podcast public art

DC Podcast Episode 15: Did You Just Art in Public? with Olivia Overturf

In a city with a reputation like Austin, Texas, artists are common, but well-funded artists who live to produce are few and far between. As with the traditional image of “bohemian bliss,” many of the artists of color work multiple jobs and have less of an influence over putting their work in the public sphere. Some of that is time, and some of that is where they live, the paperwork involved for public art, and what consistently wins the approval of the people in charge of the office that funds public art. Considering the few jazz clubs and the almost nonexistent cultural scene beyond what is considered “hippy” and/or “edgy,” Austin embodies what happens when the whole of a community is not consulted about what constitutes “art.”

Join us as I talk to Olivia Overturf, an art activist who has been working to fund and exhibit public art and history for people of color for years. As a multiracial woman, she understands all too clearly the erasure of artists whose work is rarely considered palatable for the image projected by the city. She has worked with multiple city officials and her main goal is to help artists of color become publicly funded so that public space tells more than one story. Having developed substantial health issues has not stopped her from using her platform to promote artists. In truth, she believes that those who are in charge of what is being funded need to substantially change before any public sphere is representative of all the people within it. Click below to listen:

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