Five things to do outside this Christmas weekend: step into the great outdoors this holiday season – arts

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Because we can’t stay indoors – whether it’s looking at a screen or a printed page, doing necessary tasks, or just fiddling around – for a period of time (YMMV) before we feel the inexorable pull of this very large room with the blue ceiling. And so, when we go out, why not make it intentional and rewarding? Why not spark some IRL and AFK joy in our funky, pulsating hearts while we are still on this side of the grave? Here are five possibilities for your vacation consideration.

Landmarks: Self-Guided Walking Tour

This public UT program presents art that is widely accessible and free to all. Over 50 modern and contemporary works are spread around the 433-acre campus, the works chosen by a team of specialists and community actors, offering a myriad of discovery opportunities. “By creating equitable pathways to meaningful engagement, Landmarks reflects the complex audiences we serve and celebrates our differences.” And you know how they say, “There’s an app for that,” right? Well, there is an app for that, letting you visit whenever you want and at your own pace. Landmarks.oncell.com/en/index.html

Dimensional sculpture park

Dimensional sculpture park

We can’t mention this place on the Eastside often enough as it is such a respite from the everyday – although the everyday is no more difficult than smoking weed and gorging on ASMR videos on YouTube. . Initiated by the team behind Dimension Gallery (located just across the street), this small, leafy park is so well located and well maintained that it would be a treat even without the unique and oversized sculptures on display. But, oh, those sculptures! Created by some of Austin’s best object makers, they’re cynosures for the beauty-seeking eyes, knots of aesthetic wonder in the welcoming landscape – and, pro tip, they’re also the perfect silent companions for a picnic among the leaves or on that. lawn. 979 Springdale. dimensiongallery.org

Odditrees

Austin’s Odditree Society, founded in 2013 by artist and architect Ann Armstrong and urban forester Angela Hanson, is dedicated to admiring unusual trees – trees that, often due to outdoor conditions, have strayed of the standard in an interesting way. (You know: like quite a few Austinians.) The company regularly publishes print and digital media, offers workshops and other events – and, specifically here, they provide a handy field guide with a map revealing some of the weirdest inhabitants of the trees around our thriving market town. Hint: This balmy weather is perfect for putting on those hiking boots and, uh, putting on your Lorax. odditreesociety.org

North-South: no outlet and left in the leaves

North-South: no outlet and left in the leaves

North-South: no outlet and left in the leaves

One of the North-South Gallery’s responses to the 2020 pandemic shutdown has been to move exhibits outdoors, featuring a range of local artists creating site-specific objects and situations on which pedestrians and vagrants can fall. You could have, quite by accident, come face to face with man-made beauty all over town; but the gallery also offered plans for those who wanted to research the scattered installations. It’s been months now since the “No Outlet” and “Left in Leaves” projects officially closed, but we know that there are still a few pieces left, hidden like jewels among the dead ends and alleys and so on. It would be a good time for an urban explorer to follow these maps and see how much art still exists. nord-sud.com

Just go outside

Seriously. Wherever you are when reading this – unless you’re already outside, smart clogs – just go to the nearest exit and walk in. Move over the threshold and let the door close and notice, really notice, what you are like: suddenly homeless. The air on your skin that is cooler or warmer than your body temperature. The impromptu, omnidirectional symphony of the world in your ears. A flood of electromagnetic waves bombarding your photoreceptors with what you recognize as light, shadow and color. Look around you. Look, above all. How does the sky continue like this until it turns to interplanetary space, then to interstellar space, then continues and, perhaps, never stops? Taste infinity on your tongue for a moment, my friend. Meditate on the miracle of existence. It is also art. It is the art of living.


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