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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


Illustration by Mike LLewellyn





ur world is changing rapidly, and art is playing a vital role in shaping it. Through art, barriers of all sorts — language, geographic, political, religious, sexual — are overcome, and people are enabled to communicate across cultures, globally. Today, digital media is the main instrument behind this transfer of ideas. It relays information, introduces artists, publishes art, and shares the voices of artists. To see how easily digital media can empower artist visibility, simply tap your phone’s news app. You’ll find there are more artists actively producing work today than at any time in history. Digital media appears to be a good way for new artists to get noticed.

Photo by F. Carter Smith



a struggle just to break through the sheer volume of data. Add information filters from Google and others and we’re peering through a tiny peephole at an enormous world. To compensate, artists must try harder than ever to promote their work via social networks and other digital media channels. This is the definition of irony. As a result, who will see a particular piece of art has become a genuine question. How can artists, especially new ones, gain wider attention and exposure?

More than ever, I believe printed media like ArtHouston can help artists reach a broader audience in ways that are effective, focused, and free of distraction. Nothing penetrates the digital filter However, the use of digital media has exposed a bubble quite like traditional publishing. That’s why conundrum. In a world where everyone and every- I’ve dedicated this issue to raising the visibility of thing vies for attention, much gets lost in the noise. more new artists than ever before. Like using a yellow highlighter to mark every line of this letter, highlighting everything highlights nothing. After all, the new ways are not always best. Sometimes, the old ways are better. Sometimes, the old ways are a To be fair, exposure for new artists has been historically single highlighted line on a page. difficult. At first, the Internet seemed to help dramatically. It allowed for the instant movement of visual informa- Yours faithfully. tion across the globe. But then it exploded. Now it’s John Bernhard







Collector Focus: Brad & Leslie Bucher Sabine Casparie



Nature, an Artist’s Muse Jody T. Morse 26


Just in Time Jennifer Stephan Kapral



Revamping Jones Plaza Arthur Demicheli 38


Moody Center: Interactive Project Arthur Demicheli



off the wall John Bernhard 44


William Hanhausen Sabine Casparie



How to collect art when you’re broke Laura Fitzpatrick


* Fresh Arts’ interviews


Vibrations of the Visual Meghan Hendley-Lopez 5 8 ESS AY

Erasure Holly Walrath 62

On the Train Claire Hunt

ON THE COVER: Gregory Crewdson, Untitled, from the series Natural Wonder, 1992, chromogenic print, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gift of Joan Morgenstern in honor of Anne Wilkes Tucker on the occasion of her retirement. © Gregory Crewdson Always Greener: Seeing and Seeking Suburbia—Selections from the Museum’s Collection. On view until February 3, 2019.


Authenticity? Jacqueline Towers-Perkins 71

Can Art Inspire Hope Karine Parker-Lemoyne + Elena Ferrero


news bits


Open House, a site-specific installation by Havel Ruck Projects. Open house render courtesy photo by Lauren Brown.



DOWNTOWN DISTRICT EXTENDS POPULAR “ART BLOCKS” PUBLIC ART PROGRAM TO SAM HOUSTON PARK The Houston Downtown Management District (Downtown District) announced that Art Blocks, its popular public art initiative that launched in Main Street Square in February 2016, will extend to Sam Houston Park — an urban park dedicated to the buildings and culture of Houston’s past — with a new installation that opened this summer. Open House, a project by Houston artist collaborative Havel Ruck Projects (Dan Havel and Dean Ruck), will be on view this Fall until February 2019. “Art Blocks has played a significant part in reenergizing Main Street Square over the past two years, and two major components of the original installation remain on view: Trumpet Flower, a site-specific sculpture and shade canopy by Patrick Renner and the Flying Carpet Collective, and the Main Street Marquee, which features a rotating selection of regional artists,” said Bob Eury, the Downtown District’s executive director. “We’re excited to extend the public art initiative with this playful new work at Sam Houston Park, an oasis of living history in the heart of Downtown.” Open House involves the transformation of a small, abandoned house into an interactive, temporary public sculpture. The completed structure take on a “Swiss cheese” or “lace” appearance. Viewers will be able to stroll through the house; the openings acting as peepholes to the present through the past, translating the visual puzzle of early history while viewing the skyline of today’s Houston through the holes. Adjacent to Open House, large circular cutouts from the house will be attached to posts and used to display didactics about the artists and the project. At the end of the project’s run, the artists will recycle as much material as possible by distributing it to artists and craftsmen in need; the remainder of the structure will be removed, and the site restored to its original state. Since 1994, Havel and Ruck have worked together repurposing architectural structures into works of art in public and quasi-public environments. By reorganizing the physical construction of unremarkable spaces and places, their sculptural interventions bring

attention and recognition to utilizing under-appreciated, ordinary buildings and their histories to create extraordinary visual experiences. Among their notable projects are Inversion (2005), which transformed two of Art League Houston’s condemned studio bungalows into a temporary public art event; Fifth Ward Jam (2010), a temporary sculpture that converted a wood frame house into a performative sculpture and community stage; and Give and Take (2009), a dual-site project realized as part of the exhibition No Zoning: Artists Engage Houston at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. Also currently on view is their latest project, Ripple, at Cherryhurst House in Houston’s Montrose neighborhood. Open House is the Downtown District’s sixth Art Blocks project. Art Blocks is curated by the Downtown District, with the help of community leadership and project consultation by Weingarten Art Group. For more information visit ArtBlocksHouston.org.

ART ON THE AVENUE Winter street studios

Houston’s largest silent art auction is back! This fun event is Avenue’s annual fundraiser, supporting Avenue’s mission to build affordable homes and strengthen communities - now more important than ever before. Art on the Avenue supports more than 250 local artists every year. November 1st and 3rd, 2018


Artist’s Warehouse District the ORIGINAL & Historical Downtown Artist’s Warehouse District will open their working art studios and exhibition spaces to the public for one day: Saturday, November 18, 2017, from 10 am to 9 pm. This year’s event marks the 26th Anniversary of Artistic Survival by an all volunteer artist-run, non-organization in the 4th largest city in the United States. Over 150 Artists will pARTicipate in Houston’s original cluster of artists warehouses: Hardy & Nance Studios, Michael Morton Architects, David Adickes Sculpture studio, the original Silo Studios & more... The landmark Last Concert Café will accommodate hungry & thirsty ARTCRAWLERS. MotherDogStudios, the oldest surviving warehouse in Houston, is ARTCRAWL headquarters & will present the exhibition BODY.LANGUAGEcurated by John Runnels. www.artcrawlhouston.com


Houston Cinema Arts Festival Mark your clalendar... you don’t want to miss this event! Thursday November 8, the 10th Annual Houston Cinema Arts Festival will roll out the red carpet for its annual Opening Night festivities. Houston Cinema Arts Festival is devoted to films by and about artists in the visual, performing and literary arts. The Festival is a vibrant multimedia arts event that breaks out of the confines of the movie theater through live music and film performances, outdoor projections, and much more. November 8 – 12, 2018. houstoncinemaartsfestival.org


REOPENING The Menil Collection The Menil Collection is reopening the main museum building on September 22, 2018 with reimagined gallery spaces devoted entirely to the growing permanent collection. The past several months have been devoted to a subtle yet substantial refreshment of the building that includes new state-of-the-art fire detection sensors, refinished Loblolly pine floors throughout the first level, enhanced exterior and gallery lighting, and updated restroom facilities. This work has been undertaken in conjunction with a redesign of gallery layouts and displays. Comprised of nearly 17,000 objects, the museum’s growing collection, while not encyclopedic, spans the prehistoric era to the present day. Particular areas of strength include Byzantine art, West and Central African art, Surrealism, and 20th and 21st century American and European art. The year-long permanent collection initiative will include thematic presentations of artwork, as well as two temporary rotating series, complemented by a roster of public programs that underscore the museum’s engagement with and commitment to living artists. The installation will feature many of the museum’s most well-known paintings and sculptures, as well as recent acquisitions and other works and promised gifts that have never before been on view in the museum. Menil Director Rebecca Rabinow said, “Because of the need for updates and repairs to our main building, we recognized that we had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to refresh the galleries and reimagine the installation. For over a year, our staff has done just that, and the result is spectacular. Not only do the galleries honor the extraordinary legacy of John and Dominique de Menil, but they also illuminate the impressive growth of our permanent collection. We actively collect and reaffirm our commitment to living artists. I speak on behalf of the entire staff when I say that we are proud of what we have achieved and look forward to welcoming visitors from around the world as they rediscover the magic and the beauty of the Menil Collection.” Frank Bowling, Middle Passage, 1970. Synthetic polymer paint, silkscreen ink, spray paint, wax crayon, and graphite on canvas, 122 × 122 × 2 in. © Frank Bowling / ARS, New York / DACS, London

Jennifer Ling Datchuk, Basic Bitch, 2017. Slip-cast porcelain, blue and white nails. Print: 36 x 48 inches. Ring: 4 x 1 x 2 inches. Photo by Ansen Seale.


Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

This fall, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) presents CraftTexas 2018, the tenth in a series of biennial juried exhibitions showcasing the best in Texas-made contemporary craft. Juried by Jennifer Scanlan, Curatorial and Exhibitions Director at Oklahoma Contemporary, the show features 50 works by 36 artists and includes a wide range of sculpture, jewelry, and furniture, with a strong emphasis on cutting-edge works. The CraftTexas series provides a unique opportunity for Texas artists to have their work viewed by a nationally recognized juror and to display their work in an exhibition that strives to broaden the understanding of contemporary craft. This year, Scanlan selected her favorite works from a pool of 173 applicants. After reviewing the selections, HCCC Curator Kathryn Hall commented on the surprising variety of works in the show. “From Alex Goss’ beautifully tooled YouScrew, whose smiling screwheads remind people not to touch, to Brian Molanphy’s collaboration with a muddauber nest, this year’s juried exhibition challenges us to think critically about the presence of craft in our everyday lives as well as continue to recognize master craftspeople such as enamellist and HCCC Texas Master, Harlan Butt.” The CraftTexas 2018 Artists are: Antonius Bui, Vincent Burke, Harlan Butt, Horacio Casillas, Kat Cole, Andrew Colopy and David Costanza, Jennifer Ling Datchuk, Brook Davis, Mariela Dominguez, Claire Drennan, Maria Bang Espersen, Terry Fromm, Daniel Garver, Ron Geibel, Alex Goss, Nell Gottlieb, Eric and Morgan Grasham, Jessica Kreutter, Qing Liu, Marcos Medellin, Brian Molanphy, Kelly Noonan, Kelly O’Briant, Angel Oloshove, Raphaële, Catherine Winkler Rayroud, Tammie Rubin, Joan Son, Olga Starostina, Jessica Tolbert, Doerte Weber, Chesley Williams, Elizabeth Wood, and Karen Woodward.


WHAM 2018


Fresh Arts

Sawyer Yards

One part curated festival, one part holiday party, equals all kinds of fun! This Fall you can join FRESH ARTS in celebrating the 13th anniversary of their Winter Holiday Art Market (WHAM) at Winter Street Studios. Since its launch in 2006, WHAM has generated over $1,000,000 for hundreds of local artists. This year, WHAM will bring together Houston’s most talented local artists and kick off the holiday season with an exclusive “Ugly Sweater” themed Preview Party and Happy Hour on Friday, November 16th from 6:00 to 10:00pm, and resume on Saturday, November 17th at 11:00am until 8:00pm and Sunday, November 18th from 11:00am to 4:00pm. The WHAM Friday Preview costs $15 online and $25 at the door (FREE for Fresh Arts members), while Saturday and Sunday are free and open to the public.

The Fall Biannual is the ultimate event of the year, enthusiasts and even those looking to purchase their first piece of art shouldn’t miss the chance to view and shop thousands of original works by the artists at Sawyer Yards, Houston’s largest creative campus. They will once again open their doors for a vibrant evening filled with art during the Sawyer Yards Fall Biannual Art Stroll. More than 350 artists from six buildings including The Silos, Winter Street Studios, Spring Street Studios, Silver Street Studios, Summer Street Studios and Sabine Street Studios invite the public to view and shop thousands of original works while meeting the artists and enjoying a fantastic arrayof paintings, sculptures, ceramics, glass, photography, mosaic, mixed media and jewelry. The event is FREE! Saturday October 6, from 4 – 9 p.m.

TUDORS TO WINDSORS The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits from Holbein to Warhol sheds new light on changing ideas of monarchy and nationhood in Britain. The exhibition features portraits of British royalty spanning 500 years, by artists from Hans Holbein and Sir Joshua Reynolds to Annie Leibovitz and Andy Warhol. In a sweeping survey, Tudors to Windsors covers the cavalcade of kings, queens, princes, and princesses who have graced the British crown. The MFAH is the only U.S. venue to host this unprecedented exhibition, part of a major partnership with the National Portrait Gallery in London. Some 150 objects—most never before seen outside of England—tell the story of Britain’s monarchy through masterworks of painting, sculpture, and photography. Visitors have an extraordinary opportunity to come face-to-face with the fascinating figures of British royalty. Tudors to Windsors explores four royal dynasties: the House of Tudor (1485–1603), the House of Stuart (1603–1714), the House of Hanover (1714–1901), and the present-day House of Windsor. Among the many works on view are portraits of King Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth I, King George I, Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Diana, and Prince William. October 7, 2018 — January 27, 2019

Robert Peake the Elder, Princess Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia and Electress Palatine, c. 1610, oil on canvas, National Portrait Gallery, London. Patrick Demarchelier, Princess Diana, 1990, platinum print, Demarchelier Studio. © Patrick Demarchelier

Always Greener

The Museum of Fine Arts The suburbs have been a place of endless fascination in popular culture since Americans began spilling out of cities following World War II. A suburban home—the great symbol of the American Dream—remains a marker of success and a shining emblem of American life. However, for all their idealization, the rows of near-identical

suburban houses are often viewed with suspicion. Is everything really as perfect as it seems? Always Greener explores the fantasies and realities of American suburban life through the MFAH collections of photography, prints, and drawings. Among the artists represented are Diane Arbus, Philip Guston, Robert Rauschenberg, and Cindy Sherman. On view until February 3, 2019.

Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled, 1979, offset lithograph in colors, the MFAH, gift of Karen Luik in honor of Maggie Olvey. © Estate of Robert Rauschenberg



Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the first awardees of the new grant program Festival Grant via the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA). Sixteen festivals with venues across Houston were selected for funding totaling $145,475.

family friendly entertainment packed with live music and dance. Korean Festival Houston October 13, 2018, presented by Korean American Society of Houston is the largest Korean event in the city Houston that showcases both traditional and contemporary Korean arts, culture, and cuisine to attendees of all backgrounds.

“Houston is a welcoming city with festivals as diverse as our neighborhoods,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “More and more people are visiting this great city because of our people and the rich variety of our cultural life.” The Festival Grant program was designed to support art festivals or art components of cultural festivals to celebrate Houston’s diversity and promote the City’s creative identity as a unique arts and culture destination.

Houston AfriFEST October 27, 2018, is a family-friendly, open-air community event hosted by a number of partnering African organizations, led by the Nigerian-American Multicultural Council. This festival brings together over 10 African communities to share the richness of Africa’s diverse cultures with fellow Houstonians and guests on the Houston Bapist University campus. Dia de los Muertos Festival October 27 & 28, 2018, organized by Multicultural Education and Counseling Through the Arts (MECA) is a 2-day Festival offered free to the public, that supports and showcases Houston area visual and performing artists while attracting thousands of visitors from Houston, Texas and Mexico. The Houston Via Colori® Street Painting Festival November 17 & 18, 2018, is a two-day, annual art and music festival in downtown Houston. Entering its 13th year, Via Colori has grown into one of Houston’s signature arts events and remains the only street painting festival of its scale in the region. The festival is organized by The Center for Hearing and Speech.

Below is a list of festivals and organizations receiving grants: Meeting of Styles Houston September 21-23, 2018, by Underground Planet Art Studio, LLC, is a three-day event in which 100+ artists from around the world will paint murals and graffiti-style productions in Northside Houston. Mid-Autumn Dance Festival September 22, 2018, by Dance of Asian America is a free open-to-public city-wide dance festival uniting unite the Houston dance community of all dance styles and cultural backgrounds. Celebration of Dance October 6, 2018, by Dance Houston is a festival featuring twelve local dance companies in one evening performing a variety of styles. 40th Houston Italian Festival (Festa Italiana) October 11-14, 2018, organized by Italian Cultural & Community Center of Houston, will present arts and cultural events as diverse as Italy’s realities. Peak Shift October 13-December 1, 2018, is a 2018 iteration of the Sculpture Month Houston (SMH). This citywide biennial installation project will survey the sculptural medium from Texas and across its borders in over 40 venues across the City. The Centennial Oktober Festival October 13, 20 & 27, 2018, organized by Czech Cultural and Community Center presents a

Zine Fest Houston 2018 November 17, 2018, is the City’s only platform for emerging and established regional and national zine makers to exchange new work and create meaningful relationships that lead to productive collaboration. Annually, it attracts people from Austin, Baytown, Dallas, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New Orleans, Portland, San Antonio, and Seattle, as well as towns and suburbs in the Houston metro area and beyond. Jewish CultureFest December 2, 2018, organized by Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston is a community-wide celebration of local Jewish culture that highlights the diverse creative identity of Houston’s Jewish community and provides a space for Houstonians to celebrate the many facets of this culture at Levy Park. The 2019 Festival Grant application deadline is September 24, 2018. For more information visit the www.houstonartsalliance. com or contact the Grants staff 713-527-9330 x450.


book reviews

Mountain Interval

This Land

Glimmerglass Girl

The latest project from photographer Renate Aller includes mountain peaks from six continents. These photographs were taken from locations as high as 22,500 feet (adjacent to Mount Everest) to the European glaciers and mountain peaks of her childhood vacations. The subject matter is monumental, yet the images connect the viewer in a way that is not overpowering. Aller isolates the mountain from its expected surroundings, using and presenting the familiar and the known in an intimate way, relating to parallel realities from different locations, opening up conversations between the different (political) landscapes in which we live. Radius Books, July 2018

Created across thirteen years, fortyeight states, and eighty thousand miles, this startlingly fresh photographic portrait of the American landscape shares artistic affinities with the works of such American masters as Edward Hopper, Grant Wood, Mark Rothko, and Albert Bierstadt. Spencer has found a mythical world, except it is real, and it is now, and it is ours. University of Texas Press, June 2018

“Tensile and luminous as a glass-winged butterfly, Glimmerglass Girl chronicles the passions of a woman’s heart and its multifarious musings with a marvelous mix of toughness and tenderness. In a shimmering world at once ‘honeybrimmed and buzzing,’ where ‘blueberry coffee’ and a ‘kissing prayer,’ or a ‘quiet mess of a body of light’ offer diurnal delights, this wildly chimerical gathering of hybridized fairy tales and fabulous meditations on womanhood might carry Emily Dickinson’s admonition of epistolary intimacy, ‘open me carefully.’ Indeed, readers should open Walrath’s slender volume carefully, hold these rare poems up to the sun, then lean in quietly to hear each one sing in flight.” –Karen An-hwei Lee Finishing Line Press, August 2018




Keith Carter Fifty Years KEITH CARTER



Evocative and often highly erotic works on paper by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Pablo Picasso are presented along with new details about Scofield Thayer (1889–1982), the unusual and complicated man who collected them. Metropolitan Museum of Art, July 2018

Celebrating a lifetime of exploring humanity’s landscape through an artistic lens, the legendary photographer Keith Carter collects 250 of his most compelling images, ranging from the deeply personal to the universal, accompanied by essays from bestselling novelist and poet Rosellen Brown and acclaimed critic A. D. Coleman. University of Texas Press, release in January 2019


John Marin was a major figure among the cutting-edge circle of American modernist artists who showed in New York galleries from 1909 until 1950. A new collection of the artist’s work forms the basis of this first book. University of Arkansas Press, May 2018



coups de cœur


Claire Ankenman

This new body of work by Claire explores the formal qualities of material, color and light. Ankenman writes - “Experimentation with contrasting materials have always been my focus. The solidity of steel, the transparency of acrylic, and the iridescence of light combine to become agents of transcendence.” She is represented by Moody Gallery. www.moodygallery.com


Gilles Bernhard

Considering himself an abstract expressionist, Gilles Bernhard is a Swiss artist who is throwing his emotions and dreams into his artwork. His drawings style echoes the dot painting of the arboriginal art of Australia. Many Aboriginal artists paint aspects of their dreaming, which they call Dreamtime. gilles60@bluewin.ch



Suzette Bross

For the Glass, Suzette. 2015. Suzette Bross

For the Glass transforms the flatbed scanner into a contemporary version of the photographic plate. Meditating on the tradition of portraiture, Suzette Bross mimics the sharp details and imperfections in the surfaces of 19thcentury studio portraits. She uses digital equipment to return to this slow pace of production by scanning over her subjects as they sit for extended exposures. Bross’ portraits capture every movement to create a unique digital image that she cannot replicate. Her relationship with her subjects becomes a performative act of photographing. www.suzettebross.com


Adriana LoRusso

Adriana LoRusso is a Contemporary Mixed Media Visual Artist, which has a love affair with figurative art and colors through the social different types of ladies in the world. I draw and paint my interpretation of the women in different environments and poses. Study at Glassell School of Art. alorussoart@gmail.com


Daria Aksenova

Daria Aksenova creates artwork that inspires the dreamer within. She masters pen and ink on hand cut, suspended, layered paper inserted in narrative shadowboxes. “I have always been fascinated with storytelling, starting with childhood bedside fables and mythology”. Her mission is to bring back our childhood imaginations that are drowned out by the everyday bustle in our ever-busy lives. Daria chooses her settings and subject material to draw the viewer back to the folk lore and myths of their youth. Info@HavenArtGallery.com





Nothing betrays the splendor that lies behind the pretty townhouse in Montrose, owned by Brad and Leslie Bucher. Brad, a former chemical technology entrepreneur who now devotes most of his time on board membership and art patronage, opens the door for us, and it takes a moment to register the enormous space. Our eyes wander along platforms, mezzanines and a suspended bridge, and there are artworks everywhere: suspending from the ceilings, on the floor, on giant screens and on every wall.


Brad Bucher surrounded by his art collection at his home inside a renovated warehouse. Photography by John Bernhard

The warehouse used to belong to Imperial Plumbing, until in 2001, part of it was sold to neigboring restaurant Hugo’s and the main part to friends of the Buchers, who in turn bought it in 2013. When refurbishing the space, the Buchers went to great lengths to keep the industrial look: the original wood ceiling, the loading dock that now functions as a viewing gallery, and a suspended steel walking bridge, which they fitted with a glass floor. Whilst their Memorial house is being rebuilt after Harvey, Brad and Leslie Bucher are stationed here, in an on-site apartment, but otherwise this space is used for entertaining and exclusive group visits. Brad takes us to the center of the space, to what looks like a real tree surrounded by three curved wooden benches. It is immediately clear that Brad has a very hands-down approach to his art, inviting us to sit on the benches, to touch the tree bark.

The tree, by Brazilian artist Henrique Oliveira, is in fact made out of bender-board wrapped around a supporting column, then fitted with cardboard onto which the artist painstakingly fitted tree bark. The benches are by American artist and furniture maker Annie Evelyn, whose work the Buchers spotted at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft last year. The surface looks like it is made of porcelain tiles, but when we sit down we sink into the bench, causing us to jump up again. Brad clearly loves our reaction and surprise. “I cracked up when the construction workers sat on them!� Next to the tree on the floor sits a ball made of fabric forms cast in bronze, by beloved Houston artist Joseph Havel, a close friend of the Buchers. The work is part of a series; the remaining works were donated to Rice University, of which Brad and Leslie are both alumnae. Nearby is another Havel work, suspended from



Brad Bucher sitting on a bench made by American artist and furniture maker Annie Evelyn. The tree is by Brazilian artist Henrique Oliveira. Photography by John Bernhard.

The sculpture suspended over the large bar like a shimmering cloud of color and light was commissioned by Korean-American artist Soo Sunny Park. Photography by Richard Payne

“I ask the artist: What can you do in this space? And I never talk about the price. Just tell me what you want for it. The artist has enough integrity to come up with a fair price.”

the ceiling like a white fishing net. It consist of hundreds of tiny white labels linked by thread into which Havel had sown the word “nothing .” This was the last of a series of label works inspired by John Berryman’s poetry collection The Dream Songs. “This Havel is special”, Brad explains. “Jo sold it to me on the condition that it was the first work in the space”. The collection has a strong emphasis on artists from Latin America, besides works by US and European artists. What unites the collection is an aesthetics of geometric, simple forms and a real interest in works that are three-dimensional. Even the wallbased works have a spatial dimension. What looks like a simple

pencil drawing by Gabriella de la Mora has in fact been drawn using the hair of the people it represents, as if their representation is cemented by their own DNA. Brad clearly likes works that play with our expectations. We stop to sit down in the Turrell room. James Turrell, one of America’s most celebrated artists and the mastermind behind Rice University’s skyscape and the MFAH’s Wilson Tunnel, is another close friend of the Buchers. The room is used to relax, alone or with friends. Brad describes how he and Turrell perfected the room together. “The piece was derived from a sunset, and went through a 2,5-hour cycle. I said to James: When I sit here


The commissioned James Turrell room is used to relax, alone or with friends. Photography by Richard Payne. with a cocktail or a glass of wine, I will not be sitting here for 2,5 hours. So we changed it to a 1-hour cycle. There are 5000 LED lights and 60 different images, each one slowly morphing into the next. James played with each individual image until he had it right. When we were almost finished, he asked what we should be calling it. Then he said: it is called What’s Next, because you don’t know what is going to happen. This was the first time that he worked with a new technology”. It is because so many pieces like this were commissioned directly from the artist and completed on-site that the art interacts so spectacularly with the space. “I love the process, seeing artists build things. I don’t really switch my collection often. These are the pieces I love. We know most of the artists and many are our friends. That is important to us.” When Evelyn was commissioned to make the benches, she was inspired by the color scheme of the large altarpiece-like panel by Christian Eckart. Maria Fernanda Cardoso stayed in the guest suite when she was making a work for the annual auction of the MFAH’s high profile Maecenas group, of which Brad is chair. “I said jokingly to Maria: whilst you are preparing the work, make sure that it fits in that living room! I ended up buying it.” This strong trust between collector is liberating in a highly commodified art world. “Curators always ask me: Do you give the

artists total freedom?”, Brad muses, “but I think that is the best thing you can do. I ask the artist: What can you do in this space? And I never talk about the price. Just tell me what you want for it. The artist has enough integrity to come up with a fair price.” But ultimately Brad’s own passion and vision make the collection truly come alive. “I love playing with space. You create space with art. I love using the negative space of a sculpture to define it”. He points to a work by Korean-American artist Soo Sunny Park, suspended over the large bar like a shimmering cloud of color and light. The work consists of chainlinks and squares of transparent glass, which reflect the changing light to reveal different colors, like a prism. “When you sit at the bar and it is hanging over you, it feels intimate. From afar you feel like you are in a warehouse. Then from the upstairs mezzanine, everything feels like a dollhouse. Your body can feel it”. When we come to the end of our visit, Brad insists we walk up to the mezzanine and over the suspended steel bridge looking down through the glass, to get another view of the collection. It is dazzling. The works are all changeable, differing in shape, shadow and affect depending on the time of day and where you stand. What happens here is maybe best described by a quote of Gabriel De La Mora, another close artist friend. “…art is not created nor destroyed; it is only transformed, as energy is”.







R A I S E D O N A R U R A L C AT T L E R A N C H I N W E S T E R N O K L A H O M A , N AT U R E A N D A N I M A L S H AV E A LWAY S B E E N I N S P I R AT I O N A L F O R A R T I S T D I X I E F R I E N D G AY. F R O M H E R AWA R D - W I N N I N G B O O K S O F A F E AT H E R P U B L I C W O R K , H E R E I N H O U S T O N — W H I C H F E AT U R E S T H R E E 1 2 T O 1 5 - F E E T- TA L L M O S A I C B I R D S C U L P T U R E S — T O R E A L I T Y ’ S I L L U S I O N , A S E V E N - PA N E L M O S A I C I N S TA L L AT I O N I N B R E M E R T O N , WA S H I N G T O N A D O R N E D W I T H F R O G S , L E AV E S , B E E S , A N D O T H E R FA C E T S O F N AT U R E , T H I S A R T I S T I S O N A M I S S I O N T O P R E S E N T T H E S H E E R B E A U T Y O F O U R N AT U R A L W O R L D I N T H E M O S T B E AT I F I C O F WAY S .


With so many pieces from this incredible artist to choose from, selecting a few to highlight was an incredibly difficult task. However, we did manage to whittle it down to three of our favorites to present in this article. Here they are, in no particular order.

1 – From her works on paper, we chose Bird I from her 2012 ink and watercolor series. This piece captures shades of color and the motion of flight in such a stunning way. In earthy jewel tones, there isn’t anything represented in the abstract background and yet, there’s no mistaking the flight of the feathered subject.

2 – As for her sculptures, Lake Nessy caught our attention with her gorgeous handmade ceramic and glass scales, thirty-foot-long body, and endearing, innocent expression. Finished in 2015, Nessy lives Austin, Texas at Mueller Park. Feel free to take a ride with her next time you’re there.

3 – In the realm of digital prints, Gay was commissioned to create a piece for a private residence in 2016. Morning Dance is an unbelievable piece consisting of leaves in shades of blue, pink, and purple. Nature with an ultraviolet twist. While only one of these—and the pieces mentioned in the opening of this article—are readily open for public viewing, all five are represented on Gay’s website, dixiefriendgay. com, along with a plethora of other images of her work. She’s quite the busy and prolific artist. Though she may have started out in Oklahoma, Gay moved on to relish a brief stint in New York City before finding her way south to Houston. Once here, she says she fell in love with the openness of the land, easy accessibility to art galleries, and the stellar art community—as a whole. To further her point about gallery accessibility, Gay had this to say: “Our world has changed so much since the eighties when galleries were the gate keepers of art. Now, there are more options. Although galleries are still important, the art scene is much more democratic these days. You don’t have to be with a gallery to produce and sell your art.” A revelation that many emerging artists will be grateful to learn about our current era of public art and entrepreneurialism. Like many local residents, Hurricane Harvey took its toll on this artistic creator. However, not letting the flooded status of her home and studio get her down, this amazing woman even found inspiration in the critter that made their way into her space while restorative efforts have been taking place. Everything from bugs to slugs to snakes have tried to call Gay’s home their own. While she says she does


Dixie Friend Gay, Canopy, 2017 acrylic on canvas, 72” x 98”. Courtesy of the artist



Dixie Friend Gay Photography by Hall Puckett

“ You don’t have

to be with a gallery to produce and sell your art.

escort them all safely back outside, she can’t help but enjoy a brief interlude with them. To her, nature is art and art is nature. When asked if she had any advice to dispense to up-andcoming visual artists, Gay shared four of her main tenants for productivity. 1. Work every day—“Even if you don’t feel like it, go to the studio.” 2. Connect with people—collaboration is key. 3. Read—anything and everything to help expand your worldview. 4. Be informed—”Artists are a reflection of our society” and have a definite effect on our culture. In addition, this artist in Nature’s residence advises taking a break from the studio once a week. “I can stay in my studio for days on end and never leave. Public projects and collaborations help get me out and working with other people.” She also notes that creating your tribe in the art world can help keep you well-rounded and your art fresh. As for upcoming projects, Gay has been working on a series of mosaic murals for the Biology Lab Building on the campus of Sam Houston State University. One of the pieces is a twelve-foot by twelve-foot dragonfly wing in iridescent, hand-glazed ceramic and glass tiles. This commission has been a collaboration with Marie Hoke— AIA for the project’s architectural design—and Mosaika Art and Design—who fabricated and installed the mosaic alongside Gay. As with many of her installations and projects, our featured artist wanted these pieces to

present a message about the interconnectedness of plants and animals. However, she also wanted to show the ways trees communicate—a somewhat recent scientific discovery that fascinates and inspires her. Working with others is a mainstay of Gay’s work. However, she did reveal that… “Being alone in the studio, is where I find feelings of safety and an otherworldly chance to be in the flow—in the zone. No stress. It’s like being out in nature for me.” In an attempt to have more time for being “in the flow”, Gay did admit that she’s recently hired a studio assistant or two to help manage some of the “paperwork side” of her business. Luckily, Gay seemed to be finding a way to make peace with the dilemmas of ‘people versus alone time’ and ‘business versus creation’ and plans to be around— making her nature-inspired art—for decades to come. To find out more about Dixie Friend Gay, visit her public works around Houston. They can be found in Midtown Park, the Alice McKean Library, The Woodlands Town Center, Dylan Park, the George Bush Intercontinental Airport, the Boundary and Burnett Stations of the Northline Metro, Sylvan Rodriguez Park, the SHSU Woodlands Center, Waterway Square, the Sunset Medical Clinic, and at the Schlenker School’s Backyard Nature Study Area. We suggest carving out an entire day or weekend for taking a “Dixie Friend Gay Art Tour.” We’d like to extend a huge thank you to this inspirational artist for carving out time in her busy schedule to speak with us—imparting her inspirational words and showing us her brilliant works.








H O U S T O N A R T I S T J U S T I N G A R C I A F I N D S I N S P I R AT I O N I N M A N Y P L A C E S : I N T H E S K E T C H E S O F L E O N A R D O D AV I N C I , AT T H E B O T T O M O F A C A P P U C C I N O AT C ATA L I N A C O F F E E , I N T H E P R I N C I P L E S O F Q U A N T U M S U P E R P O S I T I O N . B U T T H E S U B J E C T O F T I M E I S H I S U LT I M AT E I N S P I R AT I O N . I T I S T H E S U B J E C T H E O B S E S S E S O V E R , T H E R E D T H R E A D T H AT C O N N E C T S P H Y S I C S T O P H I L O S O P H Y O F M I N D T O A R T, T H E FA S C I AT I O N T H AT P U S H E S H I M T O D E V E L O P L AY E R A F T E R L AY E R , P I E C E A F T E R P I E C E .

I N WA L L S O F T I M E , H I S E I G H T H S E R I E S O F W O R K , Garcia’s enthrallment with time is evident as he takes the simplicity of crumbling, broken walls and utilizes techniques of layering and staining to add depth and emotion. The pieces come together like abstract puzzles, Garcia’s years of experience manifesting in confident patterns that prompt viewers to reflect on the complexity of aging, challenging us to reach within ourselves to accept the infinite. “Aging walls comfort us, tell us something about ourselves,” Garcia says as he explains the vision behind his work. “The awareness of change becomes a measure of time.” Time has been good to Justin Garcia. He established himself

as a top Houston artist early in his career, earning accolades such as a Hunting Prize finalist, Houston Press Best Artist, Top 100 Creatives in Houston, and Top 10 Painters in Houston. After his success, Garcia felt compelled to pause and reflect on his journey as an artist, giving himself room to investigate his beliefs and push beyond his boundaries. From this exploration came his passion project, the Humanities’ Sustainable Infinite (HSI), an art installation he describes as his thesis, a culmination of a decade of study on the connections between reality and the subconscious. He rolls the piece down from the ceiling of his studio and steps back. “I want it to feel like you’re walking into the mind of an artist,”


Justin Garcia, Outgoing, Oils, Acrylics and Charcoals on canvas, 40”x30” in.

he says as he begins guiding me through each section. Dark pencil sketches of scientists, detailed models of atoms, swirling nanotechnology theories all tie to images of Garcia’s own seven series of artwork, connections of time, art, and science made through taught red string. Previously on display at the Nicole Longnecker Gallery and the Beeville Arts Museum, Garcia continuously expands the HSI, a living, breathing reflection on the infusion of science and art, an experiment on time and humanity. “It’s important to tie the art into the science,” he states. “Abstract and organic can have the same patterns.” To build the piece, Garcia studied psychology, quantum

physics, philosophy of mind, mathematical models, and a myriad other science disciplines. He sketched concepts, drawings, and ideas on countless sheets of yellow pad paper, working through problems and theories. The work on HSI inspired him to write a book, One Ton Goldfish: In Search of the Tangible Dream, an introspective investigation that allowed him to fully explore his fascination with time. He completed the book with a deeper understanding of how time theory connects to his purpose as an artist, how the relationship between science and art embed together in his vision for his art. In One Ton Goldfish, Garcia writes, “When we employ science, we are investigating the properties


Justin Garcia in his studio . Photography Nathan Lindstrom

of creation. When we manifest a work of art- a painting, a book, music, a film- we are engaged in the process of creation. Thus, the precise foundation from which we calculate is also the foundation from which we create. Both perspectives are eminently viable and, especially when used in balanced combination, are powerful instruments with which to develop human innovation and strengthen humanity.� Garcia now envisions his HSI piece expanding and evolving as Houston has, sprawling with a hunger for growth, driven to evolve. He plans on collaborating with renowned scientific experts in their fields as he continues to develop the piece into a massive interactive installation. After all, in what other city can you call up the leading world expert in Nanotechnology and grab some coffee? A native Houstonian, Garcia lives and breathes our city. His Silver Street Studio positions him at the humming center of the Houston art community. Part his nature, part his intention, Garcia makes it his mission to create connections between businesses, artists, and non-profit


leaders. He particularly enjoys mentoring local artists, guiding them in their quest to find their purpose and pushing them to think beyond the status quo. “I help them dissect themselves, help them find the base of what they’re doing,” he says. He’s also designing a business course for artists, one drawing from his own experience and business coursework at the Bauer School of Business at the University of Houston. He sees a stronger understanding of business as a way to empower artists. “Houston is on the edge of becoming a huge Mecca for art,” he says. “We must invest in artists from our own community and encourage artists to take risks. The economy here can incubate and support an unprecedented level of growth.” Garcia shares his latest sketches for his next series, showing me his technique of drawing layers of pieces on transparencies. This technique allows him to add or subtract elements to reach his desired levels of depth and impact. His excitement over his new work is palpable as he shares pieces that show his continued and increasingly nuanced study of scientific thought, mixed along with humor and politics, always circling back to his fascination with time. Garcia rejects the idea that local artists must leave Houston to find success. He believes a grassroots demand for risk combined with willingness from art collectors and influencers to invest in risk takers will push the Houston art scene to the next level. Could exploring the connection between art and science be the risk that inspires an innovative new level of artwork in Houston? For Justin Garcia, the time is ripe. “The first person through the wall is bloody,” he says. “We’re reaching the boiling point in Houston, where art breaks the wall. I want to be here when it happens. “ Justin Garcia, Listen then Collaborate Oils, Acrylics and Charcoals on canvas, 50”x50” in. Photography Nathan Lindstrom



“ We’re

reaching the boiling point in Houston, where art breaks the wall. I want to be here w h e n i t h a p p e n s .”

Above: Justin Garcia, Documented, Thoughts Through Time, Oils and Acrylics on canvas, 128”x77” in. Left: Waiting Station to the Rabbit Hole, Oils and Acrylics on Canvas, 54”x72”in. Photography by Nathan Lindstrom


Daniela Yohannes, Untitled, 2015, Mixed medium and collage on linen, 19 1/2� x 25 in.


painter of the invisible D A N I E L A


My work explores the relationship between the Inner and Outer life and the complex nature of the human condition. I am especially drawn to a person’s ability to navigate these two realms. My work is influenced and informed by my interest in creating new mythologies, my deep connection to the oneiric world and observations of my environment. I rely on my intuition and dreams as a direct source of storytelling. My practice allows me to explore fictional narratives, which enable me to remove all concrete limitation and boundaries. In this way I truly liberate myself from social constructs. I make art to try to understand myself, my environment and the greater world beyond. I am drawn to the threshold between life and death and my work often project this duality. I paint characters that investigate and confront the unknown. I paint characters that are facets of myself, but not earthbound. I paint characters that stem from a distant, lingering yearning for freedom.



Left: Daniela Yohannes, Untitled, 2015, magazine paper, acrylic and paint marker on canvas, 17” x 21 1/2” in. Below from left: Daniela Yohannes, Conversation with the invisible, 2015, paper and acrylic on linen, 28 1/2” x 21 1/4” in. Daniela Yohannes, Untitled, 2016 Mixed medium and collage on linen, 21 1/4” x 25 1/2” in. Daniela Yohannes, Dead fish in water, 2014 Mixed medium on canvas panel, 21 1/4” x 25 1/2” in.

Daniela Yohannes received a BA in Illustration from Kingston University in 2004. After completing her degree and working within the field, she decided to make the transition from digital to material canvases in 2010. Her practice combines painting, collage and illustration techniques. Yohannes is an emerging artist whose work resonates with her acute cultural sensitivity to the often unseen dimensions of life. Her work was introduced in Houston in 2017. She was a participating artist of the world premiere of HOUSE OF WAHALA , an art auction sponsored by DiverseWorks. Yohannes currently lives and works from her studio in Paris.




Revamping Jones Plaza

Downtown is a growing part of Houston as residents and visitors seek a vibrant pedestrian and transit-friendly environment with proximity to jobs, amenities, and high quality open space. Within Downtown, the Theater District and its many venues create a “magnetic field� of culture that generates buzz and catalyzes investment in the surrounding neighborhoods. Jones Plaza, at the epicenter of the Theater District, can provide an inviting green oasis that enhances downtown life and it can flexibly accommodate a wide range of outdoor performances and special events that serve the entire region.

33 77

The most important impact Jones Plaza can have is attracting people to live, work, and play Downtown. Early this year, Houston First Corporation (HFC) announced the redevelopment plans for Jones Plaza, and Rios Clementi Hale Studios (RCHS), was selected to lead the project, which aims to revitalize the plaza into a vibrant public square for all visitors. The ongoing project, should be completed by November 2020. The redevelopment of Jones Plaza is a result of a partnership between the City of Houston, HFC, and the Downtown Redevelopment Authority. In

addition to a $5 million commitment by Bob Eury on behalf of the Downtown Redevelopment Authority, the team is joined by Jim and Whitney Crane and the 2017 World Champion Astros’ Foundation to lead a $20 million fundraising campaign, of which Crane has committed $1 million. “Downtown is the heart of Houston. It is a vibrant, urban center comprised of talented people, leading corporations, premier performing arts companies, and dynamic public spaces. The redevelopment of Jones Plaza will only enhance downtown’s cultural footprint,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “We are

grateful for the support of Houston First, the Downtown Redevelopment Authority and Jim and Whitney Crane for helping bring this vision to life.” In addition to outdoor elements, HFC envisions the Plaza to incorporate a 4,000-square-foot dining facility that offers a fast-casual counter and seated, upper casual service for breakfast, lunch, early, pre-theatre dinner, as well as post-theatre dessert and drinks. The facility will feature a transparent building skin with indoor and outdoor seating, as well as private event spaces that can be rented to the public.



Moody Center for the Arts, Rice University. Photography by Nash Baker

The Moody Center for the Arts, presents an engaging and ambitious new exhibition and public program by New York based artist Matthew Ritchie (b. 1964). The Demon in the Diagram is a multilayered, site-specific installation that includes paintings, lightboxes, an interactive floor and audio work, and a virtual reality component. The project highlights Ritchie’s deep investigation into the history of the diagram as a means of mapping both human knowledge and lived experience. The exhibition includes elements from Ritchie’s newest body of work, Time Diagrams, an ambitious one-hundred part sequence of diagrammatic works that attempt to chronicle structural features of human thought over the past 5,000 years. Audiences will be invited to engage with two interactive elements commissioned for the Moody: a collaborative 3-D sculptural environment called ‘the Screen Game’ that

explores music and pedagogy through an interactive soundscape created with Ritchie’s longtime collaborators, musicians Kelley Deal, lead guitarist of the Breeders, and noted composer and clarinetist Evan Ziporyn, and an immersive virtual reality (VR) work that inverts the familiar role of VR by opencasting any viewer as a performer, a ghost, nestled inside the demon. This unique project, Ritchie’s most complex to date, has been designed specifically for the Moody’s galleries as an open experiment in pedagogy, and will engage both public audiences and university students. The combination of works will immerse the viewer in Ritchie’s creative vision of human history as a debatable and reconfigurable space, while encouraging the hands-on exploration of multiple systems of meaning. Ritchie, the second Leslie and Brad Bucher Artist-in-Residence, will work

in the Moody galleries and workshop spaces from September through November 2018. During his residency, he will also interact with ten Rice University courses from diverse fields including literary theory, mathematics, experimental music composition, drawing, and video art. In October the project will culminate in a public performance, titled Surrender to the Diagram, as part of the Moody’s Dimensions Variable series. Kelley Deal and Evan Ziporyn will perform together while discussing the nature of the project. San Francisco-based choreographer Hope Mohr and members of her company, in residence for a week, will workshop and perform an original work in response to Ritchie’s immersive installation, highlighting how bodily motion can physically extend the ideas inherent in the work. The exhibition is on view September 21 through December 22, 2018


2000 Edwards Street, #218 Houston, TX 77007

Nich ole Dittmann



713-501-7290 nicholedittmann.com



the wall B Y



Off the Wall Gallery is home to a vast collection of works by mid-level career painters and sculptors from all over the world, as well as a growing collection of secondary‐market works by such masters as Picasso, Miró, Dalí and Chagall. The gallery has often been a resource to examine the cultural issues of our time. I sat down with Mimi Sperber, the cheery managing partner, to discuss her plans for the future. JOHN BERNHARD: How did you get

started in Houston, and what are the origins of the gallery? MIMI SPERBER: Our journey started

when we visited my sister Paula in April 1977. Paula had already been selling art and enjoying her life in Houston. My husband Gary and I were attracted to the diversity of the city and the business opportunities Houston offered. By October, we had moved to Houston from NYC and never looked back! Off The Wall is very much a family venture; Paula and I founded the business in December of 1978. We came up with the name because you could

literally buy the art and take it “off the wall!” The gallery’s first location was in a shopping center on Fondren and the Southwest Freeway, selling limited editions. Our neighbor was Loehmann’s, which was one of the first clothing discounters in the country. You could always find me either selling art or window-shopping for new clothes. In the mid 80’s the gallery had outgrown its original space and moved on to sell fine art prints in a new location inside The Galleria. Forty years later, Off The Wall houses a growing collection of fine works by contemporary masters and established mid-career artists. We are thrilled to be signing another lease for

our 4600-square-foot custom-built gallery and art boutique space in the luxury wing of The Galleria and we are looking forward to Off The Wall’s 40th birthday celebration this December. JB: Last year, you had a stunning

exhibition of the work of Salvador Dalí. What other artists have you exhibited? MS: Over the years, we’ve hosted

many exhibitions, with incredible artists such as Peter Max, Mackenzie Thorpe, Romero Britto, Charles Fazzino, Alexandra Nechita, Mark Burns, Bruno Zupan and the late Thomas Pradzynski to name a few - plus the upcoming Dr. Seuss anniversary


collection. Last year’s Salvador Dalí, The Argillet Collection, was presented by curator Christine Argillet; we’ve also featured many other international collections including works by Impressionist painters, Renoir and Cezanne, presented by descendants Alexander Renoir and Philippe Cezanne, plus a special group show highlighting works by Modern Masters such as Picasso, Miro, Chagall, Warhol and Keith Haring. We’ve also worked with distinguished local artists, such as our Astros Art Celebration show with Houston artist Opie Otterstad and his amazing paintings chronicling the Astros’ historic World Series win in 2017. JB: You have acquired works from

Pablo Picasso to Joan Miró. What are your criteria for selecting artists? How do you decide what to feature or collect? MS: Art should speak to you and you

should buy what you love, even if you are looking into acquiring a piece from an investment standpoint. It should speak to your soul, regardless of the artist. There has to be a visceral connection, something that stays in your mind, bring you memories, inspire you and sometimes challenge you, it is also the criteria for my personal collection. Collecting art is storytelling, a powerful vehicle for self-expression. I believe in being well informed regarding the art market and emerging talents. Knowing your clientele and having good listening skills are very important when it comes to selecting works for the gallery. I am always thinking about what clients might be interested in collecting, based on their personalities, budgets and what they have previously acquired. Whether the art is for a home, an office or

Mimi Sperber in front of Stepping Stones, a sculpture by Mackenzie Thorpe. Photo courtesy of the gallery.

corporate headquarters, we are always looking for ways to offer our clients the very best. In a collaborative effort, we can create a perfect space through the right narrative, budget, and design. JB: Do you have any advice for new

artists starting out? MS: The number one thing is - paint,

draw or sculpt what you believe in.

Be in tune with your inner voice and identity as an artist. Paint what you envision; express what you feel. Find the style that sets you apart and hone your skills every day. Practice, improve; study, visit art exhibits and museums, learn from your favorite masters and follow new artists breaking ground in the art world. Listen well, and follow your passion. It’s an amazing experience to watch an artist sculpt his concept into clay, to


Off the wall gallery located in The Galleria features paintings, sculptures & prints from global artists in a relaxed atmosphere.


follow the transformation of their ideas into a bronze or marble sculpture, such as Richard MacDonald or our very own Ricardo Lowenberg; a blank canvas becomes a beautiful painting in the hands of Jose Borrell, Craig Allen, Bruno Zupan or Samir Sammoun. Explaining Mackenzie Thorpe’s backstory, the love of family as he portrays them in his sculpture, is one of the best parts of being an art dealer. JB: There has been a lot of speculation

over the future of galleries, what do you make of the current state of the art market? MS: The art market dwells in a global

arena. The Internet has leveled the playing field for galleries both big and small. Someone from the other side of the world can reach out and suddenly become your new best collector. Galleries need to learn how to adapt to stay relevant. For Off The Wall, nothing can replace personal connections and great customer service, and we’ve been successful at nurturing those client relationships even if the client lives in another continent. However, we continue to grow by staying open-minded to a new era, staying up to date with new technologies, building a great gallery team and taking a dynamic approach. In addition to our strong print advertising, we also rely on social media, digital marketing, and virtual gallery tours.

evolved throughout the years and is a place to satisfy one’s curiosity of art history, art appreciation and inspiration. We display works by an extraordinary group of contemporary artists from around the world working in glass, bronze, fine prints, and canvas; with an impressive collection of rare and hard-to-find works by 20th-century masters and a wide selection of vintage posters. The collection is unparalleled in Houston, there’s something for everyone, with so many different artists working in varying styles - for example, the crystal-embellished portraits by pop artist Kfir Moyal, the colorful, richly pigmented works by Jamali or the politically minded

Art should speak to you and you should buy what you love.

contemporary Chinese painters. We have classic works by Modern Masters, figurative paintings by Malcolm Liepke, and talented cubist painter and sculptor, Yuroz. We love introducing new artists to Houston - it doesn’t always work as well as you hope, but if you believe in who you are and what you do, you keep moving forward. No one can take that feeling away from you, especially if you are enjoying the process.

JB: What sets your gallery apart from

JB: What are your ambitions for the

other galleries?


MS: Off the Wall has always been set

MS: Our goal is always to bring exciting

apart. The gallery has often been a resource to examine the cultural issues of our time. It has grown and

artworks and must-see exhibits to Houston. We want the gallery to be a place where art lovers and

collectors feel at home, enjoy their visit and share the experience with others while learning more about the artists we carry. We will continue to develop and offer unique art experiences to our clients; we have an exclusive collectors’ Dr. Seuss Art Adventure Tour in Massachusetts in November, and a visit to meet Peter Max with a behindthe-scenes look at his studio in the first week of December in NYC. In addition, we take collectors to visit a local foundry or an artist’s studio; we are also planning a luxury European trip to meet the amazing glass artists in Murano, Venice. We will also continue to contribute to Houston’s community fabric by staying involved in causes dear to our hearts, such as promoting and fundraising for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Last year, in a partnership with our British artist Mackenzie Thorpe, we released “Love Conquers All,” a beautiful limited edition print 100% of the proceeds were donated to the hurricane relief efforts. This year, we are running a children’s book drive during the month of November, inspired by our upcoming Dr. Seuss 20th Anniversary event from November 2nd through the18th. In the coming weeks, we are launching our Gift Of Art Registry program, a great option for anyone wanting to build, or add to, an art collection. Off The Wall is a one-stop, full-service gallery. We guide our customers through the process of selecting, installing or shipping artworks from start to finish; in addition, we offer art restoration, third-party appraisal, and bespoke framing. The best is yet to come, and we are ready!






From left: William Hanhausen in front of a pastel from John Valadez, Mi Crepo es Mi Crepo, (My body is my own), a homage to Gauguin with distinct Chicano overtones. Benito Huerta, Noches de la Frontiera, 2001, Charcoal and graphite on paper, 30”x20” in. Luis Jimenez, Baile Con la Talaca (Dance with Death), 1984, Lithograph, 39”27” in. Photography John Bernhard

W I L L IA M HA N HAU S E N ’ S A P A R T M E N T I N one of the

high-rise towers in Post Oak hides another world behind the steel and glass, a world filled with color. Hanhausen is one of a handful of collectors of Chicano art, a movement of artists living in the US who have moved here from Mexico, and seek in their art an affirmation of Chicano cultural narratives through a strong assertion of identity. With nearly half of the population of Houston of Hispanic origin, art from Latin America has always been important here. But where institutions such as the MFAH and gallery Sicardi Ayers Bacino focus on conceptual art with a constructive aesthetic, Hanhausen’s collection is all about the stories. Take Enrique Chagoya’s frieze-like panel, a cartoonish narrative of immigration, which is humorously, entitled New Illegal Aliens’ Guide to

Critical Theory. “All the artists I collect express what it is like to come from Latin America to the States, which is something I have experienced personally when I moved here from Mexico. I still have one foot here and one foot on the other side.” Hanhausen took over the family antique business and operated a store in Houston until 2003. He now dedicates his time to collecting art and consulting other buyers (and occasionally, painting). But the motivation behind his collection is more than personal. “Chicano is still an under-represented style of art in the US, and I am part of a larger initiative to change that. I buy most of my artworks in L.A. and that city has significantly increased exposure to Chicano art through the foundation of Pacific Standard Time, a statewide survey show of Latin American and Latino art.

L.A. collector Cheech Marin much-anticipated Center for for Chicano Art in California is moving forward next year with a $9.7 million State grant.” According to Hanhausen, Chicano artists have a very unique way of expressing themselves. “Their style is probably best described as ‘socialist/ expressionist’. John Valadez’ Mi Crepo es Mi Crepo (My Body is my own) is a good example. Chicano artists are proud of who they are, of their bodies. The nudity, the tattoos, the woman facing us directly: it is aggressive, but in a positive way. On the other hand, Chicano artists feel a constant need to prove themselves, to say again and again: “I exist”. They want to be appreciated, not just as an ‘artist from Mexico’ but simply as an ‘artist’.” Mexican-born Luis Jiménez is probably the most recognized Chicano artist

here in Houston; the MFAH owns another edition of Hanhausen’s lithograph Baile con la Talaca (Dance with Death). “This image is typical Mexican. We dance with death: we embrace it, and live with it. But the work is also skilfully executed: there is an expression of the passion of the dancers and there is a strong sense of movement.” Hanhausen exerts that same passion in his collection. “When I look at Dancing on a Sunday by José Antonio Gómez’ Rosas (‘El Hotentote’) I can imagine the ‘pulqueria’, I can smell the food and the beer and see the guys dancing with their sombreros, looking at the women. Art is like a fruit. You have to taste it, touch it, feel it. You have to have been there to understand.”


How to Collect Art When You’re




Owning art when money’s tight can seem daunting, especially if you’re set on buying something from a big artist. But it’s still possible, explains Art Advisor Arianne Piper, who’s discovered ways around it. From researching beforehand to getting a specialist art loan, there are so many ways to save when investing in art. With 15 years of specialist experience in the art industry, Arianne shares her tips for buying art on a budget.


Start by setting a budget

It may seem obvious but start by looking at your finances and setting a budget that’s realistic. Pick an amount that isn’t going to keep you awake at night. Never buy anything you can’t afford, even if you love the piece – you’ll only have anxiety about it. Don’t view it as purely transactional

With that in mind, art shouldn’t be viewed only as an investment. You can’t be certain you’ll get your money back, so it’s crucial you’re not taking risks with sums you can’t afford. Everyone can afford something different: some people are comfortable spending £5,000, others are fine with spending over £20,000. Don’t be put off by this and certainly don’t allow a purchase to impede on your usual lifestyle. Find a mentor

If you’re looking to find a really amazing piece of art, look to find a mentor to help you out without costing a fortune. Other collectors will often guide you towards what you want, as will gallerists – they come across so much art and new artists. Instagram is also a great place to learn about art. Follow and take inspiration from other collectors, they’re extremely active and often use it as a marketing tool. Engage with them on there and ask to follow them around galleries and studio visits so you can look at how they go about collecting.

house expert who can always advise you on collecting art within your budget. Other key people to speak to are those working in paper departments of galleries or print dealers; they’re usually happy or give you advice on their stock. Avoid trends

Try to stay away from trends that come and go – this is key when finances are limited. It’s great to be aware, but listen too much to other people when you’re buying and you could get caught in a trend that may expire. By the time you’ve decided to spend the money and get into the investing game, the next trend may have come and your art will have depreciated. Instead, make sure you’re clear of your objective: why you’re buying and what you’re going to do with your work. If you’re ever unsure of this stuff you can get advice from people in Patrons’ Groups like the Royal Academy’s. Consider buying work from lesser known artists

It might seem less glamorous, but buying work from younger, emerging or unknown artists is a win-win situation. There’s a chance their work could grow in value, and more importantly, you’re giving creatives the support they need to keep working. Look into art loans

There are lots of loans available to help people buy art, some even offering free money to help young collectors get started. With some government schemes even interest-free, it’s worth researching the options available.

Try collecting other mediums like works on paper, editions or photographs

Arianne Piper is an art advisor with over 15 years of specialist ex-

If there’s an artist you really want to focus on but can’t afford, try other mediums of their work for a 10th of what a painting might cost. It’s far more financially accessible if you want to collect blue-chip names. For example, if you fall in love with a Hockney painting and can’t afford it but it’s all you want, try looking for one of his works on paper, a unique drawing or an editioned print. You may be able to buy a work on paper for £100,000 or £50,000 at auction for a unique drawing, or possibly an editioned print of 25 for £20,000. Always make sure you get advice on their conservation so that you’re storing the works correctly.

perience at Sotheby’s, UBS Wealth Management, the Dresden State

Research online and go to as many auctions and fairs as possible. When you’re there, find things that you love and then see if there are other works by that artist available elsewhere, perhaps works on paper or less expensive editioned works by them. It’s also good to speak to an auction

2012, she was nominated for Art Advisor of the Year at the Spear’s Young Turk Awards. ©MutualArt. Reprinted with permission. Laura FitzPatrick is a contributing writer of MutualArt.

Arianne with works by Shinro Ohtake, Bridget Riley and Sam Gilliam

Do as much research as possible on your own

Art Collections and has worked with Lord Jacob Rothschild. In




Local Houstonian, Jamal Cyrus, has become one of the artists to watch not just within the confines of our city but beyond. Using historical events in a exploration of sounds and visuals, Cyrus has continuously made work that draws a viewers attention to step into its contents fully, experiencing his roots. “One of the aspects of my art practice I have tried to stay true to is using my work as a type of research…”, says Cyrus. “My work tends to be about art traditions, people, and historical events that were not a part of my classroom or communal education experience. Of course the whys behind that are diverse, but that is what has inspired me creatively. In many ways this is a familiar part of Black experience in the U.S., and the reason behind so many autodidacts existing within this group.” The reality of his work resonates with rhythm, the colors are cohorts to collaborative thinking, with one foot in music the other in the visual. Common graphics such as album covers, American iconography, and other print ads are collaged into a new tapestry. Musical instruments are morphed into visual poetry. Memories are faded figures in paint, impressions of his intelligent concepts and meditative movement of hand. “I come from a family with professional musicians, so if you include that I have been exposed to creative since the beginning…”, states Cyrus. “In terms of visual art it was something I took to in Middle school, and was reinforced by an interest in skateboarding, in which music and art is a very instrumental part.” Cyrus’ vision was shaped locally through HSPVA and Glassel School of Art. Even in his youth, Cyrus realized that art was the root of his self worth and belief in transformation, two aspects that illuminate each piece and performance he makes. His first

year of collegiate studies was completed at University of Texas before transferring back home. “I then moved to UH, because I was interested in studying photography. There I learned to connect a cultural understanding to other traditions within Art History…”, says Cyrus. “I suppose there I started develop ideas about how to make my work in conversation to Contemporary Art, as well as the importance of language in artmaking. Mentors during these times are figures such as: Alvia Wardlaw, Harvey Johnson, Fletcher Mackey, Delilah Montoya, Bill Thomas, Anderson Wrangle, and Rick Lowe.” At this past year’s Art Basel, Cyrus proved to the art world that he is a visual force to be reckoned with through his mastery of morphing history. Showing with Inman Gallery, Cyrus represented himself through an array of purposeful and powerful pieces, something that Inman is known for here in our city and now is recognized outward. Recognition for the artist was certainly noted when the prestigious committee of judges at Basel awarded him the BMW Art Journey prize, a coveted resume builder in the art world which allows an artist to to research, to network, to envision and create new work. As part of this prize, Cyrus will be traveling through parts of Africa, Europe, South America, the Caribbean, and the U.S., with the intent of tracking how West African creative principles and philosophies germinated, adapted, and spread themselves throughout the African diaspora and ultimately the world. “Being a part of Miami Basel was a great experience, and really helped me to understand a bit more about how that aspect of the art world operates, and some of the forces at play…”, stated Cyrus. “For instance how difficult it is for artists in Houston to



Jamal Cyrus, Pride Record findings—Tokyo, 2005-2017, collage on paper, wood paneling, wood shelving, plastic bags 97 1/4 x 97 1/4 x 2 5/8 in

tap into that. So I came back with a greater sense of possibility, but also a sense of the amount of work and persistence it would take to achieve certain goal. So in many ways that experience was a real eye opener.” Cyrus started this year with a special exhibition entitled Boogaloo and the Midnight Hours, in collaboration with HSPVA alum and L.A. based percussionist and composer Jamire Williams. Over this year and next, Cyrus will be traveling through parts of Africa, Europe, South America, the Caribbean, and the U.S., with the intent of tracking how West African creative principles and philosophies germinated, adapted, and spread themselves throughout the African diaspora and ultimately the world.

Summer brought the exhibition Spin: Turning Records Into Art at the KMAC Museum, Louisville, KY, along with art featured at the Front International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art at the Akron Art Museum which will be on view until September 30th. Cyrus is also part of the exhibition Walls Turned Sideways organized by guest curator Risa Puleo, opening at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston August 9th and running through January 6, 2019. These recent exhibitions have helped showcase all things that are pillars to Cyrus’ artistic process: sound and sight reverberating off of the graphic and sculptural elements, beautifully blending the past and present with a fresh remix to usher in the future.


gallery listings

BISONG GALLERY 1305 Sterrett St. 713 498-3015

BOOKER•LOWE GALLERY John Slaby, Torn, Oil on Canvas, 60in x 48 in

4623 Feagan St. 713 880-1541

ARCHWAY GALLERY 2305 Dunlavy St. 713 522-2409 SEPTEMBER Barbara Able OCTOBER Kevin Cromwell

NOVEMBER John Slaby DECEMBER Liz Conces Spencer

AEROSOL WARFARE 2110 Jefferson 832 748-8369

ARADER GALLERY 5015 Westheimer, #2303 713 621-7151


ARDEN GALLERY 2143 Westheimer, Suite B 713 371-6333

2201 Westheimer Road. 713 526-1201 ART LEAGUE OF BAYTOWN 110 W Texas Ave, Baytown 281 427-2222


4411 Montrose Blvd. 713 524-2299 APAMA MACKEY GALLERY 628 East 11th Street 713 850-8527

ART PALACE 3913 Main St. 832 390-1278


CAPSULE GALLEY 3909 Main St. 713 807-7065 CARDOZA FINE ART 1320 Nance St. 832 548-0404 CASA RAMIREZ FOLK ART 241 West 19th St. 713-880-2420 CATHERINE COUTURIER GALLERY 2635 Colquitt St. 713 524-5070

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

CAVALIER FINE ART 3845 Dunlavy St. 713 552-1416

GALLERY SONJA ROESCH 2309 Caroline St 713 659-5424

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

THE GITE GALLERY 2024 Alabama St. 713 523-3311

CLARKE & ASSOCIATES 301 E 11th St. 281 310-0513


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

1953 Montrose Blvd. 713 523-9530

DAVID SHELTON GALLERY 3909 Main St, 832 538-0924

ASHER GALLERY 4848 Main St. 713 529-4848

DEAN DAY GALLERY 2639 Colquitt St. 713 520-1021

BARBARA DAVIS GALLERY 4411 Montrose Blvd. 713 520-9200

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

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


Gallery Listings

5535 Memorial Drive #L, HOUSTON




gallery listings KOELSCH GALLERY 801 Richmond avenue 713 626-0175

LA COLOMBE D’OR GALLERY 3410 Montrose Blvd. 713 524 -7999 GUERRERO-PROJECTS 4411 Montrose Blvd. 713 522-0686


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

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

HARRIS GALLERY 1100 Bissonnet 713 522-9116


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

SAMARA GALLERY 3100 Richmond, suite 104 713 999-1009


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


James Drake Sept. 8 - Oct. 13, 2018

O’KANE GALLERY UH-Downtown One Main Street 713 221-8042

2815 Colquitt St. 713 526-9911

Michael Bise Oct. 20 - Nov. 21, 2018

4520 Blossom St. 713 863-7097

POISSANT GALLERY 5102 Center St. 713 868-9337


HUNTER GORHAM GALLERY 1834 1/2 Westheimer Rd. 713 492-0504 INMAN GALLERY 3901 Main St. 713 526-7800 JACK MEIER GALLERY 2310 Bissonnet 713 526-2983

PARKERSON GALLERY 3510 Lake St. 713 524-4945 PEVETO 2627 Colquitt Street 713 360-7098

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

1441 West Alabama Street 713 529-4755


SHE WORKS FLEXIBLE 1709 Westheimer Road 713 522-0369

Michael Bise Gladiolus, a Book, and a Floor Lamp 2017, graphite on paper, 27” x 22 1/4”

NICOLE LONGNECKER GALLERY 2625 Colquitt St. 713 591-4997 NOLAN-RANKIN GALLERIES 3637 W. Alabama St. 713 528-0664

POST GALLERY 2121 Sage, Suite 165 713 622-4241

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

HARAMBEE ART GALLERY 901 Bagby St. harambeeartgallery.com

2242 Richmond Ave. 713 520-9988

Pablo Picasso

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



A RT S M O N T H For the first time, Houstonians can celebrate the rich, thriving arts and culture community with an entire month dedicated to delivering the perfect staycation matched with artistic expression.

October October October O c t o b e r is officially Arts District Month in Houston and the Washington Avenue Arts District is partnering with Houston

First, Visit Houston, and Le Meridian Houston Downtown to increase awareness and promote tourism opportunities in the area. This state appointed Arts and Cultural District has a rich history as it encompasses portions of both the First and Sixth Wards, two of the city’s oldest neighborhoods. The Arts District is home to 300+ studio spaces for local artists, designers and makers demonstrating firsthand how art gets made. There are dozens of locally-owned bars, restaurants and creative businesses. Visitors can encounter flourishing creative expression, entrepreneurial spirit and joyful exploration of personal passions amidst the iconic repurposed rice silos and old Union Pacific rail line running through the region. “As one of Houston’s five state-recognized cultural districts, we have a unique opportunity to showcase the artists and creative entrepreneurs participating in the city’s thriving arts ecosystem” said Marci Dallas, Executive Director of Fresh Arts. “Arts District Month is a chance get to know the history of our neighborhood, meet local artists, deepen our knowledge of this diverse city, have an amazing time while supporting Houston’s arts community.” Throughout the month, experience art and architecture in the context of the preserved rice silos at Site Gallery or the former underground drinking water facility at the Cistern at Buffalo Bayou Park. Visit Houston’s beautiful historic Glenwood Cemetery where many of our city’s founder are laid to rest, or grab a coffee or a beer at one of the neighborhood haunts. Take in the expansive murals at Art Alley or check out the exhibits at Sawyer Yards, FotoFest, and MECA.

Weekend Guide Sip, shop and see: O c t o b e r

6 : Holler Brewing Co FIRST Fridays Art Market - Kick off the weekend with both a locally crafted beer from brewery and tap room, Holler Brewing Co, and vintage or handmade finds from a market featuring artists and makers. Fall Biannual @ Sawyer Yards - Nearly 350 of Houston’s top local artists will showcase thousands of original paintings, sculptures, ceramics, glass, mosaic, photography, ceramics, mixed media and jewelry during the Sawyer Yards Fall Biannual Art Stroll. Hosted by one of the nation’s largest working creative communities, visitors are invited to explore the campus’ six studio buildings.

O c t o b e r 1 3 : Second Saturday @ Sawyer Yards - Spend an afternoon wandering through Sawyer Yards’ six studio buildings. Guests can meet 300+ artists, learn about local art and add a new piece to their collection. The Market at Sawyer Yards- This free, curated market hosts a mix of artistic mediums with a focus on creative ‘makers’ as sellers of their own work, folk art, and artisan crafts including packaged specialty foods. O c t o b e r (Various Dates):

Sculpture Month Houston is a three-dimensional art festival consisting of more than 40 participating venues including commercial galleries, nonprofit spaces, educational facilities and museums. This year’s festival and main show at SITE Gallery Houston is titled, “Peak Shift.” In addition, Buffalo Bayou Partnership commissioned famed Franco-Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez to create a sitespecific work for the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern. This dazzling projection of continuously moving chromatic modules on the Cistern columns, walls and cubes floating in the shallow pool of water on the reservoir’s floor invites visitors to become an essential component of the artwork.

O c t o b e r 2 7 & 2 8 : MECA’s Dia de los Muertos

Celebration - MECA will present the 18th edition of its Día de los Muertos Celebration, a series of cultural events recognizing the Mexican cultural holiday. The celebration includes a 2-day festival offered free to the public. It supports and showcases Houston area visual and performing artists while attracting thousands of visitors from the Houston area, Texas and Mexico. MECA will also host Retablos31 - an annual silent auction fundraiser and exhibition of retablos celebrating the tradition of devotional painting, presented in collaboration with Lawndale Art Center. Exhibits on View at Sawyer Yards - Each of the studio buildings at Sawyer Yards will host exhibitions throughout the month, such as a tenant exhibition on view at Winter Street Studios, three exhibitions on view at Sabine Street Studios, and a new installation by Joseph Echevarria at The Guard Tower at Sawyer Yards. The Arts District is a colorful, urban community situated in the Houston city center along the Washington Avenue Corridor and touts the highest concentration of working artists in the state.


Adriana LoRusso

Suzette Schutze

Matthew Gantt

Gretchen Bender Sparks

Kyong Burke

Thuy Nguyen

Vicki Hessemer

Nichole Dittmann

Lily Gavalas

Lacy Husmann

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 214 713-444-7562 www.gretchenbendersparks.com

Studio 213 713-689-9709 www.constellationism.info

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 321 281-389-8347 www.kyongburke.com

Studio 105 832-993-5583 www.lacyhusmann.com

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






performing arts schedule



OKLAHOMA! September 11 - 23

RICHARD GOODE, PIANO Saturday, September 29 8:00 pm

800 Bagby Street Sarofim Hall 713 315-2400

LES MISERABLES September 25 - 30 THE WIZ October 23 - November 4

ALLEY THEATRE 615 Texas Avenue 713 220-5700

SKELETON CREW By Dominique Morisseau Previews Begin: September 7, September 12 - October 7 Neuhaus Theatre TWELFTH NIGHT By William Shakespeare Directed by Jonathan Moscone Previews Begin: October 5, October 10 - 28 Hubbard Theatre A CHRISTMAS CAROL – A GHOST STORY OF CHRISTMAS By Charles Dickens Adapted and originally directed by Michael Wilson Directed by James Black Previews Begin: November 16, November 18 - December 30 Hubbard Theatre

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA November 7 - 18 DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST December 11 - 23 THE BOOK OF MORMON January 15 - 20, 2019 WAITRESS January 19 -February 3, 2019 MAMMA MIA! February 19 - March 3, 2019 WORLD PREMIERE THE CARPENTER By Robert Askins Previews Begin: January 18, 2019 January 23 - February 10, 2019 Hubbard Theatre REGIONAL PREMIERE QUACK By Eliza Clark Previews Begin: February 8, 2019 February 13 - March 10, 2019 Neuhaus Theatre

1402 Sul Ross 713 524-524-7601

BLUES AND THE SPANISH TINGE: AARON DIEHL, PIANO Friday, October 12 7:30 pm RUSSIAN RENAISSANCE Tuesday, October 23 7:30 pm DR. LONNIE SMITH TRIO Saturday, November 3 8:00 pm DANISH STRING QUARTET Tuesday, November 13 7:30 pm PEDRITO MARTINEZ GROUP Saturday, December 1 8:00 pm JAZZMEIA HORN SEPTET Saturday, January 19, 2019 8:00 pm VIENNA 1900: IN THE GARDEN OF DREAMS Friday, February 1, 2, 2019 7:30 pm CHUCHO VALDÉS – JAZZ BATÁ Friday, February 8, 2019 8:00 pm

Danish String Quartet (Frederik Øland, violin; Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen, violin; Asbjørn Nørgaard, viola; Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin, cello)

The Company in the Alley Theatre’s A Christmas Carol –A Ghost Story of Christmas. Photo T. Charles Erickson.



OHLSSON PLAYS BEETHOVEN November 29 - December 1, 2

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

VERY MERRY POPS December 7, 8, 9



DVOŘÁK’S STABAT MATER September 27, 29, 30

HOME ALONE December 14

THE MUSIC OF ABBA October 5, 6, 7

HANDEL’S MESSIAH December 21, 22, 23


GERSHWIN’S RHAPSODY IN BLUE January 4, 5, 6, 2019


TOTALLY ‘80S January 11, 12, 13, 2019


RAVEL’S LA VALSE January 24, 26, 27, 2019

THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS November 2, 3, 4

THE ELLA FITZGERALD SONGBOOK February 15, 16, 17, 2019

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS November 9, 10, 11

WILD, WILD WEST February 16, 2019


HOUSTON GRAND OPERA Brown Theater, Wortham Theater Center 510 Preston St. 713 546-0200

THE FLYING DUTCHMAN October 19- November 2 LA BOHÈME October 26 - November 11 FLORENCIA EN EL AMAZONAS January 18 - Fevruary 8, 2019

HOUSTON BALLET Wortham Center, 500 Texas Avenue 713 227-2787

THE NUTCRACKER November 23 - December 29 SYLVIA February 21 - March 3, 2019 ROBBINS March 7 - March 10, 2019



poetry erasure







Jasper Johns, Skin, 1965, Charcoal and oil on drafting paper. 22x34 in. The menil Collection, Promised gift from the Collection of Louisa Stude Sarofim. © Jasper Johns / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.


B. Anele, The Road to What? Jumpsuit, 2018. Raw canvas, spray paint, string, acrylic paint. Photo courtesy of Disha Khakeria.




The Menil Drawing Institute’s new exhibition galleries will be inaugurated with The Condition of Being Here: Drawings by Jasper Johns. Spanning 50 years of Johns’s career with works from 1954 to 2016, the exhibition maps introductions, continuities, and breaks among motifs, rather like the separate but parallel tracks that age and memory follow. The Condition of Being Here includes gifts promised to the Menil Collection by Janie C. Lee and Louisa Stude Sarofim, works from the bequest of David Whitney, and select loans from the artist. The exhibition coincides with the release of the catalogue raisonné of the drawings of Jasper Johns. Almost a decade in the making, the project was begun under the auspices of the Menil Drawing Institute and highlights the Menil’s commitment to scholarly publication. A beautifully illustrated catalogue for The Condition of Being Here: Drawings by Jasper Johns will be published for the opening of the exhibition. Major funding for this exhibition is provided by The Eleanor and Frank Freed Foundation; The Brown Foundation, Inc. / Allison Sarofim; and Janie C. Lee. Additional support comes from Nancy Abendshein; Clare Casademont and Michael Metz; Diana and Russell Hawkins; the John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation; Susan and Francois de Menil; Franci Neely; Susanne and William E. Pritchard III; Bill Stewart; Marcy Taub Wessel, Henry J.N. Taub II, and the Taub Foundation; Michael Zilkha; and the City of Houston. Nov 3, 2018 – Jan 27, 2019

B. Anele’s garments are sculptural, transcending into almost infrastructural and architectural forms. From conjoined jackets with arms that extend into a monumental, unifying chain to a jumpsuit with tar-colored, ten-foot-long pant legs intersected by broken, white road lines, their works commune with space, act as elements of support/restriction, and prescribe the reciprocal relationships between the wearers and their surroundings. Anele’s work is invigorating and saturated by a vibrant visual vernacular that they have infused with gestural strokes of primary colors, fruits, and counter-cultural icons, from the smiley faces of club culture to retro roller skates that have enjoyed a renaissance in the queer community. Their work has a graphic vitality that energizes and reawakens a sense of wonder and creative expression. Anele states that their work “weaves a provocative and indisputably familiar blanket for the viewer to be engulfed in.” For Anele, expression is poised as a form of social activism, as well as an accessible and inclusive alternative to homogeneity in contemporary culture. From their conjoined, felted wool berets to stiffened canvas sleeves that take abstract angular forms, B. Anele challenges the traditional bounds of garment design and demonstrates a vast material knowledge and dexterity in rendering their unbounded inner world. The exhibition of B. Anele’s garments pushes boundaries and invites sense of wonder. B. Anele: I Don’t Play That Game exhibition at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft on view until October 7, 2018.


Eric Peters, Fukushima Puppy Love III 2018 Mixed Media on Paper Hybrid, 53”x43.5”


Mike + Doug Starn: Big Bambú, installation view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.




This past summer, Gremillion & Co., Fine Art presented “New Still Life” an exhibition of recent paintings by Eric Peters. Wolfgang Becker, former director of the Ludwig Forum for International Art in Aachen, Germany, and author of “Eric Peters. Quantum: Malerei 1986-2016.” writes, “From the very beginning, Peters made use of the axial symmetry that dominates in the experiments of the quantum physicists and mirrors his motifs in such a way that both halves are one and the same. The overlappings are not that of movement, but could be that of a vibration. They resolve the illusion of real objects; they multiply themselves, appear transparent, glass-like, spirits, states. In the solitude of the studio, the artist no longer confronts animals and people that he found in photographs, but rather creatures that are directed towards him as though they were gazing at him from behind a mirror. What used to be recognizable and familiar is now distant, dissolves into particles, into pigments.” Eric Peters work circles the secrets of the creation and the depths of the human soul, which he aims to explore with the motif repertoire of portrait, landscape and animals. He was born in 1952 in Stolberg, Germany, graduated from the University of Applied Science at Aachen in 1974, where he still works. Art historian Pia Vom Dorp describes Peters’ work as a “feast for the eye and senses, a visual treat and a visual delight,” in doing so, “he draws brilliantly on the repertoire of art history and painting traditions, working at a highly accomplished technical level.”

Last summer, Mike and Doug Starn reconceived their ongoing Big Bambú project for Houston, filling the Museum’s austerely graceful Ludwig Mies van der Rohe–designed galleries with a monumental wave of bamboo. An installation of some 3,000 poles lashed together, This Thing Called Life rises 30 feet from the floor of Cullinan Hall, cresting onto the balcony of Upper Brown Pavilion. Visitors were invited to cross a bridge of bamboo that winds from the balcony into the wave’s curl, then deep into the Big Bambú sea. The sea has long been a part of the Starns’ lexicon: an emblem of great age, yet continually new and changing. Taking inspiration from the architecture of nature, the Starn brothers began to use bamboo in their studio in 2008. Their first public installation—on the roof of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2010—was experienced by more than 600,000 visitors, making it the ninth most-attended exhibition in that museum’s history. They have since created other iterations of Big Bambú around the world, but This Thing Called Life is the first public staging indoors, in active dialogue with an existing structure. The artists have been widely recognized for more than three decades for their conceptual photographic work, and this installation features three gigantic photographs of previous Big Bambú incarnations. Folding and draping off the wall and ceiling, these huge prints attest to the ongoing nature of Big Bambú, a process that never comes to rest, akin to life itself.





Ça commence pas bien. It’s my first day reporting the

art along Houston’s light rail, and I’m a t t h e N o r t h l i n e Tr a n s i t C e n t e r / H C C station near Fulton and Crosstimbers. I t’s t h e l a s t w e e k o f J u l y, a n d y o u don’t have to travel to a third-world country to witness the human misery evident here. Under a sky of solid beige haze, I trudge from where I’m not sure I’m legally parked across a sandy expanse of rocks and dust, past that hallmark of any pedestrian experience in this city – an empty lot surrounded by a flimsy chain-link fence with a sagging portable toilet in the middle – and I feel like a character in Ilya Repin’s “Religious Procession i n K u r s k P r o v i n c e .”

ESS AY 6 3

On the platform a heavy man in a wheelchair tells me I’m “gorgeous,” but I don’t quite catch what he wants to do with my “pussy,” presumably eat it. On the way to the next station (Melbourne/North Lindale), a black man seated across the car stares at me, pulls out his penis, and masturbates. And, at the next station (Lindale Park), a passing truck honks loudly at me as I wait for the train. The male gender doesn’t redeem itself until six stations in. Fulton/North Central remains after a week the most stunning station I’ve seen. The description is incorrect on the Metro website, so I can’t be sure of the art’s inspiration or significance, but its beauty is manifest. It looks like a screen saver! On a brilliant background of cobalt blue, my favorite color, a cloud of butterflies bursts radiantly with flashes of neon yellow. Pinned under glass, these universal symbols of change appear still in flight: irrepressible spirits resisting objectification. “I like it,” a man sitting on a bench says, twice. He is from Del Rio, where he says his family owned a 20,000-acre ranch. “I grew up on both sides of the border,” Del Rio says. “¿Hable español?” I ask. “¡Seguro que sí! (You bet I do!)” he responds. A panel is missing from this station, a problem, along with shattered glass, at numerous stations. At Northline Transit Center/ HCC, where the art memorializes 18 Latinos who contributed to local history, Roy P. Benavidez, a Vietnam hero, is missing. His plaque is there, but his picture is not, and I wonder if there’s been some mistake. “Well, people break a lot of things in this neighborhood,” Del Rio says. “You see, the problem is, people break them, and then they just replace them with glass,” and the art is lost, a reminder that destruction is as much a part of the artistic process as creation. After all manuscripts don’t burn. Del Rio tells a story about a girl in this neighborhood who had never seen a butterfly until recently. “Little girl,” he says and holds out his hand in front of him. Therapeutically, he rubs his leg. It is swollen and veiny.

The train arrives, and Del Rio doesn’t move. He props up for a high five and blesses me. I end that day’s journey at Burnett Transit Center/Casa de Amigos, an elevated station where I am met by not only the best view of the downtown Houston skyline I’ve seen but also a live butterfly. Black and gold, it dances around the middle track (there are three tracks at this station) before finally disappearing behind a panel. It works like this: many cities throughout the world commission art for their public transportation systems, and Houston is no different. The city has no subway; instead, it has an above-ground, electric train, locally dubbed the “light rail.” The majority of the north-south main “red” line, which cuts through the heart of downtown, opened over a decade ago before a north segment was added. Recently opened are the “green” and “purple” lines running east and southeast through the Second and Third Wards, respectively. Along the three open lines, there are 39 unique stations. The red line has 25, the green nine, and the purple 10, but they overlap at multiple stations downtown and EaDo (which the Metro announcer pronounces “Ee-Doo”). If you want to tour the art, you can divide the lines into five segments, as I did, with three along the red line. To transfer, you may have to walk a block or two. A ticket is $1.25 for several hours, and kiosks at each station accept credit and debit cards and cash with change. Neon yellow-jacketed monitors randomly check tickets, but not that often in my experience. If you get off at every stop, each segment should take no more than two hours. The red line trains come so often, sometimes, there is not enough time to view the stations, but the green and purple line trains can be spaced as much as 15 minutes apart. Because of the relative insulation of the trains, they can often double as homeless shelters. There are no restrooms, and I don’t recommend you do it in July. Station decor is thematic, with nine (Northline Transit Center-


Some of the arts a l o ng H o u s to n’s L ig ht Ra i l . All photos by Claire Hunt

ESS AY 6 5

HCC, Bell, Stadium Park-Astrodome, ¼) – including most of the stations along the purple line – devoted to history; eight (Ensemble-HCC, Melbourne-North Lindale, Cesar Chavez-67th Street, ¼) to art; seven (Fulton-North Central, University of HoustonDowntown, Magnolia Park Transit Center, ¼) to nature, and three (Cavalcade, Quitman-Near Northside, Robertson Stadium-UHTSU) to education. The three closest to the Medical Center (Memorial Hermann Hospital-Houston Zoo, Dryden-TMC, and TMC Transit Center) are, naturally, about science. And one (EaDoStadium) pays homage to nearby stadiums with festive representations of sports. There’s quite a bit of word play. At several downtown stations (Central, Theater District, and Convention District), words like “go,” “now,” “rapid,” and “time” are the works of art, and the final six stations on the line southeast through a historically AfricanAmerican neighborhood display “community,” “pioneer,” “emancipate,” “educate,” “contribute,” “protect,” “dream,” and “empower,” in that order. Station artists are not without a sense of humor: Preston, in front of a historic bank building, has awnings in a banker’s lamp shade of green, and the railing at the Memorial Hermann Hospital-Houston Zoo station resembles a double helix, which reminds me of the ceiling of Moscow’s Mendeleyevskaya station that looks like parts of a molecule. Much of the art takes the form of “windscreens,” prints pressed between glass sheets either behind the benches on divided platforms or separating them on single platforms, with complementary details in the awnings, railings, and pavement and on the pillars. There’s a noticeable distinction between the original red line and later sections, which have such a uniformity of design that, at a certain point, they all start to look the same, probably because many were designed by the same people. It’s like the difference between a classic Houston neighborhood and one of those tacky prefab “planned communities” in one of the satellite cities around Houston, where all the houses look alike. Most stations give a nod to their surrounding neighborhoods, and, yes, the air really does smell like coffee on Harrisburg. Several are works of art in themselves. Some are boring, others are silly, and yet others are just, like, “Huh?” And if you are on your phone, if you are obsessed with getting from point A to point B, if you are not mindfully present and aware, most of this, you miss. Day Two, and I’m at Bell Station. “Do you have two dollars so I can buy some food?” a homeless man asks me. He is holding a bag of food. I reach for my bag. “Wait! Wait! Five dollars!” Two Dollars says, adjusting for inflation. I decline. That’s price-gouging. I remember I have only a 20 on me, anyway. “Man, you’re a lady!” Two Dollars whines. “Most women don’t even talk to me! That makes me sad! That makes me want to kill myself! “It’s like the teachers in school! They have to teach the children!” he continues. OK, at this point I’m lost. Stupidly, I engage, anyway. “I am a teacher,” I say. “I help my students a lot,” I add and simultaneously cringe at my own narcissistic grandiosity. “I help people.” GAG. Now Two Dollars really won’t leave me alone. “Man, you’re not teaching me anything!” he cries. I sigh, sit down, and wait for my train. Va-t’en.

“What’s that all about, young lady?” Day Three at Wheeler. I am taking pictures of the art. A man seated on a bench next to his hat smiles at me. He is a contractor originally from Chicago with blond hair, blue eyes, freckles, and the loose, bloated flesh of an advanced alcoholic. The odor of liquor is so strong I continue to smell it even after I arrive home. Chicago knows the trains well, he says. He’s been up and down every line and uses them to get to the medical center. “I lost my truck,” he says, tearing up. His wife is in the hospital with ovarian cancer that spread to her pancreas, and her kidneys have shut down from chemo. She is Salvadoran. “Do you speak Spanish?” I ask, again. Chicago is an auto-didact. “I bought a book of 500 Spanish verbs and, then, just, you know, listening and watching ¼” Exactly! Now here’s a man who knows how to learn a language and has the humility to do so for his wife. “You must really love her,” I say, “to care for her like that.” “Yeah, it’s ¼ a special ¼ kind of love ¼” Chicago sighs, tearing up again. It’s my stop, and we bless each other. I stumble out at the museum district and turn around, and looming over me is a full-length portrait of Frieda Kahlo, who was deformed for life in a streetcar accident. That was a woman who knew pain. “Metro light rail trains are quiet, and you won’t always hear them coming,” the announcer reminds passengers over the platform loudspeakers. What is this bitch talking about?! I think. This shit is scary as fuck! When you’re on the train, you can trundle gently along. You can even stand and not hold onto anything. You feel rocked like a baby in the heat of this maternal city. On the platforms it’s a different story. Every time a thousand tons of steel comes charging past me, I am reminded of Berlioz, who was decapitated by a streetcar after slipping on the sunflower oil Anushka spilled. And wasn’t a Rice University professor just killed by one of these? All it takes is one false step ¼ I get so used to the constant roar of the trains that I hear it even now. The red line through downtown passes a profusion of “luxury” condos and car rentals. I return to Wheeler. As I cross the street to my car, it begins to rain. Day Five. Lockwood-Eastwood. Green line east. A black man approaches before I exit the train and asks me if I’ve been to the eye doctor. I have that morning and am wearing those disposable sunglasses they give you when you have your pupils dilated. Like an absent-minded professor looking for the glasses she is wearing, I realize what all the staring has been about. He’s right: I look like a fly. “Man, that was me last week,” he says. “You been there,” I laugh. “Yeah,” he adds, “You look like a female Ray Charles.” “Well, different skin color, I think,” I say. “Ha! Ha!” the obese Latino on his phone behind us chortles. “I wasn’t gonna say ¼” Ray Charles laughs nervously. “I said it!” I interrupt. The doors open. We step out. “I don’t have the talent,” I continue. “I wish I did.” “Well, ’bye, baby!” Ray Charles sings and leaves. “’Bye!” I smile. It’s always like that. This is not the metro in Mexico City or Beijing. There is no pushing, no rudeness. The stations and


trains are never crowded, there is always a seat, and people (public masturbators aside) are unfailingly courteous. A woman alone in rumored “dangerous” neighborhoods, I never once feel unsafe. Everywhere, there are greetings, high-five’s, and nods – acknowledgements of respect and reinforcing reminders of the innate goodness of most Houstonians. I pray for a sister to befriend, and, at the next station (Altic/ Howard Hughes), there she is. “How ya doin’?” Sister is a heavy-set black woman, seated next to a red rolling suitcase, who calls out to me as I take pictures of the graffiti that adorns buildings throughout this colorful neighborhood. Spanish-language music plays from a passing truck and the mechanic’s across the street, where the Mexican flag flies. And the air – just as in North Central Houston – smells of a Mexican panadería. Sister, like me, has overtweezed eyebrows and a lazy eyelid, but hers is on the right (father wound). A gray squiggly hair ventures out of her chin, and, at a station partially named “Howard Hughes,” I notice that every one of her long fingernails is different. I ask Sister what she thinks of the art. She likes it. Flowers are pretty and happy, “and there’s nothing evil in it.” I recall the numerous grinning calaveras I’ve seen throughout this historically Latino community. Sister says she is not from the area, but farther east. She asks me where I’m from. “Far west,” I reply and wave in that direction. “Really?” Sister says. “You don’t seem like you’re from Houston.” Ouch. I was born in the Methodist Hospital, went to Stratford, and lived at the same address for over 41 years. One of my ancestors stepped off the Winthrop Fleet, so I consider myself more American than most Americans. And, yet, it’s not the first time I’ve heard I’m “not from here,” a tourist in my hometown. Thirsty, I ask Sister where I can “get a Coke.” Farther down the line, she says, there’s a McDonald’s, and a Burger King, and a Popeye’s ¼ The fish at Popeye’s is fried in butter, and there are French fries, and fried hush puppies ¼ “As soon as I get my paycheck, I’m going to cash my check, and, then, I’m going to go get me something to eat!” Sister grins. It’s Friday. She is waiting for her paycheck. “They told us to come at two, and, then, they told us to come back at three,” Sister says. She complains that her employer gave her only 18 hours last week at $8 an hour, “and I’m tryin’ to move!” I explain that that is because American companies avoid paying benefits by never offering more than 24 hours a week to their workers. It’s a cowardly practice that mystifies many expatriates to this country, who don’t understand that in America a “gig” is not a job. Sister doesn’t look so much angry as ¼ confused. I tell her I will pray for her. “Would you like a prayer?” I think she says, but I don’t fully understand. She repeats herself with a welcoming gesture. She asks me what I want. “Well, just peace, I guess,” I shrug. It feels just unseemly to complain about white people problems. Sister beckons again. How do you pray when your only real problem in life is a broken heart?

Sister takes my right hand between her hands. I can’t understand everything she says, but I hear “in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord” and something about “east and west.” The train is arriving, and I’m in a hurry. I am covered in sweat and grime, but I give her a kiss anyway. “Hope to see you again real soon!” Sister beams. Two stations down, and, boy, Sister wasn’t kidding: Burger King, Long John Silver’s, McDonald’s, Popeye’s, Whataburger, and a taqueria with dirty, salty tabletops and a leaky ceiling that drips water right next to your table – all within about two blocks. It’s not a “food desert.” It’s a healthy food desert. Should’ve asked her to help heal the pain in my heart, I think with chagrin. It’s a smooth ride back downtown under the bluest sky I’ve seen all week, past block after block of vivid public art, celebrations of the unrelenting human aspiration for beauty amidst all this ugliness. Mostly, I just feel like crying. On August 30 my 80-year-old father woke up at five o’clock in the morning and put his feet in almost two feet of water. It destroyed the house in which my parents lived for 41 years and the only real home I ever knew. On that day we all discovered a new form of public transportation in Houston: boat. The men who rescued me from my apartment on the other side of the bayou said they had brought theirs from Corpus Christi. “You mean you came all the way from Corpus Christi just to help us?!” I said. “Well, sure!” one replied. “You would do it for us!” One carried me on his back to the boat. “Man,” he shook his head, “I can’t tell you how good this feels to see people helping each other like this!” “We should do this every day!” I laughed. “If we could do that every day,” he said, “our nation would be just fine.” Does art ever exist in a vacuum? Do you avoid public transportation because it’s inconvenient or because it’s public? Because it’s used by the kind of people you would rather avoid? This person with disabilities, this Latino, this broke-ass dude, this alcoholic, this African-American, this starving, low-wage worker, or this woman whose pussy you want to eat? In five days on the light rail, I sewed together the astonishing diversity of this city, east to west, only to return home. The real metamorphosis came a month later. It’s a cliche that compulsive travelers are just running away from their problems. Isn’t it interesting that we know what we’re supposed to do, but we still don’t do it? Do we have time to change before we are forced to? Before you lose your truck, before you get hit by a streetcar, before you are no longer a passing tourist in the medical center, before the flood rips the rug out from under you, literally? Before you really are homeless? To change, to respond to our neighbor without fear? To be the kings of our own good life, right here, where our family has been all along? Seguro que sí.



Richard Stout AN INTERVIEW


AD: Who are a few of your

has it been as an artist to navigate the Houston art scene? RICHARD STOUT: When I moved back to Houston in 1957, the art scene was relatively small and everyone knew each other and supported all art-related endeavors. While Houston has grown significantly in the past 60 years, the art scene still feels like an open and welcoming community. AD: Do you feel that it has evolved for better or worse for the artist? RS: Better. AD: Is there a magnetism about Houston, a reason people, artists, and writers boomerang back here and settle in? RS: Yes, Houston is a place where artists are able to be judged on the merit of their art, and are free to experiment and push boundaries without having to adhere to the agenda of others. Overall, the community is very generous, friendly, and supportive.

contemporaries that made the largest impact on you? RS: Dick Wray, Dorothy Hood, and Jack Boynton. AD: Are there artists whose work perhaps got lost in the moment and should be reconsidered? RS: No, I think we are doing well with all of that. I mean, this Fall especially with “Collision” at Glassell and Houston Legacy shows happening across the city at the Ideson Library, Heritage Society, and several of the commercial galleries. AD: Has your role as an educator ever conflicted with your identity as an artist? RS: : No. AD: Were there any of your students that stood out to you as an artist? RS: Oh yes! Some students that stood out, include: David Caton, Julian Schnable, Ron Hoover, Benito Huerta, Steven Murphy, Don Localio, Michael Ray Charles, Richard Fluhr, Ken Luce, Paul Horn, Michael




Galbreath, Ken Mazzu, among others. AD: What is your advice for aspiring artists? RS: Work hard and don’t expect too much. AD: Are there any emerging artists that have caught your attention? If so, who and why? RS: Yes, particularly Lovie Olivier and Jonathan Paul Jackson. AD: Your solo museum exhibition “Sense of Home” opened at AMSET, Beaumont, and closes September 3rd at AMST, Corpus Christi, and will make its final stop at the O’Kane Gallery at UH Downtown September 27-December 6, 2018. What feeling do you get when you walk into a museum filled with decades of your work? RS: I’m not embarrassed. That’s for sure. AD: What are the upcoming public events related to your Houston retrospective exhibition? RS: Yes, there is a book signing and talk with art historian Jim Edwards at the MFAH, September 22nd at 1pm.


Top: Richard Stout, Sense of Home exhibition at the Art Museum of South Texas, in Corpus Christi, Texas. Bottom: Richard Stout, Fly Away, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 36x60 in. Photos courtesy of Reaves | Foltz Fine Art.



uthenticity? B Y


issue of paramount importance within the art world. As a Specialist in the Contemporary Art Department at Bonhams New York, authentication is a matter which my team and I must navigate each sale season. Though an auction house does not function as an authenticating body, we must ensure that we have taken every possible step to demonstrate that each item we offer for sale is authentic, and proven to be by the artist we have attributed it to. Our research often first begins with learning more about the work from the current owner. This includes piecing together the complete ownership chain of the picture (known as provenance), that is, where and when they acquired the work, and any further history that they may be aware of. Invoices, previous certificates of authenticity or other associated paperwork are very useful at this stage. Once we


T O W E R S - P E R K I N S

have sought to identify the work in the artist’s catalogue raisonné (a compendium of the complete works by an artist) or within any other published literature, we will then be in touch with the artist’s studio or representational gallery to obtain their verification and any further information they may have such as the correct cataloguing and exhibition history. In cases where the artist is no longer living, and therefore unable to directly confirm a work’s authenticity, an artist’s estate or foundation can be contacted to provide authentication. For some artists, there are specific scholars or family members who have been officially identified as the authenticating body for the artist’s canon and their consent is required to correctly attribute a work of art. For older works, scientific tests can be done, such an analyzing the media used, the age of the materials, paint pigments and even the brushes involved. Though every effort is made to correctly attribute works of art within the art world, shocking stories of fakes and forgeries often hit the newspaper headlines, it is still fairly surprising that works by well-established artists are still called in to question. Even in recent years there have been a number of high profile cases that point to this. In the case of Knoedler & Company, the gallery allegedly sold a number of fake works by Abstract Expressionist

artists, settling the case with collectors in 2016. Earlier this year scholars confirmed that twenty of the Modigliani works on view at Genoa’s Palazzo Ducale were not authentic and in a particularly bizarre case in 2016, Scottish artist Peter Doig was required to deny in court that he was the artist responsible for a painting that a dealer was trying to sell. Because of these difficulties, the art world is looking eagerly towards new innovations in technology to provide support and assistance. The most promising of these innovations is blockchain technology. Blockchain is a distributed and decentralized, publicly accessible digital register. Transactions between users are stored securely and permanently within a data block, creating a continuous chain of information and a traceable data history. A system such as this would encourage increased transparency within transactions, as well as lend specialists and scholars access to the full provenance and history of a work of art, allowing them to confidently identify works and attribute them to the correct artists. Blockchain technology would provide a means of establishing authenticity while also building concrete provenance going forward. It seems therefore that the obstacles we face while trying to piece together history and the past, could well be assisted by looking towards the future.

Jacqueline Towers-Perkins is a Specialist in Post-War and Contemporary Art at Bonhams Auctioneers in New York



When you make art, it is an act of creation. You give life to something outside of yourself that you can look at. Something you can read, hear or feel. It becomes an extension of you out in the world. Something you should embrace as it helps you know a little bit more about you. When we share these creative extensions a little bit more with each other, we start to see and appreciate a world with more meaningful colors, words, and sounds. It is a world where We can become One. “I have more hope after the Be the Peace – Be the Hope program, because I learned with the Circle of Trust, the healing Box and the paintings that I can trust myself and my friend and feel safe. I can do everything because we are one” Mancholi and Saloni, Grace House India “[I learned that]… that you are never alone, you are special!” Ashley, 4th grade, Eickenroht Elementary This September, the Texan French Alliance for the Arts and Amegy Bank will come together to host an exhibition supporting the Be the Peace - Be the Hope project. The event will unveil how we can unite forces through art and education to spread peace and hope to children, teachers and communities in at-risk environments both in Houston and around the world. International artists will share their messages of hope and respond artistically to the work created by at-risk students who participated in the Be the Peace, Be the Hope program in the U.S. and across the world. Be the Peace - Be the Hope was created in 2015 with the mission to inspire peace and hope to at-risk children in Houston and in forgotten parts of the world. Three years later, over 3000 children and youth have benefitted from the Be the Peace - Be the Hope healing arts workshops that provide the social and emotional learning so desperately needed. We end the program by offering Houston students the opportunity to impact children across the world by creating Messages of Hope, which are then sent to refugee camps and orphanages abroad. Most recently, our team traveled to Grace House India, a very unique girls orphanage in rural India, to deliver messages from Houston

students. These resilient girls between the ages of 5 and 14 participated in Be the Peace - Be the Hope workshops themselves and created their own messages, encouraging a global communication of positive and compassionate thoughts. As Stacey Smith, the “Grace House India” founder stated:” Between the Circle of Trust, the Healing Box and the messages of Hope, we found our girls opening up to each other and the staff on campus in ways they never had before. We were able to learn about past abuse and wounds as well as current situations the girls are trying to deal with on their own. Being able to build a bond of trust and allow the girls to express their pain through art was truly reforming for them. Especially those who had hidden things for years. Everyone was so much lighter and so full of hope knowing that we are one and that there are people who can be trusted and even understand what they are going through.” The Power of Hope Exhibition curated by John Bernhard draws inspiration from these messages of hope, which have been created and sent abroad for the past 3 years to create a cultural and compassionate dialogue between Houstonians Youth and Youth orphans and refugees. Pieces shown will include artwork on canvas created by selected middle and high school students that we have worked with in the past, alongside professional artworks that promote global peace and hope. In addition to their artwork, we have asked the professional artists to talk to and mentor one of our students, providing them guidance as they create their work. These young students will get the incredible chance to work with established Houston artists such as Marjon Aucoin and Dandee Warhol. If you would like to get a closer look at how art inspires hope in the world, please stop by at the lobby of Amegy Bank Tower in the Galleria-Area from September 27 – October 26, 2018. All proceeds will help fund the art materials and workshop supplies Be the Peace - Be the Hope will use across Houston in the upcoming school year. www.bepeacebehope.org and www.gracehouseindia.org.



What upcoming projects are you working on? I’m excited about a number of ongoing and upcoming projects. This year, I undertook a 365-day social media project with the goal of creating and sharing a new piece of art every day throughout the year. I’m also preparing for upcoming exhibitions in the fall and publication of several of my Asian landscape photographs in 2019. In addition, I am working on a series of instructional/training workshops for 2019.

Where are you from? Give me your life story in 100 words.

Photography and Calligraphy by Tamer Ghoneim

Born in Canada, and of Egyptian descent, I have lived in the Houston area for the majority of my life. After completing two degrees in engineering and working in industry for several years, I decided to pursue my creative passions by following entrepreneurial and art career paths. In 2011, after one year of dedicated photography selfstudy, I was one of thirty artists selected for international publication in the annual Silvershotz Folios magazine. I have traveled internationally making images and have participated in several exhibitions in the Houston area. In

recent years, I have expanded my visual arts portfolio to include calligraphy and calligraphic art. I am also passionate about teaching, providing private instruction and technique workshops, and supporting charitable organizations, particularly those who champion the prevention and treatment of childhood illnesses.

Is having a “successful career” as an artist something that is important to you? How do you define success? Building a successful career as an artist is immensely important to me. I would define success as being an artist who encourages, inspires, and motivates others to pursue their own creative/artistic passions. I hope to be able to create and teach educational art workshops and programs that benefit other artists, the community, and charitable organizations.

What recent projects are you most proud of?

program which was a tremendous opportunity to grow as an artist and meet an incredibly amazing and talented group of fellow artists. I also participated in the FotoFest 2018 International Meeting Place and am looking forward to a number of upcoming projects from that event.

Why do you create art? In all honesty, the answer to this question is one that I am still in the process of exploring. The simple answer is that I create art because I love being creative. More specifically, through art, I hope to share works of positivity and beauty that might inspire others to explore their own creativity or simply brighten their day. I derive tremendous joy from the “ever onward almost” pursuit of mastery of my crafts. Whether photographing a grand vista or engaging in the countless hours of detailed calligraphy practice and exploration, when creating art, reality fades and I find joy, stillness, peace, and focus in the work that I am making.

I am particularly proud and honored to have been selected to participate in the recent Washington Avenue Arts District Box Project. The piece that I created is currently the largest calligraphic art work that I’ve made and represents the culmination of years of learning, practice, and experimentation. This year, I also participated in the Artist INC professional development

TAMER GHONEIM by Micah Starkey



Where are you from? G i v e m e y o u r l i f e s t o r y.

I’m currently working on a project inspired by and in collaboration with my friend, Josh Fernandez, an English professor and creative writer from my hometown of Sacramento, CA. This new series of paintings are inspired by his short stories. Each work is a hard-hitting social commentary, like a bold and aggressive punch to the balls. They will be his stories, but they will exist in my world.

I grew up in West Sacramento, CA and earned my B.A. in Art from San Francisco State University. After graduating, I returned to Sacramento for a few years where I managed an art studio and assisted a gallery while developing my practice. Shortly after, I relocated to Chicago, where I began an evolving series on children and gun violence. I just moved to Houston a couple months ago and look forward to continuing to evolve my artistic practice here. I’m in studio #147 at the Sabine Street Studios in Sawyer Yards; stop by and see the works in progress.

Top: Zachary Williams, Angry Bomb, oil on canvas. Bottom: Zachary Williams, The Oceans Wide, oil on canvas.

What upcoming projects are you working on?

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? I have always used art to reflect on the world around me, so sociocultural issues usually dominate the theme. For this reason, I have

preferred to use the figure in my work; but I have recently begun to incorporate non-figurative elements, to suggest a narrative rather than explicitly state it. I want to bring to life, in explosive representational form, the embodiment of a disordered world, provoking a dialogue surrounding the obstacles, illusions, and uncertainties of our environmental future.

What types of mediums do you work in? Which medium are you the most comfortable with? I’m a traditional artist and prefer working with oil paints. I begin each piece with a drawing to methodically study the intricacies and nuances of my subject. This allows me to explore and experiment with the composition of the piece, embellishing or simplifying components as needed before moving on to largescale oil paintings. I then begin on a toned ground, and gradually build up the paint in successive and partly transparent brush strokes. This process culminates in a highly detailed, harmonious image. The result is a painting that will hopefully leave an impression.







www.johnbernhard.net 713-854-3758


www.justinokeith.com 214-364-4638

E X P O S U R7 E7 7 7


Vortex of Existence 5, Silver Street Studios, #211 www.lynsullivan.com Lyn@lynsullivan.com 281 520-1349



Out of Doors series allen@allenbourneimages.com





E D I T O R - A T- L A R G E





Ralph Gibson, New York, 1967

713 628 9547

De Frog Gallery

fine art photography representation












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C O L O P H O N 7799


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.

Claire Hunt WRITER

Claire Hunt is a native of West Houston with a master’s degree and a background in writing and education. She has been writing her whole life and tutors English for internationals and the verbal parts of six standardized exams (ACT, GMAT, GRE, LSAT, SAT, and TOEFL). She moved to Conroe following Hurricane Harvey. You can visit https://englishlessonshouston. blogspot.com, and her YouTube channel.

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

Jennifer Stephan Kapral WRITER, EDUCATO R

Jennifer Stephan Kapral is an author, educator, and freelance writer in Houston. She attended the University of Pittsburgh for a B.A. in English Writing and the University of St. Thomas for a Master’s in Education. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Fireside Fiction, Flash Fiction Magazine, and The Arcanist. She is ArtHouston most recent contributing writer.

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 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.


editor’s pick

Photography by Sabrina Bernhard Similar to Chicago, Houston now has its own “Bean” sculpture. a 30-foot-high stainless-steel form by artist Anish Kapoor is installed outside the new Glassel School of Art building.

Profile for John Bernhard

ArtHouston issue#7  

ArtHouston issue#7  

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