ArtHouston issue #3

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{ picasso }

{ Texas art }

{ gremillion fine art }

{ herring’s Art war }

{ Rørpost Project }

artH o u s t o n V ISU A L A R T S , C U L T U R E , R E V IE W S

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Illustration by Mike LLewellyn





editor’s Letter 3

Peek at Our Publisher

O n e M a n ’ s J o u r n e y t o B r i n g H o u s t o n A r t a n d A r t i s t s t o t h e Wo r l d

a very different time in our nation’s history, one in cowboy boots. He’s relaxing, for a moment, in a which Bernhard describes Houston as a down-tofamiliar armchair, legs casually crossed, with a earth place with a happy-go-lucky attitude. Côtes du Rhône in one hand and a Jack Kerouac in the other. His silver hair is almost all white now, the According to Bernhard, that laissez-faire zeitgeist of result of years spent mastering his craft and miles positivity and open-mindedness has declined over traveling to promote it. But it also betrays a youthful the decades. However, Houston’s art scene, like a spirit, which reveals itself in his animated speech, Newtonian physics reaction, has exploded in the delivered in English with a syrupy French accent opposite direction, achieving a rarefied stratoor in the sharp German and Spanish he sometimes sphere of imagination, talent and form in which few American cities can f ly. fires off like a verbal gunslinger. Imagine, if you will, a Swiss artist in tan

His name is John Bernhard. And he’s not relaxing “There aren’t many other cities in the United States, or around the world, that can consistently produce for long. He’s on a mission. the quality, experimentalism, and breadth of art Bernhard is a fine art photographer, mostly, with that is being created in Houston today,” Bernhard work in permanent museum collections around the says. world. He also dabbles in other media and writes. But perhaps most importantly for you, the reader, he “Houston deserves to be in the conversation as one has become a vocal advocate for the recognition of of the top art cities in the world. And I’m determined his adopted hometown’s fine art scene and the largely to get it there.” incognito and unheralded artists who make it vibrant and compelling. That’s why he started publishing Art We at Art Houston couldn’t agree more. Our city’s Houston. He wants the world to know, to understand, rich art story needs to be told. That’s why we’ve come along for the journey. And it’s why we hope to appreciate. you’ll come along, too, by supporting Art Houston Houston has been Bernhard’s home since 1980. He and the amazing art scene and artists we hope to came to America from Geneva, a journey recounted capture within these pages. in “America’s Call,” his gloves-off and extremely personal, nearly confessional, autobiography. It’s a Yours Faithfully, rare observation of the country and Texas during Shannon Rasberry, Editor-at-Large




editor’s Letter 3

News Bits 6

16 feature


Morgan Cronin 22

Book Reviews 11

Herring’s Art War Jody T. Morse

coups de cœur 12 p u bl i s h e r ’ s i n s i g h t s 1 5


Thoughtful Perception John Bernhard 30

Performing arts schedule 50

Prepared with Love & Passion Layla Al-Bedawi

reviews 54

* Stephen Wilson 58


Deep in the Art of Texas Jacqueline Patricks 38

* Melinda Laszczynski 60

Showcasing Diversity Sukhada Tatke

g a ll e r y l i s t i n g s 6 2



Exposure 76

Curlee Raven Holton

colophon 79

Living his Art


K. Pica Kahn Editor’s Pick 80

* Fresh Arts’ interviews


Anatomy of a Collaboration Renata Lucia 5 3 ess ay

Memoir Elizabeth White-Olsen 63

Who’s Afraid of Beauty Arthur Demicheli 72

On the cover: Pablo Picasso, Tête de femme VII, Portrait de Dora Maar, (detail) 1939, engraving printed in four colors on Montval paper 23 3/4 x 20 inches, Ed.105 Courtesy of McClain Gallery, Houston

Vet Art Karine Parker-Lemoyne 6 6 Ic o n o cl a s t s

Joe Aker and Raphaële Morgan Cronin

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News Bits

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Edgar Degas, Woman Seated on the Edge of the Bath Sponging Her Neck, 1880–95, oil and essence on paper mounted to canvas © RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d’Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW: Houston Vol. 2 Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

CAMH is presenting three simultaneous solo exhibition by Houston-based artists Amy Blakemore, Thedra CullarLedford, and Susie Rosmarin. The presentations are part of the museum’s ongoing series Right Here, Right Now, which celebrates our region’s vibrant creative community. Its second iteration showcases the work of three Houston-based artists with decades-long practices here. CAMH’s Director Bill Arning, Senior Curator Valerie Cassel Oliver, and Curator Dean Daderko respectively selected the artists’works, which are visually and conceptually diverse. These artists create moodily poetic photographs, wry and confrontational figurative paintings, and vivid, optically luscious abstractions. “We know that Houston is a great place for young artists to be based while establishing their practices. We considered artists who have been long-time contributors to our city’s cultural landscape and have established important practices here” says Bill Arning, Director. August 20–November 27, 2016

A Mad Mid-Century Celebration

Jones Hall 50th Anniversary Gala Concert

Degas: A New Vision Museum of Fine Arts Houston Former Louvre director Henri Loyrette and MFAH director Gary Tinterow revisit Degas’s work three decades after their landmark 1988 Degas retrospective. With some 200 works, Degas: A New Vision builds on 30 years of scholarship to reveal the continuities and inventive variations within Degas’s themes and subjects over his entire career The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, will be the only U.S. venue for Degas: A New Vision, the most significant international survey in three decades of the work of Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas (1834–1917). While Degas’s reputation has often been confined to his ballet imagery, the artist’s oeuvre is rich, complex, and abundant, spanning the entire second half of the 19th century and the first years of the 20th. Not since the 1988 landmark retrospective Degas—organized by Henri Loyrette, then at the Grand Palais in Paris; Gary Tinterow, then a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; and the late Jean Sutherland Boggs of the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa—has the artist’s career been fully assessed. “The objective of Degas in 1988 was to piece together Degas’s work as a whole, in an accurate chronology; though it may seem surprising now, that had never been done,” said MFAH director Gary Tinterow. “That exhibition led to a revival of interest in Degas, and dozens of shows focused on individual subjects of his work—the bathers, the dancers, the jockeys, the portraits—or his influence on other artists.” “Degas: A New Vision will explore Degas’s measured continuity, his journey as he reworks one painting after another, and his total refusal to settle on a definitive composition,” commented Henri Loyrette, “This is the distinctive genius of Degas, which makes him both a precursor and particularly relevant to today. Each period looks at the artist in a different way. What can he tell us today? That is the basic purpose of this show.” On view from October 16, 2016, to January 8, 2017 Thedra Cullar-Ledford Proud Mary, 2010 Oil on canvas, 60 x 48 inches, Private Collection

Internationally acclaimed violinist, Itzhak Perlman, returns to Houston to celebrate the legacy of the Jones Family and the Houston Endowment. Hosted by Friends of Jones Hall, in collaboration with Society for the Performing Arts and the Houston Symphony, this Mad Men-style concert celebration will include a Champagne toast and concert with Itzhak Perlman and the Houston Symphony, conducted by Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada. Enhance your evening by adding the Jones Hall Foundation’s 50th Anniversary Gala, which includes pre-concert cocktails and an evening of dinner and dancing following the performance with the timeless Lester Lanin Orchestra from New York under a spacious tent on Jones Plaza. The celebration will pay tribute to the Ballet and the Opera, as well as the SPA and the Symphony, in a program that allows us to look back at these wonderful organizations in 1966 and celebrates all that they have become today. Sat, Oct 22, 2016 7:00 PM

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Left to right: ShanShan Jin, Chris Moore, Rico Edwards, Gannon O. Miller and Alexis B. Santiago. Photo courtesy of Dajuana Jones


One of America’s most distinguished curators Dr. REBECCA RABINOW

paying dues

Millennials’ Buzz

The Menil Collection has confirmed the appointment of one of America’s most distinguished and experienced curators and museum professionals, Rebecca Rabinow, to serve as the institution’s new director. Dr. Rabinow has dedicated her career to date to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, which she joined in 1990 and where she is currently the Leonard A. Lauder Curator of Modern Art and Curator in Charge of the Leonard A. Lauder Research Center for Modern Art. A committee appointed by the Menil’s Board of Trustees identified Dr. Rabinow through an extensive international search to succeed the previous director, Josef Helfenstein. Dr. Rabinow assumed her duties at the Menil in July 2016. Janet Hobby, president of the Board of Trustees, said, “The Board and senior staff of the Menil Collection unanimously join me in welcoming Rebecca Rabinow as our new executive leader.” A Houstonian by upbringing, Dr. Rabinow was educated at Smith College, the Sorbonne, and the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. She is also a Fellow of the Center for Curatorial Leadership. Rebecca Rabinow said, “I spent the summer of 1988 volunteering in the recently opened Menil Collection, where my job was to preserve Dominique and John de Menil’s correspondence by placing it in Mylar sleeves. However cut-and-dried that might sound, their letters radiated such a sense of history, mission, and creativity that I was hooked on the first day. It is abundantly clear to me that the Menil set me on my career path. I am deeply honored now to return to Houston, an exciting, vibrant, and diverse city that will soon be the third largest in the United States, and to advance the distinctive and immeasurably important artistic and social missions of the Menil Collection.” Mark Wawro, who chaired the search committee for the Menil, said, “In an extremely strong field of candidates, Rebecca stood out and was the unanimous choice of the search committee. She is a superstar in experience and personality, but more than anything else has a genuine connection to the values the Menil holds dear.”

The ground-breaking TV Pilot “Paying Dues” based on the city of Houston’s art scene has attracted a lot of buzz for its depiction of millennials looking to make it in the entertainment industry, as well as its diverse cast. “Paying Dues” has now won a REMI Award in the outstanding Pilot - Cable & Television category. The REMI award is part of WorldFestHouston International Film Festival, the only film festival on the planet with 10 major competition categories. With that win, it places the project and its Director Rico Edwards in the same class as notable past winners of that festival including George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Ang Lee, and the Coen Brothers. In addition to their shiny new award, the pilot also managed to nab a Fox26 feature and a 97.9 The Box radio interview. It seems like they are now just getting their due justice on a project over one year in the making. “Paying Dues” touches on the struggles of college grads and follows the challenges of unemployment, trying to make it in show business, and of course, paying dues. The show is much deeper than the title. While struggle is a primary focus, diving into the psychological effects of societies standards on millennials are also featured along with the strength of friendship. While the series captures the ambition of its five characters, each of which can be related to be the viewers, it realistically depicts the ugly truth about life after art school. “We’re truly excited about this award and all of the press on the show because it gives the project validation and legitimizes it in the eyes of distributors and national media” says Producer/Director Rico Edwards. “We are taking it to the next level by submitting into many other TV pilot festivals in hopes of being sold”. In the coming months, only time will tell if the shows get’s distributed, but for right now it’s currently paying its own dues in the TV world of unrelatable shows that it competes with. More info:

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Art Openings

Texas Contemporary, Houston’s premier modern and contemporary art fair, returns to the George R. Brown Convention Center this September. Texas Contemporary’s sixth edition will celebrate the fair’s extraordinary development, marking the five years during which Texas Contemporary has grown into an international influencer and a powerful representation of the artistic patronage that is so inherent to the city of Houston.

The Washington Avenue Arts District will come alive for a fantastic evening of fine art when the studios at the Silos, Winter Street, Spring Street, Silver Street at Sawyer Yards host their Fall Biannual Art Event. Sawyer Yards is one of the largest creative campus in the nation and is the place where art lovers and artists connect. Over 200 artists will open their doors and invite the public inside to view new work, shop and become collectors.


Joining the fair’s sixty­f ive top local, national, and international galleries for this year’s fair are New York City’s ZIEHERSMITH and Henrique Faria Fine Art, both making their Texas Contemporary debut this fall. Galeria Enrique Guerrero will return to build on the gallery’s success as a participant of last year’s The Other Mexico focus section. Also returning to Texas Contemporary are Manhattan’s Other Criteria and Joseph Gross Gallery, New Orleans’ JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY, and Montreal­b ased Galerie Nicolas Robert along with Houston tastemakers Moody Gallery, Barbara Davis Gallery, and David Shelton Gallery. September 29th ­- October 2nd

Fall Biannual at Sawyer Yards

A variety of art works will be showcased including painting, sculpture, ceramics, glass, mosaic, photography, mixed media, and jewelry. Visitors will be treated to museum quality artists, many of them represented by local and nationwide galleries. The opening is free and guests will be treated to complimentary valet, light bites, crepes, desserts and beverages. Air conditioned bus shuttle between Spring Street and the main campus will also be available. For more information please visit: or Saturday, October 1st from 5pm - 10pm.

Musical Business TUTS

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying is about climbing the corporate ladder, 1960’s office culture, and the satire of self-help books. How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying is not just the name of a smash musical but also the book (based on a real book by Shepherd Mead) that

inspired window-washer J. Pierrepont Finch’s meteoric ascent up the corporate ladder of the World Wide Wicket Company. Known as ‘Ponty’ to his friends, this enterprising young man schemes and charms his way to the top in an office teeming with characters straight out of a 1960’s romp. Oct 25 - Nov 6, 2016

Analia Saban and Blake Rayne

Blaffer Art Museum

Analia Saban takes a forensic approach to media and their embedded traditions and conventions. Surveying art history as if it was a “murder scene,” she peels back layers of material histories and subject matters in search of new directions and possibilities. Currently working across painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography, she uses the constituent parts of each as her very subject matter. This exhibition traces 10 years of Saban’s research through 30 works made between 2005 and 2015. On view Sept. 24, 2016 - March 13, 2017 Tracing ten years of practice through more than thirty works including paintings, silkscreens, sculptures, moving-images works, and ephemera, Blake Rayne is the first solo museum presentation dedicated to the work of the New York-based artist. A central figure in shaping current debates about painting, Rayne puts to the test how the medium is responding to shifts in technology, labor conditions, and temporal paradigms. On view Oct. 22, 2016 - March 11, 2017

Analia Saban,Trough (Flesh), 2012

Blake Rayne, Almanac, 2013


Houston Center for Contemporary Craft Best if used by, is a must see group exhibition organized by HCCC Curatorial Fellow, Sarah Darro, that investigates the dynamic intersection of craft and food in contemporary culture. Featuring six U.S. and international artists, Celia Butler, Kazuki Guzmán, Joshua Kosker, Aurélie Mathigot, Yuka Otani, and Rachel Shimpock, this show aims to probe the very definitions of craft by staging critical comparisons among works that are moving at varying rates of consumption and deterioration. The works range in material from wool, ceramic, and electroformed metal to cast sugar, cured tangelo peels, and needle-worked bananas. On view September 2, 2016 – January 15, 2017

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our mayor wants the ARTS community to go bold Wortham Theater Center

From left: Susannah Mitchell, Diane Barber, Jonathan Glus, Perryn Leech, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Katherine O’Neil, Robin Davidson, Cynthia Alvarado, Julie Farr. Photography by Alexander’s Fine Portrait Designs

More than 500 people attended The 2016 Houston Arts Reception for Elected Officials last February at the Wortham Theater Center. The city’s five cultural districts hosted the reception produced by Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) to welcome Sylvester Turner as Houston’s new mayor and to show their appreciation of his leadership during the 84th Texas Legislative Session to procure $5 million in new funding for the state’s cultural and fine arts districts. All five Houston cultural districts received Texas Commission on the Arts funding, accounting for more than a third of the total $1.5 million allocated for this fiscal year. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner praised the city’s cultural districts for creating exciting collaborative arts and culture projects that benefit Houston as a whole. “I am proud of the diverse cultural programming across our metropolitan area, and I am proud of the working artists and 500-plus arts organizations creating thought-provoking work in all of our communities,” Turner said at the reception. “I love Houston. We all do, and we all want the city and its residents to succeed and live full lives with access to great arts and culture.” Mayor Turner said it was a privilege to work for the cultural district funding, and he remains committed to investing in the arts in Houston. “What makes us who we are is the arts community, which reflects the diversity of this city,” Mayor Turner said. “We must work to take the arts in this city to another level. Now is the time for the Houston arts community to go bold.” Representing the cultural districts at the reception were Cynthia Alvarado (Midtown Cultural Arts & Entertainment District), Diane Barber (East End Cultural District), Julie Farr (Houston Museum District), Kathryn McNeil (Theater District), and Susannah Mitchell (Washington Avenue Arts District). Houston Grand Opera Managing Director Perryn Leech welcomed the crowd that included City Controller Chris Brown, City Council members, civic leadership and a robust and diverse representation of the city’s arts and culture community. On behalf of the cultural districts and the arts and culture community, HAA President Jonathon Glus thanked Mayor Turner for his leadership. Houston First was the Underwriter Host for the reception.



Pablo Picasso made line drawings at every stage of his career, adapting them to the dazzling variety of styles and themes he developed. As the artist himself once remarked, recognizing the essential role that this fundamental practice played in his work, “Line drawings are the only ones that cannot be imitated.” Museums in the past have presented exhibitions focused on Picasso’s drawings—but the Menil Collection is the first to provide a full-scale exploration of this distinctive aspect of his art, in the exhibition Picasso: The Line. Presented exclusively at the Menil Collection, where it will be on view from September 16, 2016 through January 8, 2017, Picasso: The Line is organized by guest curator Carmen Giménez, founding director of the Museo Picasso Málaga, David Breslin, Chief Curator of the Menil Drawing Institute, said, “By working with Carmen Giménez to present Picasso: The Line, we are giving the public a thrilling opportunity to explore a major aspect of Picasso’s work, while underscoring the longstanding commitment of the Menil Collection to drawing as a distinct art form, which brings viewers close to the movement of an artist’s mind. This exceptional exhibition brings together line drawings from all of Picasso’s most important periods and shows the extraordinary range of media in which he made these works, from pen and pencil to charcoal and papier collé.” Picasso: The Line will present more than 90 works on paper from public and private collections in the United States and Europe, dating from 1901-02 through 1970.

Houston Art Fair, one of the country’s most compelling contemporary art fairs featuring galleries from around the world exhibiting modern and contemporary art in a variety of media, returns to Houston with an exciting new direction and location at Silver Street Event Space, a recently-renovated 20,000 square-foot venue located in the heart of the Washington Avenue Arts District, which is home to the largest concentration of working artist studios in the country. Now presented by Urban Expositions, producers of the renowned SOFA CHICAGO, the Houston Art Fair will feature a prestigious roster of art galleries and private dealers exhibiting contemporary and modern art in all media including painting, photography, ceramics, glass, textiles, studio jewelry and design. Plus for the first time, food and drink from some of Houston’s best local establishments, a VIP Lounge, and inviting outdoor spaces, all providing an exciting art fair experience. “We are thrilled to produce a new and reimagined presentation of the Houston Art Fair at Silver Street Event Space and the Washington Avenue Arts District,” said Donna Davies, Vice President of Art Group, Urban Expositions. “The city of Houston continues to serve as the perfect host for this art fair with its influential, international base of serious art collectors and patrons and we plan to bring an elevated experience to the event this year.” Houston Art Fair promises an impressive juxtaposition of art and design from all corners of the globe. www.Houston Art September 29 - October 2, 2016

The Menil Collection

Silver Street Event Space

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B OOKS 1 1


3D Technology in Fine Art and Craft Bridgette Mongeon

Concealed: She’s Got a Gun

Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch

Shelley Calton, author of Hard Knocks: Rolling with the Derby Girls (Kehrer Verlag, 2009), is continuing her exploration of feminine subcultures in Texas, focusing on women and handguns. The majority of the women she has photographed have a concealed handgun license which allows them to carry a handgun covered on their body for protection. Often times they are unexpected gun owners, a young mother or a grandmother. Growing up in Texas gun culture, where there are an estimated two guns for every person in the state, these women are quite comfortable with their handguns. UKehrer Verlag, July, 2015

Grand Prize Winner - 2016 Great Southwest Book Festival. Fort Worth-based Jeremy Enlow was given exclusive access to the cowboys behind the prestigious reversed triple D brand of the Waggoner Ranch, the largest ranch in the United States under one fence. Enlow is an advertising, media and fine arts photographer based in Fort Worth. NJEFAP, Nov. 2015

shelley calton

Jeremy enlow

Bridgette Mongeon’s book is your field guide to exploring the exhilarating new world of 3D. The possibilities for creation are endless with 3D printing, sculpting, scanning, and milling, and new opportunities are popping up faster than artists can keep up with them. Bridgette takes the mystery out of these exciting new processes by demonstrating how to navigate their digital components and showing their real world applications. Artists will learn to incorporate these new technologies into their studio work and see their creations come to life. Focal Press, Sept. 2015


Leslie Contreras Schwartz

A Love Letter to Texas Women Sarah Bird What is it that distinguishes Texas women—the famous Yellow Rose and her descendants? The acclaimed author of Above the East China Sea celebrates the uniqueness of Texas women in this beautifully designed gift book. University of Texas Press, April, 2016

From the bed of the hospital, to the classroom of fourth-grade refugees, or the icy waters being swum by a long-distance swimmer. In this debut poetry collection, Fuego is a book that explores the extraordinary in the ordinary, the body as a surreal form of existence. At the core of the book is the theme ofsurvival and the awe at being able to survive, and the glory of being ordinary and alive. Saint Julian Press, Inc. March, 2016

Graphic Borders

Frederick Luis Aldama and Christopher González

The first volume in a trailblazing series on world comics and graphic nonfiction, this book presents a comprehensive array of historical, formal, and cognitive approaches to Latino comics—an exciting popular culture space that captures the distinctive and wide-ranging experiences of US Latinos. University of Texas Press, April, 2016

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coups de cœur artist

Becky Soria

Soria has used physicality, especially the physicality of the bodies of women and the bodies of animals, as a primary source of inspiration in her work. She is concerned with intense emotions, bodily states, and peak experiences – love, fierce pain, despair, ecstasy, and discomfiture.


Mariana Sammartino

Inspired by the interplay between the natural and the manmade, Mariana chooses stainless steel mesh and other metal textiles to explore form and volume, generating stand alone sculptural works. To develop her one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces she selects silver or gold and diamonds. Her process and treatment of these materials create an engaging perceptual challenge for the viewer.


Dale Montagne

Dale uses art glass which was born through new technology. It works on the principal of a prism splitting light. The glass has at least two colors in each piece. The glass affords many varied effects transforming an entire rooms’ walls and ceiling with reflected color well beyond the boundaries of the image.

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Mosaic artist

Chris Silkwood

Chris has blended her training and creative instincts to develop a style that is uniquely her own. Her work is a study in classic mosaic with very contemporary styling. Her intention has always been to honor the ancient technique but with modern design application. She believes there are no boundaries with mosaic and the opportunity to work with such magnificent color in the glass she uses is incredibly fulfilling.


Alberto Godoy

His paintings reflect the fusion of cultural and historical values present in his life. His art is at the heart of all culture for its reflection of people, and their diversity. It is an affirmation of the influence of America’s multiculturalism and his strong connection to the Cuban traditions.


Richard Kendall lived on the streets of Houston. He possessed many of the qualities now associated with artists who are considered “outsiders”. He was self taught. As a result he did not feel limited by his meager access to art materials. Instead, he made innovative and creative use of what was available. His drawings of Downtown Houston buildings are pure Outsider Art. More about his art at:

Ibsen Espada, Arqueangel, 2015, Mixed Media on industrial canvas, 48”x36”

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2143 Westheimer Road

Houston, Texas 77098




Things our Publisher Can’t Live Without Dinner at Benjy’s and El Tiempo I visit Benjy’s on Washington Avenue at least once a week to enjoy its innovative new American cuisine and fresh local produce. I fix my Tex-Mex cravings with trips to El Tiempo — a must for me, especially after a long trip away from Texas. I’ve taken my family there so much over the years they now serve the Lisarita, a tasty version of the margarita named after my wife.

John Bernhard at a Nespresso boutique in Paris

Nespresso Coffeemaker It’s fair to say I’m an espresso fanatic, a label officially stamped with the purchase of my first Nespresso machine directly from Switzerland in 1990, before they were available in the U.S. I can’t function in the mornings until after my second cup.

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Art Basel Art Basel has become a ritual for me. I never miss this amazing international art fair, which I attend every December in Miami Beach. As an artist I’m inspired by the art of others — last year the Miami Beach show presented 267 galleries from 32 countries — and I always return home with my battery fully charged.

Geneva, Switzerland Once a year, I make it a priority to return to Geneva, where I was born and raised. I spend time visiting family and friends and reacquainting myself with the city’s stunning beauty, gorgeous surroundings and rich history. Regrettably, I took all of these things for granted while growing up.

Museums One of the things I love most about Houston is the city’s wide variety of museums and other cultural experiences. As an internationally recognized art center, Houston offers plenty of enrichment opportunities that are constantly updated and refreshed. The MFAH, the Menil Collection, the Art Car Museum and the Printing Museum are among my favorites.

My Art Making art has become the very core of my being — physically, emotionally and spiritually. It’s difficult to describe, but it’s more than a desire. It’s essential, like the necessity for air, food and water. I couldn’t survive long without the sustenance delivered by fulfilling this ultimate need to create. Nor, do I suppose, would I want to.

Victory Motorcycle I thoroughly enjoy riding my 1740 cc. American cruiser. This powerful rolling sculpture rumbles forth from a nostalgic time. While the decision to buy the bike was not free from marital controversy, it’s brought a certain kind of exhilaration and sense of freedom that only riders of American muscle can understand.

Scotch My favorite whiskey is single malt Scotch. My personal gold standard is The Glenlivet 15 Year Old French Oak Reserve. The spirit is matured in French Limousin Oak casks, which is a popular method of maturation usually reserved for wine or cognac. I always drink it neat to appreciate its subtle elegance.

My Library I designed every square inch of my personal library and I’m very proud of it. The 12-foot-high structure is built from natural, unstained yellow pine. It’s my version of the man cave and a space that my family recognizes as a personal sanctuary where I can retreat from the world and spend some alone time.

Classic Movies I quite enjoy Hollywood cinema from the 1950s and 70s. One of my favorite films is the epic romantic drama “Doctor Zhivago,” starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christie. And I cherish every movie with Steve McQueen. In fact, I own this cultural icon’s entire filmography on DVD.

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BY M o rgan Cro nin

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Opposite page: Yousuf Karsh Pablo Picasso 1954 gelatin silver print This page: Minotaure caressant du Mufle la Main d’une Dormeuse (Minotaur Caressing a Sleeping Woman) 1933, drypoint printed on Montval laid paper

“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” - Pablo Picasso

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Portrait de Jacqueline au chapeau de paille fleuri 1962, linocut printed in colors on Arches wove paper

“Picasso’s oeuvre retains its power to startle and to seduce; his inventiveness remains inexhaustible.” - Gary Tinterow E x a m i n i n g t h e w o r k o f P a b l o P i c a s s o is a look into a life that innovatively explores various artistic styles: drawing, sculpture, painting, and printmaking. It is easy to understand our obsession with this prolific artist. A child protégé, young Picasso was capable of painting hyper-realistic portraits, perfectly imitating the Masters, before the age of nine. The twentieth century painter once said, “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” McClain Gallery’s, Imagining Backwards: Seven Decades of Picasso Master Prints, is a profound retrospective of the iconic artist’s life and career, brought to Houston for the first time.

In his forward for the McClain Gallery catalog, Museum of Fine Arts Houston Director, Gary Tinterow says, “despite the frequent exposure and familiarity, Picasso’s oeuvre retains its power to startle and to seduce; his inventiveness remains inexhaustible. Any exhibition of his work is bound to surprise even the most knowledgeable observer.” Over the span of seven decades, Picasso painted his autobiography, depicting his life with a mass of pictorial diary entries, illustrating his artistic imagination. “Any artist is lucky to have one great idea— one great series. It is an extraordinary thing if they have two great periods,” says Robert McClain, owner of McClain Gallery. “You look at Picasso, and it’s obvious that there are six great periods in his work, almost as if he were six different artists.” Through Imagining Backwards: Seven Decades of Picasso Master Prints, McClain, and his team, accompanied by a collection of essays written by Charles Stuckey, portray a succinct overview of one of the twentieth century’s most important artists. With works dating from 1905 to 1970, and an emphasis on work from the 1920s, 1930s, and the notable Vollard Suite, (a collection comprised of 100 etchings selected by legendary dealer Ambroise Vollard), McClain Gallery’s exhibition offers a broad sweep of history, incomparable to shows exhibited by other galleries.

“We expand and dabble in every type that Picasso experimented in, from aquatint, etching, to graphs, and linocuts. It’s every type of print making that exists,” says McClain Gallery Manager, Anna Farrow. The exhibition’s collection includes prints like Man with Dog, the largest of only a few etchings made by Picasso during the war. As Charles Stuckey states in his catalog essay, “like the words in a printed sentence collaborating to describe newsworthy events in the world outside, the outlined details in Man with Dog interlink pictorially to give an experienced account of the here and now in a cluttered interior,” drawing upon cubist themes made famous by Picasso, relating to time and viewpoint occurring at all angles, at once. Many of the more recognizable works in the exhibit involve Picasso’s muses, addressing his love life and rotating affairs with numerous women. The heart of the show starts with images devoted to Marie Thérèse in the late ‘20s and the Vollard release, moving through muses Dora, Jacqueline, and Francoise. “The thing that’s really fascinating about Picasso’s muses is they really matched the period he was in in his life,” says Farrow. “Dora was his war lover. She personified the unrest in Europe at the time. She was the left-wing activist. With Francoise, they actually had children. It’s very much a home life. When he left her, he finished out the twilight of his life and his career with Jacqueline, the only other one that he married. Then of course, Marie Thérèse, she was only 17 when they met. She was very much the beginning.” Throughout Picasso’s seven-decade career, his evolution and transformation as an artist still finds work revealing a return to previously explored themes, such as selfexamination. Works featured in McClain’s exhibit such as Marie Thérèse Considering Her Own Sculpted Effigy and Minotaur Caressing a Sleeping Woman, Picasso reveals his


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“Everyone is fascinated with genius. I think we all, in some ways, by looking at the works or life of genius, vicariously imagine our own lives. No artist dominates the thinking of other artists, of historians, of collectors as much as Picasso.” - Robert McClain

fascination with portraying not only himself observing his subject, but his subject’s own observance within the piece. In Minotaur Caressing a Sleeping Woman, Picasso drawing upon the idea of beauty and the beast, saying, “A minotaur can’t be loved for himself. He’s studying her, trying to read her thoughts, trying to decide whether she loves him because he’s a monster,” providing an analysis of himself and a reflection on his relationships with the various women personified in his art throughout his career. Imagining Backwards: Seven Decades of Picasso Master Prints opens Sept. 13, 2016, in conjunction with The Menil Collection’s Picasso The Line. Both exhibits explore Picasso’s mastery across disciplines and his distinctiveness within his work. Picasso The Line outlines the three dimensions of form, educating on the idea of line, perspective and their relation to Picasso’s printmaking. “As an art student, there is always a moment when you let go of what something really looks like, when you try to render it and start figuring out what it looks like to you, or your version of it. It’s inspirational art to watch, which I think may be one of the reasons why people who don’t know art, know Picasso,” says Farrow. “Picasso has a very unique, but also, ever-changing style, which I think our show does a good job of capturing at all levels. It’s always fascinating when someone who doesn’t know art, knows about Picasso.”

The experience of the retrospective at the McClain Gallery offers an intimate one not found in museum exhibitions. The aim is for the show to be appreciated on every level. Serious collectors will enjoy extremely rare works, like the two versions of the Weeping Woman, or the Frugal Repast— a very iconic image. Even the casual observer can learn something. McClain Gallery’s exhibit showcases Picasso throughout every style in his life, through every kind of printmaking— the variation and fermentation that Picasso went through. Art Historians can enjoy a complete overview, combined into one show. As for Picasso’s timelessness, McClain attributes to the obsession saying, “Everyone is fascinated with genius. I think we all, in some ways, by looking at the works or life of genius, vicariously imagine our own lives. No artist dominates the thinking of other artists, of historians, of collectors as much as Picasso.” As evident from Picasso’s process, he loved to work backwards, keeping track of changes, the development of ideas, often drawing backwards, from first to last. As Tinterow concludes in his forward address, “Picasso’s late work retains its urgency with universal themes of love and life, art making and death. The sweep of graphic work that McClain has brought together proves, yet again, that works of art can truly transcend time.”

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Clockwise: Tete de Femme IV, Portrait de Dora Maar 1939, color aquatint printed on Montval paper Femme Au Fauteuil No. 4 (d’apres le violet) 1948, lithograph on Arches vellum with Arches watermark Sculpture. Tête de Marie-Thérèse 1933, drypoint on laid paper L’Homme au Chien (Man with dog) 1915, etching with scraper printed on Arches wove paper

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Art WaR Joanne Blows the Whistle

B Y J od y T . M o r s e

W h e n m o s t pe o p l e h e a r t h e n a m e Joanne King Herring, either her political affiliations with U.S. Representative Charlie Wilson and former Pakistani president Zia-ul-Haq come to mind or, for Houston-area locals, her years as a talk show host on KHOU might flash from the recesses of memory. But I’d like to introduce you to a side of this philanthropic lady you might not know. Joanne King Herring, art collector and consignment scandal whistleblower. Mrs. Herring endured having four pieces from her beloved art collection stolen over thirty years ago. As any dedicated collector of the arts can relate, her assemblage of classical paintings, including Portrait of Mrs. John Allnutt by Sir Thomas Lawrence and Scottish-born painter, Sir Henry Raeburn’s, Portrait of Man, had become something akin to family in the Herring household. So when they were pilfered from a framer’s shop in 1986, Joanne and her family were beside themselves. Much has occurred since that fated day, for the art world and for Mrs. Herring. Recently, I had the privilege of sitting down with this delightful icon of Houston culture to learn more about the scandalous events that transpired all those years ago, the efforts that have been made to recover her paintings and Mrs. Herring’s views on the state of art collecting today.

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Sir Thomas Lawrence Portrait of Mrs. John Allnutt Opposite page: Joanne King Herring Photo by Phoebe Rourke-Ghabriel

“ Well, for those with paintings that have been stolen, reaching

out to Interpol is like dropping your painting down a black hole. ”

Jody T. Morse Before we delve into the nitty gritty topic of the pieces of art you lost, tell me about what hangs on the walls of your home these days, Mrs. Herring. Joanne king herring I have two paintings from South Africa. These are really fantastic, I think. They’re of lemons with flowers. Realistic and so lovely. Then I have something really interesting. The guy who decorated this building where I live, worked all his life as a decorator so that he could paint. He copied some huge Monet panels and I have those. Then I have a photograph by Sam Gainer. It’s done in color and when people see it, they think it’s a painting. He’s so fascinating. He worked as an accountant to support his art, you know, and did things like hang upside down from a helicopter to take his pictures. So incredible. Jtm You’re very passionate about art and I can tell how much your collection means to you, Mrs. Herring. Knowing this, I have to ask what possessed you to let your precious paintings out of sight back in 1986?

frames and put them into these ugly ones. So, I called the Museum of Fine Arts and told them that I had some very valuable paintings that I needed to have framed. I had purchased beautiful period frames and was going to have them put into these new ones. Then I ended up taking a trip around the world. Which took a long time and when I came back, I finally went to pick them up. I said, “Hello. I’m here to pick up my paintings.” And they said, “What paintings?” Can you imagine? I said, “The paintings you were putting into frames for me.” They said, “We’ve never seen you before.” Well, of course they hadn’t, my secretary had taken the pieces over originally. Turned out, my secretary was in on it <the theft>. Can you believe? Anyway, the man standing there said, “Look around. I don’t have your paintings.” So, I looked. I didn’t find my paintings but do you know what I did find? Those ugly brown frames that they had come out of. Jtm Now that we know how this sad and shocking story came about, could you tell me, have any of them ever been recovered?

Jkh Yes, but only two of them. Well, really only one. TwentyJkh To be honest, it was the ugly brown frames. Someone had three years after they were stolen, the Raeburn showed up at Soobviously taken these pieces out of their eighteenth century theby’s and they gave it up to me immediately. Quite easily. But


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Sir Henry Raeburn Portrait of Man

“ Buy your paintings

to keep them. I’ve bought all of my art works because I loved them. ”

the guy who had put Portrait of Man up for auction, Geoffrey Rice, kept claiming it was his. For two years, I fought in court before I finally got my Raeburn back. As for the Lawrence, it’s been found but’s not with me yet. I got a call one day asking if I’d like to have one of my paintings back. Of course, I said, “I’d love that!” The man said, “Well, Christie’s sold your Lawrence piece in July.” Luckily, I had all the paperwork and auction numbers. So, I immediately called Christie’s. They denied having it. So, I hired a law firm from here in Houston to help me. Now I know better. I learned that you must get an actual art lawyer. You have to have somebody that knows the art world as well as the law. I didn’t have any idea back then. Anyway, years later, out comes Antiques Magazine and in it, it says, “The finest arts to come on the market in years.” And there was my painting, Portrait of Mrs. John Allnutt. So, I contacted Christie’s again. But by this point I was so hammered down that I didn’t know what to do. The representative in London had told my lawyer that it would be impossible to get the painting back. Too much time had passed. However, all of my friends in London said, “That’s not true. On art, there’s no statute of limitations.” I don’t think the Lawrence ever even went up for auction but it did have a full page listing in the catalogue, so I’m unsure. I do know that Christie’s moved it from London to New York. Maybe they were afraid someone would be looking for it there. Regardless, I don’t know if I’ll ever get this painting, or my other two, back and now my battle may be with Liberty Mutual since I did have the Lawrence insured. After it disappeared, they kept pushing me to take the payoff but I kept telling them no, that

I wanted my painting. They begged me to just take the money. Eventually, I did but not before signing an agreement that if my Lawrence ever turns up, I’ll get it back. So, we’ll see. Jtm Speaking of Christie’s and Liberty Mutual, of the organizations you’ve dealt with throughout this whole saga, are there any groups that you would recommend to other collectors, either for recovering or future art purchasing? Jkh Well, for those with paintings that have been stolen, reaching out to Interpol is like dropping your painting down a black hole. But now that I know about the Art Loss Institute and Registry, I’d tell them to go there. They’ve been very helpful. Never again will I deal with Christie’s, especially now that Lord Carrington is no longer the chairman. But Sotheby’s has been wonderful through it all. They got the Raeburn back for me. And Doyle’s has always been lovely too. Jtm Having endured this experience, Mrs. Herring, do you have any advice for young, up-and-coming art collectors? Jkh Buy your paintings to keep them. I’ve bought all of my art works because I loved them. Right now, the art market is very down. You can buy of-the-period pieces for unbelievably low prices. You should buy art because you love it not because of the resale value or the market. And make sure to keep all of your papers. It doesn’t guarantee you’ll get your pieces back, if they’re stolen, but it helps.

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Ronald Gremillion behind Jim Perry’s Mahogany sculpture titled Serendipity Photo by Hall Puckett


thoughtful perception BY jo hn bernhard Ph oto graphy by Hall Puckett

In the tradition of the great 20th century art dealers, Kahnweiler, Vollard and Durand-Ruel, the essence of Gremillion & Co. is the provision of financial and professional support for serious artists. Commemorating thirty five years of dedication to this goal, this Houston premier gallery takes pride in the many long-standing relationships they enjoy with their artists. Owner Ronald Gremillion talks about his philosophy and the future ahead. john bernhard Start with a bit of history; what year did you open the gallery and what were your goals? ronALD gremillion

I began the company in 1980 after 10 years with a New York publishing company dealing primarily with small edition original prints. Since my degree is in painting, those years provided invaluable business experience and clientele required to start the company. During my first visit to New York in 1970, it was recommended that I read an interview with the

renowned dealer Kahnweiler. When asked why he decided to be an art dealer, the final words of his answer were “… to be an intermediary between (artists) and the public, to clear their way and to spare them financial anxieties. If the profession of art dealer has any moral justification, it can only be that.” This appeared to me to be the very thing I was looking to do and it came with the benefit of being morally justifiable, something I had never consciously considered. That immediately became, and remains our mission statement.


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“One of the best decisions I made was to move to Houston from Dallas in 1971. Here, doors opened and people appeared who wanted to get things done.” jB Your building is attractive and

beautifully designed. Did you have anything to do with it? rg We know we are fortunate to have

our spaces and their locations. People come in regularly, telling us they have driven by for years and finally decided to stop and see what was inside. Houston’s Jim Lass, of Criteria Design, did a beautiful job designing the main building on Sunset in 1989 and the Annex on Nottingham in 1995. I certainly can’t take credit for his stellar design work, however we came from a lease space on Revere Street between Alabama and Westheimer (19851989). From that experience, I knew things to which special consideration needed to be given. jB You represent over 50 artists,

mostly painters and sculptors from the US and Europe. What is your criteria for choosing them? RG There are many aspects involved in committing to represent an artist: too many to list at the moment. Aside from the obvious, that the work be serious and technically accomplished, it is crucial that an artist be interested

in a long relationship with us. They must also share our values and goals. I believe the gallery’s greatest asset exists in these many long-standing relationships in which we are privileged to participate. jB

How do you manage your impressive staff, like Chris Skidmore, your gallery director and art advisor since 1988? rg From the onset, one of my prima-

ry goals was to find a group of young people in whom I would invest time in training and offer the opportunity of a rewarding and lasting career as I had been. My underlying intention was to create a team, which through years of experience would develop into accomplished professionals. Today and including myself, this team’s combined experience expressed in years is 188. As concerns management, each one of us understands our responsibilities to assure the gallery functions properly and that all of our guests are treated with respect. I don’t think I am capable of expressing the amount of pride and genuine affection I feel for these individuals who have devoted their careers to this company.


What kind of clientele are you after, are you more focused towards corporations than individual collectors?


In 1995, in celebration of our 25th anniversary, I wanted to express the essence of our philosophy in a tagline, which would be incorporated in our logo. “Encouraging Thoughtful Perception” is a succinct way of expressing our conceptual aspirations. So to answer your question, we’re after anyone who is open to and interested in enriching their lives by taking advantage of the unique opportunity the gallery’s concept and its staff has to offer. jB You are very involved with our community and have supported Houston’s foremost charities and foundations. Can you elaborate? rg One of the best decisions I made

was to move to Houston from Dallas in 1971. Here, doors opened and people appeared who wanted to get things done. So, when we opened the gallery in 1990, there was never a question whether we would want to be involved in supporting the community. We have


Above: Gremillion Gallery located in West University Right: Front entrance of the Annex Photos by Hall Puckett

had so many exceptional opportunities to partner with impactful charities, foundations and organizations and through them we have realized the benefits from which we have all grown as human beings.

under one roof. All things considered, we simply feel that art fairs don’t represent a direction for us that’s consistent with our business model. jB We are flirting with signs of

Fairs? If not, can you tell me why?

recession. How do you feel about Houston energy downturn and its effects on the art scene?



jB Do you participate in any Art

business. This is one reason we must always be diligent and aggressive in our search for opportunity, whatever the current economic state. We know how lucky we are to have the advantage of being located in one of the greatest cultural cities in this country. jB What are your plans for the fu-

ture? No, we have not participated in art fairs. The art world has changed terrifically since 1975, the year I first attended the Basel Art Fair in Switzerland. I think today’s art fairs provide an excellent opportunity for galleries that are based in smaller markets. They also produce a social occasion for those who enjoy a variety of artwork; in most cases all presented

With the exception of a run in the 90s, I cant remember a significant amount of time passing without some crisis that produced a negative influence on the economy, so this isn’t that extraordinary to us. However, our good fortune of having two spacious buildings at our disposal comes at a considerable expense: paying for and maintaining them, like any small


Most people recognize that for a business, to remain relevant in the 21st century, establishing a presence online is essential. The challenge of accomplishing such without compromising our values is one of our goals. Also, we’re always looking for ambitious, young people interested in having a career with us.

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B Y L a yl a Al - B e d a w i Photography bY Nathan Lindstrom

Inside the Studio of Jewelry Designer Nichole Dittman “I look at metalsmithing like a recipe,” Nichole tells me, and I can’t help thinking of her spacious studio as a kitchen, full of appliances and ingredients. Much of her work looks very precise: chainmail so fluid it almost feels like a fabric, strands of silver wire perfectly woven into flawless patterns. But she admits that often, much like a creative cook, she abandons all recipes and improvises. “I just grab a piece of metal and start working on it.” She lets the silver wire guide her, lets it decide where the piece will take her. The results are the well-crafted, sophisticated, original pieces her clients have come to love. The daughter of an air force father and an artist mother, Nichole has lived in a multitude of places in the US and Europe. She still travels extensively, often to attend workshops to advance her craft. “I can’t stop learning. I could spend every day for the rest of my life learning, and I would never learn everything about metalsmithing.” She recently

returned from a trip to Italy for a 6-day workshop in chasing and repoussé, a metalworking technique that involves hammering pieces from the reverse side to create very organic designs and which might transform her current style completely. Nichole relishes such changes, opportunities to challenge herself. Moving from her home studio to the artist studios in the Washington Ave Arts District, first to Spring Street Studios two years ago and then to Silver Street Studios this February, was a necessary change for Nichole. Rather than creating collections to display in boutiques, she now focuses on custom pieces for her clients, who love visiting her studio to see Nichole practicing her craft firsthand. Many are surprised to learn that all of her pieces are completely made by hand. Nichole relishes giving them a glimpse into her process. “It’s like making a meal for someone you care about,” she explains. “When you meet

It’s like making a meal for someone you care about

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Photos by Nathan Lindstrom

the person who made your piece of jewelry and you realize how much they love what they do—I think that has to touch something.” Many of her clients become regulars¬—they’ll buy a necklace and pendant, and come back six months later for another pendant. Nichole prides herself on the versatility of her designs. The words her clients use to describe her jewelry are elegant, wearable, not trendy, not like everybody else. “Whenever I hear it, I’m just so grateful.” She is also incredibly grateful to Jon Deal and the other investors who have revitalized the first ward by converting old warehouses into working artists’ studios. “They’re changing a lot of artists’ lives. It’s something they need to be commended for.” Acquiring one of Nichole’s designs, you’re likely to end up with a truly unique piece. She creates many of her tools herself, including hammers gouged with signature textures you won’t find anywhere else. She’s reluctant to repeat designs exactly and is continuously tweaking her recipes, evolving them as she finds inspiration in newly learned techniques, museums she visits on her travels, or high fashion. “Couture clothing is my favorite thing on the planet,” she says. Before metalworking, Nichole’s career was in retail for over two decades, most notably for El Matha Wilder at Etui. It was Wilder who convinced her to attend

the Glassell School of Art, paying her way and supporting the start of Nichole’s new career. “She changed my life,” Nichole says. She pauses when I ask whether she thinks of her work as art or as fashion. It’s not an easy question, she admits, because her work treads the line between art and fashion: her approach and designs are very artistic, but her main objective is to create pieces that are meant to be worn rather than looked at, unique but functional. Metalsmithing, especially the learning and perfecting of new skills, is truly a passion for Nichole, one that she can’t contain to a nine to five schedule. “I’m at the studio five days a week, sometimes I sneak out and go six times a week.” And at home? “The dogs are on the couch, my husband is reading a book, and I’m weaving [jewelry pieces].” Even when she needs a break from jewelry, she plays with other applications of her metalworking skills: woven wall-hangings, enameled bowls, beautiful intricate jewelry boxes. “I don’t cook much anymore, because I’m always at the studio,” she tells me, and there is no regret in her voice. She is engulfed work she is passionate about every day of her life, and the rest of us should be so lucky. [A collection of Nichole Dittman’s jewelry will be on display at the Asher Gallery in September, 2016.]


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Deep in the Art of Texas You’ll discover more than bluebonnet landscapes at Houston’s only Texas-centric art gallery. by jacqueline patri cks

Charles Schorre, Secretouch, c. 1965, acrylic on canvas, 84x84 inches Photo courtesy of William Reaves | Sarah Foltz Fine Art Gallery


e 36 a r t hfoe ua st tu or n

W i l l i a m Re a v e s a n d S a r a h F o l t z Fine Art Gallery adore showcasing Texan artists and Texas-inspired art because there’s so much about the Lone Star State to love. From the vivid shorelines to the tranquil hill country to the bustling, international-spiced cities, Texas is many things to many people. Texas has long held an undeserved reputation for lacking cosmopolitan taste, for not supporting its arts culture as well as other regions of America, and for being just too ‘country’. Houston, especially, is seen as conservative rather than cultural in part due to its location near Buffalo Bayou and Galveston Bay. This important node of interaction with the world gave Houston its foundation in industry. But more than that, it brought the beginnings of multiculturism. Founded in 1836, the early 20th century brought an explosion of growth, and as of 2014, Houston’s census ranks it as the fourth largest city by population in the United States. Yet it clings to its energy, aeronautics, transportation, and medical strengths while all but ignoring nearly 200 years of strong art heritage fostered by

that growth. It’s time for the Space City to push itself past its comfort zone and become a regional leader of art and culture. Texas’ wealth of diversity lies with its talented people, those native-born and those who rushed to become Texans. People whose varied observations of this great state are distilled into as many different forms of art as there are gifts. These artists spend decades blending their unique styles, backgrounds, and inspirations to build up Texas culture from generation to generation, from realism to surrealism. Their art speaks to their audience, connecting them one by one. Artists such as – Alexander Hogue, who moved to Texas in the early 1900s, and then lived in Texas off and on for many years. Self-described as an abstract realist, he was heavily influenced by the Great Depression and the Dustbowl era. These major influences give his works a haunting quality. They are stark, often saturated in unexpected color yet desolate. They represent a difficult time in Texas for the environment and the inhabitants, yet they persevered – the shining spirit of true Texans.

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From left: Ibsen Espada, Arsenal, 2015, Mixed Media on industrial canvas, 33.5x27.5 inches Dick Wray, Untitled, c. 1995, oil on canvas, 68x84 inches Dorothy Hood, The Marriage Counselor, 1962, ink on paper, 26x20 inches

Dick Wray, acknowledged as one of the first Texas Modernists, was born and educated in Houston. He traveled to Europe, discovered abstract expressionism and brought it back to his hometown in 1959. His plethora of work spans decades – striking black and white paintings to vivacious swaths of color – and he serves as one of the pillars of modernism in Houston. Houston art influenced by Latinos was unknown until Dorothy Hood, a native Texan, moved to Mexico City in 1941 and stayed for 20 years. She befriended other artists such as Frida Kahlo and discovered surrealism and abstraction before returning to Houston in 1961. Dorothy Hood’s expansive use of color in her work is a vital link between Mexican surrealism and her Texas upbringing. Mentored by Dorothy Hood, Ibsen Espada’s late arriving and short-lived abstract expressionism uses bold, often incomplete brush strokes and strong, contrasting colors. A South Texan transplant from Puerto Rico, he arrived in 1975 bringing years of Hispanic influence to Houston’s art scene. He loved his roots but wanted to move away from the ‘hearts and Virgins’ so prevalent in Latino art.

Reaves and Foltz Fine Art Gallery want to share many more Texas artists with the public. They hope others will appreciate selections ranging from folk art to realism to abstract expressionism from the 20th century and beyond. Such as Karl Umlauf’s powerful oil fields, warehouses, and chemical plants reimagined on canvas, and Michael H. Marvins’ stunning landscape photography of Big Bend. Choices abound for the astute art enthusiast and the casual observer who has an eye for enjoyment. Satisfaction is certain for everyone when appreciating Texas-centric art because you need only connect with one piece or one artist to escape the mundane. And Texas is far from mundane. The piece that spoke to me was Charles Schorre’s Secretouch. It’s vivid intensity, larger than life abstract strokes, and palette of deep indigo highlighted with primary colors reminded me of bluebonnets on fire, of the passion and love of life that Texans are born and bred to chase. For what is life without passion? What is work without art? I discovered my Texas connection through his work. Find your connection and escape the mundane, even for a moment, at William Reaves and Sarah Foltz Fine Art Gallery.

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An Iteration of Diversity and Inclusiveness in Theater Studio Reading: Mai Hong Le and James Monaghan Photo by Rashed Haq

W h e n D i a n n e K . We b b m o v e d t o H o u s t o n from Maine 12 years ago, it took her a while to find a theater community. Everything was in a flux then; things came up and shortly disappeared. She had plenty of ideas but soon realized she couldn’t find a home for her aesthetic. And like most epiphanies, hers came unannounced in the summer of 2013, while driving from Boston to Houston and listening to Les Miserables. It was a moment, she says, where all her thoughts came to a cohesive whole. What emerged a year later was the Next Iteration Theater Company. So what exactly were these thoughts? “I knew I wanted to do new and relevant work by living playwrights. I wanted to highlight underrepresented voices. And I wanted to showcase diversity,” said Webb, the artistic director of NITC which just turned one. While Webb began conceiving it ideologically, the need for business management was not lost on her. Moving in that direction, she approached Tayyba Kanwal, a longtime friend of Pakistani origin, who had quit her corporate job. Kanwal soon came aboard as managing director. “Writing and the power of words has been my passion my whole life and I wanted to merge my work and creativity. When Dianne discussed the creation of NITC, I was thrilled with this opportunity to bridge my long experience in corporate program management to arts management and in particular the power of theater to impact our culture.” Their preoccupation with diversity is what makes the theater company truly unique. “I’m white and if I want to do diverse theatre and represent multiple groups, I can’t do it alone,” Webb said. Whether, the diversity manifests itself across nationalities, race or gender and sexual orientation of playwrights, cast,


DIVERSITY By Sukhada Tatke


TWTW Akhtar: Karthik Chander, James Monaghan and Deeba Ashraf Photo by Rashed Haq

designers, stage managers and board members; or in the subject matters and themes, NITC does not dabble in token gestures in that its commitment stems from a deep understanding of cultural and geo-political nuances. “ I l o o k for plays that are written b y p e o p l e o f c o l o r . And if they’re not, there should at least be a POC cast. The writer, intention of work, actor in the role should all be respected,” said Webb. And the respect that she talks about was seen in the world premier of The Baby written by Lisa Omlie in March. “ T h e p l a y l o o k e d at family secrets and privilege of money as they are endorsed by white upper class valu e s . I could not foist these on a Black cast,” said Webb. Instead, a journalist who features in the play and whose race is not relevant to the story, is played by an Asian woman. In their commitment to be all-inclusive, NITC served twenty hard-ofhearing audience members who were thrilled at the prospect of having the opportunity to attend theater in Houston. In the year that it has been around, NITC has offered three major events, and has helped bring engaging voices in the realm of conversations on theater. At its most recent performance – the Intercultural Play Readings – Houstonians got to see works from playwrights of eclectic cultural heritage including The Mojo and the Sayso by Aishah Rahman; Three on a Match by Rhett Martinez; and The Who and the What by Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar. In its bid to make the theater experience in Houston a seamless one, NITC aims to collaborate with other companies. ReadFest, with which it inaugurated its first season, was an effort to promote an active theater scene in Houston. Ensemble Theatre, Landing Theatre Company, Wordsmyth Theater, Black Lab Theatre and Hune Co. were part of this production. Webb and her team have already begun planning for the next ReadFest. With a ‘pay what you can’ ticketing model, Webb and Kanwal are motivated to make theater accessible to everyone. As a result, they have heavily relied on sponsors and donors. “In the business-world, I find financing decidedly more straight forward - you get paid directly

for your services and products or raise money off a compelling concrete business case. The ‘case’ to be made for fundraising in the arts is much more abstract and circuitous, and the uncertainty around the availability of funds, especially for newer or smaller organizations makes for a vicious circle when it comes to proving your case with impactful programming,” said Kanwal. As it prepares for its second season, NITC wants to continue its vision of bringing on stage stories of what makes us human and how we question humanity. Eventually, says Webb, “ i t i s i n t h e p r i v a c y of our minds and hearts, in this public a re n a , t h at we ca n wa l k i n s o m eo n e e l s e’s s h o e s .”

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Enlunados Oil and earth on linen. Photo courtesy of Serrano Gallery

The multitude layers of Rolando Rojas B Y Cu r l e e Ra v e n Hol t o n

T h e r e i s a m y s t i c a l w o r l d created by Rolando’s paintings where color is the earth and the sky, and strange but familiar figures cast wary eyes on the viewer. When you are first encountering Rolando’s work, you are struck by the power of his palette. If one looks deeper, nuances of the composition include interlocking shapes and lines that move the eye throughout with a composer’s grace. There is a sense that Rolando has captured another place, another time, another dimension. It is fecund place with the most ordinary creatures altered by the perspective of childhood. It is a sensuous place with innocent sensuality, but there is also a quiet energy beneath the surface and sudden urges, phallic images thrusting upwards and rich fertile plains perhaps not yet explored. Rolando’s works are charged with multiple layers of meaning that make his art objects much more than paintings. Some are images that surface from his youth and others from the deepest reservoir of his unconscious. His vibrant ochre and muted reds are earth colors that directly reference his Oaxaca background. His archetypical figures are caught mid-step, like early childhood memories slipping into his consciousness. Surfaces are textured in some cases with actual soil from Sierra Madre de Chiapas, making a primordial connection to his Zapotec Indian ancestry. Rolando’s treatment of the surface is built up with earth mixed directly into the paint then applied to the canvass. Rolando stirs his magical mix into a thick consistency then applies it as a shaman would his ash, blood and earth as a metaphor for the very creation of the original man or woman. He gathers up handfuls of various hues of earth pigment and mixes them by hand as his palette.

Today, his work remains deeply connected along thematically to his cultural history and the legacy of the Oaxacan visual arts traditions continues to impact his palette. It speaks of a deep connection to the grandmother who raised him and his life in a poor rural community. His grandmother became an archetype of his Mexican ancestral DNA and the embodiment of the narrative of his people. Rolando masterfully merges a diverse range of impulses within his compositions many of which come from his travel and exhibitions in the USA, Japan, France, Canada, Cuba, Argentina, and Puerto Rico. His signature style of incorporating powerful archetypical figures as the primary actors in his compositions anchor his work in the Oaxacan style. This unique focus and power in his composition allows his work to transcend any national boundaries and connects with a universal language represented by the work of artists like Wilhelm DeKooning, Robert Beachamp, and Gerhard Richter. Rolando possess a deep creative impulse and passionate commitment to his Isthmus of Tehuantepec birth place. Rolando is described as an “Oaxacano painter,” an artist who stays pure to the aesthetic and visual history of the region of the Mexican Central Valley. In a relatively short time, he has become a master of this tradition and has achieved international recognition for his talent as an artist. He is a painter who inhabits a world of the common place and yet brings forth a mystery and rich fantasy that continues to remind us of our potential to be vibrant, honest, and dedicated to our past as we embrace our future. Curlee Raven Holton is a Professor at Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania


“His vibrant ochre and muted reds are earth colors that directly reference his Oaxaca background.” Rolando Rojas, born in Tehuantepec, Oaxaca identifies with the culture of the Záa. The ancestors of the people of Tehuantepec, believed that they descended from mystical trees and animals such as lizards, fish, and turtles. Rolando’s work is inspired by the legends, stories, and myths that are passed down from generation to generation. In his colorful oil paintings, he portrays this mythical world and interweaves it with his present and childhood experiences. Rolando Rojas received a Bachelor in Architecture from the University Benito Juárez at Oaxaca and a Bachelor of Restoration from the school of the Instituto de Bellas Artes in Mexico










Serrano Gallery in Silver Street, 2000 Edwards St. #208

Serrano Gallery Photo by John Bernhard

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B Y K . P i c a Ka h n

Ted Ellis has the soul of an artist. He sees life through colored filters in his imagination, which he translates to canvases expressing the way he sees the world. In a small room in his house, he paints his way street spotting something perfect for a future painting. through life, interpreting and documenting the hisThe second floor in the home houses perhaps his most tory of African Americans as he sees it. Although he famous painting, a five foot by three foot portrait of creates his paintings in one tiny upstairs room, it is President Barack Obama painted for his exhibit in evident that his entire house is his studio. Entering Washington D.C. presented during the inauguration at the foyer of his house, one’s eyes follow his work up the French Embassy. the stairs accented by the wooden handrail. Paint“That was the high light of my life,” he said. “To be a ings of vibrant colors fill the walls of the staircase up part of the inauguration of the first African American to the second floor. president, well it has set the bar so high. I don’t think it “I believe that colors make the picture,” he said. “I gets any better than that.The painting I took to the indetermine my colors by what I feel like expressing. auguration is like a rainbow of colors, because I wanted How you leverage your colors determine the mood and it to express his vision of people of all colors working control the energy. and living together. Later, I painted another portrait of A chemist by profession, he uses those skills to mix him all in blues this time, just from my imagination. It colors on his pallet. actually looks like he is crying” “I create colors and mix them. By changing the pigHe has just been invited to be one of the featured paintment, I can change the painting. Cool grays are the ers in the 2017 French Embassy exhibit in Paris. shadow and warm grays are the light. “Now, that is going to be thrilling,” said Ellis. “I went to Both mild mannered and calm, he is at the same time, Paris a few years ago and was so overwhelmed by all passionate about not only his work, but also about the art there of impressionism and the great masters. I life. There is an energy in his step like someone hunwas blown away and came home and did a whole collecgry for life. His enthusiasm is evident and contation of people in Paris. They are large painting and each gious. It is visible in his eyes as he walks down the one uses different colors.

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Mama’s quilt, oil on canvas, 48”x36” Photo by K. Pica Kahn

“The French paintings are of people from my imaginaEllis takes great pride in his work documenting the Aftion. There are like little people in my mind and they rican American experience. None are more important to talk to me. People I know from history or personally him than a 10-foot by two-foot horizontal commemorasay to me ‘come on Ted, come on and let people know tive painting of the historical moment of 150 years ago about me.’ I knew I would eventually show internadocumenting June 19, the day the slaves were freed. tionally. I just didn’t know when. Then one day in July Included in the painting is the proclamation itself. Even of this year, out of the clear blue, I got a call and an though slaves had been freed two years before in 1863, invitation. I couldn’t believe it.”

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Melissa Miller Moth (detail) 2016 gouache and collage 86 1/2” x 34”


SEPT 29 - OCT 2



it took that long for the slaves of the south to receive the news of their freedom in 1865. “Colors have changed and become very sophisticated creating more dynamic colors. Nothing is new in painting, it is all a matter of how you use the paints.” An award-winning painter, Ellis has worked on many commissioned works. He was commissioned by the city of Selma to paint the march with Martin Luther King Jr. on the bridge in Selma. “I went there and stood on the actual bridge. I got chills that I could feel in my bones,” said Ellis. “It was an amazing feeling.” Although Ellis has many famous paintings of AfricanAmerican experience, he also has a knack for capturing life’s every day mundane moments. A picture of an old Southern woman with a hat and an apron, hanging clothes on a cloth line comes to life right away. A woman holding a quilt represents the generations of African American farm workers with the brightly colored cloth stitched together like the threads of time. His work has a familiar thread running through the moments of history, and it is easy to tell an Ellis painting. He is currently working on a series of birdhouses of which he hopes to paint 100. Each piece is unique, but they all represent the coming out of immigrants working from little shanties all the way up.

“These are tiny houses that tell the history of time, they are beautiful and represent so much.” Ted Ellis with his tiny houses Photo by K. Pica Kahn


2000 Edwards Street, #218 Houston, TX 77007

Nichole Dittmann

J e w e l r y

d e s i g n s


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Anatomy of a

Collaboration: An Insider’s View of the Rørpost Project

B Y r e n a t a lu c ia W h e n D o n n a E . P e r k i n s a n d S u e Ree v e s would meet at their Art Square Studios on Main in 2010, they could not imagine their connection would spark 42 members of two artist collectives to embark on an international collaboration in 2015. And yet, the Rørpost Collaboration Project is coming to fruition in a series of four artist-organized exhibitions, providing an extended meditation on the power of networks, experimentation, and artists’ agency. Following two exhibitions in Esbjerg, Denmark, 84 artworks will open at the Art Car Museum on September 10th , with select works at Houston’s

City Hall December 5th.

The project was conceived in Esbjerg, Denmark by members of a large, annual exhibition group, “Blå Døre.” Following her 2014 relocation from Houston to Esbjerg, Reeves met members Flemming Rendbo and Jette Dümke. Dümke later broached the possibility of an international collaboration. “She and I discussed the idea of a pipeline of artistic energy,” said Reeves. “The energy industry is moving forward in Esbjerg, and we were thinking that energy could extend beyond fossil fuels and wind


power to art.” Her thoughts turned back to Houston and to Perkins. “On a visit back to Houston, Sue asked me if that artists’ group I was in might be interested in a collaboration project with a group of artists in Denmark,” said Perkins. “I said ‘Sure’ without hesitation.” Perkins is a facile collaborator, which made her particularly receptive, and a member of Art Chatter, which she volunteered for the Rørpost project. Comprised of a diverse group of artists, Art Chatter provides a supportive community for critical dialogue. Although founded as a critique group in 2004 by former Glassell classmates Tami Merrick and Lynne Rutzky, the group has also shown together multiple times in Houston and Marfa. With input from member (and Executive Director of the TexanFrench Alliance for the Arts) Karine Parker-Lemoyne, Perkins proposed a paper exchange format for the Rørpost project. Meeting shortly after the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attacks, the two also proposed “freedom of expression” as a theme. Regular Skype planning meetings continued amongst Perkins, myself, Reeves, Rendbo, and Rich. Dethlefsen. The Danish contingent


in memoriam


The Rørpost’s show in Denmark at Esbjerg City Hall. Photography by Flemming Rendbo

did not wish to pursue the political angle, but agreed that each a Houston cowboy hat, and a Danish Viking helmet: With the artist should start a work on paper to be finished by a partner pairings set, the artists were given about a month to initiate a work, which then traveled to their partner for completion. across the Atlantic. Danish meeting notes stated the intent of “making primal connections through art and returning to childlike impulses” while relying on “curiosity, empathy, and compassion.” Since the idea for the project originated in Denmark, both groups also agreed to use Rørpost as the project title, referencing the Danish verb “to touch” and pneumatic tubes used to exchange messages.

Participating artists included: Becky Soria & Marianne Skjølstrup, Damon Thomas & Johny Wilslew, Carol McKee & Alf Pedersen, Kay Kemp & Tina Asmussen, Donna E. Perkins & Astrid Hygum, Lisa Marie Hunter & Connie Borgen, Nicola Parente & Lars Henning Andersen, Tami Merrick & Flemming Rendbo, Brenda Bunten Schloesser & Jette Dümke, Jan Jbeili & Jytte Jespersen, Renata Lucia & Erik Brøndberg, Raymond Saucillo & Per Lenholdt, Andis Applewhite & Lene Hassig Vilslev, Jennifer Madeley Dunn & Birgit Juhl, Kay Sarver & Niels Kongsbak, Joe Aker & Gustav Iwinski, Barbara Tennant & Rich Dethlefsen, Karine Parker Lemoyne & Lotte Lambæk, John Bernhard & Gitte Hadrup, Tracey Meyer & Sue Reeves, Trudy Askew & Søren Morns.

But, as someone noted in my Ello feed, “…co-producing with a person you have never met feels high risk. It is difficult enough with somebody whom you trust, and the international distance makes for a long bridge to cross.” To open members to this unique experience, I coordinated a similar collaboration experiment within Art Chatter. As our members reviewed the surprising results of letting someone else augment their pieces, the Rørpost project gained full support within Art Chatter. Or- While documenting progress on the project website, I noted the ganizers paired artists via Skype, blindly drawing names from variety of ways artists tackled the problem of creating a work

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“ Artists from both groups professed

discomfort, yet the pairings often pushed artists with a buoyant energy , time to enter normal proposal cycles. Surprised by our delay, the Danes had already secured two exhibition venues and pulled some outside of by the end of 2015. I created a temporary portfolio website solely for venue proposals, and Merrick joined the organizers to our venue search. A dynamo, Merrick secured the Art Car their normal media. lead Museum and City Hall venues, a catalog introduction from Mayor

Sylvester Turner, and a City’s Initiative Grant. She and John Bernhard acquired the project’s first sponsorship from the Danish Consulate, via Consul Anna Thomsen Holliday, whose support kick-started funding and grant writing.

Arguably the most impressive Art Chatter outcome, various artists stepped up repeatedly for leadership, vision, networking, fundraising, publishing, design, events, and photography. The group even changed names during the process, from Art Chatter Critique Group to Art Chatter Collective. “Rørpost is no longer about critiques,” said Merrick. “It is about community and collectively working together.”

someone else would finish. Strategies included leaving half of the piece blank, leaving small voids, working only in pencil and without color, or working over the entire piece, so that the partner had to make all final decisions. Google translate was used to bridge the language barrier; some teams communicated frequently on strategies and progress via emails and social The collaboration, and possibly our meeting model, also influmedia, while others had minimal communication. enced Blå Døre. “The Blå Døre has changed in the direction of Predictably, collaboration results were mixed; some works more dialogue with each other.” said Rendbo. “The challenges were almost inscrutable to their recipients, and differing me- of exchange and collaboration have brought some out of their dia, content, and contexts collided. Artists from both groups comfort-zone and some into new areas of creativity and social professed discomfort, yet the pairings often pushed artists interaction. All the participating artists have expressed enthuwith a buoyant energy, and pulled some outside of their normal siasm and joy about the initiative and the process so far, and media. All 42 collaborations were completed and successful by are looking forward to the continuing story.” virtue of acquired experience. Following this, each artist created a solo work in the medium of their choice as a response The Danish artists have already initiated a new Esjberg/Halifax collaboration, and Art Chatter will consider future collaboto the experience. rations after returning to their normal critique schedule. The During this time, the Houston team tackled a huge obstacle: Houston/Esbjerg Collaboration will be on view in Houston at finding a large exhibition space without completed works or the Art Car Museum and Houston’s City Hall made possible in part through the City’s Initiative Grant. For more information on the Rørpost Collaboration Project, including exhibition details and a complete sponsor list, visit

Shown from left to right: Eric Brøndberg, Flemming Rendbo, and Rich. Dethlefsen; The Danish organizers transport works on paper for shipment to Houston. Photography by Jette Mortensen. v Eric Brøndberg opens Houston works on paper shipped to Denmark. Photography by Rich. Dethlesfsen. v Karine Parker-Leymone, Tami Merrick, Renata Lucia, Donna E. Perkins; Danish works on paper received in Houston. Photography by Kay Sarver

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Performing Arts Schedule HOUSTON BALLET Wortham Center, 500 Texas Ave, Houston, TX 77002 713 227-2787

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time January 24 -29, 2017 Sarofim Hall Scalable Heights February 12, 2017 Zilkha Hall

THEATRE UNDER THE STARS Director’s Choice— American Ingenuity September 8 - 18, 2016 Madame Butterfly September 22 - October 2 The Nutcracker November 5 - December 27 JUBILEE OF DANCE December 2

1475 West Gray, Houston, TX, 77019 713 520-1220 In The Heights September 13 - 25, Sarofim Hall How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying October 25 - November 6, Sarofim Hall

On the Trail of Big Cats October 25 Kavakos Plays & Conducts October 28 - 30 Trifonov Plus Rachmaninoff November 3 -6 I Love a Piano October 11 - 13 A Mozart Thanksgiving November 25 - 27

12 Days of Christmas December 3 It’s A Wonderful Life December 9 Handel’s Messiah December 16 - 18 Cirque Goes to the Movies January 6 - 8, 2017 Coral Kingdoms, Empires of Ice January 10, 2017

Esperando Al Italiano September 10, Zilkha Hall

The Book of Mormon January 3 - 15, 2017 Sarofim Hall

Foundation for Jones Hall: 50th Anniversary Concert October 25

An American In Paris February 21 - March 5, 2017 Sarofim Hall

Les Plaisirs de Versailles September 9, Zilkha Hall

Bachanalia: Cantatas for the New Year I Dinner, Concert & Gala December 31, Zilkha Hall

Sounds of Simon and Garfunkel October 14 - 16

Very Merry Pops December 2 - 4

800 Bagby Street Houston, TX 77002 713 315-2400

Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox Nov 9, Sarofim Hall Jersey Boys November 15 - 20, Sarofim Hall

Haydn’s The Creation September 29 - October 2

Into the Woods December 6 - 18, Sarofim Hall


Mamma Mia! Oct 6 - Oct 9, Sarofim Hall Handel’s Jephtha October 15 - 16, Zilkha Hall

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Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto January 12 - 15, 2017


Jesse H. Jones Hall 615 Louisiana Street, Suite 100 Houston, TX 77002 713 227-4772 Seth MacFarlane September 4 Linda Eder Sings Judy Garland September 9 - 18 Mahler Symphony No. 1 September 24 - 25

Gershwin & Rachmaninoff January 27 - 29, 2017 Andrés & WestSide Story February 2 - 3, 2017 Yo-Yo Ma February 4, 2017

S C HEDU L E 5 1


1402 Sul Ross Houston, TX 77006 713 524-524-7601 Josephine Baker: A Personal Portrait September 30 Jason Moran October 7 St. Lawrence String Quartet October 28 Picasso and Music November 14 - 15 Cecile McLorin Salvant December 3 Jason Vieaux December 9 Arturo Sandoval January 20 Elias String Quartet January 31, 2017

Kacee Clanton as Janis Joplin in A Night With Janis Joplin Photo by Mark and Tracy Photography

Alley Theatre

615 Texas Avenue Houston TX 77002 713 220-5700 A Night with Janis Joplin September 1 - 18 Hand to God September 1 - 18 A Midsummer Night’s Dream October 11 - November 25 A Christmas Carol November 19 - December 29 The Santaland Diaries December 1 - 31 Dry Powder January 21 - February 12, 2017 Syncing Ink February 4 - March 2, 2017 Let the Right One In February 24 -March 19 Josephine Baker: A Personal Portrait. Julia Bullock, Soprano

HOUSTON GRAND OPERA 510 Preston St, Houston, TX 77002 713 546-0200 Studio Showcase September 11 - 13 The Elixir of Love October 21 - November 4 FAUST October 28 - November 11 It’s a Wonderful Life December 2 - 18 Nixon in China January 20 - 28, 2017 Requiem February 8 - 18, 2017

Elixir of Love, Washington National Opera. Photo by Brian Tarr

Layla arthouston 52

Layla Al-Bedawi E s s a y 5439


Elizabeth White-Olsen

“Penetrating the familiar is by no means a given. On the contrary, it is hard work.” – Vivian Gornick To write your memoir, consult with your relatives and make sure that they disagree with your version of the story. Make sure they disagree so strongly, ice forms on the chairs and table between you. Do not fear. Your loved ones’ disagreement is a sure sign that you are telling your truth. Walk out the door and pull off your parka, mittens, and scarf. Now it is time to visit your life. Head to your middle school, the one where the kids ambushed you behind the cedar. Take off your shoes. You might notice that the school’s hallways are steaming coals. This is a firewalk, but do not be afraid. Walk through it. When you reach the principal’s office and he narrows his bloated eyes at you, you can step into the pure air once again. Are your feet blistered? Good. You will need to build endurance for the rest of the trip. Now head south to the park where you first gave your heart away. Sit by the ghost of your lover. When you look into her eyes, do you feel your skin and your insides trickle apart into a stream and then into a cascade of salty water? Spread yourself across the lawn and be lost. Wait here until your lover’s shadow passes over you and the sun returns and calls you together as grass. Now rise as grass and reclaim your fingers and tongue and stretch and shake yourself into human skin. Walk naked through the street and accept the grimaces. Beneath your skin and hair, remember that you are still water, and that every slap can flow through you. Do not second-guess this part of the journey. You need to become something more than human to write what you must. Walk up the stairs to the office where you answered the phone that delivered the news that your father died, the room where death first detonated your heart. Search for the million bleeding pieces amidst the computers and filing cabinets. This exercise will be like hunting for strawberries in a parking lot: sorr y, they just do not grow here. Realize that lost hear t was too small for you, and through writing you will star t to grow a new one. Outside the off ice continue along the street until you reach the long, gray highway. This is the boredom of your life, all the detail s—the phone call s, the endless words, the random stupid lies and disillusionments that never mattered. The deadening meaninglessness you dread most. There is no beauty here, but you must f ind something of beauty before dying—a single flower, an abandoned shell , a bird off-course. Once you find it, you can go home. Now stand before your desk and strap on your fierce In-Ray vision goggles that let your human eyes withstand both the drowning darkn e s s a n d t h e b u r n i n g b r i g h t n e s s o f l i f e . S t r a p y o u r s e l f t o t h e c h a i r , b e c a u s e n o w y o u m u s t f a c e t h e r e a l t e s t : y o u m u s t s p e a k o f u g l i n e s s u n t i l y o u s e e t h e b e a u t y t h a t s h a p e s i t . N o w b e g i n .

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Antonio Lizárraga, Sem título, 1991 Brazilian Freijó wood, 12 5/8 x 12 5/8 x 12 5/8 in.

Nicholas Bodde, No. 1180 Circle, 2016 Oils and acrylic on aluminum, 31 1/2 in.

Antonio Lizárraga

Nicholas Bodde

Antonio Lizárraga (1924-2009) presented his first solo exhibition in the United States at Sicardi Gallery as a retrospective spanning 30 years of the artist’s work in painting, drawing, printmaking, and sculpture. Born in Buenos Aires, Lizárraga began his studies in 1946 at the Universidad Polytécnica de Madrid. In 1959, he moved to São Paulo, where he began working as an illustrator of the literary supplement for the journal O Estado de São Paulo. Throughout his career, Lizárraga looked to the shared implications of design, geometric painting, and poetry. His works in diverse mediums demonstrate the simple elegance of forms, as they create balance within a composition. This exhibition marks an exciting introduction for collectors and institutions. Lizárraga’s works are included in the collections: Biblioteca Brasiliana Guita e José Mindlin, São Paulo, Brazil; Fundação Padre Anchieta, São Paulo, Brazil; Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Universidade de São Paulo (MAC/ USP), Brazil; Museu de Arte Moderna (MAM), São Paulo, Brazil; and Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Brazil, among others.

At the end of our hot summer, German artist Nicholas Bodde showcased an exhibition titled Color Rhythm at Gallery Sonja Roesch. Nicholas Bodde’s concept is in the tradition of European Constructivism as well as Color Field Painting. He uses lacquered aluminum to create hard-edge abstractions that are beautiful in their simplicity and in their richness of color. Contrary to the outer geometric dimensions of his paintings related to Constructivism, the color choice is done intuitively. Bodde devotes himself to color, channeled into systematically constructed parallel lines and fields that spread across the polychrome picture base. He chooses strong contrasts and shapes. Nicholas Bodde (b. 1962 in New York) received his formal education from the University of Arts in Bremen in 1989 and has been exhibited in numerous solo and group shows across the world, including venues such as the Yeh Gallery in Seoul, Planat Art Gallery in Capetown, South Africa, Galerie Lahumiere in Paris and ArtBasel, several galleries in Germany, and the MADI Museum, Dallas, Texas, among many others. Nicholas Bodde currently lives and works in Bremen, Germany.

Sicardi Gallery

Gallery Sonja Roesch

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What’s more important is that we know you. Experience, study and intuition have taught us what matters most to you. Whether it’s in knowing the neighborhoods you find most desirable, the best places to invest your real estate dollars or the shared sentiments that make up the current state of the market, we take to heart the fact that you are the most important part of our business. Simply put, our greatest commitment is to knowing what you need and seeing how we can help.


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2228 Mechanic St. Suite 100 G a l ve s t o n , T X 7 7 5 5 0

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Art Car Museum September 10th, 7pm-10pm

84 artworks at the

140 Heights Blvd.

Houston’s City Hall December 5th, 4pm-6pm select works at

901 Bagby St. Rørpost Houston was made possible in part through the Houston City Hall’s City Initiative Grant, Houston Arts Alliance, Royal Danish Embassy, Art Car Museum, Art Chatter, Fiscal sponsor Fresh Arts, Blue Water Shipping, Savage Henry Films, ArtHouston Magazine, Aker Imaging and Boheme Café Cultured Cocktails. Rørpost Esbjerg and the Spring 2016 Rørpost Exhibitions in Esbjerg, Denmark were made possible in part by the Blå Døre, Esbjerg Kommune (Esbjerg City Hall), and UC SYD (University College South Denmark). Danish sponsors include Art Friends, Blue Water Shipping, INCADO, Marbækgaard, Kjærgaard Paprøp, Macrodot and Maskinmestrenes Forening.

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Te l l u s a l i t t l e a b o u t y o u r s e l f . I am from Houston, Texas. I went to UT and studied philosophy. I then moved to South Africa to teach young children and then I moved to Rotterdam, Holland immediately following. In Holland I worked for a painter and would gamble during the day and stay up most of the night working on various largescale paintings. I moved back to Houston in 2013 and started working in bars and doing freelance a/v work and install work for galleries and arts non-profits.

What upcoming project are you working on? I am working on a project at Lawndale called Lawndale Live with artists Philip Pyle and Maurice Duhon. It’s our take on late night talk shows in gallery setting. We highlight some of Houston’s major figures: politicians, artists, and musicians. Recently, I contributed to an album released by local artist Robert Hodge.

T h e m a t i c a l l y, w h a t i s y o u r w o r k u s u a l l y about? Why do you choose to focus on these issues? I like to focus on historical/political conceptual issues. I am focusing now on a suite of animations/drawings/ and poems that are sort of an imaginary historical fiction pulling from the vulgarities of our political past. My challenge is to draw this or represent these political themes in a video without sounding or coming off as overly didactic or preachy? That, I feel, is my task as an artist and that’s what the current work is about.

by Ariel Jones

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Give us your life story in less than 100 words. I was born in Pittsburgh, PA and grew up in Cleveland, OH. I got my BFA in Painting from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2010. I came to Houston not knowing anyone and was totally freaked out. But then I met my boyfriend, John, in graduate school and now we live together and have a cat. Her name is Agnes (after Agnes Martin). I received my MFA in Painting and Drawing in 2015 and now I teach at Houston Community College.

What do you try to express with your work? I’m most interested in abstraction, formalism, spacial relationships, color, and looking at things are all pretty common threads. Gender and sexuality are present as well by default through my material choices. I make things about how I experience what’s around me, and I have conflicted feelings about a lot of lady things. That tension is usually most prominent in the paintings.

How do you feel about the arts scene here? How has it changed? One of the main reasons I chose Houston for graduate school was for the art community. It’s a great city for young artists. The art community is welcoming and unintimidating. There are so many opportunities and room for artists to make their own spaces and opportunities. I’ve only lived here for four years, but have seen new galleries and expanded programming, which is always promising.

by Ariel Jones

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Gallery Listings + Exhibition Schedule BOOKER•LOWE GALLERY

d. m. allison gallery 2709 Colquitt 832 607-4378

capsule galley 3909 Main St. Houston TX 77002 713 807-7065

18 Hands Gallery 249 W. 19th St, Suite B 713 869-3099

4623 Feagan St. 713 880-1541

Cardoza Fine art Gallery 1320 Nance St. 832 548-0404 Paula Haymond, Vases

ARCHWAY GALLERY 2305 Dunlavy St. 713 522-2409

s e p t e mb e r Paula Haymond September 3 - 29 ​Opening: Sat. Sept. 10 o c t ob e r Harold Joiner October 1 - November 3 ​Opening: Sat. Oct. 1 Aerosol Warfare 2110 Jefferson 832 748-8369

aker imaging GALLERY 4708 Lillian St. 713 862-6343

The Antiquarium Gallery 3021 Kirby Drive 713 622-753

n o v e mb e r Liz Conces Spencer / Gene Hester November 5 - December 1​ Opening: Sat. Nov. 5 d e c e mb e r Andy / Virginia Bally December 3 - January 5​ Opening: Sat. Dec. 3 ARDEN GALLERY 2143 Westheimer, Suite B 713 371-6333 Art Palace 3913 Main St. 832 390-1278

Art league houston

Casa Ramirez Folk Art Gallery 241 West 19th St. 713-880-2420 Cavalier Fine Art 3845 Dunlavy St. 713 552-1416 Cindy Lisica Gallery 4411 Montrose Blvd. Suite F 832 409-1934

310 East 9th Street 713 869-4770 Galeria Regina 1716 Richmond Ave 713 523-2524

Galerie Spectra Memorial City Mall, 303 Memorial City Way, 832 656-9671 Gallery Sonja Roesch 2309 Caroline St 713 659-5424

Community Artists’ Collective 4101 San Jacinto Suite 115 713 523-1616 david shelton gallery 3909 Main St, 832 538-0924

1953 Montrose Blvd. 713 523-9530

Dean Day Gallery 2639 Colquitt St. 713 520-1021

4411 Montrose Blvd. 713 524-2299

Asher Gallery 4848 Main St. 713-529-4848

Deborah Colton Gallery

Apama Mackey Gallery 628 East 11th Street 713 850-8527

Barbara Davis Gallery 4411 Montrose Blvd. 713-520-9200

Arader Gallery 5015 Westheimer, #2303 713 621-7151

Bisong Gallery 1305 Sterrett St. 713 498-3015

Anya tish gallery


2445 North Blvd. 713 869-5151

DEVIN BORDEN GALLERY 3917 Main St. 713 529-2700

Dirk Rathke

The Gite Gallery 2024 Alabama St. 713 523-3311

GAlveston art center 2501 Market St. Galveston 409 763-2403

GrAy Contemporary 3508 Lake St. 713 862-4425

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Beauty? Who’s afraid of

I received an invitation from a friend to visit an art exhibit by a French Artist, Claire Basler. My friend said, “It is like nothing you have seen lately!” I agree. As I entered the unusual venue that houses stone mantels, clay floors and other impressive wares of that sort, I was captivated by the mystique and delicate exuberance of the paintings I saw for the first time. Some pieces floated above the massive French mantels made of who knows what stone that came from a château somewhere in France. The whole experience transported me to a time in my childhood. A time when looking at nature was a natural reflex and way to settle my brain. After following so much conceptual art lately I felt refreshed to see something so pure and unpretentious, pure aesthetic at its naked best. These lush and voluptuous representations of flowers and trees were truly unlike other paintings of nature I had seen. I felt a sense of peace and serenity as I took my time to observe the detail and the

BY Arthur Demicheli

texture of each portrait of the flowers. I cannot call these still lives; they are portraits. It seemed like the artist had an intimate relationship with each one of her subjects. This woman is a masterful painter who has remained faithful to her passion for nature and for oil painting for 40 years. Her artworks although unique and very contemporary, are a tribute to the old masters. There is no doubt as to why she has a strong following in Asia, in Russia and in Europe. Claire Basler’s paintings and murals have now planted their seeds in Texas and I am happy to have seen these works in person for they are truly “Beautiful” - a word that too many are afraid of in the art world. Claire Basler, Jardin Éternel / Eternal Garden, premiered US art exhibition last July at AlkusariStone in the Houston Design Center. The artist is represented in the U.S. by Yvonamor Palix Fine Arts, 281 - 467 - 6065,

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Gallery Listings + Exhibition Schedule Gremillion & Co. Fine Art, Inc. 2501 Sunset Blvd. 713 522-2701

Jack Meier Gallery 2310 Bissonnet 713 526-2983

Nicole Longnecker Gallery 2625 Colquitt St. 713 591-4997

Catherine Couturier Gallery

Nolan-Rankin Galleries 3637 W. Alabama St. Suite 140 713 528-0664

Jumper Maybach Fine Art Gallery & Emporium 238 W. 19th St., Suite C 832 523-4249

Octavia Art Gallery 3637 West Alabama Suite 120 713 877-1810

2635 Colquitt St. 713 524-5070

Joan Steinman, The Mill: Paintings of the Beaumont Rice Mill

HANNAH BACOL BUSCH GALLERY 6900 S. Rice Ave. 713 527-0523 Harris Gallery 1100 Bissonnet 713 522-9116

Hiram Butler Gallery 4520 Blossom St. 713 863-7097 Hooks-Epstein Galleries 2631 Colquitt St. 713 522-0718

Houston Center for Photography 1441 West Alabama Street 713 529-4755 Hunter Gorham Gallery 1834 1/2 Westheimer Rd. 713 492-0504 Inman Gallery 3901 Main St. 713 526-7800 Tracye Wear, Ivory Vessel #16

Koelsch Gallery 703 Yale 713-626-0175

McClain Gallery 2242 Richmond Ave. 713 520-9988

Meredith Long & Co. 2323 San Felipe 713 523-6671


2815 Colquitt St. 713 526-9911 september Tracye Wear Sept. 10 - Oct. 15 October Ed Wilson Oct. 22 - Nov. 26 december Pat Colville Dec. 3 - Jan. 7, 2017

Off the Wall GALLERY 5085 Westheimer Galleria II, Level II 713 871-0940

SAMARA GALLERY 3911 Main St. 713 999-1009


2000 Edwards St. Suite 117 713 724-0709

sicardi Gallery 2246 Richmond Ave. 713 529-1313

SIMPSON GALLERIES 6116 Skyline Dr. Ste. 1 713 524-6751 Texas Gallery 2012 Peden St. 713 524-1593

Parkerson Gallery 3510 Lake St. 713-524-4945

UNIX GALLERY 4411 Montrose Blvd. 713 874-1770

Peveto 2627 Colquitt Street 713 360-7098

William Reaves Sarah Foltz Fine Art

Poissant Gallery 5102 Center St. 713 868-9337 Post Gallery 2121 Sage, Suite 165 713 622-4241

2143 Westheimer Rd. 713 521-7500

Yvonamor Palix Fine Arts 1824 Spring St. 281 467-6065

REDBUD GALLERY 303 E. 11th St. 713-862-2532

Rudolph Blume Fine Art 1836 Richmond Avenue 713 807-1836 She Works Flexible 1709 Westheimer Road 713 522-0369

Claire Basler

Zoya Tommy 4102 Fannin St. 832 649-5814

news bits 65

Adela Andea, Primordial Garden, 2012, Photo courtesy of the artist

Sculpture Month Houston is a citywide event that celebrates and showcases sculpture throughout Houston. The campaign is hosted in numerous galleries and venues throughout the city. It will direct attention to the sculptural work, creative energies and diverse expressions of Houston sculptors. It will join a succession of existing art celebrations such as FotoFest, PrintMatters Houston and Houston Art Fair, adding to Houston’s reputation as an art friendly city. The last sculpture event was 16 years ago at Sculpture 2000 and with this project we hope to bring a current survey of the sculptural medium to the greater Houston area. We will be showcasing the emergence of a talented generation of young sculptors alongside our important established sculptors in a wide variation of styles,

reflecting the diversity of the city of Houston. The first-class collection of public sculpture has encouraged Houston sculptors to create works of great distinction and sophistication. Organizers are Volker Eisele, Sean Rudolph, and Antarctica Black (directors and manager respectively) at Rudolph Blume Fine Art / ArtScan Gallery and Tommy Gregory, artist and curator. One of the many participating venues, the Silos at Sawyer Yards, is excited to host a portion of this campaign in the unique honeycomblike base of the old grain silos. This particular Sculpture Month Houston exhibition at the Silos at Sawyer Yards is presented in partnership by the Washington Avenue Arts District. From October 15 through November 19, 2016,

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Iconoclasts: The Raphaële FlarE

“One of the big faults with artists

A Conversation Between Joe Aker and Raphaële

today is the fact that artists are terrible business people.”

e o J

r e k A

Before Joe Aker and Raphaële take their seats, Joe jokes, “When I first met her, she was dressed like a Mormon!” An obvious exaggeration for the colorful creative. Throughout her career, Raphaële has worn many hats: muse, magician, pioneer of photography manipulation (before the inception of Photoshop), jewelry maker. She also has an archive of her work in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian, with the help of long-time friend, Joe Aker. Aker picked up where Raphaële left off, processing pixel perfect digital transparencies, while manipulating the architecture of photography. Joe Aker You know when I first met you, what

happened was, I screwed up a job and it needed retouching. [A business associate] said there is only one person to go to for digital retouching, and that is Raphaële. So we walked in and you looked at the job, and you came up with a price… Which I thought was outrageous. Raphaële Did you see the hat right there

with the numbers?

Joe and Raphaële laugh joe Exactly. It was like 1,500 dollars. I said, ‘Is this really what it’s going to cost me to fix this work?’ And [my associate] said, ‘Yeah. Whatever Raphaële says, Raphaële gets.’ Raphaële And you’re glad you did it!

i c o n o cl a s t 67




joe It came out beautiful. My client loved it. Raphaële saved my ass. Raphaële That was a big quote among photographers

back then.

joe One of the things that helped me in business was the fact that I didn’t go to art school first. In order to stay out of Vietnam, I went to business school and got a degree in marketing. The marketing degree gave me a basis in business: as far as accounting and selling. One of the big faults with artists today is the fact that artists are terrible business people, for the most part.


h ap

e l ë a

“Many times

Raphaële Yes. joe There are a few that aren’t, but I learned a lot from Raphaële about business.

we had to think way beyond what we thought the

One is that you price your work for what it’s worth, and to make a certain amount of profit. Raphaële I’ll tell you why it was easy to price it relatively high is because we had so much

client could perceive.”

investment, and we just put in tons and tons of money — first for the staff, and then the equipment and expenses. We had to recoup our investment.

joe When I started in business, I remembered Raphaële doing digital and I brought her many

jobs over the years.

Raphaële My digital was top secret. joe It was top secret for many years. Remember the oranges we shot down in the valley — four or five, six trucks of oranges. u

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Raphaële Ohh! That was your job? Oranges in the

vendor, trust the artistry, the image-maker, then they can give you some lead way.

joe Yeah, oranges in the trucks… And they were all green! So I said, ‘Raphaële, what can you do?’ And she looked at it and she said, “$1,800”

joe Before digital, you worked with two prints and you did airbrushing or you would take two transparencies to size and would cut the emulsion, pull emulsion out and put emulsion in.


Raphaële And we turned every single one of those

oranges, orange!

joe That was in 1980 or 1981 Raphaële My first transparency retouch was in 1980

and I’ll never forget because I delivered the job to Olgilvy & Mather downtown. It was for a Tanqueray ad. I was shaking in my boots, because if you were to look with a microscope you could see faint scanning lines. They didn’t know what to look for, so they looked with the magnifying — ‘Yeah, that looks good!’ I had no idea what I’d gotten into.

joe I do remember a time when we were morphing a building into a composition and it wouldn’t fit. I didn’t line it up right. You said, ‘Come back tomorrow.’ I came back the next day, and it was perfect. Raphaële We had to create a program just for that.

We’d never had that need before. Which is wonderful. This is how we evolve, with clients having specific requests and creating a program from time to time to satisfy the demand.

joe If we did a job with Raphaële, it was as good a job as you could do. It was perfect. Raphaële had that perfectionism thing. She made sure it was right when it came out and if it wasn’t right, she corrected it. Raphaële Absolutely. Many times we had to think way

beyond what we thought the client could perceive.

joe I think one of the things that we learned was to communicate what we wanted. It was that communication between the two of us, which is really important between the client and the vendor. Raphaële I agree. Until that communication is

established, it’s just a vague murky mess. We did a lot of work in Hollywood, specifically for Universal Studios. The art director would be very specific. He was great to work with. He knew exactly what he wanted, but then he would say, ‘You know what I want most? I want the Raphaële flare.’ Every time. So basically, the trust is what’s so important. Once the client knows they can trust the

Raphaële That was another nightmare! If you had

to remove a thing that was darker than the background, then you had to remove some of the thin emulsions layers individually, then rebuild by hand without showing the brush strokes. This is what started the whole digital process. I was invited to a laser demonstration by one of the inventors of the lasers at Rice University. There was a demonstration with three balloons, one inside the other. The purpose was to destroy the innermost without affecting the other two. Strangely enough, this is what started the whole process and evolved the business that we went into. Then, it was time for programmers and engineers to make it happen. There was nothing like it on the market, we had to create everything— the hardware and the software. We were the pioneers.

joe I think you sold it to the KGB in Russia. There were rumors of that. Raphaële I was having lunch at an Indian place with

Joe and I said, ‘You know, I’m so sentimental. I have all of the archives from the studios. I have samples. I have before and after. I have proofs from the clients. I cannot possibly trash it. This is my work. This is my life.’ And Joe says, ‘Of course you shouldn’t throw it away, it has historical value!’ I said, ‘Yeah, but what do I do?’ He said, ‘Let’s go to your storage space and see.’ After a meticulous selection, we ended up with a big stack and Joe said, ‘Okay, let me take it from here.’ And, oh my gosh! Joe took it to the Smithsonian Institute and the Smithsonian said, ‘Yes, we want all of it for the historical photography department.’

joe Coincidently just before Raphaële, the UH library came after me and took my first 20 years of architectural photography. They took 200 boxes of transparencies. There is a special collection in the UH Library, Joe C. Aker Architectural Archive. And they’re going to take the rest when I die. I think it’s important to find a place to archive work like ours and preserving it for future generation. Raphaële Some of the work that you do is so excep-

tional and so new. For example, I love the work that you did in Barcelona. It is so sensual, but at the same time, it is completely architectural so there is a gut-feeling


You had to do more than rub a lantern’s belly to create this image. Raphaële used many images to make this composite. Art direction by Linda Hofheinz. Photography by Ron Scott

“If we did a job with Raphaële, it was as good a job as you could do. It was perfect.” aspect to it. It’s not just having a camera and knowing how to use it. You have to have an eye to be able to see what you see in those. I love that series. joe As my career as an architectural photographer

was winding down, I picked back up on the artistic side. I have a piece that’s going up in the George R. Brown. I have four or five art installations and [my lab], the last one in Southern Texas, I’ve gone into fine art and own a photography gallery. Raphaële has gone into necklaces, which she now travels 1,000 different places just to buy stuff for her necklaces and she’s become one of the people around the city that does jewelry on a

regular basis. They sell well and people love it. Raphaële And I love making it, that’s much more


joe Over the years that we’ve known each other, I think more than anything else, is what we’ve been able to do — I don’t think we would have had any of that if we didn’t have the communication. Raphaële Communication leads to the trust. That’s the

biggest salvation, once you have that, then you can mold your work right and it will come out looking good.

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Niki Serakiotou

Suzette Schutze

Luisa Duarte

Gretchen Bender Sparks

Maria Hughes

Matthew Gantt

Vicki Hessemer

Nichole Dittmann

Lily Gavalas

Lisa Hardcorn

Valentina Atkinson

Rolando Rojas

Nataliya Scheib

Lynn Sullivan

Darlene Abdouch

Studio 110 713-992-1327

Studio 106 713-689-9709

Studio 117 713-724-0709

Studio 306 281-881-8981

Studio 121 713-504-9118

Studio 208 713-223-2219

Studio 122 281-857-5028

Studio 214 713-444-7562

Studio 218 713-501-7290 FB-Nichole Dittmann Jewelry Designs

Studio 115 571-212-9279

Studio 119 713-859-7143 FB - Lily Gavalas

Studio 211 281-520-1349

Studio 302 713 -724-0709

Studio 301 832-930-0109

Studio 306 713-569-8346

where art lovers and artists connect visit artists’ studios every second saturday of the month

2000 Edwards st. Houston, TX 77007

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“The desire of the Open The Door program is to spread the knowledge that through creative activity, art can help the healing process. PTSD sufferers military as well as nonmilitary - and those who are affected by other behavioral issues need creative outlets to help cope with daily stressors.” BY Karine Parker-Lemoyne & Cody Vance P h o t o g r a p h y b y L u i s M . G a r z a

VET art Veterans benefit from Open the Door art program

A f t e r i t s t r e m e n d o u s success in Houston, the Texan-French Alliance for the Arts public art program Open the Door has come to San Antonio for a public and healing art veterans’ program. San Antonio was selected for the Open the Door Veterans’ pilot program due to its long history of veteran support as “Military City USA.” Altogether, veterans represent over 10% of San Antonio’s population. The door is a strong, universal symbol of transition and progression. Our veterans’ experience significant transitions when they return from combat operations, as they resume the role of parent and spouse following a prolonged absence, and as they leave military service to return to a civilian lifestyle. The Open the Door Veterans’ program uses art as a visual dialogue between veterans, local artists, and members of the community. Installing the doors in public spaces enables the creation of a supportive

Ess ay 7 3

“Our pilot program had one mandate, one question to answer; can art provide healing to PTSD sufferers? Absolutely. There is not a single person in the program that hasn’t been strongly affected by the experience; it positively and permanently affected the lives of everyone involved.“ - Cody Vance network for veterans and expands their dialogue throughout San Antonio and its communities. This citywide public art program provides a platform for veterans to express themselves and begin the healing process. Painted on one side of the doors are artistic interpretations of the experiences that the veterans want to share with their community, while the other side of the doors depicts the community’s visual responses to the veterans’ messages. These painted doors are the end product of a deliberate creative process, including therapeutic workshops, an exhibition documenting the veterans’ journey, and a public art installation that activates interaction between veterans and their community. Kim Bishop and Luis Valderas are San Antonio educators, artists and curators from Art to the Third Power. “At first we were a little skeptical when the Southwest

School of Art and the Texas French Alliance for the Arts approached Luis and me asking if Art To The Third Power wanted to spear head this project. But when we found out that it involved working with veterans we couldn’t wait. The premise of the Open the Door project is to build bridges between the community, artists and veterans suffering with PTSD. Not only to help Veterans transition to civilian life but to help the civilian community understand the struggle of those suffering from PTSD. Luis and I put together five teams each consisting of an artist, a community activist and a veteran to create five public installation pieces out of large metal doors. In order to make this work we designed and conducted four team building workshops using art and artistic practices to help our teams jell. The results and the feedback from all involved have been overwhelming. Even our psychologists have stated that

they could not have gotten the same results in such a short period of time. In the end we have all bonded as team, mentored each other in ways we couldn’t have imagined and created some amazing works of art. I can’t wait to see them on exhibit and to see the reactions of the participants as they experience the adrenaline rush of an art show. The next step after this is to expand the pilot program to benefit more veterans and bring in more community participation.” Partners in this project include: The City of San Antonio, The Consulate General of France in Houston, The Southwest School of Art, AMEDD Museum/JBSA Fort Sam Houston, Café Commerce, Jerry’s Artarama, University of Texas San Antonio, and Art to the Third Power. Cody Vance is San Antonio Open the Door pilot program manager, Air Force veteran and professional artist. Karine Parker-Lemoyne is the Director of the Texan-French Alliance for the Arts.

a rt h o usto n 74


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a r tahrot uh sotuosnt o7n6 7 6


Renata Lucia


These talented featured artists are creating incredible masterpieces with great skills, and right here in your neck of the wood. There’s no need to look beyond the local creative scene in Houston for amazing and beautiful art.

tami merrick

Valentina Atkinson 713 724 0709

e x p o s u r7 e7 7 7

Carol McKee

713-503-7841 Winter Street Studios, A14

erik Hagen

The Silos 308

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artH o u s t o n P u bl i s h e r - E d i t o r

John Bernhard

E d i t o r - a t- l a r g e

Shannon Rasberry


john Bernhard

Contributing writers

Robert A. Schaefer Jr. World Trade Towers seen from the Brooklyn Bridge, Cyanotype print.

William Ropp • Philippe Pache Xavier Zimbardo • Robert A. Schaefer, Jr. Ann Marie Rousseau • Henrik Saxgren John Bernhard • Lynn Bianchi • Virgil Brill We also have vintage prints for sale from: Laryew • Jack Lowe • Nan Goldin Dan Weiner • Jack Delano • Ralph Gibson Ruth Bernhard • Jock Sturges John Everhard • Donna Ferrato

For inquiries contact Lisa 713 628 9547

Jody T. Morse Holly Walrath Layla Al-bedawi Morgan Cronin Karine Parker-lemoyne K. Pica Kahn Jacqueline Patricks Renata lucia Sukhata tatke ariel Jones Arthur Demicheli curlee raven holton Elizabeth white-olsen


Hall Puckett Nathan Lindstrom

typeset in

leto sans & Miller banner

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De Frog Gallery

fine art photography representation

ArtHouston magazine’s advertising sales agents sell more than advertising space!

They sell ART!

Looking for enthusiastic

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Join the team


co ntact us

ArtHouston is published semiannually by Art Houston Magazine, LLC. ©Copyright 2016. All right reserved. The entire contents of ArtHouston may not be reproduced in any matter, either in part or in whole, without written permission from the publisher. In addition, the artists within hold copyrights on their images and essays. Any use of or copying of their works without their written permission is in violation of the copyright law. Art Houston Magazine, LLC. is not responsible in any way for mispellings, omissions, incorrect phone numbers or addresses. Unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, and other materials must be accompanied by postage and a self-addressed return envelope. ArtHouston is not responsible for unsolicited submissions. Address all correspondence to: ArtHouston Magazine, 217 Knox St. Houston, TX 77007.

c o l o p h o n 7799

Co n t r ibu t o r s Shannon Rasberry editor

Shannon Rasberry is a copywriter and graphic designer from Houston who has worked in the marketing, advertising, and publishing industries since 1999. Since 2007, Shannon has been a creative services consultant for everything from startups to global energy companies. He holds an MA in Humanities from the University of Houston. He is an avid fan of art, film, and books. He currently lives in Clear Lake with his wife, Maria.

K. Pica Kahn writer, reporter

K. Pica Kahn has been a freelance reporter and author for 25 years writing for the Houston Chronicle, Texas Monthly and the Houston Business Journal. With a father from France, she spent summers in Europe with her family, and now works as an International Interculturalist giving workshops on the difference in cultures to oil and gas companies. For 25 years, she has worked as an artist.

Nathan Lindstrom Photographer

Nathan Lindstrom is a commercial portrait and lifestyle photographer based in Houston with clients from all over the world. Having grown up in Iowa and lived in Argentina and Spain, Lindstrom draws on his experiences for inspiration. His work was included in two shows during the last FotoFest exhibition. Lindstrom has a studio in Silver Street Studios and lives with his wife and their dog, Kirby.

Jody T. Morse

Morgan Cronin



Jacqueline Patricks

Layla Al-Bedawi

Multi-genre writer Jody T. Morse freelances for local and national publications such as ArtHouston, TexasLiving and Verbatim Poetry. She won WILDsound Festival’s One-Page story contest in May 2016 and is a regular blog contributor for the Luna Station Quarterly speculative fiction site. Jody is a member of Writespace and is an editorial assistant for Writership.


A PAN member of RWA and winner of the Seal of Good Writing from the IndiePendents for her first published novel, Dreams of the Queen, writing became Jacqueline’s passion as a teen. Life took a winding path for her, leading her through the Army, college, over 20 years as a paramedic, teaching, and all the death-defying adventures in between. Meanwhile she memorized it all and continued to write.

Karine Parker-Lemoyne Curato r, educato r

Karine Parker-Lemoyne is a Texan-French curator, visual artist, educator and community developer. She currently runs the Texan-French Alliance for the Arts. Some of the major projects she developed include Go West 1 at UNESCO in Paris, the Houston citywide “Open the Door” public art program, and in 2015 “From A Space to A Place” that strives to meet the challenges of increasing urbanization.

Morgan Cronin is a freelance writer. She is a regular contributor for The Culture Trip and is actively involved with the Houston-based nonprofit, Writespace. She received a B.A. in Journalism from the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma. She is passionate about art, travel, music, culture, literature and film. She currently lives in New York City.

writer, poet

Layla Al-Bedawi is a writer, poet, freelance translator, and bookbinder (among other things) currently liv​ ing​ in Houston. ​She is originally from Germany; ​English is her third language, but she’s been dreaming in it for years. Her work has been featured or is forthcoming in Strange Horizons, Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, Crab Fat Magazine, and elsewhere. Find her on Twitter under @frauleinlayla and at​

Hall Puckett Photographer

Hall Puckett is a photographer based in Houston. Early on when friends and family asked him what he was going to do with a major in psychology and a minor in photography his response was “I guess I’ll just have to take pictures of crazy people!” Funny how things work out. He currently lives off the north loop in a “transitional neighborhood” with his wife, two rescue dogs, and a cat named Lalo.

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editor’s pick


Sebastien Boileau

After a Bastille Day celebration was transformed into a nightmare in Nice; France still mourns for the victims of this atrocity, and its sister city, Houston, continues to feel the pain of this tragedy. This mural on Smith St. and Elgin St. illustrates at best how artists can touch your heart with art. And to paraphrase Edgar Degas: Art is not what you see, but what you make others see. Sebastien “Mr.D” Boileau, French American Street Artist since 1987, said “L’enfant et le Drapeau exposes the powerless innocence of a child and questions our legacy and the future altogether. This French flag memorial is in Houston, but the problem and the grieving is global. We are now aware of the danger of terrorism and the degrading situation worldwide, but what are we doing to change the course, and what will be the role of the Art community?” Photography by Maritere Rice.