Heeding the call: Local artists find inspiration in grackles


Carly Weaver hated grackles.

They’d eat her dog’s food, relieve themselves on her deck and interrupt the morning quiet with their squawking.

Unsure of what else to do, Weaver, an artist, decided to start painting pictures of them.

“I liked the irony of giving such prestige to what most people consider a pest,” Weaver said. “Now it has become a way too serious study in grackle behavior.”

Since painting her first grackle six or seven years ago, Weaver has now produced hundreds of pieces featuring the bird that Austinites love to hate. She’s sold them everywhere from the Pecan Street Festival to the Blue Genie Art Bazaar to Parts & Labour boutique, Atown and Austin Art Garage, and she also offers a variety of grackle artwork online at carlyweaver.com.

“They’re part of the background to everyday life. They’re on the telephone poles driving home from work, in the morning waking you up, at lunch trying to steal your fries. They’re there all the time, and they come with great sound and great personality,” Weaver said. “They symbolize Austin.”

CREATIVE GRACKLES

Seeking grackle-inspired art? Here are some other Austin artists who have featured our city’s famous bird. Know more? Email kfinan@statesman.com and we will add to the list.

  • Nancy Hallmark. Hallmark, a potter who recently participated in the West Austin Studio Tour, created a series of grackle-wear dishes. View her work or contact her at squareup.com/market/hallmark-potteryok.
  • George Hampton. Hampton paints vibrant, inky renditions of Austin’s beloved (or reviled?) bird. You might have seen them at Jack Allen’s or Salt Traders Coastal Cooking locations. Learn more at facebook.com/George-Hampton-211654398867058.
  • Christy Stallop. Grackles in luchador masks? Yes, please. That’s among the themes you’ll find in Christy Stallop’s eye-catching artwork. Check it out at christystallop.com.



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