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Inside the Artist’s Studio: Addie Moore, Making Tyler Weird

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Inside the Artist’s Studio:

Make Tyler Weird

The Exploring Force of Addie Moore

By Derrick White

“Being an artist is scary. You make things, and then you ask others to look, critique, dissect, and evaluate your work. I have always been drawn to art and I suppose I have always been an artist, as I feel like many humans are, but I didn’t realize or give myself credit until recently,” states local artist, promoter, and innovator Addie Moore. “I have been drawing and making my whole life. Both my parents studied graphic design and instilled an appreciation of the arts in me from an early age,” she continues, adding, “I enjoyed trying different media in high school but never saw myself as an artist. My parents also embedded in me the fear of the starving artist. I decided to study art history because I felt an academic approach would be a road to job security.”

Addie is an illustrator and a ceramic sculptor. Her works tend to have a significant emphasis on line. Her illustrative work is inclined to have straight, hatched, striped, etched effects. These pieces are colorful, layered, and contain elements both recognizable and abstract. “For my illustrative work, I have a dry media studio. I tend to use inks, markers, pens, colored pencil, watercolor pencils, and watercolor, layered in no particular order. For my ceramic work I lean towards light, white, hand building clays,” Addie reveals.

Moore graduated from the University of Texas at Tyler in 2016, where she studied art history and minored in studio arts. She focused her research and internships towards museum education and community involvement in the arts. Addie recalls, “I focused primarily on ceramics and drawing during my studies for my minor at UT Tyler. After college, I pursued jobs at non-profits and museums in Northwest Louisiana because they have a growing art scene and I had connections. I was able to land a couple of part-time art teaching jobs at after school programs but soon realized I would need a graduate degree to do anything I wanted to do full-time. I worked in inventory management for a jewelry store for a year before being recommended for my current art teaching job in Tyler. It wasn’t until last year, when Aaron Dunn, local poet, caught a glimpse of my sketchbook and asked me to illustrate his book of poetry, ‘I’m Just Saying’, I felt validated as an artist. I completed his book, started renting my own ceramic studio, and started participating in group shows. I realized how much I had been holding myself back due to fear. I learn every day from my students and I am working to perfect my craft and my practice, but I still fall short all of the time. I also began seeing a need for a unification of the East Texas art scene.”

Addie Moore is a frequent traveler and explorer. She has been able to save, fund, scholarship, and scrimp her way into multiple countries including France, Turkey, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, China, and India. She also loves road tripping across the United States. Moore’s adventurous spirit and tenacity has led to a wonderful new East Texas asset. Look out, Austin: Tyler is cool now.

“A small group of energetic people can create an art scene anywhere,” proclaims Christina Rees, the Editor-in-Chief at Glasstire, a Texas contemporary art online-only magazine. She was the juror for the 34th Annual International Exhibition in the Meadows Gallery at the University of Texas at Tyler on view through March 8, 2019. The reason Rees was the juror and the reason two Tyler Museum of Art exhibitions were listed in Glasstire’s top five recommendations is because, from a visual arts standpoint, East Texas is becoming a hotbed and Addie Moore is channeling this energy into action.

“There is so much artwork here in East Texas, and due to city over region mentality, we miss out on amazing exhibitions, public art, and events. I can see where artists and other creatives who have been living and working here for decades could feel discouraged by the past promotion of the arts. I have recently formed the group of creatives to help connect, begin holding ourselves to a higher standard, and begin exposing East Texas to everything we have to offer,” declares Addie.

The group etx creatives is a community organization to connect imaginative people through internet, workshops, meet-ups, and events. The group intends to better connect East Texas to the arts in a real, accessible, and equitable way. Addie explains, “We had our first exhibition with local artists, poets, and musicians in January. We were so energized by the turnout. We decided to do another on February 23rd at the former True Vine Brewing Company location on Englewood featuring the local Art School Girls (ASG) Collective’s inaugural show, ‘Components’. The work featured in ‘Components’ is highly individualistic with two common ties, each artist uses ceramics and small pieces to come together into a larger idea, slowly growing into larger, meaningful moments of light, shadow, and space. Each member of ASG has artwork arising from their own research into form and philosophy. The works will be complimented by music by local band Dang Dens & Friends and spoken word poetry juried by poet Aaron Dunn. Our long-term goal as etx creatives is to develop an area where the arts can flourish, create a gallery and studio space for artists, and eventually develop a residency program bringing in artists to teach and to learn from each other.”

Addie Moore believes in community. She proclaims, “Art is an independent practice in most cases, but being part of a classroom, university, collective, art show, and community organization gives me the confidence to put my own work out there. I am so proud of the community we have here in East Texas, I am meeting amazing artists, musicians, poets, and creative people every day. It’s encouraging and exciting.” Writers note: I attended the etx creatives’ inaugural event and it had the best vibrancy, energy, and funky eccentricity of any East Texas art event I have attended in the last twenty years. Times are a-changing, let’s get weird.

Keep Austin Weird is the slogan adopted by the Austin Independent Business Alliance to promote small businesses and creative culture in Austin, Texas. Other cities have since mimicked the motto, including Portland, Louisville, and Indianapolis.

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Caleb Bell: Inside the Artist’s Studio

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Ride the Lightning

By Derrick White

“I think we are very fortunate here in Tyler. There are a lot of generous donors and supporters at various levels throughout the community. Since I moved to Tyler, there has been a noticeable increase in interest in the arts. The scene has definitely grown. Everything takes time, but I feel like we are moving in the right direction,” states Tyler Museum of Art curator, Caleb Bell. 

Curators are those in charge of finding and selecting, classifying, handling and exhibiting artistic and cultural collections. Bell studied public relations & advertising and art history at the University of Texas at Tyler and graduated, magna cum laude, in 2011. He started as the public relations and marketing coordinator at the Tyler Museum of Art in early 2012. In 2014, Caleb began working on exhibitions and became curator in 2016. In addition to organizing exhibitions and programs over the last several years for the TMA, Bell has presented exhibitions at other institutions and given art talks at museums and galleries.

Caleb served as a curatorial advisor for an exhibition at Women & Their Work in Austin, juried numerous competitions including this year’s CADD (Contemporary Art Dealers of Dallas) Fund, and worked on public art projects at Tyler Junior College and the University of Texas at Tyler. Most recently, he served as the juror for Craighead Green Gallery’s New Texas Talent XXVI exhibition in Dallas. This is an important exhibition and perhaps the last remaining noteworthy free juried show in the state, and a significant prospect for emerging Texas contemporary artists. It opens in August. It seems Caleb is all over the state promoting and bringing well[deserved attention to the arts of East Texas. Bell is riding the lightning of what is going in our regional community and he is a large part of what gives it legitimacy. 

He describes, “I think one of the most important things art brings to my life is community. First and foremost, the connections and friendships I’ve made within the Tyler community. I have been fortunate to meet a lot of wonderful people through the museum and will be forever grateful. Our donors and members are very supportive, and I couldn’t do any of this without them. I’ve also met a lot of great artists over the years. While I’ve only met some in passing, I’ve gotten to know many personally while working on exhibitions and other projects. Likewise, I have gotten to meet a lot of passionate collectors who have been generous with their resources. In my experience, the Texas art community is pretty well connected. I have gotten to know many museum professionals across the state and try to support them when possible. I have also had the pleasure to work with many gallerists throughout Texas. When visiting their spaces in Dallas, Houston, etc., it always feels good to be greeted when walking through the gallery door. And almost always I instantly hear, what’s new in Tyler?”

Bell states, “I am very excited for the future of Texas contemporary art. In addition to veteran artists still contributing important work, there are a lot of talented, emerging artists working throughout the state. The Texas art scene is becoming more connected which is definitely a plus. There seem to be more alternative and non-traditional spaces popping up. I think those kinds of spaces can offer a unique viewing opportunity and allow for more artistic flexibility. From my observations, there seems to be a renewed interest in performance art. I also see more artists creating installation-based work. It feels like there is a real focus on providing a unique experience for viewers.”

When asked what inspired him to start curating exhibitions, Caleb Bell answers, “Edward Hopper once said, ‘If you could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint.’ I think about this quote often when looking at work. I understand the power of art and want to share it with others. When putting together an exhibition, I am providing the viewer with an experience. And whether it is just encountering something new or providing a completely different perspective, it is my hope each viewer walks away slightly changed after looking at an exhibition.” He adds, “In an increasingly ephemeral world, art is lasting. Even when performance works are over, they leave an impact. I think the tangible aspect of art is grounding and we need connection in our digital society. I also consider it an honor to get to work with artists to help realize their dreams. Artists create pieces to share and I get to help bring that work to the public’s attention. It is very rewarding.”

Caleb explains, “When putting together an exhibition, I look at a lot of different things. Most importantly, I think about Tyler and the greater East Texas community. I think about how they will relate to and perceive it. I think about it in terms of the larger Texas art scene as well. Has the show already been done? What is the artistic importance of the exhibition? I also think about how we can program around it for the community. A couple of years ago, I presented Double Take: Works by Ed Blackburn which featured works inspired by various movies. I worked with Liberty Hall to put together a movie series tied in with the exhibition. It helped expand the conversation outside of the gallery.”

 He continues, “I am always most excited about what is up at the museum at the time. Right now, we have two great exhibitions for the summer, Texas Birds: Works by Frank X. Tolbert 2 (on view through August 4th) and Floating Life: Mississippi River Drawings by Liz Ward (on view through August 25th). I paired them together because they create an interesting conversation between one another. While Frank’s show is all birds, Liz incorporates birds in some of her pieces and focuses on the flora and fauna of the Mississippi River region. They each offer a regionalist take on their respective subject matter. The exhibitions are both primarily works on paper and offer complementary color palettes.” 

Caleb concludes, “I know I am biased, but I don’t understand why every person in Tyler doesn’t come to the museum. It is the community’s museum. From a well-rounded exhibition schedule to Family Days and other activities, there is literally something for everyone.” 

For more info, go to tylermuseum.org.

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Tyler Museum of Art: “Texas Birds” and “Floating Life: Mississippi River”

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The Tyler Museum of Art (TMA) is located at 1300 S. Mahon Ave. on the Tyler Junior College main campus. Regular TMA hours are 10am-5pm Tuesday-Saturday, and 1-5pm Sunday. The Museum is closed Mondays. For more info call the museum at (903)595-1001, tylermuseum.org, or email info@tylermuseum.org.

The Tyler Museum of Art ushers in the summer season with a visual celebration of the avian species that fly the skies over the Lone Star State in the new exhibition “Texas Birds: Works by Frank X. Tolbert 2.” The show continues through August 4th in the TMA’s Bell Gallery. Admission is free.

Organized by the TMA and curated by Caleb Bell, “Texas Birds” spotlights works from Tolbert’s ongoing Texas Bird Project – including a recently finished piece that never has been seen by the public. Started in 2014, this body of work includes drawings, paintings, and prints that highlight a wide variety of the bird species that inhabit the state. The series largely was inspired by early childhood experiences with the Lone Star State’s vast array of flora and fauna on trips the artist took with his father, Frank X. Tolbert Sr., as the elder Tolbert was writing his column “Tolbert’s Texas” for the “Dallas Morning News.” Work on the Texas Bird Project began when the artist was commissioned by Austin’s Flatbed Press & Gallery to create eight bird etchings. After the initial exhibition at Flatbed, Tolbert said he decided to continue the project indefinitely.

“Texas Birds” marks the first time works from the Texas Bird Project have been organized into a major museum exhibition. Tolbert’s work has been widely exhibited and is featured in numerous public collections, including the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Dallas Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. He and his wife, artist Ann Stautberg, live and work in Houston.

Support for “Texas Birds” is provided by Collectors’ Circle-Gold Sponsors June and Steve Hillis, and Myrtis D. Smith.

TMA Plots New Course with “Floating Life: Mississippi River Drawings by Liz Ward,” Through August 25th

The Tyler Museum of Art explores the mystique of the South as seen through the eyes of a Texas talent with its next major exhibition, “Floating Life: Mississippi River Drawings by Liz Ward.” The show continues through August 25th in the TMA’s North Gallery.

Organized by the TMA and curated by Caleb Bell, “Floating Life” is the first large-scale museum exhibition of Mississippi River works by Ward, a San Antonio artist and professor of art and art history at Trinity University, whose work largely is informed by natural history and the environmental crisis.

The exhibition spotlights pieces from two recent bodies of work: “Ghosts of the Old Mississippi” and “Veritas Caput.” The works from “Ghosts of the Old Mississippi” are based on geological maps of the river’s ancient courses and inspired by the artist’s childhood memories from South Louisiana, where her great-grandfather spent a career as a riverboat captain. 

Pieces from “Veritas Caput” focus on the search for the source of the river by various explorers.

Ward’s work has been widely exhibited and is featured in numerous public collections, including the Tyler Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Support for “Floating Life” is provided by Collectors’ Circle-Gold Sponsors Betty and Dick Summers.

Summer Lecture Series Programs

TMA’s 2019 Summer Lecture Series will be held in the Museum’s Education Gallery. A small reception will follow each lecture. Admission is free, but seating is limited. To RSVP, call (903)595-1001.

  • “Divide and Conquer: An Overview of the Mississippi River’s Role in the Civil War” by Dr. James Newsom, Senior Lecturer in Political Science and History, The University of Texas at Tyler will be held at 2:30pm, Sunday, June 23rd
  • “I Knew Mark Twain” by Dr. Jim Richey, Professor and Department Chair of English, Tyler Junior College at 2:30pm on Sunday, July 21st

Special Events

Special events in connection with current exhibitions include a free First Friday tour June 7th, July 5th and August 2nd.

The first Friday of each month, 11am-12:30pm, the TMA offers a full day of free admission plus guided tours of its spotlight exhibitions.

Family Days will be from 2-4pm Saturday, June 8th, July 13th and August 10th.

Free admission, interactive art projects, light snacks, and a festive atmosphere for all ages are on the menu for the second Saturday of each month with the Tyler Museum of Art’s Family Day.

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For the Love of Art: Art Events, Classes & Exhibits



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