“It’s open, it’s accessible, it’s welcoming”: The Blanton Museum opens plaza, renovations after three years of building


These letters, scrawled throughout the aspect of The Blanton Museum, give guests a style of the colourful artwork inside earlier than they even stroll in. After a decade of planning, The Blanton Museum of Artwork opened a brand new house between its two most important buildings to create a extra inviting intersection between college students and the Austin group. 

“We’re at this gateway between the town and the state and UT,” mentioned Carlotta Stankiewicz, Blanton’s Director of Advertising and Communications. “So we must always have this welcoming expertise that represents the transition between the town and UT.”

Stankiewicz mentioned that Austinites can work, eat, and expertise the museum within the new plaza with out coming into the entrance door. Stay music from the 2 new phases and the excitement from the sound backyard fill the house. Guests will quickly have the ability to take pleasure in the brand new cafe, and three-story-tall petal-shaped constructions additionally present shade for these under. 

Structure agency Snohetta, which led the renovation venture, designed the petal constructions with sustainability in thoughts. The petals acquire rainwater and create a shady space to water and funky the brand new native vegetation throughout the grounds. The petals’ tall arches body the Texas Capitol and “Austin” by Ellsworth Kelly, one of many most important sights at The Blanton. John Newman, UT alumnus and director and senior architect at Snohetta, mentioned these arches echo the arches round campus. Equally, the petals are made with vivid yellow limestone to match the College’s structure.

“That is the place familiarity with the campus performed in,” Newman mentioned. “(The arches and shade) made them really feel like they had been a part of the UT campus, though they had been model new.”

For Ok-12 college students arriving on a college bus, which make up about 50% of Blanton guests, Stankiewicz mentioned the museum added a drop-off circle in the back of The Blanton and a pathway lined with mature oak timber from the Brazos Parking Storage to the museum for a extra inventive and walkable expertise. 

“Once you come from the storage, there’s a pathway that leads you thru these oaks,” Stankiewicz mentioned. “So it’s this stunning method to the museum.”

Alongside this path, guests will first see Kay Rosen’s Texan greeting by her mural “HI.” Rosen mentioned that this play-on-words hopes to evoke cheeriness and shock from the playful message with vivid blue and yellow colours. 

“I believe it’s attention-grabbing how HI emerges from the formless alphabetical sequence ABCDEFG,” Rosen mentioned in an e mail. “It jogs my memory of how a sculpture takes form from a block of marble or wooden.”

Different new items embrace Carmen Herrera’s final work, “Verde Que Te Quiero Verde (Inexperienced How I Need You Inexperienced).” Paralleling the inexperienced mural, the house between Jester and The Blanton hosts The Butler Sound Gallery, which performs nature sounds that symbolize Texas, like these of Barton Springs, purple martins and bats. 

“(I would like folks to really feel) invited and impressed,” Stankiewicz mentioned. “It’s the appetizer to going inside, so (I would like them to really feel) like the surface matches the within.”