Mexic-Arte to host public discussion on racism in the Texas art community

    Andrew Thompson Roots of Knowledge, 1997 Screen Print Edition of 36
    Andrew Thompson, "Roots of Knowledge," 1997. Screen print, edition of 36. Series Print Project. Collection of Mexic-Arte Museum

    In response to the Black Lives Matter protests and social injustices happening across the country, Mexic-Arte Museum is presenting panel discussion on a racism within the art community in Texas and beyond.

    “We feel it is our responsibility as a cultural institution to use our influence within the community to aid in the amplification of the voices of the historically unheard and uplift a message of solidarity,” a statement from the museum said.

    Puente de Arte: Racism in the Art Community will feature BIPOC artists and scholars — Elaina Brown-Spence, Cary Cordova, Tammie Rubin and Cherise Smith — sharing their experiences within the art community in Texas and beyond.

    The event will be held online 5 to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 27. The last 30 minutes will be a Q&A with questions from the audieence.

    Danielle Houtkooper, Mexic-Arte development coordinator, will serve as moderator.


    • Elaina Brown-Spence is a printmaker & illustrator with over 10 years of creative experience. She received her bachelor’s degree in studio art with an emphasis in printmaking and minors in Japanese and Creative Writing, from Texas Christian University. In 2019, Elaina began her studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia to pursue her MFA in Book Arts and Printmaking.
    • Cary Cordova, associate professor in American Studies at the University of Texas, who specializes in Latino/Latina/Latinx cultural production. Cordova is the author of “The Heart of the Mission: Latino Art and Politics in San Francisco” (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017).
    • Tammie Rubin, visual artist and associate professor of ceramics and sculpture at St. Edward’s University. Rubin has exhibited with recent shows at Women & Their Work, The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, The South Dallas Cultural Center, and The Carver Museum. Rubin founded Black Mountain Project along with fellow Austin-based artists Adrian Aguilera and Betelhem Makonnen, and she is a member of ICOSA Collective, a non-profit cooperative gallery. Rubin is chair of the City of Austin’s Cultural Arts Division Art in Public Places Panel.
    • Cherise Smith is chair of the African and African Diaspora Studies Department and professor of African & African Diaspora Studies and Art History. She specializes in American art after 1945, especially as it intersects with the politics of identity, race, and gender. Smith is also executive director of the Art Galleries at Black Studies where she spearheads the Black Studies’ Art and Archive Initiative. Her books include “Michael Ray Charles: Studies in Blackness” (University of Texas Press, 2020) and  “Enacting Others: Politics of Identity in Eleanor Antin, Nikki S. Lee, Adrian Piper, and Anna Deavere Smith” (Duke University Press, 2011).