Austin Art Talk

In depth conversations and wisdom from Austin artists and creatives, about life, work, and creativity.

About the show

The goal of the podcast is to facilitate connections with and to learn from the successes, struggles, life experience, and wisdom of the people featured, most of whom live and create in Austin, Texas. The honest conversational flow of these weekly long form interviews lends itself to some really great insights and information that is available to anyone who wants to listen. Join us to explore the origins, stories, lessons, lives and work of those in our community who are at the forefront of creative expression. The podcast is hosted by photographer, art enthusiast and collector, Scott David Gordon.

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  • Episode 58: Stella Alesi - Journeying

    March 12th, 2019  |  1 hr 17 mins
    stella alesi

    Stella Alesi is a painter and long time Austin resident, who decided when she was 11 years old growing up in NJ that she would be an artist. After attending college and living all over the US, Stella settled in Austin with her husband Leon and together they have built a great life together that supports the creative freedom they desire. She spent a few decades working as a photographer but had the goal to quit by age 50 and commit to painting full time. I’ve known Stella for decades but it was great getting to sit down and really dig into her story. What an interesting life she has had thus far. If you know Stella you will love this interview and if you don’t there are so many gems of wisdom in her approach to life and art that I know you will get a lot out of it.

  • Episode 57: Ariel René Jackson

    March 4th, 2019  |  1 hr 2 mins
    ariel rené jackson

    Throughout Ariel René Jackson's family's history, land has been both a permanent reminder of systemic racism and temporal unfolding of possible transformations and outcomes based on individual and communal actions. Material remnants of a legacy of farming and traditions of black epistemology throughout the diaspora functions as a guide to sourcing materials and research.

  • Episode 56: Koichi Yamamato - Making A Mark

    February 11th, 2019  |  1 hr 16 mins
    koichi yamamato

    Koichi Yamamoto is an artist who merges traditional and contemporary techniques so as to develop unique and innovative approaches to the language of printmaking. His prints explore issues of the sublime, memory, and atmosphere. Koichi has worked at many scales, from small and meticulously engraved copper plates to large monotypes.

  • Episode 55: Alyssa Taylor Wendt

    January 28th, 2019  |  1 hr 16 mins
    alyssa taylor wendt

    ALYSSA TAYLOR WENDT is a multidisciplinary artist, filmmaker and curator that works in Austin, Texas and Detroit, Michigan. Her recent projects reference themes of ritual, animism, monuments, mysticism, the primordial, architecture, gender and mortality using video, sculpture, staged photographs, sound and performance. The work tends to provoke questions in the viewer with dark and evocative aesthetics and multiple layers of perceived truth. She earned her BA from NYU and her MFA from Bard College. Transplanted from New York City, she has shown in numerous national and international exhibitions and performed at The Museum of Art and Design in New York, envoy gallery, The Fusebox Festival and Deitch Projects and completed residencies in Iceland and Norway. She is currently finishing her opus multi-channel video work HAINT and just curated an epic exhibition about death and transformation with over 60 artists at DEMO Gallery in Austin. She enjoys darkness, gospel blues and bad jokes.

  • Episode 54: Alejandra Almuelle - Revealing the Presence

    January 21st, 2019  |  53 mins
    alejandra almuelle

    Alejandra Almuelle is a full time ceramic artist who creates sculptures and pottery that often merge traditional and contemporary styles and often feature the human figure. Her most recent and largest exhibition of work to date titled The Journey, interpreted the hero’s journey and was inspired by events in her own life. By making pottery, which she sells online and at art fairs, she is able to create her sculptural work and explore it under less pressure to make a living. The creation of each piece is a dance of control, her unconscious, the limits of her abilities, years of experience, and the same doubts we all have bringing something new into the world. She persists until the presence inherent in the clay reveals itself to become its own entity. Being of service to something beyond herself she daily finds joy and love through her work. What a great interview. Have a listen and enjoy!

  • Episode 53: Seth Orion Schwaiger

    January 7th, 2019  |  56 mins 14 secs
    seth orion schwaiger

    Seth Orion Schwaiger is an artist, curator, critic and arts writer, and teacher, who splits his time between Austin and New York with his wife Elizabeth, who is also an artist. As a writer one of his goals is to attempt to communicate intelligently about art in a way that everyone can understand. In recent years the art creation side of identity manifest in three exhibitions of work in different cities, which were called Complex 1, Complex 2, & Complex 3. In the interview we speak in detail about each exhibition, his approach to the different aspects of his practices, the Austin art scene, its strengths and weaknesses, and his future plans. Have a listen, share any feedback, and be sure to check out Seth’s work if you have the chance.

  • Episode 52: Sharon Bridgforth - Circles Of Relationship

    December 17th, 2018  |  1 hr 15 mins
    sharon bridgforth

    Sharon Bridgforth is a writer and performing artist who collaborates with actors, singers, dancers, and audiences to share works that explore, celebrate, and put forward African American migration stories and performance traditions. The work is also a form of prayer to tell stories, transform, remember, and pass on language of the heart with the intention to bring us all along and create space to be shaped together.

  • Episode 51: Drew Riley - Gender Portraits

    December 10th, 2018  |  1 hr 8 mins
    drew riley

    Drew Riley is an artist and activist who through her transition to fully discovering and revealing herself found an opportunity to help others do the same. With her Gender Portraits project she paints, interviews, and shares the stories of trans, intersex, and gender non conforming people. We get a glimpse of their lived experience, their essence, and their lives outside just talking about gender and the oppressive societal norms we all have to deal with in big and small ways. If we are open to taking in these powerful portraits and stories no doubt we can all in some way relate.

  • Episode 50: Tammie Rubin - Everything You Ever

    December 3rd, 2018  |  1 hr 11 mins
    tammie rubin

    Tammie Rubin is a ceramic sculptor and professor at St. Edwards University. Since moving to Austin only three years ago she has fully established herself in the art community. While maintaining a consistent studio practice she also teaches multiple classes, supports many other artists, is a member of ICOSA, and is a Dimension Gallery fellowship artist.

  • Episode 49: Darden Smith - The Habit Of Noticing

    November 17th, 2018  |  56 mins 35 secs
    darden smith

    Darden Smith is a Texas born singer/songwriter who just released his first book. The Habit of Noticing is an honest and poetic journey through Darden’s life as an artist, what he has learned so far, and the many interesting people that have crossed his path. His writings are artfully juxtaposed with his own drawings and photographs.

  • Episode 48: Randal Ford - The Animal Kindgom

    October 27th, 2018  |  1 hr 6 mins
    randal ford

    Photographer Randal Ford, who specializes in conceptual portraiture and advertising work, just released a gorgeous book of animal portraits. The Animal Kingdom is a project that he has been creating on along side his regular work for almost 10 years. It all started when DJ Stout of Pentagram Design approached Randal to make portraits of Dairy cows. It was a novel and fresh idea and soon he found himself getting more animal related advertising work. When he self initiated his own photoshoot of a lion, tiger, and bear, it tipped over into a personal project that would take him to many locations and studios to capture a 150 different mammals and birds.

  • Episode 47: Maura Grace Ambrose - Folk Fibers

    October 21st, 2018  |  1 hr 16 mins
    maura grace ambrose

    Maura Grace Ambrose is a natural dye artist and quilt maker who lives close to the land on ten acres just outside of Austin with her husband and four year old daughter. She studied fibers at The Savannah College of Art and Design and after some time working on an organic farm as the greenhouse manager took a fateful four month trip around the US with her husband. As they made their way back to Texas she decided to give it a go and put her skills to use by starting her own company. In addition to her love of the fiber arts Maura was encouraged by her experience growing plants from seed at the farm and felt compelled to create and tell the story from plant to dye to color to quilt in her own unique way. Folk Fibers was born.

  • Episode 46: Shawn Camp - Dualities of Existence

    October 12th, 2018  |  1 hr 4 mins
    shawn camp

    The dualities of our existence are many, life and death being one of the most prominent. And we are often searching for rational patterns and order in our experience. Art can sometimes greatly change our subjective view and that can be very intentional on the part of the artist. Shawn Camp has pushed himself for decades to use painting, sound, video, and his teaching skills to explore these varied ideas and many others, to facilitate going deeper than just surface layers. And he draws on his studies in Philosophy and Psychology, in addition to teaching Art, to enhance his concepts and motivations and to stay inspired.

  • Episode 45: Dameon Lester - Serene Disturbance

    October 6th, 2018  |  50 mins 53 secs
    dameon lester

    How would you communicate the enormity of a glacier or the complexity of global warming, with a sculpture or drawing? Would you travel to Iceland to see for yourself the scale of the issue and personally trace the many miles of ice that have been lost? Dameon Lester did just that, motivated by a desire to go beyond just looking at images on the internet.

  • Episode 44: Vy Ngo - Present In This Moment

    September 23rd, 2018  |  1 hr 3 mins
    vy ngo

    After going to medical school and practicing as a pediatrician for many years, and at the same time growing a family, Vy Ngo felt that there was still something missing from her life. As a child and in high school she pursued many artistic endeavors, but that took the back seat to her career as a physician for decades. Once she started creating art again three years ago, her drive to work hard and push herself to be the best kicked in, and it has greatly enhanced the rest of her life in the process. She found that creating art was a way that she could have freedom and time away from the demands of her life and it also made her feel more whole and facilitated a lot of personal growth, and self acceptance

  • Episode 43: Vincent Valdez - The Beginning is Near

    September 17th, 2018  |  1 hr 18 mins
    vincent valdez

    From Vincent Valdez’s point of view we have a choice as to which way we want to go as a country. We can start again. It could be the beginning of a darker chapter in our history or a more enlightened and inclusive one. And art can sometimes be that guide to help tell us who we are, what we are made off, and where we can go from here. One of his biggest fears is that we are not learning from history, some of which is seemingly lost, and some of it ignored or manipulated to favor one group over another.