Raul De Lara immigrated from Mexico to the United States at the age of 12 and has been a DACA recipient since 2012. Growing up in Texas as a non-English speaker, feeling neither from here nor there, his work now reflects on ideas of nationality, language barriers, body language and the sense of touch. His sculptures explore how stories, folklore, and rituals can be silently communicated through inanimate objects, tools, and foreign environments. De Lara often works with wood, a material that always shows the passing of time on its skin. His aesthetics and materials are inspired by the shared backyard between the United States and Mexico.
Virginia Lee Montgomery (VLM) is a filmmaker, sculptor, and facilitator working between Austin, Texas and New York, NY, USA. She received her BFA from The University of Texas at Austin in 2008 and her MFA from Yale University in Sculpture in 2016. Her artwork is a research practice of feminist metaphysics. VLM interrogates the complex relationship between physical and psychic structures. VLM also works as a professional scribe, a Graphic Facilitator. In her artwork, VLM turns her professional skill-set, "mind map scribing", inwards to render the contours of her subconscious and open portals into unknown psychic realms.
Join us for a panel unlike any other, because it’s a cartoon. Six members of the art community cover topics like their fear of being reduced to a database entry, where to find studio space that accommodates chainsaws, and how to avoid being scammed by tech companies...all while appearing as bizarre, animated versions of themselves.
The topics were taken from a recent survey where we asked artists across Austin to list three ways they hope to see the art community improve. Animating the panel is a fun way to embrace the virtual emphasis of this year’s studio tours.
Featuring Celina Zisman, Laura Oxendine, Catie Lewis, Keith Kreeger, and Raul De Lara
Animated and moderated by Kayla Lewis
W. Tucker was born in July of 1959 in Goldsboro, North Carolina. He began drawing and painting in 1986. Tucker’s work has been represented in the US by galleries in Los Angeles, Texas, Seattle and Wyoming. He continues to work with Koelsch Gallery in Houston, TX, Conduit Gallery in Dallas, TX and Tayloe Piggott Gallery in Wyoming. He has had exhibitions in various locations in Switzerland: Galerie Keller in Zurich, Br Galerie in Bern, and Galerie Sprungbratt in Niederglatt.
Tucker’s work has been published in volume number 67, 102 (and upcoming 144) of New American Painting’s, a juried show in print. Residencies have included a stay in 1991 at Dorland Mountain Arts Colony in Temecula, California, and at the Fountainhead Residency in Miami in 2008. For the 2012-13 season, Tucker was awarded Austin Critics Table Award for “Best Installation” as well as “Artist of the year” for his installation at Texas State University. He attended Circle in the Square through New York University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Drama in 1982.
Ryan Runcie’s work is a tenuously balanced play of color that pulls viewers in from afar before asking them to see with new eyes - cultivating a shift in perspective. It is meant to be a comforting engagement that blurs social lines and gives us permission to make mistakes while engaging strenuous and, often temperamental, questions with a lighthearted initiation.
Ryan Runcie is a bi-racial, first-generation American artist whose inspirations come from his study of our philosophic beliefs and experiences that ultimately change how we value others and ourselves. He has studied art passionately for nearly two decades and graduated from Texas State University with his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2016. He has many private works across the United States and public murals in Texas. He has created work for The City of San Marcos, Endeavor Real Estate, Capital Metro, DCS Corporation, local businesses, and local non-profit organizations.
He is a studied color theorist and prolific artist. The study has helped him to constantly push his evocative artwork that uses color in a way that inspires viewer to think more universally. His portraits are inviting and expressive — dissolving the stigmas that skin tones initially register in our minds.
Dave McClinton, Selected Artist for the Thirsty Planet EAST Artist Series 2020, has worked in the design industry for over 20 years. In addition to continually serving logo and branding clients, he is also an emerging artist who has exhibited highly personal work for the last few years.
About his 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 a 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...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."
Brooke Burnside was born and raised in Nassau, Bahamas. She earned her BA in Film from Vassar College and her MA in Media, Culture, and Communication from New York University. She recently graduated from the Masters of Architecture program at the University of Texas at Austin and is now a designer at Mark Odom Studio. Burnside has shown work in Nassau, Bahamas, at MASS Gallery and Ivester Contemporary in Austin, as well as at the Spring Break Art show in New York City. She was a recipient of the 2020 Big Medium LINE residency and also participated in the 2020 Willow House residency for Black Artists in Terlingua, TX. Through drawing and collage, Burnside's work explores geography, position, memory, and the transgressive potential in abstract documentation.
Tammie Rubin’s sculptural practice considers the intrinsic power of objects as signifiers, wishful contraptions, and mythic relics while investigating the tension between the readymade and the handcrafted object. Using intricate motifs, Rubin delves into themes involving ritual, domestic and liturgical objects, mapping, migration, magical thinking, and sensual desire. She has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across the United States, and her sculptures are part of public and private collections. Her work has received reviews in online and printed publications such as Artforum, Art in America, Glasstire, Sightlines, fields, Conflict of Interest, Arts and Culture Texas, Ceramics: Art & Perception, and Ceramics Monthly. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Rubin lives in Austin, TX, where she is an Associate Professor of Ceramics & Sculpture at St. Edward’s University.
Funmi Ogunro is a Nigerian-American Lonestar Emmy nominated film producer and editor from Austin, Texas. Funmi was most recently awarded a National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) Award for her work on the national TV series American Graduate funded by the Corporation of Public Broadcasting and distributed on PBS. Funmi’s work has screened at SXSW, the Los Angeles Pan African Film Festival, and many more. Her online comedy web series, Nneka The Uber Driver, was an official selection of the Women of the Lens Film Festival in London, England. She is the creator of Art is Cool, a multi service organization specializing in videography, and short and long format documentary films. In addition to producing, Funmi Ogunro served as the host of Juneteenth Jamboree, a PBS production dedicated to the discussion of Texas Black History.
Aimée Everett is interested in exploring and asking the question, What lingers in the silences we hold between each spoken word? Everett examines these silences, the ones that have been handed down generation after generation and the ones acquired maneuvering through the world, by employing expressive minimalism as the vehicle.
In conversation with Rigoberto Luna
Adrian Armstrong is a multidisciplinary artist from Omaha, NE now living and working out of Austin, TX. Armstrong received his BFA from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln in 2014. His work expands throughout different mediums such as music, painting, and printmaking, but his primary medium of choice is ballpoint pen. Through portrait and figurative practices, Armstrong’s work explores black identity and how the black body is perceived in predominantly White American spaces. He aims to portray what it means to be an African American living in modern America. Often using himself as an “every man” symbol, Armstrong’s work touches on topics such as depression within the black community, systematic oppression, and identity erasure; but on the other side of the spectrum explores nostalgia, growth, and success.
Rigoberto Luna is the Co-founder and Director of the Presa House Gallery in San Antonio, TX. Since 2010 Luna has developed numerous exhibitions with a heavy focus on Latinx artists of Central and South Texas. Recently Luna has served as the juror of the Third Coast Biennial National Juried Exhibition at K Space Contemporary in Corpus Christi and panelist for the Third Annual Tito's Prize at Big Medium in Austin. Luna has also served as curator for multiple exhibitions with the City of San Antonio's Department of Arts & Culture and the World Heritage Office. Recently, Luna joined the team at Big Medium in support of the Texas Biennial.
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Big Medium is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting artists and building community through the arts in Austin and across Texas. We provide opportunities for artists to create, exhibit, and discuss their work and connect to an engaged and diverse audience. We strive to make art a part of everyday life.
Big Medium produces the East and West Austin Studio Tours — annual city‑wide art events that offer the public an opportunity to meet local artists in their creative spaces; the Texas Biennial — a curated statewide survey exhibition of contemporary art in Texas; Creative Standard — professional development workshops and resources supporting artists at any stage of their career; the Big Medium Gallery — a dedicated space for innovative and experimental exhibitions; the Tito’s Prize — a $15,000 award for one Austin artist and solo exhibition; Studios at Canopy — studio space for over 60 artists; The LINE Residency — a six week residency in a private studio space inside of a hotel; International Exchange — promotes cross‑cultural understanding through art and increases connections to Texas artists; Art Swap — artists, collectors, and appreciators exchange art and ideas on the grounds of the Elisabet Ney Museum; Sponsored Projects — administrative and financial support for local artists, organizations, and projects that align with Big Medium’s mission.
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