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Austin Art Talk Podcast

Author: Scott David Gordon

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The goal of the podcast is to facilitate connections with and to learn from the successes, struggles, life experience, and wisdom of the people featured, most of whom live and create in Austin, Texas. The honest conversational flow of these weekly long form interviews lends itself to some really great insights and information that is available to anyone who wants to listen. Join us to explore the origins, stories, lessons, lives and work of those in our community who are at the forefront of creative expression. The podcast is hosted by photographer, art enthusiast and collector, Scott David Gordon.
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"At this point what makes me the most excited about the business, is trying to figure out how to build something that can be a sustainable platform for a number of different artists. It’s so hard to make a living in Austin as an artist or musician. Being able to bring people in and have us all working together on this thing has felt incredibly satisfying. To be able to stand back and watch these items being made by these people who I care so much about. I’m so proud of them and am excited to see where it will go because I am so inspired by them and all of their hard work."Kathie Sever founded her company Fort Lonesome almost 20 years ago, which creates custom chain stitch embroidered western wear for local Austinites as well as musicians and celebrities flaunting their elaborate wears all over the world. In the interview we talk about her artistic origins and upbringing, her time living on a ranch in Montana, how she ended up finding and learning chain stitch embroidery and what that is, the many challenges she’s faced both professionally and personally growing the business, her awesome team of employees, and how she never really gets to meet the celebrities they work with and she’s OK with that. I love how candid Kathie is about the struggles she has had growing her business and how inspired she is by the people she works with everyday.https://files.fireside.fm/file/fireside-uploads/images/4/41335247-836c-4f4a-8a8b-aeca55f3227a/gfScSAGU.jpgKathie and I at the Fort Lonesome shop in East Austin.Text courtesy of the Fort Lonesome website.AboutFort Lonesome is a design-forward custom western wear and chain-stitch embroidery studio based in Austin, TX. We work collaboratively with our clients to create works that capture the stories of their wearers, in an effort to create pieces that slowly and carefully consider the symbiosis of art, narrative, and technician-ship. Our process is led by considerations of necessity and sustainability, and our designs are inspired by the natural world and its visible and invisible energies.StoryCompany founder Kathie Sever began working in western wear in 2000. She found herself spending a fair amount of time returning to her attempts to rebuild and make functional a hundred-year-old chainstitch embroidery machine she’d purchased. These machines have a legacy of connectedness with much of western wear’s most famous tailors. At that time, information about or mentors in the use of these machines was near to nil, so the learning curve was long and slow. But after many years of tinkering and communicating with some far-away fellow comrades, the gifts these machines, and their ability to confer the energy and individualism of their operators, resulted in the birth of Fort Lonesome in the fall of 2012.In the coming months and years the team at Fort Lonesome grew to include first Dana Falconberry, then soon after, Christina Hurt Smith and Amrit Khalsa, each of whom brought to the table strong backgrounds in diverse art and design, and whose collaborative approach to working together grew into a shared aesthetic and style.Since then the company has continued to evolve and grow, but slowly and always with the intention of pushing the boundaries of this long lost art form.Some of the subjects we discuss:IntroHaving a platformThe spotlight/feedbackHaving employeesSacrifices/skillsYou have to go through itFinding your wayStaying connectedBuilding a businessMultiple voicesUnseen aspectsEgo/being a leaderWho am I without thisSelf growth/helpGrowing up in CaliParents and the outdoorsDad’s photography careerMom’s sewing influenceStudying art in schoolPainting/teaching?Montana experienceWestern wear Being in to clothesAustin/marriage/children Starting to sewChildrens clothing lineBusiness got too bigLearning chain stitchRe-brand/Ryan RhodesCSE vintage machinesHow chain stitch worksEveryone on the teamHelp with the businessGrowth vs’ reactingNext phase/Saying NoValuing the workFeeling deservingSustainabilityDealing with celebritiesPutting creativity to workLove of the teamGetting back to makingThis interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian (http://stankillian.com/main/)Support this podcast. (http://www.austinarttalk.com/supportpodcast)
Episode 71: Deborah Roberts

Episode 71: Deborah Roberts

2019-10-0401:10:35

"I’m going to continue to push my work forward. The work has always come first. It has to be the work, because it’s no good if it’s not. That’s my philosophy. I don’t push that on anyone else. That’s just always been my thing. That the work has to do what it needs to do."In this highly anticipated followup to my first interview with Deborah from March of 2018, we sit down to talk about all of the wonderful and sometimes challenging aspects of her amazing career over the last year and a half since we last spoke. From grants to residencies to gallery representation in Los Angeles and London, it has been a will ride. But don’t think she is an overnight success. Her work ethic and passion have carried her though over four decades of pursing art to where she is now. As they say, luck is when opportunity meets preparation. Deborah shares how her work has been evolving and where it is headed, her studio practice, as well as giving us a peek into some ideas for her upcoming one women show at The Contemporary Austin a year from now. I think Deborah proves that hard work, integrity, and persistence can change your life and the lives of others in a positive way. She is even planning to start a foundation to help other artists get the help that she so dearly needed to grow her career early on. If you haven heard our first conversation that covers the history of her life and career before last year, have a listen to Episode 19.Artist statment and Bio courtesy of Deborah's website.ARTIST STATEMENTWhether I was aware of it or not, otherness has been at the center of my consciousness since the beginning of my artistic career. My early ideals of race and beauty were shaped by and linked through paintings of renaissance artists and photographs in fashion magazines. Those images were mythical, heroic, beautiful, and powerful and embodied a particular status that was not afforded equally to anyone I knew. Those images influenced the way I viewed myself and other African Americans, which led me to investigate the way our identities have been imagined and shaped by societal interpretations of beauty. Having one’s identity dismantled, marginalized and regulated to non-human status demands action. This led me to critically engage image-making in art history and pop-culture, and ultimately grapple with whatever power and authority these images have over the female figure.My art practice takes on social commentary, critiquing perceptions of ideal beauty. Stereotypes and myths are challenged in my work; I create a dialogue between the ideas of inclusion, dignity, consumption, and subjectivity by addressing beauty in the form of the ideal woman, the Venus. By challenging Venus, my work challenges the notion of universal beauty—making room for women of color who are not included in this definition.Wading through my work, you must look through multiple layers, double meanings and symbols. My process combines found and manipulated images with hand drawn and painted details to create hybrid figures. These figures often take the form of young girls. I’m interested in the way young girls symbolize vulnerability but also a naïve strength. The girls who populate my work, while subject to societal pressures and projected images, are still unfixed in their identity. Each girl has character and agency to find their own way amidst the complicated narratives of American, African American and art history. BIODeborah Roberts (American, b. 1962) is a mixed media artist whose work challenges the notion of ideal beauty. Her work has been exhibited internationally across the USA and Europe. Her work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York; Brooklyn Museum, New York, New York; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California; The Block Museum of Art, Evanston, Illinois; Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas; Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, Georgia; Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, New Jersey; and The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Saratoga Springs, New York. Roberts is the recipient of the Anonymous Was a Woman Grant (2018), the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2016) and a Ginsberg-Klaus Award Fellowship (2014). She received her MFA from Syracuse University, New York. She lives and works in Austin, Texas. Roberts is represented by Stephen Friedman Gallery, London and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. Some of the subjects we discuss:The first interviewNew studioSince the last interview Painting vs CollageRomantic/AmericanaFlat and fixedWork about boysGeorge StinneyWhere the work goesTamir Rice shootingEvolving the workBoys with pink shirtsUsing fist imageryDo you see the subtletySculpture work/BooksLot’s of work to be doneThe first year/Car analogyTaking control/Staying truePeople working with herKeeping up the levelMissing womenVolta/Being preparedHaving inventoryWho gets the workMeeting new peoplePaying the billsTime to grow the workThe work was fracturingFear of changingGrants for artistsA little bit of helpNot an overnight successIt’s not easy/StressHours a weekRauschenberg ResidencyStudio managerContemporary installationWhy not be preachyGetting back to peopleNew book releaseBig GoalsTalk at BlantonUpcoming EventsOctober 4, 2019 6pm-8pmBook Release/Signing of "Deborah Roberts: The Evolution of Mimi" (https://www.facebook.com/events/704608353284801/)George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center1165 Angelina St, Austin, Texas 78702October 8th, 2019 6:30pmArtist Talk: Deborah Roberts and Robert A. Pruitt (https://54061.blackbaudhosting.com/54061/tickets?tab=2&txobjid=96ab230d-5226-4669-a7de-fa5c891fcb28&fbclid=IwAR3JJAPW80Xbd9gyo1rBtpgpzuqtJoe84HLKmIjM0U-Z9sqo4hAeg8-6_hc)This event is free to the public but pre-registration is recommended.Blanton Museum of ArtThe University of Texas at Austin200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Austin, TX 78712Banner image - Deborah RobertsLET THEM BE CHILDREN 120" x 45"Mixed Media Collage on Canvas 2018This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian (http://stankillian.com/main/)Support this podcast. (http://www.austinarttalk.com/supportpodcast)
"There are all these pressures and talks about how do you make your career. How do you make a living? How do you make it sustainable? How do you be an entrepreneur as an artist. And they are all great sounding, very trendy. But at the same time I want to come back and say, why did you want to be an artist? And what makes you want to wake up in the morning and run to the studio and make that thing. At the very beginning it was never for money, it was never for fame. It was something that’s driving you, that’s eating you inside. You have to get it out.How do we hold ourselves accountable? How do we know we are doing something that’s meaningful to ourselves first? And therefore it is meaningful for our viewers. If I am spending hours and weeks and months to make this thing, why am I making it. And what does it mean to people when they are seeing it. It has to be beyond, wow this is beautiful, or this is really cool. It has to mean something. To me and to them."Beili Liu is an installation artist who for most of her practice has focused on the use of space to create transformative experiences for herself and the viewer. She experiments with and puts a lot of emphasis on the exploration of materials, process, and time. Drawing from her life and cultural memory the works often explore issues that she relates to on a personal level and often highlight the importance of feminine strength through the use of meaningful repetition, mending, healing and resilience. And as a teacher who is a working artist she is also able to guide and inspire her students with the wisdom she has gained doing installations and exhibiting her work all over the world.https://files.fireside.fm/file/fireside-uploads/images/4/41335247-836c-4f4a-8a8b-aeca55f3227a/BBLiRoC1.jpgBeili installing AMASS at University Gallery, Texas State University, San Marcos in 2013 Photo by Scott David Gordon (http://www.beililiu.com/Amass)https://files.fireside.fm/file/fireside-uploads/images/4/41335247-836c-4f4a-8a8b-aeca55f3227a/fbMq47hZ.jpgLure/Rise, Chinese Culture Foundation, San Francisco, photo by Frank Jang (http://www.beililiu.com/Lure)Bio courtesy of Beili's websiteBeili Liu is a visual artist who creates material and process-driven, site‑responsive installations. Oftentimes embodying transience, fragility, and the passage of time, Liu’s immersive installations are engaged with multifaceted dichotomies: lightness contrasted with heft, fierceness countered by resilience, and chaos balanced by quiet order. Working with commonplace materials and elements such as thread, scissors, paper, stone, fire, and water, Liu manipulates their intrinsic qualities to extrapolate complex cultural narratives.Liu’s work has been exhibited in Asia, Europe and across the United States. She has held solo exhibitions at venues such as the Hå Gamle Prestegard, Norwegian National Art and Culture Center (2016, 2011), Hua Gallery, London, UK (2012), Galerie An Der Pinakothek Der Moderne, Munich, Germany (2011), Elisabeth de Brabant Art Center, Shanghai (2009), and the Chinese Culture Foundation, San Francisco (2015, 2008). Liu’s work has been showcased in group exhibitions at the National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C. (2012), Hamburg Art Week, Germany (2012), the Kaunas Biennale, Lithuania (2011), and the 23rd and 25th Miniartextil International Contemporary Fiber Art exhibitions in Como, Italy (2015, 2013), among many others. Beili Liu is a 2016 Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant recipient. Liu has been designated the 2018 Texas State Artist in 3D medium by the Texas State Legislature and the Texas Commission on The Arts.Born in Jilin, China, Beili Liu now lives and works in Austin, Texas. Liu received her MFA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and is a Professor of Art at the University of Texas at Austin.https://files.fireside.fm/file/fireside-uploads/images/4/41335247-836c-4f4a-8a8b-aeca55f3227a/hINjti7C.jpgThe Little House Stands on the Prairie, Permanent Installation, Adobe bricks, wood, straw, newspaper, glass, hardware, 7'x14.5'x10.5' (http://www.beililiu.com/The-Little-House-Stands-on-the-Prairie) Art Farm, Nebraska (http://www.artfarmnebraska.org/)https://files.fireside.fm/file/fireside-uploads/images/4/41335247-836c-4f4a-8a8b-aeca55f3227a/FqgcFLds.jpgThe Mending Project / 补缮工程, 2011, Iron scissors, Fabric, thread, needle, mixed-media, at Women & their Work. Photo by Blue (http://www.beililiu.com/The-Mending-Project)Some of the subjects we discuss:IntroMaterial/TimePlay/Studio practiceRed ThreadEach and EveryMigrant children Growing up in ChinaSewing and workingLost generationSeparation from parentsMove to ShenzhenMade in ChinaMigrant workersWhat we shareArt growing upLove of writingEnglish-ChineseCulture shock Resilience Taking for grantedBeing a teacherAdvice to studentsGraduate programEncouragement Just do itDi-Da installationParents supportLittle house/Art FarmHouse in ChinaBuilding the houseHistory/meaningTimeframesPerfection/enoughSanctum/FathomMigrant deathsFeather meaningTar and featherRelated installationsWomen & Their WorkThe Mending ProjectScissorsFeminine strengthJoan Mitchell CenterBanner photo by Scott David Gordon. Part of the Panorama365 project.This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian (http://stankillian.com/main/)Support this podcast. (http://www.austinarttalk.com/supportpodcast)
"I think artists are extremely inspirational people. You need a lot of mental discipline to continue to affirm the role of creativity and your voice in the conversation. That’s why I think artists are so important because it's just a really important point of view and perception in this cacophony that we hear. Especially now it's really good to bend your ear towards maybe more nuanced, more complicated, more complex murmurings and conversations about issues that artists are giving us."Chris Cowden is the executive director of Women & Their Work, which for over 40 years has pioneered elevating and exhibiting the work of women artists from all over Texas. They have presented over 1900 artists in all disciplines (dance, theater, music, film and visual art) since they started, and have produced over 130 color catalogs with commissioned essays about the artists they have shown. They have programs to educate the public and especially children about art, through various commissioned performances and many other exhibitions and events. They also provide fiscal sponsorship and technical support to artists in creating their work. Chris has to be one of the biggest champions of artists I have spoken with. She is really passionate about her job and getting people to experience, understand, and collect art. I love this conversation. I had been so curious to learn more about Women & Their Work and about Chris and her job and this interview does not disappoint.Text courtesy of the Women & Their Work website.Women & Their Work is a visual and performing arts organization located in Central Austin that serves as a catalyst for contemporary art created by women living and working in Texas and beyond. For 40 years, Women & Their Work has brought groundbreaking art to Austin, with exhibitions, performances, and educational workshops.Known for its pioneering spirit, embrace of artistic innovation, and commitment to Texas audiences and artists, Women & Their Work’s goal is to enrich the cultural experience for Texans by: Emphasizing the value and excellence of art by women Educating audiences of all ages about contemporary art Equipping artists with financial and technical support Engaging the community through diverse exhibitions, performances and other programsAdmission to the gallery is free. Donations are appreciated.Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 10am to 6pm Saturday Noon to 6pm. 1710 Lavaca StreetAustin, TX 78701512-477-1064General Inquiresinfo@womenandtheirwork.org (mailto:info@womenandtheirwork.org)https://files.fireside.fm/file/fireside-uploads/images/4/41335247-836c-4f4a-8a8b-aeca55f3227a/tKG7jXd1.jpgRed Dot Art Spree 2019Opening - Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:00pm – 10:00pmVIP Pre-Spree6:00pm – 7:00pmLooking for tickets to the party on opening night? Click here. (https://e.givesmart.com/events/dDN/)Exhibition - Fri Sep 13, 2019 - Sun Sep 22, 2019 For art lovers in Austin, Women & Their Work’s Red Dot Art Spree means red-hot buys on original works of art at $750 or less and a paint-the-town-red night. Join us on Thursday, September 12th from 7- 10 pm. This year’s event will feature over 150 works by some of the best contemporary artists in Texas. Paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, prints and mixed media works will be priced $750 and below, and all shopping that night will be tax-free. A silent auction will offer items and services ranging from art-inspired travel getaways to gift certificates from some of Austin’s most sought-after establishments. There will be fabulous fare and cocktails making this the perfect occasion for artists, collectors, and creatives to come together for a night of artistic celebration!Some of the subjects we discuss:Chris’s jobArt in the USExperiencing artW&TW beginningsThe name/evolutionWomen in the artsInclusivity/being seenDifferent facetsVisual art exhibitionsPerformance commissionsEducation ProgramKids at the galleryFiscal sponsoringDifferent eventsAustin museumsBeing an art centerArt collectorsHigh profile grantsThirst on town lakeSources of fundsSale-ability of artRichard SerraLiving with the artExposure to artHow it speaks to youWhat it means/rulesShana Hoehn’s workBallet in NYCKeeps you curiousImposter syndromeWorking with artistsBanking/other careersNew show every 6 weeksSocial media immediacy Looking forwardHow to supportThis interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian (http://stankillian.com/main/)Support this podcast. (http://www.austinarttalk.com/supportpodcast)
“I’m always trying to be tranquil. I’ve experienced a lot of sadness and crisis and trauma in the last 10 years. I think there is a part of me that could have gone that direction and you would have been able to see it in my work. I have done some small pieces where they do look angry. But as far as the larger pieces, I would always feel like if I was working on something that gave that message that it didn’t really calm me. It didn’t really work for me as art therapy which is at the time what I wanted it to do. I wanted it to be able to take me to a quiet place. A thoughtful place. I wanted it to be about love and community, not anger or separation.”Watercolor artist and teacher Jan Heaton is this weeks guest. We met seven years ago when I was working on a photo project capturing artists in their spaces. That experience enhanced my desire to spend more time with creative people and explore their lives and work. Our conversation covers her creative childhood and her art and teaching career through until present day, which is typical of my interviews. But the main impetus for this episode is to share her late daughter Kristin’s story and the upcoming Davis Gallery group exhibition and fundraiser that celebrates her life.https://files.fireside.fm/file/fireside-uploads/images/4/41335247-836c-4f4a-8a8b-aeca55f3227a/ybvMByuv.jpgPink - 60" x 40" - Watercolor on paperBig Pink Blanket of LoveWork by Jan Heaton & FriendsOpening reception: Saturday, September 14th | 7-9 pmSeptember 14 – October 12Davis Gallery & Framing837 W. 12th StreetAustin, TX78701Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm | Sat 10am-4pm512-477-4929In partnership with the Peabody Fund and Dell Children’s Medical Center, Davis Gallery is honored to announce a unique group show in support of Davis’ own Jan Heaton, one of Austin’s premier watercolorists. In February of 2019 Jan’s daughter, Kristin Peabody, was taken by an aggressive cancer she had battled for ten years. In place of the solo exhibition that was scheduled for Jan, Davis Gallery and Austin’s artistic community are banding together in solidarity to fight cancer and find strength. Over sixty artists have contributed 4x4 inch squares of their own original artwork in an overall pink palette that will be hand-stitched together to create a pink quilt, symbolizing the community’s compassion, strength, and friendship. The idea for the pink quilt is derived directly from Kristin's feeling that the love she had been shown over the course of her treatments felt like a "big, warm, pink blanket of love". In addition to this collaborative quilt, an extended group show focused on love, gratitude, and family will feature original artwork by Jan Heaton and over twenty other artists.Ten percent of the proceeds raised during this four weeklong exhibit will be donated to the Peabody Fund, a project set up in direct response to Kristin Peabody’s ambition to help develop innovative work in cancer research through the San Diego Center for Personalized Immunotherapy. The “big pink blanket of love” collaborative quilt will be donated to the Dell Children’s Medical Center’s fundraiser, “The Art of Giving”, an annual fundraiser dedicated to providing art and music therapy for thousands of young cancer patients.https://files.fireside.fm/file/fireside-uploads/images/4/41335247-836c-4f4a-8a8b-aeca55f3227a/7jt4o45Q.jpgPanorama of Jan from 2013 when we met.Artist statment courtesy of Jan's websiteMy paintings are personal observations of color, movement, relationships and forms in nature. I prefer the watercolor medium, as I love paper, and the tactile manner in which the pigment integrates with the paper. Painting on cold pressed 100% cotton paper I patiently build translucent, veiled layers of color, allowing the forms and values to evolve in a detailed and orchestrated manner. I normally work in a series, which permits the wet color to dry thoroughly between layers. The images are not restricted by the paper’s edges. Every random mark is there because it needs to be there. The reputed “happy mistakes” (that watercolor legend reports often occur in this medium) are planned and controlled.The circular orbs in my current work are simple, bold, direct, sensual, playful and often mysterious. The sphere recalls harmony, rhythm, movement, patterns, and boundless symbolic metaphors. In my work the circle exists independently and in groups, referencing water patterns on a shore, or a rising moon, rounded fruits, or the shape of a flower. The circle reminds me of family and friends, who are very important to my creative process. The times spent in a circle, talking, eating, dancing, playing, telling stories and solving the problems of everyday life. The memories of this connection to the circle are important to me.My intention is not to impose a specific message to the viewer. I often hesitate to title my paintings, for fear that they will be translated only according to my vision and close a door to the viewer’s interpretations. I hope my paintings will allow the viewer to observe a familiar object in a new way.https://files.fireside.fm/file/fireside-uploads/images/4/41335247-836c-4f4a-8a8b-aeca55f3227a/pM0JVI7r.jpgPanorama with Jan at Boggy creek farmstand in 2014.Some of the subjects we discuss:How we metPanorama projectFarmers market seriesIdeas & editing inspirationMary Oliver poetryDetroit childhoodJan’s parentsArtistic familyCalligraphyThank you notesVarious jobsDeadlinesPainting/websiteLosing job/new pathApproaching galleriesJace Graf portfolioWally WorkmanGallery representationHiatus Spa/calming workMorning walk/lookingBoundaries/introversionValidation/feedbackDiscipline/scheduleThe Art of GivingElizabeth HendleyArt TherapyBeing a teacherWhat is watercolor?Opportunities/learningAdvertising experienceBusiness of artKristin’s storyThe Peabody FundDavis Gallery exhibitionPersonalized cancer vaccineThis interview2nd/3rd opinionsMedical advocacySupportive friends & familyWhat’s differentGratitudeThis interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian (http://stankillian.com/main/)Support this podcast. (http://www.austinarttalk.com/supportpodcast)
Episode 67: Sydney Yeager

Episode 67: Sydney Yeager

2019-08-2400:56:18

"My most recent work there seems to be more of an embrace going on between parts as opposed to these diverse parts fitting together, maintaining their diversity. They seem now to be more a part of each other. That’s a mystery to me."Sydney Yeager is an artist who describes her current painting style as gestural abstraction. She also teaches drawing and painting at Austin Community College. Teaching has been a part of her life from early on, but it wasn’t until after she had kids and decided to go back to school that she committed to studying art in a serious way. We talk about her history and what motivated her early work and how that has evolved over the years. We also touch on materials, teaching, being a huge art history fan, the Austin art scene and more.Statement courtesy of Sydney's websiteI keep returning to a beautiful quotation which has become something of a touchstone for me. The quotation is from Italo Calvino’s book, Mr. Palomar, and is a description of a flock of blackbirds flying over Rome. The narrator describes the flock as a “…moving body composed of hundreds and hundreds of bodies, detached, but together forming a single object…something…that even in fluidity achieves a formal solidity of its own.”This idea of independent parts coalescing into a whole, only to collapse again into singular units, is one that has interested me for many years. Inherent in this idea is a sense of continuity, but a continuity constantly threatened with disintegration. It also suggests a state of suspension, where hierarchy yields to endless associations and connections.In addition to these conceptual interests are more concrete references. Some are from the world around me: geologic formations (specifically the unstable limestone walls so common in Central Texas), pixels, and atoms. Some are artistic references, including Italian mosaic, pointillism, process painting, and pattern and decoration.These diverse influences hold in common the theme of fragmentation. The question is whether these fragments are nostalgic reminders of a past presence, or conversely, the beginnings of a new form. The answer is never clear, which is why I remain interested in the question.https://files.fireside.fm/file/fireside-uploads/images/4/41335247-836c-4f4a-8a8b-aeca55f3227a/SCAswB-Y.jpgswimmer | oil on linen | 60x72 | 2019https://files.fireside.fm/file/fireside-uploads/images/4/41335247-836c-4f4a-8a8b-aeca55f3227a/eC2xAfcM.jpgnaiad #2 | oil on linen | 72x60 | 2019Some of the subjects we discuss:IntroductionGalleriesPhoto usePainter?Early historyBack to schoolGrowing upGang mentalityNarrative workLimited art worldInformal classElisabet NeySupportive friendsImposter syndromeArt schoolTransgressive workFeminism/angerChanging directionLife & death workInterior view/mortalityTowards abstractArabesqueDisintegrationPeople seeing workBeing openMaterials Figure groundThe blank canvasJumping inFlow stateStoppingLove of paintStyle evolutionTeachingArt historyWomen & Their WorkTeaching in overseasStudio in ElginWhat’s nextAustin art sceneGenerational gapBeing an artistThis interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian (http://stankillian.com/main/)Support this podcast. (http://www.austinarttalk.com/supportpodcast)
"I just think that we have a greater strength en masse. The more we can come together and support each other the greater our potential. Don’t build walls. Don’t tell people they cant do it. Show up for the people you think that you can, and you have the strength to."GD Wright (http://gdwright.com/) is a sculptor, fabricator, and design consultant working most often with metal, cast concrete, and blown glass. He also consults with other artists to help them realize their own visions and has collaborated on and managed many monumental scale artworks and constructions. After growing up and attending college in the midwest he then made a career and a name for himself in Oakland, CA. Recently he relocated to Austin to start his career anew and be closer to his young son. His personal work is often a reflection of himself and his desire to confront what might be holding him back and to dismantle the cages we all create for ourselves. https://files.fireside.fm/file/fireside-uploads/images/4/41335247-836c-4f4a-8a8b-aeca55f3227a/frjOQXVU.jpg“GD Wright: Impossible Until It’s Done”Through Aug. 18Dimension Gallery www.dimensiongallery.org979 Springdale RdAustin, TX, 78702512-479-9941open Thursday through Saturday from 12pm to 6pmhttps://files.fireside.fm/file/fireside-uploads/images/4/41335247-836c-4f4a-8a8b-aeca55f3227a/PHB5j2uX.jpgArtist Statement​ for Dimension Gallery FellowshipMy sculptural work is driven by the goal to arouse a deep visceral response in the viewer. I work to achieve this by creating a heightened tension in the interaction of two systems, defined as rigid and fluid. Steel structures, once assembled into a specific form, are fixed and unchanging. The fluid systems they contain introduce a temporal element in which there is no longer a definite object, but a shifting one. The use of a steel mold elicits the feeling of an unchanging model, yet the bulbous forms interact with this foundation in abstract, organic, and often unexpected ways. I draw inspiration from larger systems found in nature and society, which represent the push and pull of containment and expansion, strength and fragility, and change and inertia. This interplay creates a push and pull that is dynamic, as perception of the work becomes reliant on the individuals own deep emotive response as they perceive it.I began this body of work by capturing air, water, and soft pliable materials within my rigid structures to really focus in on the change and enertia that couldn’t be stopped in their interaction. This created a movement in the work I really loved. As sculptures would melt from within, deflate, or slowly wither away, I found the audience would interact with them in interesting and dynamic ways. The work was never static. During the next phase of this work’s evolution I transitioned into glass as my mode of movement in the hopes that the pieces would represent a more fixed object and potentially increase their ability to be collected. During this next phase within my studies I aim to employ my more developed skill set and experience with creating high end craft to realize them in a new and even more dynamic way. I plan to use materials such as castable resins, fiberglass, and maybe even concrete, to increase the scale of these works as I work my way to the monumental. I have done the experiments, now I need the funding to make them big. I would like to produce three to five, 6’-12’ works this year, as well as an installation built from the culmination of several smaller pieces that could wrap and move around the gallery space.Some of the subjects we discuss:IntroductionBubble cage guyComplex craftFitting into shapesCages/mirrorsUpbringingCollege/art classesPunishment/repairsObject vs CraftDeadlinesWorking with waterBeginnings in OaklandWorking with glassDesire to teachAnything is possiblePeople around youProjects/business partner Bus conversionGreater impactFacebookMove to AustinGhost ship fireAustin so farCI grant/HS studentsArt collectorsCultural arts divisionDiversifying incomeHelping artistsBeing a dadBurning manThe temple and lossSacrificing for othersDimension galleryMessage to artistsThis interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian (http://stankillian.com/main/)Support this podcast. (http://www.austinarttalk.com/supportpodcast)
Episode 65: Brinston

Episode 65: Brinston

2019-07-2201:02:47

“I’m not solely an artist, that’s not my identity. I’m not just an artist, I’m a vessel. You are not defined by your occupation. You are not defined by the person that you spend your life with. You’re a creation that’s meant for more than just being an accountant, or a photographer, or a painter, or a carpenter. You’re meant for much more than just that. You are meant to use that as a place to help people.”Dallas based artist Matthew Brinston (https://brinston.co) categorizes his very distinctive painting style as something like descriptive realism that leans toward the abstract. The characters in his works come confidently right out of his imagination with each decisive brush stroke and seem especially unique and attractive in an odd way. Over the last 6 years since he was involved in an almost fatal motorcycle accident that changed his life, he has been painting in earnest and feels that his purpose is to create art to make the world a better place and to help others, primarily directed by his faith in God. Be sure to check out the work and also his very distinctive self branding, social media approach, and marketing style that as he states in the interview is aimed at getting people to take a pause.About text courtesty of brinston.co (https://brinston.co/about/)When death leads to life, art is inevitable. And art, as creation, is a reflection of its creator. Brinston and his work consistently grapple with the revolution of death and life and death again. The cacophonous symphony of color and shape, rhythm and structure that compose his work is all at once chaotic and calm. Just as the artist himself is an amalgam of mania and peace. The composition of art and artist is indistinguishable… just as his art is an extension of himself, the artist has become an extension of his art. For the artist, art is valuable in its making life worth living. Art has given him purpose and meaning, the people he loves, the places he’s been, literal survival, a future. Art is everything. And now with everything, the artist seeks to share this existential gift through collaboration and demonstration. Impact the world through connection. Inform himself and those around him through interaction. Art is the universal teacher. And the artist’s goal is to help people find little bits of themselves through personal synergy with the art. The artist’s path from life to death and back to life again has not been without pain. But the vision of Christ plus the inevitable clarity of death have afforded him balance amidst chaos and a wealth of generosity through selfless invention. The artist creates not for glory, fame or control… but because he is an artist. And an artist creates.https://files.fireside.fm/file/fireside-uploads/images/4/41335247-836c-4f4a-8a8b-aeca55f3227a/3pN1deR8.jpegPhoto courtesy of brinston.co. Photographer unknown.Some of the subjects we discuss:IntroductionArt growing upEarly music careerMotorcycle accidentMiracle survivalMeeting ChristRecovery/paintingFinishing schoolFirst worksSelf inspirationStudio art/marketingEmotions in the workGetting to know the selfFrance residencyDaily routineStudio practiceThe blank canvasConfidenceDaily prayersVulnerability/wisdomMomentumIdentity/purposeDaily clarity/adventureGratitudeMarriage/growing loveThe world you createPreacher paintingsBrinston brandPause/perceptionArt vending machineLeaving art in cityCreating urgencyDallas communitySense of careerSuccess & moneyNurturing relationships Protecting yourselfMentorshipChrist’s presenceCheat codeListening to your pathThis interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian (http://stankillian.com/main/)Support this podcast. (http://www.austinarttalk.com/supportpodcast)
"All of us as artists have inspiration that comes from a myriad of places. I felt just through a couple situations that had occurred, where I had not intended to do something, that the art had taken a life of its own separate from me. And I had seen the positive aspects associated with it, so it encouraged and motivated me to work hard to stay out of the way and to allow the inspiration to take place. And then once I acted on it the next piece was available to me. I think that’s one of the reasons I have been so prolific is because I was open and receptive to the inspiration and I didn’t question it and I acted on it."Werrick Armstong (https://www.instagram.com/werrickarmstrong/) is somewhat of an outsider artist who spent most of his life in business, but then retired and shifted his focus to art for the last 20 years. With his wife of 50 years he splits his time between Spicewood just northwest of Austin, and Marfa (http://marfachamber.org/#history), an unassuming art and architecture mecca in far west Texas visited by people from all over the world. Werrick creates large and often physically and emotionally elaborate 2d and 3d works that deal with a variety of subjects that he is passionate about. Ultimately he feels he’s really just a tool to create the art, guided by his faith and a higher power.https://files.fireside.fm/file/fireside-uploads/images/4/41335247-836c-4f4a-8a8b-aeca55f3227a/tksmvssM.jpgWerrick in his Spicewood stuido with a piece about mass shootings.https://files.fireside.fm/file/fireside-uploads/images/4/41335247-836c-4f4a-8a8b-aeca55f3227a/ZOfCFmNl.jpgKing of the Jewshttps://files.fireside.fm/file/fireside-uploads/images/4/41335247-836c-4f4a-8a8b-aeca55f3227a/u_WDlhIS.jpgWerrick and your host, Scott David Gordon!Some of the subjects we discuss:Meeting in MarfaDad & VietnamLeaving business worldStarting to paintFear and riskYou need to just see itStaying out of the wayAn attitude of faithPiece of ChristIntent of the pieceHaving faithThere’s more insideChallengesArtistic skillsSuccessMarfa/galleryWorldly visitorsArchitectureA real oddityHolocaust pieceRelationshipsUsing your wordsHumility and pridePastors coin storyThe art worldStewardshipGuided practiceMarriage/giving upSpirituality/soulHow to contactThankshttps://files.fireside.fm/file/fireside-uploads/images/4/41335247-836c-4f4a-8a8b-aeca55f3227a/qh9qocly.pngWERRICKArt gallery in Marfa, Texas100 East San AntonioMarfa, TX 79843512-563-9403Werrick.armstrong@gmail.comContemporary art by Werrick Armstrong.Hours are variable–look for the “open” sign or by appointmentThis interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian (http://stankillian.com/main/)Support this podcast. (http://www.austinarttalk.com/supportpodcast)
"I think more and more now people are interested in this conversation of the intersection of art and culture with social movements. Art & culture have always been a part of social movements, but being strategic with artists inside of campaigns and things that we are trying to move forward, there’s a really rich conversation that’s happening now. It’s just really exciting to be in a place where I can be both-and. Because it has felt separate. There is something about being in tune with your imagination and creativity that allows for some creative thinking that can support what it is that we all want to move forward which is a more equitable world for us all."This Ain't A Eulogy: A Ritual for Re-Membering from Taja Lindley on Vimeo.Bio courtesy of Taja's websiteAn 80’s baby born in New York and raised in the South, Taja Lindley currently lives in Brooklyn, New York working as the Managing Member of Colored Girls Hustle. In 2007 she received her B.A. from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study where she designed her own major, concentrating in public policy and knowledge production with a focus on health and women of color.Lindley is a memory worker, healer and an activist. Through iterative and interdisciplinary practices, she creates socially engaged artwork that reflects and transforms audiences, shifts culture and moves people to action. She uses movement, text, installation, ritual, burlesque, and multi-media to create immersive works that are concerned with freedom, healing and pleasure. She is currently developing a body of work recycling and repurposing discarded materials.Her artwork has been featured at Spring/Break Art Show, Brooklyn Museum, Hammer Museum, Philbrook Museum, New York Live Arts, the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University, Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX), the Gallatin Arts Festival at New York University, WOW Café Theater, La Mama Theater, in living rooms, classrooms, conferences and public spaces. She has received coverage in the New York Times, VICE, ELLE, Blouin Art Info, Art Zealous and Artnet News, and ARTSY. In 2014 she was a Create Change Fellow with the Laundromat Project and selected to participate in EMERGENYC - an artist activist program of New York University’s Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. In 2015 she was a Fall space grantee at BAX. Her 2017 residency at Dixon Place Theater culminated in the world premiere of her one-woman show "The Bag Lady Manifesta" in September 2017. This work is currently on a nationwide tour in the United States.In addition to being an artist, Lindley is actively engaged in social movements as a writer, consultant, and facilitator. For over a decade she has worked with non-profits, research institutes and government on policies and programming that impact women and girls, communities of color, low/no/fixed-income families, queer people, youth and immigrants. Most recently, she served as a Sexual and Reproductive Justice Consultant at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, facilitating a community driven process that created The NYC Standards for Respectful Care at Birth. She continues her work at the NYC Health Department as the current Public Artist in Residence, a program of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.Her writing has appeared in Rewire, YES! Magazine, Feministe, Salon and EBONY. She is a member of Harriet's Apothecary and Echoing Ida.https://files.fireside.fm/file/fireside-uploads/images/4/41335247-836c-4f4a-8a8b-aeca55f3227a/cSSLlEAp.jpgRe-Membering is the Responsibility of the Living: An Installation by Taja LindleyCloses Saturday July 27th, 2019George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center1165 Angelina StreetAustin, TX 78702Open Hours:Monday-Wednesday 10am -6pm; Thursday 10am-9pmFriday-10am-6pm; Saturday 10am-4pmSunday-Closed.The Carver Museum & Cultural Center will present the work of New York-based, multi-disciplinary visual and performing artist Taja Lindley. Her mixed media installation, "Re-Membering is the Responsibility of the Living," will be on view from March 7, 2019, to July 31, 2019. Moved by the non-indictments of the police officers responsible for the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, Lindley draws parallels between discarded refuse and the violent treatment of Black people in the United States. The artist uses re-purposed trash bags to re-member, honor and value the Black lives that have been lost due to state-sanctioned violence. In this post-Ferguson moment, Lindley is imagining how to recycle the energy of protest, rage, and grief into creating a world where, indeed, Black Lives Matter.Image and text courtesy of The Carver MuseumThis interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian (http://stankillian.com/main/)Support this podcast. (http://www.austinarttalk.com/supportpodcast)
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