Zellar, Cloud Cult to headline ArtWorks FestivalPublished 10:50am Thursday, March 7, 2013
Organizers revealed Wednesday that the Austin ArtWorks Festival isn’t shy about one-upping itself. The second annual festival is still half a year away, but it already includes a headliner concert.
“We wanted something to add a big fun factor,” said Bonnie Rietz, co-chair of the event.
Austin native Martin Zellar, a country-rock singer known for his involvement with the Gear Daddies, plans to take the stage at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 24 at Marcusen Park as part of a new homecoming concert to close out the first day of this year’s festival. Tickets for the show are $20 before Aug. 1 and are available at www.austinartworksfestival.org.
Cloud Cult, a Minneapolis band that plays experimental indie chamber rock, will follow Zellar’s performance at 9:30 p.m. The group’s violinist, Shannon Frid, is from Austin. During Cloud Cult’s set, two painters will be on stage painting, and will auction their works off after the show.
ArtWorks organizers will present the concert in partnership with Pacelli Catholic Schools. Pacelli lined up its 100th anniversary reunion in conjunction with the festival to give alumni even more reason to return to Austin that weekend, said Randy Kramer, Pacelli all-school reunion chairman.
“Doing it on the same weekend adds some real synergy,” Kramer said, adding it was a natural choice for the two events to coincide.
Marcusen Park officials share the enthusiasm. Matt Cano of the Marcusen Park Baseball Association said he was excited to see the partnership work out.
“Marcusen Park has been a place where we create a lot of memories,” Cano said.
Co-chairwoman Belita Shindler said the concert was possible with the help of Pacelli, Marcusen Park and concert sponsors Pat and Gary Ray.
“These kinds of things never happen without the help of a whole lot of people,” she said.
As preparations continue for the second Austin ArtWorks Festival — the majority of which is free and happens at the downtown Austin Utilities building — Rietz said organizers are having an easier time getting artists, authors and musicians with Austin ties to throw their hats into the ring.
Shindler said many artists were difficult to reach the first time around, and organizers were nervous at times about what sort of turnout the event would have. They had to pool resources to find participants.
“Somebody on the committee would say, ‘Well, I know his grandma!’” Shindler said.
This time, though, artists are already familiar with the concept of the show and are interested in getting involved; a good sign, considering organizers are looking to up the ante.
“It’s so much easier when we have one festival under our belt,” Rietz said. “We’ll be having more music, more artists and more authors.”
The festival will take up more space at the downtown Utilities building than last year. The authors will be in a new area to better accommodate speakers, and more children’s activities will accompany last year’s car painting idea. More demonstrations akin to last year’s glass blowing display are also planned.
New guests, like a local calligrapher, will join repeat guests from last year, like painter Eric Anfinson, whose studio is in Key West, Fla. But Rietz said it’s not too late for artists who were born in Austin, went to school there or have some other connection to the city to apply.
“There’s still room for more,” she said, though she cautioned the remaining spaces could be filled well before the April 30 application deadline.