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Kathy Bussert-Webb


Interdisciplinary art, installations, performance art, socially engaged art


My interdisciplinary practice explores ecology, gender, peace, and consumption, particularly the intersection of females and meat. My refugee mother experienced food insecurity, which she projected by having us eat until we were stuffed. Growing up with a polyglot Hungarian mother and teaching literacy methods in the Rio Grande Valley, TX, inform my hybrid practices, such as creating assemblage, including poetry and dialogue in my pieces, and translanguaging  (combining languages, such as Hungarian and English). I invite participants to use their senses when interacting with my work, like smelling bacon, opening doors, rattling soft sculptures, and turning pages of a children's book the size of a twin mattress. I incorporate a range of materials for installations, performances, and socially engaged art. I also upcycle materials because I hoard and improvise, like my late mother. For instance, in the tapestry/banner Us, I incorporate leather from a ripped couch cushion, which I had saved after we replaced the cushion 10 years ago.

As my practice has evolved, I continue to heal through hiking and exploring nature. I make natural dyes, pigments, and paper, and create sculptures, assemblages, and tapestries from fabric, found objects, and handmade paper. I respectfully harvest algae and other plants for papermaking. I also create nature scenes with native seed bombs for climate-resilient species. My interest in sustainability emanates from positive childhood experiences in nature. I felt peace by exploring woods with my older sister, caring for our chickens, ducks, and geese, and helping with our family gardens. 


Dr. Kathy, a full-time multimedia artist, received a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in three-dimensional (3D) studio art from UTRGV (Texas) in May 2022. Kathy was a fellow at the Chautauqua School of Visual Arts (Chautauqua, NY), Azule (Hot Springs, NC), Art Farm (Marquette, NE), and Elsewhere Studios (Paonia, CO). She will complete 2023 residencies at Joya Art+Ecology AiR (Andalucia, Spain) and the Homestead National Historical Park (Beatrice, NE). She has exhibited in several national/international juried and non-juried shows and has initiated several socially engaged art experiences with children and adults. She had pop-up installations and socially engaged art at the Children's Museum of Brownsville (TX) in 2021 and the International Museum of Art and Science (IMAS, McAllen, TX) in 2022.  Her solo shows include her MFA exhibition at UTRGV (March 2022), the Art Hub (May 2022), and the Brownsville Performing Arts Academy (June 2022). In spring 2022, she won one of two awards at La Chicharra Studio juried show (Brownsville, TX) and fifth place in a juried show at the Contemporary Art Gallery (Middletown, DE). She published a photo of her ceramic piece and an accompanying poem, and an article about her practice in national, peer-reviewed journals; she published two art reviews and an interview in GlassTire, a Texas art magazine. Dr. Kathy holds a Ph.D. in Language Education from Indiana University, Bloomington. She is Professor Emeritus in UTRGV’s Bilingual and Literacy Studies Department, a Slemp Endowed Chair of Community Engagement, and a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Honduras). Her October 2022 accomplishment involved walking over 200 miles in nature on el Camino del Norte (from Aviles, Asturias) and receiving a Compostela certificate in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

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