FOR RELEASE SEPTEMBER 26, 2023:
In Celebration of Deaf Awareness, Music Lane’s Inaugural Installation of New Public Art Project Transforms Student Work Into Mural
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AUSTIN, TX (September 26, 2023) — Music Lane – the vibrant mixed-use entertainment, dining, and shopping destination on South Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas – is thrilled to announce “Art on the Avenue”- a dynamic public art program to transform high-trafficked areas at the Music Lane district into off-the-wall canvases, showcasing youth talent and highlighting local organizations.
Music Lane’s first partnership launched with an exciting collaboration with the Texas School for the Deaf (TSD), joined by local multidisciplinary artist, Emily Eisenhart. Eisenhart was handpicked to lead the collaboration and create a custom staircase mural, incorporating several unique designs contributed by TSD. The artistic journey began in early August with an immersive, in-person workshop Eisenhart led with a group of high school students. Using imagery and colorful shapes, she encouraged students to craft personal collages inspired by the theme, “The Pulse of Austin”. TSD also wanted to bring De’VIA symbolism into the message.
De’VIA, short for Deaf View/Image Art, is an art genre that came into light during the late 1990’s by a group of successful artists who were deaf. They established that De’VIA would serve as a means to convey the rich tapestry of Deaf culture and experience, often incorporating sign language within artworks.
With enthusiasm, Megan Burgess, TSD’s art instructor, got to work with students on the first day of school.
“It’s truly inspiring to see an artist like Eisenhart embrace the essence of De’VIA in this collaboration,” Burgess said, “and to work with us to reveal the mural in celebration of Deaf Awareness Week is a wonderful testament to Music Lane’s commitment to inclusivity.”
A project of passion, Mallory Miller has been exploring ways to bring public art to the bustling area that is home to office and residential tenants. Miller is Director of Marketing for Turnbridge Equities, the developer of Music Lane, and is thrilled to collaborate with Texas School for the Deaf.
“Music Lane is proud to support local artists and our local communities,” she says, “and we are honored to partner with Eisenhart and TSD.
“Eisenhart’s cheerful style is a natural fit for Music Lane, which is always buzzing with energy, including students from TSD who are often visiting some of the businesses during off-campus hours, and who are now helping us beautify the property and communicate the spirit of the Austin community via this unique canvas.”
Eisenhart masterfully intertwined student motifs, with a nod to De’VIA by incorporating American Sign Language, and created a cohesive mural narrative, celebrating Austin’s vibrant, diverse, and multifaceted community. The bespoke design, transposed onto vinyl, was installed Tuesday, September 26, marking Deaf Awareness Week 2023.
“I believe that all the world can be a canvas,” Eisenhart says, “and how incredible it is to transform a public staircase at Music Lane into a vibrant piece of art.
“When artwork beautifies a space that resonates with neighbors and passersby, everyone becomes a steward of that piece, caring for it and celebrating it,” she adds.
“Successful public art pieces are reflective of the place and community, and working with the students of TSD encouraged new ways of creatively collaborating.”
Along with the partnership, Music Lane is making a generous $1,000 donation to the Texas School for the Deaf Foundation, to contribute to the school’s various funding needs and programs supporting the students’ education and development.
“This initiative is about investing in public art and aligning that investment within the local community to foster unity,” Miller adds.
Excited about the community partnership with Music Lane, then seeing the final mural art come together, TSD Superintendent, Peter L. Bailey, says “This sheds light on the significance of inclusive public art, and we commend Music Lane for taking a leadership role in promoting awareness of our Deaf community and culture.”
Through the end of the year, the “Pulse of Austin” mural will adorn the staircase just across from Hotel Magdalena at Music Lane, connecting South Congress Avenue to Music Lane Street.
Photos for media use linked here, courtesy of Music Lane.
About Music Lane:
Music Lane is a mixed-use, open-air shopping and dining destination located along Austin’s iconic South Congress Avenue. Spanning three acres, the development includes 145,000 square feet of boutique office space and offers on-site living with two multi-family housing options, The Lola and The Muse, and short-term hotel stays through Soho House Austin, the only Texas location of the private members club. Serving as a gateway between downtown and South Austin, the development offers a mix of retail and service-based businesses that elevate the day-to-day lives of Austin’s urban dwellers while also being a discovery destination for out-of-town visitors seeking an entertainment experience in the heart of the city. For more information, visit: http://www.musiclaneatx.com
About Emily Eisenhart:
Emily Eisenhart is a multidisciplinary artist and designer based in Austin, Texas. The daughter of an artist and anthropologist, she is constantly exploring, and her work is heavily inspired by the textures, natural colors, and stories around her. She approaches many of her projects as an ethnographer, diving deep into the culture of a place to create dynamic artwork that is reflective of people and place. Her creative practice is a mixture of brand strategy and artistic sensibility. Prior to opening her own studio, she cultivated her design skills at the world class design firm IDEO, and as an independent artist has partnered with wide-ranging brands the likes of Gensler, Whole Foods, Warby Parker, YETI, SXSW, Madewell, and Austin FC, in addition to a diverse array of small and large clients around the country and in her home base of Austin. You can find her work at http://www.emilyeisenhart.com or on many muralled walls around Austin.
About the Texas School for the Deaf (TSD): The Texas School for the Deaf is the oldest continuously operating public school in Texas. Educating Texas students who are deaf and hard of hearing since 1856, the campus also provides outreach and educational resources for students, their families and professionals in the field throughout the state of Texas. With educational excellence and a strong belief in a culture and community at TSD, students form a unique identity based on their individual strengths and talents. TSD is an environment where students learn, grow, and belong. For more information about Texas School for the Deaf, visit: http://www.tsd.state.tx.us.