The Art History Babes are four women (Corrie Hendricks, Natalie De La Torre, Virginia Van Dine, and Jennifer Gutierrez) that received their Master’s in Art History from the University of California, Davis in 2017. They became close friends during their experience in graduate school which led to the creation of The Art History Babes podcast.
The podcast seeks to explore art history from a multidisciplinary perspective and to make the study of art and visual culture accessible and enjoyable for people from all walks of life. The Babes often explore art in relation to pop culture, other academic disciplines, and anecdotes from their personal lives. Episodes of the podcast are heavily researched but also colored by plenty of laughter (and wine).
Carrie: When did you first realize the importance of art in your lives?
Ginny first realized the importance of art in her life when she saw wall paintings of the process of mummification in Ancient Egypt, making the process she had read about with great interest at age seven that much cooler.
Corrie’s was always drawn to the artistic as a child. She loved dancing and making art. During her middle school years she stumbled upon the Art History section of her local library and pulled out a book about Salvador Dali. She was captivated by his wild and intricate dreamscapes and has been attracted to art (particularly in relation to psychology and sociology) ever since.
Natalie has a father and grandmother who value art and creativity and their passion inspired her from a very young age. She discovered her personal passion for painting in high school thanks to her favorite teacher.
Jen grew up in a home full of art. Her father majored in art studio in college and was also active in the Chicano movement of the 1960s. His involvement led to a deep appreciation for Mexican art and craftwork and this was passed on to Jen at a young age. As a child she spent countless hours looking through the large full-color artists books at her local library. Her whole life she felt that she would be involved with art in some form or another.
Carrie: How did your podcast The Art History Babes get started?
The podcast grew out of a colorful conversation the Art History Babes had at a bar during grad school about scandalous stories from artist’s lives.
Carrie: How do you decide which artists and artworks to discuss?
We typically choose topics that have currently piqued our interest in some way whether it’s in relation to a contemporary event or just an artist that we’re really feeling at the time. During grad school many of our episodes would intersect with research we were doing for seminars. Now we get so many requests from listeners that we have compiled a lengthy list of topics that we regularly pull from.
Carrie: How do you think art history informs artists today?
As art historians, it’s really exciting to see contemporary artists referencing art history in their work. There’s so much that constitutes art history at this point, that it’s likely artists are drawing from the cannon whether consciously or not.
Carrie: What do you hope viewers take from your podcast?
A sense of wonder about both art and the world around them and an understanding that art isn’t for an elite few. It’s an essential and beautiful part of being a human.
Carrie: What has been one hurdle you’ve overcome and how did you navigate that problem?
There is a whole lot of trial and error involved in creating anything. I don’t know that there has been one big hurdle but instead and endless stream of little ones. Consistently reminding ourselves why we do this and what our goals are is key to working through problems and not getting burnt out. And, of course, utilizing resources. The internet can give you an answer or point you in the right direction to solve just about anything.
Carrie: Can you each name one of your favorite episodes?
Ginny’s favorite episode is tied between George W. Bush: Sensitive Portraitist and Red, Red Wine.
Corrie’s favorite episode is probably The Joy of Podcasting with Bob Ross or Exploring Tarot.
Natalie’s favorite episodes are the Color Theory Part I & II and FRIDA.
Jennifer’s favorite episodes are Yoko Ono is My Favorite Beatle, FRIDA, and F*ck Gauguin
Carrie: What has surprised you about this project?
The incredible support of our listeners which continues to surprise us in the most wonderful way.
Carrie: What is one piece of advice you could offer to artists who feel stuck or don’t yet feel confident enough to call themself an artist?
That artist isn’t a title reserved for the elite few. If you make art, you’re an artist. If you’re feeling stuck–explore, explore, explore. Don’t feel confined by expectations of what art is or what an artist should be. Instead approach your work (and yourself) openly and with curiosity.
Carrie: What is one creative resource you can’t live without?
Being academics, good ole fashion books are essential to our work.
Carrie: Who/what inspires you?
Corrie – Creators of every kind are inspiring to me. Lately, I have been taking a lot of inspiration from other podcasters, YouTubers, and social media influencers.
Natalie is inspired by art, nature and people who are out there creating amazing things and being compassionate at the same time.
Jennifer is inspired by art, music, poetry, and people who demonstrate passionate tenacity.
Carrie: What does the word artist mean to you?
Artist means anyone who is willing to think creatively, work on improving a skill, and take inspiration from their work and the world around them.
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