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Alumni Spotlight: ELENA RODZ

Charis Carmichael Braun (2008) interviewed Elena Rodz (2011) to chat a little about cats, and how she's curating her career.

I was born on a farm - my dad worked for a nuclear power plant in the middle of nowhere and my parents wanted to pretend it was the 1700s - in Cleburne, Texas. I grew up loving kitty cats and making art.

I was in all the smart classes in high school, and went on to pursue art in college (Washington University in St. Louis). I moved to NYC without ever having visited it; people told me I would like it and hey, I had nowhere better to go. Then, I worked in film post production doing editing, color correcting for a while before going to the New York Academy of Art.

After a few years in New York, I moved back to Texas (but not close at all to where I’m from, Texas is big) because I got tired of wearing winter clothes and wanted to be near the beach.

I work. I paint. I'm trying to be a gardener.

What was your most recent “Big Thing”?

Last year I had a solo show at KSpace Contemporary in Corpus Christi, TX.

Not only did the show sell out in under an hour, it was picked by Glasstire as one of their “Top 5” shows for the week.

I also run 180 shows a year out of the gallery where I’m a full-time curator: Rockport Center for the Arts, and 1-2 times a year the shows I curate get highlighted in the biggest-slash-only magazine for Texas art in their “Top 5” exhibition picks, so it's kind of a big deal.

What are you currently working on?

I've got 28 5x7 landscape oil paintings going for a solo show at RedBud Gallery in Houston in December 2022. I've also got 11 of my favorite artists' pieces in my house (working on building my own art collection).

From top left: Rodz Collection Living Room, Peter Drake, Richard James, Rodz Collection Living Room, Joe Peña, Alex Macias, Jimi Kabela, Loot Achris, Tyler Vouros.

What do you find challenging about your work?

Having the mental and physical energy after a 9-5 to go to the studio and paint.

After work exhaustion... fueling up again in the studio.

What do you find rewarding?

When someone who’s work I admire - and who I’m not personal friends with - “likes” my paintings on insta or Facebook. (HINT:

What’s on the horizon for you?

This show in Houston. Traveling a ton. Trying to garden.


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