12 Aug 2023 / 12 Aug 2023

Deborah Roberts in Conversation with Ekow Eshun and Phillip Townsend: Moderated by Jakia Fuller

Aug 12, 2023 At Marlene Nathan Meyerson Auditorium

Exhibiting artist, Deborah Roberts, writer and curator, Ekow Eshun, and Curator of Art at Art Galleries at Black Studies (AGBS) at The University of Texas at Austin, Phillip Townsend, discuss Roberts’ exhibition, Come walk in my shoes with moderator Jakia Fuller.

2023-08-12 14:00:00 2023-08-12 4:00:00 America/Denver Deborah Roberts in Conversation with Ekow Eshun and Phillip Townsend Another amazing event at SITE Santa Fe Marlene Nathan Meyerson Auditorium SITE Santa Fe info@sitesantafe.org

About the Presenters

Deborah Roberts (American, born 1962 in Austin, Texas) is a mixed media artist whose figurative works depict the complexity of Black subjecthood and explores themes of race, identity, and gender politics. Her work has been exhibited internationally across the US and Europe. Roberts’s work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Brooklyn Museum, New York; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California. Roberts was named 2023 Texas Medal of Arts Award Honoree for the Visual Arts. Roberts was selected to participate in the Robert Rauschenberg Residency (2019) and is a recipient of the Anonymous Was A Woman Grant (2018), the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2016), and the Ginsburg-Klaus Award Fellowship (2014). She received her MFA from Syracuse University, New York. She lives and works in Austin, Texas. Roberts is represented by Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, and Vielmetter Los Angeles.

Ekow Eshun is a writer and curator. He is Chairman of the Fourth Plinth, overseeing the foremost public art program in the UK, and former Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. He is the curator of exhibitions including, most recently, In the Black Fantastic at the Hayward Gallery, London, awarded the Association for Art History’s Curatorial Prize for Exhibitions 2023, and author of books including Black Gold of the Sun, shortlisted for the Orwell prize, and Africa State of Mind, nominated for the Lucie Photo Book Prize. Described by The Guardian as a ‘cultural polymath’, he is the writer and presenter of documentaries including the BBC film Dark Matter: A History of the Afrofuture and the BBC Radio 4 series White Mischief. He has contributed to books on artists including Mark Bradford, Kehinde Wiley, Chris Ofili, John Akomfrah and Wangechi Mutu and his writing has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Financial Times, The Guardian, The Observer, Esquire, Wired and L’uomo Vogue. He is a member of the Advisory Board of Liquid Blackness: Journal of Aesthetics and Black Studies, and the recipient of an honorary doctorate from London Metropolitan University.

Phillip Townsend is the Curator of Art at Art Galleries at Black Studies (AGBS) at The University of Texas at Austin. He is also a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Art + Art History specializing in modern and contemporary art of the African Diaspora, focusing on the politics of identity and representational strategies of BIPOC artists. He received his M.A. in Art History from UT-Austin (2016) and his B.A. in Art History from The University of South Florida (2014).

As a founding member of the Austin-based curatorial collective, Neon Queen Collective, Phillip co-curated Notes on Sugar: The Work of María Magdalena Campos–Pons (2018) at the Christian Green Gallery and Like the Lonely Traveler: Video Works by María Magdalena Campos–Pons (2018) at the Visual Arts Center. Phillip also co-curated Charles White: Celebrating the Gordon Gift (2019), an exhibition presented by the Blanton Museum in partnership with African and African Diaspora Studies (AADS) and the Art Galleries at Black Studies (AGBS) at The University of Texas at Austin. He contributed several essays for the exhibition catalog Charles White: Celebrating the Gordon Gift (UT Press) and the forthcoming catalog María Magdalena Campos-Pons: Behold (Getty Publications). At AGBS, he recently curated Wura-Natasha Ogunji: earth, body, spirit and Melvin Edwards: WIRE(D) + CHAIN(ED), a major exhibition of work by Melvin Edwards, a Houston native and pioneer in the history of African American art and sculpture.

Jakia Fuller is the Executive Associate of SITE SANTA FE, supporting Louis Grachos, Phillips Executive Director, and Clara Samayoa, Deputy Director.

Born and raised in Detroit, MI, Jakia Fuller is a multidisciplinary visual artist and arts administrator based in Albuquerque, NM. Creating artworks and immersive spaces that bring a smile to people’s faces, Jakia explores intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships, expressions of self, environmental awareness, and evolving narratives of the Black diaspora.


SITE SANTA FE’s INNOVATIVE THINKER SPEAKER SERIES brings leading cultural figures to Santa Fe, NM, to illuminate cross-disciplinary contemporary issues.

Special thanks to the Gale Family Foundation for their leading support of the INNOVATIVE THINKER SPEAKER SERIES. INNOVATIVE THINKER was established as an annual event to honor SITE SANTA FE’s former Director of Education, Juliet Myers.