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Umlauf Family Partnership Dedicates Sculpture to Austin ISD's Lamar Fine Arts Academy

AUSTIN, Texas--Umlauf Family Partnership donated "The Birds," a bronze-cast sculpture created by Charles Umlauf to Austin ISD today at a dedication at Lamar Fine Arts Academy.

"This project would have been meaningful to my grandparents because it is an example of working together for a common good," Carla Umlauf, granddaughter of Charles Umlauf, said. "We are carrying on a tradition of giving and my family is making this gift in honor of the teachers and patrons of AISD, who make such an impact on our children and community every day."

The work was originally sculpted in 1960 for the Spirit of Flight fountain at Dallas' Love Field Airport. Now located off the library wing at Lamar Fine Arts Academy, the sculpture atrium is being transformed into an outdoor classroom space, serving as a visible reminder of the significant impact arts education has on the future.

"On behalf of the entire Austin Independent School District, I want to thank the Umlauf Family for their support of our programming," AISD Board of Trustees President Vincent Torres said. "This sculpture atrium will inspire students and staff for years to come, as a classroom space or as a place for contemplation or conversation."

The dedication included a small reception and art exhibit prior to the dedication and performances by Lamar's Chamber Orchestra, Scottie Singers and Jazz Factory.

"The Birds sculpture is a gift from the family of the artist that is a unique piece of art, which will serve as an inspiration to many students. I deeply appreciate the Umlauf Family Organization for this beautiful gift and I appreciate AISD for their support in creating such a wonderful courtyard in which to house the gift," Lamar Fine Arts Academy Principal George Llewelyn said. 

Now in its second year, Lamar Fine Arts Academy is AISD's middle school fine arts academy with representatives from throughout the district. Lamar offers all of its students fine arts opportunities in the following areas: band, choral music, classical guitar, dance, digital arts and media; orchestra, piano, theatre arts and visual arts.

In 1985, Charles and Angeline Umlauf gave their home, studio and 168 pieces of Umlauf sculpture to the City of Austin. Six years later, a new museum was built on adjoining city property with private funds raised under the leadership of Austin arts patron Roberta Crenshaw. In a partnership between Austin's private and public sectors, the Friends of the Umlauf Sculpture Garden organization funds, manages and maintains the museum, while the city's Parks and Recreation Department maintains the xeriscape garden.

For more information, please contact the Department of Innovation and Development at 512-414-4851.