Save Our Springs Alliance is pleased to announce a unique fundraiser on July 16, 2023 curated by internationally acclaimed artist and musician, Ben Livingston. Parthenia’s Majesty: A Cinematic Voyage is an immersive, audiovisual experience at the newly established Rosette Theatre at the Baker Center in Hyde Park. The 90 minute event (one at 2PM and one at 7PM) combines nostalgic short films celebrating the unrivaled beauty and rich history of Barton Springs with music, art, and refreshments.
The screenings include Brian Leonard's cosmic underwater light dances and four short movies from Karen Kocher’s “Living Springs'' series. The stunning underwater headliner “Parthenia’s A:X Pageant” created by prominent neon artist and springs advocate, Ben Livingston is accompanied by a live score performed by composer and pedal steel master Bob Hoffnar. Livingston’s ephemeral footage alongside Hoffnar’s otherworldly soundscape invites attendees on an introspective journey, inspiring conservation and advocacy in generations to come. Guests will also be invited to view a collection of water-inspired artworks by Sculptor / New Yorker cartoonist Julia “Jul” Suits.
Sponsors include Gruene Hall, Jim Brand MD, Magnolia Cafe, Mary Jane Nalley, Robin Rather, and Family, & Austin Classical Guitar.
PURCHASE TICKETS HERE
About Ben Livingston: Ben Livingston is an internationally acclaimed artist, performing songwriter, and film personality who draws inspiration from beauty and embraces a daily, year-round swimming routine at Barton Springs. Recognized as a National Endowment of the Arts fellow, his expertise in neon/light sculpting has earned him global acclaim. Alongside his mastery of neon, Ben's artistic versatility extends to mediums such as drawing, painting, wood, copper, steel and found object construction, photography, and his latest venture in silent movie-making collaboration with composer, Bob Hoffnar. Ben Livingston continues to inspire others and defy limitations. His neon art has found its place in public collections like the Austin Convention Center and the University of Texas Performing Arts Center, solidifying his commitment to making a positive impact on the community.
About Bob Hoffnar: Pedal steel guitarist Bob Hoffnar is a major contributor to Austin’s cultural landscape. Originally from Silver Springs, Maryland, Hoffnar graduated from Purchase Conservatory of Music in 1998 with a BFA in Composition. Further private studies included time with such musical luminaries as Lamonte Young, Pandit Pran Nath, and Ernest Tubb’s steel player Buddy Charelton. As a full-time working pedal steel player he has worked with artists from Patsy Montana to Cindi Lauper to Iggy and the Stooges. Along with a constant stream of solo and collaborative works he had the international debut of his "Prismatic Listening" installation in Mexico City in May of 2023.
About Karen Kocher: Karen Kocher is an Austin-based media producer known for her digital content creations spanning over two decades. Her notable works include Living Springs, an immersive series exploring the history, culture and science of Barton Springs pool. With accolades like the Lonestar Chapter of the Sierra Club's "Art in Service of the Environment'' award, Karen's passion for environmental stewardship shines through her projects. As an educator, she shares her expertise in digital post-production and documentary production at the University of Texas at Austin.
About Brian Leonard: Brian Leonard is an accomplished artist, healer, and dedicated advocate of Barton Springs, where he can be found swimming daily with the grace of a dolphin's tail. Based in Austin, Texas, Brian's artistic achievements have been showcased in exhibitions such as the West Austin Studio Tour and the Austin Art Space Gallery. He has made significant contributions to the Amanda Love Healing Center and Heal Healing Center, utilizing his talents to promote well-being. Brian's passion for art, healing, and his deep connection to Barton Springs exemplify his commitment to the transformative power of nature.
About Julia Suits: Julia "Jul" Suits, an Austin-based artist, has returned to sculpture after decades away, with a focus on welded steel and glass. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows, including at the Pilchuck School and in a 2-person show with Dale Chihuly. Alongside her artistic endeavors, Suits has also made contributions as an environmental activist, creating large-scale outdoor installations addressing various issues and employing grants and donations to fund these immersive projects. In addition, Suits has worked as a freelance illustrator and cartoonist, with work featured in The New Yorker, Texas Monthly magazine, and in newspapers worldwide as an editorial illustrator for Creators Syndicate in Los Angeles.