Austin is mostly famous for its youth-centered nightlife and college-age shenanigans. But there is a quieter, more contemplative, more family-oriented side of Austin, and one of the best examples of it is the Umlauf Sculpture Garden.
The garden is named for the great Austin-area sculptor and art teacher Charles Umlauf, who taught At UT-Austin for 40 years and in 1985 donated his home and grounds for use as a sculpture garden and repository. Being a former home, the Umlauf is big on promoting art and sculpture to families and children. The garden features Family Days, free and open to all, with hands-on programs designed for those with children ages four to ten. There are stories, garden yoga, demonstrations, and live music.
But the Umlauf offers plenty for the serious artist or connoisseur as well, with numerous sculptures and works of art, lectures, and ever-changing exhibits that keep the traditions of Charles Umlauf and his love of art and sculpture alive and flourishing. These events are also free.
If you just want to browse around in an actual sanctuary, away from the noise and traffic of downtown and anything connected with I-35, you can stroll the serene grounds by yourself and have only the art to talk to.
The current exhibition is Eve & Shiva, sculpture by Charles Umlauf and Gene Owens, which opens to the public on May 9.