Exhibits - Austin Public Library

On Water, an Elizabeth Chiles exhibition

On Water, an exhibition featuring more than a dozen photographs and photographic collages by Elizabeth Chiles. Presented in the library’s main gallery, On Water showcases two series of Elizabeth Chiles' work: Figs from Thistles, created in 2013 during the worst Texas drought in over a century, and On Water, created in 2018 during months of historic flooding along the Colorado River. Dried native grasses and improbably hopeful wildflowers are juxtaposed with lush plant life and vivid colors, revealing how water—or the lack thereof—has the ability to shape our surrounding landscape.


Central Gallery Exhibition on view July 16 – August 16


Opening Reception: Friday, July 19, 7 – 9 PM, Central Gallery


Image: Elizabeth Chiles, Figs from Thistles (no. 2), 2013

Rosemary Wells Exhibit

Rosemary Wells is a beloved children’s book author and illustrator who has created many unforgettable children's book characters, including Max and Ruby, McDuff, and Yoko, each of whom stars in their own book series. She is also the author of perennial favorites about universal childhood experiences, such as "Noisy Nora" and "Read To Your Bunny." Wells’ exhibit in the third floor Children’s area will include illustrations from her book, "Yoko: Show and Tell." The exhibit is curated for Pre-K audiences, while taking young-in-heart audiences back to their childhood nostalgia of growing up with Wells’ comforting stories. Wells’ exhibition will be Austin Public Library’s semi-permanent collection.

Exhibition begins Thursday, April 25 in the Third Floor Children’s Area

Susan Scafati, Solo Exhibition

Susan Scafati is an American conceptual artist who explores the ways in which individual versus collective identities, personal versus cultural mythologies, are constructed. She explores the iconography and materiality that contribute to the way meaning is organized and its impact on human experience. Scafati’s solo exhibition features in the 3rd and 4th Floor Balcony Windows a 2-story, site-responsive, mixed-media installation that reimagines our constructed landscape as a suspended spectrum of everyday urban forms in flux. This exhibition extends to the library’s 6th Floor Living Room where Scafati’s archival pigment and silver gelatin prints and sculptures are on view. These artworks explore existence and perception, inviting us to think about how representation of one’s self and one’s world is expressed in our visual, virtual culture today. This project is funded in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department, and sponsored by Big Medium.

6th Floor Exhibition on view April 19 – June 12

3rd & 4th Floor Installation on view starting April 16

Artist Reception: May 17, 2019

7-9 PM Central Library Roof Garden

Image: Installation at The Long Center for Texas Medal of Arts Awards. Photograph by Colin Doyle.

image of artwork of stag made from recycled materials
What a Mess: Calder Kamin

April 16 – May 24, 2019
Central Library, Main Gallery | 710 W. César Chávez St.

  • Opening Reception | Friday, April 19, 7-9 PM
  • Artist Talk & Workshop | Thursday, May 16, 6-8 PM

Calder Kamin’s exhibition What a Mess showcases trash transformed into sculptures, animations and installations, commenting on the mess humans have made for our natural neighbors throughout our existence. Through her art advocacy, she encourages audiences to find courage to withstand the growing pains by ending our wasteful culture, dependency on oil, and finding new resolutions.

This exhibition is dedicated to the student strikes #FridaysforFuture.

Image: Plastic Planet Stag, 2018, Calder Kamin, photo by Philip Rogers

Streetcar on 6th and congress
Off the Rails: The Rise and Fall of Austin’s Streetcars

December 11, 2018 – May 26, 2019
Austin History Center | 810 Guadalupe St.

StreetcarOff the Rails: The Rise and Fall of Austin’s Streetcars documents the history of the operation of streetcars in Austin from 1875 to 1940. The chosen photographs and documents highlight the impact that the transit system had upon the city’s growth and development. Conflict with rideshare companies, issues of mobility and transportation, and electric light rail might all seem like modern issues, but the story of the streetcar proves otherwise and offers us an example of how Austin has attempted to deal with these questions in the past. The opening reception is December 11, 6:30 PM. The reception and exhibit are free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Rusty Heckaman at (512) 974-7583 or rusty.heckaman@austintexas.gov

Left Image: Austin History Center, PICA 18776b, Top Image: Austin History Center, C02001b