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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE Campus curator honored for work in art, community

Crystal+Chinea%2FThe+Collegian++Christopher+Blay+received+the+2013+Moss+Chumley+award.
Crystal Chinea/The Collegian Christopher Blay received the 2013 Moss Chumley award.

By Heather Horton/entertainment editor

Crystal Chinea/The Collegian  Christopher Blay received the 2013 Moss Chumley award.
Crystal Chinea/The Collegian Christopher Blay received the 2013 Moss Chumley award.

SE Campus curator Christopher Blay has received a prestigious award from the local art community.

In December, Blay was recognized by his peers for his efforts and his work as an artist when he received the 2013 Moss Chumley award presented by Southern Methodist University’s Meadows Museum.

The award is given annually to someone with more than 10 years of professional experience and an active role in the community, according to the Meadows Museum website.

Rather than enumerate his accomplishments one by one, the soft-spoken Blay described his artistic style.

“The form that my work takes is installation art,” he said. “That is a category of contemporary art that deals with conceptualism, and it deals with very site-specific exhibitions.”

Because of his advocacy for artists and his community, KERA writer Stephen Becker dubbed Blay a “curator of the people.”

“I think the idea he was getting to is that part of my work reflects the community I live in,” Blay said.

Blay’s Oral History Project is an example of his municipal works. For this project, he invited people to sit down with him at local libraries and asked them to tell him stories of their lives and how they got to the cities where they were living. This conglomeration of anecdotal stories makes up the project.

This is “a record of the history of the people,” he said.

Blay’s mixed-media installations have been featured throughout the area including Art Depreciation: Art Before and After Culture, an exhibit that plays with the idea of pop culture and fine arts.

“A lot of the things that I do will highlight some of the ideas in contemporary art and in photography,” he said.

For example, Blay combined the names of artists and the names of pop icons to create various works. One particular piece “Samuel L. Jackson Pollack” is a painting of a famous quote from Jackson in the artistic style of Pollack.

As a community advocate, Blay has also worked to raise money for the Emergency Artist Support League and created a Thrift Art Gallery show and auction.

Blay finds working as the curator for SE Campus a great opportunity to showcase artists from this community and beyond.

“I also have the opportunity to work with the Achieving the Dream program that we have here at TCC and bring in artists and other professionals to come and talk to the students about the value of staying and completing their degree programs,” he said.

SE art associate professor Dana Ferrara said Blay is indispensable to the SE arts program.

“Christopher is a prolific artist,” she said. “He is very humble, so it’s nice to see someone get recognized who really deserves it.”

After acquiring an associate of arts degree from TCC, Blay continued at Texas Christian University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in fine arts.

Fans and those who are artistically inclined can experience Blay’s latest creation later this year with Activating Vacancy, a collaboration being created along the Tenth Street Historic District in south Dallas.

Blay said he is honored to receive the Moss Chumley Award.

“It’s definitely about the work and not necessarily about receiving the award or the recognition,” he said.

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