february, 2022

16feb12:00 pmFeaturedArtist Talk: Cauleen SmithA free online event, part of our Curated Conversations series.

A view inside a gallery. A neon-lit work is positioned high on one wall with wires coming down. It alternates saying

Event Details

Wednesday, February 16, 2022 | 12:00 p.m. CT
(Note our new day/time for these Curated Conversations)

Registration required; free to attend.

Join Cauleen Smith and Blanton curator Veronica Roberts for a discussion about her multimedia practice and work, currently on view in Assembly: New Acquisitions by Contemporary Black Artists.

Los Angeles-based artist Cauleen Smith’s flashing neon sculpture Light Up Your Life (For Sandra Bland) alternates between “I will light you up,” the words shouted to Sandra Bland by a Texas State Trooper, and “I will light up your life,” lyrics from the 1970s hit famously sung by Debby Boone and later Whitney Houston. About the artwork, Smith said: “I wanted to play with this threat, ‘I will light you up,’ by finding a response that neutralized it… And so, this flashing neon is a dance off, a sing-a-thon, a battle, a protest, a memento mori that collectivizes Sandra Bland’s resistance, reclaims her sovereignty, and reifies the ways in which Black culture is inextricably woven into national identities and cultures.” 

Feature Image Caption: Installation view of Assembly: New Acquisitions by Contemporary Black Artists, December 11, 2021–May 8, 2022, Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin



(Wednesday) 12:00 pm

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