UMLAUF Sculpture Garden & Museum,
November 20 – January 19
By Holly Cowart
Barton Springs arts destination UMLAUF Sculpture Garden & Museum is setting aglow this November with a thoughtful exhibition produced in partnership with the Austin Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Light installations developed by three up-and-coming local design teams will be scattered throughout the beautiful gardens amid Charles Umlauf’s 20th-century sculptures.
Selected through a juried competition, each work is intentionally reminiscent of the museum’s rich history and takes into account a number of elements, like unpredictable climate and varying visibility through day and night. First, there’s You Are Here, a series of arching structures featuring a curtain of optical fibers that shift colors when touched. Created by design team Ana Kurzan, Christian Klein, Mari Russ and Irela Casanova, the enchanting sculptures are always adapting to their ever-changing environment. Next is Lost Casts, conceived by Alexandra Krippner and Toni Toscano. Interactive electroluminescent wires are cast over water in captivating free-form streaks, harking back to the UMLAUF’s past as a fly-fishing destination for WWII soldiers. Finally, there’s Sergey Belov, Stephanie Belov and Scott Saddler’s Polaris. The team uses pine chairs of differing heights with LED strips outlining their backs. Arranged in a circle, they correspond with topographical components of the site, including the fixed North Star above. The seeming simplicity of the scene in turn becomes a tool allowing viewers to connect more deeply with their surroundings.
On November 20, get an early look at this brand-new collaboration with a free public opening from 6 to 8 p.m. and welcome the participating artists to a panel discussion over the commonalities of art, design and architecture within nature.