Puente de Arte Panel Discussion

Aug. 27, 2020

Aug. 27, 2020 @ 5:00 pm 6:30 pm

The Mexic-Arte Museum would like to invite you to a panel discussion centering on racism within the art community with speakers Dr. Cherise Smith, Tammie Rubin, Elaina Brown-Spence, Dr. Cary Cordova, and Mexic-Arte Museum Development Coordinator, Danielle Houtkooper as our moderator. In response to the Black Lives Matter protests, and social injustices happening across the country, we feel it is our responsibility as a cultural institution to use our influence within the community to aid in the amplification of the voices of the historically unheard and uplift a message of solidarity. Puente de Arte (Art Bridge) Panel Discussion will highlight BIPOC artists and scholars, sharing their experiences within the art community in Texas and beyond. Our ultimate goal is to ensure a positive impact on our community, and to keep the momentum going to work towards healthy, and equitable changes. Please join us on Thursday, August 27th from 5:00pm – 6:30pm CST with a Q&A taking place during the last 30 minutes of the online panel discussion.

Donate to INCITE!

As part of our panel discussion, we’re encouraging our viewers to donate to INCITE!. Founded in 2000, INCITE! established itself as a network of radical feminists of color organizing to end state violence and violence in homes and communities. The organization formed after hosting “The Color of Violence: Violence Against Women of Color” conference held at the University of California-Santa Cruz. From this conference, INCITE! went on to continue its efforts to develop strategies to end violence that addressed community and state violence simultaneously.

About our speakers:

Moderator, Danielle Houtkooper:
Danielle studied English with a minor in Art History at the University of Texas at Austin from 2008-2014. During her time at University, she had the opportunity to do research in the Harry Ransom Center Archives, working with original drafts, letters, first edition books, art work, and more from beat poets Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, American Poet Anne Sexton, and Harlem Renaissance leader Langston Hughes. She began working with different arts based nonprofit groups in Austin starting in 2008, working as a volunteer with Creative Action and Leap of Joy. She became an instructor and administrator with Leap of Joy in 2011, focusing on Event Planning and Development, and has been a community leader with 501(c)3 Girls Rock Austin since 2014. She has worked as an independent entertainment and pop culture writer, and freelanced for various national and international publications including Variety. From 2013-2020 she worked as an Entertainment Host for the Alamo Drafthouse. Acting as a moderator, DJ, personality, and more, she has had opportunities to work with many distinguished actors, artists, and creatives during events like SXSW. Following her time as a Marketing and PR Director/Events Manager for a music venue in Austin, Danielle had the opportunity to return to nonprofit work as the Development Coordinator for the Mexic-Arte Museum.

Dr. Cherise Smith:
Cherise Smith is Chair of African and African Diaspora Studies Department and Professor of African & African Diaspora Studies and Art History.  She specializes in American art after 1945, especially as it intersects with the politics of identity, race, and gender. Smith joined the University of Texas at Austin in 2005, after finishing the PhD. at Stanford University.  

Her research centers on African American art, the history of photography, performance, and contemporary art.  Her book Michael Ray Charles: Studies in Blackness (University of Texas Press, 2020) places the artist’s work in the context of the 1990s, the rise in collecting of Black “memorabilia,” and Pop art among other historical trends. Her book, Enacting Others: Politics of Identity in Eleanor Antin, Nikki S. Lee, Adrian Piper, and Anna Deavere Smith (Duke University Press, 2011), examines how identity is negotiated in performance art in which women artists take-on the characteristics and manners of a racial, ethnic, and gender “other.” She has published essays in Art Journal, American Art, and exposure among other venues.  

Currently, she is Executive Director of the Art Galleries at Black Studies where she spearheads Black Studies’ Art and Archive Initiative which seeks to expand UT’s holdings of art and material collections relating to people of African descent and increase its exhibition spaces.  Under its auspices, she created two exhibition spaces—the Idea Lab and the Christian-Green Gallery—, and she has shepherded in donations of art by Norman Lewis, Romare Bearden, and Charles White among others.

Her research has been supported by the Getty Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, the Ford Foundation Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship, and a Research Fellowship at W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African American Research at Harvard University.  She has worked in the curatorial departments of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Saint Louis Art Museum among other institutions.  

Tammie Rubin:
Tammie Rubin is a visual artist who transforms familiar objects into mythic sculptures and installations that explore the gaps between the readymade and the handcrafted object. Her material-and-process-driven works open-up dream-like spaces of unexpected associations and dislocations. Rubin received a BFA in Ceramics and Art History from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and an MFA in Ceramics at the University of Washington in Seattle. Rubin has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions, recent selections include Women & Their Work, The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, The South Dallas Cultural Center, and The Carver Museum. Rubin founded Black Mountain Project along with fellow Austin-based artists Adrian Aguilera and Betelhem Makonnen, and she is a member of ICOSA Collective, a non-profit cooperative gallery. Rubin is Chair of the City of Austin’s Cultural Arts Division Art in Public Places Panel (AIPP).

Her work has been featured in online and printed publications such as Artforum, Art in America, Glasstire, Hyperallergic, Sightlines, fields, Conflict of Interest, Arts and Culture Texas, Ceramics: Art & Perception, Ceramics Monthly, and recently Collecting Black Studies: The Art of Material Culture at The University of Texas at Austin. Rubin recently completed a Facebook Artist in Residence project and has upcoming exhibitions at The East | West Galleries at Texas Woman’s University, Mass Gallery, and Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum. Born and raised in Chicago, Rubin lives in Austin, Texas where she is an Associate Professor of Ceramics & Sculpture at St. Edward’s University.

Elaina Brown-Spence:
Elaina Brown-Spence is a Printmaker & Illustrator with over 10 years of creative experience. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art with an emphasis in Printmaking and minors in Japanese and Creative Writing, from Texas Christian University. In 2019, Elaina began her studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia to pursue her MFA in Book Arts and Printmaking. As a military dependent, she experienced a diverse background of people and places, which she feels has influenced her art. When addressing aspects of representation, Elaina wants her art to reflect the world which we live in and can be seen through the pieces she has created, which can identify with interculturalism. Elaina has been a featured speaker at various events, discussing topics on race, identity and art. She also provides consulting services and commissions for women led organizations & companies, and supports black & brown led initiatives with creative strategy. Elaina, hopes to continue to educate and engage audiences through her art and other creative endeavors.

Cary Cordova:
Cary Cordova is an Associate Professor in American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She specializes in Latino/Latina/Latinx cultural production, including art, music, and the performing arts. She is the author of The Heart of the Mission: Latino Art and Politics in San Francisco, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2017. Her book received the 2018 Lawrence W. Levine Award from the Organization of American Historians for the best book in American cultural history.

Cordova is originally from San Francisco, where she has focused much of her research. Her articles include, “Portable Murals: Children’s Book Press and the Circulation of Latino Art,” in Visual Resources, “Hombres y Mujeres Muralistas on a Mission: Painting Latino Identities in 1970s San Francisco” in Latino Studies and, “The Mission in Nicaragua: San Francisco Poets Go To War,” in Beyond El Barrio: Everyday Life in Latina/o America. She has also written on the art and life of her maternal grandfather, Paul Feeley, and his participation in the avant-garde of the 1950s and 1960s at Bennington College in Vermont.

At the University of Texas at Austin, she teaches various classes in American Studies, including “Introduction to American Studies,” “Radical Latinos,” and “American Disasters.” She also has a courtesy appointment with the Center for Mexican American Studies (CMAS) and is a faculty affiliate with the Mexican American and Latino/a Studies.

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