Centraltrak, a Deep Ellum artist residency and gallery that is part of the UT Dallas School of Arts and Humanities, has appointed Heyd Fontenot as its new director.

Fontenot studied radio-television-film production at UT Austin. He has more than 25 years’ experience in film production, including his most recent role as field producer for the History Channel’s Swamp People.

Heyd FontenotHeyd Fontenot is the new director of CentralTrak.

“CentralTrak’s environment and community of practicing artists creates quite an effect on what an artist makes and how they make it,” Fontenot said. “When you’re away from your ‘daily life’ and able to focus solely on your studio practice, an artist has a real chance to dig in.”

Fontenot, who came to CentralTrak as an artist in residence, recently co-curated The Gun and Knife Show at the gallery. Now, he looks to lead the program.

“I think CentralTrak can really contribute to Dallas’ cultural legacy. Dallas has a very strong and tight-knit art community,” Fontenot added.

A few artists will be completing their tenure at CentralTrak this month, inviting new residents in. Gabriel Dawe, is moving out after completing his Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Arts and Technology at UT Dallas. Dawe was recently chosen for First Look III, an exhibition at the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art in New York.  Curators browsed more than 2,000 studios at more than 30 colleges and universities to select 12 artists for the show, which showcases the top MFA student work.

Cassandra Emswiler is also moving out of CentralTrak this month after finishing her MFA. “My stay at CentralTrak was positive for many reasons,” Emswiler said.  “When I arrived in 2009, I was focused on painting and drawing, and looking back, my move into Centraltrak gave me permission to rethink everything. I’m now concentrating on photography and installations of domestic and architectural materials.”

Full story available from the UT Dallas News Center.