Artist Sedrick Huckaby’s project celebrates collaboration
FORT WORTH, Texas – Internationally renowned artists hope a century-old home in the predominantly black and Latin neighborhood of Fort Worth Polytechnic can uplift a community. Sedrick and Letitia Huckaby have announced the opening of Kinfolk House, a community-driven collaborative art space that once housed Sedrick’s grandmother.
Sedrick Huckaby, professor at UTA and, notably, professor of art to former President George W. Bush, said that he and his wife hope to cultivate a space where ideas are free-form, and the idea of art is not limited to the traditional custodians of fine art, such as painters, sculptors and installations.
“The space is going to be a collaborative art space where creatives come together and collaborate – and ‘creatives’ include beautiful artists, but not limited to,” he said at a telephone interview. “Thus, it is possible for a painter, a poet and a fashion designer to come together and create some kind of exhibition, show or collaborative project.
“For example, one of the things I see is that there are all types of artists, and even some people don’t even call themselves artists, but they have an artistic spirit,” a- he continued. “I think that having kind of a space where the creatives can come together and play together is something that I think will be of great benefit to our region.”
Huckaby said that in creating the space, he hoped to pay homage to his grandmother’s legacy of creativity and community.
“From my perspective, she was a pretty creative person,” he said. “She wasn’t an artist or anything, she was just creative in her thought and in her life. And when I got the place about 12 years ago, I was thinking about how to honor that spirit of creativity as an artist. Over the years, I have met so many different types of creative people. And that’s usually where the thinking comes from.
Huckaby discovered his love for art at a young age. He has participated in several non-profit civic initiatives, such as Imagination Celebration. It was through this program that he met his longtime teacher and mentor, Ron Tomlinson, who was a professor at Texas Wesleyan University.
Huckaby followed Tomlinson to Wesleyan, and the young artist was eventually accepted to the prestigious Yale School of Art for graduate study.
One of Kinfolk House’s goals, Huckaby said, is to make the art world accessible to those unaware of its notoriously cliquey inner circles. While programs like Imagine Celebration still exist, people who live in areas like Poly are often unaware of them.
“I think it’s important that these types of creative spaces occur in communities that are outside of the arts district,” he said. “It’s just important for people to see creativity springing up in their own communities and in other areas that are outside of these spaces that we consider. [the art world]. We shouldn’t draw a line around these spaces and call them “the art space”. Art comes from everywhere.
The Huckaby’s have appointed Jessica Fuentes as director of Kinfolk House. She has varied experience as an artist, arts administrator and educator. Beyond that, she brings values and ideas that they hope will be reflected at Kinfolk House. Fuentes was the Director of School and Community Outreach for the Amon Carter Museum of American Art and was a member of the F6 Gallery Collective and the 500x Gallery. She worked at the Dallas Museum of Art, serves on the board of directors of Make Art with Purpose (MAP), Artes de la Rosa, and the educational planning committee for the Smithsonian Latino Center in Washington, DC, between others.
“It’s rare to have the opportunity to help build a space from scratch that truly matches your vision and personal goals,” she said. “Throughout my journey in museum education, I have worked to create accessible and relevant exhibits, experiences and self-guided learning programs. Kinfolk House will be a place that supports artists, celebrates community, is informed and invested in the local neighborhood, and inspires creativity, dialogue and reflection.
Kinfolk House to host grand opening with multimedia project in February – a collaboration between the founders Sedrick and Letitia focused on the concepts of family, community and heritage.