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Christie Blizard,"Let My Body Eat The Sun."

Texas, Let’s Talk Art With Curators and Artists From Around The State

by Gila Espinoza 8 Feb 2021 9:00 PM

There’s nothing like hearing an artist talk about their work with someone who understands it intimately. And few know that work more intimately than museum curators, who spend lots of time visiting artists in their studios and staying abreast of their growth.

Ordinarily, you’d have to go to the Nasher Sculpture Center or the Fort Worth Modern for a conversation like this – or the Chinati Foundation in Marfa or The Contemporary in Austin – but now you can watch it all in your living room.

Texas Talks Art is a new series pairing an artist in conversation with a curator from around the state.

Mackenzie Stevens is director of the Visual Arts Center at UT Austin and a member of the Texas Talks Art steering committee.

Texas Talks Art. Noon, every Tuesday. Details.

“We sort of landed on this idea of the virtual studio visit, in part because they are such a wonderful thing that curators get to do, engage with artists in that way. Going to their studios, learning about their practices, seeing the work.

“You know it’s not necessarily something that many people in the public would necessarily, have access to. And so we thought, well, how wonderful to give the general public this kind of behind-the-scenes look at what artists are doing.”

Nopalistxs, Trim the Fat, 2020. Installation, Valu Pawn, Dallas, Texas. The Dallas artist collective Nopalistxs will talk with Sofia Bastidas from SMU Pollock Gallery, Dallas for Texas Talks Art on February 16.

The next step was to line up institutions willing to participate.

“Everyone was super excited to collaborate and work together and really bring visibility to the state and to artists working here in Texas,” said Stevens.

Leslie Martinez, Pour Shadows into Valleys – Dust Light on the High Reliefs, 2020.  Photo: Evan Sheldon. Leslie Martinez will speak with Alison Starr, Cliff Gallery, Mountain View, Dallas College on Texas Talks Art on February 23.

With the series, they hope to give more visibility and exposure to artists, museums, and galleries both small and large, in the Texas art ecosystem. At the same time, visitors to can learn more about what’s happening at museums out west in El Paso and Marfa, down south in Corpus Christi, out east in Galveston, and of course in North Texas.

“Given where we are with the pandemic, people are still at home but really yearning and kind of really itching as it were to come to be with art and be with artists and have those kinds of experiences,” said Stevens.

Deborah Roberts, The duty of disobedience, 2020. Photograph by Paul Bardagjy. Austin-based, mixed media artist Deborah Roberts speaks with Heather Pesanti, The Contemporary Austin for the March 2 Texas Talks Art.

The 30-minute conversations take place every Tuesday at noon and will continue throughout the year. Register to attend or at the organization’s web site or at and to see archive conversations.

Upcoming Talks in February and March

February 9: James C. Watkins (Lubbock) with Kathryn Hall, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

February 16: Nopalistxs (Dallas) with Sofia Bastidas, SMU Pollock Gallery, Dallas

February 23: Leslie Martinez (Dallas) with Alison Starr, Cliff Gallery, Mountain View, Dallas College

March 2: Deborah Roberts (Austin) with Heather Pesanti, The Contemporary Austin

March 9: Zoe Leonard (Marfa) with Tim Johnson (Marfa) and Ingrid Schaffner, Chinati Foundation, Marfa

March 16: Christie Blizard (San Antonio) with Sara-Jayne Parsons, The Art Galleries at TCU, Fort Worth

March 23: Sterling Allen (Austin) with Patrick Kelly, The Old Jail Art Center, Albany

March 30: Lovie Olivia and Preetika Rajgariah (Houston) with Ashley DeHoyos, DiverseWorks, Houston

See more talks and past conversations by visiting

Got a tip? Email Gila Espinoza at [email protected]. You can follow her on Twitter @espinoza_kera.

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