One for Us is a pop-up exhibition opening up at Big Medium February 22nd. It features the work of twenty women of color from all parts of Texas. The works included in this exhibition examine the current landscape of artists attempting to better understand their own identities within the radically troubling social milieu of the 21st century. Whether it is finding power within that marginalization or examining the origins of their otherness, the artists are able to explore this idea of identity in nuanced and complex ways.
What inspires/motivates your work?
I am inspired to create spaces for artists with marginalized identities. I have always been interested in work that lies just outside of the western canon. To exclude so many people means that there are plenty of talented artists that have something meaningful to contribute to the art world.
How long have you been a curator, and how has your practice changed over time?
I was a Teen Council member at The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston as a high school student. Being on Teen Council introduced to the world of contemporary art and curation. After collectively curating a show at The Menil, I absolutely fell in love with curation. This is my first solo curatorial project, but I’m so excited to work on many more curatorial projects like this in the future.
What are you curating and studying now and why?
I’ve been reading a lot about Titus Kaphar and the ways in which he subverts the placement of the black body in classical European portraits. I want to write about his work Behind the Myth of Benevolence because it was able to exist within the National Portrait Gallery among so many portraits that it was in direct conversation with.
What does the Austin arts community need most as the city continues to grow?
I think it needs more diverse artists collectives. I also think artists could engage more with community movements around the city to combat gentrification.
Jaelynn Walls is a curator and student currently pursuing a double BA in Plan II Honors and Art History at The University of Texas at Austin. She is the creator and host of Art in Color, an educational web series exploring the identities and works of contemporary artists of color. Her curatorial practice revolves around varying notions of identity-based diaspora and border crossing in contemporary American art. Jaelynn is also the 2018-2019 Plan II Education Intern at The Blanton Museum of Art.
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Social Media Links: @curatedbyjaelynn