Austin's annual Creek Show is set to illuminate Waterloo Park on Friday with five light-based art installations, all made by teams of local artists. The art show will be held in the newly renovated park for the first time since it began in 2012.
The event will host 10 straight days of free programming including live music, family-friendly activities and food vendors. Austinites can attend the show with a reservation made anytime from 6-10 p.m. through Nov. 21.
All of the exhibits are interactive, so visitors are free to gently touch the ones in reach. Here's a first look at the exhibits presented at the show:
Created by artist Nicholas DeBruyne with Wevolve Labs, BioNest is an "exploration in sustainable design" with several free-standing sculptures lit up through a translucent bio-plastic "skin" made from seaweed. Looking closely into the lamps you can make out bugs and organic matter peeking through the woven wooden frame. The best part is that the structures are biodegradable.
"At the end of its life, it will return to the earth," DeBruyne said.
Look closely at these sculptures—which all contain matter from different natural areas in the state, like Barton Creek and Marfa—as each is unique. Since they're made of seaweed, organizers said it's entirely possible this exhibit won't make it in the event of a storm so catch BioNest early.
Representing the challenges faced by the wildlife in Austin's Waller Creek, the CREEKture is a representation of the native Texas Blind Snake as it rises from one of three rain gardens in the park. The snake is made up of two bodies: a pulsating wire lights up one, representing the "heartbeat" of the critters that crawl in the creek, and a rib-like skeleton that pokes its head just above the ground. Made by GFF Austin, members of the team said the sculpture is a reminder to leave no trace when we visit nature.
"Whenever we go through natural environments, such as Waller Creek, we are actually stepping into native species habitats," GFF team member Jake Chavez said. "We need to treat their habitats like the way we treat our own—that's what this installation is all about."
This sculpture is great to explore from different vantage points!
Using the classically strong triangle shape, HIGH LIGHT sits at the tallest point in the park and uses its tripod structure to blast light into the heavens. The towers can be seen from all over the park, framing the Texas Capitol if you view it just so. Created by Chioco Design and Drophouse Design, each of the tripods sits at a different height and can change colors independently. One of the team members, Irela Casanova, said her favorite way to enjoy these is to stand underneath and look at them from above.
"The idea is that they cast light into the sky, infinitely," Casanova said.
Some of the tripods will be privately sold after the show, some will go to be a permanent exhibit at YONDER on 8905 Sandust Way, and some will go on to be installations at California festival Burning Man.
Made by a team at local architecture firm dwg., si-glo honors the thousands of native plants that were installed at Waterloo Park with gigantic, glowing, inflatable versions of the Texas Century plant. The largest of the native Texas agaves, Siglo is the Spanish name for century plants and the name was intended as a pun: see the Siglo glow. Walk through the forest of plants—there are two 16-foot plants, one 20-foot plant, one 30-foot plant and one 45-feet tall—and high-five their fronds as you appreciate Texas' natural beauty.
"We're thinking about the 100-year commitment that Waterloo Greenway has made in Waterloo Park with the hundreds of thousands of new plans they've installed here, and what that's really going to mean for Austin," dwg. team member Kim Harding said.
Harding said when the show is over, they hope to be able to repurpose some of the material into windbreakers to commemorate the event.
Made by artists Ian Randall and Clayton Cain, SWAY is intended to envelop the viewer and capture the movement of nature, water, energy and people with up to 275 lit-up inflatable tubes suspended over the park's pavilion. Caught up in the wind, the tubes sway freely in the breeze. They're pretty high up but just close enough to lovingly give one a tap.
Once Creek Show is over, SWAY will go on to another exhibit in San Antonio.
"We may disassemble some and make light fixtures from them, so they'll have another life as if we don't get somebody else to (show) them," Kane said.
You'll be able to catch several prominent artists, like Tameca Jones and Riders Against the Storm at the opening showcase, Superfónicos on Saturday, an Artist Talk on Tuesday and Bidi Bidi Banda closing out the showcase on Sunday, Nov. 21.
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Timmy and Tommy are ready to play.
As the 2-month-old white-and-tabby brothers swat feather wands, chase toys and generally hold court inside Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, a half-dozen potential adoptive parents look on lovingly, trying to get their attention.
“This is kind of like the speed dating of cats,” said Lupita Foster, owner of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge. “I intentionally didn’t put in any tables. That’s why we call it a lounge instead of a cat café because we have these lounge areas where you can sit and relax and cuddle.”
Foster, who has owned a cleaning company, Enviromaids, for 18 years, was inspired to open Purr-fecto Cat Lounge after adopting her own cat, Romeo, from a local shelter.
“When you want to adopt a cat, you have to spend a lot of time with them to get their personality,” Foster said. “I wanted to do something to help the community and something that makes me feel good, that warms my heart. A business with a purpose. This was a perfect idea.”
Actually, a purr-fect idea.
Inspired in part by a cat lounge she visited in Los Angeles, Foster began laying the groundwork for the business in late 2021 and officially opened the doors of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, located at 2300 S. Lamar Blvd., in July 2022. Since then, she’s worked with rescue organizations such as Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue and Sunshine Fund Cat Rescue to facilitate nearly 100 cat adoptions.
At any given time, there are 10-15 cats living in the space, which features an ideal blend of calm, cool corners and adorably Instagrammable backdrops with phrases such as “I want to spend all my 9 lives with you.”
Lina Martinez, 32, learned about Purr-fecto Cat Lounge from a friend’s Instagram post and made an appointment to visit two days later.
“My first impression was, ‘AWW!’” Martinez said. “The kittens were to die for. I felt happy and at peace – just what I needed.”
Visitors to the cat lounge pay $15 for a 30-minute CATXperience session or $30 for a 70-minute session that is spent getting to know the personalities of each cat. Foster said the first thing she typically sees from visitors to the lounge is a smile.
“Everybody that enters the door is smiling,” she said. “And we’ve seen people who have cried because they can’t have kids and they decide to go and adopt a cat instead.”
Foster said she loves bringing in cats who might not have a chance to be adopted at traditional shelters. She told the story of one cat named Izzy, who was partially blind, who was adopted by a family that had a deaf cat at home.
“Izzy was not going to get adopted anywhere else, but she’s extremely beautiful,” she said. “If she was in a cage in a rescue and you tell people she’s blind, she was probably going to be overlooked. But visiting our space, she doesn’t seem like she’s blind. She knows her way around. She moves around perfectly.”
Although Martinez, who had been casually looking for a pet to adopt since moving to Austin nearly four years ago, was interested in a cat named Ruby that she had seen on Purr-fecto’s social media, at the lounge she instead found herself drawn to 5-month-old mixed breed Tuxedo cat.
“I thought he was a star,” she said. “He worked the room and introduced himself to everyone. When I laid down to pet Ruby, he ran from the other side of the room and cuddled with me. It was game over. He got me.”
And she, of course, got him, complete with a commemorative photo that read “My Furrever Family” the day she took him home. Although his original name was Emmanuel, she renamed him Sullivan after her favorite DJ.
“Purr-fecto is special because of the amount of effort and love they put into taking care of the cats,” Martinez said, “and finding them good homes and making possible adopters feel at home.”
Foster, who spent a recent Thursday hosting a group of teenagers in foster care at the lounge, several of whom expressed interest in working there, said the best part about her new endeavor is that her heart is always full.
“I just feel complete,” she said. “I always felt as an entrepreneur that I was missing something. I knew I accomplished a lot, but in my heart I was missing a little connection with the community. Now I’m creating connections between humans and pets and that’s amazing. I’m creating family bonds. It’s just about love, you know. And we need that.”
We all have those cravings for an amazing butter chicken or some authentic dosas with coconut chutney, but when I was thinking about where I wanted to go to satisfy my taste buds I realized that my list of great Indian food around Austin was surprisingly short. After doing some research and asking around, here is your list of the best Indian restaurants around town.
This restaurant claims to have the most authentic South Indian food, and from what I've heard, the claims might be true! Their menu features the traditional South Indian dishes of Idlis, Vadas, a variety of Dosas, and more.
If you're looking for an Indian and Tex-Mex fusion cozy restaurant, then look no further! Nasha on East 7th Street prides itself on its specialty margaritas, Tikka con Queso, Biryani, and more creative dishes!