Poppies

Tiny Park Gallery, a New Art Space in Austin

An innovation of Thao Votang and Brian Willey, Tiny Park Gallery is the newest contemporary art space in Austin. Located in the couple’s home, Tiny Park is a small space as its name suggests. However, it’s a tiny space with big talent.

Votang received her degree in Art History from the University of Texas and her partner Willey attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago—in other words, there’s no shortage of art knowledge on hand, as can sometimes be the case in commercial galleries.

I also appreciate the intention for the space, which emerged purely because the duo is passionate about art. Austin would not have access to contemporary art like that shown in Tiny Park, if these two were not dedicated to its display—certainly, the gallery was not started as a money-making scheme (although work is for sale).

Art on display for the recent opening last Friday night included the work of Austin-based filmmaker PJ Raval and painter Nick Brown.

The Truth Has its Following by Nick Brown

Impasto oil paintings by Brown filled one of the two rooms in the gallery. Compositions seemed to reference landscapes, however, subject matter was abstracted. A favorite piece, Poppies, bore an expressive cascade of illustrious paint, exploding with reds.

I spent time with Brown’s pastel drawings on paper also. I loved the sort of optical illusion these drawings played on the viewer. Because the artist’s imagery was only loosely representational, interpretations could be freely made and often varied. A friend saw an underwater scene, where I surely noticed leaves and grass on land, for instance.

Video Still from Raval's Net 06

Raval’s video installation in the second gallery looped imagery of what appeared to be a circuit board of some gadget or kind. A similarity between the two artists on display was the inference to representational imagery without a complete and rigid commitment to it in most cases.

It’s fun to play hide and seek when looking at art, and I’m certainly glad to have found Tiny Park Gallery.

Featured Image: Poppies by Nick Brown

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