Glasstire is pleased to announce Houston-based artist Vincent Valdez and writer and MacArthur Fellow John Keene as the 2019 speakers for OFF ROAD: Conversations with Artists Offline. Valdez and Keene both, in their individual practices, seek to shed light on the often overlooked and erased stories of American history. Their conversation in Houston promises to address contemporary issues in our society in an open, honest, and thought-provoking manner.
This event is made possible in part through the City's Initiative Grant.
About OFF ROAD
Glasstire launched OFF ROAD in 2015, to invite our digital audience to log off of their devices and experience an exchange of ideas with artists live and in-person. OFF ROAD invites the great minds of our time to engage in conversations about their work and ideas.
For the inaugural OFF ROAD talk in October 2015, Glasstire hosted the legendary artist Robert Irwin and Michael Govan, director of the LA County Museum of Art. In April 2016, for the second OFF ROAD talk, Glasstire brought artist William Wegman to speak about his life and work. The most recent OFF ROAD conversation, held in April 2017, brought together longtime friends, artist Catherine Opie and writer Eileen Miles.
Vincent Valdez focuses on painting, drawing, and printmaking, and his artwork often emphasizes themes of social justice, memory, and ignored or under-examined historical narratives. His drawn and painted subjects remark on a universal struggle within various socio-political arenas and eras. “My aim is to incite public remembrance and to impede distorted realities that I witness, like the social amnesia that surrounds me,” states Valdez. His exhibitions and collections include the Ford Foundation, New York, NY; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Smithsonian Museum of American Art and National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC; among others.
John Keene, awarded the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 2018, is a fiction writer exploring the ways in which historical narratives shape contemporary lives while simultaneously re-envisioning these narratives from the perspectives of those whose voices have been suppressed. Through innovations in language and form, he imbues with multifaceted subjectivities those who have been denied nuanced histories within the story of the Americas — primarily people of color and queer people — and exposes the social structures that confine, enslave, or destroy them. Before joining the faculty at Rutgers University-Newark, where he is now chair of the Department of African American and African Studies and a professor of English and African American Studies, he taught at Brown University and Northwestern University, among other institutions.
Glasstire is an online publication covering visual art in Texas. It was founded in 2001 by Rainey Knudson and has been in continuous operation ever since. Throughout its history, Glasstire has published over 38,000 articles and events, making it the definitive record of the Texas art scene over the past two decades.