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{ FOTOFEST BIENNIAL }

{ MOTHER DOG }

{ OUTSIDER ART }

{ ROYAL ARTS }

{ HOUSTON PRINTING MUSEUM }

artH O U S T O N V I S U A L A RT S , C U LT U R E , R E V I E W S

ISSUE 06


Illustration by Mike LLewellyn


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Photo by F. Carter Smith

PUBLISHER’S LETTER 3

“Photography is a small voice, at best, but sometimes one photograph, or a group of them, can lure our sense of awareness.” — W. Eugene Smith In this Spring issue, our feature story focuses on FotoFest, the first and longest-running international Biennial of Photography and New Media Art in the United States. Comprehensively written by Holly Walrath, it provides valuable insight into the organization and the people behind it. I’d like to personally commend Fotofest for having the vision to present six-week citywide exhibitions every two years, exploring the creative core of photography. This is not another mundane photo festival, it is a vital part of Houston’s artistic landscape. Another must-read is the groundbreaking exhibition Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India that brings centuries of royal treasures from Jodhpur, India, to the U.S. for the first time at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, coincidentally in perfect sync with the FotoFest 2018 theme dedicated to INDIA. Additionally, our contributing writer Sabine Casparie explores the current trend of Houston artists and gallerists who take their art to new avenues in her article titled The Road Less Travelled. I’d also like to sing the praises of the incredible people at ArtHouston, our writers and photographers, who work diligently in order to make the magazine a physical reality. Together, our goal is simply to rekindle the essence and appreciation that drew you to art in the first place. Yours Faithfully. John Bernhard, Publisher


E. Dan Klepper, One Hundred Moons, 36X36

ARTHOUSTON

E. DAN KLEPPER: THE WEST TEXAS MYSTIQUE A 2018 Fotofest International Exhibition On view : April 13–May 5, 2018

2143 WESTHEIMER ROAD

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CONTENTS

PUBLISHER’S LETTER 3

NEWS BITS 6

14 FEATURE

FotoFest 2018 - Paving the Future of Photography Holly Walrath

BOOK REVIEWS 11 COUPS DE CŒUR 12 MUSEUM ART DISTRICT 48 GALLERY LISTINGS 50 PERFORMING ARTS SCHEDULE 56 REVIEWS 60

* YE TORRES 72 * A L EX RA M O S 74

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Texas Biennial Sabine Casparie 26

From the Mother Meghan Hendley-Lopez 30

Inside the Outside Art in Texas John Bernhard 36

Cross-Pollination Jill Boyles 38

The Road Less Travelled Sabine Casparie

EXPOSURE 76 COLOPHON 79 EDITOR’S PICK 80

* Fresh Arts’ interviews

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The Royal Arts of Jodhpur Arthur Demicheli 62

Houston Printing Museum Jody T. Morse 68

Black Beauty Matthew Backer 5 5 ESS AY

Poem 132 ON THE COVER: Shilpa Gupta (Mumbai, India) Untitled, (Detail) 2008. From the series Don’t See Don’t Hear Don’t Speak. ©Shilpa Gupta. Courtesy of the artist FotoFest 2018 Biennial exhibition at The Menil Collection March 10—23, 2018

Beth Tunnell 66

Inspiring Community Through Hope, Arts and Education Karine Parker-Lemoyne

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News Bits

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BAYOU TRAILS COLLABORATION WITH CITY PARKS

Houston Arts Alliance

Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) has announced the selected awardees for Bayou Trails, a special creative placemaking project funded by the National Endowment for the Arts’ Our Town initiative, as well as The Brown Foundation, Wells Fargo, and the City of Houston. Through Bayou Trails, HAA brings community-responsive arts program to three signature parks that reside along lower Brays Bayou: Mason Park, MacGregor Park, and Hermann Park. “The Bayou Trails project is an example of parks, neighborhoods, and artists collaborating on interesting and innovative projects,” says Houston Arts Alliance CEO, John Abodeely. “The Alliance is honored to help empower these impressive individuals and organizations to create and serve the community.” The selected awardees working in Mason Park are Celestina Cardona Billington, Matt Fries, Julian Luna, and Chris Stevens. Their communityresponsive and multidisciplinary project, Sacred Voice of The Bayou, will be anchored by a temporary installation in the park’s gazebo. Using LEDs, steel, lights, and sound, the structure will invigorate the imaginations of park visitors as they approach the glowing space, viewing themselves in the mirror-reflection of the stainless steel. Selected awardees working in MacGregor Park are Lisa E. Harris and Young Audiences Houston. Their project, Free Time Flow at Macgregor Park, celebrates the intersections of improvisation, performance, free expression, and athleticism. Free Time Flow brings together lead artist, composer and vocalist, Lisa E. Harris and Young Audiences of Houston, a nonprofit arts organization, and will feature weekend workshops by several nationally-recognized performance artists. Selected awardees working in Hermann Park are Tami Merrick and Nicola Parente. Their project, Color Bursting Hermann Park, is an infusion of color in celebration of the Spring Equinox to engage the community. The project occurs in five movements of dance, music, and temporary public art. Temporary pieces include wrapping vividly colored, synthetic ribbon on some 35 trees throughout the park. A second piece will involve about 60 tree vests, which will be scattered along walking trails to enhance public attention. Families will help to create these vests. Projects are scheduled to happen throughout spring and conclude by May, 2018.

ALABAMA/TEXAS ART EXCHANGE

Mobile Museum of Art/Houston Baptist University Art Gallery Mobile Museum of Art collaborates with Houston Baptist University Art Gallery in Houston, Texas, to create an “exchange” program of contemporary art exhibitions featuring the work of artists from their respective states, presented concurrently at each venue. The exhibition is organized and selected by Jim Edwards, Director and Curator of HBU’s Contemporary Art Gallery, and will be on view at MMofA, January 26 to July 8, 2018. The work presented at MMofA includes 9 Houston Artists: HJ Bott, Pat Colville, Ibsen Espada, Virgil Grotfeldt, Michael Kennaugh, Arielle Masson, Steve Murphy, Susan Plum, and Arthur Turner.

Kate Hush, I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair, 2015. 8mm Italian glass tubing filled with argon and neon gas, animated 120v power supplies. 50 x 40 x 2.5 inches. Photo by Shahryar Kashani.

LIGHT CHARMER: NEON AND PLASMA IN ACTION

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft This Spring, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) presents Light Charmer: Neon and Plasma in Action, a group show featuring artists who create a spectacle of light, color, and movement through neon and plasma sculpture and performance. Viewers will be enchanted by the variety of glowing artworks on display. While the advertising world has largely abandoned neon signage in favor of LEDs and fluorescent lighting, many contemporary artists have embraced the dynamic mediums of neon and plasma, challenging common misconceptions that these materials are only suitable for two-dimensional art. “In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in the aesthetic of neon art and signage. However, few people realize the level of hand skill and scientific knowledge that it requires,” says HCCC Curator Kathryn Hall. “Through experimentation with blown-glass forms, unique gas compositions, and the interplay of light and sound, these artists demonstrate new and exciting potential for a material that has been in a state of commercial decline.” As a throwback to the neon of a bygone era, Brooklyn artist Kate Hush puts a new spin on animated signs by addressing feminist issues through the flashy aesthetic of the material. Her femme fatales reference the dangerous and tragic women that once dazzled the silver screens of film noir. Her recent body of work responds to the absurd female stereotype of the crazy, unstable woman and plays into the fantasy of the dangerous vixen. For instance, in I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair (2015), the artist straddles the line between the mundane and psychotic, leaving it ambiguous as to whether the large red drops originating from the young woman’s head are hair dye or blood. The blinking lights generated by the animation of the piece only increase its dramatic effect. Other artists in the show are enthralled by the science of these luminous materials. In their purest form, noble gases produce different colors and, when combined, create a wide spectrum of possible light effects, as exemplified by the works on view. Plasma is a perfect medium for artists who want to incorporate performance into their works, as the electrons in the material collide into one another, creating a series of explosive effects. On view until May13, 2018.


NEWS BITS 7

MODERNISM ON THE GANGES: RAGHUBIR SINGH PHOTOGRAPHS

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Sidewalk Cinema continues at Main Street Square with two video works by Brian Bress. Photo by Morris Malakoff

Raghubir Singh, Subhas Chandra Bose Statue, Calcutta, West Bengal, 1986, chromogenic print. © 2018 Succession Raghubir Singh

Raghubir Singh pushed the genre of street photography into a world of living color. Born in Jaipur, Rajasthan, to an aristocratic Indian family, Singh (1942–1999) lived in Hong Kong, Paris, London, and New York—but his eye was perpetually drawn back to his native India. The retrospective Modernism on the Ganges: Raghubir Singh Photographs traces the full trajectory of the visionary photographer’s career through nearly 90 images, from his early work in the late 1960s to his last, unpublished projects of the late 1990s. After starting his career as a photojournalist, Singh soon began to pursue an artistic vision that stood, as he put it, “on the Ganges side of Modernism.” Singh was deeply influenced by the work of famed French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson and the cinematic vision of Bengali filmmaker Satyajit Ray. Yet unlike his artistic role models, Singh was never tempted to shoot in black and white. Working with a handheld camera and color slide film, he recorded India’s dense milieu in complex, frieze-like compositions: teeming with incident, fractured by reflections, and often framed by the curved windows of India’s iconic car, the Ambassador. March 3 - June 3, 2018

WAR-TOYS: Israel, West Bank, and Gaza Strip The UHCL Art Gallery

Since 2011, Los Angeles-based artist Brian McCarty has been traveling to war zones and refugee camps in the Middle East to conduct art-based interviews with children affected by armed conflict. Boys and girls are invited to become art directors for McCarty’s photographs of locally found toys, recreating their experiences through a deconstructive filter of play. McCarty works in the field with an art therapist in coordination with nongovernmental organizations and United Nations agencies to ensure the safety of the children – and to plant some seeds of resilience. The exhibition at the University of Houston Clear Lake Art Gallery, the artist’s first solo show in Texas, displays 17 of the children’s drawings presented alongside 21 of McCarty’s photographs. The exhibited works convey the horrors of war, simultaneously giving voice to the innocent who might not otherwise have had a channel from which to express their accounts. Through March 15, 2018

RE:CONSTRUCTION McClain Gallery

re:construction, is a group exhibition that explores and encourages the dialogues between form and function, art and design, abstraction, extraction and representation by bringing together 10 distinct artists. Through various mediums and perspectives, these artists have a preoccupation with the methods of building form, whether intended to serve a function or result in a non-traditional object. The exhibition energizes the visual and textural dialogue between these fields, and in turn extends our appreciation of these formal and intuitive relationships. On view until March 31, 2018, www.mcclaingallery.com.

From left: re:construction exhibition includes: Leon Polk Smith, Untitled, 1955, and Marcel Gascoin, Chaise CB, 1951. Photos courtesy Gascoin Archives, Paris.


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in(di)visible

SPRING BIANNUAL

Station Museum of Contemporary Arts

Sawyer Yards

The Station Museum of Contemporary Art is presenting in(di)visible, an exhibition examining immigration, the residual effects of war, and the implications of assimilation, integration, and invisibility for Asian Americans. From the intergenerational trauma of war and the impossibility of articulating what is lost between generations to the legacy of federal policies such as the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. This first law was implemented to prevent a specific ethnic group from immigrating to the United States, with Executive Order 9066 in 1942, which authorized the forced relocation and incarceration of between 110,000 and 120,000 people of Japanese descent, 62 percent of which were United States citizens. Reinforced through systematic subjugation and discrimination, the myth of the ‘model minority’ obscures the lived experiences of people perceived as Asian in America and is often used as a wedge between them and other marginalized groups. A pervasive disconnect exists between Hollywood depictions of Asian people in America and the breadth and variety of the people inhabiting those realities. Within the American mass media directed cultural narrative, accurate or compre-

Houston’s largest creative campus will once again open their doors for a vibrant evening filled with art during the Sawyer Yards Spring Biannual Art Stroll. More than 300 artists from The Silos, Winter Street, Spring Street, Silver Street and Summer Street invite the public to view and shop thousands of original works while meeting the artists and enjoying a fantastic array of paintings, sculptures, ceramics, glass, photography, mosaic, mixed media and jewelry. April 28, 4 – 9 p.m.

BEETHOVEN FOR ALL DA CAMERA

DA CAMERA CONTINUES FREE CONCERT SERIES BEETHOVEN FOR ALL THIS SPRING. Da Camera of Houston, a promoter and producer of chamber music and jazz concerts, continues its 2017–18 30th anniversary season No Place Like Home with a series of Beethoven for All concerts in the spring. This free Beethoven string quartet cycle takes inspiration from the Beethoven cycle performed by the Juilliard Quartet during Da Camera’s first season in 1988–89, and includes free performances at a variety of venues, from museums and performance halls to schools and hospitals. Complete Beethoven string quartet cycle will perform through June 6th 2018. For more information about Beethoven for All, visit www.dacamera.com.

Calliope String Quartet. Courtesy of the artists. Photography by Whitney Radley

hensive depictions of daily life are almost never platformed while the oppression of Asian American people as a political entity is rarely highlighted outside of the context of comedy. These artists use their experiences to bring visibility and add nuance to the cultural understanding of Asians in America. February 3 – April 22, 2018

Lien Truong, … and still we banter with the Devil, Mutiny in the Garden series, 2017, oil, silk, acrylic, 24k gold antique obi thread on canvas

THE FUTURE IS CERTAIN; IT’S THE PAST WHICH IS UNPREDICTABLE Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston

This exhibition is about the perception of time and history, about how the past can reassert itself in the present and the future. The old Soviet joke serving as its title is an entry point, an ironic comment on the general state of mind in the USSR during a time when the country attempted to reshape nearly all aspects of life. In the late 1920s, the Soviet Union introduced ambitious 5-year plans for economic development to govern its vast territories, which stretched from Central Europe to the Far East through. February 17–March 24 and June 1–August 11, 2018. www.blafferartmuseum.org Tacita Dean, The Russian Ending, 2001 (Ship of Death) Gravure on paper 21 1/4 × 31 1/4 inches. Courtesy of Peter Blum Gallery, New York


DANCE SALAD FESTIVAL Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Zilkha Hall Now celebrating the 23rd anniversary in Houston and the 26th season since its inception in Brussels, Belgium, Dance Salad Festival promises another gathering of world-class performers. Famous in their own countries, classical, modern and contemporary dance companies/dancers share the Dance Salad Festival stage to form a mix of movement and compelling choreography. Dance Salad Festival will present two different takes on Shakespeare’s epic love story. Royal Swedish Ballet will show a Houston premiere of the Balcony pas de deux from Mats Ek’s Julia & Romeo, set to selected works by Tchaikovsky, while Ballet Zurich will show a US premiere by Artistic Director, Christian Spuck, who spins the same story yet under its traditional title of Romeo and Julia set to the widely used score of Prokofiev, also presenting the Balcony pas de deux. 1. Mats Ek’s Julia & Romeo: Ek, master of reinterpretation of the great classics into contemporary dance says: “It’s time to turn the tables…I tried to go back to the source, which is Shakespeare—but before that was an Italian short story called Juliet and Romeo. If you read the play, the major conflict takes place in the family of Juliet… With something we know so well, the title also becomes almost a label, and to turn it around may open the door to rethinking it.” 2. Christian Spuck’s Romeo and Julia: set to Prokofiev’s score was the first ballet created for Ballett Zurich after he was appointed as Artistic Director in 2012, holding a special place in his heart. Spuck says: “Romeo and Juliet has followed me throughout my life… The first ballet music I ever heard was Prokofiev’s score, and I still think it is the most exciting and moving ballet music that exists.” 3. Spellbound Contemporary Ballet, Rome, will mark its 4th appearance in Dance Salad Festival with a Houston premiere of the curated version of Rossini Ouvertures, comic and imaginative

NEWS BITS 9

piece set to music by Gioachino Rossini and choreographed by company Artistic Director, Mauro Astolfi. 4. Dresden Semperoper Ballett, Germany, makes its 5th appearance at Dance Salad Festival with David Dawson’s Pas de Deux from On the Nature of Daylight set to music by Max Richter. On the Nature of Daylight is Dawson’s one of the most well known and long lived works that explores the eternal theme of love: “It is something we all seek in life: true love. 5. Guillaume Cote, Principal Dancer of the National Ballet of Canada, Toronto and Friedemann Vogel, Principal Dancer of Stuttgart Ballet, Germany, will perform Maurice Béjart’s Songs of a Wayfarer (Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen) set to the music of Gustav Mahler, created in 1971 for Rudolf Nureyev and Paolo Bortoluzzi. It tells an expressive story of a romantic wanderer set on a journey full of adversity and solitude, confronting his own Destiny. 6. Norwegian National Ballet, Oslo, will perform a US premiere of Imitations, an energetic creation that explores the role of gender and traditional forms in art among other interesting questions. Imitations was created by Houston Ballet’s former choreographer Garrett Smith, and is set to music by Michael Gordon. 7. Guillaume Hulot’s BEANS and Tuning Another Being will be premiered in USA by dancers from Spain, USA, Germany and Japan. BEANS tells the story and the journey of a tormented soul isolated and denied by love, seeking a way back to is owner. 8. ODC, San Francisco, will debut in Dance Salad Festival with a curation of boulders and bones choreographed by Brenda Way, Founder and Artistic Director of ODC and KT Nelson, Co-Artistic Director. PERFORMANCES: March 29, 30 and 31, 7:30 PM, in the new location Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Zilkha Hall, 800 Bagby. TO BUY TICKETS, $25-$58 go to www.dancesalad.org

Clockwise from left: BEANS choreographed by Guillaume Hulot. Photo by Simon Wachte. SMALL Raphael Coumes-Marquet and Yumiko Takeshima On the Nature of Daylight choreographed by David Dawson. Photo by Shinji Suzuki. Royal Swedish Ballet in Julia & Romeo choreographed by Mats Ek. Photo by Royal Swedish Ballet.


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4550 POST OAK PLACE DRIVE, SUITE 180, HOUSTON, TEX AS

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BOOK REVIEWS

Outsider Art in Texas: Lone Stars

The Journey

ARTHUR MEYERSON

Dreamlike Art and Deviation

Outsider artists, live and create on the fringes of culture and society. Generally removed from the influence of place, they prefer instead to chart their own, intensely personal, interior landscapes. They usually have little awareness of or connection to the mainstream art world or its history, and they typically possess limited intention that their work will have an audience or find a place in the broader landscape of art. In Outsider Art in Texas: Lone Stars, Jay Wehnert takes readers on a visually stunning excursion through the lives and work of eleven outsider artists from Texas, a state particularly rich in outsider artists of national and international renown. Texas A&M University Press, April 2018.

This photography autobiography not only reveals Arthur Meyerson’s approach to photography; it also presents images from his commercial work as well as many of his iconic images and the stories behind them. The themes and ideas expressed in these photographs have become the basis for his renowned workshops, The Color of Light and The Color Moment. For anyone who has a passion for photography and the thinking that goes into the creation of photographs, The Journey is a book that follows one photographer’s career and the destinations he has encountered along the way. A.M. Editions, 2017

A fine art photography book that celebrates over three decades of artwork by John Bernhard. In Dreamlike Art & Deviation, John Bernhard takes us on his creative journey. Showing us over thirty years of transcendent, constructed images, the book opens the door to the artist’s intricate, filigreed, and dreamlike world. Arranged as a chronological record, this volume is equally – if not more – useful and accessible by vaulting from image to image, page to page, backwards and forwards, discovering the myriad formal, visual, and thematic correspondences that exist in the work across time, expressed through Bernhard’s rich series. ArtPub, 2018

How to See

India Holy Song XAVIER ZIMBARDO

Beam Me Up, Yoda: The Fauxetry Poetry Series

How does art move us, inform us, challenge us? David Salle’s incisive essay collection illuminates the work of many of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. Salle writes with humor and verve, replacing the jargon of art theory with precise and evocative descriptions. W. W. Norton & Company

Captured over a 15-year period, Xavier Zimbardo’s India Holy Song records the exquisitely color-filled experience that pervades everyday life in India. The workaday environment of a textiledyeing factory becomes a frenzy of whooshing fabric like a moment out of a Martha Graham performance. Rizzoli

Who knew that science fiction/fantasy characters could write poetry? In this unique pop-culture collection of poems, one hundred of the most iconic individuals open their hearts and share their darkest secrets. Published by Bountiful Balcony Books, October 2017

JAY WEHNERT

DAVID SALLE

JOHN BERNHARD

T. HAVEN MORSE


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coups de cœur ARTIST DESIGNER

Jean-Marc Gady

The Venice Bench, is loosely related to Hawaiian surfers’ long boards and their mix of exotic woods, Venice bench is an exceptional piece of handcrafted woodwork. The complex marquetry shapes are inspired by the best surfboard shapers know-how. www.jeanmarcgady.com

ARTIST

Maria Hughes

Maria Hughes is a dedicated and prolific Houston artist with an eye for the abstract and an intense love of color. A painter and printmaker whose preferred medium is the monotype, Maria often tries to portray the energy that it took for the world to come into being -- as she imagines it. The sun and moon are also recurring themes in her work, and she credits that to memories of spectacular sunsets and full moons in her hometown of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. www.serranogallery.com

ARTIST

Eric Rosprim

Eric Rosprim is the owner of objektfab, an artist studio about design. objektfab is about finding a new perspective on the objects of the everyday, and the everyday materials used to construct them. His work is an interrogation of life through the materials, forms, and functions of the objects we use and the spaces we inhabit. www.objektfab.com


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PAINTER

Diane Rosaz

Considering herself an expressionist figurative painter, Diane ROSAZ is a French artist who is throwing her emotions into the canvas. Her painting technique consists of applying collage over the wood canvas, or paper, followed by the transfer of the full-scale charcoal drawing prior to the final acrylic painting with bright colours and dashes. www.dianerosaz.jimdo.com

ARTIST

Oliver Czarnetta

Oliver Czarnetta studied art history and philosophy and simply could not hold a position as a mere observer. His commitment to art was, is, much higher. His work responds to a line of an existential concern for human being. His pieces talk about how vulnerable, how brave or how suggestible we are to relations with ourselves, with others and with the environment. www.luciamendoza.es


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PH O T O G R A P H Y

AVING A FUTURE FOR B Y

H O L LY W A L R A T H

FotoFest’s staff, some who’ve been with the organization for decades, are nothing less than meticulous in their role as caretakers for the art form. Photography by Nathan Lindstrom

WHY PHOTOGRAPHY? What keeps a major nonprofit arts organization going after 35 years? For the longest-running international Biennial of photography in the United States, the answer’s simple. Each biennial year, FotoFest runs an exhibition out of Silver Street Studios and partners with over 100 galleries and art spaces in a city-wide festival celebrating photography. It seems like photography has always been an important part of Houston’s art scene, but when the organization began in 1983, there was a scarcity of institutional support. FotoFest

became a part of the movement to change that along with the Houston Center for Photography, founded in 1981, and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, who gave Ann Tucker the position of Curator of Photography in 1984. In the next decade digital photography’s advent created a growing sense art wasn’t ephemeral enough—that because photographs can be reproduced they’re less valuable as objects. While the rest of the world bemoaned how photography was dead, artists began to burn negatives, to


FEATURE 15

manipulate prints, and to challenge the core values of the art form. FotoFest’s founders wanted to create opportunities for these artists in Houston and across the globe. Documentary photographers and journalists Frederick Baldwin and Wendy Watriss launched the first biennial in 1986. FotoFest was one of the first organizations in the U.S. to start a portfolio review program. In 1990, FotoFest started its year-round education program, Literacy Through Photography. In 2014, Baldwin and Watriss stepped down and welcomed a new Executive Director, Steven Evans. This wasn’t a reorganization so much as a passing of the torch. And what fuels that torch is the art of photography. FotoFest’s staff, some who’ve been with the organization for decades, are nothing less than meticulous in their role as caretakers for the art form. Just looking around FotoFest’s office at Silver Street studios, crammed to the walls with crates full of prints, it’s clear photography’s by no means dead. “In my opinion, photography, new media, and the moving image are the mediums of our contemporary age. It’s become absolutely ubiquitous and completely integral to contemporary communication,” states Steven Evans. Artists at Silver Street Studios know how diligently FotoFest’s staff work to put up and maintain an exhibit in the public space, but to the public’s eye, it appears overnight like magic. Despite the hard work, late nights, shifting deadlines, and wrangling of over 300 volunteers, the goal is ultimately to explore what photography is and what it means to Houston. Many FotoFest staff members didn’t get their start in art, like Meeting Place Coordinator Marta Sánchez Philippe, who studied literature. But as Philippe explains, “I think art is essential for humanity. I’m not exaggerating. Especially public art. I don’t know if photography’s better or worse than any other form of art. It’s just another way of expressing yourself.” For Annick Dekiouk, Associate Exhibitions Coordinator, photography’s about process: “I studied chemistry so art was not my interest at first. Photography is chemistry. A lot of photographers started because they loved the chemistry part more than the actual final piece.” For others, it’s about experimentation and exploration, as Associate Curator and Exhibitions Coordinator Jennifer Ward found: “I like the idea of pushing what a photograph is. The last Texas show we did questioned that. It had screen-prints, photographs made of Xeroxes, and slides pinned to the wall. We had student tours come in and say ‘That’s not photography,’ which is kind of nice because we get to ask, ‘Well what is photography?’”

MENTORSHIP THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY What is photography? Perhaps the next generation will decide the answer. In Houston, a city which just last year faced state takeover of HISD, FotoFest serves the community through the unsung work of mentorship. Each program outside of the biennial is crafted for learners, from elementary-age kids to emerging artists.

Similar to Writers in the Schools, FotoFest’s Literacy Through Photography program places photographers in struggling schools across Houston. Participating teachers receive training on how to integrate the curriculum into teaching. Artists help teachers facilitate as part of a residency program. The result? Kids learn about photography and art in an evidence-based program, filling the gaps in arts education. “It’s really amazing when you see the growth of these kids. When they start out they write just a few sentences but by the end they’ve filled pages because they found their voice,” explains Program Manager Lexie Ettinger. It’s not just Houston students benefitting from the program. At the end of the year students from across the globe submit their artwork for FotoFinish, a museum-quality exhibition in FotoFest’s galleries. In 2016, approximately 35 schools and over 1,800 students displayed projects in photography, writing, and other media. As Outreach and Engagement Coordinator Molly Blanchard explains, “It’s a huge self-esteem boost for those kids and it opens up their worldview a little bit. Most of the schools we work with are Title I. 40% of that student population is below the poverty line.” The underlying hope of Literacy Through Photography is that students will pursue careers in the arts. That’s where FotoFest’s University of Houston class comes in, a new venture taught by FotoFest curatorial staff. “It keeps us young,” Jennifer Ward says, laughing. The collaboration teaches college students practical, real-world skills towards a career in the arts, from hanging a print to negotiating pay. “The idea is that when they’re in school their skills can translate into an art work environment and working at a nonprofit,” Ward explains. And when those artists are ready to show their work? FotoFest is ready then too, armed with a staggering number of influential names. The Meeting Place Portfolio Review is perhaps FotoFest’s best-kept secret. It’s a 12-day long portfolio review which accepts any artist, regardless of experience, on a first-come, first-served basis. Over 450 artists participate from over 34 nations. It’s the largest portfolio review program of its kind, and coordinator Marta Sánchez Philippe isn’t planning on making it exclusive anytime soon. “The Meeting place is where talent meets opportunity. It’s important for a curator to listen to a young artist beginning their career and also for the artist to have an opportunity to make something happen with their work,” she explains. It’s not unusual for artists to come out of the Meeting Place and go on to show their work internationally, receive representation, or have work acquired for private collections. If you’re an arts scene voyeur, the Meeting Place is open to the public three days in March. Visitors can chat with the artists, see their work, and get a unique chance to see behind-the-scenes. It’s a perfect snapshot of what’s happening now in photography.


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INDIA

Sandip Kuriakose (Delhi, India) Interested, 2017. From the series NPNR. Courtesy of the artist

FotoFest International’s 17th biennial takes place March 10 – April 22, 2018 and is dedicated to INDIA: Contemporary Photographic and New Media Art. While this is the first time FotoFest has tackled a South Asia focus, FotoFest’s well-known for its history of highlighting international artists. Past regional focuses include Latin America, Korea, China, Russia, and the Arab World. Viewers familiar with FotoFest can expect the same carefully-curated selections with a few new twists. The INDIA biennial includes 48 artists working in a variety of photographic and multimedia formats. Of particular interest is the large-scale interactive exhibit by Shilpa Gupta in FotoFest’s home at Silver Street Studios, a feat which has never been taken on in that space, which also houses artist workspaces. While the themes of the environment, human settlement and migration, caste and class divisions, and land rights conflict will educate and fascinate, viewers should pay close attention to the exploration of gender and sexuality and work by women artists. Such voices include

Sheba Chhachhi, a women’s right activist, Indu Antony’s series of photographs featuring drag kings, poet and dancer Serena Chopra, and Vidisha Saini’s known for queering of utopia, colonialism, gender and history. Other participating artists include Vicky Roy’s documentary-style exploration of street children that draws on his own experience as a child runaway, works from Asif Khan’s Muzaffarnagar series documenting refugee camps and rehabilitation colonies; and Max Kandhola’s Roti Kapta aur Makaan series examining racial dynamics and migration in England. In a way, the biennial also serves as a place of education. It even teaches the FotoFest staff, as Annick Dekiouk explains, “Now I’m more careful. When I hear someone talking about India I start to listen. I think that’s the reason we do this. We want people to be more aware of what’s happening outside the US. We’re a global world so if something happens to one place it’s going to interfere with another . . . Art reflects culture. What’s left of our culture is what artists leave behind.”


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Asif Khan (Delhi, India) Haji Kaludin, with family. At residence in rehabilitation housing colony, Sarai Village, March 2014, Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, India From the series Muzaffarnagar, 2013-2014 Courtesy of the Artist

Anoop Ray (Delhi, India) Untitled, March 2012. From the series Friends and Their Friends, 2010-2015 Courtesy of the artist


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FEATURE 19

Steven Evans, Executive Director of FotoFest. Photography by Nathan Lindstrom

“ Photography is the medium of

now, and of the future. ” Steven Evans

What FotoFest has left behind is a legacy of dedication to the exhibition, education, and support of photography. But what about the future? What carries organization like FotoFest into its next 35 years? I sat down with Executive Director Steven Evans to recap what FotoFest is up to this year, what it’s like to take over an organization with an established presence, and how the new biennial will change the way people in Houston look at India. HOLLY WALRATH: In 2014 you were made Executive Director of FotoFest, taking over for founders Wendy Watriss and Fred Baldwin. How has the transition been and how do you see your role as the caretaker of their legacy? STEVEN EVANS: In my opinion, the transition has gone

extremely well. Wendy Watriss and Frederick Baldwin created and sustained a remarkable organization, and I’m very proud that they and the Board of FotoFest trusted me to lead the organization into the future. It’s a tremendous responsibility. I have the utmost respect for what FotoFest does and stands for—and these are values I believe in deeply, and that have been an integral part of my practice as an artist and an arts administrator throughout my career. The support of the incredibly hardworking staff has also been essential.

HW: When you’re curating a show, what’s your aesthetic or goal, how do you want the viewer to approach the work you’ve selected? SE: I have multiple goals when I’m organizing a project. One of the things I’m concerned about is presenting an artist’s work in a context that preserves the intentions of the artist without limiting the meaning(s) that the viewers can take from their encounter with the work. I want the audience to see the things I see in the work—qualities I’m drawn to such as complexity, an exemplary visual quality, aesthetic resolution, and strong ideas behind the work. Ideally, viewers will see that and more. I want it to be an opportunity for communication and learning—for the audience, myself, and the artist(s).


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HW: You traveled to India to select and co-curate the 2018

India Biennial with Lead Curator Sunil Gupta. What’s the process of co-curating like? What excites you about in this year’s biennial?

HW: You’re an artist yourself. How do you feel your own

experience as an artist shapes your approach at FotoFest?

SE: FotoFest was founded by artists and because of that the concerns and needs of artists are written into the DNA of the organization. My background as an artist helps me to understand the importance of the aspects of FotoFest’s mission are devoted to bringing artists’ work to attention and to helping artists further their careers through professional development programs and professional experiences. One of the best examples of this is our Meeting Place Portfolio Review for Artists. It’s a very important program, and connects photographers with decision-makers in the world of photography and art, and often to tangible opportunities to exhibit, publish, and gain recognition for their work. That’s why we intend to continue taking the Meeting Place to other parts of the world—we plan to offer a Meeting Place portfolio review in Paris in the fall. HW: Are there any challenges that the organization faces or

you as an Executive Director face, and how do you approach those challenges?

SE: Every nonprofit faces challenges, especially financial challenges. FotoFest exists due to the generosity of individuals, private foundations, city, state, and federal agencies, corporations, partners, and volunteers. Our donors, partners, and volunteers are very important to us. It’s a delicate ecosystem of funding that has to be nourished and sustained. There’s also the challenge of making people aware of what we’re doing and ensuring they have ample opportunities to engage with the artwork, the artists, and the thought leaders we include in our programs. Both of these concerns are perennial, and the strategies to address them must be dynamic, because the cultural and philanthropic landscape is shifting constantly.

SE: There isn’t anything in the upcoming Biennial central exhibition of which I’m not exceptionally proud. Sunil Gupta, our lead curator on the project, has done a terrific job. It was a pleasure to work with him and discover more about these artists of Indian origin and about the region. I’ve worked with Sunil and with his husband Charan Singh previously, in 2015. They’re both artists and make work individually and collectively. FotoFest showed each of their works in an exhibition I organized about LGBTQ communities, called “I Am A Camera.” Sunil and I have known one another for many years, going back to the early 1990s. So it’s a relationship that has grown over the years based on trust and shared concerns. Rather than naming a favorite artwork or artist, I would have to say my favorite experience has been learning from Sunil’s extensive range of knowledge and sharing the process of discovery together. I’m very proud of the exhibition we have made. He is also a great traveling companion! A fascinating range of concerns became evident as the project developed—themes include caste and class, gender and sexuality, activism and conflict, racism, religion, nationalism, new technologies and development, the environment, human settlement, migration, and integration. Indian society is vastly complex, diverse, and nuanced, and my hope is this is reflected in the selections that have been made for the exhibition. HW: What is the future of FotoFest? SE: The Board, staff, and I are working on a strategic plan for FotoFest right now! We’re working with one of the foremost consultants in the field, Michael Kaiser, from the Institute for Arts Management at the University of Maryland. We’re looking at expanding the ways we serve artists and deliver programs. We’re thinking about this both in terms of our headquarters here in the city of Houston and in terms of our global reach. It’s a very exciting time to be at the helm of FotoFest!

VISIT FOTOFEST: UPCOMING EVENTS March 10 – April 22: FotoFest 2018 Biennial dedicated to INDIA: Contemporary Photographic and New Media Art. Silver Street Studios, Asia Society Houston. Films at MFAH. March 10 – 23: International Meeting Place Portfolio Review for Artists. Open portfolio nights (open to the public): Sunday, March 11, Friday, March 16, Thursday, March 22. Whitehall Houston Hotel in downtown Houston. March 19: International Fine Print Auction January 20 – April 29: Dissent and Desire, photographs by collaborators Sunil Gupta and Charan Singh, on view at Nina and Michael Zilkha Gallery, CAMH


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A R T HF OE U A ST U T OR N E 22

THERE’S A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING IN TEXAS B Y

S A B I N E

C A S P A R I E

A S A R E L AT I V E N E W C O M E R T O H O U S T O N , E V E R Y O N E N AT U R A L LY A S K S W H AT I T I S L I K E L I V I N G I N A M E R I C A . T O W H I C H M Y A N S W E R A LWAY S I S : “ I D O N ’ T L I V E I N A M E R I C A , I L I V E I N T E X A S ! I WA S R E M I N D E D O F T H E U N I Q U E , V I B R A N T, WA C K Y A N D F R E E S P I R I T O F T E X A S W H E N V I S I T I N G T H E TEXAS BIENNIAL ’17. H O W D O Y O U C U R AT E A N D S E L E C T A R T I S T S F R O M A S TAT E T H E S I Z E O F T E X A S ? Y O U G O O N A R O A D T R I P, O F C O U R S E . T H E R E I S N O B E T T E R WAY T O S TAY H U M B L E T O T H E M A G N I T U D E O F T H I S S TAT E T H E N T O D R I V E I T S R O A D S A N D M E E T I T S P E O P L E . C U R AT O R O F T H E T E X A S B I E N N I A L LESLIE MOODY CASTRO SPENT TWO MONTHS VISITING THE STUDIOS OF ARTISTS IN ALL CORNERS O F T H E S TAT E , A S K I N G H E R S E L F I F T H E R E I S S U C H A T H I N G A S T H E ‘ T E X A S I D E N T I T Y ’ , A N D W H AT I T M E A N S W H E N W E TA L K A B O U T ‘ T E X A S B O R D E R S ’ . I D E C I D E D T O F O L L O W I N M O O D Y C A S T R O ’ S FOOTSTEPS, AND VISITED THE STUDIOS OF THE FIVE SELECTED ARTISTS FROM HOUSTON.


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Noelle Mulder, Reflections: Texan Pecan Tree, Mexican (Lone) starfruit Tree, Chinese Fringe, 2017. Photo by Paulina Mendoza.

NOELLE MULDER Studio at the Silos on Sawyer

Dutch artist Noelle Mulder’s studio is a haven in the middle of the concrete of the Silos. White walls, a giant window, beautifully laid out objects and classical music playing in the background. Working on the crossroads of nature and the city, Mulder’s art fits perfectly within the theme of Texas identity. For the Biennial, Moody Castro selected two sculptures consisting of live plants. Reflections: Texas Pecan Tree, Mexican (Lone) starfruit Tree, Chinese Fringe consists of three trees: one native to Texas, one to Mexico and the third one an import from China. In mixing trees from three different countries, Mulder addresses the theme of immigration and borders that is so prevalent in Texas. The trees are installed upside down and watered through a system in the ceiling, and below each tree on the floor is a sculpted mirror. The mirror reflects the tree but also the people looking at it - we see ourselves in nature. Next to it hangs Olfactory Hallucinations, a ceramic, box-like structure that delicately holds together native mint plants. It conveys the unpredictability of nature and our vulnerability as humans inserting our concrete cities into the land.


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FELIPE STEINBERG Studio at Core

Felipe is a resident at the prestigious Core program, using a studio in its Downtown building. He is the most conceptual of the five artists. What I noticed first about his studio was the amount of computer equipment present. Steinberg is working on a new digital artwork for an upcoming show at The Visual Arts Center of UT Austin next year. Steinberg’s art often relies on others to come into being, and as such can be situated in ‘relational aesthetics’ (the posing of artist-constructed social experiences as artmaking). He has a particular interest in showing the hidden economies of our globalized world. Steinberg’s work selected for the Texas Biennial, In God We Trust, is a more singular artwork but still aims to expose global political relations. In 2014, ISIS used Twitter to propose the return of the gold standard as a monetary system, complete with drawings of a new coin. By presenting two of such coins, died in a gold color and presented as artefacts, Steinberg queries the interconnectedness of religion and capitalism, but also the value of the image itself in the separate but connected worlds of the media and the art exhibition.

Felipe Steinberg, In God We Trust, 2016, gold dies of a five Dinar coin, as released in the Islamic State currency proposal on November 13th, 2014, claiming the return of the gold standard as a monetary system.

ROBERT HODGE Studio at Project Row Houses

Where Steinberg’s sculptures rely on the mind to complete the work, Robert Hodge’s art is a feast for the eyes: dense, colorful and rich. His studio is stacked with objects, art materials and furniture, but in his collages the richness of his sources is magically compacted and arranged into neat visual stories. For his four collage pieces chosen for the Texas Biennial, Hodge cut up pieces of the covers of Soul albums and fitted them back together, playing with themes of black culture, music and memory. Elvis Presley ain’t got no Soul, Bo Diddley is rock and roll is the title of one: Hodge is not just an artist, but a storyteller too. He was the executive producer of the album Two and 1⁄2 years: A Musical Celebration to the Spirit of Juneteenth, which contains songs by 47 musicians from Houston that together tell the story of the end of slavery in Texas. His stories are firmly situated in black cultural history and his art often moves into the realm of social practice. This year he completed residencies at Artpace and at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Art, and he has just been signed with gallery David Shelton. Expect to hear more of him.

Robert Hodge, Things Done Changed, 2017, Mixed media collage.


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LUISA DUARTE Studio at Silver Street Studios

There is not a curve in Luisa Duarte’s studio: her world is geometric, mathematical and linear. A Venezuelan artist who has made Texas her home since 2003, much of Duarte’s work employs line and color as structural bases for exploration of themes related to fragility, identity and personal/ public space. The works selected for the Biennial include two black and white monotype prints on paper and a sitespecific installation. The monotypes titled My Territory and Removed include subtle ‘borders’ created by indentations in the paper that are not immediately evident. The site-specific work Empty Site is made of thumbtacks connecting wax thread. It reads as an architectural design, but on closer look the lines do not match. Borders are fragile, and they are as much about what is inside as about what is outside. Duarte plays with our perception, our imagination of what is not there, and the boundaries between the two- and threedimensional. Her non-objective forms have a strong inner dynamics and a powerful presence.

Luisa Duarte, (from left) My Territory, 2017, Wax thread and thumbtacks installation, Removed 2014, Monotype, and Empty Site, 2014, Monotype. Photo by Carlos Ocando.

RABEA BALLIN Studio at Project Row Houses

Rabea Ballin, Unapologetic, 2016, Digital image on metal.

Rabea Ballin’s studio looks like a comforting living room, her different artworks nicely arranged on the walls. Ballin’s passion: hair. Born in Germany and raised in Louisiana, Ballin became interested in the way that different cultures dictate different bodily representations. Helping out in her mother’s hair salon, she realized that hair is one of the few things we can change about our bodies on a daily basis. She started drawing different hairstyles, and gradually abstracted this bodily part into something much more formal. In her digital prints selected for the Biennial, her heads of hair seem to float in space, like strange new organisms with the most delightful forms. But Ballin’s interest in what she calls ‘hair sculpting’ goes beyond the mere formal. In a 2013 show at Art League Houston, she used hair as a gateway to exploring the obscure histories of the ‘Circassian’ women: 19th century women from Russia with extravagant hairstyles, who were considered to be the purest Caucasian race, and became somewhat of a circus attraction in the United States. Ballin is also part of the art collective ‘Roux’, consisting of four female artists of color who explore the boundaries of printmaking.


F

ARTHOUSTON 26

From the Mother JOHN RUNNELS CHANNELS THE ESSENCE OF ART AT MOTHERDOG STUDIOS B Y

M E G H A N

H E N D L E Y - L O P E Z

Coming from a military family, John Runnels was not a likely candidate to become an artist. A nomadic, yet romantic, life moving from landscape to landscape surrounded Runnels with various typographies. Due to his father’s work in his line of duty, Runnels was also exposed to university laboratories and a world of medical books, encyclopedias, and other educational literature. As a young boy, Runnels was taken by both his surroundings in various cities along with the images he saw in these books. Despite attempting to follow in his father’s footsteps in the military, Runnels quickly realized that this was not the type of service for his ideas and talents. He pursued his art in higher education and picked up his vision along the way. After a trip abroad, Runnels found himself in Houston. As they say, the rest is history and history is something Motherdog Studios certainly has in flourishes. Housing visual adventures, hands of creativity, artists in every step of their career, Runnels has helped maintain a space for art in the city. Runnels comes into 2018 on the heels of completing a ten year public art project in Phoenix, Arizona of a halfmile long water treatment plant wall. Winning a national competition based on his idea, the completed artwork, “SKY.LOOMS”, now stands twelve feet high as a reference

to the Native Americans’ name for rain (virga), a rain that falls but does not reach the earth. When the light is right rainbows are formed in the sky light of the falling rainthat is a sky loom. Now moving into the new year, Runnels took the time to reflect on how he ended up in Houston and how his studio has housed radical and refined renditions of visual art. MEGHAN HENDLEY-LOPEZ: How has the city of Houston been for you as a gallery? What have been some factors that made you stay here in Houston? JOHN RUNNELS: I did not want to come to Texas. The thoughts of windmills & tumbleweeds in the desert was not what I had in mind. In 1979, I had just returned from a summer of living in Italy on a Ford Foundation Scholarship with the University of Georgia. After the bliss of my Italian sojourn, a return to graduate school was anathema - a threat of incarceration. Upon my return to the states, I did not want to go back to grad school so I did the most unlikely and bizarre opportunity twists in my life, I became a traveling salesman with a New York New Jersey company selling art & picture framing supplies. The East coast: the surf roar of the Atlantic Ocean. The misty mysteries high in the


FEATURE 27

John Runnels at home in Motherdog Studios. Photography by John Bernhard.

From left: John Runnels, “Scene from the Florida Room: a vision of earthly secrets that can make sense of earthy delights, 1977. For the exhibition Caution: Live Snakes, Keri Forster volunteered to have her body airbrushed while opening visitors observed and documented the transformation. Professional Snake handlers brought over a dozen boas and pythons providing visitors with a hands on experience. A visitor is enchanted by the visual fragrance of Keith Hollingsworth painting In the garden we worship a higher source, during the 2017 Flower & Garden show.


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Appalachian Mountains. North Carolina was the landscape of his dream songs. The change of seasons. The fall of red, yellow and orange leaves. Thick white beds of snow under the fingers of naked trees. The spring noise of returning birds. The summer sea of green on the muscle of mountains. This was the denouement for his soul to soar. But, the ambitious New York company refused my literary itinerary request and shipped me to Texas. Driving south down 59 from the big airport, I saw an iconic green highway exit sign in helvetica: RUNNELS AVE. It was a SIGN - a good sign. Houston has been very good to me! I was seduced by Houston immediately: the water fountains reminiscent of Italy (the Romans considered the sound of water an aphrodisiac), the academic strongholds of universities, the exciting thriving galleries and museums were all corroborations of “expect the unexpected.” Houston was an arboretum. North and South Boulevard are surely where Cezanne would have set up his easel. But, it was the green space of the serpentine bayou that caught my heart eyes! Along Buffalo Bayou is where I made my first drawings, watercolors and pastels. I was an Italophile so everything I did became ITAL-Y-CIZED- those glorious monolithic old rice silos that overlooked Buffalo Bayou along the Allen Parkway became my “Texas Duomos.” MHL: Have you seen the impact of Mother Dog in regards

to creating a dialogue about art within the studio for the residents and visitors? JR: There is a point when quantity becomes a quality. The fact that Motherdog Studios is the oldest surviving artist studio exhibition space in the city is indicative of a longevity of commitment & perseverance. If alternative spaces are about anything, they are about the roots of everyday living and the necessity of everyday living to restore to itself the Artist’s inspiration and grace. That is the spirit we began with 33 years ago. We have provided working studio space for hundreds of Artists over the years. The spectrum is legendary from professionals artists working internationally and locally, art professors in Houston schools and universities to aspiring dreamers with the art spirit being scooted off the dining room table by a spouse. A tapestry of humanity pursuing the Laws of Beauty. On a daily basis, if your studio door is open, interaction is welcome. Security and privacy are paramount issues. There are lots of guidelines (rules) that have evolved over the years to provide

maximum working conditions. Also, we have many art classes of all ages that visit Motherdog Studios. There are once upon a time high school Art students, that are now Art teachers, that are bringing their students to Motherdog Studios! That is one of those little prizes that has come full circle of fulfilling community service through the arts. MHL: Any particular shows or exhibitions that were

landmarks in the history of the space? JR: I have presented some spectacular, magnanimous exhibitions at Motherdog Studios! Getting to LIVE with the ARTWORK is the bliss after the hard work of theme selection, artist involvement, administrative work and hanging most of my show are exhaustive in size and scope of 50 to 80 artists with sometimes over 200 Artworks. Fotofest provided me with my initiation into the excitement of curating shows. Some of the early show titles were: NAKED.naked, Fragments for a Memory of the Human Body - obviously, the titles are indicative of a theme! The exhibitions were unique because I always interpenetrated the photographic wall presentations with hall sculptures. Regardless of the juxtaposition presentation of 2D & 3D, both share synonymous spatial issues. My last FotoFest show presented George Krause’s life size nudes taken in San Miguel de Allende. He said that folks down yonder were willing to model for him if he did not show the photos there. George approached me about showing them and of course I was thrilled and honored! The photos hang from the ceilings. I had set up a room for volunteers to undress so they could walk naked through George’s nude photographs. In the first hour of the show, there were more naked people than clothed! ARTCRAWL Houston became another opportunity to galvanize local artists and to present their artwork. I am still in awe that, as a non-organization organization of Artists, we arrived at a 25th anniversary Art event in 2017! Some of the fun favorites were: Raining Cats & Dogs; Don’t Bug me; and the current show Flower & Garden. The most exciting show was Caution: Live Snakes! We had a dozen boas & pythons for a snake-around-the-neck photo op audience participation. The women and children were teased, curious and daringly adventurous. The men, however, had a no-way-José attitudes of “the only good snake is a dead snake!”


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Motherdog Studios was founded in 1984 by artist’s Charlie Jean Sartwelle and John Runnels. This was their first “sign of the times” in the unwanted landscape tucked away just north of downtown. Motherdog Studios exterior doors & walls are neighborhood enhancements. Aesthetic ownership of the tempting wall deters irresponsible taggers that criss-cross the neighborhood.

Flower & Garden show curator John Runnels discusses Wayne Gilbert’s Sunflower image making process with human remains. Photo by George Krause.

John Runnels’ drawings, paintings. photograpghs, poems and his sculpture installation of 100 women’s black high heels from the series: The Way Some Women Walk.

PEGGY-USE Margeret Ann (PEGGY) Gorman posed for this iconoclastic Don’t Bug Me Art exhibit at Motherdog Studios.

Early photo of John Runnels with his daughter Sara in his studio. circa 1988.

Motherdog Studios main entrance opened to the 2016 FotoFest exhibition of George Krause’s Sfumato Nudes series.

Long time Artistin residence at Motherdog, Liz Conces-Spencer discusses George Krause’s 2016 FotoFest artwork with enthusiastic exhibition pARTicipants in the spirit of art & mind & body during the opening reception.

Musical performance dance scene with LadyBug during the Don’t Bug Me Art exhibit at Motherdog Studios, 2014.

The corridor’s walls of Motherdog Studios were turned into a secret hanging garden of Artwork for the 25th Annual Downtown Artist’s Warehouse ARTCRAWL 2017


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Inside the Outside Art in Texas BY JOHN BERNHARD

Jay Wehnert knows the subject of outside art inside out! An independent curator, writer, collector, and educator, Wehnert shares his knowledge in a 132 page book titled Outsider Art in Texas: Lone Stars published by Texas A&M University Press to be released April 2018. The book focuses on eleven outsider artists from Texas, three from Houston, who live and create on the fringes of culture and society. Generally removed from the influence of place, they prefer instead to chart their own, intensely personal, interior landscapes. They usually have little awareness of connection to the mainstream art world or its history, and they typically possess limited intention that their work will have an audience or find a place in the broader landscape of art. A few weeks ago I sat down with Jay and began this conversation. JOHN BERNHARD: Before we discuss JAY

your book, I thought it would be good to start off by talking about Jean Dubuffet. It was in Switzerland in 1945 that Dubuffet made his first enquiries and his first discoveries, and realized that millions of possibilities of artistic expression existed outside of the accepted cultural avenues. He is best known for founding the outsider art movement, which he called Art Brut. Can you elaborate and give us a little history lesson?

WEHNERT:

Yes, of course. My book, Outsider Art in Texas: Lone Stars begins with an in depth exploration into the meaning the term “outsider art” and its precedents in Jean Dubuffet’s concepts of “art brut”. In the 1940’s Dubuffet, a French painter and sculptor, was a seminal figure in the avant garde movement. He was also a cultural disruptor and social provocateur. Dubuffet railed against the art establishment of the day, calling into question the validity of the

art and artists that were supported by it. He sought art that sprung from a more pure creative impulse, unspoiled by the forces of patronage, commerce and art history. Dubuffet found this art being created by patients in mental asylums of Europe, who were deeply isolated from the influences and requirements of conventional culture. Dubuffet called this “art brut” or “raw art”, art uncooked by society’s rules. In 1972, Roger Cardinal published his own book about art brut titled


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Richard Gordon Kendall, Penny Hotel, ca,1995, crayon, marker and pen on paper, 20”x13 1/2” Courtesy of Jay and Victoria Wehnert, Photograph by Evan Beauvais

Hector Alonzo Benavides, Untitled, 1993, pen and ink on paper, 14”x17” Courtesy of Webb Gallery, Waxahachie, Photograph by Kevin Todora

Todora


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Outsider Art. That term is now commonly used to describe the art of those isolated at the far fringes of society. I think it’s important to note that Dubuffet thought of art brut as a concept, not a category. It was not his intent to classify artists, to include some and exclude others. Instead, he sought to expand the idea what was thought of as art and who were thought of as artists. The key component in his concept was the extreme isolation and solitude at the core of the outsider artists’ lives and art. This is what is central to my thinking and my book. It is part of the appeal of outsider art today, nearly eighty years after Dubuffet. It celebrates aspects of creativity that are authentic and genuine in a modern culture that is viewed as increasingly artificial.

my home, creating “signs” of broken glass and discarded boards that expressed his idiosyncratic ideas about life to passing motorists. He became a friend who taught me a great deal and cemented my interest in outsider art. Since then it has been a fascinating process of curiosity and discovery,

JB: Tell us about the process, the

research behind writing such a book. JW: This book is the product of over

JB: Like self-thought artists, you are thirty years of my engagement with

a self-thought writer and you have been writing for many years in magazines and in your blog as Director of Intuitive Eye since 2011. As a matter of fact you wrote an essay for ArtHouston magazine in 2016, which became a springboard to your publishing endeavor, as it attracted Texas A&M to contact you with the proposition of writing the book.

JW: I have thought about the Why and when did you get parallels of my own writing and the interested in Outsider Art? self-taught artists that I write about. While I once may have thought of writing JW: My interests in outsider art now as essentially a solitary practice, extend back over thirty years. I did undertaking this book project has highnot grow up with much formal expo- lighted for me the network of people sure to art or interest in fine art. My who have encouraged and supported devotions as a young person were to my work. You and ArtHouston have pop culture, particularly music. In been key in that respect. My article for the 1980’s I began to see references you in 2016 helped me solidify aspects to outsider art among musicians that of my thinking and present it in a longer I liked, most notably Talking Heads format than I had been accustomed to. and REM. They had each featured That established the groundwork for a outsider Reverend Howard Finster’s presentation at the annual symposium art on their album covers. This got my of The Center For The Advancement attention. Outsider art was gaining and Study of Early Texas Art, CASETA, exposure in the media and what I saw where I met the editor of Texas A&M excited me. I was drawn to these University Press who invited me to artists who seemingly had as little consider writing a book on Texas connection to the established art world outsider art. Those threads of interest as I felt. Also at this time, I met Paul and support have been essential. Darmafall, who would later be known Those parallels extend to the outsider as The Baltimore Glassman. Darmafall artist as well. While their lives are worked on a public sidewalk near marked by extreme elements of JB:

isolation, their lives and creativity also include aspects of interest and support by others, particularly from those in the art world.

outsider art. For collectors like myself, the stories of the outsider artists’ lives have been an important aspect of understanding their art. So, from the beginning, I have not only been collecting art, but also collecting the narratives behind the art. When I established my arts business, Intuitive Eye in 2011, I began writing for my website that featured outsider art and my own thinking about it. This process was central in developing and clarifying my own ideas about outsider art and the artists. When the invitation came to consider writing a book on the subject, I knew that my most important tasks would be to further develop my own perspective on the subject and to write it in a way that illuminated the artists. I also wanted to present some new information about each artist, to add something to their stories. JB: You have been collecting Outsider

Art for many years, you actually own many Texas Outsiders including Houston artist Charles Dellschau. What defines the eleven outsider artists from Texas you featured in your book? JW: The premise of the book is that

at the heart of the outsider artist is a significant and essential quality of isolation that defines their lives and art. They live and work on the far fringes


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713-501-7290 nicholedittmann.com


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Vanzant Driver’s art is based in intense and personal visionary experiences. His solitude is one of contemplation and conviction. Finally, Richard Gordon Kendall was homeless in downtown Houston, invisible to all around him. He spent his lonely days drawing his city’s architecture from memory. JB: Even though you landed a deal with Texas A&M Press, as an author you have a significant role to play in promoting and selling your books these days. You need to be prepared to do some major legwork. Do you have book-signing events planned? JW: Yes, I have learned that one

Lester Davis, Keys, 1996, collage (newspaper on cardboard), 8 1/2” x 11”, Courtesy of the artist, Photograph by George Hixson. Below: Eddie Arning, Man on Horseback, n.d., crayon on paper, 21x27, Courtesy of Jay and Victoria Wehnert, Photograph by Jack Thompson

of the mainstream and dominant society, sometimes to the extreme of near total reclusiveness. They may not even identify themselves as artists or make art for any audience. The forces that foster this isolation and solitude are as varied as the artists themselves. These powerful life forces can include psychological disturbance, social alienation, economic disenfranchisement, geographic seclusion and racial subjugation. All of these and more, may sever the artists’ awareness of participation in the conventional world of art. The life experiences and art of the eleven Texas artists featured in the book all amplify this central idea of the outsider artist.

JB: What about artists from Houston? JW: There are actually four artists from Houston whose lives span over one hundred yeas of Texas history. Their lives are immersed with this key aspect of isolation, only with Houston as its common setting. Charles Dellschau emigrated alone to Texas from Prussia in the 1800’s and eventually lived the last decades of his life in Houston, engaged in a reclusive endeavor to record a secret life of adventure. Henry Ray Clark lived a criminal life on the mean streets of Houston, spending much of his adult life in prison where he drew far off galaxies that were his imaginary escape.

quickly turns the corner from being a writer to being a book seller. I am excited to present outsider art to those for whom it may be a new idea and to engage with those who may be more familiar with it, around the ideas and artists that I write about. I am co-curating an exhibition based on these Texas artists at Webb Gallery in Waxahachie in May 2018. There will be a book launch event in Houston hosted by Bill Baldwin and Star Massing later in the Spring. I will also present the book at The Menil Collection next Fall when the museum reopens. In between, I anticipate many other fun opportunities locally and nationally. In the meantime, I have been advised never to be without books in the trunk of my car.


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A four-part exhibition of photography by Ricarda Redeker and John Bernhard German photographer, Ricarda Redeker, focuses on the land and the sea, with two series of photographs. White Sands captures the “snowy” aspect of the New Mexico National Monument’s landscape. Almost alien in nature, the landscape feels otherworldly and transcendental. Her Seascapes take the viewer from the desert to the seashore where once again, nature transforms and amazes us. This ads a new dimension: the vast power of water. Redeker likes to capture the world from different perspectives and explore the possibilities of digital photography. John Bernhard is a Swiss-American artist based in Houston. His images celebrate and acknowledge both the metamorphosis of material forms and the notion of chance. In his series MetamorFaces, the transformed portraits are subtle and disturbing. Bernhard’s portrayal of the face questions the notion of what constitutes beauty. Bernhard’s Unintentional presents the unplanned yet surprisingly beautiful results of overlapping imagery. While in China to oversee the printing of one of his books, Bernhard was at the printer waiting for the press check. During the process of checking the print sheets, papers were used that were printed with other images from the prior printing of another job. The results were astounding. FotoFest 2018, March 3 - May 20, 2018 Opening, March 3rd, 2018, 7-10pm ART CAR MUSEUM 140 Heights Blvd. To learn more, please visit: artcarmuseum.com

Above: Ricarda Redeker White Sands, archival digital print. Below: John Bernhard Wo o d # 5 ( d e t a i l ) f r o m t h e M e t a m o r F a c e s s e r i e s , a r c h i v a l p i g m e n t p r i n t .


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cross-pollination BY JILL BOYLES


MY FRIEND BOUGHT A DIGITAL CAMERA a few years ago, and when I held it in my hand for the first time, I felt like I was meant to be a photographer. It was a natural fit. Well, almost. I’m left handed and everything felt backward or awkward, but that didn’t deter me. I was soon taking pictures of anything that had struck my fancy. Lately, my play has become more focused, but because of my lack of knowledge about photography or more specifically, how to go about photographing, I rely on my writing background. For example, if I have an image, word or sentence rolling around in my head, something I would put to use in my writing, I seek to translate this in a photo. While my husband and I were visiting my aunt in Florida, the words “distorted approximations” took hold when my aunt shared family history from the 1800s. I neither felt that history wholly nor thought my long-deceased family members could feel mine, if this were possible for them. The next day, before my husband and I drove to Cocoa Beach, I took a piece of red cellophane with me. As we stood on the beach, my husband, being a good sport, placed the cellophane over his face while I snapped pictures of “distorted approximations.” Another writing tool that informs photography is a hook. When I look through the camera’s viewfinder, I ask myself of all that I see, what will grab the viewer? Maybe it’s as simple as focusing on a cluster of mushrooms shooting up from the grass that, when holding the camera at a different angle, resemble jellyfish. Embedded in the hook is mood, which prepares readers for the emotional setting of the story. In a photo essay, the first couple of photos imbued with mood can lay the groundwork for how a viewer is to “read” the rest of the photos. Furthermore, an object can carry emotional resonance in a story. In a photo, this, too, can be an object, even a small one, despite it not being the subject. Energy is where the writing is strongest and usually presents itself in rough drafts, signaling the writer to pay attention to these areas and exploit them. When I work on a series of photos, energy might not be evident until the fifth one, which can change the original intention I had for the series. The arrangement of photos also affects narrative. Rather than order photos chronologically, a different approach might impact the narrative more powerfully. One way is to identify the photos’ essence and then explore what writers call the connective tissue – associative or causative – among the photos that eventually conclude to a convincing dénouement. As my knowledge about photography expands, I find myself imparting what I learn to writing. Light, for instance, is an essential consideration in photography. When I study Imogen Cunningham’s photos, I observe how light and shadow work together to create atmosphere and shapes.

I seek to use that effect in my own writing. Where is light located in my image and does its location strengthen what I want to convey? How can I use it or the absence of it as a technique to reveal character interiority? Additionally, being cognizant of the manipulation of light for effect has deepened my appreciation of Virginia Woolf’s use of it in The Waves. I read that some photographers shoot how they feel. With regard to writing fiction, writers are told not to intercede with a character’s development, for it inhibits the character from attaining autonomy. The author must get out of the character’s way, as writing instructors often teach beginning writers; yet, there’s value in writing how one feels into a character if it suits that particular character at that particular time in the narrative. This is a strategy I’m folding into my writing practice. Another area where photography informs writing is nuance. Multiple photos of the same subject look deceptively the same, but when one looks closer, one finds subtle differences. A leaf that dangled from a branch in one photo had fallen onto the forest floor in another. I look for moments where nuance adds depth to my characters when I think there’s nothing more to know about them. When I have an unmanageable scene, I search for distractions to “crop.” This clarifies the scene’s purpose. Other times, I imagine myself looking at a scene through my camera’s viewfinder (and I imagine the weight of the camera in my hand). I’ll turn the lens, determining which focal length will serve the story best. The correct focal length also brings into view the overall composition of the story. Just as the subject and tonal balance, among other elements, affect composition in a photograph, writers must also consider how elements of fiction work together or even in opposition to compose a compelling piece of fiction, such as choosing when to tell and not show. The Rule of Thirds is a general rule in photography where the subject is positioned a third to the left or right of a photo and preferably, on an intersecting line if one imagines the photo divided by two lines of equal distance across and two down. A writer can apply this rule to an image: The stranger stopped in the middle of a gravel road and gazed across it and into a field of cracked corn stalks pricked with light from a setting sun. Photography has energized my writing. I’m excited about motion blur and crushing the depth of field. Lovely terms that plunge me into language, challenging me to incorporate these techniques into my writing. This in turn informs my nascent photography as I forge ahead to find my voice. The cross-pollination between these two mediums has helped me reach a closer truth in my work, a move toward breaking down “distorted approximations” between the writer photographer and the reader viewer.

Photograph by Jill Boyles

ESS AY 37


ARTHOUSTON 38

LessTravelled

! TThe

Road B Y

Houston artists and gallerists take their art to new avenues

S A B I N E

C A S P A R I E

In November last year, the gallery ArtPalace announced that it will transition from its gallery space on Isabella Court to a new venture, one that “will operate at the intersection of a commercial gallery, independent curating and art consulting.” The gallery intends to present new work in Houston and beyond “in spaces that are most appropriate for each project”. A more flexible approach to the art world’s ever-changing dynamics has been developing for some time now here in Houston. And not just Art Palace, but other artists and institutions too have responded to the trend.


39

The Street

Sebastien “Mr D” Boileau has been operating outside the spheres of the art gallery for many years. Houston’s most celebrated street artist, and known internationally, Mr D has embellished many a wall in Houston’s urban landscape: think of his Michelangelo-inspired God floating through the skies with a spray can in hand on 2800 San Jacinto, or the much-loved and photographed ‘Biscuit Paint Wall’ on 1435 Westheimer Road. Boileau’s latest project, a show at Miami’s renowned Sagamore Hotel on South Beach to coincide with Art Basel, shows that the establishment is latching on to the trend. “The Art World took their sweet time”, says Boileau, when I meet him on a crisp Saturday morning in his popup space in River Oaks, “but now they can’t have enough

of us!” For six months, Boileau has set up shop in a small shopping center, under the name ‘Made in Houston’. Inside are his own works inspired by his murals, canvases built up with the flattened-out shells of a spray paint can, parts of murals that have been transferred onto brick and some hilarious references to our ‘genius’ President. Boileau never thought that bringing street art to River Oaks would work, but he feels there is a real momentum for change. Street artists and other self-taught artists are being celebrated in major museum shows, at art fairs and even at auction (Sotheby’s has just announced its first ‘outsider art auction’). Mr D’s pop-up store is on 1958 West Gray Street. For more info visit: www.MrD1987.com or www.eyefulart.com.


ARTHOUSTON 40

The Home

Another early adapter is Yvonamor Palix. Under the name of Yvonamor Palix Fine Arts Gallery, the well-spoken and amiable owner stages pop-up exhibitions in unusual spaces. Having ran traditional art galleries in Paris and Mexico City since 1990, her adoptive Houston has seen the establishment of an ‘Itinerant Art Gallery’, proposing thought-provoking exhibits in a light and convivial manner. Her “Live with Art” exhibit is spread out over two new-built houses in Midtown. Palix agreed with the construction company to use the private residences to display artworks, which in turn enhances the viewing prospects for potential buyers. When I came in last month, a coffee machine was making gurgling noises and Palix was comfortably seated on one of the rented sofas. What otherwise would have been a cold, sterile house suddenly looked welcoming, and more

View of the two Labranch residences that are the current venue for the Yvonamor Palix Itinerant art gallery. Entryway of the home: drawings by Romain Froquet, White, 3D piece by Sebastien Boileau, painting/sculpture by Page Piland.

importantly, inspiring. Artworks by over thirty artists are displayed on the walls of all the rooms (even the laundry room has an artwork!). Beautiful handmade sculptures are carefully placed on the floor or laid out on coffee tables and shelves. “I want to show people how to live with art”, says Palix, “and my selected venues offer an intimate and unique atmosphere to discover and appreciate works by local and international artists”. She certainly has a knack for it. Palix’ interior design background is apparent everywhere, from the matching of furniture and art to the perfect hang of the artworks in museum quality frames. The current program includes a “Live with Art” exhibit at a private residence and a one person exhibit of Texas artist C. Ellen Hart at The Houston Design Center, Kitchen and Bath Concept in March. www.ypalixart.com


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The Shop

Art in a domestic setting is also offered by Edgar Medina, co-owner of the shop NativeCitizen since 2010. In a striking wood-paneled building on Dunlavy Street, Medina and his business partner sell one-off pieces that are all hand crafted and carefully sourced, locally or further afield. As part of “The Repurposed Lifestyle”, Medina has started showing his own artworks within the setting of the shop. His handcrafted canvases are full of color and optimism, and bring warmth to a variety of interior styles. Rather than mass produced canvasses on sale in other shops, NativeCitizen will give you originality and uniqueness. Medina explains the idea behind the concept. “Creating and displaying art in the same place offers the opportunity to be intuitive. Art is in the eye of the beholder, and my goal as an abstract artist is to create an alternative interpretation and add a visual emotion for the viewer.

Locating artworks in a living environment offers an expanded palette for creativity”. Being able to view the artworks with the artist present is an added bonus. But NativeCitizen has recently welcomed other artists whose aesthetic is similar to exhibit in their store. This March, a group of four artists, who were all born in the Netherlands but are now based in Houston, will brighten up the store with their show ‘Overlap’. Their common themes fit perfectly within the philosophy of NativeCitizen: an interest in the domestic, an intimate approach, and a crossover between art and design. Nativecitizen is at located at 2311 Dunlavy Street, Suite 100B. The show ‘Overlap’ by artists Hedwige Jacobs, Noelle Mulder, Sylvia Beijnink and Linde Pieper will start on 22nd March, with an opening reception at the store. www.nativecitizen.com


ARTHOUSTON 42

From left: Amegy Bank Tower lobby, NATURE exhibition, with work from Verny Sanchez Mitchell and Lacy Husmann. Amegy Tower photo by Joe Aker/Aker Imaging Houston

The Bank

Our offices are often an extension of our homes, where we spend a large chunk of our time. It is not surprising, therefore, that art has sprung up in large office buildings, of which Houston has its fair share. But corporations are also looking for innovative ways to engage with art, and artists. At the Amegy Bank tower, the new headquarter near the Galleria, an exhibition was hosted comprised of works by artists who are all working in the large Silver Street studio complex. Photographer, editor and all-round art enthusiast John Bernhard was asked to curate the exhibition. He chose the theme of ‘Nature’, to contrast with the fast-paced, urban world of banking and the minimal office aesthetics of the space. The reception was buzzing, with a mix of employees, clients, artists and art lovers. Amegy Bank CEO Steve Stephens told attendees at the opening reception that the bank has always been helping

entrepreneurs through difficult times, and that supporting the local arts community is in line with Amegy’s social agenda. “Communities come in various sizes, but the most successful ones are like families”, according to Stephens. Every week, the collection of artworks was changed to a different area of the bank to maximize artist’s exposure during the month-long exhibition. John Bernhard, the curator, found that the exhibition captured a genuine interest from the bank’s customers and employees alike. He received some great feedback, and the artists made some sales. “The exhibition has been a great success in all aspects,” John Bernhard says, “and the good news is that the bank plans to continue art exhibitions in the future.” Amegy Bank Tower is on 1717 W. Loop South. To be kept informed of art exhibitions visit www.amegybank.com


ARTHOUSTON 43

The Bistro

And last but not least, what better way to enjoy art than in the company of your first latte of the day? Restaurant and delicatessen shop Urban Eats opened in 2014, and since then has been showing work of a different artist every month. The Bistro very generously organizes an opening night, and does not ask for a commission. Levi ‘Lucky’ Rollins, co-owner and culinary director, is in charge of selecting and showing artists. Having done art in school, the idea was always in the back of his mind. “We want to do things that are supportive of the community”, he tells me, in the middle of making coffee for a customer. “We very much like the idea of this place having multiple areas, a restaurant, bar, coffee place and market, and the artwork helps us create these corners”. When I was last there, the bright pieces by Mexican-born and Houstonbased mixed media artist Ernesto Guerra, iconic figures from Mexico painted on canvas and on small objects, gave

a spark to my day. Urban Eats welcomes the next artist, Loida Wexler, who is exhibiting her colorful paintings through March 31st. “Loida Wexler’s work is filled with passion and life; it’s the perfect complement to the Urban feel of our space,” stated Levi Rollins. Loida Wexler takes inspiration from nature and the various cultures and ethnicities around her. She posted about the venue on her Facebook page, “This place looks cool with my artwork. I am brimming with pride... so happy to be here.” I am awaiting with excitement who the next artist will be, and what all these creative entrepreneurs have planned on their road to an alternative art scene in Houston. Urban Eats is on 3414 Washington Avenue, and open daily. To be kept informed of art openings, subscribe to the mailing list on their website. www.feasturbaneats.com

Urban Eats exhibition of Loida Wexler ‘s paintings will be on view until March 31, 2018


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The Bert Harris, Portrait of Maharaja Sardar Singh, 1896, oil on canvas, Umaid Bhawan Palace. Photography by Neil Greentree


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A groundbreaking exhibition brings centuries of royal treasures from Jodhpur, India, to the U.S. for the first time at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Masterpieces and relics, never before seen beyond palace walls, illustrate the history and artistic legacy of the Rathore Dynasty.

R o y a l o f

A r t s

J o d h p u r

A major collaboration brings a groundbreaking exhibition of royal treasures from India to Houston. Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in partnership with the Mehrangarh Museum Trust of Jodhpur, Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India showcases nearly four centuries of artistic creation from the kingdom of Marwar-Jodhpur, one of the largest princely states in India, in the northwestern state of Rajasthan. Through lavishly made ceremonial objects, finely crafted arms and armor, sumptuous jewels, intricately carved furnishings and more, Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India outlines the dynamic history of the Marwar-Jodhpur region and the Rathore dynasty that ruled it for over seven centuries. Established in the 15th century, the city of Jodhpur was once the powerful capital of Marwar, a vast desert kingdom ruled by the Rathores, who were descendants of a hereditary social caste

BY ARTHUR DEMICHELI

of Hindu warriors and kings (known as “kshatriyas”). Over the course of several centuries, the prosperity of Jodhpur attracted the attention of two successive empires who ruled India: the Mughals and the British. Both encounters reshaped Jodhpur’s cultural landscape, introducing objects, artists, languages, architectural styles and systems of administration that influenced the royal identity of the Rathore dynasty. Through some 250 objects from Indian courtly life, most never before seen outside of Jodphur, the exhibition illuminates how the Rathores acquired and commissioned objects amidst these cross-cultural exchanges to leverage patronage, diplomacy, matrimonial alliances, trade, and conquest. Drawn primarily from the collections of the Mehrangarh Museum Trust and the private collections of the royal family of Jodhpur, the exhibition marks the first time that most of these


ARTHOUSTON 46

treasures—including paintings, decorative arts and furniture, tents, canopies, carpets, textiles, and weapons—will be seen outside of their palace setting at Mehrangarh Fort and the first time they will travel abroad. The foundations of the Fort, carved out of a rocky hillside 400 feet above Jodhpur, were laid by the Rathores in 1459 as a military stronghold. The Fort, famously described by Rudyard Kipling as “a palace that might have been built by Titans and colored by the morning sun,” has been the seat of the Rathore dynasty since then, serving as a royal residence, a center of cultural patronage, and a place of worship for the royal clan. Today, it houses the collection of the Mehrangarh Museum Trust, which was established in 1972 by the current dynastic head of the Rathore clan, His Highness Maharaja Gaj Singh II, and remains one of the most important and best-preserved collections of fine and applied arts from the Mughal period of Indian history. A handful of carefully chosen objects from other notable collections, including The al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait, complete the presentation, while large-scale photomurals will evoke the stunning setting of the Mehrangarh Museum, where H. H. Maharaja Gaj Singh II continues to preserve the living heritage of Jodhpur. “Peacock in the Desert is the result of a landmark partnership, marking the first time the Mehrangarh Museum Trust has shared so many of the treasured objects of their collection,” commented Gary Tinterow, MFAH director. “We are deeply honored and grateful to be the first U.S. organization to present this show, and for the opportunity to provide visitors this unprecedented experience of India’s rich cultural history.” “The fort of Jodhpur-Mehrangarh has been preserved as a record of the lives and legacy of the Rathores,” added His Highness Maharaja Gaj Singh II. “I look forward to sharing the artistic and cultural heritage of my country, India, and the city of Jodhpur and its people, with new audiences across North America.”

Three central, underlying themes woven throughout Peacock in the Desert build upon recent and emerging scholarship to deepen visitors’ understanding of the multifaceted character of a traditional Indian kingdom: INTERCONNECTIONS: The relationships between palace and town, urban and rural, central empire and subsidiary kingdom, as well as those that resulted from migratory trade routes, marital alliances, and military partnerships/confrontations, all led to a dynamic crosspollination of new ideas and belief systems, which found brilliant expression in fine and decorative arts, architecture, design, performing arts, and more. THE ROLE OF WOMEN AND ARTISANS: Contrary to the popular assumption that royal women were quietly hidden away, the exhibition explores the crucial role they played as agents of cultural change and patrons of the arts, showcasing how the gender roles, social etiquette, and aesthetic practices employed by women influenced the identity of Indian courts. ROYAL PATRONAGE AND THE CONTINUITY OF TRADITION: An exploration of the royal courts and the ways they were able to preserve India’s cultural traditions, while at the same time absorbing and incorporating external influences. These themes offer a new perspective on the cosmopolitan culture of the royal courts of the Marwar–Jodhpur region, communicated through the careful juxtaposition of objects, interpretive materials, and immersive installation within the exhibition’s The exhibition will be on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, from March 4 to August 19, 2018, before touring to the Seattle Art Museum and the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada.


47

Right: Jodhpur, Pavilion (Baradari), 19th century, wood, paint, lacquer, and gold, Mehrangarh Museum Trust. Below: Jodhpur, Shiva on His Vimana (Aircraft) with Himalaya (detail), folio 53 from the Shiva Rahasya, 1827, opaque watercolor and gold on paper, Mehrangarh Museum Trust. Left page: Gujarat, Palanquin (Mahadol), c. 1700–1730, gilded wood, glass, copper, and ferrous alloy, Mehrangarh Museum Trust. All Photography by Neil Greentree.

“We are deeply honored and grateful to be the first U.S. organization to present this unprecedented experience of India’s rich cultural history.”

Gary Tinterow


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Art

Where

Happens:

by Julie Farr

From left: Holocaust Museum Houston,

19 M U S E U M S , 4 W A L K A B L E Z O N E S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

HOUSTON CENTER FOR PHOTOGRAPHY ROTHKO CHAPEL THE MENIL COLLECTION DIVERSEWORKS BUFFALO SOLDIERS NATIONAL MUSEUM HOUSTON CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY CRAFT LAWNDALE ART CENTER CZECH CENTER MUSEUM HOUSTON HOUSTON MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURE ASIA SOCIETY TEXAS CENTER HOLOCAUST MUSEUM HOUSTON THE JUNG CENTER CONTEMPORARY ARTS MUSEUM HOUSTON THE MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, HOUSTON CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF HOUSTON THE HEALTH MUSEUM HOUSTON MUSEUM OF NATURAL SCIENCE RICE GALLERY HOUSTON ZOO

Sheltered by 100-year old oak trees, Houston Museum District is one of the largest concentrations of cultural institutions in the country. The district is 19 nonprofit organizations nestled between the Texas Medical Center, Hermann Park, and Midtown. Anchored by the historic Mecom Fountain, each is beautiful, unique and celebrates many cultures. The district is grouped into 4 walkable zones so visitors can park once and walk to several destinations. Zone 1 located in Montrose, is home of the Menil Collection, which offers self-produced and standing exhibitions of antiquities and surrealist art. Zone 2 showcases the largest group of museums with a ‘something-for-everyone’ variety. Zone 3 is contained to a three block area, including The Jung Center, a 50 year old gem dedicated to the human spirit through


49

Houston Museum District

Asia Society Texas Center. Photography by Paul Hester

Lawndale Art Center, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, and The Menil Collection. All photos courtesy of the Houston Museum District

psychology, spirituality, the arts and humanities. There are established gallery spaces where the art work reflects self-awareness with an insightful book shop. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is currently two exhibition buildings plus a sculpture garden Zone 4 is the most family-oriented group. To celebrate 20 years, The Health Museum recently renovated interactive exhibitions where children learn about health science and the human body. The DeBakey Cell Lab features science-focused experiences for kids as the only bilingual science laboratory exhibit in the country. Houston Zoo is part of zone 4 along with Museum of Natural Sciences, both situated in Hermann Park. The Houston’s Museum District is a force in the city’s vitality and an award-winning destination where learning about science, health, engineering history and the environment happens every day. Ten of the destinations are free at all times and the others offer dedicated free times. www.houstonmuseumdistrict.org

Houston Center for Photography. Photography by Kristy Peet


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Gallery Listings

BISONG GALLERY 1305 Sterrett St. 713 498-3015

BOOKER•LOWE GALLERY 4623 Feagan St. 713 880-1541

CAPSULE GALLEY 3909 Main St. 713 807-7065 CARDOZA FINE ART GALLERY 1320 Nance St. 832 548-0404

Isabelle Perreau, I am Anaelle.

ARCHWAY GALLERY 2305 Dunlavy St. 713 522-2409

MARCH Isabelle Perreau APRIL Larry Garmezy M AY Empty Bowls Invitational

AEROSOL WARFARE 2110 Jefferson 832 748-8369

ART OF THE WORLD GALLERY 2201 Westheimer Road. 713 526-1201

ART LEAGUE OF BAYTOWN 110 W Texas Ave, Baytown 281 427-2222

JUNE Silvia PintoSouza J U LY Annual Juried Exhibition AUGUST Michael Mistric

CASA RAMIREZ FOLK ART GALLERY 241 West 19th St. 713-880-2420

CATHERINE COUTURIER GALLERY

2635 Colquitt St. 713 524-5070

ARADER GALLERY 5015 Westheimer, #2303 713 621-7151

CAVALIER FINE ART 3845 Dunlavy St. 713 552-1416

ARDEN GALLERY 2143 Westheimer, Suite B 713 371-6333

CINDY LISICA GALLERY 4411 Montrose Blvd. #F 832 409-1934

ART PALACE 3913 Main St. 832 390-1278

COMMUNITY ARTISTS’ COLLECTIVE 4101 San Jacinto, Suite 115 713 523-1616

ART LEAGUE HOUSTON

1953 Montrose Blvd. 713 523-9530

DAVID SHELTON GALLERY 3909 Main St, 832 538-0924

4411 Montrose Blvd. 713 524-2299

ASHER GALLERY 4848 Main St. 713 529-4848

DEAN DAY GALLERY 2639 Colquitt St. 713 520-1021

APAMA MACKEY GALLERY 628 East 11th Street 713 850-8527

BARBARA DAVIS GALLERY 4411 Montrose Blvd. 713 520-9200

D. M. ALLISON GALLERY 2709 Colquitt 832 607-4378

ANYA TISH GALLERY

DEBORAH COLTON GALLERY 2445 North Blvd. 713 869-5151

DEVIN BORDEN GALLERY 3917 Main St. 713 529-2700

18 HANDS GALLERY 249 W. 19th St, Suite B 713 869-3099

Gspot GALLERY 310 East 9th Street 713 869-4770 GALERIA REGINA 1716 Richmond Ave 713 523-2524 GALERIE SPECTRA 303 Memorial City Way, 832 656-9671 GALLERY SONJA ROESCH 2309 Caroline St 713 659-5424 THE GITE GALLERY 2024 Alabama St. 713 523-3311

GALVESTON ART CENTER 2501 Market St. Galveston 409 763-2403

GLADE GALLERY 24 Waterway Avenue The Woodlands 832 557-8781 GRAY CONTEMPORARY 3508 Lake St. 713 862-4425

GREMILLION & CO. FINE ART, INC. 2501 Sunset Blvd. 713 522-2701


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Gallery Listings

KOELSCH GALLERY 801 Richmond avenue 713 626-0175

LA COLOMBE D’OR GALLERY 3410 Montrose Blvd. 713 524 -7999

McCLAIN GALLERY

HANNAH BACOL BUSCH GALLERY 6900 S. Rice Ave. 713 527-0523

MEREDITH LONG & CO. 2323 San Felipe 713 523-6671

HARAMBEE ART GALLERY 901 Bagby St. harambeeartgallery.com HARRIS GALLERY 1100 Bissonnet 713 522-9116

HIRAM BUTLER GALLERY 4520 Blossom St. 713 863-7097

2242 Richmond Ave. 713 520-9988

MOODY GALLERY

2815 Colquitt St. 713 526-9911 Hill / Bloom Feb. 24 - March 31, 2018 Jean Carruthers Wetta April 7 - May 12, 2018 Michael Kennaugh May 19 - June 23, 2018

HOOKS-EPSTEIN GALLERIES 2631 Colquitt St. 713 522-0718

OFF THE WALL GALLERY

1441 West Alabama Street 713 529-4755

SAMARA GALLERY 3911 Main St. 713 999-1009

OCTAVIA ART GALLERY 3637 West Alabama #120 713 877-1810

SERRANO GALLERY

O’KANE GALLERY UH-Downtown One Main Street 713 221-8042 PARKERSON GALLERY 3510 Lake St. 713 524-4945 PEVETO 2627 Colquitt Street 713 360-7098

POST GALLERY 2121 Sage, Suite 165 713 622-4241 Jean Carruthers Wetta Remembering Morandi, 2016

INMAN GALLERY 3901 Main St. 713 526-7800

NICOLE LONGNECKER GALLERY 2625 Colquitt St. 713 591-4997

JACK MEIER GALLERY 2310 Bissonnet 713 526-2983

NOLAN-RANKIN GALLERIES 3637 W. Alabama St. 713 528-0664

SHE WORKS FLEXIBLE 1709 Westheimer Road 713 522-0369

5015 Westheimer Rd. Galleria II, Level II 713 871-0940

POISSANT GALLERY 5102 Center St. 713 868-9337

HOUSTON CENTER FOR PHOTOGRAPHY

HUNTER GORHAM GALLERY 1834 1/2 Westheimer Rd. 713 492-0504

Salvador Dalí Femmes Fleurs au Piano, 1969-1970

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

ROCKSTAR GALLERY 5700 NW Central Dr #160 832 868-0242 RUDOLPH BLUME FINE ART 1836 Richmond Avenue 713 807-1836

2000 Edwards St. #117 713 724-0709

Rolando Rojas

GUERRERO-PROJECTS 4411 Montrose Blvd. 713 522-0686

SICARDI GALLERY 2246 Richmond Ave. 713 529-1313

SIMPSON GALLERIES 6116 Skyline Dr. Suite 1 713 524-6751 TEXAS GALLERY 2012 Peden St. 713 524-1593

WILLIAM REAVES SARAH FOLTZ FINE ART 2143 Westheimer Rd. 713 521-7500

YVONAMOR PALIX FINE ARTS 1824 Spring St. 281 467-6065 ZOYA TOMMY 4102 Fannin St. 832 649-5814


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Adriana LoRusso

Suzette Schutze

Luisa Duarte

Gretchen Bender Sparks

Rosibel Ramirez

Thuy Nguyen

Vicki Hessemer

Nichole Dittmann

Lily Gavalas

Maria Hughes

Valentina Atkinson

Tania Botelho

Nataliya Scheib

Lyn Sullivan

Darlene Abdouch

Studio 326 832-607-9117 alorussoart@gmail.com

Studio 117 713-724-0709 www.serranogallery.com

Studio 117 713-724-0709 www.serranogallery.com

Studio 306 281-881-8981 www.suzetteschutze.com

Studio 121 713-504-9118 www.vickihessemer.com

Studio 102 281-660-5061 Facebook ArtByTaniaBotelho

Studio 122 281-857-5028 www.Luisa-Duarte.com

Studio 214 713-444-7562 www.gretchenbendersparks.com

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

Studio 115 571-212-9279 www.NataliyaScheib.com

Studio 119 713-859-7143 www.lilygavalas.com

Studio 211 281-520-1349 www.lynsullivan.com

Studio #205 832-228-5294 www.rosibelramirez.com

Studio 117 713-724-0709 www.serranogallery.com

Studio 312 713-569-8346 www.Abdouchart.com

WHERE ART LOVERS AND ARTISTS CONNECT VISIT ARTISTS’ STUDIOS EVERY SECOND SATURDAY OF THE MONTH

2000 EDWARDS ST. HOUSTON, TX 77007

12-5PM

SILVERSTREETHOUSTON.COM


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Performing Arts Schedule

HOUSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

THEATRE UNDER THE STARS 1475 West Gray 713 520-1220

Jesse H. Jones Hall 615 Louisiana Street, Suite 100 713 227-4772

MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL (Sarofim) February 20 - March 4

THE OSCARS BEST ORIGINAL SONGS March 1 - 2

BRIGHT STAR (Sarofim) March 13 - 25

BE OUR GUEST March 3

GUYS + DOLLS (Sarofim) June 12 - 24

Houston Symphony. Photo by Anthony Rathbun

CHRIS BOTTI RETURNS March 24 - 25 BERNSTEIN & STRAVINSKY March 29 - 31

HOUSTON GRAND OPERA 510 Preston St. 713 546-0200

WEST SIDE STORY April 20 - May 6

TCHAIKOVSKY’S SLEEPING BEAUTY April 6 - 8 STAR WARS & MORE—THE BEST OF JOHN WILLIAMS April 20 - 22 ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA April 26 - 29 A GERMAN REQUIEM May 4 - 6 EMANUEL AX PLUS THE RITE OF SPRING May 18 - 20 ONE-HIT WONDERS May 25 - 27 HARRY POTTER June 15 - 17

West Side Story. Artwork by Gracie Padron

NORMA April 27 - May 11 AND OPERA: CRUZAR DE CARA DE LA LUNA May 17 - 20


SCHEDULE 57

ALLEY THEATRE

DA CAMERA

SATCHMO AT THE WALDORF February 24 - March 18 Hubbard Theatre

DA CAMERA: MINGUS BIG BAND MARCH 24, 8:00 PM U of H Cullen Performance Hall

CLEO April 6 - 29 Hubbard Theatre

BEETHOVEN FOR ALL: STOP, LOOK AND LISTEN! Saturday, April 14, 3 p.m. Richmond Hall, The Menil Collection

PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE May 11 - June 3 Hubbard Theatre

A LITTLE DAY MUSIC: BEETHOVEN FOR ALL Wednesday, May 2, 12 p.m. Wednesday, June 6, 12 p.m. Julia Ideson Building

615 Texas Avenue 713 220-5700

THE CAKE June 1 - July 1 Neuhaus Theatre HOLMES AND WATSON June 22 - July 22 Hubbard Theatre PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE May 11 - June 3 Hubbard Theatre

1402 Sul Ross 713 524-524-7601

BEETHOVEN FOR ALL: HOUSTON YOUTH SYMPHONY Sunday, May 13, 1:30 p.m. Duncan Recital Hall, Rice University DIANNE REEVES June 1, 8:00 pm U of H Cullen Performance Hall

THE CAKE June 1 - July 1 Neuhaus Theatre HOLMES AND WATSON June 22 - July 22 Hubbard Theatre

HOUSTON BALLET

Mingus Big Band. Courtesy of Mingus Big Band

Wortham Center, 500 Texas Avenue 713 227-2787

PLAY June 8 - 10

DON QUIXOTE April 12 - 14

SWAN LAKE June 23 - July 1

HOBBY CENTER 800 Bagby Street 713 315-2400

RIVERDANCE March 9 - 11, Sarofim Hall DANCE SALAD FESTIVAL Mar 29, 30 & 31, Zilkha Hall LONG LIVE THE QUEEN Apr 7, Zilkha Hall HAMILTON April 24 - May 20, Sarofim Hall THE GLAM SEDUCTION Apr 28, Zilkha Hall ROMANTIC MASTERWORKS May 12, Zilkha Hall A DAY WITH MARIE ANTOINETTE May 19, Zilkha Hall Artists of Houston Ballet in Play. Photo by Amitava Sarkar.

LOVE NEVER DIES July 17 - 22, Sarofim Hall


T H E

A R T H O UFSETAOTNU R5E8

F I N E A R T O F P R I N T I N G

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E S S A Y 5595

Poem 132

B e t h Tu n n e l l The sleight of hand A fools mirage Ripples go far Rocks softened Moving sand To touch, to see, to taste These may take leave Sometimes in haste She tempts false simplicity Don’t misunderstand It’s way beyond grand Sprightly prance A fawn, ballerina Early blooming Surprising magnolia Waft of ozone before rain Rays forcing a new horizon An iridescent beauty Emerging open Yet, hesitant Holding back Bold and refined Young tears, down cheeks Slipping onto Cracked lips Bright burning Love a curious notion This world, you know Is timeless in motion The ripple effect Continues for ever Riding the oceans The river The lake The pond She Goes on


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Reviews

Chu Okoli, Morning, on the day of encounter, 2016

Marti Corn, Faith, 2017.

NATURE

MARTI CORN

NATURE was the theme for AmegyBank’s first exhibition last fall in its new headquarters, and showed the work of twenty Houston artists from Silver Street Studios, which is part of one of the largest creative campuses in the nation. The featured artists were Valentina Kisseleva, Ana Archer, Lorena Morales, Kyong Burke, Karuna Leach, Maria Hughes, Celan Bouillet, Nataliya Scheib, Lyn Sullivan, Matthew Gant, Lily Gavalas, Carolina Lauver, Suzette Schutze, Denise Giordano, Lacy Husmann, Darlene Abdouch, Justin Garcia, Vicki Hessemer, Luisa Duarte, Chu Okoli, Janavi M. Folmsbee, Verny Sanchez Mitchell, Harriet Ferber, and Valentina Atkinson. Curated by John Bernhard, the work was an abstract representation of our universe through a collection of works departing from the realities of our vision of the world. In this exhibition “art” is not a mere transcription of reality. Every representation of our surrounding world is, ultimately, an imaginative creation, in which nature is translated through the filter of our own interests, values, and desires. Nature is a subject that inspires all artists. Wherever you are, wherever you work, there will always be nature around you, and whether you intend to or not, it’s always going to influence you in so many ways. Human beings are both a part of and apart from Nature. During the month long exhibition bank customers and visitors alike left with an increased awareness to the sensitivity of the colors, forms, and patterns that surround us, and by extension, the structure of nature itself.

Last February Lone Star College in Montgomery County Campus hosted Marti Corn’s photographic exhibit, The Ground on Which I Stand, an exhibition honoring the history of one of the few remaining emancipation communities and the grace in which its residents live their lives. In 1871, the community of Tamina was created by freed slaves fortunate enough to buy their own land. Along the railroad line between Houston and Conroe, Texas, community members built their own churches, stores, and schools, tilling land, raising hogs, and working in local sawmills. Today, Tamina survives as one of the United States’ few remaining emancipation towns, significant due to its African American roots and the overcoming of Jim Crow legislation, the depression, the civil rights movement, and modern gentrification. Though steeped in history, few words have been published about this vital, important place. The Ground on Which I Stand is a compilation of oral histories gathered and portraits made of 12 families representing different aspects of this community—young and old, black cowboys, ministers, those who have created non-profits to help neighbors, folks whose families have lived in Tamina for seven generations, and first-generation Tamina citizens. Their stories describe a deep-rooted kinship with one another, with values resting on family and community. They share stories of poverty suffered, prejudice faced, their love for this community, and dreams for their future. Despite their many challenges, faith, and humor always thread their tales.

AMEGY BANK TOWER

LONE STAR COLLEGE


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Prince Varughese Thomas, Ancestors 12, 2018.

Richard Tuschman, Hotel by Railroad, 2012.

FOTOFEST 2018

RICHARD TUSCHMAN

In Collecting Echoes, Julie Brook Alexander joins two images on a single page, which allows the viewer to discover the interplay between near and far vantage points as well as to see the natural world in a new way. Combining these two points of view in her diptychs shifts the impact from what may seem like familiar landscapes into someplace unexpected. Captivated by photographs of the Earth taken by astronauts, Alexander contemplates the interconnectedness of the planet and studies the ways that different parts of the natural world might intersect. In Kathryn Dunlevie’s The Taxidermist’s Imaginarium, she creates photomontages by combining photographs of nature, zoos, natural history museums, and botanical gardens with those of contemporary urban settings. The works suggest disruptions in space and time and the strange bedfellows these disruptions create. Prince Varughese Thomas’s New Works exhibition consists of photo-based works, in addition to a video, that metaphorically explore the subject of death in private and public contexts. The works integrate images that are sourced from Thomas’ family archives, which includes four generations of funeral photos. Thomas utilizes these photos to create a series of images that references photography’s historical tradition with documenting death, while metaphorically speaking about communal and personal loss. The images include constructed landscapes that he has photographed with component parts from his family archives. Until March 21, 2018

Hopper Meditations is the first solo exhibition in Texas of New York/Poland - based artist, Richard Tuschman. Drawing inspiration from the painter Edward Hopper, Tuschman’s most iconic series Hopper Meditations evokes themes of solitude, alienation and longing, that are timeless and universal. Merging the handcrafted with digital technology, Richard Tuschman produces painterly and evocative photographs. Tuschman began experimenting with digital imaging in the early 1990’s, developing a style that incorporates his interests in photography, painting and assemblage. To create these works, the artist constructs dollhouse-sized dioramas of humble, intimate settings. He then photographs and digitally incorporates women and men – including himself – to create quiet scenes that are psychologically compelling with open-ended narratives. The characters’ emotions appear to vacillate paradoxically between yearning and resignation. Dramatic lighting magnifies the emotional scenes leaving the final interpretation to the viewer. “My pictures diverge from Hopper’s paintings. The general mood in my work is more somber, and the lighting is less harsh, than in Hopper’s. I am trying to achieve an effect perhaps closer to the chiaroscuro lighting of Rembrandt, another painter I greatly admire. I like to think of my images as dramas for a small stage, with the figures as actors in a one or two-character play. The characters, by appearance, are rooted specifically in the past, somewhere in Hopper’s midtwentieth century. On view until March 31, 2018.

HOOKS-EPSTEIN GALLERIES

ANYA TISH GALLERY


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In May of 2016 onlookers couldn’t help but balk as flames engulfed one of the last museums in the United States dedicated to honoring the history of printed words and images

BY J O DY T. M O R S E


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The Printing Museum took a hit, that horrific day, but she’s risen from the ashes, stronger than ever before. Though a section of this beloved building—on the corner of Clay and Peveto, in Houston’s Montrose District—will be permanently handicapped, a dedicated group of volunteers and caretakers have fought to save this precious monument to humanity’s printed history. Look around, without a humble invention from the fifteenth century called the printing press, the visual landscape of our modern world and society would be unrecognizable. No libraries dotting metropolitan skylines, no business cards connecting professional networkers, no postcards in our mailboxes from Grandma in Fiji for the winter, no barcoded tickets and beautiful playbills at the opera house. And, of course, the industries of marketing, publicity, and media would be hindered severely, if they even still existed. Our world would be an alien place without Gutenberg’s press and a handful of other printing icons. In 1979, four printers—with a passion for preserving the vast historical printing collections they owned—came together to begin designs on what would be chartered, three years later, as Houston’s The Printing Museum. Their curation included antique printing presses, rare books, historic,

one-of-a-kind newspapers, and even a twentieth-century model Linotype machine dubbed “the eighth wonder of the world” by Thomas Edison. Were these treasures worthy of saving and sharing with people from near and far? They thought so, as have thousands of museum volunteers, board members, contributors, and visitors over the past four decades. One of the people most dedicated to the museum’s mission of “exploring the intersections of the history, art, and technology of the printing craft” is museum Board Chair, John Earles. He and his partner, Jennifer Blanco, have taken on some “herculean, post-inferno tasks”, according to Executive Director, Jennifer Pearson. When asked what drives him to make such remarkable, restorative strides for the museum, Earles responded, “Printing has always been somewhat egalitarian. You don’t have to have a ton of facility to get your message out there. Anyone can participate. That’s why it’s important to save.” Pearson, who has been in the sooty trenches from day one, gave further insight into the massive restoration efforts. “Aside from the 400-pound presses, all of the exhibits had to be removed and put in storage. The entire facility was cleaned from floor to ceiling. Every page


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of every book had to be wiped down by hand.” She also commented with a chuckle that this process has been somewhat like “peeling an onion” – more extensive repairs kept being discovered with each layer of grime and ash they removed. But, as Pearson points out gratefully, the spirit of the volunteers and the board kept her team looking onward and upward. With the sense of unfettered inclusivity—that Earles expresses—and the gratitude that Pearson cherishes, these two dedicated individuals have worked beyond all

“ w e a r e h a p p y, beyond measure, to welcome back The Printing Museum a n d h e r s t a f f.” ArtHouston

All photos by Thomas Hull

expectations to resurrect the museum out of her twenty-month, fire-induced coma. E.D. Pearson likens the emptiness of the museum to a house that has been uninhabited for nearly two years. “The museum is empty and lonely – we’re ready to host a full-house again.” And she says that “artists, teachers, and the historically curious are the magnets that draw people to us and keep us motivated.”

“Printing has toppled governments, served the underserved societies of the world, and had a tremendous i m p a c t o n o u r h u m a n i t y.” John Earles Listening to both of these pillars of the museum rave and rant about their resurrected printing institution, should make everyone smile and want to visit. “Printing is about more than words on a page, it’s about the technology of communication and generating

interesting conversations,” gushes Chairman Earles. On January 25th, with flourish and fanfair, the doors flew open and people flooded back into The Printing Museums honeycombed halls of printing history and hands-on exhibits. It was truly a day that Houstonians and lovers of the printed word will remember as the day our printing museum rose from the ashes. Whether with a group or as an individual, Houstonians should add this museum to their list of unique places in Houston to tour in 2018. Who can visit and enjoy The Printing Museum? Anyone. As Earles says, “printing is for everyone!” What can visitors expect to see? An exhibit called “Ghosts in the Books” that explores the evolution of writing and paper from clay tablets and papyrus scrolls to manuscripts created by scribes and monks of the Middle Ages. The Texas History Gallery, which pays tribute to Samuel Bangs, the first printer in Texas. And six other staple collections. Plus, special, revolving exhibitions from time to time. When, where, and how to visit The Printing Museum can all be answered on the museum’s website – printingmuseum.org or with a quick call to (713) 522-4652.


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Drawing created by one of our students after being hit by Hurricane Harvey to cast away feelings of sadness/hopelessness in the Healing Box. Below: One of the circles of trust created among the 250 students the program worked with in December 2017.

Inspiring Community Through Hope, Arts & Education BY KARINE PARKER-LEMOYNE

AU G U S T 2 0 1 7 - H U R R I C A N E HA RV E Y D E VA S T A T E D T H E H O U S T O N area

and swept away many people’s lives and belongings. H.I.S.D. was closed for weeks after the storm. After the disruption and destruction brought on by Harvey’s impact, many students exhibited post-disaster trauma. The tremendous humanitarian response helped to cope with immediate needs but didn’t always address the feelings of

profound loss and lack of Hope, in life and even in oneself, felt by many. As author Jeff Goins states: “One sad thing can lead to another and so on, until we feel that we can’t possibly break free. It can all be a bit too much for our souls to handle. As humans, we need hope. We can’t live without it. It is the lifeblood to our spiritual survival, and the only thing that pulls us out of the deep trenches of the pain and hurt in life.”


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Regaining Hope represents one of the core goals of our Be the Peace – Be the Hope Healing Arts (BTPBTH) program. We responded to this tragic situation by preparing a taskforce to meet the needs of the schools, students and teachers that had been impacted, directly or indirectly by the Hurricane. BTPBTH is a social and emotional enrichment and healing arts program that engages large number of children in at-risk environments. Art and mindfulness are crucial in healing trauma. They are effective and proven mechanisms individuals can employ to confront and manage difficult experiences and the uncertainty and stress of life. The assessment results of the BTPBTH program administered and evaluated by Innovate At Work, have shown a positive change in the lives of hundreds of children in a very short time.

story. Eliana is nine years old and goes to Emerson Elementary. At the beginning of the program, she seemed isolated, sad and was bullied by some of her classmates. During the “Healing Box” activity, we asked the students to write or draw about their problems. Eliana’s paper showed a big cloud and rain over her, she also wrote “I feel dark inside me. I feel like I can’t trust anyone except my family. I feel like I don’t belong here. I want people to see what I’m feeling”. Over the course of the program changes in Eliana were noticeable: she opened up to the team and to her classmates, started smiling and feeling more comfortable. In her post-survey about the program she wrote that the stone of Hope now helps her when she has problems, that the Be The Peace – Be The Hope activities gave her “Love, Trust, Friends, and Hope”

IN NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER 2017,

over 250 Emerson Elementary and Wisdom high school students along with 20 teachers benefitted from the Texan-French alliance for the Arts Be the Peace – Be the Hope Alliance program. Between January and March of 2018, 500 more public school students and teachers are benefiting from the program. By training local teachers and following up periodically the BTPBTH team ensures the sustainability of the program. These BTPBTH missions are supported by Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund administered through the Greater Houston Community Foundation, Engie, Total, Axens, Schlumberger and the Secours Populaire. in partnership with H.I.S.D. Throughout our Be the Peace – Be the Hope program, students, many of whom are part of Houston’s most vulnerable population, shared their challenges with us: they drew and talked about the storm and flooded houses but also about poverty, problems at home, not knowing English, feeling not respected and isolated, being a refugee from a dangerous country and feeling lost or unprotected. With the help of our team and techniques, the students found a safe environment where they could talk about their difficult experiences in a healing way, connect with others, believe in their own abilities to recover, acknowledge their dreams and feel stronger. After addressing the storm, we noticed from the students a will to move-on and address other, more global problems that they are facing. We noticed theses change in Eliana’s

and that she learned that “there’s love in trust”. These positive changes were noticeable for many students, at Wisdom High School and Emerson Elementary: “At the end many of the students were sharing that they made new friends and that the friendships were much deeper and more meaningful. By day three, they were dancing together, laughing together, celebrating together, and sharing hope and dreams in colorful, bold, and inspirational imagery and messages.” (Brooke Summers Perry, coordinator) Through stronger ties created with their peers, and friendships developed dur-

ing the program, the students found a way out of social isolation and began to communicate, give and gain more respect. These patterns were identified during the individual evaluations. A noted decrease in depression and anxiety and an increase in physical and emotional safety confirmed the impact of the program among the students. The positive outcome of the workshops reminds us, once again, of how much human connections and a vehicle to release trauma are essential in the healing process; this work is desperately needed in the schools we are working with and beyond. BTPBTH, active in Burkina Faso, Irak, Greece, Lebanon, Uganda, Ruanda, France and Houston, TX., also connects the youth with local and global communities so that they can be part of the positive change they wish to see in the world. The students from Wisdom High School benefited from international solidarity through a celebration underwritten by the Secours Populaire, a French non-profit organization who aims to fight against poverty and exclusion around the world. This event was the occasion to unveil an art installation, an artistic door representing messages of Hope created by the students during the program. The door carries messages of resilience, Love and Hope for the future. During the ceremony the students were also awarded Citizen Month certificates, granted by the City of Houston Mayor’s Office of New Americans in the presence of Sam Merchant, Congressman Al Green representative, the Consul General of France in Houston, Alexis Andres and Corinne Makowski and Jordan Dusenge representing Le Secours Populaire Francais. Through this experience, we are reminded of the importance of joining forces to address our youth’s emotional and social needs, in times of hardship like the challenges they are facing every day or more exceptionally after a hurricane, and in order to build a better foundation so that they can become the Peace, the Hope and the Love they wish to see in the world. Borrowing the words that some students shared with us at the end of the program: We have more Hope because “we created stronger friendships and respect”, “we can all work together, using friendship and cooperation”, “there is Love in Trust” and “we can change the world”. For more information or how you can help contact: info@BePeaceBeHope.org


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BlackBeauty B Y

M A T T H E W

B A C K E R

L a s t J a n u a r y, t h e A r t L e a g u e H o u s t o n h o s t e d a n e x h i b i t i o n o f A e s h a L e e’s p a i n t i n g s o f b l a c k w o m e n o n b i r c h p a n e l s e n t i t l e d “ T h e B e a u t y o f t h e B l a c k Wo m a n .” A c c o r d i n g t o L e e , “ D i v e r s i t y d i s t i n g u i s h e s b l a c k b e a u t y,” a n d t h e s e r i e s p u t s t h i s d i v e r s e b e a u t y o n d i s p l a y. Titles throughout the show encourage viewers to reflect on their conceptions of race and b e a u t y. T h e s e r i e s f e a t u r e s m o r e t h a n t w e n t y p a i n t i n g s , a n d a l l o f t h e p a i n t i n g s a r e t w o fe et by two fe et . The me dium is oi l on wo o d. The exhibiti on is now on v i e w at the HMAAC (Histori c a l Mus eum of Af ri c an Ameri c an Cu lture) unti l Apri l 7, 2018.

“ To provide context for how I understand this show, I recently watched the

astounding Beasts of the Southern Wild. Like many people, I was captivated by the unvarnished beauty and mesmerizing performance of Quvenzhané Wallis, who, at 5 years old, won an Oscar nomination for her leading role, a character named Hushpuppy. Wallis is undeniably beautiful; she has a rich mane of hair and delicate features, but she does not fit neatly into any category of beauty with which I am familiar. This is the kind of unconventional beauty that is on display in these paintings.


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MATTHEW BACKER: Many artists and writers have addressed the issue of black beauty. What was most inspirational in helping you to develop your own perspective on black beauty? AESHA LEE: I think what was most inspirational was experiencing firsthand the struggles of accepting the beauty of being a black woman. Society often times celebrates the beauty of other ethnicities and ignores that of the black woman. Today people get plastic surgery to obtain some of the very same features that black women have been ridiculed for having. MB: What distinguishes black beauty from other kinds of beauty? AL: Diversity distinguishes black beauty. We are one of the only cultures that contains every shade of color of skin (from the darkest to the lightest),

every range of textures of hair (from straight to the tightest of curls), we have natural plump lips or thin lips, some have natural blue eyes, or blond hair. There is just so much to the beauty of the black woman. MB: What is the relationship between flaws and beauty? AL: I believe that they are one and the same. I think all women should accept their flaws as beauty, because I think all women are beautiful. This series celebrates the beauty of the black woman but it is not intended to diminish the beauty of any other kind. MB: The primary audience for your work appears to be black women. Do you think black women and others will engage the art differently? AL: I have actually found that the audience for my work is much larger

than black women. Other women and men truly enjoy the work for different reasons, but I think the main reason is “acceptance.” Allowing one to accept themselves and acknowledge their own beauty is a powerful notion, and one that really has no distinguishing color. MB: How would you say that your project relates to black history? AL: The history of the black woman is very important in my work. I have researched times that the black woman was paraded in front of people so that they were shamed for their (at the time) “odd” features. Black women have been shamed for the texture of their hair in the past and still shamed in the present. Outside and inside the community of the black woman both past and present, the black woman is


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taught that darker skin is not beautiful. My series will not erase any of this…. But I hope that it will change this. I hope that women will know that the tone of their skin doesn’t define their beauty. I want little girls to realize that they are not “pretty for a black girl,” but instead they are pretty. MB: What is your relationship with the women in the paintings? AL: Most of the women that I paint I do not know personally. I feel like I have a relationship to them because they are my sisters. I think this translates to the viewer also. You don’t have to know these women to be able to find representation within my work. A young girl or an older woman can look to any of these women and see some part of herself and I think that is what makes the work so powerful. MB: How did you decide on the pose and expression for each woman? AL: I searched for them…. I searched for images that expressed some of the things that I have heard while growing up as a black woman. Some of the expressions are overlooked or misunderstood. The poses come from the restrictions that I placed on myself for a uniform format to the series. MB: Women from what cultures and ethnicities are represented in the show? AL: All women…. I know the series is titled “The Beauty of the Black Woman,” but I truly feel that every woman can relate to this series. The series is about women accepting themselves. No matter what others say or deem beautiful, no matter how many times others have said discouraging things. I want black women to know that they don’t have to change the shape of their nose, the curve of their hips, or

the texture of their hair if they don’t want to, and if they do then that’s ok too. And other women should pull from this series the power of loving yourself. MB: How do the titles enhance the viewers’ engagement with the paintings? AL: Some of the titles can seem slightly playful in their demeanor, but they are all addressing a series of concerns of mine for women of color. Growing up as a black woman, I have often heard many of these statements that were not necessarily always meant to be rude or offensive, but they truly are. MB: The majority of the paintings are

asymmetrical. Many cultures associate symmetry with beauty. How do you think symmetry and asymmetry relate to beauty? AL: Yes, quite a few of the paintings in the series are asymmetrically balanced; however, the women more times than not are symmetrically balanced. As a human race we tend to believe that the more symmetry in the human face the more pleasing in appearance the person appears. I find this somewhat humorous because in reality none of us are perfectly symmetrical. MB: One of the things you talked about at the reception was the interaction

between the grain of the wood and the faces painted over the wood. In which paintings do you think the relationship between the grain and the faces is the most successful? What effects emerge from this relationship? AL: Well I would like to believe that they are all successful in their integrations with the grains of the wood. This is a key factor for me. I actually won’t start on a portrait until I find the perfect piece of wood for it. On rare occasions I find the wood first and the portrait later, but the natural grain is just as important to me in the work as the painting itself. MB: Why did you choose the format of 2x2 ft. birch wood panels for the paintings? AL: I usually work on birch wood because I like the grain patterns, but in the future I have plans of breaking the restricted format to which I have confined myself for this series. I chose the 2x2 ft. format because Instagram at the time that I started this series was a doorway for people to express themselves through a limited format and I found this to be very interesting. I had previously worked on very large scale and found that with the restricted format on a smaller scale the work became more intimate. MB: How would this project be different if the images were painted on canvas? AL: Had I painted these same images on canvas I think something would have been missing for me. The idea of this “natural” beauty against this “natural” wood completes the pieces. I love that woodgrain is as diverse as the beauty of the black woman. Matthew Backer teaches art history and is the interim chair of the Art Department at Lone Star College-CyFair.


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What upcoming projects are you working on? The Jackalope Queen - Character development of a feral rabbit queen via costuming, performance and images. This is a continuation of an installation and performance driven project titled The Bad Unicorn, 2010-2013. Renegade Carnies - The Renegade Carnies is my platform for creating collaboration driven pieces, including various movement and performance art driven practices. The Renegade Carnies currently includes movement artists who specialize in bellydance, flow arts and fire manipulation. We are preparing for ambient, site specific performances at TX based events: Bayou City Burlesque & Circus Arts Festival, Art Car Ball.

such as: batons, goblin, buugeng, hoopdance) and Kink Performance (Rope Bondage, Fire Play). I collaborate well with others and can also perform on stage alongside or in support of others. I am a professionally trained Oriental Dancer, a Mexican American Fusion Bellydancer. MORE SPECIFICALLY I am a Muscle Dancer, Renegade Carnie style. I am not a choreographer, I AM AN IMPROVISER. I am a product of the Danse Du Ventre, the Sideshow and Freakshows who took it around the United States, a product of Burlesque artists who set the stage for the earliest Girly Shows and the promoters who exploited them all. I am a festive exhibition of deviance and sweetness. I am an experience connoisseur of violent delights. I am a Bellydance Technique instructor. I AM AN ARTIST and I now play with and am learning to manipulate FIRE.

Where are you from? I was born in Downtown Houston, raised in the East End/2nd Ward, went to school in Montrose and continue to be an inner city creative Screwston fixie girl hoodrat.

I am a based movement artist, instructor, model, muse & specialty performer: Oriental/Fusion Bellydance (sword balancing, veil, veil fans, isis wings, zills), Fire Bellydance (fire sword, palm torches, fire crown, fire sword, fire fingers), Fire Breathing/Fire Eating, Flow Arts (fire and non-fire props

My artistic practice reflects my survival of this current lifetime. My work explores emotional caricatures and the life of the line that leads to their creation. The execution of

YETorres, OBCBCFest 2017 Image by ŠSheridan Original

What types of mediums do you work in? Which medium are you the most comfortable with?

Why do you create art? T h e m a t i c a l l y, w h a t i s your work usually about?

these caricatures originates from my background in fashion, drawing, and sideshow. Once developed exclusively within drawing and painting, I now investigate the life of line through movement using Bellydance, Flow Arts and Fire Manipulation as my point of departure. My work is driven by collaboration and the reciprocity of inspiration I gain working alongside other artists. I create structurally improvised pieces inspired by sound, exploitation, human conflict and the deviant, sensual nature of human emotion. As a contemporary bellydancer my performances range from bellydance fusion, burlesque and an investigation of improvising movement to sound. As a fire manipulator I eat, breathe and spin fire to display the strength and pain threshold of the body, while exhibiting control of an element of nature. In combination, I use the practices of drawing, fire manipulation and movement to create environments where my body plays the role of dancer and canvas, while simultaneously displaying human feats. Fluid yet dangerous, it is these experiences that transmute the human body into a vehicle to explore line. Through my process as a movement instructor, I seek out opportunities to motivate, inspire and revitalize my audience, collaborators and students. As a professional performer, my practice is ignited by training around the country to create connections with other artists and to gain insight into my own educational needs.

YE TORRES by Marci Dallas


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What was the very first independent creative project you worked on?

Left top: A public art installation piece consisting of projection mapped animations on the iconic “BE SOMEONE” graffiti piece located on I-45 for HUE Mural Fest 2017. Photography by Charlie Holt. Left: bottom PIXEL, an art installation created for Dream Machine 2017. Photography by Jean Velez,

The beginnings of Input Output is a little unconventional which really laid the foundation for the work we do now. Our first project was at The Graffiti and Street Art Museum for the B12 Collective Gallery Opening. Given the open format of the show and with no previous history of working together, we were able to create a very unique, immersive light and sound experience. The workflow between us was very organic in that it was a continuous back and forth conversation from conception through execution.

What types of mediums do you work in? Which medium are you the most comfortable with? We manipulate the properties of light, sound, and space in order to play with viewers’ perceptions. We do this through the inventive implementation of various digital technologies.

T h e m a t i c a l l y, w h a t i s your work usually about and why do you choose to focus on these issues? The theme of reality and its correlation to the human experience is pervasive in our work. We explore the way society navigates technology in its physical and digital forms through the interpretation of data and information. We think these are fundamental concepts that every human deals with, questioning what it means to be human in the present time and in the future.

What upcoming projects are you working on? We really hit the ground running this year with a full schedule. Locally, we have partnered with Art Car for their annual ball and are super excited because of how it embodies Input Output’s DIY ethos. Our work will be showcased at this years SOLUNA International Music and Arts Festival in Dallas this summer where classical music is met with contemporary art. We have also been invited back to work with Illectric River Music and Arts Festival. The work that we create is able to move across many different domains, and we are interested in exploring these new territories.

ALEX RAMOS by Marci Dallas


A R TAHROT UH SOTUOSNT O7N6 7 6

EXPOSURE

NATHAN LINDSTROM

www.nathanlindstrom.com nathan@nathanlindstrom.com 281 650-8353

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.

VICKI HESSEMER

Silver Street #121 vhessemer@vickihessemer.com 713 504-9118

SUZETTE SCHUTZE

www.suzetteschutze.com schutze007@sbcglobal.net 281 881-8981


E X P O S U R7 E7 7 7

LYN SULLIVAN

Vortex of Existence II, Silver Street Studios, #211 www.lynsullivan.com Lyn@lynsullivan.com 281 520-1349

VERNY SANCHEZ

www.vernysanchez.com

Silver Street #314

vernysanchez@gmail.com

832 727-8594


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Lynn Bianchi, Caryatid III, 1999, gold-toned silver gelatin print, 16’’x 20’’

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Xavier Zimbardo, Holi, Brijbhoomi, Uttar Pradesh, 1992

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ArtHouston is published semiannually by Art Houston Magazine, LLC. ©Copyright 2017. 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, Texas 77007.


C O L O P H O N 7799

CONTRIBUTORS

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.

Meghan Hendley Lopez WRITER

Meghan Hendley Lopez holds 15 plus years of experience in music, education, and journalism. A classical pianist, composer, and vocalist she loves to write about the inspired city of Houston and beyond. Meghan enjoys spending time and collaborating with her husband, a visual artist and sound engineer. Their latest musical project is GrayMatter, with a new album slated for release Spring 2016.

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.

Jill Boyles WRITER

Jill Boyles’ work has appeared in Toasted Cheese, The Ilanot Review, and Reunion: The Dallas Review, among other publications. She holds an Master of Fine Arts and was the recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board grant and she was a finalist for the Jerome Grant. She’s currently working on a novel. To see more of her work visit www.jillboyles.com.

Jody T. Morse WRITER

Multi-genre writer Jody T. Morse has penned prize-winning flash, numerous blog contributions, boasts over three-dozen magazine articles to her name, and has a number of published works of innovative poetry out in the world. When not writing, Jody runs a boutique publishing house, helping new and emerging writers to be seen and heard. BountifulBalconyBooks.com/JodyTMorse

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.

Holly Walrath EDITOR, WRITER

Denver Writing. variety Houston Texas.

Holly Walrath is a freelance editor and author living in Seabrook. She attended the University of Texas at Austin for her B.A. in English and the University of for her M.L.A. in Creative Her writing has appeared in a of publications including the Chronicle and Arts+Culture

Sabine Casparie WRITER

Originally a lawyer, Sabine Casparie decided to follow her passion and gained a Masters in modern and contemporary art from Christie’s Education, London in 2012. She set up her own art tours company and writes a blog about art and our daily lives. Sabine moved with her family from London to Houston in 2016 and just completed a Certificate in Museum Education at the University of Houston. www.sabinecasparie.com

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

Mariana S ammartino

Photography by Nathan Lindstrom INFINITO encompasses a series of art objects designed and handcrafted by Mariana Sammartino, a Houston metalsmith and product designer. As the name implies, the art work contains multiple possibilities based on its use and the surrounding context. Each piece is a standalone sculpture that can be displayed on a base or armature; in multiples it’s an art installation on the wall or suspended from the ceiling; a lighting fixture when lit from within. In addition, INFINITO can be worn as a fashion statement piece on the wrist, around the neckline, or on the head, transforming the body into a moving sculpture. Crafted out of woven wire mesh cloth, INFINITO is available in stainless steel or bronze, and in a natural or flame-patina finish. For more on the artist, please visit: www.marianasammartino.com


ArtHouston, issue #6  

FotoFest 2018 Biennial featured

ArtHouston, issue #6  

FotoFest 2018 Biennial featured

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