September 2nd, 2010
OUR GRAND OPENING SHOW ON SEPTEMBER 16 is just around the corner, and The Neon Show is slowly beginning to glow.
Austin’s riot of neon caught my attention immediately in May 2004, when I first visited this town for a long weekend trip—little expecting then that I would so completely fall for the City of the Violet Crown, and that I’d be living here three scant months later. On that May 2004 visit I photographed Las Manitas (mainly for its old Avenue Cafe neon sign juxtaposed in lovely blue hues against the Frost Tower—then the tallest downtown building). That yielded another unexpected move: the beloved cafe would later close to make way for a Marriott that was never built, and my photograph of it would launch my Vanishing Austin photography series.
So many of the Austin subjects I choose to photograph include neon; that’s why I’m drawn to them. They seem to evoke another time, a concept that’s always fascinated me, and here in Austin it turns out I’m not alone. Two of the neon artists I’ve included in the Grand Opening show are Austinites who’ve honored the vintage sign tradition in their neon business: Todd Sanders and Sharon Keshishian. In that lovely way that things come full circle, their work has been part of my Vanishing Austin series, and now their original neon sculptures will shine at our Grand Opening Show.