Austin Art Scene
Austin’s art scene is energetic, expanding, and attracting attention from outsiders from around the country. The city was voted the eighth best art destination in the U.S. by AmericanStyle Magazine, and its galleries have been mentioned in major publications such as the New York Times. Austin galleries are always looking for fresh, young talent, so talented, aspiring artists of all kinds will have plenty of opportunities here.
Austin is home to seasonal events presented by Art Palace. Art Palace promotes emerging talent in Texas. This artist organization and gallery is open to all art forms. Other Austin art galleries include Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas, Wally Workman Gallery, and Art on 5th. Austin also has a number of art museums that attract artists looking for inspiration, locals with an appreciation for art, and tourists.
The Austin Museum of Art (AMOA) has two locations—downtown and Laguna Gloria. The Laguna Gloria location is located along the Lake Austin shoreline and includes The Art School. The Downtown location is just blocks from the Texas State Capitol and it is the museums principle exhibition site. Both locations are dedicated to showcasing a variety of twentieth-century and contemporary art.
The art scene in Austin is made up of everything from painting and sculpting to music and dance to multi-media art, including animation! Animators can soak up the art scene here, while training to become a part of it at one of the city’s schools of art or a traditional university.
Austin Animation Schools and Programs
There are so many colleges in Austin that offer animation programs that it would be tough to list them all here. Some offer bachelor’s degrees in multimedia studies with an animation track, while others offer certificates or associate degrees in all areas of animation. Just a few top animation programs are offered at:
- The Art Institute of Austin, School of Media Arts & Animation
- University of Texas at Austin
- The Art Department (TAD)
- Devry University College of Arts & Technology
- Austin Community College Department of Visual Communication
The Art Institute of Austin offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Media Arts & Animation while the University of Texas at Austin offers a certificate in Digital Arts and Media. The Art Department offers 3D courses and Devry offers a Bachelor of Science in Multimedia Design and Development. This program requires a number of animation courses, which help prepare students for a career in all areas of animation.
The Austin Community College System has several locations that offer animation and gaming degrees. Austin Community College Department of Visual Communication on Middle Fisk Road offers an AAS in 2D or 3D Animation and a Certificate in 2D or 3D Animation. The Austin Community College Department of Visual Communication and Game Development Institute on Stonehollow Drive offers an AAS in Game Art, an AAS in Game Design, an AAS in Game & Visual Programming, Certificate in Game Art, and a Certificate in Game Design.
Austin Animation Employers
Austin animators work in all fields from film and video to gaming to education. To find animation jobs, a great place to look is the Texas Film Commission. The website has a job hotline which lists recent postings for gaming and animation jobs. Just a few companies that hire animators are:
- Arkane Studios
- Troublemaker Studios
- Kingsisle Entertainment
- Red Fly Studio
- Twisted Pixel
- SnakeHead Software
- Pixel Mine
- Edge of Reality
- The Mad House
There are more than 2,600 computer systems and design firms in the state of Texas. Many are located in Austin as well as Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio. Visit Manta.com to review company profiles.
Animation Careers at a Glance
Aspiring animators have more than just a fun job to look forward to. This career field is stable and growing. Job growth is expected to average 14 percent over the next seven years. In Austin, the animator population has more than doubled since 2006. Average salaries for animators here decreased slightly, but it’s still much higher than the national average for all occupations. In 2006, Austin animators averaged $50,540. In 2009, they earned $49,780. The national average wage for 2009 was $40,711.61.
For more information about the animation industry in the U.S., visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics at www.bls.gov.