TalkAbout: Paradise Bloom
Join us for a conversation with all four exhibiting artists, Anahita Bradberry, Jessica Carolina González, Naomi Lemus, and Alexis Pye, facilitated by guest curator Ashley DeHoyos Sauder. In this conversation, they will examine the idea and definition of “paradise” through answering the questions of What is paradise? Who creates it? and Do we bloom in paradise or does paradise bloom in us?
TalkAbout is a program that facilitates thought provoking conversations with artists and the people who inspire them. This event is free and open to the public. Complimentary coffee will be provided.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Anahita (Ani) Bradberry is an Iranian-American artist and writer creating sculptural situations with plasma light. Her work combines illuminated rare gasses within glass tubes amongst natural and industrial materials, often exploring a state of alienation that is defined by oscillating identities and cultural memory. Featuring organic bodies and minimal geometries, her practice is an exercise in life-forming: filling fragile tubular vessels with pulsing plasma. Each object is simultaneously a multidimensional line and a borderless field of light. Ranging from glassblowing to gardening, the processes of fabrication and installation required to realize Bradberry’s dreams are both meditative and dangerous.
Jessica Carolina González is an interdisciplinary artist and organizer from Houston, TX. In her work, González utilizes traditional archives and the archives of her bloodline as tools for storytelling and critique in a post-colonial landscape. As a product of the Central American diaspora, her lineage has been shaped by war, displacement, surveillance, grief, and spirituality. Through her artistic practice, she collapses timelines and narratives to complicate the American understanding of ever-present socio-political issues embedded within her work. She creates to preserve her narrative because her communities are often absent or misrepresented in the dominant visual culture.
Naomi Lemus was born in Houston, TX to Mexican immigrants. Her work focuses on the history of her family, the realities and struggles faced by immigrants. She utilizes materials like fibers, archival documents and found material to explore and emphasize the pain, suffering, as well as achievements she has witnessed as a first generation American. Lemus attended San Jacinto College North and received her BFA in Painting at the University of Houston. She also received an MFA from the Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Philadelphia, PA in 2021 and currently teaches at San Jacinto College. Her work was recently featured at Project Row Houses Round 54: Southern Survey Biennial as part of a collaboration with Victoria Ravelo.
Alexis Pye is a Houston-based artist whose practice explores the tradition of painting as a way to express the Black body outside of its social constructs, to evoke playfulness, wonder, and Blackness, as well as the joys amidst adversity. Pye received her BFA in Painting from the University of Houston in 2018. She was selected as a Summer Studios Resident and for Round 51: Local Impact II at Project Row Houses, both in 2018. Her work was exhibited in a group show of young artists at the David Shelton Gallery for Everything’s Gonna be Alright in 2019, curated by Robert Hodge. Pye received the Juror’s Choice Prize for the 20th Annual Citywide African American Artists Exhibition held at Texas Southern University in 2019, selected by Kanitra Fletcher.
ABOUT THE CURATOR
Ashley DeHoyos Sauder organizes a full range of visual, performing, and public arts programming at DiverseWorks. Her focus is on intersectional artists and speculative futures as they relate to history and the environment. Recent projects include the research project Overlapping Territories: Knowledge Building Lab & Symposium, the public installation of Virginia Grise: Rasgos Asiaticos – Sobremesa, digital performance projects of Candice D’Meza: WAIL, Sara Dittrich: The Tender Interval, Visionary Futures; performance Jefferson Pinder: Fire & Movement; and the 2019 Bayou City Be All LGBTQ+ performance festival. In addition to their role as curator at DiverseWorks, DeHoyos also manages the Diverse Discourse and co-organizes The Idea Fund, a regranting program co-administered by DiverseWorks, Aurora Picture Show, and Project Row Houses, funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts. She received a BFA from Sam Houston State University (2013) and MFA in Curatorial Practice from Maryland Institute College of Art (2016). In her free time, DeHoyos Sauder teaches Intro to Museum and Gallery Management at the University of Houston in the Arts Leadership program as part of their Museum and Gallery Certificate, and serves as a steering committee member for Houston’s BIPOC Artists Network and a member of the National Performance Network Partner Advisory Committee.