Arts In Context Shorts Puro Chingón

AICS PURO CHINGON GROUP-2Three Austin, Latino artists: Claudia Aparicio-Gamundi, James Huizar and Claudia Zapata are changing the tradition of art through experience and happenings, not just art.

In 2012, The Puro Chingón Collective was born, which set off to break the traditional art space and aimed it towards the exterior of the art space, resulting in connectivity among the art and bystanders. The collective is a Latino art trifecta specializing in happenings, the activation of nontraditional spaces, designer toys and art zines. Ultimately, the art work goes untouched from the artist to the public and illustrates that people are not alone in their thoughts.

 

 

 

Arts In Context seeks community input

Arts In Context

Austin is constantly changing. Whether that be its music, food or art scene there is always something trendy around the corner. Which is why Arts In Context is seeking applicants for artists to feature on the award-winning series.

With Arts In Context, KLRU aims to pique curiosity and inspire individuals by spotlighting visual arts, dance, music and culture. Each episode is compelling and character driven.

If you have a story that anyone can be inspired by or can relate to, make sure to apply today. Apply here

Arts In Context Shorts: Fire and Dance

Prakash Mohandas, founder of Agni The Dance Company, has set his mark in Austin by opening the first Bollywood dance studio in the area. Founded in 2007, Agni consists of professional performers, aspiring artists, instructors, production assistants and a management team united by a common love of the performing arts and creative expression.

FIRE AND DANCE 2“Choreography doesn’t come from thin air,” Mohandas said. “For me, (the song) has to inspire me for me to want to choreograph it. When I get into that space, it’s a very spiritual experience.”

One of Agni’s primary goals is to provide quality Indian, performing arts education in various locations in Austin and Round Rock areas through classes conducted by experienced and renowned instructors.

“Austin is fantastic for eclectic audiences,” he said. “I think it’s one of the cities that I’ve seen that is so welcoming to new kinds of art forms and a new kinds of dance.”

Arts In Context Shorts: Stitched Together

While traveling across Europe, Mychal Mitchell thought she would be inspired by the architecture of the cities she visited but after having her journal stolen in a train station she soon discovered a bookbinding studio in Venice and fell in love with the old-world-style of handmade leather journals.

Handtorn paper“I discovered bookbinding kind of my accident,” Mitchell said. “About a week later, I was kind of flirting with this very handsome street artist and he ended up taking me to his friend’s little bookbinding studio and I ended up being blown away by what he was doing.”
Now, more than 20 years later, Mitchell continues to use the techniques she learned on her European trip and shares her beautiful handcrafted journals and photo albums with others in her East Austin Studio.

Cutting leather“It’s really inspiring to see the way that people use them,” she said. “Especially when people bring them back to me and they are all filled up…they’re gorgeous.”

 

 

Arts In Context Shorts: Cinematic Symphony

trumpets, trombone and tubas during Cinematic Symphony rehearsalFor over eleven years, Cinematic Symphony has shared its love for the music of film, television and video games with the Austin community. With two concerts per year, this ensemble comprised of local musicians is dedicated to promoting musical education in the form of entertainment. Visual displays and popular music of our time provide an enriching opportunity and introduction to classical music.

Cinematic Symphony has a concert on May 14th. Get more details

Arts In Context Shorts: Austin Community Steelpan Band

More than an after-school program, the Austin Community Steelband has created an expressive place to uplift local youth through learning steelpan music.  Originating in Trinidad, steelbands served as a way for poor and oppressed people to come together and express themselves through music. Executive Director Paula Beaird and Musical Director Cecil Francis continue manifest the soul of Trinidad by providing a free musical instruction where underprivileged children learn skills like memorization, focus and listening that they can take home and apply to their lives at home and in school.  With an emphasis on collaborative and enriching learning, the students have turned it into more than an after-school program.  They are now a part of a vibrant, historically-rich musical community that extends beyond the city limits of Austin, Texas.

Arts In Context Shorts: Alegria do Samba

The Austin Samba School has created a new twist on the classic western “horse opera.” Fusing Brazilian Carnaval rhythms and dancing with Texas’ musical history, the performers of Austin Samba School are truly a community who come from all walks of life and in all sizes, shapes, colors, races and nationalities.  This diversity allows them to take on creative challenges with full force and to create a performance unlike any other – cattle and cowboys, blues and rock, spangles and feathers, glitter and gold, samba and country.

Arts In Context Shorts: Nathan Felix makes his mark with 6 Pianos

Nathan Felix made his mark in the Austin music scene by composing classical-style music and putting on a show in his North Austin home. But his long term goal is something much bigger.

The idea of Felix’s at home show, Classical Music Kegger, came to him when he saw an opera performance in a train station when he lived in Los Angeles. Felix decided to compose a show with only pianos. Despite the fact that he had never composed a piano piece, nor did he know how to play piano, when Felix returned to his hometown of Austin, he somehow snagged six free pianos off of Craigslist and got to work.

However, Felix wants to give his community more than just the music itself. That’s why he donated the pianos to the youth.

“Part of my way of giving back is donating the pianos to some of the schools or community centers,” Felix said. “I want to start grooming and growing the next crop of young, talented kids.”

Nathan Felix by Ashley Bradley

Arts In Context Shorts: Curating Cosmic Vida

With “Cosmic Vida,” an exhibition at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, curator Raul Valdez gave visitors a glimpse into the cosmos.

“Cosmic Vida” is the first show Valdez curated in more than a decade. An artist himself, he curated the collection after he realized he could not produce enough work to fill up the space himself. The exhibition, which is no longer on display, juxtaposed dynamic and subdued pieces. With artworks of various mediums, colors, sizes and imagery, he explored the literal and symbolic meaning of the exhibit’s title.

Valdez hoped the audience was inspired to make their own interpretations on the universal experiences of La Raza, the human race.

“You can see the chicano in it, but you can also see the universal part,” Valdez said