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.
80 Episodes
"I have a huge interest in empathy and compassion and humanizing people. That’s been a big part of my work and my life." Annalise Gratovich is a Texas printmaker who uses a lot of different tools and a supportive community to create small to sometimes very large prints. She can often be found carving carefully and meditatively out of wood, scribing into metal, or hand dying paper, the goal being to breathe life into the various beings, objects, and plants that inhabit the totemic and endearing world she has created. A world inspired by her family heritage and a desire to engender empathy and wonder. Everything is revealed when the paper is pulled from the intricately crafted and inked matrix. All of the hard work culminates in a print that will live on the walls of art lovers and collectors who appreciate the care and compassion that comes through in her work. She also travels to many other print shops as a guest artist and lecturer, is on the board of directors for Print Austin, and works the Blanton Museum of Art. Annalise Gratovich – Through the Dusk, a Light Recspec Gallery ( 4825 Weidemar Lane #700, Austin, Texas 78745 (map) (Facebook Event) ( Opening Reception Saturday, January 25th – 5-9pm On view through March 7th and for PrintAustin Works on paper about the places for which the heart yearns by printmaker and artist Annalise Gratovich. About text courtesy of Annalise's website Annalise creates her finely crafted prints by hand from start to finish, carving wood, etching metal, dyeing paper, and using manual printing presses to create multiple originals. Each piece is printed on the finest archival papers using oil based inks and hand dyed papers she produces in her studio. Annalise operates as a self publisher out of Austin, Texas and travels frequently across the country as a visiting artist and speaker and to publish prints with highly esteemed print shops. Annalise begins each of her pieces with a drawing and a love for technical and artistic experimentation. She meticulously carves wood blocks with hand tools or carefully scribes into wax on the surface of a copper plate that is then dipped into an acid bath. Once these matrices are complete, sometimes after months of carving or a dozen dips in the acid bath, she begins her color development. Starting from color swatches she dips and tests in her studio, she dyes in bulk sheets of thin yet strong mulberry paper in a wide variety of colors and patterns. These sheets of dyed paper are then carefully cut out and applied to the wet ink on each woodcut or etching during the printing process, at which time the ink, papers, and pressure all combine to create the prints you see here. Annalise Gratovich was awarded the title of Creative Ambassador of Visual Arts in 2019 by the City of Austin and exhibits extensively nationally and internationally, most recently in Buggenhagen, Germany, New York, NY, Dawson City, Youkon, San Antonio, TX and Austin, TX. She was most recently a guest artist and lecturer at Egress Press, Edinboro University, Pennsylvania, and a guest artist and juror at New Leaf Editions in Vancouver, B.C. Her most recent publications were produced by Mixed Grit in Denver, Colorado, at Egress Press in Pennsylvania, Evil Prints in St. Louis, Missouri, and Cannonball Press, Brooklyn, New York. She has work in numerous private and public collections, the most recent acquisition going to the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. She is a member of the Board of Directors of PrintAustin, a month-long, city-wide printmaking event for which she has helped organize exhibitions and special events, curate the PrintAustin Invitational, and has participated in artist and curator talks, and panel discussions. Annalise’s ongoing and largest series to date, Carrying Things From Home, is comprised of eight 3x5.5 foot hand-dyed chine collé woodcuts. Annalise at the 2018 PrintAustin Expo PRINTAUSTIN ( January 15th - February 15th, 2020 PrintAustin’s mission to the Austin art community and galleries is to share our enthusiasm for printmaking by helping galleries curate, exhibit, and promote works on paper and to engage a wider audience through in-house artist talks, signings, panels, printmaking demonstrations, and print-focused art happenings. With several professional print shops, nationally recognized university printmaking programs, internationally acclaimed print collections, and a thriving printmaking community, Austin is a hub for printmaking in Texas. The PrintAustin team is working with organizations and individuals throughout the Austin visual arts community to showcase fine art prints during this annual event, January 15-February 15. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
"There is nothing wrong with failing. Failing is a learning moment. If you failed and you took the time to reflect and learn why you failed, and what you can do to change that course, and who can help you with that, most importantly, then you haven’t failed. You’ve just learned something." Oen Hammonds is a Design Principal at IBM here in Austin where his job focuses on employee experience design. As early as High School he found himself designing for others, and after an eight year stint in the U.S. Army, he picked up where he left off and studied design in college. The jobs he has had since have all challenged him and have added to his skill set in different ways. He talks a lot about his path to the success he has found today and how important it is for a designers to have humility in their work. We delve into the subject of Design Thinking and all the ways that framework can be adapted to peoples careers and everyday life. Oen has also been sharing his knowledge as a teacher for the last fifteen years and is married to accomplished artist and teacher Hollis Hammonds. About text courtesy of Oen's website Designer | Advocate | Educator Knowledgeable Design Principal with solid grasp of development, implementation and optimization of communication and leadership skills. Goal-driven Graphic Designer successful at applying technical skills to create work that informs and engages customers. Clear communicator and collaborative team player with an eye for detail and skill in customer relations. Ready to bring 20+ years' experience to dynamic position in fast-paced environment. Some of the subjects we discuss: Designer Advocate Teacher Student diversity Art vs Design Humility/Ego Mad Men Meeting needs Telling a story Buyer loyalty High school Mac Classic Getting paid? Joined the Army College/NKU Design style Early influences Benchmark From large to small Move to Austin Y&R experience Agency vs In-house Move to IBM 4 different roles Design Thinking Team activities Empathy map Useful in life Being reactive Constructive meetings EDT development Open source/badges It’s a Framework The Loop Observe Reflect, Create Solving a problem Loosely held Courage/slow down Oen’s career course Failure/goals Mentorship Using EDT in life Year end review More time for fun Personal work This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
“My passion is around art because I know how wonderful it is to create. There are lots of fabulous programs for people to have food and shelter. Very Important. Very Important. But we as human beings need to have our souls fed. That’s what I see happening with Art From The Streets.” Heloise Gold - Founder and Board Member At Large "We have about 35-40 artists that are actually there at a booth, that you can communicate and talk with and get to know and hear stories. I think when you take things back home that’s the best part of the art, the story that you have about the person or what it was about or what it meant to them.” Kelly Worden talking about the 27th Annual Show and Sale For the last 27 years Art From The Streets has helped artists who are currently or have previously been homeless to have the supplies and a safe space and window of time to just create. The work is then sold and the artists receive 95% of the proceeds. This interview consists of the voices of four different people involved with the organization. First Executive Director Kelly Worden speaks to the overall scope and mission, responds to quotes from four artists, talks about how this work has changed her life, and hopes for the future. Next, one of the original founders Heloise Gold talks about how it all started and it’s impact on her and others. Having been a weekly volunteer for the last 8 years, Katrina shares details about the open studio sessions, things that she has learned working with a homeless population, and about creating hope and success. Lastly we hear from Hugh, a formerly homeless artist who shares his story and how AFTS has helped him. Please visit their website to see how you can help this very important organization! Art From The Streets 27th Annual Show and Sale December 7th & 8th 11am-5pm Austin Convention Center 500 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, Texas 78701 Ballroom A Text courtesy of the AFTS Facebook event page The mission of Art From The Streets is to provide a safe and encouraging environment where the positive spirit of homeless and at-risk people is nurtured through artistic expression, offering them a pathway to self-determination as a source of pride, achievement, social connection, and income through the creation and sale of their work. AFTS is celebrating its 27th year! YEAHH!! We provide a 4 times a week Open Studio for the artists to come and create throughout the year which culminates in this AMAZING show! There will be thousands of pieces of artwork for sale for you to choose from for all budgets! Many of the artists themselves will be attending to chat with you about their artwork and inspiration. Come and invite your friends, colleagues and family to support this program but most importantly the artists!! Suggested $5 Donation at the Door to support AFTS! Austin Convention Center Ballroom A Entrance on Cesar Chavez/Red River - Fairmont Hotel Entrance Be reminded 95% of artwork sales goes DIRECTLY to the artists. Some of the subjects we discuss: Kelly Worden-Executive Director Description of AFTS Annual art sale How to help Artists quotes Life changing Heloise Gold-Founder/Board Member At Large The beginnings Making art with us First show Open studio classes Getting organized Divisiveness Feeding your soul Success story Preconceptions Finding a space The work is good Meeting the artists Katrina Meredith-Volunteer Volunteering Trinity center open studio Artists have jobs Assumptions Interacting Veterans Transformation Blanton visit More interaction Finding joy Support themselves Creating hope/success Hugh Miles-Artist Coming to Texas Art talent as a boy Sharing knowledge Positive state of mind Looking forward We are not labels Love/action/truth They can relate Resentments Always had art Enough is enough All I have is today Not looking down Don’t fit in/judgement How AFTS helps This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
“As any conceptual artist you feel like you are a reflection of the people around you. It’s not like you do what people want. It’s more like you try to just feel, what is the concerns or what is the highlights of your society. And how to connect people. And how to connect with people. And that’s what I love making through art.” Rehab El Sadek is a conceptual artist who’s work often has the aesthetic of objects discovered in the course of an archeological dig. And even though the work may have been just created, the mystery of it’s provenance and age allow the viewers imagination to expand and explore all of the rich and intriguing possibilities. Rehab’s work gets inspiration from all of the different places that she travels and from the people that she meets and what she can discover and learn from them. Her work evolves through time as she converses with those who view her exhibitions. There in those dialogues she finds the next steps of growth and reaction. Her newest exhibition, Transient, explores how we can better learn to understand each other and what it is to belong and where you call home. What a delightfully sincere and thoughtful conversation this is. Please enjoy and be sure to check out Rehab’s work online and in person if possible. The Memory Palace exhibtion at Big Medium, June 2019 The Memory Palace exhibtion at Big Medium, June 2019 The Memory Palace exhibtion at Big Medium, June 2019 Statement & Bio courtesy of Rehab's website Statement I value the opportunities art provides me to connect with people on an emotional and intellectual level. Meditation on interior space, immersion into unique overlooked outdoor places, and examination of alarming social and political trends taking place in the world inform the artistic inquiries of my practice. Bio Austin-based/Egyptian-born Rehab El Sadek is a conceptual artist whose career has spanned over 25 years. Meditation on space and immersion into overlooked places inform the artistic inquiries of her practice. She has initiated workshops and creative social practice interventions on issues ranging from women’s rights in Sinai to the challenges facing disadvantaged children in Nairobi. El Sadek has participated in group and solo shows at Lumen Travo Gallery (Amsterdam), Borusan Art Gallery (Istanbul), Ashkal Alwan (Beirut), the L.A. Freewaves Festival at MOCA Geffen Contemporary (Los Angeles), La Photographie Africaine (Bamako), and The Women's Museum (Dallas). In 1999, she was chosen by Jannis Kounellis for his Pavilion at Biennale Dei Giovanni Artisti (Rome). In 2009, she was part of “Rebelle: Art and Feminism 1969 - 2009” at Museum voor Moderne Kunst (Arnhem). Her awards and residences include the UNESCO-supported Artists’ Bursaries at Gasworks Artists Studios (London) and the Thami Mnyele Residency Award (Amsterdam). She is also the recipient of an Installation Prize at the Sharjah Biennale (Emirates). In 2017, El Sadek was named the City of Austin’s first Artist-in-Residence, exploring environmental and social issues embedded in the city’s Watershed Protection Department. Her current, deeply personal work draws inspiration from ancient and classical architecture, modern architectural theory and explores broad themes of immigration, belonging, communication, and language. El Sadek holds a degree in art from the University of Alexandria (Egypt). Current and upcomming Thin City, 2019, Mixed media on paper, 28 x 37in Rehab El Sadek: Transient Prizer Arts & Letters 2023 E Cesar Chavez St (512) 575-3559 Through January 4th, 2020 With Transient, artist Rehab El Sadek continues her exploration into issues related to immigration, belonging, communication and language. Utilizing sound installation, photography and the written word, El Sadek meditates on residential spaces and our relationship to them and to each other. Transient at Prizer Arts & Letters Some of the subjects we discuss: Artist statement Inspiration Positive change Support for the arts Fathers influence Archeology Human culture Aged objects Feedback from viewer Life as a child Always by the window Art school/painting Beautiful time of life Working in fashion 1st Cairo exhibition Book sculptures Traveling from Egypt London-Empty Shapes Moving to the US Self preservation Being an immigrant Moving to Austin Artist in residence Watershed protection The Memory Palace Architectural projections Building the pyramid Transient exhibition Different voices Community involvement Making connections Prizer/EAST This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
"It’s always scary to stop doing something. But if you don’t stop doing something, you can't do something new. Every time I’ve stopped doing something other opportunities came, or I had time to try something new." Keith Kreeger loves clay. For the past 25 years he has dedicated himself to forming and shaping various types and colors of that material, into beautiful bowls, vases, plates, and many other objects that are intended to be used and enjoyed. After college he set up his first potters studio in Cape Cod, where he grew and honed his artistic and business skills. Then a move to Austin shifted the aesthetic of his work to more simple forms with subtle lines. The look and profile of his business has also evolved over the years as he has strived to stay in tune with his core values and maintain a balance between work, family, what feels right, and what makes sense. His customers are people who care about where the things in their life come from and how they are made. Objects matter. Keith and I talk a lot about his business but also delve into his history in ceramics and his philosophies about his art, his customers, and how he figured out where he is headed. Photo by Chad Wadsworth Text courtesy of Keith's website. Meet Keith Besides being the proud owner of 32” paella pan, Keith is an artist, designer and maker. Hailing from the East Coast, Keith got to Austin as quickly as possibly with this wife and three children. Previously he had a studio and contemporary craft gallery on Cape Cod for 12 years. Keith’s aesthetic comes from the singular idea that “objects matter,” and his work reflects that simple phrase, exemplifying clean, polished and modern design. A past-president of the board of Big Medium, the arts nonprofit that produces the East Austin Studio Tour, West Austin Studio Tour and the Texas Biennial, Keith currently sits on the board of the Austin Food and Wine Alliance, the advisory board of Austin Bat Cave and is an active supporter and advocate for the Andy Roddick Foundation. When he’s not behind the wheel, he can be found making strong espresso, epic playlists, hosting as many rad events in town as possible and driving his kids to their soccer games. Keith's Austin showroom Normal hours - Wednesday-Friday, 11:00 am - 5:00 pm 916 Springdale Rd Bldg 3-104, Austin, TX 78702 EAST AUSTIN STUDIO TOUR November 16–17 & 23–24, 2019 12pm-6pm Some of the subjects we discuss: Canopy Labels Making the shift Instagram Standing out What drives him Being a potter Traditional path True fans/new people Working with chefs Selling wholesale Something new Art of the pot Convention life Supportive partners Anniversary Sharing the work Social media Fun opportunities Connections Hand of the maker 1000 years old In the moment Capacity Something lasting What we are making Defining for yourself Largest order Re-evaluating College in NY In love with ceramics Success/failure Toshiko Takaezu Working with a legend Do it now Cape Cod Studio Collectors/tradition Reduction firing Change of aesthetic What is porcelain Move to Austin Getting established Cobra stuidos/EAST Functional objects Dinnerware Made to order Using molds Expectations Size of studio Making decisions Starting/finishing This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
Episode 75: Karen Offutt

Episode 75: Karen Offutt


“My goal has always been to make a painting breathe with realism, but when you get up to it you can really see the brush quality. That is what I’ve always been drawn to when I look at work. That has been my obsession since I was very young.” Karen Offutt is a figurative realist painter and one of the founders of Austin’s own Atelier Dojo, a professional arts academy offering classes, workshops with visiting artists, open studio sessions, and a new intensive study program starting next year. After growing up with a love of drawing and art, it took Karen quite a lot of searching to find the instruction and community she desired. After many years of serious study which eventually led to teaching others painting, she has made a respected name for herself in the realism community and also through the growth and reputation of the school she started with fellow painters, Jennifer Balkan and Denise Fulton. We talk about her practice, about the school, and what she has learned in all of her different roles including motherhood, and how her work continues to evolve. Wallflower ‐ Oil ‐ Panel ‐ 24 x 20 Bio courtesy of Karen's website. Karen Offutt was born and raised in Dallas, Texas by a creative family who encouraged her to explore her artistic talent from an early age. Her father was an artist and her mother is a designer and owner of a needlepoint company. Throughout her formative years, Karen excelled in art classes and participated in several art exhibits. As a young adult she sought a more serious outlet for her talent. Not finding the ultimate education for the type of realism she sought, Karen found art related jobs to keep her motivated. Learning to paint with oils was her goal and found that opportunity Austin Fine Arts Classes where she learned a more classical approach. From there, she attended workshops from nationally re-nowned artists and from there began to find her own path in her creative journey. From her studio in Austin, Karen approaches her paintings with an atmospheric sensitivity combining shape, tone line, and color. The inspiration of her preferred subject matter comes ultimately from the figure. "I have always loved painting people whether in natural surroundings or in a more staged setting." “As and artist, I am very aware of my environment which invites me to be a constant observer. I see potential in everything and my emotional reaction guides me to the specific inspiration. There are different aspects to my painting, for example technical skill, creative freedom and emotional truth. My goal is to create work that guides all these elements in a direction that moves me." Offspring ‐ Oil ‐ Panel ‐ 30 x 20 Atelier Dojo ( 916 Springdale Road Building 2, Suite 106B Austin, TX 78702 (512) 220-1058 Some of the subjects we discuss: When we met Type of painting Less is more Abstraction How you feel Many layers This moved me That’s really me Model Meeghan Wallflower painting It doesn’t end Capturing a moment Liking your old work Striving to improve Evolving the work Drawing growing up The right brain Modern art influence Austin Fine Art Classes Jennifer Balkan Painting community Idea for Atelier Dojo Motherhood Taking a break Personal aspects/People Painting sons Working with models Building a composition It’s all a blur at first Teaching painting Encouraging students You have to want it Guiding students Fear and pressure Piecing together skills Realism vs. Modern Connecting to now Having the skill Recognition Favorite things Selling work The business side Austin/Atelier Dojo Foundational skills Dojo Academy Classic structure How to get started Expanded world EAST events This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
"The nature of the business is relationship building. With clients, with artists, with framers and installers. The people that make up this whole ecosystem we call the art world. Even people who come and pack the work and ship it, even they need to understand. Building up trust with all of these people I think is important. So in building relationships you have to be true to who you are as a person. I think it is something we re-learn even on a personal level, is just being true to who you are and knowing who you are. And I think you will be more successful if you have a good handle on what that is." Susannah Morgan’s passion for art began with inspiration from her grandparents, and has followed her through college, working at a gallery in NYC, running a gallery in Austin, and art consulting for corporate clients on sometimes very large projects. A year ago with all of that experience and knowledge under her belt, she ventured out on her own to work directly with collectors and artists in a broader and more personal way. I think most any artist who listens to this conversation with get something out it. Susannah really knows her stuff and is not afraid to share. We go into great detail about what she offers as an adviser and some of the tips you can take and run with. I really enjoyed speaking with her and hope that some of you will be inspired by this conversation to seek out her help or someone like her. To get organized, to get a proffesional perspective on your work and the industry, and to hopefully find the success and freedom that most of us desire in our careers as artists. Headshot photography by Jonathan Morgan Photography Text courtesy of Susannah's website SKM Art Advising is a vital resource and partner for collectors, designers, and artists. Relationships are central to our mission, and our clients’ vision is our primary focus. We work closely with collectors across the United States to build meaningful art collections, interior designers to put the finishing touch on their gorgeous projects, and artists to understand the business of art. By working with SKMAA, our clients gain access to our positive industry relationships, and benefit from our extensive industry experience. Founder Susannah Morgan has built a career in New York and Austin both in the residential and commercial sectors as an art consultant and gallery director. Susannah founded SKM Art Advising with the goal of connecting collectors and designers with meaningful artwork. She is active in the community, building strong relationships throughout Austin, Texas, and the United States with artists, gallery owners, and collectors. In her free time, Susannah enjoys gardening, hiking, traveling, and spending time with her dog Maddy. She also volunteers her time with the Girls Advocacy League, a division of the Girls Empowerment Network in Austin. SKM Art Advising ( ( 512-299-3062 Austin, Texas Current and upcomming 2019 Exhibition Series ( The Spaces Between New works by Larry Goode Opening Reception - Tuesday November 5 from 5:30- 8:00 Exhibition - October 30- January 6 Paris in a Bite 3801 N Capital of TX Hwy, Suite D-180 Austin, TX 78746 SKM Art Advising is proud to be mounting a series of curated exhibitions at The Gallery at Paris in a Bite in the Westlake neighborhood of Austin, Texas. Our intention with this series is to create a space of dialogue and to showcase work that we believe in. Larry Goode - Aiiric 48” x 48” Oil stick, oil on wood panel Coffee Chat: Susannah Morgan ( Thursday, November 7, 2019 9:00 AM 10:00 AM Big Medium 916 Springdale Rd, Bldg 2 #101 Austin, TX 78702 Join us for our November Coffee Chat with Susannah Morgan, an art consultant and artist advisor. Susannah will share insights into collector behavior and best practices for artists learned through her experience in the field. Rebecca Jewell - Multicolored Songbirds, Hand-printed and coloured goose, turkey, dove, and pheasant feathers with hand-printed tissue on archival mountboard, 33x35” SKM Art Advising is the exclusive broker for Rebecca Jewell’s work in Texas. We talk about this piece in the interview. Some of the subjects we discuss: SKM art advising Collectors Artist advising The conduit Love of art Biographies Grandparents Publishing Co. College at UT Move to NYC Volunteering at Met Insurance job Rebecca Hossack Intentional practice Working at the gallery Move back to TX Starting over Davis Gallery Skills learned Relationships Art + Artisans Corporate clients Learning the business Artists approach Out on her own Business coach Working w/collectors Questions/Research Presenting options Within reach Rebecca Jewel Collection management Getting organized Pricing work Gallery prices Knowing value Artist statements Customization Contacts/Goals Accountability Like a therapist I need help What is your job Referrals/Resources Girls Advocacy League The Austin market Artists she likes Paris in a Bite Work at a restaurant CS Coffee chat This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
Episode 73: Dave McClinton

Episode 73: Dave McClinton


“The things that I think people don’t understand or misunderstand about me is that sometimes when I’m hanging out with friends or hanging out with piers, I can't help but make a joke or a comment about race. Because it is literally always there. It’s just always there. It’s an odd thing to constantly have that in your face all of the time. It’s heavy. I think it’s why black men die sooner than everyone else. That psychological weight is always there. And sometimes I wish I could explain to my friends what that's like. I wish there was a way to convey to people, and maybe that’s what I am trying to do with the art, what that constant pressure feels like, because it is literally constant” Dave McClinton is an artist and graphic designer who after doing design work for decades decided to funnel his life experiences, ideas, and emotions into often provocative, graphically intricate, and colorfully rendered, digitally collaged portraits and landscapes. The artworks aim to tell stories, start hard conversations, and to help visually define current and historical black identity and inner life. Lo and Behold IV Statement's courtesty of Dave's website. ARTIST STATEMENT | as it pertains to the culturally based imagery. In the African American community, we are slowly rediscovering our history that has not been fully illustrated. It’s my job as visual communicator to review historical information and inform the community by bringing these concepts to life and help visually define our identity. And to distribute these stories about the strengths and trials of the African American community. I want to illustrate the life-cycle of the inner life of a black person. From innocent to informed. From recklessly defiant to determined. How the weight of American history can either crush you or harden you. And, how either result often has to be hidden from view just to get through the day. The anger of the African-American community is often portrayed as a threat. The anger of “traditional’ communities is depicted as righteous. This paradigm feeds stress and despair back into black lives and thus stokes the fires we try to simultaneously hide and harness. Currently, there is a newly intensified wave of empathetic consciousness in all forms of artistic output. I want the community to seize this moment in history to create work that tells a story and compels them to seek out empathy and activism for the sake of others. My hope is the work I’m creating can help do that. I want to spark conversations that have, historically, been hard to start. ARTIST STATEMENT | Concerning the landscapes. I create free standing crumpled paper still lifes, then photograph them and manipulate the images until I’ve created something that straddles reality and fantasy. I want to show you something familiar and then alter your perspective. These shapes and “views” are familiar but I want to you conjure up places you have been and seen. Not simply reproduce a vista for it’s own sake. I combine my love of photography, art and graphic design to create works that speak to the viewer by communicating something specific and obvious but also harboring subtexts that require repeated viewing or discussion. My work as a graphic designer has been to communicate quickly and efficiently through logo and branding work. That economy of message can be applied to art. Resurgence Current and upcomming Laura Caffrey and Dave McClinton: CARRY THE REMAINDER October 11 - November 17, 2019 Atleier 1205 1205 E Cesar Chavez St., Austin, TX 78702 Gallery hours: 11am-6pm, Thursdays and Fridays, by appointment on other days and evenings Meet the artists during the first weekend of East Austin Studio Tour: 11am-6pm, Saturday and Sunday, November 16-17 2019 Texas Book Festival Weekend Saturday, October 26th 10:00AM – 5:00PM Sunday, October 27th 11:00AM – 5:00PM Saturday - 2:30 PM - 3:15 PM Meet 2019 Texas Book Festival Poster Artist Dave McClinton The Contemporary Austin-Jones Center (700 Congress Avenue) Meet the official 2019 Texas Book Festival Poster artist, Dave McClinton, as he shares his work, including the dramatic image for this year’s poster, Burgeoning, a mixed-media digital collage made from crumpled paper, photographed and rendered as a mountain landscape. The idea for McClinton’s crumpled paper series was sparked when he noticed the discarded gift wrapping on his kitchen table looked like a miniature mountain sculpture. Some of the subjects we discuss: Questions/reactions Experiences/stereotypes New conversations The mission Cultural work Code switching Textures/bodies Facial elements/features Eye contact/defiant Generational trauma Conflicting messages Addiction/genetics Using historical texts Replacing the nouns The word “likely” Graphic design Rewriting texts The Landscapes Crumpled paper Scars on the land Vietnam Memorial People as resources Other Art Fair Crowd reactions Tough conversations Bulletproof explanations Defending the work Who gets the work Woman at WEST Suit and noose Talking point piece Studying art in school Influential teachers Printing fascination All the names Starting to make art Using the skill set Story importance Evolution of work Showing emotions Sense of injustice Dealing with life Using humor Pride/embarrassment Me too/All men Righteousness Thomas Jefferson 3/5ths of a person The 1619 Project Texas Book Festival DJ Stout/Pentagram Atelier 1205 Landscapes Get out there/friends Davis Gallery show New plexi work Branding/logo work Creative freedom This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
"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. Kathie and I at the Fort Lonesome shop in East Austin. Text courtesy of the Fort Lonesome website. About Fort 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. Story Company 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: Intro Having a platform The spotlight/feedback Having employees Sacrifices/skills You have to go through it Finding your way Staying connected Building a business Multiple voices Unseen aspects Ego/being a leader Who am I without this Self growth/help Growing up in Cali Parents and the outdoors Dad’s photography career Mom’s sewing influence Studying art in school Painting/teaching? Montana experience Western wear Being in to clothes Austin/marriage/children Starting to sew Childrens clothing line Business got too big Learning chain stitch Re-brand/Ryan Rhodes CSE vintage machines How chain stitch works Everyone on the team Help with the business Growth vs’ reacting Next phase/Saying No Valuing the work Feeling deserving Sustainability Dealing with celebrities Putting creativity to work Love of the team Getting back to making This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
Episode 71: Deborah Roberts

Episode 71: Deborah Roberts


"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 STATEMENT Whether 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. BIO Deborah 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 interview New studio Since the last interview Painting vs Collage Romantic/Americana Flat and fixed Work about boys George Stinney Where the work goes Tamir Rice shooting Evolving the work Boys with pink shirts Using fist imagery Do you see the subtlety Sculpture work/Books Lot’s of work to be done The first year/Car analogy Taking control/Staying true People working with her Keeping up the level Missing women Volta/Being prepared Having inventory Who gets the work Meeting new people Paying the bills Time to grow the work The work was fracturing Fear of changing Grants for artists A little bit of help Not an overnight success It’s not easy/Stress Hours a week Rauschenberg Residency Studio manager Contemporary installation Why not be preachy Getting back to people New book release Big Goals Talk at Blanton Upcoming Events October 4, 2019 6pm-8pm Book Release/Signing of "Deborah Roberts: The Evolution of Mimi" ( George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center 1165 Angelina St, Austin, Texas 78702 October 8th, 2019 6:30pm Artist Talk: Deborah Roberts and Robert A. Pruitt ( This event is free to the public but pre-registration is recommended. Blanton Museum of Art The University of Texas at Austin 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Austin, TX 78712 Banner image - Deborah Roberts LET THEM BE CHILDREN 120" x 45" Mixed Media Collage on Canvas 2018 This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
"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. Beili installing AMASS at University Gallery, Texas State University, San Marcos in 2013 Photo by Scott David Gordon ( Lure/Rise, Chinese Culture Foundation, San Francisco, photo by Frank Jang ( Bio courtesy of Beili's website Beili 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. The Little House Stands on the Prairie, Permanent Installation, Adobe bricks, wood, straw, newspaper, glass, hardware, 7'x14.5'x10.5' ( Art Farm, Nebraska ( The Mending Project / 补缮工程, 2011, Iron scissors, Fabric, thread, needle, mixed-media, at Women & their Work. Photo by Blue ( Some of the subjects we discuss: Intro Material/Time Play/Studio practice Red Thread Each and Every Migrant children Growing up in China Sewing and working Lost generation Separation from parents Move to Shenzhen Made in China Migrant workers What we share Art growing up Love of writing English-Chinese Culture shock Resilience Taking for granted Being a teacher Advice to students Graduate program Encouragement Just do it Di-Da installation Parents support Little house/Art Farm House in China Building the house History/meaning Timeframes Perfection/enough Sanctum/Fathom Migrant deaths Feather meaning Tar and feather Related installations Women & Their Work The Mending Project Scissors Feminine strength Joan Mitchell Center Banner 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 ( Support this podcast. (
"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 programs Admission to the gallery is free. Donations are appreciated. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 10am to 6pm Saturday Noon to 6pm. 1710 Lavaca Street Austin, TX 78701 512-477-1064 General Inquires ( Red Dot Art Spree 2019 Opening - Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:00pm – 10:00pm VIP Pre-Spree 6:00pm – 7:00pm Looking for tickets to the party on opening night? Click here. ( 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 job Art in the US Experiencing art W&TW beginnings The name/evolution Women in the arts Inclusivity/being seen Different facets Visual art exhibitions Performance commissions Education Program Kids at the gallery Fiscal sponsoring Different events Austin museums Being an art center Art collectors High profile grants Thirst on town lake Sources of funds Sale-ability of art Richard Serra Living with the art Exposure to art How it speaks to you What it means/rules Shana Hoehn’s work Ballet in NYC Keeps you curious Imposter syndrome Working with artists Banking/other careers New show every 6 weeks Social media immediacy Looking forward How to support This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
“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. Pink - 60" x 40" - Watercolor on paper Big Pink Blanket of Love Work by Jan Heaton & Friends Opening reception: Saturday, September 14th | 7-9 pm September 14 – October 12 Davis Gallery & Framing 837 W. 12th Street Austin, TX78701 Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm | Sat 10am-4pm 512-477-4929 In 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. Panorama of Jan from 2013 when we met. Artist statment courtesy of Jan's website My 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. Panorama with Jan at Boggy creek farmstand in 2014. Some of the subjects we discuss: How we met Panorama project Farmers market series Ideas & editing inspiration Mary Oliver poetry Detroit childhood Jan’s parents Artistic family Calligraphy Thank you notes Various jobs Deadlines Painting/website Losing job/new path Approaching galleries Jace Graf portfolio Wally Workman Gallery representation Hiatus Spa/calming work Morning walk/looking Boundaries/introversion Validation/feedback Discipline/schedule The Art of Giving Elizabeth Hendley Art Therapy Being a teacher What is watercolor? Opportunities/learning Advertising experience Business of art Kristin’s story The Peabody Fund Davis Gallery exhibition Personalized cancer vaccine This interview 2nd/3rd opinions Medical advocacy Supportive friends & family What’s different Gratitude This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
Episode 67: Sydney Yeager

Episode 67: Sydney Yeager


"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 website I 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. swimmer | oil on linen | 60x72 | 2019 naiad #2 | oil on linen | 72x60 | 2019 Some of the subjects we discuss: Introduction Galleries Photo use Painter? Early history Back to school Growing up Gang mentality Narrative work Limited art world Informal class Elisabet Ney Supportive friends Imposter syndrome Art school Transgressive work Feminism/anger Changing direction Life & death work Interior view/mortality Towards abstract Arabesque Disintegration People seeing work Being open Materials Figure ground The blank canvas Jumping in Flow state Stopping Love of paint Style evolution Teaching Art history Women & Their Work Teaching in overseas Studio in Elgin What’s next Austin art scene Generational gap Being an artist This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
"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. 18 Dimension Gallery 979 Springdale Rd Austin, TX, 78702 512-479-9941 open Thursday through Saturday from 12pm to 6pm Artist Statement​ for Dimension Gallery Fellowship My 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: Introduction Bubble cage guy Complex craft Fitting into shapes Cages/mirrors Upbringing College/art classes Punishment/repairs Object vs Craft Deadlines Working with water Beginnings in Oakland Working with glass Desire to teach Anything is possible People around you Projects/business partner Bus conversion Greater impact Facebook Move to Austin Ghost ship fire Austin so far CI grant/HS students Art collectors Cultural arts division Diversifying income Helping artists Being a dad Burning man The temple and loss Sacrificing for others Dimension gallery Message to artists This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support 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 ( 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. Photo courtesy of Photographer unknown. Some of the subjects we discuss: Introduction Art growing up Early music career Motorcycle accident Miracle survival Meeting Christ Recovery/painting Finishing school First works Self inspiration Studio art/marketing Emotions in the work Getting to know the self France residency Daily routine Studio practice The blank canvas Confidence Daily prayers Vulnerability/wisdom Momentum Identity/purpose Daily clarity/adventure Gratitude Marriage/growing love The world you create Preacher paintings Brinston brand Pause/perception Art vending machine Leaving art in city Creating urgency Dallas community Sense of career Success & money Nurturing relationships Protecting yourself Mentorship Christ’s presence Cheat code Listening to your path This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support 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. Werrick in his Spicewood stuido with a piece about mass shootings. King of the Jews Werrick and your host, Scott David Gordon! Some of the subjects we discuss: Meeting in Marfa Dad & Vietnam Leaving business world Starting to paint Fear and risk You need to just see it Staying out of the way An attitude of faith Piece of Christ Intent of the piece Having faith There’s more inside Challenges Artistic skills Success Marfa/gallery Worldly visitors Architecture A real oddity Holocaust piece Relationships Using your words Humility and pride Pastors coin story The art world Stewardship Guided practice Marriage/giving up Spirituality/soul How to contact Thanks WERRICK Art gallery in Marfa, Texas 100 East San Antonio Marfa, TX 79843 512-563-9403 Contemporary art by Werrick Armstrong. Hours are variable–look for the “open” sign or by appointment This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support 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 website An 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. Re-Membering is the Responsibility of the Living: An Installation by Taja Lindley Closes Saturday July 27th, 2019 George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center 1165 Angelina Street Austin, TX 78702 Open Hours: Monday-Wednesday 10am -6pm; Thursday 10am-9pm Friday-10am-6pm; Saturday 10am-4pm Sunday-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 Museum This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support 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 Jaben APRIL 2019 Opening Reception Saturday 27 April, from 4-7pm AGAVE PRINT ( 1312 E Cesar Chavez Austin, TX. 78702 Open 8:30 am - 5 pm Monday through Friday. By appointment. Exhibition Artist Statement My 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: Introduction Three chapters Childhood in Minnesota Observing the landscape Early art creation Robert Irwin The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Subliminal Mystery/layers Epiphany moments Dioramas Transitions Move to Boston Experimental music Creative collaboration Madison Hotel Drawings/documentation Move to Austin Media development Sculpture/object origins Craftsmanship Color/visuals Artistic practice stoplightanalytics Cuero Hotel story The last three years Turning points Reactions to work Why make art? Agave exhibition This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support 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." Eating Warhol's Lunch 2016 gouache & collage, 41 x 29 inches Upcoming Exhibitions Julie Speed: East of the Sun and West of the Moon Taubman Museum of Art - Roanoke, VA Saturday, August 31, 2019 - Sunday, March 15, 2020 Touring 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 website Some of the subjects we discuss: When we met Marfa/sin faucets Making things Pleasing arrangements Moments of clarity Cracking herself up/anger Atoms/amazons Behind the veil Focus on painting Putting in the hours Older paintings High standards Not perfect Time/gardening Building a life Spacial proportions No compartments Afterlife/questions Where socks go? Specific & open How to look at art Painting the Duck Forming images Assumptions Meanings changing Eating Warhol’s lunch Rules for collages Color/symbols Fairy tales/magic fish No words of wisdom Closeup room El Paso exhibition This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
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