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Arthouse Opens at the Jones Center

Arthouse at the Jones Center, Austin’s premier contemporary art center, celebrated its public, on October 24, 2010 opening its doors after an extensive renovation and expansion project designed by award-winning New York-based Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis Architects.

The new facility boasts a strikingly redesigned exterior façade of painted gray stucco punctuated by 177 laminated glass blocks and a new glass-enclosed lobby with its entrance on Congress Avenue. A dramatic and playful central stair constructed of Ipe wood treads and 40-foot flanges reaching from the first floor to the second floor ceiling allows passage both physically to the second floor and visually all the way to the rooftop deck. The renovation added a second floor gallery, a 90-seat community room, a public loft lounge and two studios. An entirely new 5,000 square foot rooftop deck, constructed of Ipe wood and glass light boxes, includes a 13 ft x 22 ft movie screen and offers panoramic views of downtown Austin. By renovating the previously unoccupied second floor and adding the roof deck, the project nearly triples the building’s usable space.

Arthouse’s new architecturally significant facility, along with its ambitious exhibitions and programming, positions the contemporary art center as a major cultural destination.

Inaugural Exhibitions
Jason Middlebrook: More Art About Buildings and Food, Second floor gallery, through Jan 16
For his Arthouse commission, New York-based artist Jason Middlebrook transforms detritus from the building’s renovation into sculpture, dining furniture, and other functional objects, all of which combine to evoke the history of the Jones Center and its longstanding importance as a gathering place for the Austin community.

Mequitta Ahuja: Automythography II, First floor gallery, through Jan 2
Automythography II features new paintings and drawings that continue Ahuja’s ongoing artistic investigation into the construction of gender, cultural, and ethnic identities through a multi-layered process of self-portraiture.

Tony Feher: Dr. Hawking, Second floor gallery, ongoing
For his Arthouse commission, New York-based artist Tony Feher has activated and transformed a typically overlooked architectural space—the void between the ceiling and supports—through a carefully considered deployment of everyday objects.

Cyprien Gaillard: Cities of Gold and Mirrors, Film & Video Project Gallery, through Dec 5
Continuing the Paris and Berlin-based artist’s longstanding exploration of the built environment, this non-narrative film focuses on Cancún’s anachronistic and decaying landscape as a symbolic site of memory and loss.

Ryan Hennessee: The Specious Present at 700 Congress, SCREEN Projects, through Jan 2
Commissioned specifically for Arthouse’s second floor video projection screen, Austin-based artist
Ryan Hennessee has created a looping video animation that cleverly reimagines and collapses the past, present, and future of 700 Congress Avenue.

James Sham: Close Caption, LIFT Projects, through Dec 5
Close Caption, a witty video that addresses issues of language, translation, and mistranslation via
DJ Kool’s song “Let Me Clear My Throat,” inaugurates Lift Projects, a series of short video works shown in Arthouse’s new passenger elevator.

Arthouse creates meaningful opportunities to investigate and experience the art of our time through exhibitions, programs and commissions of new work.

Arthouse exhibitions and programs are FREE and open to the public.

Arthouse reopening events sponsored by UBS.

Arthouse at the Jones Center is supported in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes a great nation deserves great art. Additional support provided by individuals, corporations, foundations and Arthouse members.

Image: Arthouse at the Jones Center, Photo © Michael Moran

Arthouse at the Jones Center
700 Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701

For more information about Arthouse, please visit

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