Portraits

Episode 22: Spencer Evans

“I wanted to find out more about my African identity outside of an American context.”

Spencer Evans is a Dallas-based artist who uses bold colors and dynamic gestures to create portraits that question the African-American identity. Originally from Houston, he earned a BFA from the University of Missouri and an MFA from the University of Texas at Arlington. Evans drew critical praise last year for his first solo show at Dallas’ Conduit Gallery entitled “I Am Because We Are”. The series was the product of research to explore the differences between Black Americans and Nigerian Africans. Examining his ancestral lineage which he traced to Nigeria and Cameroon, the artist worked with the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary and Bowen University to engage on-site interviews in Nigeria. The discussions focused on identity and social constructs looking for differences between Nigerians and the millions of African descendants living in the United States. In the end, Evans encountered a shift of his own point of view as he discovered many similarities between the Nigerians he met and the Black Americans he knew at home. This shift became the basis for his visual exploration of the topic.

I recently sat down with Spencer at his studio in Dallas where we discussed growing up in Houston, playing college football, understanding one’s identity, code switching and challenging preconceptions.

Website: spencerevansart.com

Instagram: @spencerevans_art

Episode 20: Riley Holloway

“One of the greatest benefits to being independent is the relationship you have with the client…you get to be there and have a conversation of why they purchased something and why they hung it where they hung it.”

 

Riley Holloway is a Dallas-based artist whose dynamic portraits capture the faces of the world around him. A 2015 Hunting Prize finalist, he has attended The Art Institute of Dallas, the Florence Academy of Art, and the University of Texas at Arlington. In 2013, Holloway completed a unique residency at The Fairmont in Dallas, which was accompanied by a solo exhibition in the hotel’s gallery at the completion of his time there. He has been in a number of group exhibitions and repeatedly featured in solo exhibitions at Fort Works Art in Fort Worth. In addition, he completed a prominent public art mural commission for a municipal court building in downtown Fort Worth and was recently added to the Dean Collection, a contemporary art collection owned by hip hop producer Kasseem Dean (AKA Swizz Beatz) and his wife, singer-songwriter Alicia Keys.

I recently sat down with Riley at his studio in Dallas where we discussed growing up in an artistic home, studying in Florence, the impact of the right artist residency and what it’s like to have Sedrick Huckaby as your mentor.

Website: rileyholloway.com

Instagram: @hollowayfineart

 

 

  

Episode 4: Sedrick Huckaby

Sedrick Huckaby is a Fort Worth-based artist known for his large-scale, impasto paintings that reflect his faith, his family history and his community. A native of Fort Worth, Sedrick studied art initially at Texas Weslyan before obtaining his BFA from Boston University and his MFA from Yale. He has gained notoriety nationwide for his large-scale portraits of family and community members, as well as large-scale paintings of family quilts which serve as allegory for themes of family and faith. Widely exhibited and collected, Sedrick’s work resides in the permanent collections of a variety of private and public institutions, including the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts – Boston, SFMOMA, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Sedrick is represented in Dallas by Valley House Gallery.

I recently sat down with Sedrick at his grandmother’s former residence in Fort Worth which he has converted into an artist studio where we discussed growing up in Fort Worth, the work of Henry O. Tanner, authenticity, faith, family, heritage and “The Pit.”

Website: huckabystudios.com