October 27, 2020 — On Thursday, November 12, KERA’s Art&Seek and the Kimbell Art Museum present "Taking It to the Streets: The Mural Movement in Fort Worth," a live online State of the Arts discussion that explores the unifying influence of public art and how artists have adapted to the COVID era. 

Across Fort Worth and around the world, artists are responding to a year of massive upheaval with mural making. In a time of social distancing, murals have become medium and megaphone for critical conversations, community activism and public art. From downtown Fort Worth and the Near Southside to the Stockyards and beyond, murals with a message can be found on street corners and alleyways—and sometimes in unexpected places. Local artists and experts will discuss how murals intersect with power, protest and representation.

“Fort Worth’s vibrant arts scene has responded in remarkable ways to this turbulent year of pandemics, politics and protests,” said William Gibbons, associate dean of TCU’s College of Fine Arts. “Public art helps each of us process the fundamental challenges of our times, and it also has the power to bring us together as a community in a uniquely isolating moment.”

Letitia Huckaby, local photographer, artist and co-founder of Huckaby Studios; local artist Juan Velazquez of Velazquez Art; and Jan Ballard, instructor of graphic design at TCU's College of Fine Arts, will join moderator Jerome Weeks, senior arts reporter and producer for Art&Seek, in this discussion.

“Since the program’s inception, State of the Arts has been an occasion to connect with our arts community,” said Eric M. Lee, director of the Kimbell Art Museum. “In this year of social distancing, that purpose seems more poignant than ever.”

This free one-hour event begins at noon. To register, go to www.artandseek.org/fortworthmurals. For more information, visit kimbellart.org.

Letitia Huckaby has a degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma, a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography from the Art Institute of Boston and her master’s degree from the University of North Texas in Denton. Huckaby has exhibited as an emerging artist at Phillips New York, the Tyler Museum of Art, The Studio School of Harlem, the Camden Palace Hotel in Cork City, Ireland, and the Texas Biennial at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum. Her work is included in several prestigious collections: the Library of Congress, the McNay Art Museum, the Art Museum of Southeast Texas and the Samella Lewis Contemporary Art Collection at Scripps College in Claremont, California. Huckaby was a featured artist in “MAP2020: The Further We Roll, The More We Gain” at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art and “State of the Art 2020” at The Momentary and Crystal Bridges Museum; both opened in the spring of 2020. She is currently a Fall 2020 Artist-in-Residence at ArtPace.

Juan Velazquez is a Fort Worth artist once known for practicing only traditional, fundamental oil methods. He adapted to the COVID pandemic by evolving into a muralist who uses spray paint as his medium. Velazquez has brought the community of Fort Worth together by creating murals that shed light on social issues and injustices.

Jan Ballard holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-­Champaign. Since joining the Texas Christian University faculty, she has taught and assisted in the development of courses, including Communication Graphics, Typography 1, 2, and 3, Corporate Identity, Publication Design, Professional Recognition, Portfolio and Marketing, and Senior Thesis. In 2019, she was honored to receive the TCU Deans’ Teaching Award. In the same year, she was honored by the Tenth District of the American Advertising Federation as Educator of the Year and was the first TCU female faculty member to be so honored. She is a core affiliate of Women and Gender Studies and an IdeaFactory Fellow. In 2018, she was featured in "Teaching Graphic Design History," by Steven Heller, and in 2018, she was one of 60 international teachers featured in Heller’s "Teaching Graphic Design: Course Offerings and Class Projects from the Leading Graduate and Undergraduate Programs."

State of the Arts Fort Worth, produced by KERA's Art&Seek in partnership with the Kimbell Art Museum and Texas Christian University College of Fine Arts, identifies important trends and issues affecting North Texas artistic organizations and brings artists, experts and scholars together for thought-provoking discussions.

KERA's Art&Seek
Art&Seek connects North Texans with the people and places that define the arts community. Through in-depth reports, artist profiles and immersive online content, Art&Seek's award-winning journalism covers all aspects of the visual and performing arts on KERA 90.1 and artandseek.org. Art&Seek also features more than 3,000 arts organizations on its comprehensive online events calendar. The Art&Seek Calendar allows users to search for activities in their neighborhood and across North Texas, with links to buy tickets, find directions and more.

Kimbell Art Museum
The Kimbell Art Museum, owned and operated by the Kimbell Art Foundation, is internationally renowned for both its collections and its architecture. The Kimbell’s collections range in period from antiquity to the 20th century and include European masterpieces by artists such as Fra Angelico, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Bernini, Velázquez, Monet, Cézanne, Picasso and Matisse; important collections of Egyptian and classical antiquities; and the art of Asia, Africa and the Ancient Americas.

The museum’s 1972 building, designed by the American architect Louis I. Kahn, is widely regarded as one of the outstanding architectural achievements of the modern era. A second building, designed by world-renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano, opened in 2013 and now provides space for special exhibitions, dedicated classrooms and a 289-seat auditorium with excellent acoustics for music. For more information, visit kimbellart.org.

Admission to the museum’s permanent collection is always free. Museum hours are Tuesdays through Thursdays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Fridays, noon to 8 p.m.; Sundays, noon to 5 p.m.; closed Mondays. For general information, call 817-332-8451.

Texas Christian University College of Fine Arts
TCU's College of Fine Arts comprises the Schools of Art, Classical & Contemporary Dance and Music, as well as the Departments of Graphic Design, Interior Design & Fashion Merchandising and Theatre. Each offers distinctive programs that enable students to work closely with stellar faculty. Graduates are well prepared to pursue their professional aspirations through innovative curricula, pre-professional training opportunities and mentorship.

Images and further press information available upon request.