Opening November 18, 2017

Carol Bove

Carol Bove

Fall 2017

Art School

Register for fall classes for adults, teens, and kids!


Curating Abroad: Keshet Award

Our Executive Director, Louis Grachos, recently had the honor of serving as the Curator for the inaugural Keshet Award for Contemporary Art, founded by the Bar-Gil Avidan family, at Israel’s Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art.

The inaugural recipient, artist Guy Goldstein, transforms a gallery into an experiential music box in his installation Freigedank (Free Thinker) (opening September 16, 2017), which uses a controversial opera by German composer Richard Wagner to illuminate ideas of the taboo and censorship in art. Read on for a conversation between Grachos and the artist.

An Extraordinary Gift for Austin’s Kids

Impact Austin awards The Contemporary $80,600 for Art Education!

We are thrilled to announce that we were honored at Austin City Hall this week as a 2017 Impact Austin Community Partner. As the recipient of Impact Austin’s Culture Area grant, The Contemporary Austin was awarded $80,600 to support an expansion of Seeing Special Things, a multiple-visit program for underserved schools in Austin. This high-impact grant—the largest ever received for art education in the museum’s history—will expand the reach of the program to thousands of community members, extending the impact of our program to multiple generations and engaging new audiences in the cultural life of our city.

Ai Weiwei's Exhibition Opens

Welcome Ai Weiwei’s Forever Bicycles and Iron Tree Trunk to Austin! The Contemporary Austin and Waller Creek Conservancy celebrated the opening of the artist’s two-site exhibition on June 2 at a reception held at the site of Ai Weiwei’s new installation Forever Bicycles along Waller Creek.

This exhibition of works by the internationally renowned Chinese artist and activist is part of The Contemporary Austin’s Museum Without Walls program, and also represents the museum’s second public art collaboration with Waller Creek Conservancy, a partnership made possible by a generous grant from the Edward and Betty Marcus Foundation. Read on for opening remarks by Melba Whatley, President of the Waller Creek Conservancy Board of Directors and Trustee of The Contemporary Austin.

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Wangechi Mutu, The End of carrying All, 2015. Three-screen animated video (color, sound). Running time: 10:45, loop. Edition of 3. Courtesy the artist, Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels; Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Los Angeles; and Victoria Miro Gallery, London. John Bock, Dead + Juicy, 2017. Mixed media installation and HD video with sound. Commissioned by The Contemporary Austin for the exhibition John Bock: Dead + Juicy, 2017. Installation view, The Contemporary Austin – Jones Center on Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas, 2017. Artwork © John Bock. Courtesy the artist; Anton Kern Gallery, New York; and Regen Projects, Los Angeles. Image courtesy The Contemporary Austin. Photograph by Colin Doyle. Carol Bove, Flying V, 2017. Steel, stainless steel, and urethane paint. 66 x 57 x 36 inches. Commissioned in part by The Contemporary Austin with funds provided by the Edward and Betty Marcus Foundation. Artwork © Carol Bove. Courtesy the artist; Maccarone, New York/Los Angeles; and David Zwirner, New York/London.


Learn more about exciting developments at The Contemporary Austin, including the Laguna Gloria Master Plan and the Jones Center Renovation, here.

Congratulations to artist Rodney McMillian, winner of the inaugural 2016 Suzanne Deal Booth Art Prize! McMillian’s exhibition will open at The Contemporary Austin on February 3, 2018.

The Suzanne Deal Booth Art Prize at The Contemporary Austin is a biennial, unrestricted international art award of $100,000 to be given to an artist selected every two years, which also includes a solo exhibition, a scholarly publication, and related public programming. An independent advisory committee comprising renowned curators and art historians will select the recipient. The Suzanne Deal Booth Art Prize is funded by a generous gift to the museum by arts professional and museum trustee Suzanne Deal Booth and administered by The Contemporary Austin. Learn more here.

The Contemporary Art Museum for Austin

Mission: The Contemporary Austin reflects the spectrum of contemporary art through exhibitions, commissions, education, and the collection.

Vision: The Contemporary Austin aspires to be the contemporary art museum for Austin and an essential part of city life. Through its unique combination of urban and outdoor sites, The Contemporary will embody an eclectic and collaborative spirit.

Museum Without Walls
A Discussion with Louis Grachos

Learn how we are inspiring our home city and get to know our executive director, Louis Grachos, in the video above! Special thanks to Sanders\Wingo.

Louis Grachos Biography

Louis Grachos was appointed in 2013 as the Ernest and Sarah Butler Executive Director and CEO of The Contemporary Austin, which operates two distinct sites—the Jones Center on Congress Avenue, a kunsthalle-like space in the downtown core, and Laguna Gloria, a historic site in residential Austin. Prior to his appointment, Grachos served as Director of SITE Santa Fe in Santa Fe, New Mexico, from 1996 to 2003 and Executive Director of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York from 2003 to 2012.

In 2013, Grachos led a successful rebranding of the recently merged institutions—the Austin Museum of Art (AMoA) and Arthouse—as The Contemporary Austin, encapsulating the museum’s mission of reflecting the spectrum of contemporary art through exhibitions, commissions, education, and the collection. Grachos led a successful campaign to secure a $9 million grant from the Edward and Betty Marcus Foundation, which helped to develop an art program at Laguna Gloria as The Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park, and launch a landscape master plan to restore its historic grounds.

As executive director and CEO, Grachos has brought ambitious exhibitions of new work and site-specific commissions at both of The Contemporary’s sites by leading contemporary artists such as Garth Weiser, Ryan Gander, Anya Gallaccio, Monika Sosnowska, Tom Sachs, Paul McCarthy, Janine Antoni, Tom Friedman, Liam Gillick, Marianne Vitale, Charles Long, and Do Ho Suh. He recently organized the long-term loan and installation of Jim Hodges’s seminal sculpture, With Liberty and Justice for All (A Work in Progress) in tandem with the renovation of The Contemporary’s downtown location, the Jones Center on Congress Avenue, located a few blocks from the State Capitol building. In 2017, in addition to organizing and installing exhibitions by Wangechi Mutu, John Bock, and Carol Bove, Grachos served as guest curator of the Keshet Award organized by the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art in Herzliya, Israel. He has also been committed to bringing diverse and engaging educational and public programming offerings to the city, working in a collaborative spirit with Austin’s cultural community. Through The Contemporary’s Museum Without Walls program, Grachos has arranged the long-term loan of outdoor sculpture from the museum’s existing collection for display at various parks throughout Austin, including the monumental installation of Ai Weiwei’s Forever Bicycles at Waller Creek.

Grachos earned a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of Toronto and a Certificate for Museum Studies from the Museum Studies Graduate Program, John F. Kennedy University, San Francisco. He began his museum career with curatorial internships at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. He held curatorial and administrative positions at the Americas Society Visual Arts Program, New York; the Queens Museum of Art; the Center for the Fine Arts, Miami; the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; and SITE Santa Fe.

A passionate advocate for the arts, Grachos has more than 30 years of experience in the museum field supporting advanced contemporary art. He is committed to community collaborations, with a focus on arts education and outreach programming, and consistently strives to create an institutional culture he describes as “artist-centric.”

The Contemporary Austin comprises two locations: the historic Jones Center in downtown Austin, and Laguna Gloria, a unique, fourteen-acre art-in-nature site that includes the landmark Driscoll Villa, the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park, the Gatehouse Gallery, and the Art School at Laguna Gloria.

Jones Center

The first three-story brick building in Austin is constructed on the corner of 7th Street and Congress Avenue.

Tobin’s Drug Store opens at 700 Congress Avenue.

Texas Fine Arts Association (TFAA) is formed.

700 Congress Avenue becomes the Queen Theater, featuring a balcony and proscenium stage.

Lerner Shops moves into 700 Congress and renovates by adding storefront windows, a second floor, and a new front elevation on Congress, including an awning over the sidewalk.

Texas Fine Arts Association purchases the vacant building at 700 Congress and renovates the first floor.

TFAA / The Jones Center for Contemporary Art opens to the public.

TFAA changes its name to Arthouse at the Jones Center.

Arthouse unveils the renovation and expansion plans for the Jones Center, designed by Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis Architects.

Arthouse at the Jones Center reopens.

Arthouse at the Jones Center and the Austin Museum of Art (AMOA) celebrate 100 and 50 years, respectively. At the same time, the two institutions formalize a merger under the temporary name AMOA-Arthouse, rejoining the two primary organizations that constituted the Texas Fine Arts Association.

AMOA-Arthouse debuts its new name and brand: The Contemporary Austin.

Laguna Gloria

Texas Fine Arts Association (TFAA) is formed.

Texas legend Clara Driscoll donates her lakeside, 1916 estate in west Austin to be used “as a Museum to bring pleasure in the appreciation of art to the people of Texas.”

TFAA splits into two separate entities. Laguna Gloria Art Museum is created with the purpose of owning and operating the museum and grounds, and presenting exhibitions and educational programs in the Driscoll Villa.

The Art School’s 4,100-square foot facility is constructed on the grounds of Laguna Gloria.

Laguna Gloria Art Museum changes its name to Austin Museum of Art (AMOA) and moves its primary exhibition space to 823 Congress Avenue.

The Driscoll Villa and gardens and key features of The Art School complex are refurbished and restored through a successful $3.6 million Laguna Gloria Renewal Project.

The historic Gatehouse is restored and the Art School studios expanded by 2,500-square feet of new ceramics and painting space.

Arthouse at the Jones Center and the Austin Museum of Art (AMOA) celebrate 100 and 50 years, respectively. At the same time, the two institutions formalize a merger under the temporary name AMOA-Arthouse, rejoining the two primary organizations that constituted the Texas Fine Arts Association.

AMOA-Arthouse debuts its new name and brand: The Contemporary Austin.

Read more about the history of Laguna Gloria in "Glorious Renewal," published in the Austin Chronicle, March 25, 2015.

Board of Trustees

Richard Marcus, Chairman
Jeanne Klein, President
Kathleen Loughlin, President-Elect (2018)
Mark Hanna, Treasurer
Milam Newby, Secretary

Wilson Allen
Elizabeth Baskin
Suzanne Deal Booth
Mike Chesser
Kim Dowling
James Dyess
Deborah Dupré
Eric Foultz
Laura Gottesman
Deborah Green
Karen Hawkins
Eric Herschmann
Teresa Hubbard
Jannette Keating
Mickey Klein
Chris Mattsson
Larry McGuire
Will Meredith
Fredericka Middleton
Don Mullins
Brad Nelsen
Elysia Ragusa
Shalini Ramanathan
Lora Reynolds
Jane Schweppe
Elizabeth Stanley
Rodney Susholtz
Jill Turner
Melba Whatley
Teresa Windham

3809 West 35th Street
Austin, Texas 78703
512 458 8191
Art School: 512 323 6380

700 Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701
512 453 5312

The Contemporary Austin does not accept unsolicited submissions of art.

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