Laguna Gloria, a sculpture park belonging to The Contemporary Austin, sits along the shoreline of Lake Austin. It consists of an old Italianate villa on several acres of wooded trails and lawns, providing a respite from the city with a view. Laguna Gloria, which loosely translates as “glorious lake” in both Spanish and Italian, is nothing short of stunning in every aspect: the property, the villa, and the exhibits.
Like most Austin area businesses, The Contemporary Austin at Laguna Gloria hosts a variety of events in order to engage and entertain local and visiting community members of all ages. For children specifically, every second Saturday of the month, there is a free family day, which allows families to interact with and create art together in a guided setting. The Contemporary Austin also frequently hosts art-related field trips to support art education in local schools, which are usually done in a series of visits throughout the year. Perhaps most interesting for families and children is to visit the permanent exhibits, most of which can serve as learning opportunities.
For example, the “Lost Money” exhibit is located on the back porch of the villa, and consists of thrown coins, which have been affixed to the concrete on the ground. Some of these coins are older currency, and include silver dollars and half dollars, creating a history lesson. Or alternatively, children can work on their money counting skills and add up the coins in a particular section of the patio. Some sculptures are also site-specific, such as a lifeguard, who appears to be keeping watch over the lake, fueling imaginative stories for the young — and the young at heart. Another site-specific sculpture also serves as a science lesson: The Iron Tree Trunk appears to be a rotting tree trunk, perhaps from a lighting strike or disease. However, its medium is cast iron, and as a result, has been known to change over time with weathering and oxidization. Of course not all the creative fun is left for the kids, though! Laguna Gloria hosts movie nights in the summer on Fridays, and there is an art school, which hosts a variety of classes year round, many of which are taught by artists. There is also Camp Contemporary, a grown-up art camp, which consists of food and beverages, workshops, live music, and late-night festivities.