Pump Project Closing Party

“What we, or at any rate what I, refer to confidently as memory – meaning a moment, a fact that has been rescued from oblivion – is really a form of storytelling that goes on continually in the mind and often changes with the telling. Too many conflicting emotional interests are involved for life ever to be wholly acceptable, and possibly it is the work of the storyteller to rearrange things so that they conform to this end. In any case, in talking about the past we lie with every breath we draw.”
—William Maxwell, So Long, See You Tomorrow 

Unfortunately I forgot to post about Pump Project‘s farewell fundraiser before it happened, so this will just be more of a wrap-up! The local art community came together for a homecoming of sorts on June 23rd to say goodbye to the old orange warehouse that has been Pump Project’s home since 2005. Hugs were shared, kegs were floated, and time suspended as past and present converged in the ether. These days in Austin, with the built environment constantly in flux, landmarks vanishing around us, we experience memory and reality in the same moment.


My contribution was the closing party graphic, which is only fitting considering I designed the logo and print invitations for the Pump Project launch party in 2007, a rebrand from the former name of Shady Tree Studios.

My studio, May 2007

I also set up a slideshow that ran during the event, thanks to contributions from artist members and friends over the years. The photos can be viewed here.

The good news is that later this year, Pump Project will be relocating to a long-defunct industrial/shopping center behind the HEB at Riverside and Pleasant Valley (another rapidly gentrifying area), with a custom buildout, gallery, meeting/community area, more studio capacity, an outdoor workspace, parking, and perhaps most importantly, air conditioning. Other arts organizations and amenities in the immediate area will make it a creative destination.

I look forward to this next chapter for Pump Project’s hub of leaders and artists. If the hundred or so people who came to closing party (as well as the countless folks who weren’t able to attend or have moved on from Austin) proved anything, it’s that it truly takes determined, sustained, collective effort to make change.