February 4, 2023

Pump Project plans new programming at temporary location


After losing its long-time home in mid 2018 — and spending months in a peripatetic existence — Pump Project has announced that is plans for a six-month run of exhibitions and programs at Cloud Tree Studios & Gallery.

Pump’s first exhibition — “Women of West Go East” — opens May 3. Curated by Laura Johnson, the show will feature women artists participating in the West Austin Studio Tour.

Cloud Tree Studios & Gallery is a studio and event space in a converted Quonset hut on E. Fifth St.

For 13 years, the non-profit Pump Project operated out of a 20,000-square-foot warehouse in East Austin, a building offering affordable studios to artists as well as exhibition opportunities. At its peak, the Pump building housed 40 artist studios and two galleries, one of which was operated by Pump Project.

Organization representatives also said that Pump Project was partnering with zine producers Almost Real Things to currently offer a subsidized shared studio space for two artists that will also result in an exhibition opportunity. Pump and Almost Real Things are also collaborating on a effort to find shared creative studios, co-working space, and community meeting rooms.

After vacating its building in July 2018, Pump Project looked to join several arts groups that had planned to move into the Pop-Up Riverside Arts District, a proposed complex of temporary buildings on S. Pleasant Valley Road which was originally scheduled to be open Jan 1. The temporary arts district project is underwritten by Presidium Group, developers who have a major stake in the surrounding East Riverside neighborhood including plans for a large mixed-use development. Austin Creative Alliance is contracted to be the manager of the Pop-up Arts District.

However in December, the city code department declined to issue the project a permit citing concerns over the wind resistance of the planned tent-like structures that have reinforced walls. The Pop-up Arts District project has also faced considerable protest from anti-gentrification activists.

Jeanne Claire van Ryzin
Jeanne Claire van Ryzin
An award-winning arts journalist, Jeanne Claire van Ryzin is the founder and editor-in-chief of Sightlines.

Editor's picks