From the Lone Star State to Missouri State—Tex-US: Five Encounters from the Lone Star State, curated by Associate Professor Sarah Williams, features work by Texas-based artists Annie Arnold, Bryce Lafferty, Robert Milnes, Ryder Richards, and Loring Taoka. The exhibition is on view March 3 – April 14 and will be open for First Friday Art Walk March 3 from 6–9 p.m.
Reflecting on her time as a graduate student at University of North Texas in Denton served as Sarah William’s inspiration for the exhibition’s Texan theme. After spending most of her life in rural Missouri, the exposure to new art, culture, and people that came with her move to the south was a formative time in Sarah’s creative development. “I wanted to curate a show that paid homage to this time in my life while including artists who deal with a range of different studio disciplines so that students from all areas can hopefully find something that resonates with them. It also provides me a way to symbolically respond to all the different things that were inspirational to me as a young artist,” Sarah explains.
Each artists featured in Tex-US were influential voices throughout various stages of Sarah’s experience, both as peers and mentors. “For me, I felt I learned just as much, if not more, outside of the classroom going to openings, seeing exhibitions, or attending lectures with my grad school friends,” Sarah shares. “But I also have so much respect and gratitude for the mentors I had while a student at University of North Texas.” Annie Arnold, Bryce Laffety, and Loring Taoka were fellow students during Sarah’s time in the graduate program, working together in their studios, classes, and critiques. Robert Milnes, the Dean of the College of Visual Arts and Design while Sarah studied at UNT, was an example in balancing the responsibilities of a university job with a serious studio practice. After graduation, Sarah met Ryder Richards while both were teaching in the Dallas area and found inspiration in seeing a young artist in similar circumstances advancing in both a teaching and studio career.
All the artists in this exhibition are dedicated to their practice and continue to push themselves to be curious about their work, finding new and exciting solutions for the topics and things that they find meaning in,” Sarah adds. Tex-US represents a group of artists who have already been influential to one creative practice, and now creates the possibility for a new generation of artists to find inspiration through exposure to Texas-based art.
Tex-US will be accompanied by an exhibition lecture by Judy Tedford Deaton, addressing the works of the exhibition and establishing additional context for this group of contemporary artists. The lecture takes place in Brick City building 1, room 312 on April 5 at 5:00 p.m.
Carolla Arts Exhibition Center is located at 326 N. Boonville Ave, Springfield, Missouri. Gallery hours are Monday–Friday 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Call 417-837-2330 for additional details.
Taylor Ladd is a graduate assistant for the Department of Art + Design. She is working towards her master’s degree in writing at Missouri State University with professional interests in writing about art, culture, and food.