Curators, Artists, and Co-founders of Magic the Gallery

A Space Came There And Crashed features 14 local and non-local artists and opens this Friday, April 12 at Fancy Fancy Studios, 5305 Bolm Rd. The exhibition will be on view from April 12 – May 3.

Magic the Gallery is a curatorial project that originated inside of a house and now lives outside of its traditional setting. A Space Came There And Crashed reflects on the notion of space as an entity untethered to location. What it means for a space to take shape, to be mobile, fluid and wandering, to go traveling, to touch ground, to transform — space that is responsive to and generated by the artists that construct it. For now, Magic the Gallery has touched ground, having found a place to crash at Fancy Fancy Studios. We began our thinking on space and its malleability after reading Anne Carson’s Short Talk on Where to Travel, which can be considered as a footnote.

Exhibiting Artists: Sarah Slappey, Farhad Mirza, Janaye Brown, Silky Shoemaker, Christina Coleman, Jerónimo Reyes-Retana, CC Calloway, Shannon Crider, Siera Hyte, Jory Drew, Miguel Angel Salazar, Ted Carey, Galen Macdonald, J.M. Tate

What draws you to curation?
Building mutual support through Austin’s creative community has been essential. Our exhibitions are very much about bringing in and working with and within an audience, housing a space for dialogue between artists, performers, and musicians. We have found that holding a bunch of makers under one roof for a night can produce some pretty mischievous synergy. At a certain point, we have no control over the outcome, we just provide the roof.

Part of Magic’s premise is to serve as a safe house for work that is in progress or left unfinished – the B-sides or the work you feel proud of, but not sure why. We wanted a space to celebrate the effort and attempts of artmaking, not just the shiny output. As someone who did not come out of art school, it was always refreshing to get peeks behind the curtain/white walls, to see the artist’s or gallerist’s process in all of its sweaty unrefined glory. We wanted a space that encouraged that type of transparency, a space that felt democratic in that way.

In your opinion, what does the Austin arts community need as the city continues to grow?
More house shows! Or maybe we are biased. Having lived in Boston, MA prior to moving to Austin, Julia and I had grown accustomed to an arts community that felt pretty impenetrable for those who didn’t graduate with an art degree. Part of the reasoning behind the big move to Austin was because the art community here seemed a bit lawless. There was (and still is?) the notion that you could get away with anything – like start an art gallery out of your house – and not only would your community allow it, but they would celebrate it. That is exactly what we found with Magic, and we encourage others to consider the spaces already available to them (living rooms, backyards, garages, etc.) as potential platforms to foster community.

Magic the Gallery is a curatorial project that started as a house gallery in Austin, Texas. Intended as an alternative space for local artists to play, Magic the Gallery is a place for the purgatory; a platform and safe house for work unfinished, overworked, guarded, forgotten, or just needs more airtime. Magic the Gallery produces a show every 6 months, 6 exhibitions to date, featuring a total of 58 artists.

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