The Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth has announced the 2019–2020 Carter Community Artists (CCA). Sarah Ayala, Raul Rodriguez, Lingchia Tsai, and Blake Weld were selected to the program from 20 qualified submissions. Beginning in 2018, the CCA appointed its inaugural group of artists including yours truly, Lauren Cross, Diane Durant and Arnoldo Hurtado. The current artists were selected by a group consisting of members of the Carter’s Curatorial and Education programs and its Community Outreach staff.
“This year we are pleased to be welcoming four new artists from DFW to continue building upon the foundation we established in the inaugural year of the Carter Community Artists initiative,” states Jessica Fuentes, the Manager of School and Community Outreach at the museum. The selected CCA group works with other artists to connect North Texas communities with the museum’s collection and creates museum engagement opportunities for both artists and the communities they live in.
Sarah Ayala’s work explores concepts of repetition and meditation, traditional gender roles, and her Latinx culture. She specializes in detailed processes like mandala patterns, pinstriping, and hand lettering, and her work in Fort Worth can be found at Taco Heads, a restaurant on Montgomery Street, and a mural at the city’s Northside Boys & Girls Club. She has also collaborated with the organizations Art Hunger, Latino Hustle, and Fort Worth Blackhouse. “As an artist I’ve found meaning in working within the community and trying to make art more accessible and relatable,” she says. “As a Carter Community Artist, I’m most excited to work with parts of the community that I normally wouldn’t have an audience with, and vice versa.”
Raul Rodriguez, a documentary photographer, artist, curator and publisher, uses his camera to highlight subcultures and social issues relevant to Latinx communities. Born in Fort Worth, he earned a BFA in Fine Art Photography from the University of North Texas (2014). Since then, he has brought art education experiences to local communities through collaborations with organizations like Leadership Fort Worth, Sunset Studios, Make Art with Purpose, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Rodriguez is the founder of the photographic platform Deep Red Press, and has curated independently and as part of the Latinx artist collective Latino Hustle. In a comment provided by the Amon Carter, Rodriguez states: “I am a product of the local community in Fort Worth. My goal, as a Carter Community Artist, is to be an example for younger people to envision a pathway for development and a successful future.”
Influenced by Chinese poetry and philosophy, Lingchia Tsai is interested in the symbolism of natural elements and expressive mark-making. “The opportunity to be a Carter Community Artist motivates me to keep the momentum to create, experiment and grow,” says Tsai, an artist, painter and horticulturalist with a broad interest in arts and crafts, including indigenous Taiwanese textiles, Native American art, ceramics, and weaving. She received a BA in Philosophy from the National Taiwan University (2011) and an MFA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute (2014). Her work focuses on landscape and abstract paintings, exploring the symbolism of natural elements and the psychological expression of mark-making.
Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Blake Weld is an interdisciplinary artist whose work blends sculpture, installation, and performance art. He received a BFA from Saint Cloud State University (2011) and an MFA from the University of North Texas (2018). Weld says of his CCA inclusion: “As a Carter Community Artist, I hope to engage with a larger community and to showcase a different side of making art that can be humorous or serendipitous.” Weld uses everyday objects to create nonsensical kinetic sculptures that embrace the human qualities of both sincere intent and hilarious failure, with many of these machines inevitably self-destructing. Blake is currently a member of 500x Gallery in Dallas and exhibits work locally as well as nationally.
Amanda Blake, Director of Education, Library, and Visitor Services at the Carter states: “The Carter Community Artists initiative is a critical part of the museum’s community outreach, and we have seen so many wonderful connections and programs created during our inaugural year with artists Christopher Blay, Lauren Cross, Diane Durant and Arnoldo Hurtado. These artists interacted with more than 2,000 participants of all ages during 50 programs over their year with the Carter, both at the museum and in the community. We look forward to opportunities for continued collaboration with our Carter Community Artist alumni group.”
For more information about the CCA and the Amon Carter Museum, visit its website at cartermuseum.org