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W Austin Hotel to Exhibit Selected Contemporary Art Works from the Visual Arts Center in The University of Texas at Austin

First Exhibit Launches January 8 with Works by Ry Rocklen and Mike Osborne

The Visual Arts Center (VAC) in the University of Texas at Austin's Department of Art and Art History and Stratus Properties and the Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund II announced today a new contemporary art partnership. Under this partnership, selected contemporary art exhibitions from the VAC's Vaulted Gallery, as well as works by faculty and alumni affiliated with the Department, will be displayed in the recently opened W Austin Hotel.

A $20,000 annual sponsorship will facilitate this innovative collaboration to fuse the distinctive and eclectic culture of Austin with the signature modern luxury of W Hotels.

VAC selected exhibitions will highlight Austin's place as a center for contemporary art to guests from around the world and will introduce them to the unique cultural character of the city as soon as they arrive by placing the new W Austin Hotel at the center of Austin's dynamic visual arts scene. The first exhibit will be available for viewing on January 8, 2011, featuring an installation by VAC fall 2010 Artist-in-Residence Ry Rocklen, and Austin based photographer and Department of Art and Art History lecturer Mike Osborne.

Commenting on this collaboration, Visual Arts Center Director Jade Walker states:

The Visual Arts Center's partnership with Stratus Properties / Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund II is both an organic and exciting example of both institutions' commitment to the continued growth of the contemporary arts community in Austin. The VAC's Vaulted Gallery residency provides a rare avenue for emerging artists who are on the brink of their careers to conceptualize the biggest installation they have ever created, and this important partnership will graciously support such exhibitions and programs at the VAC to further our mission to create, explore, and evolve contemporary art.

Speaking for the developer, Stratus CEO Beau Armstrong said:

The Visual Arts Center is a beautiful new facility and an important addition to the University's Department of Art and Art History. We are absolutely thrilled that UT's most talented emerging contemporary artists will showcase their work at the W Austin.