arts eclectic

Artist Alfonso Huerta did not set out to become a printmaker. In fact, he resisted the idea as long as he could. He studied art in his native Mexico in the late 1990s, and focused on painting. But his focus eventually changed after he moved to Austin.

Austin dance company Performa/Dance will present its fourth full-length show, Artist and Muse., on June 1 and 2. The program will feature four dances, including two longform works and two shorter pieces.

"We're doing two works about female choreographers who are talking about female artists," says Performa/Dance artistic director Jennifer Hart. "I have choreographed a piece called Camille: A Story of Art and Love, and it's about Camille Claudel. She was a sculptor in the earlier 20th century, artist and muse of Auguste Rodin."

"Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic were two staples of my nighttime reading," says Stephanie Carll of her childhood love of Shel Silverstein's popular books of kids' poetry. "As a kid, I tended toward... the darker humor, the more macabre. And so Shel's tone and really unique style stuck with me. And when I found out that he had adult stuff..."

Shel Silverstein is likely best remembered for his work for children, but he was also a well-known songwriter (he won a Grammy for writing Johnny Cash's hit "A Boy Named Sue") and a prolific writer of more adult material. That's the Shel Silverstein that's on display in the aptly titled An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein, a vaudeville-style collection of Silverstein's R-rated poems, songs, and skits that's currently being produced by Carll for Present Company.

"I saw the play with my best friend, and by the time it was over we were just clinging to each other, so emotionally rocked we didn't even know what had happened," says Cry It Out director Lily Wolff, recalling the first time she saw the play performed. "Every since that experience with it, I knew I wanted to do it and I knew I wanted to do it here."

Wolff asked Theatre en Bloc artistic director Jenny Lavery to read the script, and Lavery was quickly on board with the idea of producing (and acting in) Cry It Out

Michael Lee

"It's really a collaborative [project]," says artist Ethan Azarian of his latest outdoor mural. "The nice thing about it is, the kids are so... they're already artists. They're not afraid to make a mark. I really like working with young people, because I like the enthusiasm and I like the fact that they're just not afraid to make a mark. It's exciting for me -- I really enjoy the whole process."

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