DiscoverAustin Art Talk Podcast
Austin Art Talk Podcast
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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.
66 Episodes
"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 ( 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.“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 6pm 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 ( this podcast. (
Episode 65: Brinston

Episode 65: Brinston


“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 ( 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 ( 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. courtesy of 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 ( this podcast. (
"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 ( 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 (, 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. in his Spicewood stuido with a piece about mass shootings. of the Jews 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 contactThanks 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 ( this podcast. (
"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. 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 ( this podcast. (
Episode 62: Sev Coursen

Episode 62: Sev Coursen


"It’s about looking, and continually trying to hone that and develop an eye."Sev Coursen ( is an artist working in multiple media including photography, sculpture, film and video. His work has been presented in exhibitions and screenings in the United States and Europe.ONE PLUS ELEVEN OBJECT SHOW Curated by Lauren JabenAPRIL 2019 Opening Reception Saturday 27 April, from 4-7pmAGAVE PRINT ( E Cesar ChavezAustin, TX. 78702Open 8:30 am - 5 pmMonday through Friday.By appointment.Exhibition Artist StatementMy lifelong fascination with architecture and the history of developing landscapes form the core components of my sculptures, photographs, films and videos.The signage, border markers and fragmented shapes of buildings and background structures in transitional zones within the built environments of rural, exurban, industrial and urban landscapes have inspired many of the forms and surface textures in my objects.Objects and artifacts observed in natural history museums have also been a lifelong source of visual inspiration. These items are often taken out of their context in their original environments and placed in formal display settings. This fascination has resulted in creation of objects that could be interpreted as functional devices, ritual objects, architectural models or as decorative items.There is an additional series I refer to as portable objects -– self-contained, collapsible pieces designed for easy transport and setup. Some of the portables are fairly simple hinged devices and others are more complex. Pink Portable has hand-milled articulated hinges that allow the piece to be collapsed or extended in multiple configurations.Recently I showed the newly completed Pink Portable to Lauren Jaben. She immediately suggested we display it in the window at Agave Print. The title of the current show “One Plus Eleven” refers to this initial selection and the eleven additional pieces she selected, including several objects that have not been previously shown.I have long wanted to present a sculpture show with a variety of work and I am grateful to Lauren Jabens and Peter Williams for the opportunity to show my objects in their beautiful space at Agave Print.Some of the subjects we discuss:IntroductionThree chaptersChildhood in MinnesotaObserving the landscapeEarly art creationRobert IrwinThe Man from U.N.C.L.E.SubliminalMystery/layersEpiphany momentsDioramasTransitionsMove to BostonExperimental musicCreative collaborationMadison HotelDrawings/documentation Move to AustinMedia developmentSculpture/object originsCraftsmanshipColor/visualsArtistic practicestoplightanalyticsCuero Hotel storyThe last three yearsTurning pointsReactions to workWhy make art?Agave exhibitionThis interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( this podcast. (
"If I close it off then it’s not right. If you look at it and there’s only one answer, then it’s not right. So when I was talking about my older work, maybe it’s not technically good, but it brings up a question that everybody would give a different answer to. And not just other people. Quite often I’ll go back and see something I haven’t seen in a while and it will set off a whole new chain of thoughts." Warhol's Lunch 2016 gouache & collage, 41 x 29 inchesUpcoming ExhibitionsJulie Speed: East of the Sun and West of the MoonTaubman Museum of Art - Roanoke, VASaturday, August 31, 2019 - Sunday, March 15, 2020Touring from the El Paso Museum of Art, Julie Speed: East of the Sun and West of the Moon explores the rich artistic production of Marfa, Texas, artist Julie Speed from the past five years, including many recent works previously unseen. Speed’s last museum show before East of the Sun and West of the Moon occurred in 2014 and was limited to works on paper. Featuring twenty-nine works, the Taubman Museum of Art's presentation of Julie Speed: East of the Sun and West of the Moon consists of diverse works in the artist’s favorite media of oil, gouache, collage, and combinations thereof. Resident in Texas since 1978 and in Marfa since 2006, the artist forged her own path early on by ending her studies at the Rhode Island School of Design and devoting herself to imaginative figuration coupled with consummate technique. Sometimes described as neo-surrealist, Speed’s art holds affinity with the figurative Surrealism of René Magritte, yet her work offers scenarios that are simultaneously more personal and more complex than Magritte’s visual puns. Her art melds a technical mastery rivaling the Old Masters with motifs created from diverse sources ranging from Renaissance engravings to Japanese woodblock prints. As critic and curator Elizabeth Ferrer has written, “The contemporaneity of her art is rooted in its emphatically open-ended nature.” Some of the themes examined in the exhibition and the accompanying catalog are Speed’s mixing of structured and spontaneous processes, her unique bridging of painting and collage, her playful dialogue with artistic tradition, and the intention and power of her art to spark myriad imaginings and narratives. The exhibition includes a “Close-Up Room” consisting of a three-channel video-and-sound installation designed by the artist and highlighting the processes and details of her art. Julie Speed: East of the Sun and West of the Moon was organized by the El Paso Museum of Art and will be on view August 31, 2019 - March 15, 2020 in the Bank of America/Dominion Resources Gallery.Text courtesty of Taubman Museum of Art websiteSome of the subjects we discuss:When we metMarfa/sin faucetsMaking thingsPleasing arrangements Moments of clarityCracking herself up/angerAtoms/amazonsBehind the veilFocus on paintingPutting in the hoursOlder paintingsHigh standardsNot perfectTime/gardeningBuilding a lifeSpacial proportionsNo compartmentsAfterlife/questionsWhere socks go?Specific & openHow to look at artPainting the DuckForming imagesAssumptionsMeanings changingEating Warhol’s lunchRules for collagesColor/symbolsFairy tales/magic fishNo words of wisdomCloseup roomEl Paso exhibitionThis interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( this podcast. (
"I feel that my capacity to create, in so many different forms of media, to step into my work as an activist, to speak in a very vulnerable way in the types of spaces I’ve been invited into, really began with writing about and sharing my deepest shame. And once I had finally illuminated that, and I had brought everything into the light, the things I was the most ashamed of, the things that caused me the greatest pain in my life, I was then able to speak and to explore my creativity in ways that I never had before because I didn’t feel there was anything I had to hide anymore. I think a lot of the fears that artists have, and many of the artists I have mentored over time, they tend to fixate on fears about the work, what work to create and how it’s going to be received. But I think really all those fears are a manifestation of shame. Because we don’t trust ourselves, and we don’t trust that we are enough, and that our truth is worth sharing. I think the remedy for that is healing relationships. Being in communities and in relationships with people that can finally reflect back to us, all of you is welcome here. And that if there is a truth you need to tell it will be heard, because you deserve to be heard."Bio courtesy of Brooke's websiteBrooke Axtell ( is the Founder and Director of She is Rising, a healing community for women and girls overcoming rape, abuse and sex-trafficking. Through her mentorship programs, retreats and workshops, Brooke helps survivors become leaders. She is passionate about inspiring young women to reclaim their worth and express their power to create a more compassionate world.Her work as a human rights activist led her to speak at The 2015 Grammy Awards, The United Nations and the U.S. Institute for Peace. She is a member of the Speaker’s Bureau for Rape, Abuse, Incest, National Network (R.A.I.N.N.), the largest anti-sexual assault organization in the U.S., and an Advisor for Freedom United, global initiative to end human trafficking.Her work as a writer, speaker, performing artist and activist has been featured in many media outlets, including the New York Times, LA Times, Rolling Stone, Time Magazine, Wall Street Journal and CNN. Brooke has published several award-winning poetry books and released three CDs of original music to critical acclaim. AmazonBeautiful Justice: Reclaiming My Worth After Human Trafficking and Sexual Abuse Paperback ( – April 2, 2019A story of healing and a guide to seeking justice after sexual abuse from Brooke Axtell, one of the foremost survivor experts on sexual assault, domestic violence, and human traffickingWhen Brooke Axtell was seven years old, her nanny subjected her to sex trafficking. Today, she is a champion and advocate for women around the world who have experienced sexual violence and trauma.Beautiful Justice shares Brooke's own gripping story, both the trauma of sex trafficking and also her pathway through healing, moving on, and reclaiming power. Along the way, she imparts warm wisdom for others who have experienced similar violence, providing lessons from her own life and from the thousands of women, advocates, and lawmakers she's spoken with. Relying on her own experiences and a keen awareness of public policy, she provides a clear-eyed awareness of the ways that our culture and government work against women experiencing violence around the world.Inspiring and powerfully redemptive, Brooke encourages readers to take part in a creative resistance as a path to justice.This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( this podcast. (
"I was aware of the culture I grew up in, but I was unaware of the cost for other people, and also unaware of the cost for me. I think when you are raised in a culture like that you have definitions for yourself that feel very comfortable and safe and you’re not even really aware of that. And so you start thinking, why am I telling myself these things? Why is that true? Why does that have to be true? It started seeming like an impoverished narrative. Or like a small narrative that I wanted to step outside of. I feel like every time I step outside of a story I’m telling about myself I see another story. It just feels like that right now, and I’m trying to keep honoring that. So this show is really about that girl, me, and the woman I am, and trying to step into that and keep stepping into it."Elizabeth's artist statement about "Deconstructing Nostalgia"This work began with my exploring the reluctance among women in the deep South to perceive patriarchal and racial structures. I remember myself as a little girl in Mississippi covered head to toe in lace, anticipating being fussed over, wanting to be the object. It sets up an early feeling of being doll-like and not owning one's body. And it sets up a very pleasurable, safe existence that rewards not questioning the system. I am interested in the way I have maintained my investment in this system—partly out of the privilege of not having to be aware of it and partly out of a conflictual relationship to beauty--beauty as emotional safety. I started thinking about lace as a metaphor for this experience, the obfuscation of ugliness--a representation of the gentility and graciousness of the South made possible largely by a history of graceless and dark systems. This obfuscation is highly effective in maintaining the status quo of both the oppressed and the idealized. This work is also about the portrait and my identification as a figurative painter from the South, an identity I find both rewarding and problematic. The Southern portrait is often a signifier, a status symbol, a decorative object, or a kind of pre-Instagram posting. I am using neon (unraveling and lit) and plexiglass (crystallized and glowing) as "lace"--neither bonnet nor halo, but playing with both. I made large ruffled "pillow" paintings and stuffed figures--fringed or in altar-like configurations with mirrored plexiglass and glitter clouds, re-interpreting the "trophy" room, woman as trophy, a type of padded cell of Southern culture, church altar. I am attempting to have a conversation with this girl I was and am, partly a confession, partly a blessing. I am also trying to expand the portrait beyond the confines of ego and decorative object, challenging the culture of gentility and nostalgia which is rooted in and particular to the South, but whose questions of privilege and beauty as both safety and entrapment are universal. Explosionsacrylic on canvas, 72 x 48 inches, 2018Current/recent exhibitionsElizabeth Chapin: Deconstructing NostalgiaMarch 2-31, 2019Wally Workman Gallery1202 West 6th StreetAustin, Texas 78703512.472.7428Open Tuesday - Saturday, 10am to 5pm. Sunday 12pm to 4pm.Chapin’s large scale works reference her Southern upbringing and the conflicted nostalgia surrounding the gentility and graciousness of the South. Chapin views much of this culture as made possible largely by graceless and dark systems. This obfuscation of ugliness and the worship of appearance is the theme that runs throughout her new body of work. Using the idea of lace as a metaphor for this experience and referencing historical religious painting, she explores beauty as safety for both the oppressed and the worshiped and idealized. Halos of fabric, acrylic and neon surround Chapin’s paintings. Some of the pieces are stuffed like giant decorative pillows, epitomizing the comfort of beauty as well as referencing the trophy room. With these works, Chapin has exposed Southern portraiture as a pre-Instagram status symbol and examines the pleasure and willful ignorance derived within it. Some of the subjects we discuss:Podcast originDana SchutzWhat to sayLace/the south Adoration/cageRacism/systemsPortraits Living into it hardEmotional journalistUse of colorRestricted palletWatercolorCollegeBeing awakeSelf definitionsCreating the new workUltralight beamBoys/HenryKanye/worshipUnderstanding menWomen/consent Other works in showBonnets/young womenPortrait of HenryAlabel/modeling Tablecloth & cakeSam is everythingPrivilege/permission Daily struggleFocus/disciplineTaking yourself seriouslyOur one opportunity What’s nextThis interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( this podcast. (
"When I was eleven I said I was going to be an artist, it’s just part of the process. You have to make bad work sometimes, it’s part of the deal. If you are not willing to make bad art then you are not willing to take chances. You have to make bad art to get to the good stuff. It’s just part of it."Text courtesy of Stella's websiteStella Alesi ( has resided in Austin, Texas for the last 25 years. Her work has been exhibited in commercial and university galleries throughout Texas, as well as being purchased for many private collections. Her most recent exhibit took place in November as part of the "Femme Abstract" exhibit in Austin. Currently a full time painter, Stella taught photography at the Austin Community College and ran a successful photography business for over 15 years.In 2005 she was awarded a Brown Foundation Full Fellowship to attend a residency at the Vermont Studio Center. She and her husband, Leon, founded the in-house gallery BLACKBOX in January of 2012 , and have curated and produced 12 exhibitions of emerging Austin artists. In addition they exhibit and promote their own work during Austin's open studio tours.Born on Long Island, New York in 1963, she was raised in New Jersey. She began her undergraduate work at Parsons School of Design in New York City, with stints in Paris and Los Angeles, and finished at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. Her graduate work was completed at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. 270 from the Journeying series, 48x48 inches, oil, cold wax & bookbinding tape on oil paper mounted to panel, 2019 Prizer Arts & Letters2023 East Cesar Chavez St., Austin TX 78702 | (512) 575-3559OPENING RECEPTION: Journeying, featuring new work by stella lj alesi. FRIDAY, MARCH 15, 7pm to 10pmVisit the gallery on Saturday, March 23rd from 2-5pm for an afternoon respite. The artist will be present. We can sit and be with the paintings, exchange ideas and talk of art. Coffee will be served.Exhibition Dates: March 15th - April 13thGallery hours: Saturdays, 12-5pm or by info@prizerartsandletters.orgPrizer Arts & Letters is pleased to present: Journeying, new works by stella lj alesi. The exhibition will showcase hard edge, minimal abstract paintings that express the need for, and a path towards, balance and interconnectedness. Progressing from Alesi’s earlier highly detailed, long hand abstraction, Journeying moves in the direction of simplicity. Simple, monumental, stacked shapes speak quietly of the lived experienced and the constant micro adjustments made continuously as a need for balance and a recognition of interconnectedness is achieved. Within the lineage of hard edged painting from the late 50’s into the early 70’s, Alesi’s paintings bring a new narrative for a new time. These paintings are in direct opposition to the fast paced and visually overloaded times they were created in. The simple shapes and limited palette require the viewer to bring their own dialogue and experiences to the viewing. Stella writes, “I find that when living with these paintings that they quietly support; bring joy. They whispers answers to questions. They listen as well as speak. These paintings seep in, and serve as a quiet companion.” Stella Alesi grew up in New York and New Jersey and attended Parsons School of Design, the University of New Hampshire, as well as the University of Massachusetts in Amherst for her MFA. She has lived and exhibited her work continuously for the last 25 years in Austin, Texas.Some of the subjects we discuss:The podcastHow we metIntroductionGrowing up/collegeMoving aroundStarting photographySo many jobs Grad schoolGender rolesBeing consistentErotica workBerry paintingsShooting weddingsGoal to quitMandalas/yogaGetting into birdsMeditative dotsWorking with colorMoving to AustinOld & today’s AustinUndergrad workNo fear/mistakesPaying attentionSketches/studiesWhat do you see/hear?ChannelingAll about the visualBalancing actA happy placeDigging for emptinessUsing oil paper/tapeNarrowing scopeMake bad artSeeing work clearlyWilling to showEditing/sharingBlackbox galleryInfluencesJourneyingStaying calm/respiteCurrent goalsRothko quoteWho am I reallyFull time artistFeeling blessedLearning about yourselfCeramicsNew ideal jobThe prime spotPrizer exhibitionThe process Putting love firstBeing a womanThis interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( this podcast. (
"For me the success of a piece is if I’m able to create a weird sense of peace and disturbance to keep people there longer to sort of sit with it. Sometimes it can be hard because a lot of my work on the surface level you’re not able to see that research, you’re not able to receive that information. So a lot of it is the form and the experience with the form. I’m not necessarily interested in making didactic work. I’m very interested in using research and personal archives and communal archives to pull out some kind of poetic feeling that sort of takes from all of that research a feeling."Statement courtesy of Ariel's websiteThroughout Ariel René Jackson's ( family's history, land has been both a permanent reminder of systemic racism and temporal unfolding of possible transformations and outcomes based on individual and communal actions. Material remnants of a legacy of farming and traditions of black epistemology throughout the diaspora functions as a guide to sourcing materials and research. Jackson often uses installation to situate her practice into ideas of spatial matters as black matters understanding landscape as palimpsest, something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form. Jackson's installations incorporate physical, virtual, and aural elements. Jackson often encases found objects, embeds molds of material archives, and enlarge communal structures using naturally ephemeral materials like soil, clay, and chalk. Performance for Jackson is an opportunity to collaborate or engage with video projection, thinking of the body as both virtual and physical. In different and at times concurrent moments the body, materials, and objects become themselves and leave traces of themselves in Jackson's landscape(s). Ariel René Jackson (b.1991) grew up between New Orleans & Mamou, LA. She currently lives and works in Austin, TX where she is completing her MFA at The University of Texas at Austin. Her work has been shown in New York City (Studio Museum in Harlem, 2016; CUE Art Foundation, 2018; SculptureCenter, 2019) as well as at the RISD Museum (Providence, RI 2017/2018), Depaul Art Museum, (Chicago, IL 2018), and the Contemporary Art Center (New Orleans, LA 2018).Some of the subjects we discuss:Deborah RobertsIntroductionMasters at UTResearch practiceGrandparents farmForty five acresCollecting/systemsGrandmothers chairPalimpsestsUse of soil/locationAustin redliningCage match projectArtistic originsGrandmothers habitsHigh school/collegeConfuserella/bluesGrad school Dressing yardsMary GilmoreBeing in the wakeChalkboardsEducationGrid machinePeace/disturbanceNod to the pastIntuitionDifferencesAwarenessUpcoming:2019 Studio Art MFA Thesis Exhibition ( 10 – 25, 2019Visual Art CenterThe University of Texas at AustinArt Building2300 Trinity St (directly north of DKR – Texas Memorial Stadium)This exhibition presents culminating work in a range of media by students receiving their master of fine arts degrees in Studio Art from The University of Texas at Austin.The opening reception is on May 10, 2019.This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( this podcast. (
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