Maker in Residence

Meet the Maker: Steve Parker

June 13, 2020

Steve Parker is an artist, musician, and curator based in Austin, TX. He is the recipient of the Rome Prize, the Ashurst Prize (UK), the Tito’s Prize, a Fulbright, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The first (and so far only) virtual maker in residence, Parker continues to reside on the Amazeum's YouTube page after filming three segments for AmazeumYOU. Amazeum YOU launched in the spring of 2019, during the COVID-19 pandemic as a virtual location for museum experiences while the museum was temporarily closed.

Parker works with salvaged musical instruments, amateur choirs, marching bands, urban bat colonies, flocks of grackles, and pedicab fleets to investigate systems of control, interspecies behavior, and forgotten histories. His projects include elaborate civic rituals for humans, animals, and machines; listening sculptures modeled after obsolete surveillance tools; and cathartic transportation symphonies for operators of cars, pedicabs, and bicycles.

For his AmazeumYOU videos, Parker used common household items, like garden hoses, PVC pipes, balloons and tape to create a Digeridoo, Funnel Horn, and Balloon Saxophone

Parker has exhibited and performed at institutions, public spaces, and festivals internationally.  Highlights include the Contemporary Arts Center (New Orleans), the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, CUE Art Foundation (NY), the Fusebox Festival, the Gene Siskel Film Center (Chicago), the Guggenheim Museum, the Lincoln Center Festival, Los Angeles Philharmonic inSIGHT, the Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), MASS MoCA, Spoleto, SXSW, and Tanglewood. As a soloist and as an artist of NYC-based "new music dream team" Ensemble Signal, he has premiered 200+ new works.

Parker has been awarded support from the National Endowment for the Arts, New Music USA, the Copland Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, and the Mid America Arts Alliance. He is the Curator of SoundSpace at the Blanton Museum of Art, Executive Director of Collide Arts, and a faculty member at UTSA. He holds degrees in Math and Music from Oberlin, Rice, and UT Austin.