Elena Rodriguez Departs the Rockport Center for the Arts

by Jessica Fuentes August 14, 2023

Last week the Rockport Center for the Arts (RCA) announced the upcoming departure of Elena Rodriguez, who serves as the center’s Barrow Foundation Curator of Exhibitions. 

Elena Rodriguez, The Barrow Foundation Curator of Exhibitions, Rockport Center for the Arts

Elena Rodriguez, The Barrow Foundation Curator of Exhibitions, Rockport Center for the Arts. Photo: William Sarradet/Glasstire

Ms. Rodriguez joined the RCA in 2013, initially managing the organization’s special events. In 2015, she took on the additional role of managing the Rockport Film Festival, an annual event that takes place in November. In 2017, Ms. Rodriguez was promoted to the position of Director of Membership & Events, and in 2018, following the departure of the RCA’s Art Director Taylor Hendrix, Ms. Rodriguez was promoted to the role of curator

In an email statement, Luis Purón, Executive Director at RCA, remarked, “For the past ten years, Elena Rodriguez has had an impactful influence over the visual and aesthetic direction of the Rockport Center for the Arts. Thanks to her work, the Rockport Center for the Arts’ brand has become synonymous with high quality and compelling exhibitions across the state of Texas. Through programs like the Rockport Film Festival, the Rockport Art Festival, and the annual exhibition calendar, she has brought thousands of artists from across the United States to coalesce with people of all generations in our community.”

He continued, “This interaction, marked with diversity, has transformed the way we think and feel about contemporary art and the way we collect.”

A grid of photographs of curator Elena Rodriguez at various events at the Rockport Center for the Arts.

Elena Rodriguez at the Rockport Center for the Arts. Images courtesy of RCA.

Ms. Rodriguez told Glasstire that she is most proud of the caliber of shows the RCA has presented lately, and of the institution’s ability to bring in artists from across the state and country. Beyond that, she also mentioned the organization’s support of community artists through its members gallery, which provides an opportunity for RCA members to display and sell their work.

During Ms. Rodriguez’s time at RCA, the organization has undergone a major building project. In 2017, Hurricane Harvey caused significant damage to the longtime art center building, which had been home to the organization since 1983. As a result of the storm, the structure had to be demolished. Last year, after a significant fundraising campaign, RCA opened its new $12.5 million campus, featuring a 14,000-square-foot gallery and education space, an 8,000-square-foot conference center, and a 16,000-square-foot outdoor sculpture garden. 

When asked about her decision to step down from her role at RCA, Ms. Rodriguez noted that she has accepted a position closer to her home in Corpus Christi and that she plans to put more time and energy into her own artistic endeavors. In her new role as the Manager of Recruitment and Engagement in the Art and Drama Department at Del Mar College, Ms. Rodriguez will promote the department’s programs, exhibitions, and events and act as a liaison to the local community.

Ms. Rodriguez’s last day at RCA will be this Friday, August 18. The organization is hosting a farewell celebration on Thursday, August 17 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

RCA has launched a search for its new Barrow Foundation Curator of Exhibitions. To learn more and to apply, click here.

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