Our season theme is HOME. We will dive into the natural world, culture, and human connection, and we’ll be inviting you to participate all along the way! We hope you’ll join us for the culmination of this project, when our Artist-in-Residence Marek Pasieczny’s monumental new work based on HOME will premiere on February 18. Learn more here


This week we had the pleasure of speaking with Joanna Gutt-Lehr,  Executive Director of Dotdotdot Connect.

Joanna introduced us to the incredible Polish poster artist, Leszek Zebrowski, whose work will be featured in fall and spring exhibits in our loft space at The Rosette! 

In Austin, Joanna has worked to expand awareness of different cultures, illuminate the connections between mathematics, art, and music, and foster deeper appreciation and understanding between artists and the community. Joanna shared,

“I was born and raised in Warsaw, Poland. Our house was full of books, discussions about history, politics, and … math. My parents were WWII survivors. I think it must have been the reason for the unspoken message they conveyed that education and art is what nobody can take away from you. Despite living in Poland while the country was still behind the iron curtain, I look at my life there with nostalgia and love. I lived there during the Solidarity anticommunist rebellion and the martial law but left for the US before the collapse of communism

Austin has been my home since 1990. I have been teaching Mathematics for a good while, currently as part of the math department faculty at the Texas State University in San Marcos. 

In 2018, I spearheaded a series of annual events at Texas State University that highlights interdisciplinary connections of mathematics with other fields geared at the general public – the first event had a theme of Math and Visual Arts when we hosted a wonderful professor of Mathematics and artist from Southwestern University, Dr. Fumiko Futamura. Since then, we have played with Math & Music, Math & Politics, Math & Diseases, and most recently – Math & Ethics.” 

Outside of being an inspiring educator, Joanna is the head of an amazing organization, Dotdotdot Connect, whose mission is to provide a meeting place for diverse communities to experience art together and create opportunities for local Austin area artists to connect with artists from around the world. Joanna shared, 

“We founded Dot Dot Dot Connect in 2020. There are four of us so far: Anna Zieleniewska, Marcelina Gray, Agnieszka McDowell, and I. The idea was that there are so many connections to explore between creative fields, artists, organizations that see art as means to enrich communities – and often they are in isolation or separated because of the urge to categorize. There are many wonderful groups in ATX – why not connect? Collaboration through art between cultures – like math – is natural and the common language and passion are there. 

We have curated a mural in Austin (at The Yard), came up with the idea and co-organized a Bike Tour along murals and mosaics on the streets of Austin, co-organized a music concert in support of children affected by the war in Ukraine. We created an outdoor poster happening in Zilker park in support of the Polish women demonstrating for their rights. On October 21, we are planning the opening of a large music posters exhibit by one of the most acclaimed Polish artists of the genre, Leszek Zebrowski – the show will be on view in Ao5 Gallery in Arboretum at least through November 6. In most of these projects we collaborated with other organizations or connected international artists with Austin artists.”

This season at ACG we are so grateful to collaborate with a phenomenal Polish composer and guitarist, Marek Pasieczny, as our Artist-in-Residence which makes this connection to Polish poster art extra special. Joanna shared a little bit about why this medium is so important: 

“Poster art was part of my every day in Poland, you walked by large barrel like posts, especially in the cities, covered with huge size posters advertising theater plays, concerts, films. These were nothing like what we saw (and see) in the West. Not a drop of commercialism. They were designed by amazing artists and became their way to experiment with avant-garde ideas, forms, and approaches liberated from commercial considerations. Most of the posters were executed in a painterly fashion, with handcrafted typography and rich metaphors and symbolism. There is a term Polish School of Posters that describes this phenomenon. In the communist times, posters were an exception that mostly escaped the censorship – a conversation within the society , the type that could not be easily conducted in words. So, I loved them. I even brought a few with me when I moved to the US. Then, years later through 2019, within my work organizing the Austin Polish Film Festival, I curated annual Polish poster art exhibits. There are still fantastic poster artists in Poland – ones of a kind. It is exciting to present some of this amazing work in Austin.

I am in awe of how much ACG does for the community, the quality of people involved and their work, as well as with the caliber of musicians ACG brings to Austin. I reached out to Matt in the summer to explore possible partnerships in building connections between live music and visual art. I am overwhelmed with gratitude to Matt Hinsley and Joe Williams who are generously contributing their time and ideas to make our collaboration result in not one but two poster art installations at the Rosette! Joe suggested showing Polish film posters to celebrate the live music with silent films events and then music posters to accompany the residency and concerts by the Polish guitarist invited by the ACG, Marek Pasieczny. We are beyond excited!”

We are so excited and grateful to explore different mediums, connect deeper with our community, and expand our horizons in our 2022-23 season, Home.

Read a beautiful story about our Music & Healing program here.

Carmen by Leszek Zebrowski