Last Chance: Andréa Caillouet and Flag Boy Twin at The Epitome Institute

For small art spaces — even ones with portentous names like the Epitome Institute — opening and closing parties are the times to count on visiting. In between, it’s usually “by appointment only.” But I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing; rather, it’s proof that we are an event-driven city, keeping parties closer to our hearts and custom than answering the duties of real estate.

Occupying a small room fronting an artist studio located just south of Brackenridge High, The Epitome Institute is “an atelier, research institute, think tank and cultural repository dedicated to aesthetic investigation,” with, continues the blurb on the website, “A history of mounting award-winning exhibitions, lectures and presentations

Open only since March 2, the esteemed staff: Curator Margaret Honeytruffle, (aka Meg Langhorne), Curator Alice Thud III (aka Donna Pardue), and Archivist Snow Nightingale, (aka Snyeg Solovyova), have big plans for art on the far-Southside. Yeah, it’s all a bit silly, but under the façade lurks real passion.

Find out for yourself Saturday, March 30, during the closing party for Andréa Caillouet’s “Golden Years,” an exhibition that takes a stab at the Shopping Channel and the “Buy now!” programming that fills the empty days of many elderly viewers, abetting (creating?) a compulsion to purchase knock-off junk that is touted as “priceless, one-of-a kind,” must-have items that “will never be seen again.” Yeah, you betcha.

The artist has taken the piles of items bought on TV — mostly jewelry — that her mother frantically acquired in her last days, and repurposed them as a display and warning of compulsion. While you may comfort yourself with thoughts of safety from such outside control, think again. We often speak of “spending time.” What voices are you listening to that guide you in making that purchase?

In counterpoint, there will be an appearance by Jeremiah Williams, aka Flag Boy Twin, a member of the Shining Star Hunters Mardi Gras Indian tribe. Relocated to Austin after Katrina devastated his home in New Orleans, Williams practices a tradition over a century-old — making a new feathered costume for Mardi Gras each year. Stop by to see some fancy feathers you’ll never find on TV, handcrafted by the wearer. Now, that’s a life well spent.

Free; 6-9pm Sat, March 30; Epitome Institute 222 Roosevelt, (210) 535-0918, epitomeinstitute.com. Flag Boy Twin performance 7-8pm.

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