One Year In - Landmarks Looks Back

A woman in a mask makes a "hook em" gesture and looks at the camera in front of Marc Quinn's sculpture "Spiral of the Galaxy" which is an enlarged bronze seashell

On March 13, 2020 Landmarks announced the suspension of all in-person events, screenings, and tours in response to COVID-19. Like many arts organizations, we had to quickly retool our offerings to make them available in ways that were safe but still inspiring. Knowing that art can be a comfort in times of crisis, our team developed creative new content ranging from online lectures to the launch of a virtual Skyspace meditation. We look forward to a time when we can see you in-person and hope you are enjoying these new offerings in the meantime. At this one-year anniversary of the pandemic, we take a look back at some of the digital initiatives we created to bring art to you, wherever you are.

Learning at Home with Landmarks features digital content that highlights select works in the collection and offers opportunities for engagement right from the comfort of your home. With activity guides for all ages, artist videos, essays, and though-provoking questions, we sought to approximate the experience you might have in front of a work from our collection.

In May, we brought the Skyspace to you through a guided meditation centered in James Turrell’s The Color Inside, paired with music composed by Matthew Lyons. Although the space remains closed, we hope Lyons’ inventive composition and Turrell’s mesmerizing light sequence offer a measure of comfort.

In June, we looked back at some of our prior collaborations, hosting a virtual conversation between artist Nancy Rubins and engineer Jaime Garza. The two discussed the efforts to engineer and solve the structural challenges surrounding the construction of Rubins’ Monochrome for Austin in 2015.

In August, we released a mobile app featuring audio guides, curated walking tours, and in-depth video content that contextualizes works in the collection. The app can be used in-person to view outdoor works safely and responsibly, or from home. Whether you are on campus or across the world, the app provides a dynamic new pathway to experience Landmarks.

While we couldn’t welcome visitors to the Landmarks Video media station freely, we brought an exhibition of video art to you. Ways of Being highlights a number of our previously screened video works that explore different identities and confront injustices.

Throughout the course of this past year, we also continued to share curated playlists by Austin music notables, created in response to works from our collection. Now in its second season, Listening with Landmarks featured lists from Black Joe Lewis, Justin Sherburn, and DJ Boyfriend among others. Check out all of the available playlists on our blog or on Spotify.

We missed gathering together to celebrate the openings of our newest projects. Our online events were not the same, but they opened our conversations to global audiences. In September we launched Jennifer Steinkamp, EON at the College of Natural Sciences. In partnership with the VAC we curated the exhibition Kara Walker: The Fact of Fiction and hosted public presentations about her videos. And at the Jackson School of Geosciences we launched An Interval of Time by artist Monika Bravo.

While our in-person events and tours remain suspended, there are many ways to experience and engage with Landmarks. Much of our collection can be safely viewed in its intended form and our rapidly developing online resources make it possible to engage even from a distance. We hope you take the time to explore some of these resources and delve deeper into all the collection offers.