School of Art, School of Dance, School of Music, School of Theatre, Film & Television, University of Arizona Museum of Art

Arizona Arts will be centerstage at the University of Arizona’s Wonder House at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, March 11-13.

Artists including our students and faculty, members of our alumni family and more will let the world of SXSW know about the diversity and quality of creative inquiry happening in Tucson.

Originally scheduled for the spring of 2020, SXSW was one of the first big events to cancel due to the pandemic. This March, the University of Arizona will play a major role in welcoming this annual event for creators and tech creativity with the SXSW Wonder House. The University is partnering with Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian steakhouse, in the heart of Austin, across the street from Austin Convention Center, the main site for the event.

The University plans to bring the sights, sounds, colors, and smarts of the Sonoran Desert to SXSW. 

>> Visit the SXSW Wonder House website for updates for latest information.
>> The ‘Wonder House’ makes its debut at SXSW
>> 2022 SXSW Conferences and Festivals

Arizona Arts in Austin, Jessica Gonzales


From 11a – 8p daily

Seeds of Wonder
A School of Art alumna, Jessica Gonzales (BFA ’12, 2D Art) voted Tucson’s Best Visual Artist for the last three years, will be painting a 30-foot-tall mural in front of Fogo de Chao all weekend long when the light is good.  

Through dance, music and interstellar visualizations, witness the birth of a star. Produced by a large transdisciplinary team led by Yuanyuan (Kay) He, and includes Chris Impey, Winslow Burleson, Hayley Meier, Carson Scott and others. Surround Stage

Sonoran Surroundscape
An immersive audio/visual experience that inspires users to reflect on the relationships between the colors, form, and sounds extracted from the desert. Scored by Yuanyuan (Kay) He. Surround Stage

360 Shorts 
Imagine you are at the center of the action. With these 360 VR film shorts, young filmmakers surround you with horror, insanity, and daily life dramas. The action is all around you. VR Bar

Ripple Effect
Artist Dorsey Kaufmann (MFA ’20, Illustration + Design) makes water contamination beautiful and easy to comprehend. Digital Oasis

Blind River
Alex Turner‘s border wall game cameras capture many unexpected things at night. Turner earned his MFA from the School of Art in 2020. Digital Oasis

Wasl (Union)
Sama Alshaibi’s work examines connections between cultures under threat of displacement. Alshaibi is a professor of Photography, Video and Imaging at the School of Art. She was named a Guggenheim Fellow in Photography in 2021. Digital Oasis

Lifetimes of Listening
The Story Studio by Brian Moon, associate professor at the Fred Fox School of Music, and Dan Kruse (MM ’12, Ethnomusicology) is a place to explore your musical memories. Digital Oasis

Arizona Arts in Austin, XIXA


Starting at 9p from the Entertainment Stage 

A two-piece pop group of Patsy Gelb and Christian Blunda, inspired by late 70s and early 80s electronic, disco, and pop – a one-way ticket to a sparkling, synth-based dreamworld of their own ongoing design.

Experience the dark, psychedelic rock-cumbia groove of this quintessentially Sonoran Desert band – a blend of Tom Waits-style vocals and irresistible dance beats. Singer Brian Lopez (BA ’06, Music), who performed on the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ digital stage in 2020 as part of the Arts Across America series.

Arizona Arts in Austin


Awe Walks
Jennie Gubner / Sydney Streightiff
(Various start times, Meet at the Wonder House)

Take a moment during the hustle of SXSW to creatively explore and document the awe-inspiring heart of Austin. Recent neuroscience research shows the health benefits of going on short walks while looking for things that inspire and awe. Awe walks are affordable, accessible, and uplifting, and have been shown to reduce stress and promote emotions like empathy and compassion. Join Jennie and Sydney from the UArizona Applied Intercultural Arts Research Program who will teach you how to use creative prompts to enhance awe walking as they send you out to help them document awe in Austin.

Opera for the Future: The Andree Expedition
Cynthia Stokes / Peter Torpey
3p, Surround Stage

This 360 VR Opera is a prototype where an audience of one experiences the tragedy unfold from virtual pack ice alongside the singer and pianist. This immersive tech is a powerful tool to solve short- and long-term challenges for the opera community seeking a new audience, and audience members not comfortable attending an opera performance.

Arizona Arts in Austin, Chelsea Farrar


Creative Encounters in Awe Walking
Jennie Gubner / Sydney Streightiff
2p, Rooftop Stage

Join us for an interactive deep dive into the awe walk mapping project. Recent research shows that going on walks looking for things that inspire childlike wonder can promote wellness and decrease stress. Learn about it, and how creative prompts, documentation, and sharing platforms can help you develop an awe-walking practice to promote healthy aging across the lifespan. If you came on a Friday awe walk with us, you just might find your photos here!

Forget Mascots. The Native Representation TV Needs
Sierra Teller Ornelas
2:30p, Austin Convention Center, Floor 4, Rm 13AB

Panel discussion with University of Arizona alumna Sierra Teller Ornelas, show runner, executive producer, co-creator of the television series, “Rutherford Falls” on Peacock

The Power of Representation in Preventing LGBTQ+ Youth Suicide
Chelsea Farrar / Russ Toomey
4p, Rooftop Stage

Mapping Q is an arts-based suicide prevention program for LGBTQ+ youth in Arizona. Find insight and inspiration into how Mapping Q provides youth with the language, tools, and voice to overcome societal discrimination and stigma. The MQ research collaboration suggests the key ingredients to LGBTQ+ youth survival and thriving are access, being seen, representation, and having a voice.

Conversation: The Thief Collector
Allison Otto, Caryn Capotosto, Swell Chan
7p, Surround Stage

A new documentary, “The Thief Collector,” will premiere at SXSW 2022 on Sunday, March 13. On Saturday, at the Arizona Wonder House, the film’s director, Allison Otto, and producer, Caryn Capotosto, will chat with Texas Tribune Editor-in-Chief Sewell Chan about the making of the movie about the 1985 theft of Willem de Kooning’s “Woman-Ochre,” one of the most valuable paintings of the 20th century, vanished into the Arizona desert after being cut from its frame at the University of Arizona Museum of Art. The $160 million painting was found hanging in the home of Jerry and Rita Alter in rural New Mexico in 2017.


Touching the Stars Sensor Demonstration
Yuanyuan (Kay) He / Devin Bayly / Hayley Meier
1p, Rooftop Stage

See and try motion sensors paired with thermal cameras through a series of interactive art modules as was used in StellarScape.

Yuanyuan (Kay) He, Winslow Burleson, Chris Impey
2p, Surround Stage, premiere
3p, Surround Stage, producer Q&A

It’s a story of a massive star, from its birth to its death, echoing the theme of darkness and light. It’s a story about us. We are stardust brought to life. StellarScape is an immersive multimedia piece synthesizing music, dance, science, visual art, and technology. The film is an interpretation of the live performance which fused kinesthetic and acoustic sensing with cosmic simulation, in real time.

Diversifying Entertainment
Brad Slater, Talent Agent/WME
7p, Surround Stage

Brad Slater, the 2019 Alumnus of the Year for the College of Fine Arts, will be in conversation with Andrew Schulz, vice president for the arts, discussing the latest developments in the entertainment industy. Since earning his degree in Media Arts from the University of Arizona in 1996, Slater has had a successful 20-year career in talent representation. He currently is a senior partner and motion picture talent agent at the prestigious William Morris Endeavor Agency, where he represents some of the biggest names in the industry, including Lebron James, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer, Ronda Rousey, Michael Strahan, and Odell Beckham Jr.