Facing Racism: Art & Action Symposium

Vincent Valdez: The City
(July 17, 2018 – October 18, 2018)

CHAPTER 6: Facing Racism: Art & Action Symposium

Thursday, September 27, 2018
Blanton Auditorium, Smith Building

Inspired by the commitment of Vincent Valdez to creating socially engaged art, this day-long symposium will feature artists, curators, and scholars sharing experiences and ideas about the role of the arts in addressing racism.



9:30 – 10:45am Panel I: Representing Race in the History of Art
Moderated by Cherise Smith, Chair and Associate Professor of African & African Diaspora Studies, Department of Black Studies, UT
Panelists: Rose Salseda, Acting Assistant Professor of Art & Art History, Stanford University, CA; Ashley Farmer, Assistant Professor, History and African & African Diaspora Studies, UT; Janet Dees, Steven and Lisa Munster Tananbaum Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

11am – 12pm Museum Experience
Close looking at works from the Blanton Collection that address racism and social justice issues.
Facilitated by Lynne Maphies, Curatorial Assistant, Blanton Museum of Art; Allison Myers, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA; Sabrina Phillips, Museum Educator, School and Teacher Programs, Blanton Museum of Art; Veronica Roberts, Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art, Blanton Museum of Art; Ray Williams, Director of Education and Academic Affairs, Blanton Museum of Art




1:15 – 1:45pm Poetry Reading
Roger Reeves, Associate Professor, Department of English, UT

1:50 – 2:50pm Panel II: Artists’ Roundtable: Bodies and Visualizing Racism
Moderated by Mónica Jiménez, Assistant Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies, UT
Panelists: Artists Jennifer Ling Datchuk, San Antonio, TX and Paul Rucker, Seattle, VA; Vincent Valdez, Houston, TX

2:55 – 3:15pm Screening from the Blanton Collection
Introduction by Charles Carson, Associate Professor, School of Music, UT
Charles Gaines, “Black Ghost Blues Redux,” 2008.  Single-channel video, color, with sound (06:10)

3:20 – 4:30pm Panel III: Museums, Curatorial Practice, and Social Justice
Moderated by Veronica Roberts, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Blanton Museum of Art
Panelists: Valerie Cassel Oliver, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA; Astria Suparak, Independent Curator, Oakland, CA; LaTanya Autry, Independent Curator and Cultural Organizer, Jackson, MS

4:40 – 5:50pm Concluding Conversation:  Reclaiming Histories, Reclaiming Spaces
Moderated by Steven Hoelscher, Department Chair and Professor of American Studies, and Faculty Curator of Photography, Harry Ransom Center, UT
Panelists: Cary Cordova, Associate Professor of American Studies and of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies, UT; Leonard Moore, Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement, and George Littlefield Professor of American History, UT; Eric Tang, Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies, and Director of the Center for Asian American Studies, UT.

5:50 – 6:05pm Music Performance
Artists Paul Rucker (cello) and Vincent Valdez (trumpet)




6:30 – 8pm Keynote Address by Aruna D’Souza: “How Institutions Listen (and What Happens When They Don’t).” Introduction by Simone Jamille Wicha (Smith Auditorium)
Aruna D’Souza writes about modern and contemporary art; intersectional feminism and other forms of politics; and how museums shape our views of each other and the world. The New York Times calls her most recent book, Whitewalling: Art, Race & Protest in 3 Acts(Badlands Unlimited, 2018) “a laser beam of a book, unwavering and on target.” Her work appears regularly in 4Columns.org, where she is a member of the editorial advisory board, and has been published as well in The Wall Street Journal, Art News, Garage, Bookforum, Momus, Art in America, and Art Practical, among other places. She is editor of the forthcoming volumes Making It Modern: A Linda Nochlin Reader (Thames and Hudson) and A Presence That Signals Absence: Collected Writing of Lorraine O’Grady (1977-2018)(Duke University Press).

We anticipate that a limited number of tickets will be available at the door on a first come, first served basis. The line for walk-up tickets will form when the first person arrives.

Facing Racism: Art & Action is co-sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Central Texas Regional office, the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin, and the Humanities Institute at The University of Texas at Austin.

Support for Facing Racism: Art & Action is provided by David and Ellen Berman and the Carolyn Harris Hynson Centennial Endowment.

Scroll to Top