We recently had the chance to interview one of our distinguished alumna, Leslie Moody Castro!
Where are you from?
I am originally from Austin, Texas, but live and work in Mexico City
What year did you graduate from DePaul?
Why did you choose to go to DePaul?
I wanted to move out of Austin for undergrad, and DePaul seemed like a great environment. The city of Chicago was also a great incentive!
Did you have any other Majors or Minors?
I double majored in Art History and English.
What drew you to HAA?
Art History was a mandatory class in my high school. It was a natural fit for me to continue with Art History, and after my first year I realized I had enough credits to make it a major so I did.
What are your major research or Art History interests?
I was and am interested in Latin America. At the time I was looking at colonialism, pre-contact, feminism, and a little bit of contemporary.
Did you have any favorite or memorable HAA classes?
Absolutely! Joanna Gardner-Huggett's classes, I will never forget my class with Paul Jaskot, Mark Pohlad, and my classes with Delia Cosentino absolutely shaped my trajectory and career.
What did you do after your graduation?
After graduation I stayed in Chicago for one last summer, which I love in the city, then I packed my bags and moved to Mexico City on August 7th. I had no plan, had no idea what I was getting into but never looked back!
Can you tell me a bit about your current position? What do you do, and how did you begin to work there?
I actually don't have a position. I made one. After being frustrated in institutions I decided to go completely freelance and focus on being completely independent [Working for places such as: Women and Their Work; Visual Arts Center at UT Austin; CentralTrak, Dallas; Contemporary Art Month San Antonio, Texas Contemporary, Houston; Texas State University; The Museum of Human Achievement]. That was in 2011, and I've been independent ever since. I'm very, very lucky that I have had consistent work and the freedom to do projects in spaces that really interest me and provide the freedom to play. I am also a writer and critic, which has become very important in my practice. I contribute regularly to Artforum, Flash Art and Frieze magazine, and have recently added ArtNews to that roster. That's the most challenging part of my job!
How do you feel HAA prepared you for your profession and post-undergraduate life?
I always had an incredible support system, and everyone I met in the department has really stayed in touch. Being independent can also feel isolating at times because there's no support system like one that you get in an institution, but I've been lucky to have that support with my former professors at DePaul, and it's gone such a long way for me!
How would you recommend HAA to prospective students?
I can't recommend it enough, honestly. It's such a gem of a department.
Based on your experience in our program, do you have any recommendations?
This is a really good question. I would say take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself, especially when you are still in school. Consider every opportunity a learning experience, and don’t say no if something comes along, jump on it.
Want to learn more about Leslie Moody Castro? See another interview here!