When getting this sort of publication together, one should think about the demand, or the audience. I thought about the name. In his 2004 piece “Why Nothing Can Be Accomplished In Painting And Why It Is Important To Keep Trying,” James Elkins describes five different kinds of critical art writers. The first (portrayed as base, dismissible) he describes as bowerbirds, because they are random, only searching for things that are blue. I submit that the industrious bowerbird also creates large, intricate structures for attraction and function alike . We here at The Bowerbird intend to bring forth the unique West Texan and Southern New Mexican arts and make them available to a broader audience. We are reclaiming what is already ours: boasting our beloved, hard-won artists, patrons, supporters, and writers, and looking towards a bright future. 




Hannah Dean



Hannah Celeste Dean founded The Bowerbird and occasionally writes for Glasstire magazine. Other publications include contributions for the catalogues of the 2018 Austin Fusebox Festival and the 2019 Contemporary Art Museum Plainview exhibition, Rural Elements. She is also a painter with recent exhibitions including the 2019 Assistance League Houston Celebrates Texas Art (curated by Whitney NY assistant curator Jennie Goldstein), The Fifth Annual Juried Exhibition at Artspace111 (curated by Christina Rees, Editor at Glasstire), TX 17 Biennial, Rising Eyes of Texas 2014 and 2015, and publications including New American Paintings MFA Annual #111 and Art Tour International Summer Issue 2016 (both sold at Barnes and Noble). She has been a finalist in the Hunting Art Prize 2014 and 2015. Her illustrations have been published in the California Law Review and the Harvard Journal of the Legal Left. Her work is in private collections around the globe and is sold through Saatchi Art Online and Charles Adams Gallery in Lubbock. Prints of her work are available through Artfully Walls and Anthropologie. She lives in her hometown of Artesia, New Mexico with her husband and daughter. 


Michelle Kraft is a professor of art and assistant dean at Lubbock Christian University and earned her Ph.D. at Texas Tech University in 2001. Before that, Michelle taught art at Dunbar High School. Her research interests include aesthetic and pedagogical theory and practice, especially as those relate to underserved populations. She recently co-authored the book, Including Difference: A Communitarian Approach to Art Education in the Least Restrictive Environment (with Karen Keifer-Boyd of Pennsylvania State University). She has published in such journals as Visual Arts Research, The Journal for Social Theory in Art Education, The Journal for Cultural Theory in Art Education, Visual Culture & Gender, and Art Education. She has served as on the editorial board of numerous academic journals, worked in the area of disability and art education for the John F. Kennedy of the Performing Arts and VSA Arts, and has been active in the Texas Art Education Association where she served as Higher Education Division Chair and edited TAEA’s peer-refereed journal Trends in Art Education. Michelle is also a lecturer for the Texas Tech University Art History Lecture Series, sponsored by the TTU Museum Association.