For all the hand-wringing over risings rents and increasing shortage of suitable space for artists and arts groups, one tiny non-profit visual arts organization is taking advantage of the changing landscape.
For the next year-ish, Co-Lab Projects will operate Demo Gallery at 721 Congress Avenue a long-empty retail space right next to to the historic Paramount and State theaters.
After sitting empty for nearly two decades — an eyesore on Austin’s prominent avenue — the shell of a building is now slated to be “car-free” apartment tower, designed by Austin architect Brad Nelsen.
While that project gets going, the developers have let Co-Lab have the rather raw high-ceilinged space for a longish-term pop-up gallery.
Opening its doors with the recent West Austin Studio Tour, Co-Lab kicked off with “Youngsons: Live Free With Guys,” featuring the lively, vibrant collaborative paintings of Drew Liverman and Michael Ricioppo.
“Youngsons” runs through June 24. Opening July 2 is “Room With A View,” a solo exhibit by Adam Crosson who creates intriguing, thoughtful installations.
Gallery hours are 12 noon to 6 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays.
Co-Lab has been footloose for a while after leaving the East Austin location it had for several years where organizers kept producing a steady stream of exhibits and happenings.
The artist-run group has always been skilled when it comes to the pop-up, staking out art exhibits in all kinds of venues.
Nimbleness proved a good strategy for this smaller arts organization in Austin’s rapidly changing and ever pricier urban landscape.]]