Nov 7, 2011

REVIEW |Yard Dog Art Gallery| Austin Tx

1510 South congress Avenue in Austin Texas is home to the Yard Dog gallery for local artist and their folk art.  The Gallery seems nothing more than a small whole in the wall.  When entering The Yard Dog, to the right is a white wall filled with an assortment of paintings. To the left are more paintings and sculptures, but on a red painted wall.  This gallery is far from traditional yet it is pleasing and comfortable.  Being that the location is small there is not a lot of room for each individual artist.  It might come across as cluttered, but I believe it works with the Austin vibe.  When I first walked into the Yard Dog of course my eyes went straight to the red wall.  The red paint only extends about a quarter way down the entire room wall. 

The artist who is being displayed on this section is Bruce New. Bruce New is a self-taught artist who collages different cut-outs and prints which create whimsical images.  He also incorporates symbolism into his work by including the years 1970 and 1975 which are the birth years of himself and his wife.   The number 13 also has been included in his work which represents the number of years he has been married.  Bruce News papermache collage sculptures are also showcased in the small gallery.  They are displayed right underneath his images on an old wooden gray trunk. 

 Bruce New, The Dream is the Moon Truth, Collage
 Bruce New, Globe, collage sculpture

After viewing New's work with several other artist who are literally 3 inches away from one artist to the next, I came across husband and wife Artist Brad and Sundie Ruppert.  Their pieces are all sculpture like with different mixed media.  The media of the pieces is from bottle caps, wire, vintage ceiling tin, watch parts, fabrics, and mirrors.  Like most of the other artist their display is cramped in a small area.  The sculpture pieces that I personally enjoyed were the series “Little Flockers” These pieces are birds that are created with the different mixed media each individual piece has price tag located on the birds wire leg. “Little Flockers” are clever and sweet.  As Bruce News work, the couple has a small display of fish sculptures on a dresser like chest.  These too are created with old license plates and bottle caps. 

Brad and Sundie Ruppert, Soda Sucker, Mixed media sculpture
The yard dog holds some very neat work but the final one that I enjoyed was the printmaking woodcut blocks.  Artist Lisa Brown is a printmaker who works with older wood with interesting shapes and forms.  She references popular culture, 1920’s cowboys and silent films.  Instead of displaying the woodcut's relief Lisa Brawn chooses to paint the wood and leave it as is.  The woodcuts look as if she was intending to send them threw the press, but instead she decided to just keep them as paintings.  

Lisa Brown, Roy Rogers, Painted Woodcut block

The reason I found them most interesting was the fact that printmaking was not the easiest art form for me.  Lisa Brown put a lot of time into her woodcuts and is really does show.  The Yard Dog gallery is small and very cramped.  One might even think it might be a bit disorganized.  It is not traditional in anyway, but It has the homemade kind of feel which makes it far more delightful  to be in.  

Lisa Brown, Maria Callas, Painted woodcut

-Brittany Rutledge


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