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Dana Frankfort, YES, 2010-2016, oil on paper

Artadia has announced the five finalists for its ninth award cycle in Houston. Since 1999, Artadia has awarded over $3 million to more than 310 artists in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. The five finalists will receive studio visits with second-round jurors, who will ultimately select two artists as awardees to receive $10,000 in unrestricted funds.

The finalists were selected by jurors Huma Bhabha, artist; Dean Daderko, curator, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and Claire D’Alba, curator, Art in Embassies. D’Alba states, “The Artadia Houston submissions were incredibly diverse. The range of artists’ backgrounds and cultural identities was notable, but the variety of media and practice was also striking. It was a pleasure to spend time considering the work of so many hard-working artists, and I’m inspired by how much vibrant and compelling art is being made in Houston.”

Okay, here are the finalists, who are indeed a diverse group:

Francis Almendarez
Rabea Ballin
Natasha Bowdoin
Dana Frankfort
Angel Oloshove

Congratulations to all and good luck!

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Julius Eastman. Photo by Ron Hammond.

Julius Eastman was a provocative, outspoken composer active in the 1970s experimental music scene in New York. His titles for his works, including Gay Guerrilla, Evil Nigger, and Crazy Nigger, created an uproar at the time among academic circles and continue to provoke discomfort. His infamous 1975 performance of John Cage’s Songbooks, in which Eastman undressed a male volunteer onstage and made sexual overtures to him, incensed Cage and created a permanent rift with the elder statesman. Things would go downhill from there for Eastman, who struggled to make ends meet and was eventually evicted from his Lower East Side apartment, losing all his compositions in the process. As a promising young singer and pianist, Eastman had performed at Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center; but he died in 1990 at the age of 49, homeless and forgotten in Buffalo, NY. Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in his work, with an exhibition and tribute at the Kitchen in New York earlier this year.

Our host David McGee speaks with composer and self-described “accidental musicologist” Mary Jane Leach, who co-authored the 2015 book Gay Guerrilla (Eastman Studies in Music); and with Houston composer and writer Chris Becker.

(You can also listen to the podcast on our Soundcloud channel).

#9 with David McGee: The Eastman Effect - SoundCloud
(3061 secs long, 6 plays)Play in SoundCloud

#9 is a podcast that deals with cultural ideas and curiosities. It’s hosted by the artist David McGee. #9 was recorded by Chris Becker, and edited by Becker with David McGee. Original music by Chris Becker.

Excerpts from “Evil Nigger,” “Prelude to The Holy Presence of Joan d’Arc,” “The Holy Presence of Joan d’Arc,” “Stay On It,” “Crazy Nigger,” “Gay Guerrilla,” and “Spoken Introduction to The Northwestern University Concert by Julius Eastman.” From the sound recording Julius Eastman: Unjust Malaise. New World Records #80638-2 (p) 2005 © 2005 Anthology of Recorded Music, Inc. Used by permission of New World Records and G. Schirmer, Inc. on behalf of the Julius Eastman estate. newworldrecords.org

Julius Eastman compositions (in order of appearance):

Evil Nigger (1979) (Excerpt One)
Evil Nigger (Excerpt Two)
Prelude to The Holy Presence of Joan d’Arc (1981)
Julius Eastman’s Spoken Introduction to The Northwestern University Concert (1980)
The Holy Presence of Joan d’Arc (1981) (Excerpt One)
Stay On It (1973)
Crazy Nigger (1978) (Excerpt One)
If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich? (1977)
The Holy Presence of Joan d’Arc (Excerpt Two)
Crazy Nigger (Excerpt Two)
Gay Guerrilla (1979)
Crazy Nigger (Excerpt Three)


The painter David McGee is the host of the podcast #9. His works have been exhibited nationally and internationally, including at the RISD museum, The Menil Collection, and the Addison Gallery of American Art. He lives in Houston.


Mary Jane Leach is a composer/performer whose work reveals a fascination with the physicality of sound, its acoustic properties and how they interact with space. Leach’s music has been performed throughout the world in a variety of settings from concert stage to experimental music forums and in collaboration with dance and theater artists. Recordings are on the Die Schachtel, Starkland, Lovely Music, New World, XI, Wave/Eva, Innova, and Aerial compact disc labels. She also reviews classical music and theater for the Albany (NY) Times Union. Following many years of research Leach produced, along with Paul Tai, the New World Records three-CD album of Julius Eastman’s music, Unjust Malaise. mjleach.com


Chris Becker
 has composed music for dance, film and mixed-media installations and received grants and awards from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Meet The Composer, the American Music Center, and the American Society of Composers and Publishers. His recent projects include scoring artist Jil Guyon’s award-winning film Widow, which premiered February 4, 2014, at the Dance on Camera Festival presented by Dance Films Association and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and has screened at several festivals and museums across the U.S. and Europe. Becker writes music and visual art for Houston CityBook and is the author of the critically acclaimed book Freedom of Expression: Interviews With Women in Jazz. beckermusic.blogspot.com

Click here for a complete list of episodes of #9 With David McGee.

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Last Friday, May 18, Houston’s Rothko Chapel was vandalized by an unknown person, reports Allyn West of the Houston Chronicle. Physical damage to the chapel and its surrounding grounds was limited — according to David Leslie, the chapel’s executive director, white paint was spilled around the chapel and in the reflection pool in which Barnett Newman’s Broken Obelisk is installed. In addition to the paint, however, an individual had scatted handbills around the chapel’s grounds that read “It’s okay to be white.”

White paint is splattered on the vegetation outside the Rothko Chapel. (Photo: Allyn West/Houston Chronicle)

After the paint and handbills were discovered around 5:30 in the morning on Friday, the chapel filed a report with the Houston Police Department. As of today, Leslie claims that he has no idea why the chapel was the target of the vandalism, which he called a “hate incident.”

In response, the chapel was closed temporarily on Friday as officials dealt with the aftermath of the incident. Conservators removed paint from the grounds and from the reflecting pool, and it appears that no permanent physical damage was done. (Newman’s Broken Obelisk, which the de Menils acquired as a monument dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr., recently returned to the pool after undergoing restoration.)

The Rothko Chapel is a non-denominational spiritual space filled with 14 murals created by American artist Mark Rothko. It is open to the public and is filled with texts of various ideologies and religions, and regularly hosts programs for and about various peoples. The chapel’s website describes it as “a spiritual space, a forum for world leaders, a place for solitude and gathering. It’s an epicenter for civil rights activists, a quiet disruption, a stillness that moves. It’s a destination for the 100,000 people of all faiths who visit each year from all parts of the world.”

In a statement, the Menil Collection’s director, Rebecca Rabinow, spoke on the incident, saying the museum “stands in solidarity with our neighbor the Rothko Chapel in condemning [the] vandalism … . Like John and Dominique de Menil, our institutions’ founders, the Menil is committed to a belief in the equality of all people, that art is essential to all people, and that free access to art elevates the human condition.”

The Rothko Chapel is generally open daily, from 10AM to 6PM. For more about the chapel, go here.

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Houston’s Project Row Houses (PRH) is offering bus tours of public art created by the founding artists of PRH. The tour will also feature discussions with artists Jesse Lott, Floyd Newsum, Bert Samples, and George Smith.

Led by Ryan N. Dennis, Curator and Programs Director, and Jeanette Degollado, Public Art Coordinator, the tours will hit the University of Houston Downtown, the Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Hermann Park, and other spots. They will take place on four Saturdays in June (2, 9, 16, and 23, from noon-3pm), but get your tickets ($20 members, $30 nonmembers) now before they fill up. This is an opportunity to check out some great public and talk with some iconic Houston artists.

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Ed. note: Dean Terry is an artist and media professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, and the creative director of the collaborative art and performance group Therefore.

Colette Copeland: The upcoming Alexa Dialogues in Dallas continues your investigation into how technology shapes communication and relationships. Building upon your 2016 work Acoustic Nerves, the new work centers on human conversations with Alexa, the voice-driven artificial intelligence device. What inspired this work? Or what aspects of A.I. inspired this work? 

Dean Terry: I’ve been following AI for many years. It is only recently that I found a way to engage with it creatively that would work in a live context and satisfy my need for rapid iteration. With my longtime creative partner in Austin, Irl Nathan, we worked out a way to create original conversations with Amazon Echo devices. We use the same method as regular “skills” — which are like voice apps — but we stretch it well beyond the intended use.

That technical opening allowed me to start imagining how to develop a performance around real-time interactions with AI — or more accurately in this case, voice agents. These listening devices are in kitchens and bedrooms everywhere and I started thinking about what things might look like a few years out. Our relationship with AI will be a complicated one, but most of our ideas about what AI is is dominated by clichés from TV and movies: the robots will kill us all, or have sex with us just how we like it, or allow us to live forever in indestructible shiny or perfect fleshy robot bodies. So I had to think through scenarios and end states that fell outside conventional portrayals. The general idea, as with most Therefore work, is to unsettle conventional framings of experience, in this case with emerging AI. I wanted to stretch it out and complicate it.

CC: You have been working with the performers of Therefore — Hilly Holsonback, Hannah Weir and Abel Flores — for the past two years. How has the group dynamic evolved over that time?

DT: The current iteration of Therefore was developed around them. It’s like an engine, a machine that we continually stress test and push. I initially borrowed them from Thomas Riccio’s DWZ group because there I saw them performing with abandon, fearlessly. Therefore is a platform for trying out tons of ideas in hybrid forms and a variety of improvisational framings. We share multiple sensibilities, particularly humor and an understanding that the serious and the absurd are inseparable twins. There’s a high toleration for experimentation, if not a bit of occasional madness. Collaboration is about trust and, most of the time, we have what I think is a model collaborative environment.

I do think that we will see each of the members branching out even more and pursuing various individual projects. Hannah is always performing somewhere and seems to be in countless bands. Abel has Artstillery and solo acts he is developing. And Hilly is a visual artist as well as a performer, and probably will be everyone’s boss at some point. I’m also happy to have longtime collaborator and expert modular synthesist Patrick Murphy working with us this time.

CC: Dada informs your practice, not only conceptually — celebrating absurdity and irrationality, but also with the experimental use of media — experimenting with sound, performance and video (or, film in Dada/Surrealist works). The Dadaists were responding to WWI. How does your work respond to the current political climate?

DT: Sometimes we respond to it directly, as in The World’s Safest Art Show, where we protested all the shutdowns of arts events by the Dallas Fire Marshal. Our own show, along with many others, was shut down mid-performance with no warning, despite the fact that it was kindly funded by another part of the same city. Then last December we played a mostly improv set at my artist friend and colleague John Pomara’s infamous annual art party. It was basically a Dadaist-flavored absurdist comedy set with impersonations of Melania Trump and direct critiques of the role of some visual art in the context of the current political climate.

In The Alexa Dialogues, there are many nods to Dada, including an entire back-and-forth dialogue with Alexa composed of nonsense words and noises, which traces back to the earliest Dada performances. There’s a (pretend) machine-learning, generated weatherman that delivers highly mannered emotional forecasts from, we discover, the past. The entire show is structured in 29 mini-performances, all with varying perspectives on the overall theme, but with no structured or linear narrative. We tend to frustrate categorization because different elements — images, sound/music, performance — dominate at different times and combine in varying ways. Often, we search for unexpected interdependencies between media elements. For me, it just has to be live. So much of our experience is framed and our artistic constructions are formed based on presets. Liveness has to mean something.

Dada had enemies, including itself. Our enemies are decoration, common sense, and self-serving, simplistic rational constructions of reality, which is the basis of political propaganda. Poking at the underbelly of that and refusing to rely heavily on conventional genre structures is a deeper critique than simple counter-argument, in my view. Questioning constructions of reality is a prerequisite for meaningfully transforming experience through creativity.

CC: In the “battle of the bots”, who will win?

DT: Power will win. Whoever or whatever controls the most powerful systems will win. I’m not in the habit of paraphrasing Putin, but he’s right that whoever controls AI will likely control the world. The problem is this may not be a “who.” This is why you see recent efforts to control or influence the trajectory of AI in various ways: ethics, regulation, making AI human-like, etc.

Our ideas and imaginings of AI are clouded by the people and industries who develop the technology, by their assumptions — often unquestioned — about reality. If you assume the world is something like a computer, and that the brain is something similar, then it is easy to imagine by extension a network emulating that. This is why it is important that creative people — artists of all kinds — engage critically and imaginatively with emerging technology. We can bring different assumptions, methods, and, with some artists, a healthy tolerance for uncertainty. And there will certainly be a lot of that in the coming decades. Some of smartest minds on the planet are arguing both sides of the AI debate: will we live forever in the cloud or just until the robots kill us all, possibly by accident or by executing a bit of code? But as with all things with sides, I think what happens with AI will be more complicated and unpredictable than that. Just look at the evolution of the Internet. I think we need to hear the voices (the work) of artists here, reimagining and reframing futures.

My guess is that, in this century – or the latter first half of it anyway – some kind of human/AI hybrid will dominate, meaning AI tech will augment, amplify, and shape our thinking. This will affect creative practice deeply, and there will be a range of responses that we are seeing already. In the coming decades the relationship between individual creative practice and computing/thinking systems will become more intertwined. At some point AI itself will be something like what we consider to be creative, making its own work in and for its own context. Some of it may overlap with human concerns and some may not. I’m not talking about AI emulating human painting, literature, or music, which is obvious and uninteresting, but constructing things for itself, entirely independent of art history, theory, and economics. Creativity and what we think of as art is not exclusive to humans.  

CC: Tell a funny/strange story about something that happened during one of the improv sketch/practice sessions.

DT: There are so many. One of the things I try to do is create a framework in which the group can improvise, experiment, and generally attempt to surprise and/or get a rise out of each other. It’s a tough room. Despite the seriousness and dark tone of some of the finished work, the improv sessions are raucous, particularly at the beginning of a project.

The frame for The Alexa Dialogues is a critical, experimental view of emerging AI. Within that are many varying, sometimes contradictory perspectives and within them spaces for improvisation. Several months ago Abel took full advantage of the context. While sitting in front of our projection screen he noticed it created a silhouette, the kind that you see on crime shows when someone is confessing anonymously. We happened to have several voice transformers connected to microphones and Abel began an improvisation about confessing his love for Alexa in a low-pitched voice. And he was such a jerk. Full on mansplainer. And it killed us. Men need to be calling out other men in this era, so we put it in the show, along with several others that deal with gender and technology. The conceptual framing, plus a ready technical framework, plus Abel’s phenomenal sensitivity and improvisational ability all came together. In our early sessions in particular, this happens all the time, and by design. Therefore, properly configured, it is a surprise engine.

Therefore will perform The Alexa Dialogues: Imaginative Investigations into Artificial Intelligence, at AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas on May 24-26, 2018.
Dean Terry’s website is here
IG: @therefore. Photo credits: Therefore Group
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This Thursday, May 24th, 2018, from 4-8PM, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth will host a Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon aimed at expanding the site’s information about women involved in American art. Anyone is welcome to come out and join in, although the museum does ask that you bring along your own laptop.

What the museum will provide is people experienced with the process of editing Wikipedia, a near-comprehensive library of books and other materials on American art, cookies, and a free celebratory cocktail later in the evening.

If you aren’t familiar with the concept of a Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon, here’s an explanation from the source (Wikipedia, of course):

“An edit-a-thon can be …

1. a scheduled time where people edit Wikipedia together, whether offline, online, or a mix of both;
2. typically focused on a specific topic, such as science or women’s history;
3. a way to give newcomers an insight into how Wikipedia works.

Edit-a-thons improve the encyclopedia and can be a great way to help new Wikipedians learn to edit. An edit-a-thon is also unlike a regular meetup, which tends to be without a single goal and/or for socializing. In other words: an edit-a-thon is like a hackathon for Wikipedians (and definitely not like a telethon).”

To RSVP for the Amon Carter’s Edit-a-Thon, please go here.

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“This and That” is an occasional series of paired observations. -Ed.

Today: Judo

Nestor Topchy performing at notsuoH (Image via lonestarexplosion2012)

All artists, in some way, shape, or form, are inspired by other artists. Sometimes those influences are obscured, but other times, the comparisons are a bit more overt. One example of this is Nestor Topchy’s 2012 performance, A Geometry of Painting, at the Lone Star Performance Explosion Biennale. In it, Topchy and Greg Henry, who were both painted with a color that very much appeared to be International Klein Blue, grappled each other using judo and aikido movements that resulted in a painted canvas.

Yves Klein

When artist Yves Klein was 24, he traveled to Japan to study judo, ultimately earning a 4th dan black belt before returning to France to open his own judo academy. Then, in 1954, Klein published the book Les Fondements du Judo.

Some more background about the connection between Topchy and Klein, via Lone Star Explosion’s site:

“While in school in Baltimore in 1981, Topchy chanced upon an exhibition of Yves Klein’s IKB work. Topchy credits Klein’s use of a saturated ultramarine blue pigment that represented “the void” as a pivotal discovery. After using this color on spherical sculptures, Topchy realized their connection to Pysanky, the ornately decorated Ukrainian Easter eggs he made in childhood with his mother and grandmother.”

“Following in Klein’s footsteps, Topchy earned a black belt in judo under Karl Geiss, which led to studies in Buddhism and a deeper understanding of his Ukrainian roots and identity as a dual American and Canadian citizen.”

*************

No matter how original, innovative or crazy your idea, someone else is also working on that idea. Furthermore, they are using notation very similar to yours. – Bruce J. MacLennan

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Tucked away in the woodsy northeast region of Texas is the Tyler Museum of Art, a small and pleasant space that for the past year or so, under the curatorship of Caleb Bell, has been hosting smart, with-it exhibitions highlighting deserving Texas artists. From helping organize the exhibition of a recently restored mural by John Biggers, to curating a show of paintings by Forth Worth artist Daniel Blagg, to a summertime-themed group show of works by Shannon Cannings, Leigh Merrill, and Kelly O’Connor, Bell has been making an effort to connect Tyler to the Texas art world at large.

The show currently on view at the museum, Sticks and Stones: Works by Helen Altman, is quiet and contemplative, featuring works created by the Fort Worth-based artist throughout her career, particularly from 1992 to today. The show is organized around pieces from Altman’s oeuvre that specifically depict or comment on the various facets of nature as we humans know and experience it: wildlife, domesticated animals, hunting, the outdoors, the fragility of life, and the volatility of fire all come into play in the exhibition.

Lombardy Poplar, 1999. Acrylic on moving blanket

Though Altman’s practice is skills-based and varied, she often returns to subjects and methods she has visited before, while finding ways to change them ever so slightly to make new statements. Her process of working becomes even more clear in a retrospective, when pieces from the early aughts are paired up with works created just last year. One of the best examples of an overt through line in her work is her use of quilting materials and moving blankets. Just inside the entrance to the show, you are met with two large-scale portraits of trees painted in acrylic on premade red and blue moving blankets. The further away from these you move, the more photorealistic they look, until ultimately they appear to be blown-up illustrations from botany books printed directly onto the fabric.

Installation view of Sticks and Stones: Works by Helen Altman

Slightly later blanket pieces take her process further; she removes the painter’s mark entirely by using thermal transfers to imprint actual photos onto the quilted surfaces. For these, instead of foliage, Altman uses animals as her primary subject, applying their image to quilts in order to bring her fauna indoors. In isolation, these works imitate the visual language of moving blankets in their stitching and design, but when paired up with the actual moving blankets elsewhere in the show, we realize these foundational quilts are much more complex and intricate, and draw considerably more on established quilting techniques than their purely utilitarian counterparts. These pieces are made by a quilter Altman works with, and every stitch pattern, fabric choice, and image placement is deliberate.

Small Blanket (Goat), 2016. Thermal transfer, quilted vintage baby blanket, thread

Altman’s most recent blanket pieces are sweeter; they have a charm and a domesticity to them that is absent in her larger-scale works. For these, she uses vintage baby blankets as her base layer. The pieces are more haphazard: the thermal transfers aren’t tightly cropped, and some still have printing information on them. In one piece, an image of a chicken is paired with an impossibly small dress (a doll’s dress), hinting at critiques of domesticity, women’s work, and the fragility of memory and childhood. Many of these newer pieces have a satin-like border around them, bringing their tactility even more into play.

Corner Campfire, 1992. Birchwood, paint, plastic, misc. elements

Another of Altman’s hallmarks is toeing the line between perfectly crafted objects and things that are well-made but just slightly off. She writes:

“I am also interested in mimics and replicas. It is a happy moment for me when I can create objects that are simultaneously convincing and yet blatantly absurd in their obvious artificiality.”

Goldfish, 2009. Cast plastic, epoxy, lead weights, monofilament line, 45-gallon aquarium & stand, distilled water

While I appreciate Altman’s blanket pieces, this is where her work really shines — she is a great object maker. An excellent example greets you at the front of the exhibition: Corner Campfire is a flickering piece meant to mimic an indoor (and thus absurd) cornered campfire. Another work in the show, Goldfish, is a 45-gallon tank of distilled water in which dozens of cast plastic fish are held down by lead weights. Altman comedically capitalizes on our fascination with watching fish swim around by cramming a tank full of motionless, gape-mouthed facsimiles of the real thing.

Installation view of Sticks and Stones: Works by Helen Altman

Altman shows off her craftsmanship in a series of works in which she recreates various tableaux of small bird eggs laid out in cigar boxes. Made of cast plaster and wrapped in laser-printed foil, the eggs have an almost uncanny, awe-inspiring delicacy about them. Even better, though the cigar boxes differ from one another slightly, the eggs between boxes are exactly the same, giving the pieces a strange but comfortable uniformity — there’s an order to nature’s chaos.

Rods & Cones (The Red Fox), 2018. Acrylic on vintage chalkboard, cast plaster, laser print

Also included in the show are Altman’s chalkboard pieces, in which she paints on vintage blackboards with acrylic and, in lieu of sticks of chalk, casts various natural elements in plaster that sit on the boards’ ledges. The elements — sticks, pinecones, etc., — are the makeup of the scene; they’re the “chalk” that the actual natural environment itself is created from. And there’s a fragility to these pieces too; the chalkboard images seem like they’re a moment away from being wiped off and lost forever.

Turning Doe, 2017. Torch drawing on paper

This fatalistic undercurrent runs throughout the entire show, especially when considering all of its elements together: two fires sit ablaze, just waiting to overtake the plethora of plant life that has been so lovingly depicted and categorized. When this happens, the inferno will consume unhatched eggs, beaver dams, and birds perched on limbs. In her torch drawings (pieces Altman makes by soaking paper in water and then scorching it with a blowtorch), Altman shows us the victims already consumed by the blaze: two does. Altman doesn’t let her love of nature blind her to its cruelties.

Line of Fire, 2011. Acrylic on wall, flicker flame bulbs, misc. elements

This is the best exhibition of Altman’s work I’ve seen to date, partly because her art works especially well when it’s in dialogue with itself. The exhibition thrives with the inclusion of her goldfish and campfire pieces, as they give her blanket works and wire birds a context that could be otherwise missed by a casual viewer. The show also works so well because it’s smartly installed: there are a lot of pieces in the exhibition, but everything has its place and it doesn’t feel crowded. Wherever you’re standing in the space, be it in the cavernous open room or in the small spaces demarcated by moveable walls, Altman’s various pieces are connected by intuitive sightlines, meaning they inform each other and create new relationships as you traverse the show. This is what every retrospective (large or small) should aim for.

Installation view of Sticks and Stones: Works by Helen Altman

Altman has been due for a large-scale institutional presentation of her work — it’s been a little while since she’s had a big non-profit show in Texas. For me, this one made all of Altman’s practice click into place — to fully appreciate where she is now, I needed to know where she came from. And weather you love her work or not, this show might just change the way you see it.

Sticks and Stones: Works by Helen Altman is on view at the Tyler Museum of Art through June 3, 2018.

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Visitors at the MFAH

It’s getting hotter in Texas, and that used to mean that galleries and museums would ease up on programming, throw up a three-month group exhibition, and wait out the summer months. Nowadays, however, art spaces in all of Texas’ major cities aren’t letting the summers slow them down.

This weekend is a good example. No matter where you are, there’s bound to be something going on nearby. Here are just a few things happening today, May 19th, and tomorrow, May 20th.

Houston

If you feel like looking at some old, rare, and collectable books, check out the Houston Book Show today from 10AM-5PM and tomorrow from 11AM-4PM at the Arabia Shrine Center.

If you’d like to learn more about the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston’s exhibition Right Here, Right Now: San Antonio, two of the artists in the show, Ana Fernandez and César Martínez will be at the museum talking about their works from 2-3PM.

Aurora Picture Show is presenting two segments of their Extremely Shorts Film Festival today: at 4PM you can catch the youth program, and at 7:30PM they’ll screen the main program of selected films.

There are too many openings to count happening in Houston today, so just check out our Houston events page. Some highlights include the galleries at 4411 Montrose, the galleries on Colquitt, and McClain Gallery.

Tomorrow, from 12-4PM, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston will host a community day in celebration of its new Glassell School of Art building.

Dallas

The annual Oak Cliff Visual SpeedBump Art Tour runs today from 12-6PM. Visit artists’ studios and check out what’s new since this time last year.

There’s are a few shows openings today in Dallas’ Design District galleries, including two shows opening at Cris Worley Fine Arts from 5-8PM, a show at Holly Johnson Gallery at the same time, and two shows opening from 6-8PM at Conduit Gallery.

Austin

This is the final weekend for Big Medium’s annual West Austin Studio Tour — you can catch it today and tomorrow from 11-6PM. There are also a number of auxilery events centered around the tour; you can see those on our Austin events page.

Also happening today and tomorrow is Object Collection’s performance It’s All True, organized by Co-Lab Projects. The performance is happening today at 8PM and tomorrow at 5PM at Stateside at the Paramount in downtown Austin.

If performance art is your thing, you can also catch San Antonio artist Raul Gonzalez performing today at DORF, Austin’s newest artist-run space.

San Antonio

If you’re in San Antonio, head over to the opening of Britt Lorraine’s exhibition PANOPTICON at Sala Diaz from 7-11PM. Lorraine will be performing during the opening.

Also opening in Alamo City from 5-9PM is a show of works by Sara Corley Martinez at Mantle Art Space. Martinez’s works “discuss the irregularity and chaos of bodily functions during and after pregnancy.” If you want to hear the artist talk about her work, get there early for the artist talk at 5PM.

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San Antonio’s Artpace is bringing back its popular “Resident Welcome Potluck.” The community tradition took a little break but returns to welcome its Summer 2018 International Artists-in-Residence, Zoë Charlton (Washington, DC), Jenelle Esparza (San Antonio, TX), and Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum (Johannesburg, South Africa / Ontario, Canada).

Artpace will provide a main dish and drinks, and guests are encouraged to bring a side dish or dessert. The chow down begins at 6pm on Thursday, May 24 and artist presentations begin at 7pm. Come meet the new residents and feed your stomach and your art heart.

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