Best Bets: ArtWorks returns with full canvas of events

Published 11:07 am Thursday, August 20, 2015

The ArtWorks Festival is back for its fourth year this weekend and has a new canvas of events to show off. With four new bands during the Dick Schindler Celebration Concert, tons of live music, 10 great authors, plenty of Spam and more, there is sure to be something that pulls out the hidden artist in everyone.

1. Dick Schindler Celebration Concert

7 p.m., Saturday, Marcusen Park

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Several bands are set to perform Saturday evening for the Dick Schindler Celebration Concert as part of the Austin ArtWorks Festival. Bands include Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra, Alex Rossi & Root City, Bissen Jacobsen Kroc and the Austin High School Jazz Band. Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra features Austin native Chris Lynch on violin.

Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra’s debut album “Pray for Rain” was released last year.

The band’s second recording, the EP “Preach ‘Em Now,” just came out and should be available during the ArtWorks show, though it’s not due for wider release in the U.S. until October.

Alex Rossi & Root City have been to Austin before, coming last September with Caravan Du Nord. The group’s performances received rave reviews that left many people calling for the group to return to Austin, so they are taking an even bigger stage to perform in the Dick Schindler Celebration Concert.

2. Trunk Show and Spare Arts motorcycle show

10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, Outside the ArtWorks Center

Outside the ArtWorks Center on Saturday, a one-day-only trunk show will feature three visual artists who live in Austin or the surrounding area, and whose work may have been in the ArtWorks Center this past year. Stop by to see wood sculptor Tom Blahnik, glass blower Nicole Fierce, and painter Wendy Heimsness.

The alley party behind Dusty’s Bar & Lounge will also return at 8 p.m. Friday night with Frankie Lee.

The Spare Arts motorcycle show will take place on Main Street, along with live music, a food truck featuring something like a “home cooked” menu, and an attempt for the most people blowing bubbles at the same time. The Spare Arts show will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The show has been called a highlight of last year’s festival and the organizers are looking forward to bringing in a new crop of bikes and vendors.

3. Authors

All day, Friday-Sunday, Author Stage west of the Turbine Gallery

Ten authors are coming to the ArtWorks Festival this year, including some local authors and some out-of-towners. The Author Stage will be filled with various themes from sci-fi, mystery, nonfiction and children’s authors will talk about their experiences. Local favorite sci-fi writer Amanda Hocking will join New York Times bestselling mystery author William Kent Krueger, along with Mower County Historical Society Director John Haymond for non-fiction and Lisa Soland for young adult and children stories.

—Saturday, Jules Hancock, sci-fi, 10:30–11:30 a.m., Kent Krueger, mystery, 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Gary Harbo, young adult/children, 12:30–1:30 p.m., Amanda Hocking, young adult / children, sci-fi, 1:30–2:30 p.m.; Erin Hart & Paddy O’Brien, nonfiction, mystery, 2:30–3:30 p.m., Joel Arnold, nonfiction, 3:30–4:30 p.m.

—Sunday,  Lisa Soland, young adult/children, 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., John Haymond, nonfiction, 12:30–1:30 p.m.; Ruth Donahue, young adult / children, 1:30–2:30 p.m., Michael Cotter, nonfiction, 2:30–3:30 p.m.

4. The Spamerican Tour

9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, in front of the new Spam Museum construction site

While the Spam Museum has been closed for construction, Spam has taken a road trip of its own. Hormel has taken Spam to 12 cities throughout the summer in a food truck, kicking off in Los Angeles and collecting works of art in multiple mediums. Food Network Chef Sunny Anderson accompanied the truck, unveiling a special menu along the way to create signature recipes and share the brand’s history, versatility and cultural impact. The truck will be in front of the new Spam Museum construction site from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, sharing different recipes and celebrating the iconic taste people have grown to love.

5. Family activities

All day, Friday-Sunday, near the ArtWorks Festival outdoor stage

For families itching to get into the art during the ArtWorks Festival, there are plenty of things going on all weekend to help create great memories and learn about art from the other side of the canvas. With puppetry with Jim Jays, Mosaic with Patrick Hansel, decorating a pair of flip-flops and hula hooping with Rochelle Perleberg, among many other activities, there is something to get the whole family involved in the arts this weekend.

6. ArtWorks Stages and Galleries

All day, Friday-Sunday, ArtWorks Festival

The ArtWorks Festival will provide a ton of live music and will host an array of paintings, sculptures and other artwork throughout the weekend. Here are a few things to look forward to.


—Indoor Stage, 10 a.m., Con Fuoco; 11 a.m., Bella Vita; 12 p.m., Austin Harmonics; 1 p.m., Cedar River Strings; 2 p.m., AHS Strings; 3 p.m., Trio Sene Nome; 4 p.m., Stringendo.

—Outdoor Stage, 10 a.m., Peter Jacobs Jazz Trio; 11 a.m., Full Circle; 12 p.m., Spare Parts performing Canstruments; 1 p.m., Paddy O’Brien; 2 p.m., Weathered Ivan; 3 p.m., Cosmic; 4 p.m., Ian Hilmer.


—Indoor Stage, 12 p.m., Cedar River Strings; 1 p.m., Bella Vita; 2 p.m., Stringendo; 3 p.m., Trio Sene Nome; 4 p.m., Con Fuoco.

—Outdoor Stage, 11 a.m., Whalen & the Willows; 12 p.m., Reina del Cid; 1 p.m., Ali & the Scoundrels; 2 p.m., Michelle Lynn, 3 p.m., Good Night, Gold Dust; 4 p.m., The Last Revel.