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Austin Art Beat – Austin's Art Garage Provides Culture Off the Beaten Path

Image iconaustinartgarage.jpgThere are a slew of live music events each week, and happy hours aplenty, but Austin’s art scene is well worth exploring. So we’re going to bring you a weekly spotlight of some of the eclectic artful activities that grace the Capitol City. Because it wouldn’t kill us to get a little culture in between margaritas, right?

This week, we visit the Austin Art Garage on 2200 S. Lamar Blvd. Co-owned by artists Jake Breyer and Joel Ganucheau, the Austin Art Garage prides itself on hosting pieces by Austin based artists. And more importantly, says artist/employee Tim Lasater, the AAG offers “good art at a reasonable price.”    

After a work related accident some months ago, Lasater fell into painting. Now he has put up shop in the Austin Art Garage. The Garage has a “laid back and easy going vibe,” he says, with a more friendly approach towards both artists and customers. He related how owners Breyer and Ganucheau had become increasingly unhappy with the art galleries around town. They found places to be “stuffy” and were given contemptuous and judgment laden scowls when they would ask how much a piece was.

“If you have to ask the price,” said the snobbish art gallery owner while adjusting his monocle, “then you probably can’t afford it”. Infused with bohemian rage the pair set out to create a haven for local artists. And it seems that they have succeeded. The array of artists in the Garage was impressive, eclectic, and highly affordable.

Mary Streepy’s art was the first to catch my eye. Much like the gallery around her, she seemed to have numerous styles. One piece, titled Wayne Coyne (front man of The Flaming Lips), had a heavy influence from graffiti art while the next (titled Wedding Bell Blues) looked like something that a recently dumped Dr. Seuss would have drawn. A small, charming, painting followed these two pieces; which depicted David Bowie from his Ziggy Stardust days.

Next was Gabe Langholtz’s The Preconceived Hope. At first glance, one doesn’t think much of it, but upon a closer inspection the piece is immensely gorgeous and has numerous, however faint, layers to it. Joel Ganucheau’s H is for Home is simplistic and beautiful. The space of it and the glaring red draws the eye in. Tim Lasater’s cleverly titled piece Bon Motivo has a rich texture to it. Doug Farmer’s The Primitive Directive had a giggle-inducing comic book charm to it, which any nerd could not help but enjoy. In the same comedic and pop culture vein, Jake Breyer’s Spaghetti Modern will catch any Clint Eastwood fan’s eye.

While all of the artists in the garage are immensely talented, two artists of special note are Graham Franciose and Jason Eatherly; more specifically Franciose’s Don’t Worry, He’s a Vegetarian and Eatherly’s See You Later. Franciose (who is appropriately involved in drawing children’s stories) has a cutesy and clever approach to his magical art. Meanwhile, Eatherly’s Banksy-esque graffiti art is just plain engaging and strikes true to the heart of any viewer.          

Simply put: the owners of the Austin Art Garage have succeeded in creating a safe haven for local artists of all varieties. Simultaneously, they have created a gallery off the beaten path (they are literally located at the end of a dirt road) for anyone who loves art but doesn’t have the cash to afford the habit as it were. The gallery is great for both bohemians and families alike (bohemian families are in for a real treat).

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