W Austin Hotel to Exhibit Selected Works from VAC

Contact:
Jade Walker
press@utvac.org
(512) 471–3713

For Immediate Release:
Thursday, January 6, 2011

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

Austin, TX — 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.”

About the Visual Arts Center

The Visual Arts Center (VAC) opened its doors this fall to showcase a series of inaugural exhibitions throughout the 25,000 square-foot space, which features five state-of-the-art galleries and three inviting public spaces. This beautiful facility, with its airy galleries and inspiring art exhibits, draws students, faculty, guest artists and creative voices from around the world to form an intellectual and emotional center of UT’s dynamic arts community. Situated in the heart of the university, at the corner of Trinity and 23rd streets, the VAC serves as a hub for artistic expression, education, and innovation.

About Stratus Properties, Inc.

Stratus Properties Inc. is a diversified real estate company engaged in the acquisition, development, management and sale of commercial, multi-family and residential real estate properties located primarily in the Austin, TX area. Stratus Properties Inc. is a publicly traded company and is listed on the NASDAQ under the symbol STRS. Learn more at www.stratusproperties.com.

About Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds

The Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds (CJUF) are the country’s largest private real estate funds focused on the development of urban properties in underserved neighborhoods. A joint venture between Canyon Capital Realty Advisors and an entity of Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s Magic Johnson Enterprises, the funds were formed to identify, enhance and capture value through the development and redevelopment of real estate in densely populated, ethnically diverse urban communities.  The funds’ objectives are to seek current income and capital appreciation and, in addition to meeting investment goals, the funds are committed to providing for and fostering economic opportunities for the residents of the urban neighborhoods in which Canyon-Johnson invests. With nearly $2 billion in committed equity capital, the funds are positioned to facilitate more than $8 billion in development and revitalization in major U.S. metropolitan areas. For more information, visit www.cjuf.com.