The Heart and Roots of Austin: A trip to Big Medium Gallery

Over the years, local art seems to have fallen from the top of the list of features that make up Austin, Texas’. Today, some of the city’s more popular trademarks–music festivals/venues; bars; and inescapable traffic–receive much of the attention of residents and visitors. Because of this relatively high-paced lifestyle, I believe that the concern about local art has slowly lessened.

I’ve always found it beneficial to be free of preconceptions. I suppose that, without a set of assumptions, any experience has a greater potential for being enjoyable. I had started to sort of mentally check-out upon arriving to the Big Medium but then saw the industrial-style building and felt a pleasant change of mood; I felt curious and excited.

The history of Big Medium begins with a true artist’s– or, in this case, several artists’– struggle. It started in a worn down warehouse where artists came together to collaborate on the creation of pieces and showings. The early phases were small but impressive, and necessitated a larger space. The project moved to a more suitable location that was then converted into an official gallery.

The current exhibition was a collection of abstract paintings done by Jonathan Faber, who was present for our visit. Many of his explanations drew from the experiences of his daily life and his eccentric interest in ping-pong.  The order in which the paintings were arranged illuminated Faber’s talents while also complementing his organic style that combines geometrical shapes with soft colors. Each painting was both a unique, separate work and a representation of the collection as a whole. And the minimality of the space itself was pleasant with its white walls and warm lighting, both of which paired well with the colors of the paintings. The gallery’s indoor aesthetic was an aid in showing that Faber is an artist worth following.

Overall, Big Medium is a little slice of peace in Austin’s busy-body atmosphere, and definitely has a bright future ahead of it.



Rachael Pantuso





One comment

  1. I totally agree with you, Rachael. Sometimes, it would be nice if Austin *slowed down* a little. It’s interesting how the “weird” side of Austin is causing a lot of commodification and gentrification all over the city. This has its ups and downs, but it makes places like Big Medium even more satisfying to discover. I like how the curator said the complex was a little piece of Austin–some art, some coffee, some “tech stuff.” It’s such a genuine place, and it’s truly unique in a city where everything seems like it’s trying to be more unique than everything else.

    – Hannah Jurgens


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