Guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Lauren Gurgiolo has been a professional musician in Austin, TX for the past 13 years. Her instrumental virtuosity manifests through numerous instruments including: acoustic/ electric guitar, mandolin, and lap steel. Gurgiolo studied many forms of traditional and modern music privately and at the University of Texas at Austin (jazz performance). She is currently the lead guitar player for the internationally acclaimed band Okkervil River, whom she tours with around the world. Lauren has recorded three critically acclaimed albums with Okkervil: I am Very Far (2012), True Love Casts Out All Evil (2010) (with Austin legend Roky Erickson) and The Silver Gymnasium (2013), and she has performed on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Late Show With David Letterman, and Conan.
An avid and in-demand performer in her own right, Lauren plays regularly around Austin with some of the city’s brightest lights including: Neal Kassinoff (Hands on a Hard Body), Stanley Smith (Jazz Pharaohs, Asylum Street Spankers), Sahara Smith and Elizabeth McQueen (Asleep at the Wheel).
Gurgiolo has been the director for two inter-media installations; Calculated Carelessness, which received Project II funding from the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division in 2012 and SONO LUMINESCENCE, which received a Community Initiatives grant in 2013. A major focus of both of these projects was to bring a community of artists together from different mediums to curate an environment of immersive impact for participants.
A multi-faceted artist, Gurgiolo co-curated a musical exhibition to augment an American 20s exhibit at the Harry Ransom Center (2006-7) and co-created an installation at The Cathedral of Junk in conjunction with the Museum of Ephemerata (2005). She has booked/ curated concerts for her own projects and her colleagues at venues throughout Austin including Emo’s, Continental Club, The Elephant Room, Hotel Vegas, Flipnotics, Hole In The Wall, and the Carousel Lounge.
Gurgiolo composes for her main side project called The Dialtones. The ensemble is comprised of a host of talented and accomplished Austin musicians including: Karla Manzur (Alejandro Escovedo) on vocals, keys and vocal effects; Lindsay Green (Paula Nelson) on vocals, moog bass and effects; Michael St Clair (Okkervil River) on vocals and keys; Andrew Gerfers (The Conrads) on the drum set and drum machine; and Lauren Gurgiolo (Okkervil River) on guitar and effects. The experience and musicality of these musicians complete the material Gurgiolo has written her first inter-media project A Calculated Carelessness. This same ensemble will grow upon their experience together to perform the music for Bad Faith.
Lauren shares her talents through teaching private lessons to children and adults. She currently teaches youth ages 11-18 throughout East Austin middle and high schools with the organization Anthropos Arts. She also works with The Groundwork Music Project teaching music to preschool classes.
Hannah Baker is a Master’s candidate in Art Education at The University of Texas at Austin. She received her BFA in 2008 from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, Maryland, where she focused in sculpture and ceramics. Hannah continues to work in these mediums with a focus on installation.
Hannah also acted as an art consultant for NEXT Stage, a multi-purpose stage, during the 2011 and 2012 seasons of South by South West. In 2013, she headed the construction, with conceptual guidance from Lauren Gurgiolo, of Calculated Carelessness, an interactive art instillation. The following year she taught ceramic classes at Laguna Gloria Art School. As part of her thesis research, Hannah is currently investigating Visual Thinking Strategies — a visual art curriculum — and its effects on students with dyslexia.
As a toddler, Wendy cried every time she heard You Are My Sunshine and was very particular about nighttime stuffed animal placement. Many years later, she studied Art and Art History at The University of Georgia, wrote a lot of songs, and eventually moved to Austin, TX. There, she quickly realized that Ctrl+Z was much more efficient than a Kneadable Eraser. Since then, she has worked as a graphic and web designer/developer, animator, writer, song-crafter, production designer, and general creative problem-solver (myownroommedia.com).
She once wrote a column on Austinist.com (Hello, My Name Is), thrice played in a bunch of bands in Austin and Athens, GA (The Casting Couch, The Glen Gold, Hi Fi Mastodon), and many times has embarked on experimental theatrical journeys with Tongue & Groove Theatre and The Dialtones. She currently runs The Stuffed Animal Rescue Foundation (thesarf.org), occasionally shoots cans off of her porch from her bedroom with a Red Ryder BB gun, and plays as much volleyball as possible.
She has excellent hand-eye coordination and is intermittently working on a play or novel or mental exercise based on a fictional reality TV show involving advertising, marketing professionals, sadness, the internet, and outer space.
Production Design / Illustration / Video – The Incredible Shrinking Man, 7 Wonders of the World, Plus One, Eggheads (Tongue & Groove Theatre)
Installation Artist – Stuffed Animal Petting Zoo (The Stuffed Animal Rescue Foundation)
Columnist – Hello, My Name Is (Austinist.com)
Songwriter/Musician – The Casting Couch (band)
Interactive Advertising – Liberty Mutual, VH1, Mixtape Marketing
Installation Artist – Stuffed Animal Petting Zoo, May 2014
Installation Artist – Bad Faith, June 2015
Playwright – Birds As Pets, TBD