$newsid = ''; ?> Last weekend I caught the Blue Genie Art Bazaar and got to see work by several dozen local artists. Blue Genie is the commercial art studio responsible for a lot of the great signage in this town, both in two dimensions and in three. Last I knew their studio had been a landmark on South First Street, but some time while I wasn't paying attention they moved to a muddy lot behind Goodwill and Habitat at 916 Springdale in deep East Austin.
It was nice to finally visit Blue Genie's space and get a glimpse behind the scenes. The guest artists were varied, and while there was a bit of the usual humdrum kitsch you'd find at any crafts fair in Austin, most of the work was pretty interesting.
A few notes on highlights, mostly for my own future reference (skewed toward knick-knacks rather than "art" art because that's what I can imagine affording someday): Baby Jane aka Stephanie Lindsey sets found images from old postcards into silver behind resin to make lovely jewelry. Brandon Petree (above, top right) does industrial nite-lite lamps, an idea I want to shamelessly steal. Jenifer Nakatsu Arntson does delicious wallets in vinyl. Judy Masliyah (above, bottom right) makes pillows out of retro pop-culture fabric scraps. Linda Sheets (above, bottom left) sets recycled images in delightful papier-mache boxes and refrigerator magnets, at very affordable prices (and she's a plumber and handygal too!). Lori Armendariz (above, top left) paints quirky portraits of her friends, here a tribute to a fellow Champ Hood groupie. Rhonda Kuhlman and Chris Ake do bottle-cap jewelry with inset icons (Frida, the Virgen, etc., but also some surprises). Paul Panamarenko does spare silk-screen collages with themes like guns and trucks. The usual suspects Sam Hurt, Guy Juke and Blue Genie's own Rory Skagen were represented as well.
I got a mirrorshot in Blue Genie's famous Disco Queen, too.