Page 1

{ SIR MARK FEHRS HAUKOHL }

{ SICARDI | AYERS | BACINO }

{ PAGE PILAND }

{ KNOW HOPE }

{ FRESHARTS }

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

I S S U 1E 1 1


ARTHOUSTON

2


3


ARTHOUSTON

4

A


A

Photo by F. Carter Smith

P U B L I S H E R ’ S L E T T E R 35

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.

– Albert Einstein

s an artist, I am most creative when I am happy. For me, the real energy and insight needed to create great works of art come not from a place of despair, but of joy. And in these tough and crazy times I feel discouraged rather than inspired. To help me get into the right positive state of mind, I looked back at history and realized that the worst of times can make for the best of arts. The Dada movement was born out of the tragedy of World War I as a reaction to the ugliness of the war. The Great Depression sparked a social-realist movement that gave artists and photographers a voice. The upheaval of the 1960s brought more attention to the work of women and minorities. In the era of COVID-19, I hope that the effect of this pandemic, as history tells us, will lead to a moral uplift, a time of new vision, possibilities, and a renewal of values. So no matter where we are, a place of despair or joy, history shows that the art community needs to continue to create, so that we can all contribute to the forging of collective bonds, and in the process maybe help alleviate suffering. Yours faithfully. John Bernhard


ARTHOUSTON

6


CONTENTS

PUBLISHER’S LETTER 3

NEWS BITS 6

BOOK REVIEWS 10 COUPS DE CŒUR 12 GALLERY LISTINGS 56 POEM 62

14 FEATURE

Is Art Always Political Sheng Kuan Chung, Rebecca Rabinow and Gary Tinterow 18

Scenic Right of Way Kelly Simmons 24

REVIEWS 64

Enmeshed in the Art World JT Morse

* JULIA McLAURIN 72 * ST E P H E N H E B E RT 74

28

Sir Mark Fehrs Haukohl Hanneke Humphrey 34

EXPOSURE 76

Susan Plum Chia-Shin Chu

COLOPHON 79 EDITOR’S PICK 80

38

Page Piland Sabrina Bernhard 44

* Fresh Arts’ interviews

Meta-Formation Arthur Demicheli 46

Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino Gallery John Bernhard 52

Learning and Doing Sabrina Bernhard 60

Optimizing Optimism ON THE COVER: ArtHouston is a Media Partner with The Bayou City Art Festival, who is launching a fundraising campaign in partnership with the City of Houston to support the arts and our local nonprofit partners. Individuals and corporations can ensure the Bayou City Art Festival’s return to Memorial Park and Downtown Houston and it’s programming in the community by committing to donate and by participating in the many upcoming fundraising events. To learn how you can help go to our News Bits section on page 8.

Sabrina Bernhard 68

Know Hope Karine Parker Lemoyne 70

Society Strays Artists’ Message William Hanhausen

ARTHOUSTON 7


news bits

AARRTTHHOOUUSSTTOONN 68

A CALL TO CREATE

U.S. Department of Arts & Culture

SPIRITUALITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE The Rothko Chapel

The U.S. Department of Arts & Culture (USDAC) wants to learn more about cultural organizers, collectives, artists and creatives working to radically shift the world around us! Over the course of Fall and Winter, 2020 the USDAC will be embarking on a listening, learning and storytelling project with the goal of convincing policymakers to invest in arts, culture-making and newly reimagined sectors of labor critical to our collective healing and survival. Are you or someone you know working to build a more just, equitable and sustainable world through an existing project? If so, you can join The People’s WPA by applying to this link:

rally communities, educate organizers and guide decision-makers to enact ambitious policies. We are living in a critical moment that calls for deep government investment in forms of labor that repair the material and cultural damage wrought by unchecked industrialization, consumerism, and an extractive, colonial economic model. The People’s WPA recognize the work of deep healing, creative mutual aid, and radical imagination, in the service of racial, economic, and environmental justice. To do this work, The People’s WPA will select a group of collaborators to support in a 6 month process. The work will be organized around the themes of Healing, Nourishment, Liberation, Regeneration, Remembering, Truth Telling, and Deepening Democracy, understanding these as vital ways in which communitybased artists and cultural workers are steadfastly working to repair society and move us all into a more sustainable and enriching future.

The Rothko Chapel has announced a new Spirituality and Social Justice Cohort, a strategic planning project funded by the Henry Luce Foundation. The cohort, a group of eight change leaders, started convening virtually this summer and will continue in person in 2021, to help further contemporary understandings about the spirituality-social justice relationship and how these can inform future directional aspects of the Chapel’s programming and community engagement efforts. “Sustaining long-haul social justice activism takes a lot of patience, grit and determination,” explained David Leslie, Executive Director of the Rothko Chapel. “Central to this project are www.usdac.us/peopleswpa questions such as how do activists from diverse disciplines sustain their activism and social engagement? What spiritual, psychologiWhat is The People’s WPA? cal, creative and existential resources are needed and drawn upon to be effectively engaged in the struggle for social justice? How The People’s WPA is a cultural can the Rothko Chapel further cross-sector understanding and organizing and storytelling collaboration that support both current and future generations of project that seeks to uplift activists and social change leaders?” essential forms of labor in an “Thanks to the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, the Chapel effort to build an inspiring has a unique and very timely opportunity to delve into these critical vision of our shared future. questions as we further our mission well beyond our first fifty years In addition to crafting a of service,” Leslie continued. credible vision, they seek to Since its founding in 1971, the Rothko Chapel has operated at the vanguard of social justice, hosting symposia for scholars, activists and religious leaders from around the globe to engage in discussions on issues affecting human rights, and to work towards a culture of mutual understanding. Central to the Chapel’s mission is a deep commitment to support those who are marginalized and to strengthen collective efforts to address the world’s most divisive and difficult problems while also affirming the importance of spirituality as the bedrock for social transformation. The Rothko Chapel ensures that a diversity of religious and spiritual representatives, artists, and social change leaders representing distinct issues and community sectors are engaged in the design and presentation of its programming and community engagement initiatives. “The Luce Foundation’s Theology Program is pleased to support this initiative of the Rothko Chapel,” said Program Director Jonathan VanAntwerpen, “which extends the Foundation’s longstanding support for work at the intersections of religion and the arts. With David Leslie’s leadership, Rothko Chapel will draw together a diverse and impressive cohort of leaders to explore some of the profuse meanings and varying effects of ‘spirituality’ across Rendering of South Campus by Architecture Research Office & Nelson a range of communities, movements, and contexts of engagement.” Byrd Woltz. Courtesy of The Rothko Chapel.


N E W S B I T S 97

MAYOR TURNER AND HOUSTON CITY COUNCIL APPROVE $2 MILLION IN RELIEF FUNDING FOR ARTS AND CULTURE City of Houston

In late August, Mayor Sylvester Turner and Houston City Council approved $2 million in relief funding for creative businesses that are facing economic challenges due to COVID-19. Funding for the City of Houston CARES Act Program for Arts and Culture includes $2 million from the City’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act. The program is open to the 1,236 creative businesses previously vetted for grants from the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) that have suffered business losses due to the pandemic. Individual artists will be eligible to apply for a grant up to $1,000, and nonprofit organizations will be eligible for up to $15,000 in relief funding. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced closures and cancellation of hundreds of venues and events for arts and cultural organizations. Many creative businesses have been unable to secure relief funding through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). “The arts and cultural sectors have been hit incredibly hard by the pandemic and we need everyone to keep fighting to survive and be part of the city’s recovery,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Houston would not be the vibrant city that it is without the many artists and organizations serving our community and making it a cultural destination like no other.” Before the pandemic, Houston’s nonprofit cultural sector was a $1.1 billion industry, employing more than 25,000 Houstonians. Houston’s arts and cultural attractions typically have 11 million to 16 million visitors annually. Event-related spending is pumped into restaurants, parking garages, hotels, and retail stores, along with the $57 million in local government tax revenues that are also being curtailed by the pandemic. MOCA will utilize its long time arts services provider, Houston Arts Alliance (HAA), to begin accepting, processing, and ranking applications. HAA will distribute the funds in September and will handle all administrative duties by completing reports and documentation ahead of the federal deadline in December. “The grants system through HAA is able to review applications from a large number of creative organizations quickly,” said Deborah McNulty, Director of the MOCA. “Over the last several years, MOCA has worked with HAA to update the grant processes to be more transparent and equitable. The 2020 grant pool is the most diverse it has ever been, including 32 percent first-time applicants and 53 percent with projects, programs, and overall missions that serve historically underserved communities.” For more information about COVID-19 related emergency financial help or the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs visit houstontx.gov/culturalaffairs. You can also follow MOCA on Facebook and Instagram @HoustonMOCA.

Allora & Calzadilla, Graft, 2019. Courtesy of Gladstone Gallery, N.Y. and Brussels. Photo by David Regen

ALLORA & CALZADILLA: SPECTERS OF NOON The Menil Collection

Early Christian texts describe acedia as a demon that besieges the soul at noon, when the day listlessly drags and delirious visions momentarily reign in the blinding light. The Menil Collection presents a major exhibition of seven sculptural works by the artists Allora & Calzadilla (Jennifer Allora, b. 1974, and Guillermo Calzadilla b. 1971) that revolve around this concept, serving as a manifestation of noon’s hold over humankind and as a metaphor for the uncertainties defining our time. Created specifically for the Menil’s main building, Allora & Calzadilla: Specters of Noon will use sounds, cast shadows, and novel sculptural materials to evoke an aweinducing atmosphere of bewilderment and beauty. The pieces on view are inspired by the artists’ four-year immersion in the Menil’s extraordinary holdings of Surrealism. They explored the historic role that Surrealism played in the Caribbean in the years surrounding World War II, including its pivotal role in anti-colonialism, and the movement’s fascination with the importance of noon. Allora and Calzadilla extended their research by connecting this history to the current moment by seeking out shared connections between Houston and their own home of San Juan, both port cities that have been deeply impacted by energy commerce and the effects of a changing climate. A soundscape, organized by Grammy Award winning, Pulitzer Prize-winner, and Oscar nominated avant-garde composer David Lang, will permeate the gallery space, augmenting the hypnotic atmosphere of disorientation that the artists are creating. Lang worked closely with the artists to develop an eight-hour cycle of constantly evolving sounds that will run daily in the exhibition, and according to Lang, “sonically sculpt the day.” A combination of instrumental, vocal, and electrical recordings, the sounds will respond to and activate the works of art on view. The exhibition will conclude, in its final weeks, with a series of live vocal performances, all composed by Lang in collaboration with the artists, and led by the renowned Philadelphia-based chorus master Donald Nally. DACAMERA, based in Houston, will partner with the Menil to train the vocalists who will be performing the pieces.


AARRTTHHOOUUSSTTOONN 1 80

VIRTUAL GALA

MANDELA

Art League Houston

The U.S. premiere of Mandela: Struggle for Freedom, a rich sensory experience of imagery, soundscape, digital media and objects, explores the earthshaking fight for justice and human dignity in South Africa – and its relevance to issues of today. Visitors can experience the tiny cell where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison, take a stand in front of a giant 22-foot long by 9-foot tall armored vehicle, make a virtual protest poster on a digital light table, or enter a secret apartment for freedom fighters forced underground.

Art League Houston (ALH) will hold its first one-of-a-kind 2020 Virtual Gala: Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop on Friday, October 16, 2020. The digital event will combine many components of ALH’s signature in-person gala along with some special surprises! The evening will be emceed by artist Houston artist Phillip Pyle II, and feature a delicious, three course dinner created by Underbelly Hospitality. Gala guests will also enjoy a captivating online silent art auction featuring work by both local and nationally recognized artists, a live-streamed performance by the New York–based duo The Illustrious Blacks, plus our annual awards ceremony honoring some of the brightest lights in the arts and arts philanthropy in Texas. This year’s gala marks ALH’s 72nd anniversary investment in our mission to honor those who have demonstrated exceptional creativity and outstanding achievement in the visual arts, and whose work has had a significant and positive impact on contemporary visual art in Texas. We are particularly thrilled to be celebrating legendary artist Rick Lowe as the 2020 Texas Artist of the Year, Celia Álvarez Muñoz as the recipient of the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award in the Visual Arts, and Mary & Bernardino Arocha as the 2020 Texas Patrons of the Year. ALH is thrilled to honor these individuals for their outstanding commitment to the arts, and whose work underscore the importance of art as a vehicle to re-imagine our past and transform our future. The difficult circumstances surrounding the current pandemic, however, pose an unprecedented threat to our work and sustainability as an organization. Support from our community is more vital now than ever.

Photo by Graeme Williams

Holocaust Museum

Among its many dramatic visual features, the exhibition replicates Mandela’s eight-foot by seven-foot prison cell. When entered, the cell becomes a digital theatre whose walls tell a story of repression and resilience. Other exhibition highlights include a 16-foot high “wall of laws” based solely on skin color, and original artifacts including police riot gear, tools of hard labor, letters written by Mandela, segregated swimming and toilet signs, and more. Mandela’s unbreakable will inspired people around the globe to mobilize for human rights. Born 102 years ago, he was one of the most famous human rights defenders of the 20th century. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, Mandela was elected South Africa’s president the following year during the country’s first democratic elections.

ART FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN Bayou City Art Festival

The Art Colony Association, Inc. (ACA), the producer of Bayou City Art Festival, and in partnership with the City of Houston and KPRC 2, has launched Save Our Art - One Passion. One Purpose. One Community – a fundraising campaign to help Bayou City Art Festival continue its mission, support the local arts and its local nonprofit partners. “The Bayou City Art Festival, artists and art organizations are important for our city’s identity, and they need our support,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “It is up to us to preserve our art as it is a platform that tells our story.” For almost five decades, the Bayou City Art Festival has supported exhibiting artists and celebrates performing, visual and culinary arts while promoting the powerful impact it has in the community. Dedicated to supporting arts education programs and inspiring young artists, the Middle School Art Competition program offers students 5th-8th grade the opportunity to participate in a 2-D juried art competition. With strong community engagement and successful events, Bayou City Art Festival shares the proceeds with local nonprofits that are making a critical impact on the lives of those they serve. Kelly Batterson, Executive Director of the Art Colony Association, added: “We remain committed to our mission and believe saving our art is critical for the future of our festivals and also for the community and those who rely on art organizations such as Bayou City Art Festival for inspiration and support.” Under the ongoing campaign, Bayou City Art Festival will host several fundraising events including a Virtual Happy Hour series. Each virtual happy hour will feature a different artist sharing their process and inspiration in a storytelling format. The artist may also provide a live demonstration and auction a donated piece of art during the happy hour. The program will have a moderator that will host art trivia with chances to win prizes and take questions from the audience during the Q&A segment. Additionally, Bayou City Art Festival will host a four-day online art auction leading up to the Bayou City Art Virtual Experience, which is replacing this year’s in-person festival, on October 9-11, 2020. The virtual event will highlight participating Bayou City Art Festival artists, and include online performances, art projects for kids of all ages with Bayou City Art Festival nonprofit partners, creative activities with festival sponsors and more. Sponsors of Bayou City Art Festival and the “Save Our Art” Campaign include: City of Houston, KPRC 2, Frost Bank and Stella Artois. Individuals and corporations can ensure the Bayou City Art Festival’s return to Memorial Park and Downtown Houston in 2021 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of providing art and programming in the community by participating in virtual fundraising events and by committing to donate. Contribute to the “Save Our Art” campaign by texting “SaveOurArt” to 243725, visiting www.artcolonyassociation. org or via Facebook.

For the most recent updates, follow the official event hashtags #SaveOurArt #HouArtFest and #BCAF, like the Facebook page, or follow on Twitter and Instagram.


KEEPER OF THE HEARTH, VIRTUAL OPENING Houston Center for Photography

N E W S B I T S 191

Grace Lau, Time Present and Time Past are both present in Time Future (T.S.Eliot), 2012, Chromogenic Print from Color Negative.

Kristine Potter, Kris, 2017, Archival Pigment Print, Courtesy the artist.

Words & Pictures presents a virtual opening reception of Houston Center for Photography fall exhibition, Keeper of the Hearth: Picturing Roland Barthes’ Unseen Photograph. This program will discuss the project and its exhibition with artist and editor Odette England as well as four other project contributors, including curator, writer, and educator, David Campany, artist and publisher, Kris Graves, artist Jess T. Dugan, and curator in the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Sarah Meister. Keeper of the Hearth marks the 40th anniversary of Roland Barthes’ renowned work Camera Lucida (La Chambre claire) in 2020. Keeper of the Hearth: Picturing Roland Barthes’ Unseen Photograph, is the first exhibition of Odette England’s book by the same name, which was published in the US in March 2020, marking the 40th year of Roland Barthes’ renowned work, Camera Lucida (La chambre claire). As part of this project, England invited more than 200 photography-based artists, writers, critics, curators, and historians from around the world to contribute an image or text that reflects on the instigator of Barthes’ semiotic musings—a photograph of his mother, Henriette, aged 5, that is never seen in the book, and is

perhaps one of the most famous unseen photographs in the world. Contributors include established artists such as David Levi-Strauss, Alec Soth, and Rosalind Fox Solomon as well as emerging and mid-career artists and critics including Stanley Wolukau Wanambwa, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and Jess T. Dugan. From a diverse array of found photographs to intimate portraits of artists’ lives, this exhibition creates a multitude of platforms from which to consider the theoretical conversations about photography—not only “what” we see but “how” we see—that continue to shape our understanding of the medium today. In addition to coinciding with the 40th anniversary of Camera Lucida, this exhibition opens two seasons of programs celebrating the 40th anniversary of Houston Center for Photography. Virtual Opening Reception on Thursday, September 10, 2020 from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm Curator and Artist remarks begin at 6:30 pm Registration for appointments will open to the public on September 1st. The exhibition on view September 10 – January 10, 2021 by appointment until further notice.


ARTHOUSTON 12

book reviews

Daddy-O’s BOB WADE

Daddy-O is the creator of the fortyfoot iguana that perched atop the Lone Star Café in New York City, the immense cowboy boots (entered in the Guinness Book of World Records) outside San Antonio’s North Star Mall, and Dinosaur Bob, who graces the roof of the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature in Abilene, Texas. He is widely recognized as one of the progenitors of the “Cosmic Cowboy Culture” that emerged in Texas during the 1970s. Daddy-O’s Book of Big-Ass Art features images of more than a hundred of Wade’s most famous pieces, complete with the wild tales that lie behind the art, told in brief essays by both Wade and more than forty noted artists and writers familiar with Wade’s work. Texas A&M University Press, Nov. 2020

Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration NICOLE FLEETWOOD

More than two million people are currently behind bars in the United States. Incarceration not only separates the imprisoned from their families and communities; it also exposes them to shocking levels of deprivation and abuse and subjects them to the arbitrary cruelties of the criminal justice system. Yet, as Nicole Fleetwood reveals, America’s prisons are filled with art. Harvard University Press, April 2020

Making Houston Modern BRADLEY, FOX, AND SABATINO

Making Houston Modern explores the provocative architect’s life and work, not only through the lens of his architectural practice but also by delving into his personal life, class identity, and connections to the artists, critics, collectors, and museum directors who forged Houston’s distinctive culture in the postwar era. Edited by three renowned voices in the architecture world, this volume situates Barnstone within the contexts of American architecture, modernism, and Jewish culture to unravel the legacy of a charismatic personality whose imaginative work helped redefine architecture in Texas. University of Texas Press, August 2020

Bob Bilyeu Camblin SANDRA ROWLAND

Fangirls

HANNAH EWENS

“To be a fan is to scream alone together.” This is the discovery Hannah Ewens makes in Fangirls: how music fandom is at once a journey of self-definition and a conduit for connection and camaraderie. University of Texas Press, August 2020

Camblin was a central figure in the period of artistic fermentation in Houston that is now beginning to receive increasing critical attention. He chose Rowland to be his historian while still at Rice, and her insights into him are based on many personal letters and conversations. In addition, she is a trained art historian and brings to bear professional expertise about his place in regional and American art. Her work includes a useful timeline of Camblin’s exhibitions and major artworks. University of North Texas Press, 2020

Guillotine

EDUARDO CORRAL

Guillotine traverses desert landscapes cut through by migrants, the grief of loss, betrayal’s lingering scars, the border itself. Through the voices of undocumented immigrants, border patrol agents, and scorned lovers, award-winning poet Eduardo C. Corral writes dramatic portraits of contradiction, survival, and a deeply human, relentless interiority. Graywolf Press, August 2020


13


ARTHOUSTON 14

coups de cœur

PHOTOGRAPHER

Jose-Pablo Fernandez

Light, or visible light, commonly refers to electromagnetic radiation that can be detected by the human eye. Jose-Pablo Fernandez photographs sunlight through a process that he defines as Flux-Spectrum™. Flux describes the flow of solar energy-radiant light through a surface, and Spectrum refers to the rainbow of colors produced by sunlight after passing through a prism. These visible light rays are always moving and are transformed into different images that are impossible to imagine beforehand. The images are captured at specific spacetime coordinates, also known as Minkowski spacetime. jp.tata@att.net

ARTIST

Jim Koehn

Jim Koehn’s work often reflects a fascination with historic architecture. His most recent paintings are influenced by the Backroads of America, the Streets of Houston, Beer Joints, Old Theaters, Live Music, our National Parks - and life in general. www.jimkoehn.com


15

SCULPTOR

Emily Young The primary objective of her sculpture is to bring the relationship of humankind and the planet into closer conjunction, a relationship which has been occluded by millennia of fantasies about the nature of power and human autonomy. The natural beauty, history and energy of material stone, including its capacity to embody human consciousness, has the potential to extend our experiences of being human in a vast unknowable universe. www.emilyyoung.com

ARTIST

Tra’ Slaughter Tra’ Slaughter create works that act as windows, providing insight and focus on complex subjects, while offering my unique interpretations, and raising difficult questions. “Art is a language everyone can understand, and I believe it has the power to save us all.” He aims to create powerful and persuasive art with a social function, that challenges our understanding of the world in which we live and how we operate within it. www.traslaughter.com


ARTHOUSTON 16

IISS

AARRTT aa llwwaay ys s

?

ppool li it itci acla l ?


INSIGHTS 17

Art is more impactful when it is executed to a c h i e v e a g r e a t e r s o c i a l p u r p o s e , helping to further cul-

tural democracy and social justice (i.e., art changes life). The view of art for social activism – namely, activist art – is not to negate other functions of art, such as spiritual enlightenment or aesthetic pleasure (i.e., art improves life). Forrest Briscoe and Abhinav Gupta define social activism as “instances in which individuals or groups of individuals who lack full access to institutionalized channels of influence engage in collective action to remedy a perceived social problem, or to promote or counter changes to the existing social order.” The ultimate goal of activist art is to educate viewers as citizens of society about existing social problems and to develop agency to counter unjust social conditions permeating their daily lives. Because my professional field in visual arts education, I would like to elaborate on how art for social activism is applied to educating our future generations through art. Art education for social activism moves beyond preparing children to become future artists. Rather it aims at developing their critical skills of seeing, thinking, and questioning about the privileged and marginalized presented in surrounding visual imagery so that they will be able to deconstruct the dominant, oftentimes biased, discourses and social practices. This art education approach utilizes activist art and all other visual artifacts circulating in our society for classroom instruction. Again here, we have to view teaching as a political enterprise. Teachers as agents of change have a social H i s t o r i c a l l y , a r t responsibility to educate children so that they become h a s served many func- productive citizens who understand that equal rights tions and purposes. Art has al- and social justice are essential to living in a true demoways been political regardless of the cratic, society where citizens are kind to one another fact that the artist may have intention- and help each other to advance humanity. A critical apally created it for arousing aesthetic proach to art education must first validate and utilize pleasure. In other words, art makes a children’s real-world knowledge and experiences as political statement even if the artist users of visual imagery by further empowering them to creates it to replicate the beauty of examine surrounding visual artifacts (including art) and nature. For the viewer, recognizing the critically reflect upon their everyday aesthetic and lived political nature of art is fundamental experiences. This approach positions children as active to understanding the power of art from agents of change in making sense of the pleasures and a well-rounded standpoint and at a troubles of visual spectacles within their cultural arena deeper level. Art is not merely an inert and in analyzing how these visual spectacles are creobject for wall decoration. In fact, con- ated, shaped, and embedded with specific values and temporary art has moved beyond being points of view. It guides them to analyze their visual exa physical object; art can be a journey periences and see how they themselves are a part of the of exploration, a spiritual awakening, or forces shaping or challenging the status quo. a political action. Viewing art then be- C r i t i c a l v i s u a l a r t s e d u c a t i o n s h o u l d comes an empowering process of see- m o v e s t u d e n t s b e y o n d a e s t h e t i c a p p r e ing what is presented or represented, c i a t i o n and self-analysis to exploring conditions of and questioning what is under/repre- injustice perpetuated in social practices such as sexism, sented or misrepresented. In this pro- racism, glorification of media violence, and stereotyping cess, art viewers become investigators based upon sexual orientation or gender identity/expresand co-creators of meaning. sion. It should encourage students to react to, dialogue with, and when necessary challenge biased political discourse as a means to achieve social justice. In my view, art education, like all education, is always a political enterprise as art always makes a political statement.

D r. S h e n g K u a n C h u n g

Professor of Art Education at the University of Houston


ARTHOUSTON 18

A n a r t i s t’s o r i g i n a l p o l i t i c a l i n t e n t i s n o t a l w a y s apparent

to viewers, and over time, it is increasingly likely that a work’s context will F o r m i l l e n n i a , a r t i s ts have taken partisan be forgotten. Take, for example, stances. They have created art that either glorifies or de- Claude Monet’s brushy Impression nounces specific religions and regimes, Sunrise (1872, Musée Marmottan, social practices, and governmental polParis), a pastel-hued view of a icies. Notable twentieth-century examnorthern French harbor at dawn. ples include Pablo Picasso’s monumenMost viewers do not realize that tal anti-war statement Guernica (1937, when it was first exhibited, soon Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid); Jacob after France’s demoralizing loss Lawrence’s expression of the African of the Franco-Prussian War, American experience in his 60-panel Monet’s loose handling of paint Migration Series (1940–41, Museum of was considered a subversive atModern Art, New York, and the Philtack on the tenets of the offilips Collection, Washington, D.C.); and cial French art school. Barbara Kruger’s photographs overlaid with text that address patriarchy and There are many more topics the power of language. The best overtly worthy of discussion, includpolitical art is aesthetically appealing ing the politics of patrons and changes our perceptions. For ex(both institutional and indiample, visitors to the Menil Collection viduals) and also how people have seen installations and exhibitions in power often politicize art that address sexism, displacement, ento their own ends. During the vironmental crisis, Black migration, and Fascist period in Italy, for exracism by artists such as Frank Bowling, ample, artist Giorgio MoranOlafur Eliasson, Mona Hatoum, Leslie di’s subtle still lifes were held Hewitt, Otabenga Jones & Associates, up as populist propaganda, and Dario Robleto. as representing the pure and humble spirit of the Italian Some artists choose a more subtle appeople. proach to political content. In the early 1970s, Joe Overstreet created abstract P l e nty of a r t i s ts n evand vividly colored Flight Pattern painter intend their artings. The artist’s rejection of the tradiworks to be political. tional stretched canvas stemmed from Yet the life of the artwork, the his sensitivity to marginalized people’s forces that shaped the person need to pack up their belongings and who created it, its display and move at a moment’s notice. Per the artits availability to viewers once ist’s instructions, the painted canvases the artist finishes with it, all are installed using cords affixed to the matter. How were the matericeiling, walls, and floor. One of these als sourced? Who harvested or tethers is tied as a noose, a nod to the mined the pigments? Who belegacy of violent racism faced by Indigcame ill in the process and which enous and African American communicommunities had land or rivers ties. A different but equally powerful that were polluted as a result? example is Untitled (Ross in L.A.) (1991, Which artists were encouraged in The Art Institute of Chicago), one of their chosen profession? Who had Félix González-Torres’s many poignant access to art academies or instrucand personal responses to the AIDS crition? Who had access to a studio or sis. As viewers take a piece of wrapped a protected space in which to work? candy from a 175-pound pile, its mass Who could afford to devote their days and weight is reduced in an approximato creating art? Who had access to galtion of how AIDS-related illness wasted leries, critics, collectors? All of these esaway the body of the artist’s lover. sential questions are political in their very nature. Not all art is intended by the artist to be political, but the world is a political place, and by extension, so is the art creD r. R e b e c c a R a b i n o w ated within it. Director of the Menil Collection in Houston


INSIGHTS19

N o w , m o r e t h a n ever, art is what one makes of it. Meaning and impact is truly dependent on the eyes of the beholder. The same work can provoke rapture in one viewer, curiosity in another, and disgust in someone else. In museums, we are increasingly conscious of the importance of allowing multiple meanings and interpretations to coexist, and we are careful not to foreclose any option or conclusion. There never is one answer, or a right answer, to the question “what does this mean?” Our job, first, is to provide an opportunity for the public to encounter works of art, and second, to facilitate reflection and appreciation, joy and introspection. And further, by showing, as we do at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, art from five continents made over five millennia, we facilitate discovery.

Our fundamental message is that we are all human,

and that for millennia humans have experienced love, loss, spirituality, discovery, and the delight of invention, which they express through material culture. What could be more wonderful than to look at an Olmec ceramic figure made 2500 years ago and say to oneself “that is exactly how I felt this morning.” In a museum we are reminded of the commonality of human experience.

At a time when powerful forces s e e k t o d i v i d e u s , the museum provides

a powerful antidote, as well as a refreshing and rejuvenating escape into wonder, awe, and delight.

Gary Tinterow

Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston


ARTHOUSTON 20

From top: Leticia Bajuyo, Forces of Nature: Blue Skies, Slinkys, and Hurricanes

Spotlight True North 2020

Bill Davenport, Big Cabbage

Scenic Right of Way H E I G H T S B O U L E VA R D ’ S E S P L A N A D E S C U L P T U R E P R O J E C T.

T H E E I G H T B E AU T I F U L A N D T H O U G H T- P R OVO K I N G

sculptures made by select regional artists for this year’s True North 2020 exhibit have been installed and officially unveiled along Heights Boulevard. As always, the collection is free to experience and since it’s all outdoors in open public areas, it can be seen at any hour. “The True North 2020 exhibit is especially exciting,” cocurator Linda Eyles said. “We have such a diverse group of artists and sculptures. Some of the works are cerebral and thought-provoking, and some are just plain fun. This is a truly unique opportunity for individuals to come out, enjoy the boulevard, and have a really personal experience with these amazing pieces of art.” This year’s roster of Texas-based artists include Leticia Bajuyo, Bill Davenport, Vincent Fink, Jack Gron, Joseph Havel, Jack Massing, Sherry Owens and Art Shirer (collaborating), and the late Bob Wade.

B Y K E L LY S I M M O N S PH OTOS BY KO LAN OWSKI STUD I O

B ill D avenport ’s delightful seven-foot diameter sculpture, Big Cabbage, is comprised of polymer concrete and painted the perfect “cabbage green.” It is hard to miss in the 900 block of Heights Boulevard. “It’s a cabbage, but bigger!” Davenport said. L eticia B ajuyo’ s Forces of Nature: Blue Skies, Slinkys,

and Hurricanes, is constructed of steel and blue PEX tubing. It was inspired by diagrams of hurricane development and the spring movement of the “wonderful toy” Slinky. This installation features three circular forms that appear to be large Slinkys connected at the ends into rings. It seems to be rising out of the earth in the esplanade’s 1200 block. “Ultimately, by combining elements that affect our lives on a dramatic scale, those that occupy us in modest moments of play, and those that subterraneously quench


FEATURE 21


ARTHOUSTON 22


FEATURE 23

Sherry Owens and Art Shirer’s collaborative sculpture Carbon Sink


ARTHOUSTON 24

our thirst for suburban perfection or agricultural plenty, I aimed to manufacture a peaceful, but artificial, grassy eye of the storm,” Bajuyo said.

V incent F ink ’s sculpture, Dodecahedron, is a 12-sided

polyhedron with pentagonal faces of translucent acrylic glass embossed with paintings of celestial imagery, specimens and geometric orbital patterns, which represents space or ether. It is located on the 600 block. “From the smallest particle to infinite galaxies, all things are interconnected via Sacred Geometry; the harmony of space,” Vincent said.

Jack Gron ’s Hard Rain sculpture is a 10-foot tall depic-

tion of a cloud form, driving rain and a vulnerable cityscape below. It’s made of fabricated aluminum and painted steel, and attracts the eye in the 800 block. “I believe ultimately all art is autobiographical and throughout my career I have focused on my impressions of the times in which I live,” Gron said. “Hard Rain is a statement regarding the most critical issue facing the Houston community.”

Joseph Havel ’s

sculpture On History is a nine-foot bronze piece located prominently on the boulevard esplanade across from the Heights Neighborhood Library on the 1300 block. “On History recognizes that all contemporary artworks are based on precedents in art, art history, social conditions and personal history. The sculpture seems appropriate for Houston Heights at this moment as the community has gone through an accelerated period of change in the past decade. In reaching forward it is important to acknowledge history.”

From top: Vincent Fink, Dodecahedron Bob Wade, El Gallo Monument

Jack A . Massing ’s sculpture LOCULUS is a large metal wrench wind vane that swings around the cardinal directions, a whimsical No. 1 Repair Air pencil of painted wood, metal and rubber. The viewer can find their specific point on Earth by the geographic coordinates located on the sculpture’s structural tower. The sculpture starts this year’s exhibit in the 400 block. “As a long-time Heights resident, I am honored to be a part of this outdoor exhibition of sculpture,” Massing said. “I have taken the title of this project, ‘True North,’ to heart and designed a piece that displays the cardinal directions and its exact location on the face of Earth. The wind vane element will allow the viewer to see which way the wind blows, which will at some point in the future be either coming from the North or perhaps blowing directly North.”


FEATURE 25

From left: Jack Gron, Hard Rain Jack A. Massing, LOCULUS Joseph Havel, On History

Sherry Owens and Art Shirer ’s

collaborative sculpture Carbon Sink is created from discarded cuttings of the sinewy crape myrtle, which are beautifully sculpted together with hardware and carbon finished. Their piece is on the 1600 block. “Carbon Sink is a visual metaphor of an organic storage place for the carbon dioxide present in our atmosphere,” the artists revealed in a statement. “This sculpture represents a depository for the greenhouse gases that affect our environment.”

Although he passed away on Christmas Eve, Bob Wade ’s work lives on with El Gallo Monument, a pleasing and fun piece replete with colorful piglets and a towering rooster. It anchors True North 2020’s line-up in the 1800 block. The sculpture was inspired by Wade’s childhood fascination with “roadside stuff during long trips on those old Texas highways.” The True North project took root in 2013 when Gus Kopriva, owner of Redbud Gallery and luminary in the local, national and international art scene, met with Chris Silkwood, an artist, well-known community advocate and past Houston Heights Association (HHA) President, and

other community leaders to discuss his vision to expand the placement of public art pieces on sites throughout the city and particularly along the esplanade of Heights Boulevard. That vision soon became True North, a Heights Boulevard sculpture project. “Art adds an economic value to the area through inward investment and tourism and fosters civic pride, confidence and quality of life,” Kopriva said. Formerly the main corridor of Houston’s first electric streetcar system, Heights Boulevard stretches from White Oak Bayou to 20th Street. The thoroughfare has enjoyed major revitalization and beautification in recent years thanks to the efforts of the HHA, which has overseen the implementation of jogging trails, native trees, flower gardens, drinking fountains, benches and gazebos. The Houston Heights Association is its nonprofit sponsor/partner, and True North 2020 is underwritten entirely through donations from individuals and businesses who wish to support the popular public sculpture project and its ongoing success. True North 2020 is co-curated by Linda Eyles, Simon Eyles, Kelly Simmons and Silkwood, with Kopriva serving as engineering and project consultant. The True North 2020 exhibit runs until December 15.


ARTHOUSTON 26

Enmeshed in the Art World B Y

J T

M O R S E

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOHN BERNHARD

the founder and principle consultant of Kinzelman Art Consulting; she’s also an exceptionally avid lover of the visual arts, a deep thinker, and a woman on a mission to change how and why people collect art today. For her, art consulting is about much more than the financial investment in art and finding pieces that match a collector’s vintage suede sofa or a corporate client’s minimalistic lobby setup. Education, collaboration, and relation are at the heart of her business and her passion for art consulting. JULIE KINZELMAN IS MORE THAN JUST

“At KAC, we distill the art-buying experience into a much more accessible and enjoyable process that is bred out of a firm belief in collaboration. We demystify the art market, on behalf of our clients, making art procurement far more tangible and pleasurable to navigate.” Within minutes of meeting Julie, I knew she and I would become fast friends. Her warm tone, infectious laughter, and heightened intensity when speaking about her work quickly won me over. Listening to her ramble on—in the best way possible—about the heart her business was such


FEATURE 27

“Artists are the heroes of our day; they are creating, capturing, and reflecting what’s happening right in front of us— in real time. Incredibly important stories are being told, and we need to slow our pace to venture beyond the surface aesthetics and dive deeper into the artist’s story.” Julie Kinzelman


ARTHOUSTON 28

a delightful experience. She truly seems to want clients to feel as if they’ve been elevated, enlightened, and educated about art, artists, and the art-buying process. Instilling confidence in people about their acquisitions is clearly a high priority for her and what keeps her clients coming back. “People reach out to us for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it starts with a simple acquisition request but then ends up blossoming into a much more fruitful relationship. Within the first few times we meet to present clients with various artist-candidates, their expectations quickly elevate because we bring them unique and special works of art that would otherwise be hard to source—if you didn’t turn over every stone and spend a tremendous amount of time enmeshed in the art world, like we do.” Not knowing much about art consulting, I asked some very basic questions, anticipating exasperated sighs or

Her immediate response was a firm and resounding, “KAC doesn’t represent artists and only the artist can truly articulate their agenda.” Then she took a breath, softened her tone, and went on to say, “For us, we don’t want to embody a bias toward particular artistic individuals or styles of art. Instead, we prefer to introduce our clients to an array of artists and connect them with art that we hope will become experiential for them, resonating in ways they didn’t even foresee possible. We seek out and handpick pairings of artists and clients that we think will forge a special and lasting connection.” After an answer like that, I had to probe further, asking Julie about art and artists that have made a special and lasting impression on her. She opened up about a beloved piece she and her husband procured during a trip to Miami in 2014. The untitled piece by Spanish artist Carlos Irijalba is a large, chromogenic print. At the show in which she first

“We seek out and handpick pairings of artists and clients that we think will forge a special and lasting connection.” ego-defeating pauses, but Julie seemed more than happy to discuss all facets of her consulting work and share her vast art knowledge with a novice like me. Her firm works with both private collectors and corporate clients, which are evidently extremely different to work with and require distinctive approaches. However, Julie expressed that both are equally enjoyable experiences for her. The main difference seems to lie with decisions being made by committees versus individuals. Regardless of the number of people she’s accommodating on a project, though, the key seems to be focusing on high degrees of collaboration and inclusion. She’s doesn’t strike me as a stuffy or snobby art critic telling people what they should and shouldn’t love about art. “I think it’s important to help clients see the importance of living with art and the role it can play in their everyday lives—the value it can, and will, bring. I’m not decorating with art; I hope I’m teaching others how to live with art and recognize the role it plays in our daily experiences.” Seeing that we live in a time of cancel culture and have seen artists called on the carpet for their personal beliefs and non-art-related expressions, I asked Julie about how Kinzelman Art Consulting choses what artists to promote and whether they represent any specific types of artists.

encountered it, the piece sat on the floor, leaning casually against a wall amidst other similar works creating somewhat of a shoreline, frothing with the salty surf. Or so she thought. After contemplation and conversation, she realized that the piece was not of the ebbing tide but rather of surface irregularities in a poured concrete foundation. This was an image of a banal parking lot or cracked city sidewalk, not a beatific beach as first assumed. The more she investigated the artist’s concept, the more the work revealed itself as relative, or transitory, to personal interpretation. She wondered how concrete could look that beautiful. To this day, that piece continues to evoke questions for her and elicit the same emotional response as it did when she first encountered it six years ago. “Beauty offers one type of experience. Conceptual ingenuity offers another. Artwork that conveys both of these functions in tandem can transform your perception and alter how you view the world.” This philosophical gravity is what Julie Kinzelman brings to the art consulting table, along with a healthy sense of humility and an ounce of humorous grace. There have been a handful of career experiences after, or during, which she


29

Kinzelman Art Consulting office in Isabella Court on Main Street in Midtown. Photography by John Bernhard

has looked at herself in the mirror with an overwhelming dose of absolute bewilderment. Thankfully, though, she says these experiences have been few and far between. What kind of journalist would I be if I hadn’t pressed her for a juicy morsel or two? When sufficiently nudged, she did finally cave and shared one tasty tidbit—devoid of names and specific details, of course. “There was an ill-fated project, years ago, that I cursed myself for taking on. I would have saved myself years of stress had I consulted with a soothsayer in advance. Having been retained to develop and implement a divestment strategy for a client who had several high-profile works of art they wished to sell, I spent nearly a year culling through catalogue raisonnés, conferring with art specialists, and seeking the final word from authenticators. All to eventually deliver the unfortunate news, to my client, that they had acquired inauthentic works of art that had no value. The art was unsellable. I found myself shifting from art advisor to expert witness in a contentious case when my client sued the spurious collector who had sold the works to them. It was right out of a fast-paced, thriller novel set in the art world.” Another quality that Julie packs in her satchel next to

slides and portfolios every day, that she feels has helped her achieve success in the art consulting field, is gratitude. This entrepreneurial art lover and bridge between collectors and artists alike, prefers to share the credit with the bevy of contractors and fellow consultants she’s worked with, and employed, over the past twenty-six years. One, in particular, is her husband and partner in life and work, Christopher Tribble of TYart, art-handling and installation services. Although their businesses are separate entities, Julie says she relies on Chris for his logistical insights and his eye for architectural and structural forms that can, and often do, affect the placement of certain purchased pieces. Teamwork definitely seems to make the dream work for this artsy couple. “There’s such a joy in what I do. Connecting with clients, spending my days researching incredible works of art, and discovering new artists—these are why I get up every morning.” Well, I, for one, do hope Julie keeps getting up every morning, finding her way to the Kinzelman Art Consulting office in Isabella Court on Main Street in Midtown, and making our world a better place in which to we all co-exist with, and are bettered by, art.


EA R EN 3 0 A R T HF O U TS UT O


COLLECTOR 31

Sir Mark Fehrs Haukohl in his Dressing Room sitting in front of a Pompidou double portrait, of Sir Mark Fehrs Haukohl, 2007, by Valerie Belin; Susan Derges Untitled (Eye) No. 1, 1991; Kazuko Eisenbeiss Portrait of Sir Mark Fehrs Haukohl, oil on canvas painting by Hector Abel Amorosi Eternity, 1975. Photography by John Bernhard.

SIR MARK FEHRS HAUKOHL COLLECTOR FOCUS:

BY HANNEKE HUMPHREY

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOHN BERNHARD

Dedication to developing authoritative thematic collections with refined taste. Being ushered into Sir Mark’s home became a joyous, memorable experience. Serving us champagne in his art-studded home, immersing in conversation on a myriad of topics, he exudes a gracious refinement that is mirrored in his art collection. And as a collector, his approach is insightful. A steadfast focus on precise segments of the art world has led him to develop them to their richest potential. This has established him as a reference in Florentine Baroque art and contemporary European Photography by women.


ARTHOUSTON 32

Italian old master paintings “ Collecting is a true privilege and joy.... These works are filled with bravura. ” While Europe has been his collection’s focus, he grew up in Wisconsin, moving to New York City for his studies and career as an investment banker. He came to Houston in the 1980’s and has become an anchor of the art community here, a patron of museums and great benefactor of the University of Houston. Sir Mark comes from a long legacy of collectors, from his great grandparents arriving in this country with their German work to his parents’ focus on 20th century artists like Moore, Rouault, and Picasso. His parents exposed him to culture “from all over the world and all walks of life.” And each generation seems to have a tacit responsibility to complement the Haukohl Family Collection with a different theme.

The same attention to finding frames that harmonize with paintings is ever-present. Harlequin and His Lady is by Ferretti, the most celebrated Florentine artist of the 18th century. It depicts two characters from the Commedia dell’ Arte, popular theater based on court jesters and acrobats, in vibrant costumes moving intimately in tandem. Ferretti did a series on the Harlequin theme, which has inspired artists for centuries including Picasso with lozenge forms and characters. For this piece, Sir Mark commissioned a frame whirling with volutes, cherubs, musical instruments, and masks to adorn the painting.

Given his parents’ passion for 20th century artists, it isn’t surprising that his first purchase was a Dali as a young man. “ How could you not be taken back by melting watches and magnificent abstract centaurs...?” But when it came to building his own collection, he as all generations of his family sought a new concentration. One of his mentors, John Gere, the specialist of Zuccaro at the British Museum at the time, encouraged him, leading him to his first old master work by that artist. Florentine Baroque art of the 17th century intrigued him because of the rich history of the Medicis, the significance of Cosimo III, and the artistic innovations in that era. The Medicis wielded art as a testament to their power. But Sir Mark’s business sense also recognized the accessibility of that niche, and he has amassed one of the largest private collections. “Collecting Italian old master paintings is a true privilege and joy.... These works are filled with bravura.” Pieces by the Dandini family, Empoli, Ferretti, Ficherelli, Suttermans, and others are a feast for the eyes, vibrant with Biblical tales, drama and luscious color. For instance, Pier Dandini’s Esther Before Ahasuerus is a magnetic example of story telling and spectacular chiaroscuro. We see a ravishing Esther, who having hid her Jewish origins from her husband, implores him to prevent the massacre of her people and then swoons from the trauma. A personal favorite is Allegory of Poetry by Felice Ficherelli, with the lovely, expressive muse beguiling the viewer as she peers up to the stars. And just as a jewel, the painting is encased in a frame including lapis lazuli, ebony, and Boulle carving. Mark Fehrs has recreated the atmosphere of the Medici court, not only with sumptuous art, but also with baroque frames, which become part of the story. He invites the viewer to imagine what life in that refined circle was like.

Above: Giovanni Domenico Ferretti, Harlequin and His Lady, 1745. A joyous couple represents figures from the Commedia dell’Arte. The painting is surrounded by an important gold leafed baroque frame with a band of cherubs playing a variety of musical instruments. Opposite page from top: Felice Ficherelli, Allegory of Poetry, 1648 mounted in a large lapis lazuli, red marble, ebony and boule royal frame. She reflects graceful humility and virtuous beauty. Her sensitive eyes are turned towards heaven. Pier Dandini, Esther Before Ahasuerus, 1680 Queen Esther swoons before her husband, Persian King Ahasuerus, and implores that a massacre of innocents be halted.


C O L L E C T O R3 3


ARTHOUSTON 34

Hellen van Meene, Dutch, Untitled #331, St. Petersburg, Russia, 2008; chromogenic print; 12 x 12 in. Collection of Sir Mark Fehrs Haukohl.

More recently, he has begun championing Photography, a modern art form that brilliantly contrasts with his collection of Old Masters. And once again a specific area ripe for discovery, female European photography of the 21st century, caught his eye. He realized that the world “did not need another replicative collection of Cindy Sherman, Diane Arbus, or Nan Goldin.” Indeed, he has developed an encyclopedic collection, with the most important women photographers in Europe. “The photographs in the collection are taken by strong and decisive women. They are courageous and challenge how you see the world in the 21st century”. In this light, he has a wonderful piece called “Cleaning the Floor” by probably the best-known performance artist Marina Abrovomic. Known for her commanding and grueling performances using her body, she addresses female roles in this photo. Marina has dressed herself as a fashionable siren, in stark contradiction with her domestic chore at hand.

A notable Dutch photographer is Hellen Van Meene. Her tender portraits of young women and adolescents depict the fragility and awkwardness of that time of life, full of transitions. At the same time, her work has the other-worldly, serene air of Vermeer, with her contemplative subjects. Sir Mark’s strength is combining a curatorial eye with business acumen. Even if esthetic appeal is inherent in his choices, he is guided by the overall coherence and quality of his collection. As tribute to the breadth of the Florentine collection, it is now traveling through European museums in Brussels, Munich, and Luxembourg. After this first meeting with Sir Mark, I went away looking forward to more fascinating conversations with him and eager to know the future directions that his discerning eye would lead him.


35

in the collection “ The photographs are taken by strong and decisive women. They are courageous and challenge how you see the world in the 21st century.

Clockwise from top. Pantry: 1950’s turquoise modernism: Nadja Bournonville Poke and Bend, 2012; Viviane Sassen Almando Blue and Cyanos 2013. Rotating Gallery: Numerous images by Carla van de Puttelaar, Susan Pickering; La Ribot Serie Otra Narcisa - Occupation, 2017; Elina Brotherus Self Portrait; Payram Il y a beaucoup de lumière ici, 1995; Paul Cadmus preparatory drawing for the 1977 painting Winter; Elisa Sighicelli Untitled (Benvenuto di Giovanni), 2005; Estonian, Sigrid Viir Day 1, Wednesday, 2014. Library: Antoine Bourdelle sculpture, La Guerre; Juul Kraijer Hand of the 16-year-old artist held by hand of 36-year-old artist, 2007; Sandra Kantanen Untitled (Sakura 7) 2014/19; Sabine Pigalle #14, 2014-2017; Royal Hibernian Academy Award Winner, Valerie Walsh Poolbeg, Ban Chiang 12th century pottery. Photography by John Bernhard.


ARTHOUSTON 36

Susan Plum, 6 brooms installation, 2006 Courtesy of the artist

Susan Plum TRANSCENDENCE THROUGH ART BY CHIA-SHIN CHU

In an age where health, human rights, and environmental crises intersect, each passing day seems more unpredictable than the last. Recently, I find myself in periods of deep introspection while trying to piece together an understanding of my reality. When I first visited Susan’s studio, I was captivated by a space full of organic shapes and motifs. They were drawn on the walls, painted on canvas, and constructed from delicate glass. Viewing Susan’s artwork up close exuded a sense of familiarity, closeness, and beauty. As I spoke with Susan, I realized that her art is full of nuances, revealing insights to the nature of humanity. Although born in the United States, Susan grew up in Mexico City, the birthplace of her artistic roots. She developed a deep interest in ancient Mesoamerican civilizations. During her college years, Susan studied Mexican surrealism and magical realism, drawing inspiration from artists such as Remedios Varo.

Susan continued to enrich her artistic prowess through her travels across the globe. During her time in South Asia, Susan developed a deep connection to ancient and Eastern philosophies. Susan’s catalog of sourced knowledge fuels many concepts in her art today. Science and transcendence are prominent themes in Susan’s work. As an artist, she is driven by intellectual curiosity, and often dives into the knowledge of different cultures and ancient history. Susan’s methodology brings together different cultures, history, science, and nature. Susan approaches her art from a non-theistic perspective and sees as an access to the scientific realm and gain insight into nature and human awareness. Her curiosity in these subjects is a vehicle in her creative process. In many ways, Susan’s art manifests her investigation of consciousness.


FEATURE 37


ARTHOUSTON 38

Susan Plum’s studio. Courtesy of the artist

While living in Mexico, Susan was disturbed by the acceleration of violence against women. She wanted to bring attention to the crisis in Ciudad Juarez, located along the Rio Grande. Since the early 90s, the city has struggled with rampant numbers of female homicides and kidnapping caused by a combination of cartel-related violence and misogyny. Although the exact number is unclear, the United Nations estimates thousands of women are reported missing or murdered in Mexico every year. One of Susan’s most important and ongoing works, Luz y Solidaridad (Light and Solidarity), was first shown in 2006 at the Museo de la Ciudad in Querétaro, Mexico. The artwork intended to directly confront the government for its failure to properly investigate the disappearances and killings of young women. “In designing this installation, it was about bringing light to the children and women that had been murdered, and solidarity to the mothers and families,” says Susan, “I see it as spiritual activism.” The original installation includes both sculpture and ritual-performance, inspired by the spiritual and ancient roots of Mexico. The sculptural component consists of three 11-foot brooms, each composed of a large wooden dowel and vinyl

threads tied into a knot that symbolizes an impediment to or cutting off the feminine. Accompanying the brooms are metates or grinding stones embedded with a glass image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Also grouped with Luz y Solidaridad is another one of Susan’s work called World Tree: Technology for a New Era, a bronze tree sculpture modeled after the Mayan World Tree. Sprinkled at the base is turmeric powder. Also placed at the bottom are 300 female figurines, all facing the same direction, as if chanting to bring in the new era. The second component of Luz y Solidaridad includes a ritual-performance known as a limpia, utilizing brooms and bullroarers to create rhythmic sounds. In many indigenous cultures the limpia is an energetic cleansing. Sweeping is a shared ritual experience across many cultures to remove negativity. For Susan, the ritual is a humble act of compassion and empowerment. After its debut in Mexico, the installation joined The Missing Peace: Artists Consider the Dalai Lama, a special exhibition sponsored by the Committee of 100 for Tibet and Dalai Lama


FEATURE39

...IT WAS ABOUT BRINGING LIGHT TO THE CHILDREN AND WOMEN THAT HAD BEEN MURDERED, AND SOLIDARITY TO THE MOTHERS AND FAMILIES. I SEE IT AS

SPIRITUAL ACTIVISM.

Foundation, curated by Randy Rosenberg. The show traveled worldwide and featured works from other female artists such as Marina Abramović and Mona Hatoum. Luz y Solidaridad is currently part of the exhibition Entwined: Ritual Wrapping and Binding in Contemporary Southern Art at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans. Entwined explores the act of wrapping and binding as a ritual practice as defined by the individual artist. The show is on view through February 21, 2021. Susan discovered glasswork in the late 1980s while living in Seattle. After witnessing thin glass rods melted over a heated torch, she was excited as the process evoked a sense of alchemy and magic. Susan took classes at Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington. Shortly after, she began teaching at Pilchuck Glass School and various other craft venues in the US and Canada. During her career, Susan has come to view glasswork as part of a daily practice. Susan begins each piece with two 3mm borosilicate rods. She carefully shapes them using a torch, reminiscent of a knitting motion. She continues to “weave” more glass rods into the work. The result is surreal, resembling an icy filigree sculpture as light bounces from every angle. Divining Nature: The Art of Search is one of Susan’s most intricate artwork. The 5-foot sculpture resembles a pendulum that Susan created by weaving glass rods over several weeks. Divining Nature was featured in the 2012 exhibition, Nature’s Toolbox: Biodiversity, Art, and Invention, curated by Randy Rosenberg and debuted at the Field Museum of Chicago. Although the theme of the exhibition focused on biomimicry, Susan says she drew inspiration by “asking” nature what it wanted to engender, rather than directly copying it. Susan also constructs glass candelabras - smaller and more accessible pieces of fine art. She sees the candelabra as the Tree of Life. To see these pieces and additional work at Susan’s studio, please contact her at susanplum@gmail.com. Susan is also collaborating with Koelsch Galley for an upcoming exhibition.

Susan Plum, Glass Candelabras. Below: Susan Plum at work Photos courtesy of the artist


ARTHOUSTON 40

Page Piland BY SABRINA BERNHARD

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ARTHUR DEMICHELI

The mysteriousness and captivating work of Page Piland is nothing short of eye catching. His obsessive work features actual items inserted f lush into the canvas, mirrored by the perfect portrait painted of that same object.


INTERVIEW 41

Opposite: Page Piland, Watching Another Disappearance . 72”x48” in. This page left to right: Page Piland, Silver Street Warehouse Remnants . 72”x48” in. Bois D’ Arc Plank . Attempted Repairs . 72”x38” in. Wisconsin Whispers . 130”x48” in.

C O N D U C T I N G A N I N - P E R S O N I N T E R V I E W during the Covid-19 pandemic was needless to say, stressful. After avidly staying home and social distancing, I couldn’t help but feel a little anxious at the idea of going out and about. The hefty, metal door marking the entrance to Spring Street Studios was taped up with signs mandating a mask must be worn. As I walked the halls, in awe of the exhibition hanging in the corridors, I asked myself, “Has anyone even seen these pieces?” The studio doors were all closed and there was not a soul in the building. Except for one. Page Piland.

I stumbled across a couple of his pieces in the hallway as I made my way to his studio. I was already mesmerized by his work. As I walked into his studio, he noticed me wearing my mask. He rushed to grab his to put on. After a contactless, yet warming introduction, I began to look at the grand pieces Page had lining the walls of his gallery space. The tall, white ceiling looked even taller as his slender, mixed media paintings ran close to eleven feet high. Looking at his mixed media portraits of natural objects gave me a sense of serenity and my former feelings of stress and anxiety vanished just as I noticed the other half to his pieces did, as well.


ARTHOUSTON 42


I N T E R V I E W4 3

Left: Page Piland, Choosing Sides of The Tower . 72”x48” in. Photo courtesy of the artist

“I

SEE THINGS SO BEAUTIFUL, OR DEVASTATING,

THAT NO ONE WILL BELIEVE A PAINTING OF THEM.

Page’s most recent series of paintings and assemblages comprise of an actual item that has been inserted flush into the canvas adjacent to the trompe l’oeil portrait of that item. Making it close to impossible to tell which side is real or fake or which side is present or has vanished. Page always has an eye peeled as he walks through life for things that he sees “so beautiful, or devastating, that no one will believe a painting of them. So, I include the actual thing in the painting as proof of that beauty.” These items span from signs, old violin bows, charred tree remnants, to old fence planks, etc. He works with immaculate attention to detail when painting the other half as an homage to its beauty. That careful and even obsessive attention to detail in his portrait is his way of respecting and honoring the missing half of that salvaged object. He treats that mirrored portrait of the broken object with the same respect and diligence as one would painting a portrait of a person. Page began softly speaking about his upbringing. He is a born and raised Texan through and through. He grew up in Austin with a mother who worked as a registrar at the library in the Main Building tower at The University of Texas. He proceeded to tell me the chilling story of when he was an enrolled student on campus during the 1966 UT Tower Shooting. His mother was in the tower working with Page’s wife when Charles Whitman began shooting people below from the observation deck all while he was working

in the Art Building. As this event shaped Texas history, it also shaped his own. He worked through those emotional memories while creating a gorgeous piece called “Choosing Sides of the Tower”. The left side displays a burnt, worn piece of wood with bullet holes showing through, while the right side shows his amazing artistic skill in mimicking the true characteristics of wood, however this side is bright, pristine, and new. The shooting took place during his last semester at UT. After he graduated, he and his wife left Austin for good. “Choosing Sides of the Tower” allows Page to ask himself, “Which side do you choose? Which side do you choose to remember?” I strolled through Page’s gallery space, intently listening to his soft-spoken descriptions of each piece along with its backstory. It became very evident that each piece of art that he has made, from his very early works to his most recent commissions, connects to his life as once a distant memory making its way back into existence as now an emotive, tangible artform. Growing up on Lake Austin and Lake Travis, he was often on the lake in a boat with his family. You can see the parallel in a couple of his mixed media pieces with the paddle and canoe, a memory that sends him back on the water with his family as a young boy. Most recently, he has delved into another childhood recollection, his early years learning to play the violin with his mother. He has gotten commissions from The Houston


ARTHOUSTON 44


INTERVIEW 45

Opposite: Page Piland in his studio. Left: Page Piland, The Night Watchman’s Instructions . 72”x48” in. Below: Recent commissioned work at Piland’s studio. Photos by Arthur Demicheli

I ALWAYS HOPED

TO GET TO THAT PLACE WHERE I CANNOT REALLY UNDERSTAND OR EXPLAIN WHAT I A M D O I N G … O R W H Y. I MAY BE CLOSE. Grand Opera as well as from individuals wanting to pay homage to their family violin bow. His most impressive piece in this music collection is a trifecta called “Three Bows & A Curtain Call” that consists of the real violin bow, a sculpture, and a painting of that exact bow. Page shows an empathetic side when thinking what the viewers will make of his works. He observes children awing forever at the two sides, making him wonder “Which side would a child choose compared to an adult? The beautiful side? The realistic side?” The eye is indeed trumped when trying to decipher which is which. Although it is clear to him that connections are made between his past experiences and his artwork, he still finds the entire process to be mysterious, yet captivating. He has a hard time finding the true explanation for why he does what he does. He notes “I always hoped to get to that place where I cannot really understand or explain what I am doing… or why. I may be close.” Page is an amazing artist as well as an amazing soul. He is soft, slow, and gentle with not only a reason for everything he does, but also a sense of appreciation and respect for the life he has received and the lives around him. He brings life and admiration into objects others wouldn’t even notice on the side of the road. Broken, burned, bent all equate to one thing in Page’s eyes: beautiful. During these times of uncertainty and worry, moving through life looking through his eyes, it still looks like paradise.


ARTHOUSTON 46

META-FORMATION: NEW CONNECTIONS IN CONTEMPORARY BLACKSMITHING BY ARTHUR DEMICHELI

HOUSTON CENTER FOR C ONTEMPORARY

is presenting Meta-Formation: New Connections in Contemporary Blacksmithing. The exhibition showcases some of the best metalworkers in the field today, illustrating the magic of forged metal. The featured work, from sculpture to functional ware, exemplifies a diversity of artistic expression, while embracing approaches that go beyond traditional blacksmithing techniques. Spearheaded by New Orleans-based metalworker and designer Rachel David of Red Metal, Meta-Formation first debuted at the Appalachian Center for Craft (Smithville, TN) in 2019. Jurors Andy Cooperman, Hoss Haley, and CRAFT

former HCCC Curatorial Fellow Sarah Darro selected works from an open call, giving preference to those that exhibited outstanding sculptural and design qualities. For the exhibition’s second iteration, David and HCCC Curator Kathryn Hall invited a new group of artists to contribute work. Hall commented, “With the opportunity to utilize a larger gallery space, Rachel and I wanted to expand the exhibition to include more artists who are influential in the field, as well as those who demonstrate a unique approach or perspective, illustrating that there is more out there than what has traditionally been presented.” As a whole, Meta-Formation demonstrates the evolution of contemporary

blacksmithing and those inspired by the field, bringing some well-deserved attention to this frequently overlooked craft discipline. Meta-Formation: New Connections in Contemporary Blacksmithing is organized by Rachel David in collaboration with HCCC Curator Kathryn Hall and was juried in part by Andy Cooperman, Sarah Darro, and Hoss Haley. On view Sept 19, until January 3, 2021. From left: David Barnhill, Emulation of Shaomi Katsuyoshi, 2017. Copper and nickel. 30 x 24 x 10 inches. Photo courtesy of the artist. David Barnhill, Embers in the Night Sky, 2017. Brass 230, brass 260, nickel 752, copper. 6 x 6 x 6.75 inches. Photo courtesy of the artist. Johannes Postlmayr, Distorted Geometric N°1, 2017. Steel. 3.9 x 2.76 x 2.36 inches. Photo courtesy of the artist.


47


SICARDI | AYERS | BACINO

ARTHOUSTON 48

This talented trio works seamlessly to represent timeless, avant-garde and

contemporary artists from Latin America. Their modern upscale and dazzling,

two story gallery is located in the heart of

Houston’s Museum District, housing modernist

masters like Jesus Rafael Soto and Carlos Cruz-Diez, and contemporary Latin American artists of today. B Y

JOHN BERNHARD: (María Inés

Sicardi) You were the founder of the gallery, which opened in 1994 in a very small space located in the exciting Colquitt Gallery Row. Can you recall these early years? MARIA INES SICARDI: I started the

gallery in December 1994 at a small space on Kipling Street, close to Kirby,

formerly occupied by Sally Reynolds’ gallery. It was a difficult and trying time for me on a personal level, and I felt a bit like an outsider since I had come to the U.S. from Argentina only a few years before. Art has always been my passion, and in fact I was formally trained at the School of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires (Escuela de Bellas Artes) where I earned my Master’s in Fine Art.

J O H N

B E R N H A R D

Though I never pursued a career in the arts in Argentina, that knowledge gave me the motivation and the vision for what later became Sicardi Ayers Bacino. Since I knew very little of the art world in Houston, or the U.S. at all, it took me several years to solidify my presence. After visiting local galleries and considering the number of Latin Americans in the city, I thought that a


GALLERY PROFILE 49

From left: Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino gallery, in the heart of Houston’s museum district. Gallery partners María Inés Sicardi and Allison Ayers. Photo by Ernesto Leon. Installation view of the exhibition Dialogues at Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino, 2020. Photos courtesy of Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino.

gallery focusing on Latin American art was needed in this city that serves as the bridge between the U.S. and Latin America. We spent the first years learning, visiting galleries and museums, traveling, and working nonstop. Some of the most formative experiences were meeting Marí Carmen Ramírez in Austin, where she was curating amazing exhibitions of Latin American Art, during a time when the University of Texas was one of the only institutions to have a department devoted to Latin American Art. Allison, Carlos, and I started visiting her space regularly, and bringing clients and friends to expose them to the modern and contemporary art of Latin America. I will never forget the impact of the exhibition Re-Aligning Vision where I saw the work of Leon Ferrari, Oscar Muñoz, Miguel Angel Rojas. After following their work for several years, we invited them to exhibit with us in Houston. I can’t speak about my first years without mentioning the support received from Wendy Watriss, Director of FotoFest, Surpik Angelini, curator and founder of The Transart Foundation, Anne

Tucker, former Curator of Photography at MFAH, and of course of Fernando Castro, a well-known photographer and critic in the Houston community and the U.S., who became the first curator to work with us. Keeping a perspective that is both local and global allowed the gallery to grow and gain reputation over time. Through slow and steady work, and a great deal of fun, we have been able to accomplish our goal of bringing Latin American art to the forefront of the Houston scene.

before forming the partnership in December 2000, at which time David who is a lawyer became officially involved. The partnership allowed us to expand tremendously, and we decided to work with both master and contemporary artists, and creating a dialogue between different generations. (A notion which is highlighted by our current exhibition Dialogues). With this expansion, the programming and the possibilities of the gallery exploded, and we began to travel internationally to work on exhibitions both in an out of the gallery.

JB: (Allison Ayers) In 2000 you came

on board and formed a partnership with Carlos Bacino and María Inés Sicardi. What strength and vision did the group develop since its creation?

JB: In 2012, across from the Menil

Collection, you built a 6000 square-foot building to accommodate more space for shows. How is it working out?

ALLISON AYERS: I met María Inés

in January of 1996 with my husband David, and Carlos met her around this time as well. We all were originally collectors with the gallery. At the time, I was working in marketing, and in 1997, I offered to help the gallery with marketing, sales, and events. We worked closely for several years

SICARDI | AYERS | BACINO: We purchased our current space in 2007, and had our building fully designed right before the 2008 financial crisis, which delayed construction until 2011. Since the completion of the new building designed by Argentine architect Fernando Brave, we now have two


ARTHOUSTON 50

Gallery partners María Inés Sicardi, Carlos Bacino, and Allison Ayers. Photography by Ernesto Leon

Each of us brings a different set of ideas to the table, creating a synergy that characterizes how our gallery operates.


GALLERY PROFILE 51

gallery spaces and a terrace, allowing for two concurrent exhibitions. The magnitude of the downstairs gallery space allows us to show the largescale pieces, such as murals and installations, that we were unable to show in the past. Our location in the Museum District is ideal, affording us the opportunity to meet many international visitors coming to the Menil Collection, MFAH, CAMH, and Houston Center for Photography. JB: Running Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino

Gallery with three different partners, how do you manage and balance each other in decision-making? SAB: Each of us brings a different

set of ideas to the table, creating a synergy that characterizes how our gallery operates. While we are diverse in terms of our personalities and our cultural perspectives, we all share a passion for collecting art, for building the careers of working artists, and for fostering an appreciation for Latin American art within the Houston community and globally. As a group, our highest priority is to maintain the quality and integrity of the work, and we welcome the chance to take risks and do the unexpected. Our combined passion and positivity carries us on a daily basis and reflects in our work, and we work hard to move forward, regardless of obstacles or changing circumstances. JB: Your gallery represents a wide

range of artists, from modernist masters to internationally recognized contemporary artists, all from the Avant-Garde and Contemporary Latin American Art movement. What are

your criteria in choosing your artists? SAB: The gallery spent the first six years working primarily with contemporary artists, and when it became a partnership, we decided to incorporate master artists into the programming. We thought it was very important for us to showcase in Houston works barely known in the U.S., though wellknown in Latin America and Europe. We certainly took a risk, as we had to start introducing these works into a new territory, but our focus on scholarly research, education, and quality of the work has resulted in a new community of Latin American art enthusiasts. We began with the School of the South, an early 20th century avant-garde movement based in Uruguay, and expanded from there to include the major figures of the Kinetic Art movement and the icons of geometric abstraction, many of whom worked between Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, and France during the mid20th century. Staying immersed in the global art world, visiting galleries and museums, and maintaining close relationships with art historians and curators has given us direct exposure through the years to the contemporary artists with whom we now work. When identifying new talent, we begin a conversation, and then follow the artist’s career for several years to make sure it’s consistent and gaining traction before we commit to working together. We now represent twenty-five artists, which is a good number for us because we like to dedicate time to promoting each one through solo exhibitions and publications, as well as introductions to collectors and museums. In art, how-

ever, you need to keep moving forward, so we continue to seek out new artists who align with our ethos, and who push the limits of our programming. JB: You are the only Houston gallery

to participate every year in ArtBasel Miami. You must have an impressive international collector base. How do you keep them involved and captivated? SAB: The gallery has always been international, both in its programming and its collector base. International art fairs, such as Art Basel Miami Beach, were a natural progression to showcase our artists, and to continue to grow our international clientele. The fairs also gave us access to museums and nonprofit organizations, which led to worldwide exhibitions and public projects. We keep our international audience engaged through personal relationships, regular email communication, social media, lectures and book signings featuring noted scholars, publications, and regular travel to other hubs of Latin American art. JB: Do you have any advice for the

aspiring young artists? SAB: Trust and follow your instincts, talk with other artists, find a forum to show your work, and learn from your colleagues. Ultimately finding a gallery that represents you and cares about your work is very important for those who want to establish a career in art. You can learn much from your peers, and it’s important to gather constructive criticism to help you broaden your perspective.


ARTHOUSTON 52

Installation view of the exhibition Sandra Monterroso: Threads of Memory at Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino, 2020. Photo courtesy of Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino.

“ We have seen now JB: In these times of COVID-19 con-

finement, what’s your plan for the future? SAB: COVID-19 has presented a

challenge to us like so many other galleries, museums, and the world in general. We have seen now more than ever the potential for art to transcend boundaries, to inspire, and to unite. With the help of our fantastic team, our exhibition schedule has continued as planned, because we have a commitment to our artists and to the greater community. Of course, the way we operate has changed, and we

more than ever

the potential for art to transcend boundaries,

�

to inspire, and to unite.

are currently open by appointment only to allow for social distancing. Our top priority is to keep our team and collectors safe, as we continue to support the careers of our artists through this unprecedented time. Despite the challenges imposed by the global pandemic, physical limitations have opened new frontiers for us

within the digital realm: over the past six months, we have focused more resources on the virtual experience of the gallery, through photographic walk-throughs, online viewing rooms, and creating video content in partnership with our artists to offer an inside view into their artistic process in their studios worldwide. While we are further away physically, this strange time has given us the opportunity to improve the virtual experience for those collectors not based in Houston, which has continued to broaden our global reach.


53


ARTHOUSTON 54


INTERVIEW 55

and

L earn i n G

DoinG

BY SABRINA BERNHARD

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ARTHUR DEMICHELI

SABRINA BERNHARD: How did you become an artist? MICHAEL SEAN KIRBY: I didn’t come from a family well-

versed in arts, but they were supportive. Subconsciously I wanted to make art, and it took some time, and the reality of a life in art gradually did take hold – right here in Texas. I ended up in Houston, via TCU and then UT, ultimately graduating with an art degree – with an eye on teaching. From there I began working in Houston frame shops, galleries and doing art restoration to earn a paycheck. My own art ran the gamut from drawing, to painting, to sculpture.

completely. Everything became about sculpture, sculpting every day, the great history of sculpture and seeing like a sculptor. I felt like sculpture was calling me, and I picked it up quickly. We did a lot of figurative work at that time, and I connected with the (structure and plasticity) processes and elements of sculpture: form, space, edges and light. I learned a lot about famous sculptors most people have never heard of, like Antoine Bourdelle, and later, Eduardo Chillida. It was a good time. SB: After years of working with Mr. Wang at the Houston

Art League, what new opportunities arose for you? SB: How did you focus on becoming a sculptor after

working with other mediums, like drawing and painting?

MSK: I was accepted into a master’s degree program at the

MSK: It wasn’t until I met famed Houston sculptor Wei Li

prestigious Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City. While studying in Mexico, I was also working in bronze casting foundries and sculpting in stone with Roberto Ventura.

(Willy) Wang, that sculpture grabbed my focus almost


ARTHOUSTON 56

Clockwise: Michael Sean Kirby, Ouroboros #3, Ouroboros #1 Ouroboros #2, Ouroboros #4 Courtesy of the artist

Living in Mexico City for six years was generative of things to come. I started breaking into new artistic territory at about that time. Then I later ventured into my other passion of teaching, which led me to return to Houston to accept a job offer as an arts instructor at Lanier Middle School. SB: How can you briefly describe sculpting in a couple of words? MSK: Learning and doing. SB: Can you tell me a little about your new series of

sculptures? MSK: These new works are a result of exploring new ideas

and new materials, and they are an extension of my earlier work as a sculptor. By far, the newest elements are color and texture (or lack of texture) and I am excited to be moving in this direction. I call this new series, Ouroboros, which symbolizes a snake eating its own tail. The sculpture series works with the idea of infinite time and repetition, re-creation and destruction. The sculpture can be traced by one single line that cuts the object up, just as a snake moves around the form and connects effortlessly at its invisible starting point. This puzzle-like form creates a play of patterns, opposing forces, and connection.

SB: How do you choose these new colors and materials? MSK: In choosing colors, the relative values and way they reflect light is a big part of the process. The addition of color choices and reflective surfaces are guiding the sculptures in new directions. I consider the color value most important as it contributes to the overall piece. The materials are fresh to me: concrete, fiberglass resins and auto paint. Working with auto paint itself demands meticulous attention to detail, buffing and polishing. It’s a learn as-you-go process. When you are working so closely with new materials you learn to adapt. The materials have their say in how things come together, or harmonize. SB: What do you hope the viewer will get from your work? MSK: These works are aesthetic creatures. The way

color, light and surface can bring about a multidimensional relationships is dynamic, so the audience has a lot of space to experience them in their own way. Creating these pieces has been an exciting process, at times playful and unexpected. I hope the viewer will experience this too, as their own reflections are brought into each work.


INTERVIEW 57

This puzzle-like form creates a play of patterns, opposing forces, and connection.


ARTHOUSTON 58

BISONG GALLERY 1305 Sterrett St. 713 498-3015

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

CASTERLINE|GOODMAN GALLERY 4444 Westheimer Rd,#F105 +1 970 948-0393 CARDOZA FINE ART 1320 Nance St. 832 548-0404

Barbara Able, “A Walk in the Park”, Oil on canvas, 48 x 60

ARCHWAY GALLERY 2305 Dunlavy St. 713 522-2409

SEPTEMBER 5 -OCTOBER 1 Barbara Able and Daniel Able OCTOBER 3- NOVEMBER 5 Isabelle Perreau

CATHERINE COUTURIER GALLERY 2635 Colquitt St. 713 524-5070 CAVALIER FINE ART 3845 Dunlavy St. 713 552-1416

ARADER GALLERY 5015 Westheimer Rd, #2303 713 621-7151

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

ART OF THE WORLD GALLERY

ARDEN GALLERY 239 Westheimer Rd. 713 371-6333

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

ART PALACE 3913 Main St. 832 390-1278

DAVID SHELTON GALLERY 3909 Main St, 832 538-0924

ART LEAGUE HOUSTON

DEAN DAY GALLERY 2639 Colquitt St. 713 520-1021

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

ANYA TISH GALLERY

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

1953 Montrose Blvd. 713 523-9530 ASHER GALLERY 4848 Main St. 713 529-4848 BARBARA DAVIS GALLERY 4411 Montrose Blvd. 713 520-9200

3917 Main St. 713 529-2700

DIMMITT CONTEMPORARY ART

3637 W Alabama St #160 281 468-6569 18 HANDS GALLERY 249 W. 19th St, Suite B 713 869-3099

FOTO RELEVANCE 4411 Montrose Blvd., #C 713 505-1499

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

AEROSOL WARFARE 2110 Jefferson 832 748-8369

2201 Westheimer Rd. 713 526-1201

DEVIN BORDEN GALLERY

Deborah Bay

gallery listings

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

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

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

DEBORAH COLTON GALLERY 2445 North Blvd. 713 869-5151

GLADE GALLERY 24 Waterway Avenue The Woodlands 832 557-8781


59


ARTHOUSTON 60

gallery listings

GRAY CONTEMPORARY 3508 Lake St. 713 862-4425

KOELSCH GALLERY 801 Richmond avenue 713 626-0175

GREMILLION & CO. FINE ART, INC.

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

2501 Sunset Blvd. 713 522-2701

HANNAH BACOL BUSCH GALLERY 6900 S. Rice Ave. 713 527-0523 HARAMBEE ART GALLERY 901 Bagby St. harambeeartgallery.com HARRIS GALLERY 1100 Bissonnet 713 522-9116

Craig Alan

OFF THE WALL GALLERY

McCLAIN GALLERY

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

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

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

2242 Richmond Ave. 713 520-9988

MOODY GALLERY

2815 Colquitt St. 713 526-9911

HIRAM BUTLER GALLERY 4520 Blossom St. 713 863-7097

PARKERSON GALLERY 3510 Lake St. 713 524-4945 PEVETO 2627 Colquitt Street 713 360-7098 POISSANT GALLERY 5102 Center St. 713 868-9337

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

SERRANO GALLERY

2000 Edwards St. #117 713 724-0709 SICARDI AYERS BACINO 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

FOLTZ FINE ART

2143 Westheimer Rd. 713 521-7500

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

HOUSTON CENTER FOR PHOTOGRAPHY

ROCKSTAR GALLERY 5700 NW Central Dr #160 832 868-0242

1441 West Alabama Street 713 529-4755

Gael Stack

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

NANCY LITTLEJOHN RUDOLPH BLUME FINE ART FINE ART 3465 B W. Alabama 832 740-4288

1836 Richmond Avenue 713 807-1836

INMAN GALLERY 3901 Main St. 713 526-7800

NICOLE LONGNECKER 3233 West 11th St. 713 591-4997

SHE WORKS FLEXIBLE 1709 Westheimer Rd. 713 522-0369

JACK MEIER GALLERY 2310 Bissonnet 713 526-2983

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

SAMARA GALLERY 3100 Richmond, suite 104 713 999-1009

Howard Sherman

YVONAMOR PALIX FINE ARTS 1024 Studewood 281 467-6065 ZOYA TOMMY 4102 Fannin St. 832 649-5814


61


OPTIMIZING OPTIMISM ARTHOUSTON 62

T W O R E P U TA B L E H O U S T O N A R T G A L L E R I E S S H A R E T H E I R E X P E R I E N C E S A S C O V I D - 1 9 P U S H E D T H E M T O R E I N V E N T T H E M S E LV E S . COMMENTS COLLECTED BY SABRINA BERNHARD

E X C E P T I O N A L LY

COMMITTED

Off The Wall is one of Houston’s most established galleries with over forty years of experience. Along the way, it has dealt with several temporary closures such as Hurricanes Ike and Harvey, the Memorial Day Weekend flood, Covid-19, and human rights protests. Covid-19’s timing was very challenging for the Gallery; we had just started building a brand new, sister space inside Galleria One - across from Ferragamo to replace our older, smaller Art Boutique, next to Neiman Marcus. Although we stay supportive of our city’s efforts in containing the spread of coronavirus, our Main Gallery, and the whole Galleria Mall, closed for eight weeks from March through May, and during this time, our new Gallery was under construction, and gratefully, essential services didn’t stop, but as you can imagine, our daily operations, were highly affected. In hindsight, hurricanes and floods were no match for Covid-19. Clients stayed home, and we stayed on the

BY DANIELLE ROWAN

Galler y Director Off The Wall

phone. Two major exhibitions were canceled, one in April with Chad Smith, drummer of the popular band Red Hot Chili Peppers, and another in June, with Bernie Taupin, featuring a body of work celebrating his 50-year music partnership with Elton John. These exhibitions take time to plan, big teams, and lots of preparation; we also depend on the availability of these world-renowned artists. It was a bit disheartening having to cancel events we were so excited to share with Houston. The good news is that both artists promised to reschedule. As we waited to establish a new routine, we focused on finishing our beautiful new Gallery, sourcing and adding to our stable of artists, and incorporating new tools onto our website, such as a free virtual reality mobile app - a cool, easy to use feature, that encourages clients to preview artwork at home, independently, using their cell phones. Also, introducing art collections through

online viewing rooms. These are unprecedented times for the whole world, but we are keeping our optimism, and believe that more than ever, our homes should be the most beautiful place to be. Our owner, Mimi, has stayed exceptionally committed during this time, Off The Wall is her passion, and she believes in the positive impact of art. Our focus remains in making it easier for our clients to acquire new exciting art, and preview it on their wall, and to offer assistance with professional installations or help design new frames for existing cherished artworks. Our client’s health and safety are important to us, free pick up’s and delivery services are offered during this time, and personal protective equipment (PPE) is observed. It is essential for our business to build strong relationships, whether locally or globally. The Gallery continues to learn, evolve, and grow by persevering and adapting to challenging situations.


63

THE

SHOW MUST GO ON(LINE)

The past few months have certainly been an adjustment for everyone, filled with constant ups and downs, and clouded by uncertainty. As a gallery owner, my main concern has and continues to be about supporting our “gallery family” of staff, artists, and friends. To this end, my goal has been clear — to keep my colleagues employed, and do our best to keep sales going for our artists; and to keep our lights on, while pivoting to adapt to the current circumstances. This forced pause has given me and my team time to stop, and reassess where we are, what we’ve been doing, and where we want to go. When Covid-19 struck, all we could do was be responsible for ourselves, making sure to stay home, wash our hands, wear a mask, and social distance. As with other galleries, our exhibition programming stopped abruptly in March and art fairs canceled last minute, leaving the remainder of our Spring season up in the air. Months of planning by the artist and our team — not to mention the money already spent on framing, conservation, and marketing — were pushed to the side, indefinitely. Questions circled: “Should we go on we the exhibitions virtually? Should we postpone until

BY S A R A H F O LT Z

Gallery Owner Foltz Fine Art

the fall? Will we be able to reopen ‘as normal’? How can we adapt to survive in this new climate where art (a luxury good) continues to have a place in our lives, during this crisis?” Immediately, we suspended our inhouse exhibitions, pivoting to direct our attention toward our website and online marketing (which, admittedly, has been on our “To Do” list for over a year since the rebranding, but always put on the back burner as exhibitions and projects took precedent). Now, we finally had the time to focus on the presentation and functionality of our website, and other online platforms. We quickly realized that if our clients, who vary greatly in age and demographics, are to feel comfortable purchasing art online, then we need to do a more thorough job on the front end of presenting the works virtually if they are not able to view the work in person. In short, we needed better images and more detailed information, as soon as possible. We went to work, making these improvements, and continue to work on making the virtual experience of visiting our gallery as close as possible to visiting in person. For some of our previously scheduled exhibitions, featuring early and

mid-century artists’ works, we have decided to hold off on the shows, feeling that these works merit being seen in person, and that it would be worth the wait to be able to present these to viewers and collectors as we originally intended. While looking at art online is a wonderful option right now, we maintain that nothing can replace the in-person encounter with a work of art. It is hard to have a moment of awe or transcendence through a computer screen; however, wonderful the work and online images might be. Similarly, we are continuing with our plan to showcase Houston emerging artists in a series of virtual exhibitions throughout July - September. While we may not be able to get together for art openings and events as we previously did, we will do our best to bring video content and virtual tours of the shows to viewers online. Through these online records, these shows will live on long after the artwork comes off the walls; thus, extending the life of an art exhibition indefinitely. This embrace of new technology has made us further realize the importance of online archives for artists and art organizations, and we will continue this practice moving forward.


A R T H OAURSTTHOONU S6 T4 O N 6 2

poetry DEPRAVED OF CONNECTION B Y

J T

M O R S E

In the cloudy f low, I lose myself. No longer seeing, hearing, or speaking. Beref t of human fears, peace reigns. Connection severed; I f loat freely. But , at times, the cost , it seems too great. Misinformation f lourishes and thrives: I am no longer enough for the greater We— excommunicated, unplugged, contrived. Depraved of humanity’s sensations, there is little, in this world, lef t for me. The darkness of disconnection f inds We— inept , defunct , denied. Jack me back in, plea se. Renew our severed connection. Reboot my ser ver; restore me online. Who am I, or We, without your kind?

Illustartion by Ezra Koehler

If fate were mine to do with a s plea sed, I’ d tattoo eternity in symbol s, on foreheads, then f loat us out into the deepest cosmoses, f lowing freely, rationalizing the divine.


65

Adriana LoRusso

Clovis Postali

Didier Mayes

Gretchen Bender Sparks

Valentina Kisseleva

Deborah Ellington

Vicki Hessemer

Nichole Dittmann

Gabriela Monterroso

Lacy Husmann

Valentina Atkinson

Tania Botelho

Alessandra Albin

Lyn Sullivan

Matthew Gantt

832-607-9117 info@adrianalorussoart.com

Studio 306 713-899-0112 www.dellingtonartstudio.com

Studio 317 713-724-0709 www.valentinaatkinson.com

Studio 215 832-696-5789 www.clovispostali.sitelio.me

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

Studio 102 281-660-5061 IG- @taniahbotelho

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

Studio 317 713-724-0709 www.serranogallery.com

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

Studio 210 713-557-8731 aa@alessandraalbin.com

Studio # 210 281-682-6628 www.gabrielamonterroso.com

Studio 312 281-520-1349 www.lynsullivan.com

Studio 325 832-803-2001 FB - Tiva Kisseleva Frick

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

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

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

12-6PM

ALL VISITORS MUST ADHERE TO STATE AND LOCAL MANDATES REGARDING WEARING MASKS, SOCIAL DISTANCING, AND WASHING HANDS. THANK YOU AND STAY SAFE!

2000 EDWARDS ST. HOUSTON, TX 77007

SILVERSTREETHOUSTON.COM


ARTHOUSTON 66

reviews

John Biggers, The Stream Crosses the Path, 1961, oil and tempera on panel, © 2020 John T. Biggers Estate / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. Opposite page from left: William T. Williams, Hawk’s Return, 1969–70, acrylic on canvas, courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery. Wadsworth Jarrell, Revolutionary (Angela Davis), 1971, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, Brooklyn Museum, © Wadsworth Jarrell.

SOUL OF A NATION

THE MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, HOUSTON by Haley Berkman Karren

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston featured work by over sixty Black artists created from 1963 to 1983 during the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements. The exhibition explored what it meant to be a Black artist in America during this time of social change, with artwork in a variety of media that still resonate today. I had been eagerly awaiting the opening of Soul of a Nation in Houston. The highly lauded exhibition opened in 2017 at its originating institution, the Tate Modern, London, and traveled across the United States to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville; the Brooklyn Museum, New York; The Broad, Los Angeles; and the de Young Museum, San Francisco, before arriving at the MFAH. Soul of a Nation was intended to open in Houston this spring, but due to the nation’s shutdown amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the exhibition was delayed until the summer. I was tangentially involved in this exhibition: as curatorial assistant at the Menil Collection, I researched the Frank Bowling painting, Middle Passage, and shared pertinent information with curators Zoé Whitley and Mark Godfrey. The Menil loaned Middle Passage to the Tate Modern and Crystal Bridges, but ensured that the painting was returned in time for its reopening in the fall of 2018. The large-scale painting was

centrally installed in the foyer, its vibrant colors visible from the street, grounding the entire reconceptualization of the collection. The Menil then loaned the work to the MFAH for its iteration of Soul of Nation. In my next role as an art consultant, I helped usher a loan across venues for a private collection. By the time Soul of a Nation opened at the MFAH, the world had become a much different place than when the exhibition debuted three years ago: we were in the midst of not only the COVID-19 pandemic, but also the Black Lives Matter movement, with major protests occurring across the country in the continued fight for racial equality. In this new context, I hoped that the MFAH installation could offer more to the community, venturing out with their required masks. Additionally, I was intrigued to discern how the MFAH would incorporate works from their collection by Houston-based Black artists. Entering the exhibition, the visitor is first confronted with a stark painting by Norman Lewis. America the Beautiful is composed of black ground with swaths of white shapes across the canvas, but with closer looking, the white shapes become crosses, figural silhouettes, and triangular hoods, alluding to the Ku Klux Klan. The title takes on a much deeper, more sinister meaning. Adjacent to this haunting work is Reginald Gammon’s Freedom Now, a dynamic 1963 black-and-white painting that depicts protestors holding signs, their mouths agape, at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The work is so pulsating with energy that it could have represented the recent nationwide protests. Two works with American flags, Benny Andrews’s Did the Bear Sit Under the Tree? and


67

Faith Ringgold’s The Flag is Bleeding still carry the emotional weight from when they were first created in the late 1960s. In Fred Hampton’s Door 2, Dana Chandler painted an actual door riddled with bullet holes, red paint dripping like blood, in a searing image that I immediately associated with the shootings of Breonna Taylor and Botham Jean in their own homes. Connecting Soul of a Nation to Houston, organizing MFAH curator Kanitra Fletcher included work by John Biggers and Carroll Harris Simms, who founded the art department at Texas Southern University, alongside that of their students, Kermit Oliver and Earlie Hundall, Jr. The links to Houston were expanded upon in the informative audio guide. Dr. Alvia Wardlaw, director and curator of the University Museum at Texas Southern University, and previously a curator at the MFAH, clarified the connection in the audio guide: in 1950, Biggers won the MFAH purchase prize for a drawing, but he was excluded from his own reception – the museum was only open one day a week for Black people. This spurred James Chillman, the director of the MFAH at the time, to begin dismantling the museum’s segregation policy. The galleries that had become emblematic of Soul of A Nation featured monumental abstract paintings and sculptures. Jack Whitten’s incredible innovation is clear in the triangular Homage to Malcolm, in which the artist used his Afro comb to create lines across the canvas, revealing red and green paint beneath the dark surface. William T. William’s geometric and hard-edge Hawk’s Return was installed across from Virginia Jaramillo’s painting of slim, curvilinear lines. The

MFAH added Peter Bradley’s Salmon Spray from their collection, incorporating an artist who was not included in the original Tate Modern exhibition. Melvin Edwards’s barbed wire and chain installation, Curtain (for William and Peter), employs a Minimalist language to speak to slavery and incarceration. The exhibition continued with two examples of artists liberating painting from the confines of a flat, stretched surface. Carousel Change, a hallmark drape painting by Sam Gilliam, hangs loosely from five points on the wall. Joe Overstreet suspended unstretched canvas in space, tethered to the ceiling and floor with rope, referencing the history of lynching in the United States. I was slightly disappointed that the MFAH did not incorporate more recent events into the didactics. For example, the label of Betye Saar’s The Liberation of Aunt Jemima would have benefitted from the news that Quaker Oats finally recognized that Aunt Jemima is a racist stereotype and announced plans to change the name and image of the syrup. The museum, did, however, offer a number of virtual exhibition tours and panels that expanded upon the exhibition, including two discussions on Black art and cultural organizations in Houston. Overall, it was incredibly moving to see visitors thoughtfully walking through the exhibition and engaging in conversations. Perhaps what speaks most directly to the current moment were the visitors surrounding the installation of four TV monitors with important speeches by Stockley Carmichael, Angela Davis, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X. As the fight for racial equality persists, the words of these foundational figures and the art they inspired acquire new weight and meaning.


ARTHOUSTON 68

reviews

Tom McKinley, Bruno Maximus, 2019 oil on panel, 46 x 73 in.

Will Henry, Speed Trap, 2019 Oil on linen, 36 x 30 in. Courtesy of the artist and Hiram Butler Gallery

TOM McKINLEY

WILL HENRY

McCLAIN GALLERY

GALVESTON ARTS CENTER

McClain Gallery presents an online exhibition of recent oil paintings by San Francisco Bay Area artist Tom McKinley. This is the first exhibition of the artist’s work with McClain Gallery. McKinley is known for panoramic depictions of polished modern interiors, often viewed from a correspondingly manicured outdoor space, just beyond the reach of otherwise open and inviting glass doorways. One of McKinley’s earliest and most immediate influences is architecture: contemporary homes form the armature for his paintings. Beyond the modern framework, amenities often feature lap pools, sleek hardscaping, the well-placed tree or two, and scenic overlooks of cityscapes and rolling hills to sweeping views of the sea. The idealism accompanying midcentury suburban expansion and its packaged domesticity is on display here. As if lifted from a photoshoot, these voyeuristic scenes mirror our culture’s fetishization of objects and the production of highly designed, intimate domestic spaces. One painting featured in the exhibition, Bruno Maximus, is an outlier in its striking depiction of a lone horse standing near the pool in the foreground. This distinct blend of romanticism mixed with disquietude feels full of potential, yet strangely empty. Like Ed Ruscha’s gas stations or a De Chirico street scene, McKinley’s domestic stand-ins feel like monuments to memory, rather than to the thing itself. Tom McKinley was born in Michigan. Beginning at the Goddard College in Vermont, he continued his education overseas in England at the Falmouth School of Art, the Ravensbourne College of Art in London, and Brighton Polytechnic in Brighton.

Galveston Arts Center (GAC) presents two solo exhibitions on view in the second-floor galleries from August 22, 2020. In the 1878 Gallery, Nervous Waters features the ceramic sculptures of Pat Johnson. Through humorous depictions of the artist as protagonist in a series of imagined scenes, Johnson’s works reveal personal narratives that often address political and social issues. In the Brown Foundation Gallery, Francis Almendárez’ exhibition, rhythm and (p)leisure, is part of his ongoing investigation into the fruit and labor of working-class people, specifically of Central American and Caribbean diasporas. The work brings both physical labor and cultural production into the foreground, blurring the line between work and play/leisure. These exhibitions will remain on view through November 15, 2020. On view in the main gallery, Will Henry’s exhibition, Watching Paint Dry, features recent paintings that continue the artist’s exploration of the landscape, abstraction, and mark making. Henry’s exhibition will be on view through October 4, 2020. GAC’s galleries are open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, 12 to 5 PM. GAC remains committed to providing a safe and welcoming space for visitors while we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. GAC continues to follow social distancing and disinfecting protocols and require face coverings while in the building. ArtWalk events and openings are currently suspended until further notice. These exhibitions are supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Texas Commission on the Arts.


69


ARTHOUSTON 70

HOW THE SUGAR GROVE ACADEMY SCHOOL COMMUNITY AND SUPPORTERS SPREAD PEACE AND HOPE IN HOUSTON AND ACROSS THE WORLD THROUGH THE BE THE PEACE – BE THE HOPE PLATFORM

K N OW HO P E BY

K A R I N E

PA R K E R - L E M O Y N E

Our story is one of many episodes, capturing how the human spirit can overcome challenges through the Universal Language of Art and the synergistic alignment of Hearts and Minds. The process of creation is infinite. When it is nurtured, it grows. As it grows, it is shared. And as it is shared, it goes beyond ourselves, touching the lives of more people than we could ever have imagined.


71

Episode 1: Paving the Way In August 2019, Be the Peace- Be the Hope (BTPBTH), the Texan-French Alliance for the Arts (TFAA), and Sugar Grove Academy (SGA) paved the way in collaboration with the Rotary District 5890 Peace Committee, NewGen Peacebuilders, and Core Dance, to provide Social and Emotional Learning and Peace Building Professional Development, through Mindfulness and the Arts to SGA teachers, administrators and students. Episode 2: School-wide and yearlong Peace and Hope Initiative In the fall of 2019, after several years of partnering with SGA, the BTPBTH program transitioned from an afterschool format to a school-wide platform. Students received, from their SGA trained teachers and the BTPBTH team, practical teaching and effective tools to understand and cope with emotions, maintain healthy relationships through non-violent communication, practice self-control, deal with stress, be self-motivated, practice time management and build resilience and responsible decision-making. In partnership with Be the Peace – Be the Hope, NewGen Peacebuilders and Core Dance, students also learned how to create a safe place and promote a culture of peace, where they could connect as a community and get to know each other, learning essential skills in conflict resolution and advocating for human rights.

Episode 3: Covid-19 The program continued online during the lockdown, with ongoing participation in peacebuilding projects of sending messages of hope to the world, and encouraging medical teams. As a result of their determination, Sugar Grove Academy was celebrated on June 23, 2020, as the first middle school in the U.S. to be certified as a New Gen Peacebuilder School as part of the school-wide BTPBTH Social and Emotional Learning program!

“Through the TFAA Be the Peace – Be the Hope NewGen Peacebuilders program, we have captured at Sugar Grove Academy, in the microcosm of the school, what the world needs to see: appreciate people for who they are and be accepting of who I am, not what I look like” - Orlando Reyna, Principal Episode 4: HeArts for Hope, Arts for All and International Day of Peace Through the BTPBTH HeArts for Hope initiative launched just after the pandemic hit the U.S. and the world, many individuals contributed artistic offerings that were sent to first responders, isolated elders, and others in need of encouragement and hope during the pandemic. Through “HeArts for Hope, Arts for All” our BTPBTH team sought to promote a chain of hope and solidarity between our local and global community, sharing hope, and peace for a more resilient future together. Each gift pack includes an artwork in the shape of a heart made by children or adults,

which is then layered with a combination of music, poetry, an inspirational message, and a dance movement created to bring joy to its recipient. The gifts also include a self-care tip to relieve stress and anxiety! “We believe dance has the potential for healing,” said Sue Schroeder, artistic director and co-founder of Core Dance, one of nine collaborators that has partnered with the program. “Our Dance Artists created a phrase to layer the gift package with love to help release trauma and foster healing.” Several hundreds of these HeArts for Hope and messages of Peace created by our students will be available for pick up at participating Houston Parks on the International Day of Peace, September 21st, 2020. Creating a positive movement through the Arts for the benefit of our community allows to build solid relationships for a more resilient future together. When this is nurtured, it grows. As it grows, it is shared. And as it is shared, it goes beyond ourselves, touching the lives of more people than we could ever have imagined. Go Hope! For more information, you can visit our website at www.BePeaceBeHope.org and www.BePeaceBeHope.com.


ARTHOUSTON 72

Guest Curator

S

O CIET Y STR AYS

A RT I ST S’M E S S AG E BY

WILLIAM

HANHAUSEN

EXPRESSION,

simply an aesthetic but a moral imperative;

doesn’t follow exclusive trends. They un-

and social communication–a channel where

we have placed life itself –old ‘Mother

derstand the pandemic in a way where they

the artists have embedded and reflected

Nature’– in jeopardy and her survival and

have a say in how this story is represented

their story in their work to transmit a mes-

our own crucially depend on how we will

alongside a simplified complexity, merged

sage to be interpreted. A vison, where the

communicate from now on.

with the fearless concept their individual

ART

IS

ABOUT

PEOPLE,

artist sees much more than the mundane

But, what is this about and important to us?

inheritance grants them, to make us discern

individualism, a constant awareness of what

It is not what we read in the media, it is

intellectual realities with vivid distinctive-

is going on in the streets and above.

what we have lived, those experiences with

ness. Thus, generating an epic resonance

This difficult world we are living in, has

a social mix of traditions and an accumu-

in their own artistic way of communication.

created a singular commotion on the arts,

lation of visual cultural expressions that

Unscrambling

the richest legacy of human kind. As a col-

have evolved uniquely to present a clear

insignificant through the sense, taking our

lector and a passionate promoter of a unique

perception of integrity and understanding. An

inner life to realize a solid vision full of

genre in arts, I perceive this unambiguously

instrument that creates an appearance that

possibilities and renovated hope.

as a dual influence that cannot be ignored,

can compete with reality over illusion. Art is

We are suppressing the historical impor-

it is a basic need as valuable as breathing.

about the stories and narratives establish-

tance of this momentum for the arts by not

the

essential

from

the

Today is not an exception, the art works

ing a point of contrast between the tangible

been aware of the complexity of the cultural

and the artists that create it are being

and intangible, that gives through a strong

damage to our inheritance as a nation and if

challenged by the disregard and incorrect

assertion of each artist’s identity a unique

we ignore this need and pledge we will not be

conceptualization they are not essential,

position. A perspective where they commu-

able to catch up later on.

humanity seems so blind and stray of light

nicate what others don’t see and feel with

We are an audience eager to learn more

and color by not supporting them and their

a common denominator to the existential

about the purpose and value of each artist’s

message.

change we are living today.

message and the constant need of art as a

However, and on top of that, this time

Artists are forthcoming with a non-nationalist

communication channel and to understand the

artists have an additional obligation not

compiling resurgence in their work that

artists value in these excruciating moments.


Left: William Hanhausen Photo by Filippo Nenna Below: Marco Antoni Castillo Valdez Los Carpinteros collective, Cuba o/c 1991, 51�x 40� in. Collection of Willam Hanhausen

73


A RT H O USTO N 74

Julia McLaurin, Lock Down Brown


75

I

n

t

What upcoming projects are you working on?

Currently, I have started working with clay sculpture again—after about 12 years! This most recent project is called, “100 Cones.” I have sculpted, fired and glazed 100 clay pieces, resembling ice cream cones with various scoops. I am really excited to display this contemporary installation. I began this project at Glassell School of Art last spring. Classes were ultimately cancelled mid-March so I began working on a new photographic project more conducive to working from home. It consists of 10 digitally manipulated photographs entitled “American Still Life - Art Under Quarantine.” They are not typical still lifes—gloomy, dark and static. These bright, monochromatic works feature American foods in quirky, unexpected ways with outrageous, sometimes perspective altering, settings.

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

Although I had been making art for most my life, back in February of 2019 I had my first solo show. “Hail to the Chief” was exhibited here in Houston’s own Foto Relevance, under the guidance of Bryn Larsen and Geoffrey Koslov. All 45 presidential portraits, from Washington to Trump, were given a brand new look. Hidden within these portraits are subtle facts about each president, plus some of my own ideas. Obama holds an ice cream cone rocking rainbow hair, Lincoln rides a Vespa scooter, and Regan jumps the Berlin Wall. These portraits modernize the

e

r

v

i

e

w

presidents, and place them in a very human light. It was a huge undertaking for which I am very proud.

Where are you from?

I was born In New York and grew up here in Houston. My parents are from Warsaw, and Polish was my first language. I attended UT at Austin, earning my B.S, then University of Houston for my M.S. Although science was my main focus, art was never far from my mind—I have attended the Glassell School of Art on and off since the age of six. My husband and I are entrepreneurs, and we have three small and amazingly energetic kiddos. They never cease to inspire me. I am a mother, wife, artist and peanut butter sandwich maker extraordinaire (in no particular order).

What types of mediums do you work in?

Typically, I work in photography, collage and assemblage, clay sculpture, and printmaking.

Is having a “successful career” as an artist something that is important to you? I want my work to be seen and experienced by as many people as possible. It is only through feedback that one can really grow.

What recent projects are you most proud of?

I have recently moved into my own studio at the Silos. Most of my life, I have been working out of my house. It is an exciting step! With three small kiddos, it was difficult working

JULIA McLAURIN

on long term projects when portions would just sprout legs and wonder off. I also have a robust business involving custom commissions. As part of this business, I observe a family’s personality and style, photograph their pets and kids, and place them in digitally manipulated, fine art portraits. It is a lot of fun and definitely something different from your typical family photo. I recently had a social distancing commission, where I took one of those classic “front porch” photos, but I portrayed the kids dangling off the second story and walking on the roof. I also did a breakfast scene where the children were jousting with forks in a land of giant waffles, pancakes, and donuts. I love how these projects really challenge me to dig deep in my imagination. Anything is possible—I can pair the family’s personalities, likes, and dislikes in a visually satisfying work of art.

Why do you create art?

I see ideas all around me. I see so much inspiration in daily life. It is something that brings me so much joy and happiness. Art really allows you to connect with people and evoke reactions in ways that no other medium can.


ARTHOUSTON 76

I

n

t

What upcoming projects are you working on?

I’m actually in the process of finishing my first! The project is a collection of photographs of a city, as seen from Westheimer, a 42mile arterial east-west road that bisects the city and has become synonymous with Houston. My work is drawing on the trope of the road trip and its consequent aesthetics in both Americana and art. Informed by the context of recent trends in diversification and urbanization Houston has been lauded as the “future” of America. If Houston is the “future” of America, Westheimer could then be considered the path on which this future may be viewed. One no longer needs to transverse the continental US to find the world at large or themselves; rather, this single road within Houston can take you to find nearly any culture or experience possible. On a Sunday morning you can find Jehovah’s Witnesses, Quinceñeras, and a Baraat, all at The Galleria. Houston is the future of America in the present moment. I’m here to present that visual exploration to the world.

Where are you from?

I am a Texas-born visual artist and documentary photographer. I was raised in a conservative family where knowledge of the outside world was tightly controlled. I began traveling when I was a teenager and I started being exposed to the world around me. At first, we took road trips through the United States then eventually I began traveling Europe,

e

r

v

i

e

w

Africa, Asia and South America. For the past ten years I photographed weddings and have been a part of religious ceremonies from an incredible range of religions and traditions. These experiences opened the space within me for empathy towards others and this informs my photography today.

What types of mediums do you work in?

Currently the majority of my practice is rooted in traditional film photographic processes. Using my medium in this way I can give an unparalleled permanence and weight to the photographs I take. Some of my upcoming projects will include video elements as well as I begin to work with more complex stories and ideas by presenting them in more immersive ways.

T h e m a t i c a l l y, w h a t i s your work usually about?

My work examines the disparity between people as evidenced through geography, wealth, education, culinary arts, ethnicity, religion, and music and focuses on the common humanity that can be found through these very same channels. My photographs are a visual representation of my exploration of the world around me and the ideas I encounter.

Stephen Hebert. Photo by Anne Schmidt

Why do you create art?

I take photos to show people a view of the world that they otherwise would not see so that I can create empathy between my subjects’ stories and the viewers of my work. I do this by exploring questions I have about the world by using time, space, place, and faces as my canvas. In doing, so I can give a voice and show value in others that otherwise might not be seen.

Is having a “successful career” as an artist something that is important to you? I’d say its a lot more important than having an unsuccessful career. Photography and visual art is how I interface with the world. If the goal of my work is to create empathy between the viewers of my work and the stories contained in the works, I would say success would be telling the stories I tell faithfully, honestly, and with empathy paired with making sure those works make it in front of viewers who would or could not normally see those stories. Success is an important and interdependent relationship between creation and presentation.


77

Stephen Hebert, Houston, from the Union Pacific yard that gave fifth ward and kashmere gardens cancer

STEPHEN HEBER


exposure

A R TAHROT UH SOTUOSNT O7N6 7 8

JON WELBORN

www.jonwelbornstudio.com 903 466-6509

JULIA MCLAURIN

www,juliamclaurin.com 713 376-8304

MA BHATTI

www.mabhatti.com 281 818-6893


E X P O S U R7 E9 7 7

LYN SULLIVAN

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

HANNEKE HUMPHREY

www.hannekehumphrey.com 832 908 4794


ARTHOUSTON 80

artH O U S T O N PUBLISHER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

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

PIERRE-ANDRE FOLLONIER DESIGN

JOHN BERNHARD BERNHARDPUB.COM CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

HANNEKE HUMPHREY JT MORSE SABRINA BERNHARD ARTHUR DEMICHELI HALEY BERKMAN KARREN KELLY SIMMONS MORGAN CRONIN LINDA EYLES CHIA-SHIN CHU CHRIS SILKWOOD KARINE PARKER-LEMOYNE DANIELLE ROWAN SARAH FOLTZ PHOTOGRAPHERS

NATHAN LINDSTROM HALL PUCKETT ADVERTISING

MATT ROSS - 713 417 6857 TYPESET IN

LETO SANS & MILLER BANNER PRINTED IN THE U.S.A. CO NTACT US

ARTHOUSTONMAGAZINE.COM ARTHOUSTONMAGAZINE@GMAIL.COM ArtHouston is published semiannually by ArtHouston Magazine, LLC. ©Copyright 2020. All right reserved. The entire contents of ArtHouston may not be reproduced in any matter, either in part or in whole, without written permission from the publisher. In addition, the artists within hold copyrights on their images and essays. Any use of or copying of their works without their written permission is in violation of the copyright law. ArtHouston Magazine, LLC. is not responsible in any way for mispellings, omissions, incorrect phone numbers or addresses. Unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, and other materials must be accompanied by postage and a self-addressed return envelope. ArtHouston is not responsible for unsolicited submissions. Address all correspondence to: ArtHouston Magazine, 9114 N. Allegro St. Houston, Texas 77080.


C O L O P H O N 7891

contributors

Arthur Demicheli WRITER, PHOTOGRAPHER

Arthur Demicheli is a freelance copywriter and photographer from New York who has worked in the marketing, advertising, and publishing industries since 1992. Recently, Arthur has been a dynamic part of ArtHouston’s team. He holds an MA in Humanities from the University of Geneva. He is an avid fan of art, film, and photograhy history.

Chia-Shin Chu WRITER

Chia-Shin Chu is a native Houstonian and has always had a deep admiration for the city’s vibrant art scene. She attended the University of Texas at Austin with a focus on art history and Latin American studies. After graduation, Chia-Shin returned to Houston. Today, she continues to follow the Texas art community while exploring creative passions in visual arts and writing.

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.

Hanneke Humphrey WRITER

In addition to writing, Hanneke Humphrey is active as a creative artist, event organizer, and MFAH docent. Of American, French, and Dutch background, she worked as an economist, marketing strategist, and educator for many years, while pursuing her love of the arts.

Sabrina Bernhard WRITER

Sabrina Bernhard is a recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, where she received a BA in International Relations and in French. She is working with ArtHouston to fulfill her passion for the arts, while further developing Houston’s admirable cross-cultural reputation. Sabrina is passionate about travelling, la Francophonie, music, and culture.

Karine Parker-Lemoyne CURATO R, EDUCATO R

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

Haley Berkman Karren WRITER

Haley Berkman Karren is a Houston-based independent curator, writer, and art advisor who focuses on modern and contemporary art and photography. She has many years of curatorial experience at international arts institutions. She holds a B.A. in Art History from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.A. in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU. www.karrenartadvisory.com

Jody (aka JT) Morse WRITER

JT Morse is a freelance, multi-genre writer based in Evergreen, TX. She pens everything from award-winning flash fiction to spec fic poetry to nonfiction articles for local and national magazines. Morse also teaches writing workshops for Writespace, Comicpalooza, HIA, and RWA. For more information, visit her social media pages: @JTMorseWriter.

Hall Puckett PHOTOGRAPHER

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


ARTHOUSTON 82

editor’s pick

Donkeeboy & Donkeemom

Artists: Donkeeboy & Donkeemom. Photography by John Bernhard George Floyd is being remembered with a mural in the Third Ward. The mural, titled Forever breathing in our hearts, was produced a week after his death in Minneapolis by Houston artist Alex Roman Jr., also known as Donkeeboy. He created the mural alongside his mother Sylvia Roman, also known as Donkeemom. The mural is located at the Scott Food Mart, 3341 Winbern Street in Houston across the street from Cuney Homes, where Floyd grew up.


83


ARTHOUSTON 84

Profile for John Bernhard

ArtHouston Issue #11  

Welcome to ArtHouston magazine covering all arts discipline, from performing and visual art to music and film. ArtHouston is the ultimate re...

ArtHouston Issue #11  

Welcome to ArtHouston magazine covering all arts discipline, from performing and visual art to music and film. ArtHouston is the ultimate re...

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded