The Panel Discussions

Four Panel Discussions: Film, Photography, Writing, Music

Sunday, November 14, 2021
The Wittliff Collections • 7th floor, Albert B. Alkek Library, Texas State University • San Marcos, TX 

Festival sponsors and guests will enjoy a full afternoon of panel discussions that will honor talented and distinctive voices in film, photography, writing, and music whose work captures the Southwest’s unique “Spirit of Place.” Seating is available to sponsors and table guests on a first-come, first-served basis. 

The Filmmaker’s Voice

(Behind the Scenes with the Makers of Lonesome Dove)

1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.


An award-winning costume designer, known for his work in film, television, and theater. He received an Emmy Award for his work on the Lonesome Dove miniseries, as well as television’s Helen of Troy; Sarah, Plain and Tall; The Tempest; The Trip to Bountiful; and The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All.


An American actor and director. He has worked in both television and film since 1983. Barry portrayed Jasper Fant in the Lonesome Dove miniseries.


An acclaimed production designer and art director who has worked on hundreds of films and television series over his long career. He received Emmy nominations for his work on Lonesome Dove and Buffalo Girls.


A producer, director, and location manager best known for his work on The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Spy Kids, and The Faculty. He also served as property master for Lonesome Dove.


Co-founded the Austin Film Festival in 1993 and has served as the sole executive director since 1999. As a filmmaker, she produced the film Natural Selection, the documentary feature Portrait of Wally, and the narrative feature Spring Eddy. She also served as co-producer of the documentary, Antone’s: Home of the Blues.

The Photographer’s Voice

2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.


A visual artist known for her large-scale, hand-colored photographs. Since 1981 her work has appeared in more than 75 solo exhibitions and more than 50 group exhibitions in the United States, France, Japan, Australia, China, and New Zealand.


A distinguished artist, author, educator, and occasional musician. He holds the Endowed Walles Chair of Art at Lamar University in Texas. Carter’s work has been shown in over 100 solo exhibitions in thirteen countries. He is the author of eleven books, including the recent Keith Carter: Fifty Years.

Michael O’Brien

A longtime photojournalist whose career has spanned four decades, O’Brien has photographed subjects ranging from presidents to small-town heroes for a host of magazines. Michael is the author of three books, The Face of Texas, Hard Ground, and The Great Minds of Investing. His photographs are in the permanent collections of many museums, including The Wittliff Collection and the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Kathy Vargas

Kathy Vargas is an artist/photographer who has had one-person exhibits at Sala Uno in Rome, Galeria Juan Martin in Mexico City, Centro Recoleta in Buenos Aires and retrospectives at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio and Universitat Erlangen in Germany. Her work is in the collections of the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum, the Toledo Art Museum, the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Sprint Collection, and The Wittliff Collections. Named 2005 Texas Two-Dimensional Artist of the Year by the Texas Commission on the Arts, she also received a Lightwork Residency in 1993 and Art Pace Residencies in 1997. Her papers are housed at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art. She is currently professor of art/photography at the University of the Incarnate Word.


DAVID COLEMAN (moderator)

Director of The Wittliff Collections, where he provides direction for and manages the overall operations, including collection development, budget management, preservation and research services, donor relations and fundraising, marketing and publications, and an active schedule of exhibitions and public events.

The Writer’s Voice

3:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.


The author of many award-winning novels, including The Yokota Officers Club, Virgin of the Rodeo, The Mommy Club, and Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen. Her newest book is Last Dance on the Starlight Pier, a sweeping novel that brings to life the worlds of both dance marathons and the family-run empire of vice that was Galveston in the Thirties.


An award-winning historical novelist whose subjects range from Sam Houston and the Texas Revolution to the 1966 sniper shooting at The University of Texas. Her newest novel, The Which Way Tree, is set in the Texas Hill Country during the Civil War era, and is the story of a young girl’s frightening and poignant odyssey to track down the panther that killed her mother.


The author of several acclaimed books of fiction and nonfiction, including the bestselling novel, The Gates of the Alamo. He is also a writer-at-large for Texas Monthly and a screenwriter who has written many movies for television. His newest book, The Leopard is Loose, will be released in January.


A staff writer for The New Yorker and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower, along with many other acclaimed books of nonfiction. He is also a novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. His newest book is The Plague Year: America in the Time of Covid.


An award-winning staff writer at Texas Monthly. He is the author of A Book on the Making of Lonesome Dove, and his magazine stories have been collected in Best Food Writing 2012, The Best American Sports Writing 2009, Literary Austin, and Rio Grande.

The Singer/Songwriter’s Voice

4:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Max Baca

Virtuoso bajo sexto musician is the founder of the Grammy Award-winning conjunto and Tex-Mex rock band Los TexManiacs. Baca has recorded with the Rolling Stones, Flaco Jimenez, Los Lobos, Texas Tornados and many others. Los TexManiacs perform at music festivals around the world and were nominated for a Grammy in 2019.


A pioneering singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and independent artist from Texas. Hendrix has released 14 albums, co-wrote the Grammy-winning song “Lil’ Jack Slade” by the Dixie Chicks, and published a book, Cry Til You Laugh — The Part That Ain’t Art.


A Grammy Award-winning Norteño, Tex-Mex, and Tejano music accordionist and singer from San Antonio, Texas. He was also a member of the Grammy Award-winning Tejano fusion group Texas Tornados. He is known as one of the world’s leading ambassadors of Tex-Mex music.


An American rhythm and blues and electric blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. She is best known for her R&B chart-topping hit, “You’ll Lose a Good Thing.” In 2018, Lynn received the National Heritage Fellowship.



Writes about Texas and Texans. A former staff writer for Texas Monthly and former reporter at the Austin American-Statesman, he has authored and co-authored biographies of Willie Nelson, Selena, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and the Dallas Cowboys, and collaborated with photographer Laurence Parent on books about Texas. His latest book is From Austin to ATX: The Hippies, Pickers, Slackers, and Geeks Who Transformed the Capital of Texas.