Saturday, April 17, 2010

Center of the Texas Art World

The center of the art world in Texas is not Dallas, not Austin, and surprisingly not Houston. In fact, the center of the Texas art world resides in Arlington, Texas. He's a well respected artist, curator, associate professor of painting at the University of Texas at Arlington, director of the Gallery at UTA, director emeritus of Artlies and a staunch support of contemporary art in Texas. He is Benito Huerta and I had the distinct pleasure of visiting with him in his studio today.

I first met Benito about 3 years ago when I invited him to speak at the Visual Art League of Lewisville and since running into him at several Dallas area art events. Benito's art is diverse in style and media. His art borrows from numerous masters such as Picasso, Gauguin, Duchamp and Johns incorporating his own cultural identity along with literary works and popular music.

"Exile off Main Street"

His work is included in public collections such as the Albuquerque Museum of Art, Art Museum of South Texas, El Paso Museum of Art, Sheldon Museum of Art, and the Weatherspoon Art Museum. Benito's curatorial work includes; "Cesar Martinez: Cultura de South Texas" Art Museum of South Texas, "Luis Jimenez: Working Class Heroes" Dallas Museum of Art, and "Inescapable Histories: Mel Chin" Scottsdale Center for the Arts, Arizona.

As a staunch supporter of contemporary art in Texas, in the early 90's, growing tire of the lack of attention Texas artists were receiving in the national art media, Benito co-founded the quarterly art magazine Artlies. Today he is the director emeritus of Artlies, which unfortunately is becoming more and more insignificant for Texas artists and those of us which are interested in the Texas art scene.

Thanks Benito!

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