IMAGE: Aryel René Jackson, For the love we need for ourselves. (detail), 2023. Topsoil, gouache paint, clay, sand, and flock on foam and wood. 96 x 48 x 42 inches. Installation view, HOST: Aryel René Jackson, The Contemporary Austin – Jones Center on Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas, 2023. Artwork © Aryel René Jackson. Courtesy the artist. Image courtesy The Contemporary Austin. Photograph by Alex Boeschenstein.

Film Screening & Q+A with Aryel René Jackson

Join us at Laguna Gloria for an evening screening and Q+A with exhibiting artist Aryel René Jackson.

Jackson’s film, A Welcoming Place, 2020–22, is a poetic rumination on place and belonging in Austin, Texas, where the artist has been based since 2017. The 30-minute film comprises of six intergenerational conversations with Black and Brown Austinites, highlighting each individual’s relationship to the city of Austin. Their reflections are layered with found footage of US and British weather balloon systems, archival documentation of Black and Brown Austin residents, and new footage shot by Jackson of sites of former Freedman communities in Austin. The resulting patchwork of imagery and oral narratives conveys a collective, embodied history of Austin’s rapid gentrification and ongoing racist past.

Following the screening, we will hear from the artist in a Q+A joined by Vladimir Mejia and facilitated by Curator Julie Le. They will reflect on A Welcoming Place, explore behind the scenes of the artist’s new work in progress, the HOST exhibition, and more.

Advance registration is encouraged. Laguna Gloria is free and open to the public on this evening, feel free to stay and enjoy the grounds after the program. Blankets and/or seating are welcome.

For any accommodation requests, please contact Simone Alexander at


Vladimir Mejia is a multi-discipline artist, one half of artist duo Rossie Dustin, an independent curator, and the social media director at Co-Lab Projects in Austin, TX. He received a B.F.A. in Studio Art from the University of Texas in 2014 and now resides in Kyle, TX. Rooted in conceptual art, his work incorporates cathartic elements of his lived experiences as a first-generation American from a single-parent household. He explores subject matters such as politics, identity, generational divides and self-care through the use of humor, abstraction, writing and interaction.