Laguna Gloria

Laguna Gloria is one of my very favorite places. It has a history that's part of Texas history. Originally a home of Clara Driscoll, it sits on twelve acres of land at the end of West 38th Street that reaches out into Lake Austin; it comprises a villa (Austin Museum of Art exhibition space and offices), an art school, a gatehouse, and formal garden and picturesque grounds.

Whole Laguna Gloria property from above (courtesy Google)

Closeup of villa, circular drive, art school, and amphitheater and lagoon (courtesy Google)

The Web photo album on this page makes its appearance thanks to Julia Hart, who remembers how long I've been visiting Laguna Gloria with my cameras. The photos below were scanned in from my black & white full frame 8 x 10 inch prints; the earliest one dates from the mid-1970s, with most from the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The Place

Blessedly, the more things have changed, the more they've stayed the same, with restoration and renovation but not destruction, and with plenty of natural beauty.

The circular driveway entry to the villa, back in the days when the museum gift shop shared that space

Poetesses: The Umlauf sculpture in the upper garden

Summer light and shadow on the villa porch facing the lake

Nancy Holt's Time Span artwork out on the peninsula

Time Span passion, 1983

Artwork recreation of Temple of Love being dismantled, early 1990s

Me on the clay monster path in 1990

Fiesta at Laguna Gloria

There was nothing quite like Fiesta at Laguna Gloria. Its last year was 1998, after which it morphed into the The Austin Fine Arts Festival held downtown at Republic Square and then into Art City Austin on West 1st Street — not a bad event, but not the same at all. Part of the experience was the shuttle bus ride to get to Laguna Gloria; part was the weather (Fiesta was held in May; if it was wet they put down a carpet of hay on the lower peninsula; sometimes it was extremely steamy.)

Art Festival

The serious business of Fiesta was the art sale to benefit Laguna Gloria; there were entertainers to set the mood.

The Fiesta scene in 1990

A handcolored photo by Debra Dupont I bought in 1988

The art auction space in the amphitheather in 1991

Booth of Three Tacky Texans in 1991

Hat art/artist in 1995

Nancy Scott performing on lower peninsula in 1992

Fiesta Concessions

Fiesta brought a lot of community involvement, notably the volunteer concession stand workers.

Chalupas and beer (for adults) were Fiesta staples, and the Four Seasons statues participated

Volunteers getting into the Fiesta spirit in 1988

Volunteers drumming up business in 1991

Little Fiesta

The children had their own worlds at Fiesta.

Adolescents with cascarones near the amphitheater in mid 1970s

Adolescent girls ditto in 1991

Girls and boys together ditto in 1988

Two girls ditto in 1986

Boys ditto in 1986

Photo op 1986

Fish pond 1988

Blow up fun 1990

Dunking booth 1990 & 1991

Clown 1990

Portrait painting 1992

Kid art 1991

One for Daddy 1992

WomanSpirit Conference in 1993

Pat Cuney organized WomanSpirit conferences in Austin in the years 1991-1995, and the EcoFeminism: Earth Magic conference was suitably held at Laguna Gloria in April of 1993.

Marsha Gomez and her Madre del Mundo statue/altar

Presenters Jade and Starhawk

Shamaan Ochaum in the Medicine Wheel out on the peninsula

Walking the Medicine Wheel

Marsha Gomez — Earth Art/Earth Magic

Tomarra Stone and Rhonda Young — Heaven on Earth

Pat Cuney and Paula Gunn Allen

The Lagoon

Every few years, the LCRA has lowered the water level in Lake Austin in an effort to control the duckweed. This event brings a different look to the Laguna Gloria "lagoon."

The lagoon in 1988


The lagoon in 1993

Lagoon closeup No. 1

Lagoon closeup No. 2

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Last modified on November 25, 2013 by Kay Keys (