Rebecca Marino began her relationship with Pump Project as a volunteer during her sophomore year at St. Edwards University and has been a part of the organization ever since. She is now the Co-Director of Pump Project with a particular focus on curation and development. From the beginning she was taken with the diversity of skills needed to run a hands-on, DIY, warehouse style gallery and studio complex. Now, as the Gallery Director and unofficial head of development, she does everything from painting pedestals and working with artists to writing grants and learning the ins and outs of city funding.
Now just over ten years old, Pump Project has secured itself as a staple in the Austin arts community. Joshua Green and Sean Gaulager started what was then called Shady Tree Studios ten years ago as a studio complex with a small gallery. Since its inception it has grown steadily and continues to do so. In the coming year there are plans to enlarge the gallery and studio spaces greatly by expanding into the adjoining warehouse space. This will mark a huge shift in Pump Project’s community impact by increasing both the studio space and gallery footprint.
In 2010 Marino was brought on to work with Flex Space, Pump Project’s satellite gallery. After three years and changes in leadership, Marino became Co-Director at Pump Project’s main space. Her goals for Pump are ambitious, exciting, and needed: to provide affordable studios, increase gallery space, engage with the community, and continue to foster the nascent residency program. All in all, Marino wants Pump Project to help in keeping young talent in Austin and minimizing the struggle that emerging artists face.
Coming from a background in art history and studio art, Marino is a curator, artist, and writer. Looking for a new critical outlook in Austin, Marino began Conflict of Interest with Thao Votang in 2015. This new project is a media outlet that covers the visual and literary arts communities, celebrating the tightly knit community in Austin. This new project is absolutely emblematic of Marino’s commitment to the arts in Austin. There are exciting things in the works for Pump Project and Marino in the next year- make sure to stay in the loop!
By Gracelee Lawrence