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Convening a panel of internationally acclaimed artists featured in In Pursuit: Artists’ Reflections on a Nation, the National Liberty Museum presents a discussion on the power of art and freedom of expression. Moderator Stephanie Sparling Williams, Curator of American Art at the Brooklyn Museum, will lead the discussion, exploring the important role that art plays in liberal societies and the real tensions that emerge when artists engage in contemporary political and social movements. Hear directly from artists on how they maneuver in a challenging era of political polarization and around forces of social moderation and even censorship. Is art ever just….art? Or is the personal still political.

Meet the Panelists

Stephanie Sparling Williams (moderator)

Angel Cabrales
Angel Cabrales, MFA, is an Assistant Professor in Sculpture at the University of Texas at El Paso. He received his BFA from Arizona State University and MFA from The University of North Texas.

Angel views everything as an artistic resource and utilizes this in all his creations, from his extensive experience with a variety of mediums and styles, to the intangibles, such as his upbringing in the El Paso, Texas Borderlands. His work grows and expands with the requirements presented from each new idea.

His father, a retired engineer at White Sands Missile Range, instilled Angel with a great interest in science and engineering, while his mother, a politically active stay at home mother, taught him the importance of community and social work through her volunteer work. Angel’s work is an amalgamation of his upbringing resulting in social/political commentary with an engineered flare. The artwork’s concept ultimately dictates the medium needed for its creation, so artistic evolution is intrinsic in his philosophy.

Cabrales is currently exhibiting in The United States and Mexico: A Powerful Past, A Shared Future exhibition by Art in Embassies, at the U.S. Embassy residence of Ambassador Ken Salazar in Mexico City, MX curated by Camille Benton which will also showed at the 2023 Cervantino in Guanajuato, MX where he represented the United States of America in the History section of the exhibition.

Cabrales teaches all levels of Sculpture at UTEP, including Experimental Systems in Sculpture focused on STEAM elements in art and the Neon Sculpture program. He is head of the EASSI (Engineering + Art + Science = Social Impact) team that works on community engaged projects involving the arts and sciences in the Borderlands of El Paso.

Nicholas Galanin
Nicholas Galanin’s work engages contemporary culture from his perspective rooted in connection to land. He embeds incisive observation into his work, investigating intersections of culture and concept in form, image and sound. Galanin’s works embody critical thought as vessels of knowledge, culture and technology – inherently political, generous, unflinching, and poetic.

Galanin engages past, present and future to expose intentionally obscured collective memory and barriers to the acquisition of knowledge. His works critique commodification of culture, while contributing to the continuum of Tlingit art. Galanin employs materials and processes that expand dialogue on Indigenous artistic production, and how culture can be carried. His work is in numerous public and private collections and exhibited worldwide. Galanin apprenticed with master carvers, earned his BFA at London Guildhall University, and his MFA at Massey University, he lives and works with his family in Sitka, Alaska.

Marisa Williamson
Marisa Williamson is a project-based artist who works in video, image-making, installation and performance around themes of history, race, feminism, and technology. Her work has been featured in exhibitions throughout the US, as well as Rome, Berlin, Switzerland, and Buenos Aires. She was a participant in the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in 2012 and the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program in 2014-2015.

Williamson holds a BA from Harvard University and an MFA from CalArts. She is an Assistant Professor of Visual Art at the University of Virginia with a research focus on Blackness.

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