SXSW: Eco Light Garden offers peace of mind among festival madness

Traffic, crowds, long lines and noisy venues are all part of the SXSW experience — small inconveniences that punctuate the otherwise endless sea of entertainment to be had.

However, there is some quiet serenity to be found in the Eco Light Garden.

Just a hop, skip and a jump from the venues downtown, the Eco Light Garden has taken up residence in Republic Square Park in front of the Austin Federal Courthouse.

The exhibit houses several different art pieces, some of which contain interactive elements. Walking down the dimly lit paths at night provides the best viewing opportunity as a display of lights comes alive with colors upon passing.

Looking toward the courthouse, illuminated by a projector, a tree takes on the familiar silhouette of a human face.

Another interesting display has park-goers make their own art by making sound: singing or clapping produces light effects on an overhead canopy.

“This is definitely a welcome break from the crowds,” said Austin local and SXSW attendee Heather Perry while taking in the sound and light display Wednesday night.

Ample seating and open spaces already make Republic Park a great place to stop and take a breather from the sights and sounds of SXSW; the current Eco Light Garden display only makes the park an even more appealing destination.

So if you find yourself in need of some quiet time in between music and movies, make the short jaunt down to Republic Square Park off Guadalupe and Fifth Streets.