Painted Hooves features work from a combined cohort of sixteen graduating MFA students from UT Austin. After concurrently navigating a graduate program and an ongoing pandemic—which has involved an alternation of virtual and in-person gatherings—this group of students has organized an exhibition that places their work in conversation within the VAC’s galleries.
Many equine enthusiasts paint their horse's hooves before a big show. There is some debate about which events require this amount of care (regionals or just nationals), and which polishes are best (Twinkle Toes or clear Ultra Hoof Polish, to name a couple), but the polish is said to make their hooves stronger and to make them shine. This act of preparation resonates with the anticipation involved in organizing a large, culminating group exhibition.
Through varied practices and across media spanning sculpture, video, painting, drawing, paper-making, and photography, the artists in Painted Hooves engage a wide range of subject matter—including landscape, infrastructure, kinship, identity, spirituality, and technology—to create, with care, precise and often dissonant works in dialogue.