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The Curator Diaries Week 6: Thank you 

Untitled (Public Display)

Every exhibition takes an army of people to pull it off. This year’s CAM Perennial is no different. In the end I met with 27 artists over the course of three weeks, a feat that would have been totally impossible had it not been for Chris Sauter, who drove me around from Stone Oak, the South Side and everywhere between.

I owe a very special thank you to the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, and even more specifically, Patty, Haydee and Orlando, all of whom remained calm when I had no answers to give them, and even more calm when the show seemed to be made of nothing but surprises and mysteries.

Karen Mahaffy 2_lores

Leslie Moody Castro with Jaclyn Alderete (of NY’s Snug Harbor Artist Residency Program) and artist Karen Mahaffy

Every curator faces tough criticism with any show. Ours is a world of rejection that is more heartbreaking than rewarding at times. The constant supporters in my life are invaluable, even when it may seem that they have no idea what I do and how. I am lucky enough to have people in my life that have been unwavering in their support of me personally and professionally, and even luckier that one of those people is the infallible Nina Hassele, co-director of Contemporary Art Month. Nina has advocated for me more times than I know, she is a generous supporter and works tirelessly for the benefit of the arts community in San Antonio.

I am lucky enough to have an arsenal of people that I can call upon at anytime for support, collaboration, ideas, or just a pat on the back when I need it. I can’t write a thank you without thanking my partner in crime, Erich Micah Rodriguez, who lets me ramble incessantly about art—because I have no other skills or interests to talk about—and holds my hand all the while. Thank you to Kaela Hoskings, my friend and collaborator who always keeps things interesting. Special thanks to my crew in Mexico City: Tanya, Molly, Barbara, Hebercito, Tara, Vicente, Amit and Mario, who always have tequila/champagne/beer when I seem to need it. Without all of you as friends and conspirators I would never know how to tackle a good challenge.

LMC and Cruz Ortiz

The curator with artist Cruz Ortiz in his studio

Thank you to Hills Snyder and Anjali Gupta, who have put me up at Casa Chuck multiple times and many times at the very last minute because I seem to be impaired when it comes to planning life outside of art. Thank you as well to the Tropicano for extending a really, really nice stay.

Christie Blizard and Mark Menjivar are the heroes of this story, and the tireless artists that are making this exhibition a reality. Thank you for realizing the vision and tackling it so gracefully. Thank you to every one of Christie’s students who are participating, and thank you to Josh Alder for the incredible craftsmanship and the hours you spent helping to build Mark’s tables and vitrines.

No matter the size and shape of any show, there is never enough cash flow to make every dream a reality. Typically the dream that gets laid by the wayside is a catalog or publication documenting the process. Thanks to the generosity of the Current, and their incredible patience with my general confusion on deadlines, we were able to create an active catalog that reached so many more people than I could have expected. Super special thanks should be extended to Callie and Bryan for dedicating their time to make this a success.

Naturally, however, the Current only has so much space to offer, and in the end, the story was more abbreviated than I expected. I owe a special thanks to Jane Liang, Jen Khoshbin, Roberto Celis and Jessica Garcia for inviting me into their studios and homes as well.

In the end, the biggest and most important thanks should be extended to the readers of this column, and the supporters of art in San Antonio. Thank you to everyone in every audience that makes this exhibition such a special one.

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