New Arts Entity leans on FAL

The Contemporary Austin

This past winter, Louis Grachos came to Austin from Buffalo’s Albright-Knox Art Gallery with the hope of transforming AMOA-Arthouse into an international contemporary arts venue.

Last week, AMOA-Arthouse announced that they are shedding their previous identity and rechristening the project as The Contemporary Austin to better reflect the mission and direction of the institution.

As he assumed directorship of the museum, Grachos lured his colleague Heather Pesanti to take over as senior curator, but soon after her arrival, she realized she was missing one essential component necessary for her work: a library.

A cursory investigation into the resources Pesanti would need for the research component of her curatorial position led her to discover that The University of Texas at Austin boasted one of the best art libraries in the country.  With over 100,000 art books and DVDs and several hundred art journal subscriptions, the Fine Arts Library (FAL) became a simple (and convenient) solution to what otherwise could have been a critical concern for a promising new enterprise in the local arts scene.

“As part of the new curatorial direction of the museum, The Contemporary Austin intends to continue to expand its art historical research and scholarship, enabled in part by our great colleagues at the University of Texas and the exceptional resources provided by the University of Texas Libraries,” says Pesanti.

“The curators were provided library access and have already begun research on various projects at UT’s Fine Arts Library, which holds a rich trove of arts-related publications.  It’s an invaluable resource in the community, and an exciting prospect for future exhibition development and the publications that we hope will come out of them.”

FAL Head Librarian Laura Schwartz is thrilled: “It’s great to be able to be part of an exciting new undertaking in the Austin arts community. We feel like we could be a significant resource for other arts projects in Austin, so hopefully this will help raise awareness of the kind of contribution the library can make.”

We send our congratulations and best wishes for the future of The Contemporary Austin, and are gratified by the opportunity to play a small part in its ongoing success.