Arts In Context Shorts: The Neon Jungle

Evan Voyles builds signs to last generations. Voyles is the sovereign sign-maker of South Congress – he hand-created and repurposed vintage signs for Magnolia Cafe, Homeslice, Soul, Stag, Creatures, Turquoise Door, Lucy’s Fried Chicken, Perla’s, Wahoo’s Fish Taco, Yard Dog and Uncommon Objects, the last two going on 20 years of age. Voyles started on his craft as a vintage neon sign collector and began to build signs when clients asked for specialized styles. Most recently, Voyles faced one of his biggest challenges yet: a 50-foot-tall replica of a 1952 Fender Telecaster for Austin Vintage Guitars. His personal artistry is on full display as he creates a new iconic masterpiece.

“I get to change the way my hometown looks,” Voyles said. “Who really gets to say that?”

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.

Biscuit Brothers plan Fine Arts Farm in South Austin

Jerome Schoolar, co-creator and producer of the Emmy Award winning PBS show “The Biscuit Brothers”, is calling on fans to support the building of a new Fine Arts Farm in South Austin that will be designed to provide music and arts education to the entire community. The proposed facility will include concert and theatre space as well as multiple classrooms, a themed outdoor area, and plenty of Magical Musical Farm décor. Support the project online now

“I want to create a space where we can entertain and educate kids and families of all ages in all sorts of ways,” said Schoolar, who plays Dusty on the show and has served as a City of Austin Fine Arts Coordinator for Children. “The vision includes regular classes, special concerts, theatrical guests, and more, with much of it low-cost or even free to Title 1 AISD schools and other at-risk members of our community.”

The Biscuit Brothers have a long history of providing inexpensive or free shows to the public – often benefitting other local organizations – and hope the new building near Slaughter Lane and I-35 will help sustain those as well as the TV show which is given to PBS for free.

$50,000 is needed to secure the property and begin upgrades. Schoolar says he hopes to raise at least $25,000 online and another $25,000 from corporate sponsors.

“We’ve got some amazing rewards for our supporters, including free classes and invitations to participate in the permanent decorations of the building. For our top donors or corporate sponsors, we’re offering chances to name classrooms and more. And for everyone, we’re offering the chance to help build a facility that has the potential to make a lasting impact across our entire community.”

Schoolar points to multiple studies on both the national and local scale that highlight the importance of Fine Arts training in education. “There’s ample evidence showing that children who are actively involved in Fine Arts Education are smarter, healthier, and happier, and that exposure needs to begin as early as possible with reliable consistency. The Biscuit Brothers have always been about fostering musical education for young kids, and now we want to broaden that to a fully artistic and really fun Fine Arts Farm.”

The campaign will begin on October 16 and end on December 16. The URL will be available at launch, or by searching for The Biscuit Brothers at

Arts In Context Season 3 Party 10/25

Celebrate Arts In Context with a season three kick-off party. The new season of the award-winning arts show begins on Oct. 25th with a documentary on Austin’s Mother Falcon. KLRU is hosting a party to celebrate the event!

Date: Thursday, October 25th
Time: 7 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm)
Location: KLRU’s Studio 6A (map)
RSVP: The event is free but RSVP is required. RSVP now

Arts In Context season three explores the process of creation through collaboration and the condition of living and working as an artist. By spotlighting visual arts, dance, music and culture, we hope to pique curiosity and inspire people to learn more about a subject, visit an exhibition, attend a performance or create and share something beautiful of their own and facilitate the dialogue between artists and audiences. Episodes air Thursdays at 7:30 pm on KLRU and are available everywhere on the PBS iPhone app and iPad app.

The new season begins airing on Oct. 25th with a documentary on the inspiring story of one of Austin’s beloved bands, Mother Falcon. Featuring performances and in-depth interviews, Arts in Context takes you inside the 21-member band’s journey from aspiring, high school musicians to the popular band they have become today, and the challenges they now face trying to break onto the national stage. Watch a preview of the Mother Falcon episode on

Arts in Context: Fusebox Festival 2012

Arts in Context: Fusebox Festival 2012 from KLRU-TV on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 27, Arts in Context explores some of Austin’s best contemporary and performance art featured in this year’s Fusebox Festival. Featured is Austin’s own Les RAV and composer Travis Weller, both showcasing unique local talent. Also featured is Jennifer Sherburn, a dancer and composer whose innovative style brings to the stage a non-traditional form of Austin art. Fusebox Festival features not only Austin’s best artists, but also showcases some of the most interesting national and international artists, like Singer/Songwriter Holcombe Waller (Portland), the electronic folk duo, Lulacruza (Colombia and Argentina), and choreographer David Zambrano’s (Venezuela).

Fusebox Festival is a space where artists and audiences can take risks, ask questions and explore ideas together, break rules and blur boundaries. The 2012 festival features a great mix of local and international talent performing theater, dance, and music.

Join KLRU Thursday, September 27 at 7:30 PM to catch Arts in Context’s Fusebox Festival episode!

How do *you* keep creativity alive in Austin?

There are countless ways to support Austin’s creative sector. Attending opening night at a theater, playing in a band, taking an improv class. Creativity is what makes Austin unique…so what do *you* do that keeps creativity alive?

Tell us how you keep creativity alive in Austin. Make a quick video and upload it to YouTube. Tag it “CivicSummitCreativity” and your comments may be used in our upcoming broadcast.

Miró Quartet with Jorge Caballero in concert

Can’t get enough classical music in your life?

KLRU will be rebroadcasting Arts In Context: Jorge Caballero on August 2 at 7 pm. The episode features Peruvian classical guitarist Caballero, along with the Miró Quartet and the Classical Guitar Orchestra, performing their Modest Mussorgsky’s masterpiece suite “Pictures At An Exhibition” entitled “Austin Pictures.”

Caballero is the youngest musician and only guitarist to win the Naumberg International Competition, an award comparable to the Pulitzer, but for musicians. The Miró Quartet are currently the Faculty String Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Texas at Austin and one of America’s most important chamber music groups. The episode is an incredible showcase of impressive talent and musicianship and is not to be missed.

Jorge Caballero and the Miró Quartet will be performing perform live on Saturday, August 4th, at Dell Hall at The Long Center for the Performing Arts. They will reunite to perform a program of Mozart, Paganini, Bach, and Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Not only will you be captivated by the music, but the Alamo Drafthouse’s Beverage Manager, Bill Norris, will be concocting splendid cocktails – one for each member of the performing ensemble – in the Kodosky Lounge, beginning at 6 pm. The show begins at 7:30 pm. Tickets and more information can be found at the Austin Classical Guitar’s web site.

Discover the Arts with KLRU on 5/18

Discover even more unique art from the nation’s emerging artists as your PBS station celebrates the arts. Tune in on Fridays for full-length performances (both new and old), artist and performer profiles, behind-the-scenes documentaries and more.

May 18th at 9 pm, John Portman: A Life of Building examines the work and legacy of one of the world’s most daring and influential architects. Over the last 45 years, John Portman’s iconic urban structures and eye-popping interiors steadily rose in 60 cities across four continents, helping redefine cityscapes in the United States and skylines in Asia. Once considered a maverick because he eschewed long-accepted industry standards, critics and leading architecture schools now fully embrace Portman’s design approach, which emphasizes function, purpose and sensory experience. John Portman: A Life of Building showcases Portman’s buildings using dramatic time-lapse footage. The film also features interviews with Portman, architecture critic Paul Goldberg (The New Yorker), Harvard professors Mack Scogin and Michael Hays, business associates Mickey Steinberg and A.J. Robinson, architect Jacque Robertson, art critic Robert Craig and Portman’s children.

Following at 10PM, The Decemberists and Gillian Welch showcase the best in contemporary songwriting on Austin City Limits. The Decemberists highlight songs from their release The King Is Dead. Welch and her partner David Rawlings follow up with songs from her album The Harrow & the Harvest.

Art 21 preview screening at UT

On March 28 from 4-5pm in Doty Fine Arts Building (DFA map) room 2.204, the Fine Arts Library will host a preview screening of Art 21 Season 6. The event will feature a screening of the episode called Change focusing on artists Ai Weiwei, El Anatsui, and Catherine Opie. Art 21′s new season begins airing soon on KLRU.

Watch Trailer: Season 6, Art in the Twenty-First Century on PBS. See more from ART:21.

In the Studio: Arts In Context The Relatives 2/11

Arts In Context
The Relatives with The Isaac Sisters
Date: Saturday, February 11
Time: Taping starts at 8 pm. Doors will open at 7 pm
Free but RSVP required. RSVP now

Formed in the early 1970s by the Rev. Gean and Tommy West, The Relatives’ cut three genre-bending singles during their decade-long run that were too freaky for the church and too righteous for R&B radio. Though pioneers of an utterly singular sound, the Relatives never made a splash outside of Dallas and have remained virtually unknown even among serious record collectors. But all of that is changing with recent performances at ACL Music Festival in 2010 and backing Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears on the PBS television series Austin City Limits last year. Joining them will be The Isaac Sisters in their very first television appearance.