Hi, my name is Taylor Bates. I live a magical life—full of wonder and mundanity, complexity and simplicity, darkness and light —in my hometown of San Antonio, Texas. I currently work at an artist residency program, Artpace, as Director of Programs & Exhibitions. I love to be around artists and creative people—they inspire me to see the potential in all things. I'm grateful to have had some really rewarding jobs and experiences that have shaped me into the person I am today.
In my twenties, I lived in Austin and learned about art as an undergrad at St. Edward’s University and then studied art education in graduate school at The University of Texas. I also studied abroad in Amsterdam and fell in love with traveling, riding bikes, and going to farmer's markets. My formative years were full of people and opportunities that encouraged me to pursue a creative life—I taught art classes, interned at art museums around the world, worked in public art, was a member of an artist collective, and helped run and curate gallery spaces.
In 2013 I moved back to San Antonio to work at Artpace. I love the city and its community. For a couple years I wrote for the Rivard Report covering arts and culture. Here is a selection of some of my stories:
Renowned Texas Storyteller Bill Wittliff Presents New Novel — October 23, 2014
Attention to Detail: A Studio Visit with Vincent Valdez— May 8, 2014
Bill FitzGibbons, San Antonio’s Social Sculptor — November 9, 2013
In 2018 I curated an exhibition at the University of Texas at San Antonio, The River That Remembers: Visions of San Antonio's Landscape, that included artists making work about the past, present, and future of the city.
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On May 20, 2018 my life changed when I became a mother to Ellis, my first and only child who was stillborn while I was seven months pregnant. The experience of losing him completely rocked my worldview. I now deeply understand the fragility of life, the illusion of control, the inevitability of suffering, the magnitude of grief, the profound pain of losing a child, the beauty in vulnerability, and ultimately the incredible opportunity we have as humans to create and love. As a result, I feel called to write about of what I've experienced, to honor my son's life and to share the gifts he came to bring us. I hope to use the skills I've gained in my professional and creative life to open people's eyes to the light in this world.