Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth
Amendment to the United States Constitution with MAP2020: The Further We Roll,
The More We Gain (MAP 2020), was an arts festival at locations throughout Dallas - Fort
Worth (DFW), produced through my organization, Make Art with Purpose (MAP). A core component of MAP 2020 was the commissioning of female artists to design flags visualizing themes connected to the Nineteenth Amendment. In total
19 women (artists and writers) participated in MAP2020 in an array of
programs that included exhibitions, public talks, workshops and
education programs. In addition to commemorating women’s suffrage,
MAP2020 critically examined various aspects of the amendment, such as the role
of woman of color in the movement, and who received the right to vote and who
did not, according to race and other factors.
It is well documented that women, especially women of color, are
under-represented in the arts. While there is nearly a 50/50 split in the
number of female working artists and number of MFAs earned, 25% of projects and
exhibitions are produced by women, 4% by women of color. Using the occasion of
the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment, MAP 2020 provided funding and space for female artists and proposed
ideas and actions for the sustainability of this effort over the long term.
MAP 2020 artists and flags: Morehshin Allahyari honoring Forough Farokhzad at Dallas Museum of Art; Taylor
Barnes honoring Fannie
Lou Hamer at South Dallas Cultural Center; Viola Delgado addressing the expected role of Latina
Women at Oak Cliff Cultural Center; Ofelia
Faz-Garza honoring Mother Earth; Letitia
Huckaby honoring Shirley
Lewis at Amon Carter Museum of American Art; Amy Khosbin reflecting female resilience at
Oak Cliff Cultural Center; Annette Lawrence examining the ratification of the
Nineteenth Amendment at Conduit Gallery; Beili Liu honoring mothers of displaced
migrant children at Crow Museum of Asian Art; Vicki Meek honoring Ida B. Wells Barnett at South
Side; Tahila Corwin Mintz honoring Indigenous Women Knowledge
Carriers at The MAC; Lissa Rivera honoring Jennie June at Latino Cultural Center; Aram
Han Sifuentes honoring Dr. Mabel
Ping Hua-Lee at Literacy Achieves, Vickery Meadows; Cauleen
Smith honoring the Harriet
Tubman and the Underground Railroad at South Dallas Cultural Center and The
Wild Detectives; Delaney Smith addressing woman/fem
empowerment at Oak Cliff Aikikai,Tyler Station.
Part of curatorial team assembled by Cultural Producer John Boylan for 9e2 Seattle. This festival and exhibition was conceived and produced by Boylan to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering," where artists and engineers from Bell Laboratories collaborated on a series of projects, performances and exhibitions.
Curator for: Ruth West's installation ATLAS in Silico; Réunions; A Data Stethoscope Performance 2 by Andrew Blanton, Scot Gresham-Lancaster, Tim Perkins, Gagan Wig and Roger Malina; and artist's conversation with Newton Harrison.
Image: ATLAS in Silico at 9e2 by Ruth West
MAP2016: Use Your Voice
July - November, 2016
MAP 2016: Use Your Voice was a series of monthly pop-up events throughout
North Texas featuring visual and performing artists around the theme, Use
Your Voice. MAP 2016 aimed to connect people and ideas across
race, cultures, ethnicities and neighborhoods through the arts. Additionally, MAP 2016 provided creative opportunities for established and emerging
artists of color; to amplify positive, creative voices; and to reach new
audiences at the edges of the urban centers and in communities that may not get
to the Dallas' central Arts District or other areas with a concentration of cultural centers.
MAP 2016: Use Your Voice, included free workshops where people created posters, zines, poetry, book bags and other visual
material that are vehicles for expression. The workshops were
produced in and around the specifically designed and constructed MAP Mobile Pavilion. A making space by day, the pavilion was a stage and performance space at night.
From MAP2016: Use Your Voice Publication by Janeil Engelstad:
The edifice of MAP 2016: Use Your
Voice was MAP’s Mobile Pavilion, a design-build project produced in collaboration
with a team of architects and interns from the Dallas office of Hoefer Wysocki
Architecture. Designed to be a making space and information hub by day, a stage
and performance space at night, the Pavilion was also a site for meeting and
conversation, voter registration, and reading. People took and left books in
the tradition of Little Free Libraries. A work of public art with a clear
social function, MAP used the structure to facilitate engagement at the edges
of the urban center, where cultural institutions and programs are few and far
Recognizing that art’s identity is shaped by its encounter with its sites, MAP 2016 locations were thoughtfully
selected. Together with our partners we considered location in relation to neighborhood
identities, histories, geographies and values. We also worked closely with our
partners to design participatory programs that amplified light, positive voices
and the value of having fun while remaining committed to artistic quality. The workshops, along with spoken-word and musical
performances, were produced in monthly 3-5 day festivals from the close of the
2016 political party conventions in July to the presidential election in
November. Through these programs we encountered new audiences that evoked art and arts education as
transdisciplinary fields where social and political issues that affect a wide
range of people can be pondered and discussed.
Outgrowths of MAP 2016 included
finding career and counseling contacts for a single dad of six, recently
released from prison. Additionally, we connected with a community member who works
for a program that gives free school readiness assistance to Hispanic parents
of 3-5 year old children. She talked with mothers of children participating in
our kid’s workshops, signing several up for the program. With voter registrars
on-site we facilitated voter registration during our day and evening programs. Valuing the importance of critical dialogue, events such the screening and
performance of DJ Spooky’s remix of the infamous film, Birth of Nation, produced in partnership with Dallas VideoFest and
Ignite Arts Dallas offered opportunities for reflection on diverse and
challenging ideas about socially engaged art and its larger role in society.
Opening conversations about artistic practice that addresses social concerns,
such as race, our aim was to situate social practice within critical urban
discourse and examine the interfaces between art and urbanism.
Participating Artists, Writers and Performers: Annette Lawrence
Lisa Huffaker, Melody Memory,
Tierra Firme ,
Partner Organizations: Art Conspiracy,
CentralTrak, City of Dallas, Office of
Dallas Public Library
Downtown Dallas, Inc.,
Embrey Family Foundation,
Heofer Wysocki Architecture.
Ignite Arts Dallas, Oil and Cotton,
Sunset Art Studios and
Image: DJ Spooky at MAP2016:Use Your Voice presented in collaboration with Dallas Videofest and Ignite Arts Dallas
Art & the Environment in East & Central Europe (2014)
At the invitation of ARTMargins, I guest produced a special issue of the on-line edition of the Journal, which investigated historical and contemporary environmental art in the former Eastern Bloc countries through the lenses of capitalism, globalization, climate change and the legacy of Socialism. Traveling through Central Europe I had conversations with artists and curators about the connection of art, ecology and dissidence in the former Socialist Bloc, a topic that I first became interested in as a Fulbright Scholar in Slovakia in 2006. Participants included Nina Czlegledy, Maja and Reuben Fowkes, Tamás Kaszás, Marjetica Potrč and Rudolf Sikora. The material produced for ARTMargins included transcripted interviews, video, photography, archival art and other forms of interaction with artists and cultural producers concerned with the idea and the material reality of what goes by the name of the "natural environment."
Image: Art & the Environment in East & Central Europe, ARTMargins, project landing page
Code Yellow (2014)
A Curatorial Exercise Exploring Systems of Real and Perceived Warnings
March 28 - April 26, UTD, Visual Art Building
April 12 - May 17, CentralTrak, Dallas
Six curators investigate how contemporary society visually registers and address concerns of
vulnerability, struggle and crisis. Whether through direct or indirect action, humor, irony, or
empathy via documentation, data, graphic depiction, media manipulation and social engagement. Organized by Greg Metz.
Perceived Threat: The Texas Survivalists – Spike Johnson and Optic Nerve – by the women of Resolana, a program of Volunteers of America Texas.
Zone of Resistance – Tomáš Rafa, Rudolf Sikora, Václav Vašků and Jana Želibská
NØTABle SelFleS$$ AFFeCT – Andrew Blanton
Caveat Emptor – Kayla Escobedo, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Gary Panter, Marian Henley and Mike Presley
Laray Polk: Mazar, Texas - David Cotterell
Max Schich: Creepy Figures - Didier Sornette
and then I whirled at the sound of (2014)
Oil and Cotton
June 14 - July 27, 2014
Experimental music, field recordings and sound art featuring Martin Back, Iris Bechtol, Rebecca Carter, G Monet Carolyn Sortor, Randy Thurman, Chaz Underriner, Joel Chadabe, Janeil Engelstad, Jeff Gibbons, Helen and Newton Harrison, all USA and Oto Hudec(SK), and Roberto Zanata (IT).
Image: and then I whirled at the sound of by Janeil Engelstad
UNFREE FREEDOM (2011)
Center for Book and Paper Arts
Columbia College, Chicago
October 29 - December 10, 2011
One of the defining events of the twentieth century was the momentous fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989. For many Central and Eastern European artists the political and social changes that followed the break-up of the Soviet- bloc, fundamentally changed the subject and style of their work. UNFREE FREEDOM examined how blacklisted artists responded to the restraints imposed on them under communist regimes and how their worked changed when those systems fell apart. Featured artists include former dissidents who took the view that being blacklisted was a refuge away from the government mandate of making work in the Socialist Realism style ... a place and state of being that Slovak artist Rudolf Sikora termed an “unfree freedom.” The exhibition also includes artists' books and other works by young, emerging artists who are responding to a new set of freedoms and constraints, brought about by democracy, capitalism and globalization.
Artists, and the work that they produce, inspire us to do things that we might not otherwise chance. They lead the way by breaking taboos and exploring subjects that are controversial. They help us to push and expand our own creative limits, and they give us an opportunity to play as spectator. . . . The four artists in this exhibition each create work that explores a different aspect of play. Each of them combines craft with photography and other media to create work . . . .
From play Exhibition Catalog Introduction by Janeil Engelstad
Featuring the work of Madeline De Joly, Rebecca Ringquist, Zoë Sheehan Saldaña and Melissa Zexter.
Image: Catalog (cover, detail), image by Rebecca Ringquist
ART WORKS: Teenagers & Artists Collaborate on the Polaroid 20" x 24" Camera (1993-94)
Project and Touring Exhibition
of Photography, New York, NY
California Museum of Photography, Riverside CA
Center, Boston, MA
Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH
Art Works grew from my time volunteering at The Education Project (TEP) in New York City. Looking to create a program that included homeless youth from an after school program I was teaching, Art Works began during a staff meeting at TEP, where I suggested approaching Polaroid about have the teens work with the 20" x 24"
Camera. Ten teens were matched with professional artists to create work on the giant camera, which was hand built by Dr. Land, the inventor of Polaroid.
We worked closely with the teens to clarify their ideas
before their first meeting with their artist/collaborator. The teens were briefed about the artists and
their work and were encouraged to take an active role in the partnership. The artists were briefed about the teen’s
personal histories and their particular interest in the arts. If the teens had any inhibitions they
evaporated as quickly as the images appeared on film. The immediacy of the Polaroid process was a
potent way of stimulating enthusiasm and a free flow of self -expression.
Art Works had a measurable impact on each participant. Additionally, in each location
where Art Works was exhibited photography workshops for local at-risk
and homeless youth were produced in partnership with
the education staff of the host institution.
Participants: Andres Serrano + Paul McGinnis; Carla Weber + Zahrah L.; Chuck Close + Lee Hines; Félix González-Torres + Arieana R; Jean Vong + Jennifer R.; John Divola + Ishah B. Miah; John Reuter + Richard M; Timothy Greenfield-Sanders + Helena C; Laurie Simmons + Kenlly Rodriguez; and William Wegman + Fernando Ruiz.