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Wednesday Watercooler (#ArtOutside)

8:00 pm in Watercooler by Kit OConnell

 

My next several watercoolers highlight some of my favorite musicians from this year’s Art Outside. I’ll be devoting longer coverage to some of the festival’s most interesting art in upcoming Saturday Art features.

Last year I shared a brief interview with Katie Gray. This time I was particularly taken by Sea Stars,  a duo combining Gray’s talents with the equally musical Kurt Baumann. About the band’s name they say:

The name ‘Sea Stars’ symbolizes the celestial (stars) and fluid (sea) rhythm of the heart and the sounds that stem from it.  Though the name is commonly confused with the popular ocean crustacean, Kurt and Katie are completely comfortable being associated with such a lovely little sea creature.

Sea Stars at Art Outside 2013

Sea Stars performed on Art Outside’s Folk It Up stage.

Sea Stars were the first act I caught. Someone had placed a beaten up, antique couch near the Folk It Up stage, and sitting with a camp mate while Gray’s beautiful vocals, supported by the pair on guitars, floated up through the lit trees of the stage’s clearing was a beautiful way to start my weekend. At the end of their set, I bought their new album The Unknown without hesitation.

Have you heard any good music lately?

Got questions or something on your mind? The Watercooler is an open conversation.

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Saturday Art: Art Outside 2013 Preview

3:20 pm in Uncategorized by Kit OConnell

Artwork by Judibeth Hunter

Art Outside’s new tea house features the artwork of Judibeth Hunter.

See Kit’s coverage of Art Outside 2012.

I return to Art Outside from October 18-21. This annual outdoor festival in Texas combines music with visual art and performance of many kinds.

Every year, artists from all over the world bring their works and their presence to Art Outside. From dancers to painters to new media makers – Art Outside is teeming with creativity of all forms.

Viewing artwork in nature changes our experience of both.

In addition to multiple music stages and daily classes and work shops, Art Outside creates an open air art gallery, complete with docents serving wine. There’s something unique, surreal and beautiful about camping but being able to step under a canopy into an elegant art gallery built beneath the sweeping branches of a tree. While we all have expectations about what ‘art’ means, experiencing it in this environment, mingled with live music and set in the midst of nature, forces the viewer to consider this form in a new way.

One addition to this year’s event is the Tea House, a relaxation space near the gallery. Hosted in a Bedouin tent made of wool, it features Saudi-style couches and rugs for lounging. Set apart from the vending and other spaces, it will be devoted to the comfort of Art Outside visitors.

Volunteers will offer tea service in the “Gongfu” style throughout the day. Tea House designer David McCully just returned from providing tea service in the Nevada desert at Burning Man, the massive outdoor arts gathering which is a major influence for Art Outside. The Tea House will feature the visionary artwork of Judibeth Hunter, whose liquid flowing lines and feminine forms should beautifully enhance the sensual, low-key atmosphere of this space.

Some other anticipated highlights of Art Outside 2013:

  • Stand-up comedy from the New Movement Theater, Austin’s popular improv conservatory.
  • Contributions from the artists at 18 Below, an organization devoted to cultivating the talents of teenagers.
  • Over 50 bands and musicians, including returning favorites like Katie Gray, Minor Mishap and Wino Vino.
  • A larger, longer festival running through Monday rather than ending on Sunday.

If you live in Texas or feel like experiencing some of the best creativity the state has to offer, check out Art Outside (also on Facebook) and be sure to say hello!

The Tea House in a Bedouin wool tent

Art Outside’s new Tea House, housed in a Bedouin tent. 

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Watercooler: Katie Gray (#ArtOutside)

5:00 pm in Watercooler by Kit OConnell

Hi, y’all.

Art Outside is a beautiful experience this year — cold, but full of warm and open-hearted people. In addition to the warmth of human companionship, there’s also lots of gorgeous fire performance and even flaming art.

Katie Gray on a handmade wooden stage

Katie Gray performs on the Folk Stage at Art Outside 2012.

Last night I was really stunned by Katie Gray‘s stunning voice. Unfortunately, I am still working out all the kinks from my audio recording setup, and my live recordings weren’t what I’d hope. Here’s a lovely recording of a past performance by Katie, and a brief interview I conducted with her last night:

Find more from Katie Gray at katiegray.com.

This is the latest myFDL Watercooler. What’s on your mind?