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The Blanton Celebrates the Holiday Season with New Interactive Installation “Weird Winter”

Artist and musician Steve Parker invites Austinites to participate in this delightful creation

Weird Winter Exhibit (photo courtesy of The Blanton Museum of Art)

The Blanton Museum of Art’s new installation “Weird Winter” presents a unique approach for visitors to celebrate the holiday festivities. The interactive playscape will utilize familiar and beloved seasonal symbols in a fresh way.

Created by acclaimed artist, musician, and longtime SoundSpace collaborator and curator Steve Parker, “Weird Winter” showcases his multifaceted talents using sculpture, sound, and the public themselves as part of the art experience. Located in two sections on the museum grounds, visitors can expect to see the project in the Blanton’s Check-In mezzanine and The Lookout in the gallery building.

“Weird Winter” (photo courtesy of The Blanton)

“Weird Winter will feature a variety of installations that reimagine tropes of the holiday season,” Parker explains. “There will be an installation made of whimsical brass horns that hang over the front museum entrance, a series of animated trees outfitted with chimes and sleigh bells, an ensemble of musical snow globes that plays arrangements of the Nutcracker Suite, ASMR holiday carols, and a few interactive figurative cardboard sculptures… to examine the strangeness of holiday rituals and a good laugh.”

Originally trained as a musician, Parker’s career has evolved over the years from his explorations with both sounds and found objects. Using an unconventional variety of mediums, Parker’s compositions disrupt our routine interactions with the world. “I work with a wide range of materials — millions of bats, automobile choirs, marching bands, reanimated plants — to create opportunities for new forms of listening,” Parker shares.

Steve Parker with “Weird Winter” (photo courtesy of The Blanton Museum of Art)

Parker’s distinctive practice and impressive oeuvre have made him a recipient of the Rome Prize, the Tito’s Prize, a Fulbright Fellowship, the Pollock-Krasner Award, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is also a 2023 McKnight Visiting Composer with the American Composers Forum.

Experience the eccentricity of “Weird Winter”, available at The Blanton Museum of Art through January 7. Access is included with regular museum admission and Second Saturday admission.