Texas Commission on the Arts selects CVAD retired professor and an alumna as State Artists

The Texas Commission on the Arts selected retired Professor Annette Lawrence and alumna Celia L. Álvarez Muñoz (1982, M.F.A., Art) to the Texas State Legislature’s 2021 and 2022 positions of state two-dimensional artists. The 2021 and 2022 appointees were formally announced through Senate Resolutions at the Capitol on May 18, 2021. 

“The great talents of the 2021-2022 State Artists, along with all of those who were nominated, help contribute to a distinctive cultural identity that makes Texas a great place to live, work and visit,” said State Representative Ken King, Chairman of the House Committee on Culture, Recreation, and Tourism. “It is important that we celebrate the distinguished career achievements of these artists which have enhanced the lives of so many.” 

Retired CVAD Professor Annette Lawrence

Annette Lawrence: Lawrence's subjects of inquiry range from body cycles to ancestor portraits, music lessons, unsolicited mail, and journal-keeping. She addresses questions of text as images and the relationship between text and code. Grounded in examining what counts, how it is counted, and who is counting, her work has been widely exhibited and is held in museums and private collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Dallas Museum of Art; Rachofsky Collection; ArtPace, San Antonio; Blanton Museum of Art, Austin; American Airlines; and the art collection of the Dallas Cowboys.

Photo taken in 2003 of Celia Munoz Alvarez

Celia L. Álvarez Muñoz: In 1977, at the age of 40, she enrolled in graduate school at North Texas State University (NTSU; now University of North Texas) in Denton. She took courses with the artists Vernon Fisher (b. 1943) and Al Souza (b. 1944), who influenced her conceptual practice across media from artist's books and photographs to installations and public works. Photo: 2003, UNT Texas History Archive

“These artists have made a huge impact in the arts and in the lives of Texans,” Senator Kel Seliger said. “Their works inspire others and enhance the creative spirit in us all. Texas heritage stands out because of our unique and exceptional artists who encourage dialogue, add beauty to humanity, and build bridges throughout communities.” Each State Artist reflects the state’s diversity and high-quality artistic offerings. Nominees must be native Texans or have resided in the state for at least five years. They must have attained the highest levels of excellence and success in their respective disciplines and earned a statewide, regional or national reputation for their high caliber work. 

Complete List: The 2021 appointees are Texas Poet Laureate Cyrus Cassells of Austin, Texas State Musician Leon Bridges of Fort Worth, Texas State Two-Dimensional Artist Annette Lawrence of Denton, and Texas State Three-Dimensional Artist Jennifer Ling Datchuk of San Antonio. The 2022 appointees include Texas Poet Laureate Lupe Mendez of Houston, Texas State Musician Eva Ybarra of San Antonio, Texas State Two-Dimensional Artist Celia Álvarez Muñoz of Arlington, and Texas State Three-Dimensional Artist Jesse Lott of Houston. Detailed biographical information on each of the artists is available on the TCA website at www.arts.texas.gov/stateartist

The mission of the Texas Commission on the Arts is to advance the state economically and culturally by investing in a creative Texas. TCA supports a diverse and innovative arts community in Texas, throughout the nation and internationally by providing resources to enhance economic development, arts education, cultural tourism and artist sustainability initiatives. 

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