Celia Munoz | Nancy Real

When and Where: 7-9 pm | Wednesday August 10 | Bathhouse Cultural Center (East Dallas)

Celia Alvarez Munoz was born in El Paso, Texas in 1937, Álvarez Muñoz is a conceptual multimedia artist currently living and working in Arlington, Texas. She is recognized internationally for her diverse and multifaceted body of work including artist books, photography, painting, written text, installation and public art. Álvarez Muñoz states that the mission driving her artistic practice has always been one of an “Artivist”: an artist and activist. This ideology and philosophy underscores much of her career and work. As a child, her father was deployed to Alaska and Germany, leaving Álvarez Muñoz in the care of her mother, aunt and maternal grandmother in El Paso. Her childhood experiences and youth living in the borderlands inspired much of her later creative practice, referencing dichotomous cultures, values and language complexities found along the U.S.-Mexico border, along with the physical, psychological and socio-political issues of life along the border zone. In college she studied art of all levels, receiving her BA in Art from Texas Western University (now University of Texas, El Paso), and started a career in teaching art to children upon graduation. She also worked in advertising as a fashion illustrator prior to graduating from college. Álvarez Muñoz, her husband, and their two small children relocated throughout the U.S. several times before finally moving to Arlington. Álvarez Muñoz enrolled in graduate school at North Texas State University (now University of North Texas, Denton) in 1977, where she studied with known Texas artists Vernon Fisher and Al Souza. During her studies, she began work on her well-known Enlightenment series, a multimedia, conceptual visual book and language project including a total of ten works she created over a span of about five years. Enlightenment visually portrays the confusing and often erroneous misunderstandings caused by language barriers, cognitive development, and language acquisition. Throughout the series, the artist plays with text, puns, and double meanings she experienced growing up along the Mexican border. The dominant themes of her bilingual and bicultural heritage, as well as an emphasis on education and educational principles (referencing her work as a teacher throughout much of her career), are seen throughout the Enlightenment project, as well as her oeuvre, with later photographs and works addressing these still current and poignant experiences. Álvarez Muñoz recalls numerous moments of both a personal and historical importance as key landmarks in her practice and development as an artist. The following are key historical and personal moments that have impacted and continue to influence my career: 1)A dramatic demographic shift in El Paso with the settlement of The Chamizal Treaty. 2) Installations/collaborations with retirement communities remembering Snugg Harbor in New York’s Staten Island, and Cerveceria Carta Blanca in Monterrey, Mexico. 3) An airport in Phoenix, Arizona’s connection to WW II. 4) Protest to unfair women’s labor practice in the manufacturing industry in the USA and Manchester, England. 5) Roswell, New Mexico’s attitude towards its “aliens.” 6) A coming-out GBL Texas community’s move to San Francisco, California.  7) San Antonio’s convention center expansion hinge honoring regional music.  8) San Antonio River links a park to the history and function of its river.  9)San Antonio’s main plaza reveals a multitude of its stories.  10) A protest installation with SMU/West Dallas due to the Calatrava Bridge and the gentrification in the once segregated Hispanic demographic. 11) A protest to the feminicides in Mexico’s Cuidad Juárez NAFTA maquiladoras.  12) An Austin, Texas library’s acknowledgement to its power and water treatment plants. 13) Participation in “Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985” at The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, California (2017), followed by travel to The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York, and Pinacoteca de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil (2018).  My mission in art making has always been one of an Artivist – I am an artist and an activist.”These experiences and accomplishments as an Artivist have left an indelible impact on Álvarez Muñoz’s laudable and prolific career, who is recognized by numerous awards and achievements. In 1995, she received the Honors Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Visual Arts from the Women’s Caucus for Art. Prior to this award, Álvarez Muñoz received two National Endowment for the Arts grants for both Photography and New Genres (1988 and 1991); she is also the recipient of the CAA Committee on Women in the Arts Recognition Award, and the Outstanding Centennial Alumnus award by the University of North Texas College of Arts and Sciences. In 2009, Roberto Tejada (the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor at the University of Houston) published a book on Álvarez Muñoz and her work (Celia Álvarez Muñoz, (UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Press; University of Minnesota Press.) Álvarez Muñoz’s work has been featured in numerous national and international solo and group exhibitions of note, including: University of Texas at El Paso; Whitney Biennial; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; Dallas Museum of Fine Art; Capp Street Project; University of Texas at Arlington; Station Museum of Contemporary Art; and the Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-85, at the Hammer Museum and Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York, followed by the Pinacoteca de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, 2018), among others. She is represented in numerous public and private collections throughout the states, including the Art Institute of Chicago; Getty Research Institute; Museum of Contemporary Art; and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts; and Texas Commission on the Arts 2021 Artist of the Year.

Nancy Rebalreceived her BA from American University in Washington DC, studied design at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA and earned a MA and MFA from the University of Dallas. She was granted a residency at RockyMountain Women’s Institute and two from Vermont Studio Center. She is a co-creator of the interactive public art- workSTATIONS: creating the Collective Voice of Forgiveness which has traveled through the US, Ireland and Africa. NancyRebal’s artist-career spans over forty-five years in a wide variety of ap- plications. She spent years managing a design studio in Los Angeles after a stint as a graphic de- signer for The Hollywood Reporter. When she moved to Denver, she returned to painting and was represented by Kyle Belding Gallery and taught art at the University of Colorado. After moving to Texas she was represented by Edith Baker Gallery then Craighead Green Gallery. She resigned from galleryrepresentation in 2007. She taught art at the University of Dallas. Since 1995 she has painted major crucifixes, stations of the cross and shrines for Catholic churches, also designing numerous stained-glass programs for Foster-Stained Glass of Bryan, Texas. Rebal is a founding artist of Corsicana Artist & Writer Residency. Painting and sculpture are now herprimary concerns. She works in a 5000 sq.ft. studio, originally the 1924 L T Davis grocery store, across the street from the100W building of the Corsicana Residency. Recently, she became business partners with Jean Searcy in co-foundingArtTown Corsicana, LLC, restoring historic buildings in Corsicana to be used as studio spaces for visiting artists and writers. She lives in both Corsicana and Dallas with her husband David Searcy.

Karen Minzer (aka with an X) is a beat up beat down phoenixed neo beat still tripping poet performer and recent humanities abd phd primarily mentored by the great Fred Curchack, Dr. Shilyh Warren and Dr. Kimberly Hill at University of Texas at Dallas, where she also enjoys the privilege of teaching rhetoric and u.s. history. She has six chapbooks of poetry–all published by either historic Paris Records label or the legendary Roxy and Judy Gordon’s Wowapi. She’s included in Christopher Carmona and Chuck Taylor’s edited anthology, Beatest State in the Union and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Naropa University where in the ’70s she began a long-term mentorship with Allen Ginsberg. Mairead Case was influential and integral to the more recent Naropa certification adventure. Minzer’s most recent manuscript resides in the Allen Ginsberg Library. Subsequently, Joe Milazzo recently lent a helping hand to re-sequence the pieces. Since then, it’s been kind of dead in the water publishing-wise due to the time-consuming rigors of doctoral process. But an excerpt appears in a cool lit mag, Entropy: “What Kind of Person—A Playlist.” The full manuscript has the same title and can be described as a sui generis collection of subjective, sometimes gossipy biographical sketches, essays and a few contemplative poems mostly influenced by Sei Shonagon, Michel de Montaigne, and Harry Matthews—and beat confessional tendencies. Minzer has worn many hats for WordSpace—as producer and performer in multiply-staged iterations of Dharma Broads; assisting Robert Trammell and later Ben Fountain as a series coordinator and event dishwasher—evolving into a nine-year tenure as director of this awesome literary organization started by The Trammells and Jerry Kelley–and pushed through by other brilliant and talented writers and thinkers. You should check out the list of former WordSpace board members on the website to get an idea of the history of influences on WordSpace. Minzer is currently compiling a creative nonfiction storytelling project of Dallas lit arts comprising oral interviews and gossip, archival research, and Dallas socio/political history.


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