The People’s Gallery is a program of the Economic Development Department’s Cultural Arts Division, and our mission is to promote the excellence of local artistic endeavors in the visual arts, to highlight the unique architecture and dynamic public space of Austin City Hall, and to encourage public dialogue, understanding and enjoyment of visual art.
Fourteen years ago, the program was spearheaded by then Mayor Will Winn’s wife, Anne Elizabeth Winn. Since then, The People’s Gallery has exhibited approximately 1,200 artists, and averages about 50% new artists exhibiting each year. This exhibition series provides opportunities for local artists to exhibit their works on City property, and for citizens and tourists to experience Austin’s arts and culture in this premiere public facility.
The 2018 selection panelists were arts educator and artist Teruko Nimura; artist and Preparator (Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin) John Sager; and artist and Professor of Art, St. Edward’s University, Tammie Rubin. The exhibition was managed and designed by Exhibition Coordinator Suzanne Burton with assistance from Owen Max Dodgen.
This year approximately 320 artists submitted 1262 works for consideration to be included in the exhibition. The artworks submitted were in a wide range of mediums, from a diverse pool of applicants, representative of the ten council districts and many walks of life. From the pool of applicants, over 90 were chosen to display approximately 116 works, and 62% of them are artists who have not shown in the gallery before.
After works are recommended, the show is laid out for final review, and installed at the end of January. Each year, on the last Friday of February, this annual eleven month exhibition hosts a gallery opening, which is the largest City Hall event of the year.