This big old brick building on Congress Avenue that houses the Arthouse was built in 1877, but you wouldn’t know it, not after the massive 2010 renovation that nearly tripled the building’s usable space and which saw some intriguing glasswork added to the building’s façade. That space isn’t going to waste, either; the Arthouse – formerly the Texas Fine Arts Association – quite probably does have something for everyone.
The Arthouse’s dominant feature is the cavernous second-floor gallery, which features a movable wall for occasional smaller exhibitions. There are also two artist studios, a multipurpose room, and a room for video projects. Of particular note – especially considering Austin’s temperate climate – the roof of the building features a large wooden deck, complete with projection screen, for open-air performances and films. On Wednesdays, the roof becomes a cocktail lounge; ostensibly, it’s for members only, but non-members can get in for a $10 cover. (JM)
- Public Transportation: Excellent (easily accessible by several Capital Metro buses at Congress Avenue/7th Street)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Hours: Wednesday noon–11 p.m.; Thursday–Saturday noon–9 p.m.; Sunday noon–5 p.m.; closed Monday–Tuesday and major holidays
- Performances/Programs: Programs include Arthouse Visiting Lecturer Series; The Rooftop Architecture Film Series (7-8 films); Talking Art (free gallery talks led by exhibiting artists and other experts in contemporary art and culture); and Special Screenings
- Ticket Prices: Many events are free of charge. The Rooftop Architecture Film Series (Wednesdays 5:30 p.m.–11 p.m.) are free for members and $10 for non-members
- Membership: Individual membership is $55 (Student/Artist/Educator $35). Benefits are tiered with every member receiving access to all Arthouse exhibition preview parties, Rooftop Series, and weekly members’ rooftop lounge; priority reservation at Arthouse lectures and screenings; eligibility to apply for Arthouse Visiting Lecturer + Studio Visit Program; complimentary annual associate membership with Fractured Atlas; discount on leading arts magazines; 10% off all purchases at the Arthouse on-line store; 15% off all purchases at DOMY Books; and 20% off all purchases at Four Hands Home
- Other Benefits: At the Groundbreaker level ($250) members receive an enrollment in the Texas Reciprocal Membership program; all Arthouse published exhibition catalogs; and invitations to VIP Member Previews for exhibition openings with access to visiting artists, curators, lecturers, and special guests.