Where the Art Is by Marisa Riley
Photo courtesy of Kristy Battani
You’d never suspect that behind one of the doors on the four hundred block of 6th street isn't a blur of artificially colored shots and popped polo collars, but rather a melange of contemporary art and metropolitan architecture. It’s Environmentally Inspired, or IEI Austin, held its debut, self-titled show on the evening of February 7th in the historic estate of late architect David Graeber. Running through the end of the month, the exhibit combines pieces that “upcycle” found objects and other work on point with the subject of sustainability. From Kristy Battani’s “Off the deep end,” a collage of used prescription slips, to Wells Mason’s inviting stools and benches crafted from reclaimed wood and metal, every piece comes with a story.
But it's not just about the art on the walls. Fashioned by the renowned architect responsible for the Johnson Space Center, the estate is itself a treasure trove of eclectic architecture. With a space station-meets-Boogie Nights vibe complete with floating kitchen, wood paneling, and secret indoor pool, the house, like the art, is full of history. Navigating it is half the experience. Curator for IEI Austin Rhonda Rougeau said this was her intention when producing the exhibit.
“My dream was to have the inspiring architecture as a backdrop for events," Rougeau said. "We can combine those activities so that more people have fun viewing art.”
Photo courtesy of IEI Austin.
Rougeau discovered the space through Larry Graeber, a fellow artist and son of David Graeber. Thanks to their meeting of the minds, IEI Austin is an exciting reality that’s right under your nose.
410 E. 6th Street