Either I’m staying on top of things or A+AH is tapping into my artist bank.
UT’s Visiting Artist Lecture series usually brings a relevant and diverse group of professional artists to Austin. This year, I was surprised by how familiar I was with each artist.
The name Erik Parker didn’t ring any bells and his listed bio did not help. But once he mentioned Greater New York in his lecture, it all clicked. His visit was extra special as he is an alum and he got Peter Saul into the audience.
With Luis Gispert, I was familiar with his photos from here and there, especially the cheerleaders. I was impressed to learn about his sculptures and watching his videos was a treat. Talking to him after the lecture he gave off a cool vibe. Very real.
Stanya Kahn was dishonored with my late arrival. Not that she noticed, but I missed the first half of her lecture. I got to watch two of her videos. The second of which had vaguely familiar characters/elements. I couldn’t convince myself that I had actually listened to one of her interviews before. So when …mbg editor, Claire Ruud exclaimed, “She’s awesome!” I froze. Was I familiar with her work or did I just think I was? A quick reference, and I was familiar. But only with her name. The lecture was the first time I actually saw her work.
And the lecture series that brought Adrian Piper, Carla Williams and Rick Lowe last year, Lectures on Art in the Black Diaspora, brought Renee Cox. I was cursorily familiar with “Yo Mama’s Last Supper“, but it was JH Cudlin that excited me about her work. After looking at her web-portfolio, I assumed she would be stone cold serious. Little did I know. Hers was the most energetic art lecture I have sat in.
UT gets a lot of artists passing through their halls. A lot of times it won’t cost you anything more than parking fees.
I’ll tell you ’bout what I sees.