Department of Art and Art History News

M.F.A. candidates present summer exhibition of work

Thu. May 29, 2014

Iceberg graphic over text

Nine M.F.A. candidates will display their works in a group exhibition at pump project, a studio and gallery space in East Austin. The graduates work in painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and transmedia. An opening reception will be held Friday, May 30, and the exhibition will continue through July 21.

Artists include:

Adam Boley
Adam Crosson
Annie May Johnson
Gracelee Lawrence
Bryan Martello
Elizabeth McClellan
Annie Miller
Anne Rogers
Rachel Stuckey

Dr. Michael D. Carrasco received NEH grant

Thu. May 29, 2014

Logo with green petals

Dr. Michael D. Carrasco (Ph.D. Art History, 2005) was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant. The grant amounts to $60,000 and will support Carrasco's project, The Mesoamerican Corpus of Formative Period Art and Writing.

During his time at the Department of Art and Art History, Carrasco completed his dissertation The Mask Flange Iconographic Complex: The Art, Ritual, and History of a Maya Sacred Image under the supervision of Dr. Julia Guernsey and Dr. David Stuart.

Museum founded by alumnus invites recent graduate for residency

Wed. May 28, 2014

View of two story museum front
Till Richter Museum

This summer, a meeting of the minds will occur in a contemporary art museum housed in a castle in Germany. Artist Miguel Aragon (M.F.A Studio Art, 2012) will travel to Germany for a residency at the Till Richter Museum, founded by art critic and curator Till Richter (Ph.D. Art History, 2011).

Richter’s eponymous museum for contemporary art is located in Buggenhagen Castle on a seven-acre park by the Baltic Sea. The castle as well as the grounds provide space for Richter’s ambitious programming. He stated, “I want the museum to become a destination for the most promising, international, young artists and those who want to enjoy their art.” When asked how his research at UT Austin influenced his museum work, Richter responded, “my pioneer spirit is something that I attribute particularly to my Austin experience, where we made all kinds of projects happen just with a lot of work and good will but without a lot of money, keeps me going.”

Aragon will participate in the three-month Rising Stars residency program, one of two artists selected by a jury. Additional museum programming includes exhibitions from Richter’s collection and a robust series of exhibition programming including galleries for solo exhibitions of work by established artists, media based exhibitions, solo exhibitions of work by emerging artists. In the future, Richter plans to establish a reading room for research and organize a yearly conference for art historians and critics working in contemporary art.

In anticipation of Aragon's first visit to Germany, he said:

“I am hoping to visit some of the World War II prison camp sites, I am exploring the idea of "prisons," and I feel these sites will help as research for what I have planned; they don't directly relate to my work but I feel there might be a connection with what I'm trying to do. This idea I will be developing during the residence still has to do with Mexico's violence and its effects on the citizens. On my last trip to Juarez I noticed that houses looked more like bunkers or prisons, and I realized they acted as self-imposed prisons to protect themselves from the outside. Neighborhoods gated themselves (illegally I might add) to limit the movement in their streets; I am not trying to compare or contrast to the Jewish ghettos or camps, but I want to study them to help me approach the work more carefully.”

Till Richter received a doctoral degree in art history from The University of Texas at Austin in 2011. His research and dissertation, entitled Art Historical and Market Criteria in the Evaluation of Contemporary Art, was supervised by Dr. Richard Shiff from the Department of Art and Art History and Stephen Magee from the Department of Finance.

Miguel Aragon received a dual B.F.A. in Printmaking and Graphic Design from The University of Texas at El Paso in 2002 and a M.F.A. in Studio Art from The University of Texas at Austin in 2012. His works are in collections of the National Museum of Mexican Art (Chicago, Ill.), Tama Art University Museum (Tokyo, Japan), Mexic-Arte Museum (Austin, Texas), and The Amity Art Foundation Inc. (Woodbridge, Conn.). He has been in exhibitions at IPCNY (New York, NY), FotoFest (Houston, Texas), Austin Museum of Art (Austin, Texas), and Lamego Museum and Douro Museum (Alijo, Portugal).

Another great season at the Visual Arts Center

Wed. May 28, 2014

As we close the doors to the VAC for the summer, we celebrate our achievements and prepare for the coming fall. Among our robust exhibition programming, the season closed with our annual M.F.A. Studio Art thesis exhibition, Pool; M.F.A. Design thesis exhibition, Playgrounds; B.F.A. Design thesis exhibition, Make, Do, and Mend; and Michael Sieben’s exhibition, It Will All Happen Again.

If you missed our most recent exhibitions, a collection of works culled from them, selected by Director Jade Walker and curatorial intern Cameron Coffman, are on display at the W Hotel. These artworks, along with additional selections from the undergraduate senior art thesis exhibition, Wellspring, will be on display for the next year.

Artist speaks to group in art gallery
Michael Sieben giving instruction during zine workshop. Photo by Sandy Carson

In addition to a successful exhibitions calendar, the VAC also implemented comprehensive and engaging public programming throughout the year. In April, artist-in-resident Michael Sieben led a zine-making workshop. Held in the VAC’s Vaulted Gallery, guests were invited to work alongside Sieben to explore the history and process of zine making. With Sieben’s guidance, workshop participants created their own zines, marked with personal interest and self-exploration. Many of these created zines joined the ranks of Sieben’s personal zine library.

Three musicans perform on stage
Jace Clayton, The Julius Eastman Memorial Dinner. Photo by Sandy Carson

Another notable evening was Jace Clayton’s The Julius Eastman Memorial Dinner, part of the Visual Arts Center’s signature series Sound + Vision. Guests crowded into the Texas Performing Arts’ McCullough Theatre to experience a dramatic 70-minute performance commemorating the work of late pianist, Julius Eastman. Clayton captivated the audience with a re-interpretation of two Eastman originals, which were composed and played simultaneously involving two grand pianos, live electronics, and various vocal elements.

Looking back on a wonderful season, we are sad to say good-bye to all graduating VAC staff members, including Vlad Mejia, who has been with the VAC since he started his studio art education in the Department of Art and Art History. As we prepare for the fall, we would like to invite you to join us in celebrating the works of many great artists at our fall season exhibition opening reception, which will be held on September 19, 2014.

Andy Coolquitt artist-in-residence at Chinati

Wed. May 28, 2014

Alumnus Andy Coolquitt was the artist-in-residence at The Chinati Foundation in the months of April and May. At the completion of his residency, Coolquitt displayed two projects at the Chinati Locker Plant. Multi-Marfa Room and Object Activation Exercise both demonstrate Coolquitt's use of found objects and arrangement to present formal abstractions and the domestic traces humans leave behind.

The Multi-Marfa Room was an installation of found objects ranging from wire, metal, and wood to empty picture frames, brooms, and toy balls. The Object Activation Exercise project presents Coolquitt standing in junk yards, located in and around Marfa, and heaving objects into the air. Keeping with his tradition of collaboration, the photographs were taken by graduates from the Department of Art and Art History and other artists.

Installation of found objects in room
Andy Coolquitt, Multi-Marfa Room, 2014, The Locker Plant, Marfa TX

Detail image of stone, chair stands, painted glass in gallery
Andy Coolquitt, Multi-Marfa Room, 2014, The Locker Plant, Marfa TX

Detail image of stone and painted glass in gallery
Andy Coolquitt, Multi-Marfa Room, 2014, The Locker Plant, Marfa TX

Artist throwing object into air at junk yard
Andy Coolquitt, Object Activation Exercise #11 - Chinati JunkDump, 2014, Photo: Christopher Whiteburch

Artist throwing folding chair at junk yard
Andy Coolquitt, Object Activation Exercise #9 - Terlingua JunkDump, 2014. Photo: Sean Gaulager

Artist throwing object into air at junk yard
Andy Coolquitt, Object Activation Exercise #19 - Godbold JunkPile, 2014. Photo: Taylor Swan