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.

Touching Grass

facilitated by Shannon Stott & Aryel René Jackson

Accompanying reflections on land present in both exhibitions This Land and HOST: Aryel René Jackson as well as Manik Raj Nakra’s mural at the Jones Center, we invite you to engage with nature in a series this season, Touching Grass at Laguna Gloria.

Join us in exploring our physical relationship to the landscape, engage with the history and function of native plants, and even grab kid-friendly art kits inspired by nature!

On this evening of Touching Grass at Laguna Gloria, we invite you to participate in a guided improvisational mindfulness walk facilitated by professional improviser and UT Lecturer, Shannon Stott, in conjunction with exhibiting artist Aryel René Jackson.

In conjunction with Aryel René Jackson's work on view at the Jones Center, Stott’s facilitation will respond to the relationship between the physical body, land, and storytelling - inviting the participants to do the same.

This walk is participatory and open-ended by nature, come curious and ready to play. Please come dressed comfortably for the outdoors.

On your way out, don't forget to grab your curated art kit (one adult & family friendly kit per registration is available). This particular kit includes materials to shape your landscape by carving an egg carton ecosystem.

For accommodations requests, please email

About Shannon Stott

Shannon Stott is the Creator and Director of Improv | On and Off the Stage, an Improv Production Company, producing shows and content that help people connect to themselves and others through Improv. Shannon has been performing and teaching Improv for over 25 years in the US and internationally. She uses Improv to highlight the importance of communication across cultures, genders and with self.

Shannon considers Improv a practice, encouraging people to engage with Improv as a way to discover more about themselves and others in order to bridge gaps in cultural understanding.

About Aryel René Jackson

Aryel (Ar-y/ee-el) René Jackson (they/them) (born 1991, Louisiana) is a Texas-based artist whose practice consists of what they call “Visual Essays,” lyrical film works which utilize soil, performance, mimicry, and installation sculpture to reflect on critical race theory and archeological studies. Jackson considers how visual, tangible, and experiential material data impacts perception when speculating on the past. Influenced by their Afro-Creole Louisiana heritage and their experience as a Black American growing up in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Jackson's work focuses on ancestral wisdom and the memory that land holds in transmitting knowledge in preparation for the future.

Jackson currently works in Austin, Texas, and teaches foundation courses at Texas State University in San Marcos. They are an alum of The University of Texas at Austin (2019), the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2019), the Royal College of Art Exchange Program (2018), and The Cooper Union (2013). Their films have screened at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2022); the Baltimore Museum of Art (2021); and The Momentary in collaboration with the Crystal Bridges Museum (2020). Jackson’s work has been exhibited at galleries and institutions such as Artpace, San Antonio (2022); Women & Their Work, Austin (2022); IDEA Lab, Art Gallery at Black Studies at The University of Texas at Austin (2021); Dallas Contemporary (2021); Jacob Lawrence Gallery, Seattle (2021); SculptureCenter, New York (2019); New Museum, New York (2019); Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans (2018); and the Studio Museum in Harlem (2016). In 2021, Jackson was awarded the Tito’s Art Prize.

Thanks to our promotional partners Earth Commons.