 9:00 am.
Who influenced your garden design? See how our Spanish and Mexican melting pot impacts us today. Visit an historic home where a walled Mission-style garden features a central aqueduct.

Independent Lens “The Graduates”
Part 1 of 2 airs on Monday, September 22 at 10:30 pm
Part 2 of 2 airs on Tuesday, September 23 at 10:30 pm
This mini-series is a journey into the heart of American education. More than a survey of contemporary policy challenges, it is an intimate and honest exploration of how students, their families and teachers are faring in a stressed public education system, during a politically complex climate, and during an unforgiving global economy.This is a story about how Latino students are faring in our nation’s public education system, but it is also a story about the American future.

Latino Americans on the South Plains
Tuesday, September 23 at 10:00 pm and Thursday, September 25 at 8:00 pm. A celebration of culture, music, and artistic expression by Latinos in West Texas through specific stories of larger significance.

Annual Imagen Awards 2014
Saturday, September 27 at 5:00 pm.
The 29th Imagen Awards recognizes and rewards positive portrayals of Latinos in all forms of media.

Independent Lens “Las Marthas”
Monday, September 29 at 10:00 pm
The annual debutante ball in Laredo, Texas is unlike any other in the country — its 94 percent Latino debutantes and their attendants all dress as Martha Washington or other patriotic figures from America’s colonial period.

Vamos Al Baile (Let’s Go To The Dance)
Thursday, October 2 at 7:30 pm
Little Joe y La Familia, Ruben Ramos and the Mexican Revolution, and Joel Guzman with Sarah Fox plus special guest take the stage.

Arts In Context “Tardeadas”
Thursday, October 9 at 7:30 pm
A profile of Conjunto Los Pinkys, which also tells the story of Austin’s changing East side.

Arts in Context “Peligrosa”
Thursday, October 9 at 8:00 pm
Established in 2007,Peligrosa is a collective of DJs, producers, and visual artists re-energizing the sights and sounds of Latin America.

Ruben Salazar:  Man in the Middle:  A Voces Special Presentation
Thursday, October 9 at 9:00 pm
This documentary provides insights and answers to one of the most bizarre, disturbing and controversial fatal shootings of the mid-20th century. Part political expose, part narrative deconstruction, part poetic meditation, the film is an independent and thorough investigation of the life and death of Ruben Salazar, a prominent Civil Rights era journalist.

V-me  (broadcast channel 18.4)
Latinos Americanos
Fridays starting September 20th at 9:00 pm
Latino Americanos, is the first major documentary series for television to chronicle the rich and varied history and experiences of Latinos, who have helped shape North America over the last 500-plus years and have become, with more than 50 million people, the largest minority group in the U.S. The changing and yet repeating context of American history provides a backdrop for the drama of individual lives. It is a story of immigration and redemption, of anguish and celebration, of the gradual construction of a new American identity that connects and empowers millions of people today.

V-me presenta Latino Americanos

Latino Americanos, el primer gran documental televisivo que presenta una crónica de las ricas y variadas historias y experiencias de los latinos de Estados Unidos que han ayudado a darle forma a América del Norte durante más de 500 años y que se han convertido, al ser más de 50 millones de personas, en el grupo minoritario más grande de Estados Unidos El contexto cambiante e incluso repetitivo de la historia americana ofrece un telón de fondo para el drama de la vida de los individuos. Es una historia acerca de la inmigración y de la redención, de la angustia y de la celebración, de la formación gradual de una nueva identidad americana que enlaza y empodera a millones de personas hoy en día.