Women Talk Art: Audrey LeGalley

Audrey LeGalley is a Texas-raised artist who uses porcelain and fibers to explore themes of anxiety, fragility, and domesticity. Drawing on childhood memories and experiences, she discusses familial relationships and emotional structures through sculptures and compositions. 

LeGalley received her BFA in Studio Art from The Southwest School of Art in 2018, where she was awarded “Best in Show” for her work in the Senior Thesis exhibition. In Summer 2019, she attended a residency at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. She is currently an MFA student at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Audrey LeGalley, on going home, 2019; photographed by Clint Datchuk

What makes you you?
That’s a big question, but I guess that’s something I learn a little bit more every day. I’m from Texas; I was raised in a small town. I love San Antonio —I’m thrilled I’m here. I’m made up of a healthy dose of anxiety toward everything but also paired with curiosity about a lot of things. I really enjoy thrifting in my free time and love a good pale pink color. Agnes Martin is probably my favorite artist, most days. I’ve seen Gilmore Girls too many times, and that’s where I learned to be a feminist. I feel like Lorelai and Rory raised me; I am thankful I had that source of feminism in my small town. 

In my art, I am working a lot with ceramics right now, but I feel like I’m continually looking at other processes. Playing with new material is a big part of where I’m going. I took a weaving class last summer, and it was the coolest thing. I really love craft and making things.

What’s your go-to song/playlist for the studio?
I’ve been listening to a lot of audiobooks lately. I just finished Joan Didion’s book Blue Nights. It’s about the death of her daughter, and it’s written so beautifully. I sometimes get so hooked on the narrative that I find myself sitting and not making work, haha. 

Lily Allen, Sufjan Stevens, and Alex Somer’s soundtrack from Honey Boy are other tunes you’ll hear around my studio.

Audrey LeGalley, girlhood scary, 2019; photographed by the artist.

What is the most challenging part of being an MFA student?
It is an in-depth time for you to look at the work you are making and be critical of what you are doing. So, that’s always a bit guttural and hard to dig into it. You need to be vulnerable and honest with your work. 

But, also finding a balance is hard to do. In grad school, a lot is going on: studio time, classes, teaching, and other jobs. It’s about finding a balance and taking care of yourself. It’s hard! Grad school is a challenging time, both physically and mentally, so I think making time for self-care is really important.

What’s the best advice you’ve received?
The best advice I got was from an undergrad professor at the beginning of my BFA. He said to this whole room of new artists, you know they say there is only room for a couple at the top, but there is room for more than that. You should learn to have an uplifting spirit among peers instead of drafting off each other. That has always stuck with me about the importance of community and not feeling like competing against each other. I’ve never had that attitude toward fellow artists, and I think that’s a positive way to think. So, I really appreciate hearing that early on. School can cultivate a sense of competition, and SSA did a great job of creating a supportive community. 

Also, Christie Blizard recently told me not to be afraid to make bad work, which has been very freeing. I think its’ been a good perspective to create a focus on the growth process instead of the final result.

Audrey LeGalley, hallway, 2020; photographed by the artist.

What’s the worst advice you’ve received?
I think any advice that made me shy away from craft or feel like my interest in women’s work, clay and fibers were somehow not as important, interesting, or effective as other sculptural materials.

What’s your favorite art-related podcast?
I like The Art History Babes. It’s four gals who just finished their M.A.’s. They meet once a week, drink wine, and talk about different art historical topics. It’s like the basics of a survey class, but more funky and in-depth.

Who are some of the artists we should keep an eye out in 2020?
So many! Rebekah Hurst. She had her first solo show at Brick Gallery in December and is about to finish school. Her work is really beautiful, poetic, and thoughtful. Also, Joyce Lin! She is an amazing artist working in furniture based in Houston. We were in residence at the craft center at the same time, where I was lucky enough to see her process. I’m sure we will see a lot of cool stuff from her this year. Also, Evelyn “E.V.” Gonzalez will be having her French and Michigan publication coming out soon. And Angelica Raquel will be opening her awesome MFA thesis in April!

Author: Deliasofia Zacarias

Deliasofia Zacarias is one of the Unfiltered San Antonio co-founders. Double-majored in business and studio art, Zacarias is interested in art politics, food, and a whole lot of Netflix. She is currently LACMA's Emerging Art Professional Fellow in Los Angeles, CA.

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