Austin, Texas. This is where the 2011 Western Association for Art Conservation (WAAC) annual meeting is being held and where I’ll be for the rest of the week (Oct. 19-22). I’m excited about being here. It’s my first time at a WAAC meeting and my first time in Austin. And I’ve only heard good things about both.
Today was the first day of the conference. Conference attendees had the option of going on tours of different conservation labs on the campus of UT Austin. To kick off the conference, an opening reception was held at the Harry Ransom Center. Due to flight issues, I missed most of the day’s activities and arrived just in time to catch the tail end of the opening reception. The lobby of the Ransom Center was a nice venue for the reception, and the food (and glasses of wine) certainly hit the spot after a day of traveling.
Though I’ve never been to a WAAC conference before, and I have only participated in a very small portion of it so far, it already has a different feel than the large AIC Annual Meetings I always go to. I know it’s smaller in size in terms of number of attendees and papers, but I think that it gives the conference a more intimate and laid back feeling. It will actually be easier to speak to presenters about the work they just shared, catch up with colleagues, and meet new ones. I’m looking forward to the format of the conference where the sessions combine papers on different specialties and I’ll have the opportunity to listen to information on topics I don’t normally hear about. From what I’ve heard, Austin seems like a great city to hold the conference in, filled with many great places to eat, to hear live music and maybe even take in some line dancing.
Tomorrow is the first day of presentations and am eagerly awaiting to hear about the work being conducted by fellow conservators. I’m also looking forward to the banquet tomorrow night (which I hear is always fun) and exploring more of Austin while I’m here. It looks like it’s going to be a great week.