Art for the People is rebounding from challenges of COVID-19, continuing to promote local artists

Art for the People is located on South First Street near downtown Austin. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
Art for the People is located on South First Street near downtown Austin. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)

Art for the People is located on South First Street near downtown Austin. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
Tassel and Charm Charm have made Art for the People their home. (Courtesy Art for the People)
Image description
Creative director Lynnie Goodman tours her gallery. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
South First Street gallery Art for the People is ready to take patrons on an adventure through Austin art, Creative Director Lynnie Goodman said.

Art for the People weathered the initial months of the pandemic by strengthening the gallery’s website, Goodman said, but the gallery space itself was designed to be part of patrons’ experience. After suffering a “dramatic decrease in sales” this year, Art for the People is beginning to see more patrons come back through the door.

“We always use the phrase ‘adventure through Austin art,’ and I think our building actually really fits that phrase,” Goodman said. “I love it when people come in and say, ‘Wow, this really looks like Austin.’”

Art for the People—which features work created exclusively by local artists and those with close ties to the city—is a small venue that packs a punch of color and character. Bright paintings line the walls, and the ceiling features a textural installation of wax paper blossoms lit at times by colored LED lights.

The pieces displayed at Art for the People are often selected for their uplifting and happy nature, Art Business Director Hallie Rae Ward said—pieces are “giftable” and work in someone’s home or office.


“We really want this to integrate into your daily life, for you to realize that you need art in your daily life,” Ward said.

Those pieces may be “wearable, visual, or functional,” according to Goodman. The gallery offers jewelry, pottery, puzzles, cards and other items in addition to paintings and traditional fine art made by nearly 100 local artists at a range of price points. Goodman said those artists have taken inspiration from the challenges of this year—such as one who has made prints of empty and full toilet paper rolls called “Panic” and “Relax,” respectively.

“A year ago, that wouldn’t make any sense,” Goodman said. “But you’ve got to innovate, you’ve got to adapt, and you’ve got to keep going.”

Just like the gallery’s artists, that is a message Goodman said she and Ward have taken to heart.

“Our options were this: Never, ever, ever give up,” she said.

The Greeting Committee


Goodman refers to her two rescue pugs—Tassel and Charm Charm—as the gallery’s “greeting committee.” The dogs have become unofficial mascots for Art for the People and like to meet visitors at the door. Tassel and Charm Charm have become so associated with the gallery that patrons sometimes come in just to meet the pugs, Goodman said.
By Olivia Aldridge

Reporter, Central Austin

Olivia joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in March 2019. She covers public health, business, development and Travis County government. A graduate of Presbyterian College in South Carolina, Olivia worked as a reporter and producer for South Carolina Public Radio before moving to Texas. Her work has appeared on NPR and in the New York Times.



MOST RECENT

US Attorney General Merrick Garland and US Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta announced the lawsuit against Texas on Dec. 6. (Screenshot courtesy of Department of Justice)
U.S. Dept. of Justice lawsuit alleges Texas' redistricting maps discriminate against voters of color

The suit alleges that the Texas Legislature redrew the maps to reduce voters of colors' influence on elections.

City and Austin EMS Association representatives discussed a pay increase on the third day of negotiations (Darcy Sprague, Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin EMS Association lays out argument for $27 per hour starting pay

The increase would represent almost a 42% increase in starting salary for EMS medics.

The 6.5-mile project will be an important connection for the pedestrian, bicycle and transit networks, according to city officials. (Courtesy Austin Public Works)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: City of Austin begins design of urban trail on abandoned rail corridor; 12 things to do in and around New Braunfels this holiday season and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 6.

The new H-E-B at South Congress Avenue and Oltorf Street will be three stories. (Courtesy H-E-B)
Austin’s longest-standing H-E-B to be rebuilt

The South Austin H-E-B was originally built in 1957. The new store will be almost six times the size of the original footprint.

The 6.5-mile project will be an important connection for the pedestrian, bicycle and transit networks, according to city officials. (Courtesy Austin Public Works)
City of Austin begins design of urban trail on abandoned rail corridor

The city, along with the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, won a state award for a Bergstrom Spur Trail study.

Consuelo Mendez Middle School has consistently received poor ratings from the Texas Education Agency. (Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: State could take over AISD school board if poorly-rated campus does not improve; new furniture store to open in McKinney and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 3.

Derrick Chubbs is leaving Austin for a food bank in Florida. (Courtsey Central Texas Food Bank)
Central Texas Food Bank CEO Derrick Chubbs steps down

Derrick Chubbs is leaving Austin for a food bank in Florida.

Consuelo Mendez Middle School has consistently received poor ratings from the Texas Education Agency. (Community Impact Newspaper)
State could take over AISD school board if poorly rated campus does not improve next year

If the school does receive an improved rating, the state's commissioner of education could replace every member of Austin ISD's school board.

Austin ISD trustee Noelita Lugo argues for breaking down student achievement measures by race in the district's 2021-2026 scorecard, rather than examining only economically disadvantaged students without racial groups. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin ISD considers how to measure equity gaps in academic achievement

Austin ISD trustees are continuing to work out details of the 2021-2026 district scorecard, which measures progress on equity goals.

Austin City Council made changes to arts and library funding among other decisions Dec. 2. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Hall notebook: Arts community, homeless health care program get funding, plus other actions

City Council approved more than 50 items Dec. 2, changing the Office of Civil Rights, doling out funding and more.

Council Member Greg Casar speaks at a press conference outside City Hall ahead of a vote to approve an ordinance granting the Austin Office of Civil Rights enforcement power. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Office of Civil Rights granted new powers

An ordinance passed by Austin City Council on Dec. 2 creates additional civil and criminal penalties for discrimination.