SAN MARCOS, TX—Now on view at the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University's Alkek Library is a major exhibition of over 140 original vintage Austin music posters and handbills by more than 30 artists. Homegrown: Austin Music Posters, 1967 to 1982 runs through July 3, 2015. A book accompanying the exhibition is forthcoming in the Wittliff Collections series by the University of Texas Press. Homegrown is on view now and runs through July 3, 2015. The exhibition reception, program, and artist signing will be Sunday, March 1, at 2:00 p.m.
Before Austin became known as the “live music capital of the world”—attracting tens of thousands of fans a year—it cultivated a vibrant local music scene that spanned late-sixties psychedelic and avant-garde rock to early eighties punk. Venues such as the Vulcan Gas Company, Antone’s, and the Armadillo World Headquarters hosted both innovative local musicians as well as big-name touring acts.
The exhibition Homegrown presents a definitive survey of music poster art produced in Austin between 1967 and 1982 with over 140 original posters and handbills housed in the Wittliff Collections’ poster archives—from TOM WILMORE and other generous donors.
Distinct generations of design are vividly illustrated—psychedelic art of the Vulcan Gas Company, early works from the Armadillo World Headquarters, signature portrait drawings of blues musicians for Antone’s, an emerging variety of styles from the mid-1970s, and the radical visual aesthetic of punk—produced by such renowned artists as Gilbert Shelton, Jim Franklin, Kerry Awn, Micael Priest, Danny Garrett, Guy Juke, Ken Featherston, and NOXX.
Poster artists didn’t simply advertise the performances. They visually evoked the music and defined the culture of Austin during this pivotal period. Their posters—created with hand drawings and vintage print techniques—promoted an alternative lifestyle that permeated the city and reflected Austin’s transformation from a sleepy university town into an oasis of underground artistic and cultural activity in Texas.
Homegrown—the title of the exhibition and accompanying book forthcoming from the University of Texas Press—emphasizes the Texas-inspired sensibility of these vintage posters and the close-knit community of Austin artists who created them.
The exhibition Homegrown: Austin Music Posters, 1967 to 1982 was curated by Katie Salzmann, lead archivist at the Wittliff Collections, and Alan Schaefer, lecturer in the Department of English at Texas State University. It is on view through July 3, 2015.
Homegrown: Austin Music Posters, 1967 to 1982 edited by Alan Schaefer, forthcoming from the University of Texas Press, is part of the Wittliff Collections’ Southwestern Writers Collection book series. The originals of all 122 posters in the 8.25 x 11.75 inch volume are on view in the exhibition. From mind-melting psychedelia and surreal treatments of Texas iconography to inventive interpretations of rock and roll, western swing, and punk, this book offers the definitive, long-overdue survey of music poster art by legendary Texas artists. Insight into these “signs of the times” and the techniques used to produce them come from essays by Texas music and popular culture scholar Joe Nick Patoski and artist and poster historian Nels Jacobson. Schaefer provides the preface and introductions to each of the sections.