The Travis County Communications and Records Services Department (CARS) and the Austin Friends of Folk Art (AFFA) are proud to present new folk art exhibits now available for viewing. The exhibits are in the Hall of Government and 2nd floor lobby of the Travis County Administrative Building at 700 Lavaca St, Austin, TX, 78701. The exhibits are open to the public, free of charge, and can be viewed 8am-5pm, Monday through Friday.

Below is a list of the different collections on display:

Two alebrije jaguars by Jesus Ramirez from Oaxaca

Alebrijes are brightly colored Mexican folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures.  These creatures have elements from different animals, such as dragon bodies, bat wings, wolf teeth and dog eyes. Colorfully painted, they were originally made with papier-mâché but today they may also be carved from wood.
Josefina Aguilar

A kneeling muñeca woman with carrots  by Josefina Aguilar

Josefina Aguilar is a Mexican folk artist from Ocotlán de Morelos, Oaxaca. She is part of the Aguilar family known for its ceramic art. She is best known for her small clay figurines, called “muñecas” (dolls), an art form she learned from her mother Isaura Aguilar

Kachina Dolls

A Zuni fire god kachina doll by Ben Seciwa

Kachina, or katsina, dolls are religious dolls created by the western Pueblo Native American cultures of the southwestern United States. Kachina dolls are based on both the concept of the kachina as a supernatural being and kachina dancers. To Pueblo Indian cultures, a kachina is a spirit or personification of a thing in the real world. A kachina can represent anything in the natural world or cosmos, from a revered ancestor to an element, a location, a quality, a natural phenomenon, or a concept.

South African Folk Art

An Inkehli woman’s headdress from the Mkhizwane Clan of South Africa

The tribal clans of South Africa have a rich history of producing colorful and distinctive folk art. The works in this collection display the bead and textile work of talented female artists in these clans.

Native American Ceramics

A Native American seed pot decorated with lizards

On display are a variety of small ceramic items that represent the work of Native American artists in the Acoma, Isleta, Jemez, and Zuni Pueblo tribes of the Southwestern United States. These works reflect the richness and cultural diversity of the southwestern Pueblo peoples. The varied styles and designs of Pueblo pottery result from the different chemical compositions in the clays mined by each Pueblo, cultural beliefs and, of course, the artists’ imaginations and abilities.

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