The Blanton Announces Opening Date for New Grounds

by Jessica Fuentes February 26, 2023

The Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin will open its newly renovated grounds on Saturday, May 13, 2023. Two years ago, the museum announced plans for its new landscaping project, featuring a commissioned mural by Cuban-American artist Carmen Herrera

Artist Carmen Herrera reviews plans for the Blanton mural "Verde te quiero verde."

Artist Carmen Herrera reviews plans for the Blanton mural “Verde te quiero verde.”

In a press release publicizing the opening event, Blanton Director Simone Wicha remarked, “We’re thrilled to invite the community to the party we’ve all been waiting for: the opening of a new gathering place for Austin that offers a different way to experience the Blanton. I cannot wait for visitors to stroll along the pathways; pass under the stunning shade canopy; explore the powerful, immersive new artworks; and enjoy performances on the Moody Patio’s outdoor stages.”

Ms. Wicha expressed the museum’s gratitude to its partners in this transformative project, including the Moody Foundation, Sarah and Ernest Butler, the Still Water Foundation, the Kahng Foundation, Sally and Tom Dunning, and other generous donors, as well as to the Snøhetta architects and to the artists, Bill Fontana and Ms. Herrera.

A digital rendering of the new grounds at the Blanton Museum of Art.

The Blanton’s Architectural Design by Snøhetta includes new architectural features and landscaping, and mural by Carmen Herrera

The new grounds will feature petal-like shade structures, pathways lined with native plants, and vaulted entryways to the museum’s two main buildings. Ms. Herrera’s installation Verde que te quiero verde (Green How I Desire You Green) will stretch across the western wall of the Mari and James A. Michener Gallery building. Additionally, Mr. Fontana’s immersive sound art work, incorporating recordings taken across the seasons of Texas wildlife and geological structures, will serve as the inaugural piece in the Butler Sound Gallery. The museum has also hinted that two additional installations will be announced soon, and all four works will be unveiled at the Blanton’s 60th anniversary gala on April 29.

An aerial drawing of the grounds of the Blanton Museum of Art.

The Blanton Museum of Art Butler Sound Gallery

Ahead of the opening ceremony, the museum will debut new public hours, which will include extended weekend hours and a change from Free Thursdays to Free Tuesdays. From 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm, the opening celebration on May 13 will feature live music, an interactive art experience designed by the Haas Brothers, a pair of artists known for their whimsical sculptures, and an activation of the Moody Patio, the museum’s main outdoor gathering space. The event will also launch the Blanton’s Second Saturdays program, a series that welcomes the community with live music, food, and other events. The May Second Saturday program will begin at 3:00 pm immediately following the opening celebration. 

Learn more and RSVP to the free public celebration at the Blanton’s website

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