IMAGE: Queen Theater at Christmas, December 1946, photograph by Neal Douglass. Image courtesy Austin History Center, Austin Public Library   And   Lubaina Himid, Aunties, 2023. Sixty-four painted wood planks. Dimensions variable. Installation view, Lubaina Himid: Make Do and Mend, The Contemporary Austin – Jones Center on Congress Avenue, 2024. Artwork © Lubaina Himid. Courtesy the artist and Hollybush Gardens, London. Image courtesy The Contemporary Austin. Photograph by Alex Boeschenstein.

Finding Character in Art and Place: The Interplay Between Lubaina Himid: Make Do and Mend and 700 Congress

With The Contemporary Austin’s Registrar, Erin Coupal

Lubaina Himid’s Aunties, on view on the second floor of Make Do And Mend, are a continuation of a series of plank works she has done in increasing numbers with one significant difference for the set in Austin: all of the Aunties are made of found and salvaged material instead of fresh plywood. Inspired by the histories and stories evident throughout the building of the Jones Center, from the pink-stained concrete floors to the mishmash of wooden ceiling beams, Himid intentionally imbued the Aunties with characters of their own. Join us in this unique experience to hear from The Contemporary Austin's Registrar, Erin Coupal, on a review of some of these inspiring moments of the building, tracing back to the fascinating history of 700 Congress and the many identities it once carried.

The Jones Center will be open before and after the program. Feel free to come early or stay late to enjoy the exhibitions currently on view: Lubaina Himid: Make Do and Mend and HOST: Fusebox.

For accommodation requests, please email


Smiling woman (Erin Coupal) standing outdoors with trees in the background.

Erin Coupal is the Registrar and Collections manager at The Contemporary Austin. She has a BA in Art History and MS in Information Studies, both from The University of Texas at Austin. Her thesis focused on the institutional history of The Contemporary Austin from an archival perspective. Erin Coupal has worked with The Contemporary Austin since 2015.