Fort Worth owes much to the artists who define our culture and spur our city’s economic growth. Here are a few of the cultural trailblazers who call our fair city home.
Katie Murray is an artist with depth. Publicly, she is best known for her prominent murals at “Dream on Dreamer” (5702 Locke Avenue) and “Follow Your Dreams” (1305 West Magnolia Avenue) as well as her numerous wall-based paintings at The Foundry District. Murray is also a TCC professor, portrait artist, graphic design artist and co-founder of the artist nonprofit Art Room.
Painter Jay Wilkinson navigates a world between form and the formless. His surrealist renderings capture everyday subjects (often friends and families) through the fog of memory. Some details are lost in translation. Others are magnified. Wilkinson balances consonance and dissonance on canvas as Igor Stravinsky and Miles Davis similarly did through music. You can view the popular artist’s works at Fort Works Art. Wilkinson is also a founding member of the artist groups Bobby on Drums and the artist-led nonprofit Art Tooth.
Noel and Sara Viramontes
Noel and Sara Viramontes are the visionary minds behind Blackhouse. The refurbished, century-old home cohabits the downtown neighborhood of Rock Island. The stark black house is part community center, art gallery, music venue and meeting place for Fort Worth’s creatives. Blackhouse is a petri dish, of sorts, that nurtures new ideas and possibilities. Beyond managing events, Noel and Sara are passionate advocates for protecting musicians and artists who are all-too-often priced out of the very neighborhoods they economically uplift.
Film director and playwright Katreeva Phillips has been all over the theatrical map. Her three-year stint as artistic director at Stolen Shakespeare Guild’s Billy’s Globe House program allowed her to write and produce numerous plays and musicals that were geared toward children. With ample acting experience (60 to 70 plays) now under her belt, Phillips is turning toward film.
Her newest short film, "Henry," will be released later this month. She plans to submit that movie, along with two others currently in the works, into film festivals. She describes the local film community as “ open and giving.” If all goes to plan, Phillips will be working as a film director in California in the coming years. With a second home in Fort Worth, of course.
Austin Fields’ glass sculptures shimmer with boundless luminosity. Her ongoing series, Radiant Landscapes and Altered State, feature mirrorized glassworks that radiate with what she calls “ infinite reflectivity.” Fields is constantly refining her craft by traveling to glassblowing workshops across the country. Her creations vary in design but are unified by the seemingly infinite visual effects that result from shifting perspectives.
Photographer Rambo is plumbing the depths of fashion and fine art photography and shows no sign of surfacing anytime soon. Her black-and-white and color photographs have been featured in several notable publications. Closer to home, Rambo documents the inner lives of local artists Donnie Williams, Leon Bridges and Jeremy Joel, among many others, with boldness and honesty.