As part of a commitment to uplift local artists, three resident creators debuted new collections of work spanning three different mediums through FotoHouse’s Artist-In-Residency program.
The program is a quarterly “incubating” affair—each resident is selected by “leading photographers, videographers, and tastemakers in the Austin scene,” paired with a local mentor artist from their field and then given guidance and FotoHouse, 1701 Guadelupe St., resources to execute the project.
Artists received monthly check-in meetings to help solve problems and lend support. According to a release from FAIR, the program allows artists “to pursue new ideas and take provocative risks to expand their artistic practice,” while giving them the eyes they need on their work.
Closing out the first artist residency program of 2022, FotoHouse showcased the work of Carla Taylor, a makeup artist and photographer; Ron Wayne, a model and musician; and Luke Lidell, a filmographer, with a mid-February viewing.
Carla “CT” Taylor | Makeup artist and photographer
A photographer and makeup artist by trade and first-generation American by heritage, Carla Taylor’s showcase focused on a multimedia display that put Black women at the forefront.
Paired with local artist Matthew Trujillo, the project was composed of constructed portraits, with Taylor executing both the makeup and the shutter while Trujillo created the colorful backdrops. The end result draped colorfully-painted photos over FotoHouse’s rounded walls.
Luke Lidell | Film maker
After most recently getting his name out there with his film “Devexity,” which starred Black Pumas frontman Eric Burton, Luke Lidell premiered a proof-of-concept trailer that will be used to generate interest in creating a full-length feature.
Called “Eyes,” Lidell’s film follows the true story of a “UFO” sighting by 60 schoolchildren at Ariel School in Zimbabwe in 1994. During a Q&A for the premiere, Lidell said the trailer was filmed on an exotic wildlife ranch in Texas over the course of two days.
Lidell pictured with "Eyes" actors Stella Wren (center) and KarieAnn Randol (right). (Laura Figi/Austonia)
“I really wanted to show these characters just going about a natural day, casually hearing about it in the news,” Lidell said. “Then something very dramatic happens to these children that they will never change their story on or forget the change all their lives, forever.”
Working with a small budget, Lidell said he wants to get the proof-of-concept video in front of as many people as possible—especially Dan Aykroyd, who Lidell said has a vested interest in the story. Since his proof-of-concept focused mostly on the incident, Lidell said he wants to focus more on the interactions between parents and children in the full-length film.
“I think the main thing would be diving into some of the character’s dynamics—some of their parents don’t believe, some of them do,” Lidell said. “I just think it's an amazing story and they ended up here like going back to their original school later, as adults, and talking about their experience so I’ll maybe show that in the film as well.”
Ron Wayne | Rapper and model
Leveraging his talents in both performance and modeling, Ron Wayne used his residency to create his first rap music video “One in a Million.” Though he has already found success in modeling for Urban Outfitters, Fila, Vogue Magazine and New York Fashion Week, Wayne is making the shift toward music.
The music video, which splices the audio in and out as Wayne transitions in and out of two different versions of his own life, is meant to show vulnerability while chasing aspirations and breaking the cycle of what you were given.
“Everyone wants to chase their dreams, whether there's anything that's stopping internally or externally outside yourself, you don't want to let anything block you,” Wayne said. “So if you have a dream, believe in it.”
In conjunction with FotoHouse’s support, Wayne will debut his EP and career as a musician at SXSW 2022.
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Austin police have charged Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, a local cyclist, for the murder of Moriah "Mo" Wilson.
Wilson, a rising star in the gravel and mountain bike community, was found dead with gunshot wounds inside an East Austin home on the night of May 11 when she was in town for the weekend Gravel Locos race in Hico, Texas.
Police believe Wilson was having a relationship with a man Armstrong was also in a relationship with. The man, another gravel cyclist, Colin Strickland, has since issued a statement on the murder.
In his statement, he said he had a brief romantic relationship with Wilson in October 2021 before he resumed his relationship with Armstrong, but that he remained friends with Wilson. "There is no way to adequately express the regret and torture I feel about my proximity to this horrible crime. I am sorry, and I simply cannot make sense of this unfathomable tragedy.
NEW: Austin professional cyclist Colin Strickland has just released a statement about the murder of cyclist Moriah Wilson, clarifying his relationship with her and expressing “torture about my proximity to this horrible crime.” pic.twitter.com/KnIna3mWrE
— Tony Plohetski (@tplohetski) May 20, 2022
Wilson, a 25-year-old Vermont native living in Colorado, had won a slew of races becoming a fan favorite. She had just become a full-time racer this year.
Anyone with information on this crime can contact Austin police at 512-974-TIPS or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at 512-472-8477.
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Austin has added 24-hour security to the city-owned Pecan Gardens property, which will be converted into supportive housing for people exiting homelessness, after the former hotel was found with months of damage and vandalism May 5.
The building, which was broken into and stripped of copper and had people illegally sleeping inside of it, has been secured, Kelly said in a Friday press conference. Kelly said the city confirmed a measure to implement 24-hour security, including updates every 60 days until the property opens up as supportive housing.
"We cannot let this happen to any vacant city-owned property ever again," Kelly said. "This blatant act of disregard and criminal behavior will not be tolerated in our community."
The city bought the former hotel in August 2021 for $9.5 million with plans to renovate the property into a 78-unit supportive housing property. Those 55 or older that are experiencing chronic homelessness can qualify to live at the site once it is completed in late 2022-early 2023.
While the council was set to discuss a $4 million deal with Family Eldercare to begin converting the property Thursday, Kelly pulled the item for a later executive session due to security concerns. But the council did approve an item to authorize city leaders to begin negotiating other renovation contracts.
"I want to thank my colleagues for pumping the brakes on this contract and realizing that we owe the community not only an apology, but reassurance that the protection of the assets the city owns is vital to the success of achieving our intended goals," Kelly said.
When the building was found vandalized May 5, Kelly, who presides over the district containing the property, said damage included:
- Damage spanning all three floors of the building and is in nearly every room.
- The entire hotel was stripped of copper.
- Destroyed washers, dryers, air conditioners and electrical wiring.
- People sleeping at the hotel without permission.
On Tuesday, Austin’s Homeless Strategy Officer Dianna Gray apologized and said there was no security due to a delay in processing the request.
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