Austin/ Arts & Culture
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Published on April 15, 2024
Austin's Mexic-Arte Museum Embarks on Cultural and Architectural RevitalizationSource: Google Street View

A cultural renaissance is multipronged at the Mexic-Arte Museum, where Austin's flagship for Latinx art is rolling out both a celebration of modern creators and a major revamp of its historic building – talks of building woes and staff concerns are now giving way to exhibition buzz and architecture plans.

The downtown museum currently hosts "Creating Encuentros: Changarrito 2012-2024," which boasts over a hundred contemporary Latinx artists, according to CultureMap Austin. The artists hail from Texas and farther afield, their works coming from a program that's seen them peddle their offerings from art vending carts, reminiscent of those found in the streets of Mexico. The exhibition features a dazzling array of creations, including a sound piece by Lisa Saldivar, an interactive artwork by Gil Rocha, and a mural "Tejas Forever" by Stephen Longoria, as well as the current Changarrito artist, Celeste De Luna, whose work is also on display.

Meanwhile, Mexic-Arte Museum is looking ahead to a much-needed facelift. Following years of wear and tear, and public concern about the safety of its premises, plans for a comprehensive renovation project have been unveiled. They include upgrading the space into a four-story building while preserving its historic façade, as per Austin Towers. This revamp is set to include additional exhibit and administrative spaces, plus amenities such as a museum store and rooftop event area.

The museum's initiative seems to be a balancing act of nurturing cultural representation, while concurrently addressing infrastructure. Although bond funding was secured back in 2006 and 2018, it's taken till now for blueprints to materialize that include, expanded sidewalks, a new event prep space, and upgraded load in/out area, as reported by Austin Towers. The plans trotted out before the Historic Landmark Commission’s Architectural Review Committee last week propose a future where the museum embraces both its role as a cultural hub and a safer, more versatile venue.