5 Minutes with a Local: Jennifer Chenoweth of Fisterra Studio
The principal artist at Austin’s Fisterra Studio, Jennifer Chenoweth’s most recent project, XYZ Atlas, uses community input to map the emotional experiences of Austin residents and visitors. Read on to learn about Chenoweth’s monumental public-art project and her favorite hangouts in the city.
Your art has been shown in Austin, San Antonio, Kansas City, London, Miami, New York and Santa Fe – why did you decide to make Austin your home?
Austin is the mecca for the weird, creative and fun, and people travel here as if on a pilgrimage to see what it is all about. I visited Austin for the first time after I met singer Stevie Ray Vaughan at a concert in Oklahoma City, where I grew up. He encouraged me to come find him at Antone’s nightclub in Austin, which I did.
I received my master of fine arts from The University of Texas at Austin in 1999 and decided to stay. I had moved a lot and was ready to settle down and build a life and studio. The art scene has really grown since then, and I’ve always enjoyed music and dancing.
Tell us about XYZ Atlas. Why is the project significant?
XYZ Atlas grew out of a project that started as the Hedonic Map of Austin. I was thinking about how we form attachments to places through experiences; how we define our community by going to the same places for connection over and over again, like the farmers’ market or the Continental Club; and how to record our experiences.
The project blends visual art, psychology and technology, including handmade and digital artworks and interactive events and installations – and all of it depends on participants’ stories.