ArtHouston issue#2

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


Illustration by Mike LLewellyn







elcome to our second issue!

ArtHouston recognizes the power of the arts to challenge and shift perceptions, spark creativity, and connect people across culture, class, gender, and intellect. The result is a candid approach more journalistically tendentious than scholarly, and a conscientious straightforward principle to remain true to all forms of the arts. We will also continue to showcase artists, from unknown or established to mainstream or controversial. In this issue, we are excited to unveil a new recurring feature called Iconoclasts, inspired by the 2005 Robert Redford television show of the same name. Each recurring feature will pair two creative visionaries who discuss their lives, inf luences and art, most of whom are longtime friends. We kick off with an ad lib interview of Anne Tucker, Curator Emerita of Photography from the Museum of Fine Arts, and Clint Willour, Curator at the Galveston Arts Center. Now, should we be excited about the future of the magazine? We think so. After all, ArtHouston has been received with tremendous praise. In fact, feedback from readers and the art community at large has been so good we think the road ahead is wide open. And the reason for this, of course, is you, our advertisers, as well as our featured artists, gallerists, and contributing writers and photographers. Thank you all!

John Bernhard Publisher

Photo by Nathan Lindstrom

So, in looking ahead, we are moving forward with the same enthusiasm and drive because we love what we do and are delighted that you appear to like it, too.





Au Revoir Josef Helfenstein John Bernhard PUBLISHER’S LETTER 3



40 Years of Being Moody Holly Walrath 26

Beyond Ephemeral Images John Bernhard 32

The In-Between Spaces Celan Bouillet 36

FotoFest Fred Baldwin 40

Taking Flight Jay Wehnert 52

Against the Grain Arthur Demicheli 56

Where Art Happens Diane Barber 66

Healing Arts ON THE COVER: Charles A.A. Dellschau, Long Cross Cut On Wather On Land and Up To The Clouds, May 15, 1911, watercolor and collage on paper, 13 1/4”x19” Courtesy of Stephen Romano Gallery, Brooklyn.

This artwork is a perfect illustration of Outsider Art (read Taking Flight in this issue). The term Outsider Art was coined by art critic Roger Cardinal in 1972 as an English synonym for art brut, “raw art”, a label created by French artist Jean Dubuffet to describe art created outside the boundaries of official culture; Dubuffet focused particularly on art by those on the outside of the established art scene. An exhibition on the same subject titled As Essential as Dreams will take place at The Menil Collection, starting June 10.

Karine Parker-Lemoyne 4 9 ESS AY

Why do I Write Fiction Layla Al-Bedawi 72

Why you Should Buy Art David Miller 62 ICONOCLASTS

Anne Tucker and Clint Willour Morgan Cronin

News Bits


SCULPTED IN STEEL Museum of Fine Arts Houston Designer unknown, BMW AG, BMW R7 Concept Motorcycle, 1934, BMW Classic Collection. Image © 2008 Peter Harholdt

THE INTERVIEW: Red, Red Future, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

The human colonization of Mars is expected to begin in the coming decades as NASA and independent space ventures partner with corporate investors to explore the future of life on the planet. The recent discovery of flowing water on its surface only adds to the speculation that Mars may already support life. Within this extraordinary context, CAMH is presenting THE INTERVIEW: Red, Red Future, a solo exhibition by the artist MPA that includes photography, sculpture, and performance, all commissioned

for this presentation. MPA has developed a series of exploratory topics—which she calls “landings”—drawn from the cultural imaginary surrounding the red planet. Visitors will encounter UV-sensitive sculpture in which aerial views of the Nazca Lines in Peru are alternately concealed and revealed by exposure to ultraviolet light. Combining advanced technology and Minimalist aesthetics, MPA’s work seeks to shed light on invisible forces and power. February 27 to June 5, 2016


Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

Today’s automotive manufacturers often strive for economy and efficiency, but there was a time when art and elegance reigned. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston celebrates with an exhibition that shocases the cars and motorcycles designed during this iconic period. The exhibition titled Sculpted in Steel: Art Deco Automobiles and Motorcycles, 1929–1940, presents fourteen cars and three motorcycles alongside historical images and videos.
The American and international examples featured in Sculpted in Steel display the classic grace and modern luxury of Art Deco design—the innovative, machine-inspired style that developed between the two World Wars. The Art Deco movement began in France in the early 1910s, but its development was interrupted by the outbreak of World War I. The style reemerged across Europe after the war and was propelled to international prominence with the success of the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in Paris in 1925. During this period, automakers embraced the sleek iconography of streamlining and introduced industrial materials to present aircraft-inspired body styles. Ken Gross, a noted automobile expert and former director of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, worked together with Cindi Strauss, the Museum’s curator of modern and contemporary decorative arts and design, on the selection for the exhibition, which draws on a concept originally developed for the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville. “The 1920s to 1930s proved to be one of the most creative eras for international design in all mediums, and Art Deco styling influenced everything from fashion and fine art to architecture and autos,” said Gary Tinterow, Museum director. “Sculpted in Steel includes rare and one-of-a-kind examples that epitomize the artful approach to industry employed by the leading auto designers of the day. These dramatic automobiles and motorcycles are truly works of art.” “Transportation design in the first half of the 20th century affords numerous opportunities to study the global influence of style,” said Strauss. “The Museum’s collection is rich in objects from the Art Deco period, but it lacks automobiles and motorcycles. Sculpted in Steel offers Museum visitors the chance to learn more about this important period in design history from the point of view of automotive innovation.” February 21 to May 30, 2016

Mark Flood: Gratest Hits is a survey of thirty years of Flood’s work from the 1980s to 2015. Never has an exhibition enjoyed so many moments of extreme visual beauty, cheek by jowl with crude humor and aggressive, roughly rendered texts to create a visual roller coaster ride. For most of his artistic career, Flood has created collages, paintings, and sculptures, and altered found ephemera that serve to critique and highlight consumer culture and the perversity of the art world. Gratest Hits presents the deep wisdom and humor of three decades of work while ultimately revealing the true achievement of an artist who has produced many highly praised works and had an active career despite remaining barely visible at the museum level. April 30 to August 7, 2016


Members of Royal Ballet of Flanders (Antwerp, Belgium) in Fall. Choreographer: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. Photographyby Filip Van Roe


Looking at the Future of the Planet FotoFest 2016 Biennial CHANGING CIRCUMSTANCES: Looking at the Future of the Planet is the new theme for this year FotoFest Biennial and will include exhibitions all over Houston at multiple venues; conferences, forums, and panel discussions; commissioned projects; a film program; a performing arts program; and artist workshops. CHANGING CIRCUMSTANCES will present artists, experts, scientists, writers, and policy makers looking at the interconnected issues of climate change, population growth and migration, globalized use of natural resources, capital, and the impact of new technologies. The exhibitions and other programs will focus on the future of the Earth by examining challenges, and by proposing new ideas and solutions. “We are addressing the challenges we face as inhabitants of a swiftly changing Earth” says Executive Director Steven Evans, who joined FotoFest in February 2014. “We are exploring the intersections of science and art, of new technologies and new realities.” In developing the programs for the sixteenth Biennial, the 2016 Curatorial Team is looking at projects and consulting with a range of international artists, scientists, media experts, corporate entrepreneurs, military analysts and government policymakers. “There are paradigm shifts in the ways people interact with and understand the environment and the natural world,” says Wendy Watriss. “What role are artists and other creative thinkers playing relative to these changes? How are they addressing the way we visualize the world, these changes and a new future?” The FotoFest Biennials draw over 250,000 visitors during the course of their six-week run. They attract visitors and participants from over 35 countries. They are one of the world’s longest-running, largest, and most respected international photographic art events. March 12 - April 24, 2016

FotoFest 2016 Biennial Curators (left to right) Wendy Watriss, Steven Evans, and Frederick Baldwin


Houston International Dance Coalition’s This year, the acclaimed Dance Salad Festival is celebrating its 21st year in Houston, and is bringing ounce again worldclass ballet, modern and contemporary dance companies together on one stage from all over the globe. This 2016 season brings outstanding dance performances and some special USA and Houston debuts: – Spellbound Contemporary Ballet, Rome, Italy, will perform the highly world wide acclaimed Four Seasons, choreographed by the company’s Artistic Director, Mauro Astolfi, Four Seasons was premiered at the Teatro Verdi Pisa, Italy on March 6, 2010 with a subsidy from the Italian Ministry of National Heritage and Culture. – USA debut by Gartner Platz Theater, Munich, Germany with Made in Love by renowned European choreographer, theater and opera director Marguerite Donlon, and Versus Standard by Jacopy Godani. – Royal Ballet of Flanders, Antwerp, Belgium with curated sections from Fall*, by DS Festival favorite, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, RBF Artistic Director. – Stuttgart Ballet’s principal dancers are coming again to perform Christian Spuck’s hilarious spoof on ballet, Le Grand Pas de Deux. – National Ballet of Canada, Toronto will present its Principal Dancers in a beautiful and melodic ballet Por Ti by Spanish choreographer Luis Martin Oya. – Ballet X, Philadelphia, USA will debut in Houston with a curation from Nicolo Fonte’s highly acclaimed work Beasts. The kick off (free) event presents a Choreographers’ Forum on March 23, 7 PM at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and will feature choreographers Marguerite Donlon, of Gartner Platz Theater, Munich, Germany, and Mauro Astolfi, Founder/ Artistic Director and Choreographer of Spellbound Contemporary Ballet, Rome, Italy. Marguerite and Mauro will share their insights on the creative process and show short video clips of their work. Performances in Wortham Center and MFAH. March 24, 25 and 26, 2016, 7:30 pm.



Lisica’s Move

Now in its 45th year, the Bayou City Art Festival, presented by the Art Colony Association, Inc. (ACA) is once more blossoming in Memorial Park. This internationally award winning Festival not only showcases the finest art in the nation and from around the world, but also feature incredible performing arts. The ACA staff is dedicated to the exhibiting artist, whose talents make this festival successful and whose contributions will meet a shared goal of promoting the arts and raising funds for local area non-profits. Over 1000 qualified applicants from around the world submit their applications to be scrutinized by the Art Colony Association Jurors. Only juried Artists are selected to exhibit, many of whom are featured in fine art galleries and in prominent personal and museum collections around the world. As one of the top ten outdoor fine art events in the nation, the festival allows art collectors the opportunity to personally meet the artist, view original works, and purchase world class art. The experience that develops between a patron and the artist may last a lifetime. April 29 - May 1, 2016

Cindy Lisica, founder of Revision Space Pittsburgh, has opened her new gallery, January 2016, in the thriving museum district of Houston. In addition to the diverse roster from her original east coast location, the gallery represents international contemporary artists working in painting, sculpture, photography, and mixed media. With multiple press appearances and a buzz about town, Cindy Lisica Gallery will bring its own brand of exciting programming to 4411 Montrose, alongside formidable neighbors Anya Tish Gallery, Barbara Davis Gallery, David Shelton Gallery, and UNIX Gallery for a full house of stimulating shows. Award-winning artists represented by the gallery have gone on to exhibit at world-class museums, and many of their works have been acquired into impressive private and institutional collections. Last year’s summer exhibition in Pittsburgh had a special guest jury with Eric Shiner, Director of The Andy Warhol Museum, and Chad Alligood, Curator of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The gallery also made noteworthy and successful appearance at the Texas Contemporary Art Fair.

Memorial Park

New Gallery Buzz

Fellowship Recipients Houston Center for Photography

The Houston Center for Photography has announced the selected Fellows for 2016. Samantha Geballe- HCP Fellowship Recipient and Eric Kayne - Carol Crow Memorial Fellowship Recipient. Geballe self-portraits illustrate the struggle she endure

with her weight focusing on her self image and the path to healing . Kayne documented, with compelling images, the people who live in the controversial Keystone XL pipeline’s path. Their work will be on view in a collective exhibition. May 13th through July 10th.


Jesse H. Jones Hall

A Houston favorite returns! Experience the power of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and see for yourself why this extraordinary company is hailed as America’s cultural ambassador to the world. From the pulse-racing thrill of contemporary favorites to the spirit-lifting joy of beloved classics, these magnificent dancers offer something for every taste. Closing the program will be Alvin Ailey’s masterpiece, Revelations, called by The New York Times “one of the great works of the human spirit.” April 23-24, 2016

Photo by Andrew Eccles


Houston Ballet

In its winter repertory program, Houston Ballet introduces three masterpieces into the company’s repertory in a thrilling evening of dance. Dyad 1929 is the first work by the celebrated British, Royal Ballet choreographer Wayne McGregor to be performed by Houston Ballet. Set to Steve Reich’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Double Sextet and dedicated to the memory of modern dance legend Merce Cunningham, the work showcases Mr. McGregor’s trademark style of dynamic contrasts and intensely physical partnering. West Side Story electrified audiences when it premiered on Broadway in 1957, and this collection of dances and songs from that landmark production exemplifies the electricity, vitality and dramatic poignancy of this quintessentially American work. Jiří Kylián’s Wings of Wax is a visually arresting work in which eight dancers perform to haunting pieces of music by four great composers, with their encounters unfolding underneath the canopy of a giant tree. Performances at 7:30 pm on March 10, 12, 18, 19, 2016 and at 2:00 pm on March 13, 19, 20, 2016


LIFE IS ONCE, FOREVER The Menil Collection

Henri Cartier-Bresson, Marcel Duchamp, 1968, Gelatin silver print © Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908–2004) is considered to be a founding father of contemporary street photography—a movement dedicated to capturing the flux of life in the public sphere. Life Is Once, Forever: Henri Cartier-Bresson Photographs, an exhibition of approximately 50 photographs from the Menil Collection, looks at the photographer’s pioneering career and humanist vision. Cartier-Bresson, born into a wealthy Parisian family of textile manufacturers, was a self-taught cosmopolitan with a lifelong knack for discovering consequential events and individuals. He began taking pictures as a child, but distinguished himself in the early 1930s after purchasing a handheld 35mm camera and beginning to shoot, he said, on the run, or à la sauvette, in locations around the world. His early images were made in Mexico, Spain, and North Africa and were prized by the Surrealists for their intricate, collage-like compositions made of surprising human gestures and architectural settings. During World War II, he escaped from a German prisoner of war camp to document Europe’s devastation in photographs and films. After the war, he went on to create thousands of images of newsworthy, popular-interest, and chanced-upon subjects as well as hundreds of casual and revealing portraits of cultural luminaries. In 1947 Cartier-Bresson and a small group of like-minded photographers formed the legendary photographic agency Magnum to promulgate their new, life-engaged photojournalism. In his career-defining 1952 book, The Decisive Moment, Cartier-Bresson summarized his approach as “the simultaneous recognition in a fraction of a second of the significance of an event as well as the precise organization of forms.” His street scenes, landscapes, portraits, and especially his depictions of individuals absorbed in the everyday are filled with uncanny, telling details and infused with humor, mystery, and pathos that have been widely imitated but never equaled. In the early 1970s, at the instigation of longtime friends and collectors John and Dominique de Menil, Cartier-Bresson reviewed his many thousands of contact sheets with the idea of creating a succinct record of his work. He originally chose 385 images, which were printed in 1972–73. Versions of this archive reside at the Menil Collection.This exhibition is generously supported by Anne and Bill Stewart and the City of Houston. March 11 – July 24, 2016


Art Celebration

The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC) wants you to enlist as a Citizen Artist. No, it’s not a federal agency; it’s a people-powered department, dedicated to cultivating empathy, equity, and social imagination! The USDAC is the nation’s people-powered department, founded on the truth that art and culture are our most powerful and under-tapped resources for social change. Radically inclusive, useful and sustainable, and vibrantly playful, the USDAC aims to spark a grassroots, creative change movement, engaging millions in performing and creating a world rooted in empathy, equity, and social imagination.

Sawyer Yards, one of the largest campuses in the nation, will come alive for a fantastic evening of fine art when The Silos, Winter, Spring, and Silver Street Studios host their Spring Biannual Art Event. Over 200 artists will open their doors and invite the public inside to view new work, shop and become collectors. A variety of art works will be showcased including painting, sculpture, ceramics, glass, mosaic, photography, mixed media, and jewelry. Visitors will be treated to museum quality artists, many of them represented by local and nationwide galleries. The opening is free and guests will be treated to complimentary valet, light bites and beverages. Pedi-cab shuttles between all four buildings will also be available. Saturday, April 23, 5pm-9pm.

U.S. Department of Arts and Culture

IT’S TIME TO DEEPEN OUR INVESTMENT IN ART, CULTURE, AND CREATIVITY. The USDAC is an action network of artists and cultural workers mobilizing creativity in the service of social justice. Locally, they support creative individuals in leading artsinfused civic dialogues and changemaking initiatives by connecting them to a broader network of people, training, and resources. Nationally, they amplify impact through large-scale actions and calls for creative response, building momentum for positive social change and democratic cultural policy. They harness artists’ skills to address the issues of our day, while also nourishing the artist in all of us. “Everything that is created must first be imagined, yet we’ve failed to fully invite and support people in every community to step up as artists and agents of change.” To sign up go to:

Spring Biannual at Sawyer Yards

Silver Street Studios

Resident Artist Exhibition

This yearly summer art celebration is a must see exhibition of fresh work from some of Houston’s most talented and diverse artists. The show will take place June 11th through July 30th at Silver Street Studios in the Grand Corridor Gallery. The exhibition offers a wide variety of arts - including paintings, sculpture, jewelry, and photography. Silver Street Studios is a complex with a museum atmosphere that includes 70 artists’ studios. Studio openings June 24 and July 29, from 5pm-9pm.




Warhol & Mapplethorpe. Guise & Doll The Collections

The University of Texas at Austin EDITED BY ANDRÉE BOBER This must have reference book spotlights more than eighty collections in very diverse fields, and offers the first sweeping guide to the university’s irreplaceable artifacts, outlining their histories, highlighting their strengths, and suggesting their educational functions. This extensively illustrated volume showcases the unparalleled quality and range of the holdings of the University of Texas at Austin, and covers a radical range of subjects—archaeology, ethnography, fine and performing arts, rare books and manuscripts, decorative arts, photography, film, music, popular and material culture, natural history, science, and technology. University of Texas Press, January 2016

100 Works of Art That Will Define Our Age KELLY GROVIER

A daring yet convincing analysis of which artworks best capture the zeitgeist of our time, Grovier’s list also provides a much-needed map through the landscape of contemporary art. Illustrations of key works are supplemented by comparative images by different artists, sometimes in different periods, while short texts offer a biography of each artwork, tracing its inception and impact, and offering a view not only into the imagination of the artist but into the age in which we live.Thames & Hudson, February, 2016


Andy Warhol (1928–1987) and Robert Mapplethorpe (1946–1989) are well known for significant work in portraiture and self-portraiture that challenged gender roles and notions of femininity, masculinity, and androgyny. This exciting and original book is the first to consider the two artists together, examining the powerful portraits they created during the vibrant and tumultuous era bookended by the Stonewall riots and the AIDS crisis. Yale University Press, October, 2015

L’Enfant-Femme Face


éthiopiques WILLIAM ROPP Ethiopian citizens of all generations - the photographer captured his subjects embedded into alien landscapes and vegetation, resulting in enigmatic photographs full of mysterious meaning. Editions de l’Oeil, June, 2015

A defining characteristic of Gilden’s photography is his creative attraction to what he calls ‘characters’. This new body of work, however, is somewhat of a departure for him in that these tightly cropped, full face images can be seen as ‘collaborative’ portraits. His subjects engage directly with the camera. Dewi Lewis Publishing, October, 2015


Beautiful and sensitive images grace the pages of Rania’s stunning new book. These moving photographs evoke a fundamental sense of cross-cultural understanding. Matar strips away the confines of societal labels from both herself and the girls she photographs. She exposes the boundaries of American and Arab cultures in order to reconcile them. Damiani Editore, Spring, 2016


coups de cœur


Jason Dean

One of a kind Illuminated art. Jay industrial lamps are made from either automotive, aircraft or small engine’s parts.


Seth Vandable

His detailed work strives to capture the intensity of the human spirit in compositions that are both innovative and timeless. His work can be found every year at the Bayou City Art Festival.

C O U P S D E C OE U R 1 3


Kelyne Reis

EveryBody Needs A Little Happy! Art embracing diversity, boldness, individuality & happiness. Bags featuring two hands melting together in a tight embrace from Kelyne Reis & Style Dialogue most recent collection.


Lula Azorey


Alexandra Sivov

Her collagraphs are synonymous of freedom. They are refreshing: the burst of colors, the generous shapes and the reliefs reveal our environment through abstract composition.

Her two dimensions work is based on formal associations, which open a unique poetic vein. Multilayered images arise in which the fragility and instability of our seemingly certain reality is questioned.


Trudy Askew

Her paintings are all about the psychological intersection between reality and imagination. Painting is her language and she says that when she paints, she looses all sense of time and place.


2000 Edwards Street, #218 Houston, TX 77007

Nichole Dittmann








Abstract landscapes changing over time by objects that come and go. Experience the delicate sensation of shaping and capturing traces in time. Everyday compositions emerge, until a reset handle wipes the slate clean and allows a fresh start. Much of her work originates from explorations of the tension between structure and chaos, between the naturally spontaneous and the artificial. In her designs Noテォlle connects to the vulnerability of nature with the man-made and our unconscious behaviors.


Au Revoir


Q &A


Jo s e f

He l f e


by J O







Josef Helfenstein, has left the Menil, to become director of Switzerland’s Kunstmuseum Basel. T H E I N S T I T U T I O N ’ S L O N G - S E R V I N G director, Josef Helfenstein, started 2016 with his new job as director of the Kunstmuseum Basel, one of the largest and oldest public museum in Europe. He will surely be missed after such a highly successful twelve-year tenure.

JOHN BERNHARD A significant inventory within the Menil’s Collection is its holding of Surrealism work. What does that movement mean to you, starting with Meret Oppenheim.

Josef Helfenstein assumed his duties at the Menil Collection in January 2004, managing all aspects of the institution’s operations and development and directing its curatorial program. Under his leadership, the Menil’s annual attendance doubled, the value of the endowment grew by almost 54 percent, and more than 1,000 works of art were added to the collection.

ist works is indeed a poweful anchor within the collection. With its deep holdings by many of the movement’s leading figures, Surrealism also represents the beginnings of our founders’ John and Dominique de Menil’s collecting, and their interest in these artists is an indicator for their vision as a whole.

Among the acquisitions were significant groups of works by artists including Trisha Brown, Vija Celmins, Walter De Maria, Suzan Frecon, Robert Gober, Michael Heizer, Jasper Johns, Sol LeWitt, Bruce Nauman, Max Neuhaus, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Fred Sandback, Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, Richard Tuttle, Cy Twombly, and Kara Walker. The holdings of Surrealism grew with the acquisition of important works by Max Ernst, René Magritte, Meret Oppenheim, and Wols. Josef Helfenstein helped develop a master site plan for the Menil, which includes the Menil Drawing Institute, now under construction. When finished, it will be the first freestanding facility in the U.S. built for the conservation, study, exhibition and storage of works on paper. He also added the much-needed bistro on campus, and the expansion and enhancement of green space to make the campus more open and inviting. Josef Helfenstein also guided the adaptation of the Menil’s Byzantine Fresco Chapel into a new venue for long-term, site-specific art installations. Notable exhibitions that Josef Helfenstein personally organized during his tenure have included Experiments with Truth: Gandhi and Images of Nonviolence; Nice. Luc Tymans; Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938; Walter De Maria: Trilogies; Klee and America; Robert Rauschenberg: Cardboards and Related Pieces; and Kurt Schwitters: Color and Collage.

JOSEF HELFENSTEIN The Menil’s Collection of Surreal-

Surrealism and Dada were the first truly global art movements with aims that extended beyond the visual to social, political, and philosophical concerns and questioned traditional rational Western thinking. Its aim was to break loose from traditional norms of hierarchy, including art institutions, and from social norms that were not inclusive. When I arrived at the Menil I knew the material to some degree and embarked on organizing exhibitions with our curators on not only the historically important and accepted Surrealist artists including Max Ernst, Magritte, and, related to them, Kurt Schwitters and Paul Klee, but also lesser known artists like Wols. But what interested me the most is how contemporary artists engage with the legacy of Surrealism -- such as Robert Gober, Vija Celmins, David McGee, Haim Steinbach, Otabenga Jones and others. The Surrealists were among the first to discuss and accept the work of outsiders to the system – self-taught artists and others excluded from the canon and from institutions. We showed the work of such great artists like Bill Traylor, William Edmondson, Forrest Bess and many more. We were also able to strengthen the collection, despite a rather thin acquisition fund, in some important ways (Wols photographs, Bellmer, a rare early Ernst, a great late Magritte, Brauner). I am especially happy that just recently, the Menil acquired a very rare early painting by Meret Oppenheim, a female artist related to but independent from the Surrealist movement,

Previous spread : Josef Helfenstein leaving the Menil. Left page: Josef Helfenstein admiring a Slit Drum, late 19th century, Malakula Island. All photos by John Bernhard


“What I most hope to see, is the next level of engagement between the people of Houston and the Menil.” who is most well known for her fur teacup, Object, from 1936, in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Oppenheim‘s painting is now on view in the galleries.

Houston is a place of great possibilities where one can do almost anything, which is a beautiful reflection of the quality and mindset of the people who live here.

JB You and I were born the same year in Switzerland; we both studied in Geneva; and we each made Houston our adopted home. Reminiscing of your accomplishments at the helm of the Menil, how do you perceive the transition? I would struggle with the psychological adjustment of going home -- do you think that you will experience repatriation blues?

JB Making the Menil an essential destination you have also raised our city’s profile even higher in the global art world. Visiting the Menil twelve years from now, what will you see - and what pleasant surprise would you like to encounter?

JH ‘Blues’ sounds good to me to begin with. The notion of home for me is open-ended and not really tied to geography. Home is where I can do meaningful work and where my heart is or can be. This place has been Houston and the Menil Collection for the last twelve years, and will soon be Basel.

I am looking forward to going back to Europe – so different from when I left it 15 years ago. It is today in many ways a continent in crisis. I think that Europe does not have the luxury -- like some Americans believe they have (what an illusion!) -- to ignore the rest of the world, despite their direct political and military involvement in these very same conflicts. Europe has no geographic borders to Asia and to Africa. It is very close to some of the most painful geopolitical problems. But I will certainly miss the open and crazy dynamic ambiance of this city, and especially its inspiring diversity.

JH There will certainly be visible changes well before 12 years have passed -- that is just in the nature of this city. But also because of the big plans the Menil has as an institution.

When I visit the Menil campus only a few years from now, I’ll be able to walk through a beautiful new park-like area into the Menil Drawing Institute, a building and a program unlike anything that exists elsewhere. What I most hope to see, though, is the next level of engagement between the people of Houston and the Menil. We have been opening our campus to the community both physically and programmatically -- for example, through all the activities we organized around our exhibition “Experiments with Truth: Gandhi and Images of Nonviolence” in 2014. I hope the Menil will continue in this direction in the future. It is of course my hope, that more and more Houstonians and visitors from all corners will enjoy art and architecture in our tranquil neighborhood setting, all of it free of charge.

“ I t’s d i f f i c u l t t o s ay g o o d - b y e t o s u c h a n e x t r a o r d i n a r y l e a d e r, b u t w e k n o w t h a t J o s e f l e av e s t h e M e n i l i n a n e x c e p t i o n a l l y s t r o n g a n d s t a b l e p o s i t i o n .” J a n e t H o b by, P r e s i d e n t of t h e B o a r d of Tr u s t e e s of t h e M e n i l Co l l e c t i o n “It will be a big loss for Houston, but for the Swiss, it will be a definite winning situation” M a r g h e r i t a Yo u n g - Z e l l w e g e r, H o n o r a r y C o n s u l o f S w i t z e r l a n d



years of being



In 2015, Houston’s Moody Gallery, owned and curated by Betty Moody, celebrated its 40th anniversary. I sat down with Moody to discuss the history of the gallery and her plans for the future. HOLLY

WALRATH How did you

get started in Houston as a gallery owner? BETTY MOODY I was an art ma-

jor in college in the sixties. It was a seminal time as far as the country was concerned. The Vietnam War was about to start, Women’s Lib, the Civil Rights Movement were starting. It was beatnik era. I used to trade with other artists and I think some of the first artwork I got was from students. I married Tom Moody and he was a lawyer and we moved to Pittsburgh. Then, Baker Botts law firm hired him to come to Houston.

I started looking for jobs and there were galleries here. I had been an art major and painted and did sculpture, but I loved art history. I started working for Ben Dubose’s gallery. There were only about four galleries in Houston then, in 1969. It was an interesting gallery because he worked for James Bute gallery located in the the building of Bute Paint Company which used to be over in River Oaks. He was a great mentor. Then in 1975 I opened my own gallery. I started with six people and the whole idea was to show Texas artists. That’s what I liked, what I enjoyed, and what I knew. Over the years I’ve stayed with that premise.


“I love Houston, I think it’s a diverse art business and I really do think it is one of the top art cities in the country.”

Betty Moody Photos by John Bernhard

HW What was the Houston art scene

like back then? BM It was a great time to be here be-

cause it was a different kind of art scene completely. It was so small. There weren’t many galleries, and openings were a big deal, people got all dressed up. The MFAH hadn’t built its larger wings or anything. It was a seminal time.

lot came available it was a good time to buy. He designed the building. We scraped together some money for a down payment and financed the hell out of it. In 1990 a second part came available from our neighbor. The gallery has been through a lot of metamorphoses throughout the years.

exhibited over the years? BM This is the interesting thing about

Colquitt Street?

being in the business so long. The gallery has shown a lot of people that are my age and older, believe it or not, and I think the youngest was twenty-

He was an architect too, so when this

HW How do you put together an exhi-

bition? What’s your process? BM One of the things I get great plea-

HW What kind of artists have you

HW How did the gallery end up on

BM My husband and I lived next door.

five. We’ve had a broad range and some that were known internationally, and some starting out in their careers. I find that rewarding.

sure from is that I can hang shows in my mind now because I’m so familiar with the space and what we have in inventory. I start with key pieces and go from there. It can change, because the scales fool you, or the strength of a piece fools you. I have a wonderful James Drake that is going in the front


BM In the early 80s the boom had

in the art world?

come to Houston. Then the bottom fell out in the eighties and man! It was like all the players changed. I went to the bank and I got a loan for $10,000 to go to the Chicago art fair. I figured the only way to survive was to diversify my client base. It was the best thing we ever did because it gave us a broad range of new clients and artists across the U.S. That has saved me over and over again.

BM That’s one of the hardest things I

HW How do you feel the art market

think about, being in this business for a long time, and that’s trying to keep a fresh eye with it. I try and understand new perspectives. I rely on the people I work with. I have an idea of how I want it to look but I always ask their opinion because they bring fresh ideas that I don’t have. So I like that openness. I try to go to shows and see what people are up to, try to grasp it.

is today?

gallery and it will determine everything else. Then I get to play with it. HW How do you keep up with change

HW You’ve worked with many emerg-

ing artists. What was the impetus for bringing in new artists?

BM It has changed so much. It’s incredible. I love Houston, I think it’s a diverse art business and I really do think it is one of the top art cities in the country. We have great art dealers that are a part of the fabric of the city. If you think about the different museums, the Menil, CAMH, Rice University’s new art department, Blaffer Museum, we have great institutions here.

HW Do you have anything in mind for

the future? BM I’m not sure I do. HW You’re not going to hang up your

hat? BM No! I think one morning Lee’s

BM Get involved with places like

going to walk down here to open up the gallery and I’ll just be flopped on my desk. That’s it – Adios! I hope it’s that fast. (Laughs)

DiverseWorks and Lawndale Art Center. Get involved with the art community. Expectations for art galleries are way overrated. I also love the idea of popup shows. If you get involved with the art community, you start seeing the places you can show. Get your feet wet.

Betty Moody in front of her Gallery located on Colquitt at the heart of Houston’s Gallery Row. Photo by John Bernhard

HW Do you have any advice for new artists starting out?



Beyond Ephemeral A

C o n v e r s a t i o n

V E T E R A N A M E R I C A N P H O T O G R A P H E R George Krause is returning to Houston with an exhibition of his Nudes.

The impressive career of George Krause is one that most artists only dream of. His photographs have been shown in more than 100 solo exhibitions, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Krause has won two Guggenheims, been honored as the Texas Artist of the Year, and was the first photographer to receive the Prix de Rome. His work has been collected by some of the most prestigious institutions of fine art in the world, including the MoMA the Philadelphia Museum of Fine Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the George Eastman House in Rochester, and the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. He was also responsible for creating the photography program at the University of Houston, where he taught for 23 years. Like many distinguished artists, Krause’s career has not flourished without controversy. Careers built from a fascination with the artistic possibilities of nude exploration rarely are. The depiction of nudity remains a controversial subject across media, but it is especially prevalent with photography—due in large part to its inherent realism— and can be a source of contention between artists and the public. Krause is fully aware of the audience’s potential discomfort. He admits that the taboo subject of nudes is still difficult for most people to engage with. But while Krause is not afraid of controversy, he has never tried to shock or offend.

w i t h

“That’s too easy,” Krause says. “What I try to do is pull the rug out from people, throw them off balance so that they perhaps look at the images a little longer or a bit more intensely.” The pure communication and complicity between Krause and his models is evident in the authenticity that is revealed in the final print. Like an offering, the subjects unveil their uninhibited natures, appearing or vanishing out from the Sfumato wooden light box Krause constructed to capture them, as Leonardo da Vinci, Sfumato’s most wellknow practitioner, described, “without lines or borders, in the manner of smoke or beyond the focus plane.” . “Krause explores intensely personal themes rooted in basic human concerns: sensuality, mortality, and mystery,” says Anne Wilkes Tucker, the distinguished retired curator of photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. “His work is perpetually relevant because his issues are basic and vital to the human condition. Few viewers leave his exhibitions unmoved—be it by indignation, horror, pathos, or wonder.” The human body is beautiful, and the art we are seeing from Krause and other contemporary muses of the nude is created to explore the beauty of the human form. I think that exploration relates to people’s existence, how we all deal with sensuality, sexuality, eroticism, and what it means to be frail and vulnerable. Krause’s extraordinary and humble attempt with his Sfumato Nudes shows concurrently how transcendent and fragile we actually are.


Images G e o r g e

K r a u s e



JOHN BERNHARD You have been working with the nude

theme since the 1960’s. Are the Sfumato Nudes photographs the culmination of your work or an extension of your earlier series?

GEORGE KRAUSE I would probably have to say neither a culmination nor an extension. The I Nudi series is still very much alive and I doubt if I will ever reach the end of that body of work. I think of the Sfumato Nudes as extension of the earlier Sfumato Portraits rather than the I Nudi series. My approach to working with the nude in each series is quite different. JB You stated that your approach to the nude is not about

form, tone, or concept, but more about a reaction to its beauty. Can you elaborate?

GK I am very much against contemporary social concepts

of beauty, which are basically advertising concepts. I think anyone can be beautiful if perceived by a lover. In this series, I try to make myself an admirer, if not necessarily a physical lover. I do not sleep with all my models, but certainly I can appreciate their beauty. I think they actually relate to peoples’ day­t o­d ay existence, how we all deal with sensuality, sexuality and eroticism. I try to show how human and frail we are. JB Back in the early days you were exhibiting small-scale,

5x7-inch prints of nudes. You quickly realized that when confronted with a small print, the viewer’s sense of forced intimacy is increased. You watched viewers’ embarrassed reactions and sudden retreats from your small prints.

What I try to do is pull the rug out from people, throw them off balance so that they perhaps look at the images a little longer or a bit more intensely.


You then decided to enlarge the images onto 16x20-inch sheets of paper. You have observed that audiences are more comfortable and candid about their reactions to the nudes when the image is larger, but what kind of reaction have you observed with your life-size Sfumato Nudes series when exposed in large spaces? GK Yes, I remember watching a group of elder women who, after coming in close to view the small prints from an exhibition, were upset to find their noses so close to the genitalia in the I Nudi series. As I did not wish to offend, I had to find a way to make the I Nudi images more accessible and welcoming. Changing the size from 5x7 to 16x20 helped make a difference. The first reactions to the large, life-size Sfumato Nudes was quite different and presented a completely different problem. In one early show I had the

large prints mounted on the four walls. People would not enter the gallery. I realized no person clothed could feel comfortable surrounded and out numbered by so many naked people. At another later exhibition in Philadelphia, a gallery room in the basement had low-beamed ceilings from which I hung the Sfumato Nudes in the center of the space, creating a cocktail party atmosphere. At the end of the opening night no one wanted to leave the party. Hanging the large prints in the center was the perfect answer and this has worked for every show since. JB As professor of photography at the University of Hous-

ton in the late seventies, you were already facing controversy. What is the scandalous story behind the censorship photography that appeared in the 1979 college yearbook?

GK In 1979, the University of Houston produced what many consider the best yearbook ever and some of my best students were in charge of the photography. I was invited to contribute whatever I wanted. As I was one of many photographers on the sideline at the Cougars games, the work I produced was not much different than what all the other photographers did. So I looked for another way to represent the students, the times and what life was all about at a university in the late 70s.


Silver Street Studios, #117, 2000 Edwards St. Houston, TX 77007 tel 713-724-0709


The only thing I found that would be somewhat unique and of interest to others was my photography class that dealt with the nude. I was aware there might be some problems with censorship and presented it to the students who took the idea to the higher authorities where it was cleared and even considered a pertinent, if somewhat controversial, addition to the project.

JB Have any photographers or artists in other media been

inspirational to you and your nude photography?

GK Yes, many. Andre Kertesz, Bill Brandt, E. J. Belloc to name but a few photographers. Egon Schiele, Balthus, Gaston Lachaise and Aristide Maillot are a few favorite artists who work in other mediums.

That year, Gary Winograd was teaching at the University of Texas and Lee Friedlander was a visiting artist at Rice University. They both stopped by now and then to visit and work with the nude models. It was a great time for photography in Texas and Houston. One of the images to be included was of Lee photographing a nude young woman. All was proceeding on schedule. The layouts were approved and the mechanicals were sent to the printer so that the lithographic plates could be made.

Early in my career I would once a year go the Museum of Modern Art in New York with a portfolio of new work to show John Szarkowski. On one of these visits, John, with a smile on his face, asked if I would like to look at some work that had just come in. He said it as though he was going to open his raincoat and flash me with some dirty pictures. For the first time I saw the work of E. J. Belloc. My concept of the nude was changed forever.

That summer I had been invited to teach at an art school, the Instituto Allende, in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. A few weeks after I arrived in San Miguel, I got the first of many phone calls. There was a problem at the press. I was told that a little old lady, upon seeing my images of the students photographing “naked people,” had declared she could no longer work in such a degenerate environment. She said stop the presses. And they did.

for the future?

What happened next was the ultimate Mexican standoff. What could we do? We offered to place black bars over the genitals, but the solution was rejected. Then we heard rumors that Playboy magazine was interested covering the fiasco. Eventually, I heard that a vote was placed before the students and all but one student, a young MexicanAmerican girl, wanted to have the project included as originally presented. The printer acquiesced. Or so I thought. The yearbook was printed, with my original introductory statement: The nude has almost always been a controversial subject in the history of art and our times seem to find it difficult to accept many serious photographs of nudes. Some of my classes are an attempt to deal with the nude in a contemporary way executed with a modern medium (photography). But these photographs, even though they include nudity, really are about the students, the places and the times. That is the reason these photographs are here. The statement was followed by nineteen blank pages. The students raised money to fund a supplemental print run from another printer, complete with the photographs as I had originally planned them.

JB What’s next with Sfumato? Any new projects in mind

GK There are new ideas and experiments I am playing with but the Sfumato series is still in its beginning stages. I feel certain it’s evolution will occupy the rest of my life.

You can view the Sfumato Nudes exhibition at Mother Dog Studios, 720 Walnut Street, March 12 through April 24, 2016.


Eduardo Portillo in his studio. His paintings are available through Anya Tish Gallery in Houston. Photo by Nathan Lindstrom



A Heart-to-Heart with Eduardo Portillo BY CELAN BOUILLET


WA L K I N G I N T O A R T I S T Eduardo Portillo’s studio, you feel as though you have wandered into the storage room of a museum. Every nook and cranny is filled with interesting artifacts: stacks of art and design magazines, rare books, small renderings that look like architectural studies, a pile of wood blocks in various shapes and sizes. Enormous soft sculptures peer down at you from a loft space above and canvases in various stages of completion hang around the studio, some reflecting unexpected neon color onto the wall. The shaped canvases appear topographical with their unique boundaries and their complex under-working structure riding the line between sculpture and painting. With his sophisticated shaped canvases and whimsical soft-sculptures, Eduardo Portillo has taken the Texas art scene by storm following solo shows at Kirk Hopper Gallery in Dallas and Anya Tish Gallery in Houston.

the contemporary art world, attending as many openings, performances, and lectures as time allowed. Portillo recalls,” I thought I had come to it late but art helped me discover who I really was. It made things way easier to figure out.”

Originally from the small village El Congo, El Salvador, Portillo moved to the U.S. with his family at the age of 15. As a nonEnglish speaker, Portillo found himself finding his place in his adopted home through art. As a Fine Arts student at the University of Houston, Portillo quickly dove head first into

Portillo works in a studio at Spring Street Studios in the Washington Arts District. Although, he spends at least 6-7 hours every day in the space, he does not feel bound to any one place. As Portillo explains,“ the studio is a neutral (zone). It is important, but at the same time, an artist needs to be able to

For the past two years, Portillo has been devoted to working on a series of shaped canvases that have a very intuitive building process. “A lot of the time, I grab a piece of wood and see where it goes. I realized that I can make the best of plans but it will never turn out that way. I let the piece do what it needs to do.” Portillo also finds himself comparing his process to Jazz improvisation, “ I go with the rhythm, with the flow of the work, while understanding that there is a structure behind it. Having this basic structure gives me the freedom to make all these spontaneous decisions in the piece. I make mistakes— but good mistakes— they make me think.“


I’ll let the “work tell me

where I need to go

” Eduardo Portillo’s sophisticated shaped canvas.

explore. . . like Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco; he doesn’t have a studio all the time but it works for his practice. Photography has helped me understand that you can make work without having physical space.” While Portillo does on occasion create preparatory drawings, he prefers the immediacy of photography. You can frequently find Portillo riding his bike around the city taking photographs and clearing his mind; many of these excursions occur at night when the city is deserted of people but still has a quiet energy. Portillo explains, “I usually take photos of the “in-betweens” . . . Moments between architecture and sky. Flatness and form. You see a lot of construction in Houston; Things are finished. Not finished. I look for compositions for my paintings. “

Photo by Nathan Lindstrom

A few months ago, Portillo attended his first artist residency at Vermont Studio Center on a full fellowship. In remote Johnson, Vermont, a town of less than 1,500 people, Portillo spent a month creating new work, hiking in the countryside, and meeting new artists and writers from around the world. The experience of the residency was life-changing for Portillo. “ It was one of the happiest months of my life. To be in another space, forces you to think twice about your work. Especially when you live in a city and then you go to a rural place. You have these conversations about what With a rich history of Abstract painters merging sculpture and your work is about with other artists. I wanted it to be a place painting in the form of shaped canvases, Portillo acknowledges where I could take my time, to think about painting in a new way, his predecessors but doesn’t see himself fitting neatly into any and to explore other ideas that will lead to next steps.” one category. Portillo says,“ I see myself as more organic. I grab at the natural aspects of geometry that I see everywhere. I’m a The critical dialogue with other artists along with the time spent painter. Sculpture has the structure of my work.” Portillo has in introspection opened a flood-gate of ideas that Portillo is curbeen inspired by the greats Frank Stella, Ellsworth Kelly, and rently building upon. Portillo is busy creating a new body of work Jessica Stockholder. But mostly, Portillo draws inspiration from for his upcoming shows in late 2016 and early 2017. When asked his bike rides around the city and his conversations with his about what direction the work will take in the future, Portillo mentor, Houston based artist HJ “Harvey” Bott. “Harvey has had smiles, “I’ll let the work tell me where I need to go; I want to keep the biggest influence on my practice; he helped me understand making jumps. Leaps. I want to take my time and listen to the the humble part of art; to know that creating great work is a work to make sure that each piece has a presence or personality.” process. . . . He thinks about space in painting in a whole new way. With his career and work blossoming, I for one, look forward to I greatly admire him.” seeing what magic Eduardo Portillo has in store for us all.




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Fred Baldwin and Wendy Watriss, 1983. Courtesy of FotoFest International

W H E N S T E V E N E VA N S B E C A M E E X E C U T I V E D I R E C T O R of FotoFest in 2014, he took over an organization that had been catapulted into the museum and gallery world by founders who had not been educated through traditional art practice; Wendy Watriss and I were selftaught, independent operators who had developed our photographic practice in other ways. Wendy had worked as a city hall reporter in Florida at the St. Petersburg Times, then as a co-producer and writer at an experimental television news channel that led to PBS. Finally, she had switched to freelance photojournalism and had just finished an assignment in West Africa for Signature Magazine when we met in 1971. Later she did assignments in Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungry, Romania, and Yugoslavia as a freelance photographer and writer for the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. My own career varied between organizing expeditions to determine how to mark and count polar bears in the Arctic, to covering Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement, to two years as Peace Corps director in Borneo, and an earlier stint as a Marine in Korea. Some of these activities resulted in publications in books and magazines like LIFE, Esquire and Sports Illustrated.


Fred Baldwin ref lects on his 33 years’ accomplishments spearheading, alongside Wendy Watriss, the world’s largest recurring exhibitions of photography and photo-related work. In 1972, Wendy and I bought a third-hand, thirteen-foot trailer for $800, and headed south to Texas, chosen because of its size, topography, and diverse cultural heritage – a microcosm of rural America. We worked in four counties, each representing a different cultural frontier. The nature of our personal relationships varied enormously from one county to another. While we were in East Texas, we stayed on the land of a black farmer whose grandparents had been brought as slaves from Georgia. Through the sharing of their everyday lives, we were able to expand our awareness of the history and character of racial struggle in this part of the state. In the Hill Country, the mood and texture of transplanted German society came alive for us. In southwest Texas, the anger of young Chicanos and the plight of the migrant farm workers forced us to confront some of the uglier realities of Texas history. In 1982, Wendy and I went to Amsterdam, where Wendy was to be presented the World Press Photo Award from Prince Bernhard for her work on Agent Orange in LIFE. We were invited to the south of France to attend the Rencontres de la Photographie in Arles – the world’s first photographer’s portfolio review. This colorful event allowed artists to show work, face to face, to a few influential curators in an atmosphere that was chaotic but fun. Earlier, in 1980, we had discovered the Mois de la Photo, in Paris, created by the Mayor of Paris in 1980. The Mois de la Photo showed photography every two years in the art spaces that belonged to the city of Paris. Coming back on the plane we decided to try something like these events in Houston. Our friend, Petra Benteler, who had a photography gallery in Houston, specializing in European photography, had a similar idea. We decided to combine the approaches of Arles and Paris into one event in Houston and call it FotoFest. The organization was incorporated as a non-profit in November 1983, and the first of now 16 Biennials came in 1986. Unfortunately, Petra Benteler returned to Germany after that first festival. FotoFest’s mission was to emphasize discovery, internationalism and social commitment with both a global and local perspective. It attempted to build a structure that delivered a sense of real possibility for artists. We were, like Houston, in the energy business – the creative energy business. After our launch in February, Newsweek wrote on March 31, 1986: “ T h e n u m b e r s a r e p u r e Te x a s : 6 4 e x h i b i t i o n s , 7 8 3 p h o t o g r a p h e r s o n d i s p l a y, 4 , 0 0 0 photographs spread across a mile of walls… The idea, an entire city like Houston devoting a n e n t i r e m o n t h o f a t t e n t i o n t o p h o t o g r a p h y… h i g h v i s i b i l i t y s h o w s h e l p e d b r i n g c r i t i c s , c u r a t o r s , a n d c o l l e c t o r s s w a r m i n g t o H o u s t o n … t h e f i r s t F o t o F e s t h a s p r o v e d i t s m e t t l e .” European Photography, a German magazine picked up the message: “The first FotoFest was like nothing the Americans had ever seen… As do its cousin events in Europe; the Houston FotoFest in many ways reflected the character and personality of its host region: it was huge, free-wheeling, star studded, and utterly sociable. For those Europeans who managed to come it was a Bonanza… it was a genuinely international gathering in composition, characterized overall by one German participant a s , ‘ n o t j u s t A m e r i c a’s f i r s t Fo t o Fe s t i va l , b u t r e a l l y t h e f i r s t I n t e r n a t i o n a l F o t o F e s t i v a l a n y w h e r e .” Over the last thirty years, we have pushed

“The first FotoFest was like nothing the Americans had ever seen…”



Steven Evans has plunged into the FotoFest 2016 Biennial, and the next “revolution”, with a theme that resonates with efforts from Paris on climate change and is reflected in President Obama’s recent State of the Union message.

Edward Burtynsky, Colorado River Delta #2, 2011, from the series Water. Courtesy of the artist boundaries. In 1991, “experts” told us that there was nothing new in Latin America – only a few documentary photographers. We explored artists’ studios in thirteen countries and came back with an exhibition that changed the collecting habits of important museums. Wendy produced a book, Image and Memory, which became a cultural marker. In 1989, we were invited to attend a dinner in Prague on December 29. The reason wasn’t clear – but we decided to go. We had been working in Czechoslovakia off and on since 1986 and were secretly supplying film and photo paper to a group of “unofficial” photographers to create an exhibition for the 1990 Biennial. In the summer of 1989, we had photographed demonstrations in Wenceslas Square and were tear-gassed and squirted with a water cannon that didn’t work very well and tear gas blew in the wrong direction -- but we got a whiff of the upcoming “Velvet Revolution”.

After Christmas, we were picked up at the airport by two photographer friends and taken to Civic Forum Headquarters, issued special credentials and given the address for the dinner. Neither Wendy nor I knew exactly what to expect but my partner, Madame Rita Klimová, became Ambassador to the United States a few days later. Wendy’s companion was Vaclav Klaus, who was soon to be Minister of Finance and later president. We were dining with the next government of Czechoslovakia, including the new President, Vaclav Havel. Apparently, some of the photo supplies sent by FotoFest were used to provide news about the revolution to workers clubs around the country when the Communist government shut down TV broadcasting in Prague. One of our photographer friends, Pavel Stecha, was working closely with Havel. It’s no surprise that Steven Evans, with the wholehearted support of Wendy Watriss and I, has plunged into the FotoFest


Pedro David, Suffocation #1 2, from the series Hardwood, 2012-2014. Courtesy of the artist 2016 Biennial, and the next “revolution”, with a theme that resonates with efforts from Paris on climate change and is reflected in President Obama’s recent State of the Union message. Our theme CHANGING CIRCUMSTANCES – Looking at the Future of the Planet has been the result of work over a number of years. We are taking a broad approach to the issues endemic to the Anthropocene – climate change; industrialization and urbanization; biodiversity; water; the use of natural and human resources; human migration; global capital; commerce and consumption; energy production; and waste. The FotoFest 2016 Biennial’s four central exhibitions exploring the theme, are accompanied by six weeks of associated programming. These include forums and dialogues – including the three-day conference Marfa Dialogues/Houston, presented by FotoFest, with Ballroom Marfa and the Public Concern Foundation, at the Menil Collection, the Contemporary Arts Museum, and the

Museum of Fine Arts, and dedicated to considering the scale of climate change from the perspective of artistic practice, public policy, critical theory, and environmental science. FotoFest’s educational program, Literacy Through Photography, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2016, has created a special school curriculum exploring the themes of the Biennial, and is distributed free to area schools. Film programs, concerts, artist-curator exhibition tours, at more than 100 additional venues across the city, round out the full Biennial experience. We have consulted with hundreds of well-informed individuals, ranging from a retired Senator, an Admiral (former skipper of the USS Nimitz), an ex-Ambassador, a Nobel Laureate, businessmen, academics, scores of photographers, artists, and filmmakers. All of them join us in bringing their creative thinking to the fight to secure the earth’s survival. The FotoFest 2016 Biennial is a heartfelt effort in this direction.




D R E A M S O F F L I G H T H A V E B E E N A P A R T of human culture since recorded history and likely before. Myths, stories and allegories of flying are a part of virtually all societies from the early Greek tale of Icarus and his wax winged sojourn too close to the Sun to Egyptian flying carpets and now to our present day impulse to explore the far reaches of our universe. Flight has long represented our attempt to be closer to the Gods, both physically and metaphorically. Escaping from earthly bounds to be “free as a bird” has been a basic human desire for centuries and art is an essential medium for illuminating these most basic and potent of human longings. Throughout the history of art, story tellers, poets, painters and sculptors have all found inspiration in the aspirations of flying. Of course, creative expression of such an intense human need has not been limited to the conventional arts of the times. Indeed, those artists considered “Outsiders” may have the most to say to us about the universal desire to “take flight”. Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985) was a French painter and sculptor. Working at a time of revolution in the art world, he was also a cultural provocateur. Inspired by the Surrealists and their idea that a more pure form of art arises directly from the subconscious, Dubuffet began to explore and champion the work artists who had been confined in mental institutions. He called their work “Art Brut” or “Raw Art” and in his manifesto published in 1947 Dubuffet described their art as “those works created from solitude and from pure and authentic creative impulses – where the worries of competition, acclaim and social promotion do not interfere – are, because of these very facts, more precious than the productions of professionals. After a certain familiarity with these flourishings of an exalted feverishness, lived so fully and so intensely by their authors, we cannot avoid the feeling that in relation to these works, cultural art in its entirety appears to be the game of a futile society, a fallacious parade.” Provocative to be sure. Twenty five years later, art historian Roger Cardinal in his 1972 book, Outsider Art, coined the titular term as a suitable English synonym for Dubuffet’s “Art Brut”.













Today, Outsider artists are individuals who live and create art outside of the cultural and societal mainstream. They generally have little awareness of, or connection to, the art world or art history. Their artistic efforts are often the result of intensely personal motivations with limited intention that their work will have an audience or find a place in the broader landscape of art. Woven through the lives and work of Outsider artists is the common thread of Dubuffet’s focus on isolation. This isolation may be psychological, cultural, socioeconomic, geographical, racial, or physically imposed by societal institutions. What is common is that the artist is on the fringes of the world in which he lives. Circumstances of life, both chosen or forced, have placed them apart. However, the impulse of artistic expression is strong and often immune to the extremes of life’s circumstances. These artists, like their academically trained peers, find that they cannot consider doing anything else but make art. As aptly stated by John Maizels of Raw Vision, the leading international journal of Outsider Art, it is “that rarity of art produced by those who do not know its name”. Outsider artists are always among us, though often shut away by their own or society’s design. Their solitude often results in art that is an escape or a “flight” from their own earthbound realities. Two extraordinary Houston artists, separated in time by almost a century, exemplify this. They are Charles A.A. Dellschau and Henry Ray Clark, whose lives and art were steeped in isolation and escapism. The life and work of Charles A.A. Dellschau (1830-1923) is shrouded in mystery and wonder. Born in Brandenburg, Prussia he immigrated to Texas in 1850. Settling in near Houston, he worked as a butcher and served in the Confederacy during the Civil War. He would eventually move to Houston and work for his married daughter’s family, the Stelzigs, in their saddlery. Following the deaths of his young son and wife, Dellschau was described by family members as increasingly aloof and removed from family life, spending more and more time after his retirement alone in the attic. It would not be until




“ Outsider artists are always among us,

though often shut away by their own or society’s design. Their solitude often results in art that is an escape or a flight from their own earthbound realities.

some forty years after his death that the world would discover the wonder and intrigue of his reclusive attic labors. Fast forward to 1967. Dellschau’s home has remained in family hands since his death. No one has paid much attention to the contents of the attic where Charles had secreted himself during the last two decades of his life. Following a fire at the house, the recluse’s attic and its contents are cleared out and left on the sidewalk. There, Fred Washington, a Houston junk dealer with a picker’s sharp eye, buys the pile of fire debris for $100. What had caught Washington’s eye was a cache of large self bound notebooks thick with text and colorful mechanical drawings. Washington has said that he thought the books were interesting and unusual, but found them indecipherable, As a result, he left them stored under a tarp in his crowded shop. Then in 1968, Mary Jane Victor, an art student at the University of St. Thomas, made her own discovery at Fred Washington’s shop. After seeing the books there, she brought them to the attention of Dominique DeMenil, Houston art patron and founder of the Menil Collection. Mrs. DeMenil subsequently purchased four of the books and they were included in an art exhibition on the theme early flight at the University of St Thomas later that year. Since that first public viewing, the art world has been drawn into these mysterious and vexing remnants of Dellschau’s deeply private life. The volumes produced by Charles Dellschau in his attic, left for trash on a Houston sidewalk, salvaged by a junk dealer

and discovered by the upper echelon of the art world appear to chronicle in great detail Dellschau’s participation in a secret society of scientists and engineers whose work was the design and construction of lighter than air flying machines. Page after page of elaborately illustrated airships in watercolor and collage, accompanied by text in English, Prussian and secret cryptic code, describe the inner workings of Dellschau’s Sonora Aero Club. Dellschau referred to his airships as ‘aeros’ and often gave them names. The books present a detailed narrative of the club’s inner workings including many other club members, descriptions of the construction and flights of the ships and sightings by the public. There is much attention given to the top secret gas called ‘Supe’ which gives the airships flight. Dellschau refers to himself as a draftsman for the organization. Though there has been much study and speculation about the veracity of the creations and events that Charles Dellschau chronicles, his work remains a deep mystery. His immersion into a world of private fantasy of flight, both real and metaphorical, is akin to another Houston Outsider, Henry Ray Clark. The art of Henry Ray Clark seems to perfectly embody the contrasting polarities of his life. The co-existing realms of reality and fantasy, hard boiled street wisdom and naivete that seemed to be present throughout his life, come together in his art. He could simultaneously be a schemer and a dreamer, a hustler and an artist, and that is where his particular genius may lie.

Left from top: Portrait of Charles A.A. Dellschau, William Steen Research Papers, Menil Archives, The Menil Collection, Houston. Charles A.A. Dellschau, Plate 4667, Has Ben Will Be, August 20, 1920, 19”x17 1/2”, watercolor, collage on paper; courtesy of Stephen Romano Gallery, Brooklyn. Charles A.A. Dellschau, Book of Drawings. Courtesy of Stephen Romano Gallery, Brooklyn. Previous page: Charles A.A. Dellschau, Plate 2333, Long Cross Cut On Wather On Land and Up To The Clouds, May 15, 1911, watercolor and collage on paper, 13 1/4”x19”. Courtesy of Stephen Romano Gallery, Brooklyn.


Henry Ray Clark (1936-2006) was born in the small East Texas town of Bartlett. His family moved to Houston when Henry was about five years old, probably seeking better opportunities in the big city than could be found by most African Americans in the post Depression small towns of East Texas. Young Henry also saw the opportunities of city life and dropped out of school after the sixth grade to “go up on the streets”. Henry liked the easy money and being accountable to no one. He had found his calling in a life of hustling. Indeed, Henry Ray Clark was a compelling figure in both appearance and personality. Handsome, with deep blue eyes, he came to be known on the streets of Houston as “Pretty Boy” and then “The Magnificent Pretty Boy”, either by his own boastful naming or by one of the many women who knew him, it is not clear. Clark’s life of drug dealing, pimping and other hustles was decidedly small time in the grand scheme of things, though to hear about it through Henry’s eyes, he was a formidable and influential “kingpin”, always on the verge of the next last big score that would set him up for life. Over the next twenty five years, the harsh realities of a criminal life eventually caught up with him. In 1977, following a series of drug dealing convictions, he was found guilty of assault and sentenced under Texas’ “Three Strikes” Law to twenty five years in Huntsville State Prison. There, Clark was introduced to the prison arts programs and began to draw. Clark found that drawing provided him with a release from the confinement of prison. Using ball point pens and salvaged manila envelopes, he began creating images of far off galactic worlds inhabited by powerful and sometimes, benevolent beings. He developed a characteristic drawing style involving detailed patterning and fine symmetrical line work. As his art developed, Henry also developed a personal mythology surrounding his drawings, identifying himself as the extraterrestrial being and possessing its powers. A good storyteller is often convinced of the truth in their stories and Henry’s drawings of these other worlds, like his predecessor Charles Dellschau, served as his evidence for their existence. According to Clark, “I know they are out there, because I have been there. Every night when I go to bed, I travel in my spaceship going to all of the places I put on these papers.” He continued, “I can’t draw nothing but things that come out of my mind. There are so many galaxies that our world has never come in contact with yet, but one day when we do I will be up there looking down at everybody saying “Here I am, The Magnificent Pretty Boy!” With his art, his confinement and isolation was overcome.

Henry Ray Clark continued to serve his time and draw. His incarceration seems to have provided him with one of the central dichotomies of his life. While “on the street” Henry was consumed by a chaotic life involving hustling and survival. Prison, with its regimentation, time and solitude, provided him with the circumstances to explore a deeper world of fantasy and creativity. Clark said, “They can lock my body up, but they can’t lock up my mind. As long as my mind can create something beautiful to look at I am a free man and I will live forever in my art.” For these two Outsiders, their art was no mere “flight of fancy”, but instead was a more powerful journey into worlds far beyond their earthy existence.


“ I know they are out there, because I have been there. Every night when I go to bed, I travel in my spaceship going to all of the places I put on these papers.

Opposite page: Portrait of Henry Ray Clark Photography by Jack Thompson Right from top: Henry Ray Clark, I Am The Day Star, pen on manila envelope, 14”x20” Courtesy of Jay and Victoria Wehnert Photography by Everett Taasevigen. Henry Ray Clark, I have Four Eyes, pen and marker on manila envelope, 11”x18” Photography courtesy Jack Massing

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


1475 West Gray, Houston, TX, 77019 713 520-1220 MARY POPPINS March 8 - 20, 2016 Sarofim Hall SWEET POTATO QUEENS March 17 - 27, 2016 Zilkha Hall OLIVER April 7 - April 17 Sarofim Hall

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY February 25 - March 6, 2016 WINTER MIXED REP SHOWCASE: DYAD 1929 - 2009, WEST SIDE STORY SUITE (1995), WINGS OF WAX (1997) March 10 - 20

HEATHERS April 28 - May 8 Zilkha Hall A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER May 4 - 15 Sarofim Hall




AN EVENING WITH MATTHEW MORRISON March 24-26 Steven Reineke, conductor SUPERHEROES AT THE SYMPHONY! March 26 Robert Franz, conductor RACHMANINOFF’S SYMPHONIC DANCES March 21 & April 23 Michael Francis, conductor RAVEL’S BOLÉRO April 8 & 10 Fabien Gabel, conductor MOZART AND BRUCKNER April 14 & 17 Thomas Søndergård, conductor DISNEY IN CONCERT: A TALE AS OLD AS TIME April 15 FAURÉ REQUIEM April 28 & May 1 David Zinman, conductor

DREAMS CAN COME TRUE May 7 Robert Franz, conductor


BEETHOVEN 9 & BERNSTEIN March 18-20 Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor

JOURNEY, THE EAGLES, FLEETWOOD MAC & MORE May 6-8 Michael Krajewski, conductor

SERENADE (1934), GLORIA (1980), CACTI (Houston Ballet Premiere) May 26, 28, 29 and June 3 - 5

THE SOUND OF MUSIC Feb 16 - Feb 21, 2016


Jesse H. Jones Hall 615 Louisiana Street, Suite 100 Houston, Texas 77002 713 227-4772 BEETHOVEN 2 & 8 March 4-6 Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor BEETHOVEN’S EROICA PLUS SHOSTAKOVICH March 10-13 Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor

ANDRÉS CONDUCTS SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE May 19-22 Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor THE COSMOS—AN HD ODYSSEY (World Premiere) May 27-29 Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor


ALLEY THEATRE 615 Texas Avenue Houston TX 77002 713 220-5700

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS Hubbard Theatre March 4 - April 3 GROUNDED Neuhaus Theatre March 25 - April 17 THE CHRISTIANS Hubbard Theatre April 22 - May 15

DA CAMERA 1402 Sul Ross Houston, TX 77006 713 524-524-7601

Chamber Music Concerts at Cullen Theater THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC ORLANDO CONSORT Friday, April 1, 2016, 8:00 PM THE COLORADO: A FILM ORATORIO ROOMFUL OF TEETH, GLENN KOTCHE AND JEFFREY ZIEGLER Tuesday, April 12, 2016; 8:00 PM PASSION FOR BACH AND COLTRANE IMANI WINDS AND HARLEM QUARTET Friday, May 6, 2016, 8:00 PM Da Camera Jazz at Cullen Theater

THE NETHER Neuhaus Theatre May 6 - 29


BORN YESTERDAY Hubbard Theatre June 3 - 30


HOUSTON GRAND OPERA 510 Preston St, Houston, TX 77002 713 546-0200

PRINCE OF PLAYERS March 5 - March 13 2016 BALL (Foyer) April 9 SIEGFRIED April 16 - May 1 CAROUSEL April 22 - May 7 THE ROOT OF THE WIND IS WATER May 12 - 13



E S S A Y 4499

Why Do I Write Fiction?

Layla Al-Bedawi

If I tell you a story about sitting in my grandmother’s orchard and shelling and eating walnuts that have just fallen from the tree that morning, I will be telling you a memory. I will also be telling you a story. This story might be true. You don’t know. You’re relying on me to tell you. If I change the names of the characters — the characters being my grandmother, my mother, and me —and if I move the setting from the Ukraine to another country, Poland, France, maybe the USA, does that make my story fiction? If I tell you that my mother would crack the walnuts with her bare hands, which seemed like an impossible, superhuman feat of strength to me when I was six years old, and if I tell you that when she handed me a whole, perfect walnut that somehow had survived her crushing intact, I broke it into little pieces before eating it, both to make the consumption of my mother’s gift last longer and in proud imitation of her breaking and cracking talents, I will be telling you the truth. If I tell you that my mother then looked at me with child-like disappointment and told me she had tried so hard to keep that nut in one piece for me, and that I was then filled with an impossible, superhuman regret that has not let go of me to this day, I will be telling you the truth. If I told you this story but made it about two brothers, or two princesses, or two cats; if I imbued the walnut with magical powers passed down through generations; if the little girl in the story, or the mother, or the grandmother, were a ghost: would that make my story fiction? A l b e r t C a m u s w r o t e t h a t f i c t i o n i s t h e l i e t h r o u g h w h i c h w e t e l l t h e t r u t h . D o w e w r i t e f i c t i o n , t h e n , t o t e l l t h e t r u t h? D o w e w r i t e f i c t i o n t o h i d e i n s i d e t h e l i e? I f I t e l l y o u t h e t r u e s t o r y o f a g i r l whose grandmother is dead and who lives across the world from her m o t h e r, a n d w h o w i s h e s e v e r y d a y f o r a n o t h e r c h a n c e t o e a t f r e s h , b i t ter walnuts while sitting on fragrant Ukrainian soil, but I hide it inside of lies about brothers or cats or ghosts, will I do it to make my truth universal? Or will I do it to make my r e g r e t m o r e b e a r a b l e? D o w e w r i t e f i c t i o n f o r b o t h o f t h e s e r e a s o n s? D o I ? T h e d i f f e r e n c e between a true story and fiction is not the difference between a photograph and a painting. It is never that simple. I can convey truth in a variety of mediums, and you can find a multitude of truths in a single sentence, a simple pencil sketch. I can stand in awe in front of a work art and let myself be swept off my feet in the hurricane of stories whirling around me. In front of a novel. In front of a castle. In front of an o r c h a r d . I n f r o n t o f a f a m i l y . I n f r o n t o f a m e m o r y . A n d t h e s t o r i e s w i l l a l l b e f i c t i o n , a n d t h e y w i l l a l l b e t r u e .



Oleg Dou, Narcissus in Love, 2014, C Print face mounted with Acrylic, 63 x 47 inches

Sigrid Sandström Untitled, Acrylic on polyester canvas, 76” × 60”



O L E G D O U I S C E L E B R A T E D I N T E R N A T I O N A L L Y not only for his technique but also for his staggeringly distinctive and fantastically peculiar—vision. His process combines photographs, real world objects, and photo manipulations in Adobe Photoshop. And the resulting work is truly transformative. Oleg Dou transforms photographic images of human faces, manipulating them with computer software to produce stylized features and airbrushed skin. Initially inspired by a 19th-century tradition of capturing child funeral portraits, for which the body would be dressed in costume and prepared in intricate detail, Dou is interested in producing images that are both alluring and unsettling. “I am looking for something bordering between the beautiful and the repulsive, living and dead,” he has said. “I want to attain the feeling of presence one can get when walking by a plastic manikin…” Oleg is interested in the areas where beauty and sadness come into conflict—he has said that he wants his work to be something “bordering between the beautiful and the repulsive, living and dead.” This will be the artist’s first solo exhibition in Houston. Exhibiton in view during FotoFest throughout March 2016.

S I G R I D S A N D S T R Ö M ’ S P R A C T I C E I S E N G A G E D with reflecting on the relationship between the painter, the painting and the viewer. Where, when and why lies focus? Sandström works primarily with painting, through which she has been exploring site as a concept as well as emotional experience. Over time, the depicted large-scale, barren and uninhabited landscapes have become more abstract. Her paintings fail to conform into categories, and continuously explores the ontological conditions and limitations of painting. The indeterminate, or unnamable, plays a central role both in Sandström’s investigative work process and in relation to the viewer. Sigrid Sandström was born in Stockholm, Sweden where she teaches Fine Arts at the Royal Institute of Art. She has exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, Houston and her native Sweden. Sandström’s work was included in the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston’s 25th anniversary exhibition, Perspectives @ 25. Her first solo museum exhibition, Ginnungagap: Recent Works by Sigrid Sandstrom, was mounted in 2006 at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Washington. She is represented in Houston by Inman Gallery who recently featured her work in Untitled., the international art fair held last December in Miami Beach.




Anastasia Pelias, Do (what you do), 2015, oil on canvas, 60 x 60 inches


A N A B S T R A C T I O N I S T I N T H E T R U E S T F O R M , Pelias works intuitively to render canvases that capture moments and places she has experienced. Using oil paint, gesso, turpentine and gravity, Pelias develops layers of rich color – from dense saturations to lightly veiled washes – with gestural marks that contribute to the palpable energy emitted from each canvas. Her recent work are in many ways linked to previous bodies of work, but depart from her nearly monochromatic surfaces. In the newest canvases, Pelias retains the energetic and emotional charge that is signature to her paintings, while stripping the result down to its most distilled and immediate form. This method achieves a fluid vibrancy, tactility and, in places, patterns of striated erosion. Several pieces in the exhibition are the product of a unique collaboration between Pelias and Nicholas Payton – a fellow New Orleanian and Grammy Award-winning musician. Their collaboration began and evolved organically, with neither having a set idea of how they would work together or what the final product would be. While both have worked with other artists in their fields, neither is inclined towards collaboration. However, Pelias and Payton naturally settled into a work structure on their first meeting. In each session, Payton composed a song and Pelias a

painting, each working independently on their respective compositions. During this process, Pelias and Payton watched and listened to each other so their collaboration became one of influencing and responding in real-time. This structure lends itself to a collaboration that is not overt, but is nevertheless intrinsically inherent to the work. In general, demanding artistic output at a set time is antithetical to the creative process. Both Pelias and Payton are typically improvisational and instinctual in their approach to composition. Their sessions together reversed that, obliging each to show up at a set time to create. As Pelias explains (and Payton concurs), “that’s been the challenge…not only the part about showing up to make something happen…but the challenge has been to just let this initial impulse, the initial impulses be the painting [or the music].” What resulted from this arrangement was a commitment to an immediate and condensed structure and, perhaps surprisingly, two fully formed and impressive bodies of work. For the audience, the results are visually and sonically compelling and also provide a sense of excitement from knowing that Pelias’ paintings and Payton’s music were created in a ‘one-take’ environment.



Photography by Aaron Courtland

Participating artists

Susannah Mitchell

A dirty, dark, non-climatecontrolled, dilapidated silos complex is a far cry from a typical, bright white walled exhibition space. But early last year, the volunteer team at the Washington Avenue Arts District, along with owners Jon Deal and Todd Johnson, glimpsed the potential and committed to making it into something special. Several months of planning, fundraising, construction, cleaning, painting and installing later, the Wash-

ington Avenue Arts District opened the doors to SITE Houston on November 6th, 2015 – and the outcome was beyond what anyone could have ever imagined. SITE Houston was an unconventional art exhibition that transformed the honeycombed footprint of thirty-four renovated grain silos into a sitespecific contemporary installation. After it was announced, artist proposals flooded in, giving jurors Bill Arning, Director of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and Jillian Conrad, professor of sculpture at the University of Houston, a large pool of options to choose from. In the end, they selected thirty Houstonbased artists to be a part of this unique project. The goal of the exhibition, developed jointly by Arts District Director Susannah Mitchell and Houston-based artist Trey Duval, was to create an environment which pro-

moted experimentation and fostered excellence in creative thinking. The underlying hope was that the architecture of the silos would frame the creative process from ideation through execution, resulting in new and truly site-specific artistic outcomes. Successful proposals were those that best responded to and transformed a single silo space, ultimately resulting in an exhibition that fully immersed viewers in 27 unique experiences. Visitors were treated to playful realms of light, sound, motion and video. Some of the installations utilized the architecture of the space as their inspiration, while others responded to its history. When empty the space lends itself to exploration - a perfect canvas for site-specific art. And with the addition of thoughtprovoking installations, it reaches a level of wonder that goes well beyond the typical gallery experience. SITE Houston was made possible through a Houston Arts Alliance Project Grant combined an Arts District fundraising drive. With the support of title sponsor Stella Artois and several other contributors whose histories are tied to the building such as Union Pacific and Riviana, the team was able to clean and outfit the space with lights and provide stipends for the chosen artists. Participating artists also became an integral part of the process, as everyone learned together about the intricacies and challenges of the non-traditional space and adjusted accordingly. Altogether it was an amazingly successful endeavor – attracting over 3500 visitors during its three-month run and garnering the attention of major publications and media outlets. So what’s next for the Arts District? Certainly more exhibitions - two are being planned for the Silos this fall.

Photography by Mark Green

THE SILOS Ka ree m S m i t h Lo re n a M o ra l e s M i c h ae l Crowd e r Cl a i re Cu s ac k M e red i t h Caw l ey G race Zu n iga J i n Yo u ng O h Cl ay Za pa l ac E r i c T h aye r I s a ac Reye s N ad i a Pac h eco

A n d rea Peto r H ed w ige Jaco bs Lina Dib Ch a ri s A m m o n Cy n d y A l l a rd Trey D u va l l Da n i e l a A nte l o Dav i d Wad d e l l

Aa ron Courtland Be n n i e Flores Ansell T h ed ra Cullar-Ledford G a r y Wats o n & Syd Moen B re n da Cruz-Wolf S h a ne Allbritton


Pete r Be r n i ck-Allbritton Jessica Sharpe Ja nice Freeman







M ¶tt• hew a ntt: MATTHEW GANTT is a graduate of the Seattle Film Institute and a visual artist who has worked in various mediums ranging from film to sculpture to ink drawing. In 1996, he developed a technique of rendering mythopoeic images from the collective unconscious called Constellationism. He is a decorated U.S. Army veteran, an Associate of the Joseph Campbell Foundation, a Member of the Jung Center of Houston, and of the Houston Zen Center. When he is not making art or meditating, he can be found at The Jung Center where he teaches a course titled Constellationism: Rendering The Archetypes. Tuesday April 5, 12 and 19, 2016




I render mythopoeic images from my unconscious mind using a technique I term “Constellationism”, wherein I randomly throw ink onto folded paper and blot it repeatedly until I spontaneously see an image; similar to making a the Rorschach Test ink blot. I then enhance that image by connecting the dots, painting, and line work to ensure that others see what I saw in the chaos. My efforts result in dreamlike, archetypal portraiture that blurs the lines between art, depth psychology, and shamanism. Because the subject matter is not predetermined, I am always surprised and intrigued by what emerges; creating a piece always provides an opportunity for self-exploration. Whereas ancient civilizations found forms in the night sky and attributed their gods and heroes to them, I create constellations using the stars that occupy my own, inner firmament and identify the heroes, demons, and other characters of my unconscious.


W hat I find are these

curious and delicate figures, like fossilized dreams,




that Houston’s East End has “more history than the city of Houston itself.” Filled with historic structures, home to one of Houston’s first masterplanned neighborhoods, and the backbone of the city’s early industry, the East End has been at the center of Houston’s development since its founding. In fact, Harrisburg, the town after which one of the East End’s primary transit corridors is named, was the seat of government for the Republic of Texas in 1836. Cultural traditions run deep in this community and family ties span generations. In a city not known for embracing its history, the East End truly stands out. Against this backdrop of deep-seeded history and tradition, an exciting cultural resurgence is taking place. At just over a year old, The East End Cultural District, Houston’s newest cultural district rooted in one of the city’s oldest communities, is gathering steam. One of five cultural districts in Houston and one of only 28 districts statewide, the East End was officially awarded cultural district designation by Texas Commission on the Arts in 2014. Geographically situated between downtown to the west, Wayside to the east, Buffalo Bayou to the north, and Lawndale to the south, the East End Cultural District is home to an impressive and ever-growing collection of visual and performing arts venues, artist studios, makerspaces, cultural institutions, urban farms, iconic restaurants, outdoor murals, and reimagined parks and public spaces that serve as hubs for cultural activity. Industrial warehouses, which have dotted the landscape of the East End for the past century, are giving way to a new sort of “industrial revolution” rooted in creativity and imagination as vacant buildings are repurposed to function as galleries and theaters, fabrication shops, production facilities, and creative workspaces. Over the past year, The East End Cultural District has established itself as a vibrant component of Houston’s cultural life offering immersive experiences that connect residents and visitors with the tastes, sights, and sounds that make the East End unique. The East End Foundation is the organizing force behind the East End Cultural District and is actively working with cultural partners in the area to support the creation and presentation of art and related cultural programs that serve to celebrate cultural heritage and foster an appreciation for creative expression. F O R M E R M AY O R A N N I S E PA R K E R O N C E S A I D


From top: Daniel Anguilu, Untitled - Gateway to the East End, Mercedes Fernandez, Ventanas de Oportunidad Photography by Diane Barber

Happens in Houston:

East End Cultural District


Houston residents might be surprised to learn that the East End has the largest concentration of outdoor murals in the city including the much beloved and soon-to-be-restored Rebirth of our Nationality by Leo Tanguma. This epic painting, which spans an entire block, is considered the grandfather of East End murals and has inspired a new generation of artists who are carrying on the painterly tradition by creating new works that solidify mural-making as an enduring form of cultural expression in the community. In the fall of 2015 the East End figured prominently in Houston’s first-ever mural festival. Organized by prolific Houston artist GONZO247, this festival resulted in the creation of more than ten new public murals east of downtown. In the coming years, the East End Foundation will work to preserve, document, and add to the East End’s vast public art collection with a mural commissioning program that will reinforce the area’s reputation as the mural capital of Houston. The Foundation will also make it easier for residents and visitors to access and enjoy the area’s cultural amenities by developing maps and wayfinding systems that will direct attention to the locations of the cultural assets that exist throughout the East End Cultural District. In addition, the Foundation will forge partnerships with a wide range of community organizations to develop events and activities such as bike tours, open houses, and community celebrations that promote cultural participation.


The cornerstone of this effort is the newly established East End Market, a weekly farmers and artisans market held every Sunday from 10AM-2PM on the Esplanade at Navigation. The Esplanade, located at 2800 Navigation Boulevard directly in front of the iconic Original Ninfa’s restaurant, is a public plaza created by the Greater East End Management District in 2013 in response to community aspirations articulated as part of a Livable Centers plan. The Esplanade is in the heart of the East End Cultural District and the East End Market, which was created specifically to address the lack of access to fresh and healthy food in one of Houston’s “food deserts,” has quickly become a Sunday tradition for many East Enders. In addition to providing a platform for local farmers, producers, and vendors to connect with community residents, the East End Market is gaining momentum as a showcase for the community’s creative talent. Live music is a regular component of the market and will continue to play a key role in advancing the East End Foundation’s commitment to the preservation and celebration of cultural traditions. Beginning on January 31, the East End Foundation will launch a recurring Mariachi Market to take place on the last Sunday of every month. These monthly celebrations will showcase a rotating line-up of live mariachi performance companies that continue to be a vital component of cultural life of the East End.

In February, the East End Cultural District rolls out the red carpet for a weekend of activities organized under the theme Fall in Love with the East End. Events kick off on Friday, February 12 from 6-10PM at The Esplanade with Opera on the Esplanade, a special night market that is part of the ongoing Evenings on the Esplanade program, a series of specially themed night markets showcasing local artisans and handcrafted wares. Opera on the Esplanade will feature live opera performed by musical artists from University of Houston’s Moores Opera Center under the direction of accomplished pianist and East End resident Ana Maria Otamendi. On February 13 from 1-5PM, arts and culture venues throughout the East End Cultural District will be open for a cultural district open house that offers the public behindthe-scenes access to exhibit venues, creative factories, performance houses, and music production studios where great art is made. Houston Makerspace at 3605 Texas serves as headquarters for the Cultural District Open House where guests can pick up a map and information on all the day’s activities. The East End Foundation and all its cultural partners in the East End Cultural District invite you to come experience the artistry and creativity at work in Houston’s East End. To support this work, or to learn more about the East End Cultural District, visit


Gallery Listings + Exhibition Schedule


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

Larry Larrinaga, Amazon Rain Forest, 64 x 48 in. Oil on Canvas

ARCHWAY GALLERY M A Y 2305 Dunlavy St. 713 522-2409

MARCH Kevin Cromwell March 5 - March 31 ​O pening: Sat. March 5 APRIL Kikry Botros April 2 - May 5, 2016 ​O pening: Sat. April 2 AEROSOL WARFARE 2110 Jefferson 832 748-8369

AKER IMAGING GALLERY 4708 Lillian St. 713 862-6343

MARCH Pixels+Silver: Group Dynamics Curated by Clint Willour March 5 - March 30 ​O pening reception: Saturday March 5 APRIL Bullets – Impact: Deborah Bay Garrett Hansen Curated by Joe Aker April 2 - May 3 ​O pening reception: Saturday April 2

Margaret Bock / Ann Hartley May 7 - June 2 ​O pening: Sat. May 14 JUNE Barbara Able June 4 - July 6 ​O pening: Sat. June 4 J U LY Larry Larrinaga August 6 - September 1 ​O pening: Sat. August 13

THE ANTIQUARIUM GALLERY 3021 Kirby Drive 713 622-753


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

BISONG GALLERY 1305 Sterrett St. 713 498-3015

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

CARDOZA FINE ART GALLERY 1320 Nance St. 832 548-0404 CASA RAMIREZ FOLK ART GALLERY 241 West 19th Street 713-880-2420 CAVALIER FINE ART 3845 Dunlavy Street 713 552-1416 CINDY LISICA GALLERY 4411 Montrose Suite F 832 409-1934

ARADER GALLERY 5015 Westheimer, Suite 2303 713 621-7151

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

ARDEN GALLERY 2143 Westheimer, Suite B 713 371-6333

DAVID SHELTON GALLERY 3909 Main St, 832 538-0924

ART PALACE 3913 Main Street 832 390-1278

DEAN DAY GALLERY 2639 Colquitt 713 520-1021

DEBORAH COLTON GALLERY 2445 North Blvd. 713 869-5151

DEVIN BORDEN GALLERY 3917 Main Street 713 529-2700 D. M. ALLISON GALLERY 2709 Colquitt 832 607-4378 18 HANDS GALLERY 249 W. 19th St, Suite B 713 869-3099

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

GALVESTON ART CENTER 2501 Market Street Galveston 409 763-2403

GREY CONTEMPORARY (New location) 3508 Lake St. 713 862-4425



Gallery Listings + Exhibition Schedule GREMILLION & CO. FINE ART, INC. 2501 Sunset Blvd. 713 522-2701

Nicola Parente, No Color Without Light, oil on canvas, 2015

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

HIRAM BUTLER GALLERY 4520 Blossom Street 713 863-7097 HOOKS-EPSTEIN GALLERIES 2631 Colquitt 713 522-0718

HOUSTON CENTER FOR PHOTOGRAPHY 1441 West Alabama Street 713 529-4755

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


INMAN GALLERY 3901 Main St. 713 526-7800

MARCH Manual (Hill / Bloom) Reception for the artists Saturday, Feb. 27, 2-5 PM. Fotofest 2016 Biennial. APRIL Michael Kennaugh Reception for the artist Saturday, April 9, 2-5 PM

JACK MEIER GALLERY 2310 Bissonnet 713 526-2983


2815 Colquitt 713 526-9911

2635 Colquitt St. 713 524-5070

NICOLE LONGNECKER GALLERY 2625 Colquitt Street 713 591-4997

JUMPER MAYBACH FINE ART GALLERY & EMPORIUM 238 W. 19th Street, Suite C 832 523-4249

NOLAN-RANKIN GALLERIES 3637 W. Alabama St Suite 140 713 528-0664

KOELSCH GALLERY 703 Yale 713-626-0175

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

McCLAIN GALLERY 2242 Richmond Ave. 713 520-9988 MEREDITH LONG & CO. 2323 San Felipe 713 523-6671

OFF THE WALL GALLERY 5085 Westheimer Galleria II, Level II 713 871-0940 PARKERSON GALLERY 3510 Lake St. 713-524-4945 PEVETO 2627 Colquitt Street 713 360-7098 POISSANT GALLERY 5102 Center St. 713 868-9337

Claire Rosen, The Red Eared Slider Turtle Feast

POST GALLERY 2121 Sage, Suite 165 713 622-4241


303 E. 11th St. 713-862-2532 MARCH 5 - 27 Tim McCoy APRIL 2 - 24 Thais Mather M AY 7 - 3 0 Letitia Eldredge JUNE 4 - 28 Marti Corn J U LY 2 - 2 6 Bruce New Curated by Jay Wehnert

Bruce New, Bird Council, Collage, 2014

RUDOLPH BLUME FINE ART 1836 Richmond Avenue 713 807-1836 SHE WORKS FLEXIBLE 1709 Westheimer Road 713 522-0369

SAMARA GALLERY 3911 Main St. 713 999-1009

APRIL Mariana Copello JUNE Rachel Gardner AUGUST Rahileh Rokhsari


TENANTS’ artists. Photo by Nathan Lindstrom


2000 Edwards Street, Suite 117 713 724-0709 FEBRUARY TENANTS 10 Selected artists from the tenants at Sawyer Yards Reception Feb. 11, 6-9 pm

MARCH Earth Photography show, in conjunction with FotoFest

SICARDI GALLERY 2246 Richmond Ave 713 529-1313

TEXAS GALLERY 2012 Peden Street 713 524-1593

SIMPSON GALLERIES 6116 Skyline Dr. Ste. 1 713 524-6751

UNIX GALLERY 4411 MONTROSE 713 874-1770 WILLIAM REAVES FINE ART 2313 Brun Street 713 521-7500

YVONAMOR PALIX FINE ARTS Rahileh Rokhsari, Submerged I, Oil on canvas, 20” x 28”

1824 Spring St, 281 467-6065

RICE VILLAGE: 2424 DUNSTAN 713.522.7602 UPPER WASHINGTON: 5922 WASHINGTON 713.868.1131



Anne Clint Anne Tucker and Clint Willour compliment one another like their long-time friendship. Anne dazzles in sparkling, black drop-earrings, a gift from Clint. The camaraderie between the two is palpable. Two stars of the art world, their friendship canonized among the best. CLINT WILLOUR I had met Anne because of her new

“You know, I’ve enjoyed these pictures, but other people could really benefit by them, and I gave them to the museum. So, I gradually started giving.”

position at the museum and we were both at the auction after the flood at the Contemporary Arts Museum. The museum did an auction to raise money. I didn’t really know Anne, but I went up to her and I said, “Anne, I’ve never bought a photograph before and I want to know if I should buy this photograph?” So we go over and look at it. It’s a photograph of two drag queens, in full drag, in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Anne says, “Well, do you like it?” And I say, “Well yeah…” And she says, “Can you afford it?” And I say, “Well, yeah…” And she says, “Well then buy it!” From then on this relationship started. I didn’t really deal with photography until FotoFest. We both were instrumental in the beginnings of FotoFest, and also Houston Center for Photography, but I had kept that photograph for the last 38 years and this last year, when [Anne] retired, I gave it to the museum to submit to our nearly 40-year relationship.

ANNE TUCKER So what Clint is saying is, our friendship exactly parallels the evolution of photography in Houston.





CLINT I don’t think I collected much right away in terms

of photography until Anne and I hit on this great two-for thing. It started probably with the HCP auction. I said, “Well if I buy this, will you accept it?” She said “Sure!” So I bought from HCP, they got the money, the photograph went to the Museum Of Fine Arts and then this thing for this very brief monument in the history of the national endowment for the arts, decided they would match money to buy art by American artists for American institutions.

ANNE You’re leaving out Jeffery Frankel. The galleries in other cities were traveling, putting portfolios under their arm and bringing work into the city and Jeffery Frankel worked for somebody else. CLINT He worked for Grape State Gallery. I met him in

San Francisco. We organized a show with Grape State Gallery. They began, at my instigation, introductions, which is now called Art Houston. [When] I met Jeffery, they were showing these photographers and I got interested in Mizrach, Divola, and Ulman.

ANNE There are a couple of things happening here. It’s the establishment of a commitment that Clint and I both share to buying younger artists. One of the things we’re both proud of is having purchased a lot of artist, being the first museum to purchase the work of [many] artists: Lauren Greenfield, John Baldessari, Annie Leibovitz. I mean the list is long… What I always say, the civic pride in Houston is why the photography department exists, why the museum exists, the opera, the Alley, the symphony. Everything in this city is out of Civic pride.

“The civic pride in Houston is why the photography department exists, why the museum exists, the opera, the Alley, the symphony.”


CLINT That got me started, thinking about the museum

as I collected. I never intended to have a collection. I kept the ones I really loved, then ultimately I just said, “You know, I’ve enjoyed these pictures, but other people could really benefit by them,” and I gave them to the museum. So, I gradually started giving.

ANNE I do want to say, as Clint gave to the museum, it was not only a gift of individual pictures. As a curator, you begin to look at the shape of the collection, at the strengths of the collection, at the direction that the pictures lead you, noticing the absences, thinking about where you’ve been, and where you might go. So Clint, through his donations, was a big part of that structuring.

“It’s interesting what paths we take. We have truly traveled the world together. ”

“Magical moments. It’s a kind of passion for life, in many different aspects, that we share.” CLINT Well, I had the dress ready! Just didn’t work out,

[but] we’ve traveled.

ANNE One of the most magical was Carcassonne, a Medieval walled city. We stayed on the inside and at night, they closed the gates. Only people who were living and staying there could be there. It was a full moon night and we walked to Battle lands. CLINT After a great meal! ANNE Magical moments. It’s a kind of passion for life, in many different aspects, that we share. It’s been a great ride and I say this often— this little girl from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. If you ever told me I would know my way around Paris or Vienna or Prague. I’d say you’re crazy. CLINT Same for me— A kid from Shelton, Washington,

CLINT The other thing, I don’t know if I started it, but

I would give things in honor of people, or in memory, or in celebration of something.

ANNE I’ll tell you something that really impressed me. When I called a very major Houston person to tell them Clint had given a photograph in their honor, this person teared up. She said, “No one has ever given something in my honor, unless they’ve needed something.” After a respected 40 years in the field, [Clint and I] have an understanding. It’s a kind of real moral bond. We share a commitment to the importance of community. We share a love of art, not just photography. It’s based on a kind of core principal, for both of us, that we share, that has affected everything that we do together. CLINT Not to mention our lives, our partners. ANNE I was recently a bridesmaid in Clint’s wedding.

I never asked you to be a bridesmaid in any of mine!

a logging town with 5,000 people. I didn’t go to a museum until I was in college. Who would have thought that I would be in Houston, Texas, having a 43-year career in the art world? It’s interesting what paths we take. We have truly traveled the world together.

ANNE It’s the shared values that are most important to me. CLINT And the shared friendship. ANNE It’s just a lot easier to do what you do when you

have people who are backing you up. It’s a collaboration, a solid wall at your back if you need it. It’s somebody to laugh with. That’s the other thing we share, a sense of humor. We’ll end by me telling you my favorite, absolute favorite, recent joke. I don’t know if you saw on television recently, Eddie Murphy got this Mark Twain award. I just happened to come across it and this comedian named George Rodriguez said, “All of Donald Trump’s wives have been immigrants and just like all other immigrants, they’re doing work that no American wants to do.”


4900 Woodway Dr. Suite 730 Houston, TX 77056

713 963-9191


The Arts have long provided emotional context

for human experience, and research has demonstrated that creative expression makes a significant contribution to a person’s overall health and well-being. So this is why upon entering the clinics and hospital corridors of Texas Children’s Hospital one is immediately struck by the abundance of art on display. In particular, art created by the children themselves is visible everywhere. Art is crucial in these contexts, as it has been shown to provide a pathway for the patients and their families to deal with the uncertainty and stress of childhood illness and to create a means to confront and manage that incredibly difficult experience. The Texan-French Alliance for the Arts (TFAA) has been active in Texas Children’s for the past seven years, assisting the patients and their families by providing art workshops and other art experiences within the hospital and clinical areas. In addition to one-on-one art exposure, a new project is underway: the creation of an enormous mural, which will cover the wall of the vehicular entrance into the Clinical Care Center. The mural is a partnership among the TFAA team; Carol Herron, Periwinkle Arts in Medicine Coordinator at Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology; Jena Guajardo, Art Program Coordinator; at Texas Children’s; Sebastien Boileau, founder of Eyeful Art; and Marjon Aucoin from Little



P A R K E R - L E M O Y N E

Wonders Learning Center. The imagery of the mural is taken directly from artwork produced by the patients themselves, inspired by the story of Alice in Wonderland and the dream world the children can create when they open the door to their imagination. In multiple workshops, the patients were invited to imagine and create a wonderland of their own which they rendered inside a folded piece of watercolor paper. The observer could then enter the wonderland itself through a small door created in the outer fold just as Alice entered her wonderland through her small entrance. Over time, the children’s artwork and ideas have been collected to serve as the basis for the gigantic mural, which will greet the patients and their families as they drive through the winding entrance to the Clinical Care Center. The mural should be complete by the spring of 2016, and a similar project is planned for The Fondation Lenval, the Children’s Hospital of Nice, France. As an invitation for the children to see beyond the walls of the hospital and to create a bridge between the two cultures, a dialogue has been proposed between the pediatric patients of the two countries.

As a special gift at the end of the workshops, the children choose their own, personal keys, which are strung onto necklaces. Now, as they wear the “Magic Key” which unlocks their imaginations, their creative visions are free to fly to places that only they may choose or know. Another even greater gift is that all the children know that their contributions will forever be included in the magnificent mural. The vision for the mural came from Sebastien Boileau when he visited a friend’s nine-year old son, Isaac, who was recovering from heart surgery at Texas Children’s. When a nurse came to adjust the boy’s IV, she asked him to turn his head the other way; and all the boy could see was a huge, blank wall directly outside his window. As an artist Sebastien realized that something could be done to make that bare wall a source of inspiration or encouragement for the children. This idea served as a catalyst for a collective dream to create a beautiful and lasting artwork to entertain, reassure and welcome the patients and families of Texas Children’s. The intimate interactions with the children during the one-on-one art sessions are filled with discovery, inspiring us to

“I want people to be happy when they see my Art” Ellie, 12

“Believe in your creativity” Alejandra, 12

develop tools that respond to the patients’ needs, as was the case with Alejandra. A few weeks ago, I worked with Alejandra, age 12, who couldn’t draw or talk, as she had had a tracheotomy and was too weak. So, I asked her if she wanted me to draw for her. As she was nodding yes, I asked her if she wanted some flowers and butterflies as young girls usually enjoy flowers and butterflies. She managed to say in a breath “wolf” and then “tiger”. I drew the wolf and the tiger, which made her very happy. I was also impressed by her choice of animals, thinking in my mind that the wolf and the tiger could be wonderful allies to give her the strength to fight cancer and to win her battle. I shared this thought with her and she replied “yes!” Her eyes looking deep into my eyes. Before I left, I asked her if there was something she wanted to share with me. She said in a breath “believe in your creativity” and “Merci”. Alejandra has motivated Marjon and I to create a creative healing workshop with animal spirits. The fragile situation and the response of the children really inspire us to include each child’s personal beliefs in our journeys through art and healing. Britain’s experience has also been eye-

“Open the door if you dare” Johnny, 9

opening and deeply rewarding. She recently worked with an eight-year-old girl named Jaziah, or “Jazzy,” who wasn’t a patient herself, but the little sister of one. She had been going to Texas Children’s with her family since she was a baby, and everyone in the dialysis ward knew her. “When I first met Jazzy, she was sitting alone trying to keep herself entertained while her brother went through dialysis for the next four hours. We invited her to collaborate with us in a creative activity, and that’s when I met the real Jazzy. Her imagination was vast, her positivity deep, and her laughter contagious. Despite spending long hours at the hospital each week, and despite her family’s personal and emotional struggles, Jazzy was full of joy, craving friendship and positive attention,” shared Britain. These creative workshops remind us of how much the diseases affect everyone involved – the patients, the parents, the siblings, the caretakers who fight courageously everyday – and, as a result, they all need some healing care of their own. In addition to lightening the often heavy clinical atmosphere, our sessions help the children pass the time in a way that is both engaging and constructive. These

This work was made possible with the help of many sponsors, partners, volunteers and professionals including Marjon Aucoin, Julie Preston, Dandee Warhol, Sebastien Boileau, Liza Carlos, Audrey McKim, Carol Herron, Jena Guajardo, Erin Overhouse, Karine Parker-Lemoyne, Britain Venner, Leila Kengueleoua, Dr Paul Gerson, Elisabeth Caucheteux, Lina Corinth, Patricia, Dimitri Pilenko, Ghislaine Thomsen, as well as the Board of Directors of Texas Children’s and TFAA who are supporting our programs.


creative workshops constantly remind us of the healing power of creativity and how childhood illness impacts the patient’s entire family. We see that the healing power of the arts transcends sketch books and colored pencils, and that the engagement of the imagination often leads to triumph over even the most difficult situations. The courage and perseverance of the children, their families and their caregivers are constant inspirations to continue and enlarge our efforts. The workshops and the mural are only today’s projects. What we learn from these will undoubtedly lead to ever more effective and beautiful contributions of art and creativity to the healing process. Alejandra, Ellie, Jazzy, their parents, caretakers and the many other children we worked with are still in our hearts. Their courage makes us want to give more and to come back again. This mural is going to be really amazing, especially when you think about all the profound stories, dreams and hopes that it is going to share with us stories about overcoming adversity, stories of life. By Karine Parker-Lemoyne with the contribution of Dr. Paul Gerson MD (Camp for All) and Britain Venner.


museums t h e

1940 Air Terminal Museum 713-454-1940 20th Century Technology Museum 979-282-8810 Altharetta Yeargin Art Museum 713-365-5652 Alvin Historical Museum 281-331-4469 American Cowboy Museum 713-478-9677 Archaeological Institute of America 281-497-7382 Art League Houston 713-523-9530 Art Car Museum 713-861-5526 Arts Alliance Center at Clear Lake 281-335-7777 Battleship Texas State Historic Site 281-479-2431 Bay Area Museum 281-326-5950 Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens 713-639-7750 Baytown Historical Museum 281-427-8768 The Beer Can House 713-926-6368 Black Heritage Society 713-227-0490 Blaffer Art Museum 713-743-9521 Buffalo Bayou ArtPark 713-521-0133 Butler Longhorn Museum 281-332-1293 Children’s Museum of Houston 713-522-1138 Contemporary Arts Museum 713-284-8250

l i s t

Dickinson Historical Society/Railroad Museum 281-534-4367 DiverseWorks Artspace 713-223-8346 Doc Porter Museum of Telephone History 713-861-9784 Durham Bible Museum 281-649-3287 Fort Bend Museum 281-342-6478 FotoFest 713-223-5522 Friendswood Historical Society 281-482-2290 Galveston Arts Center 409-763-2403 Galveston County Historical Museum 409-766-2340 The Galveston Island Railroad Museum 409-765-5700 George Ranch Historical Park 281-343-0218 Gifts with Heart 713-747-0012 Glassell School of Art 713-639- 7500 Goodykoontz Museum of Girl Scout History 713-292-0300 Gulf Coast Museum of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender History, Inc. 713-692-8735 Heritage Museum of Montgomery County 936-539-6873 The Heritage Society 713-655-1912 Holocaust Museum 713-942-8000 Houston Arboretum & Nature Center 713-681-8433

Houston Bicycle Museum 713-459-4669 Houston Center for Contemporary Craft 713-529-4755 Houston Center for Photography 713-529-4755 Houston Chinese Photographic Society 281-568-2873 Houston Community College Central Art Gallery 713-718-6600 Houston Computer Museum 281-293-7919 Houston Fire Museum 713.524.2526 Houston Maritime Museum 713.666.1910 The Houston Museum of Natural Science 713-639-4629 The Houston Police Museum 281.230.2353 Houston Railroad Museum 713.631.6612 Humble Museum 281-446-2130 The Jung Center 713-524-8253 Kemah Historical Society 281-538-1048 Katy Veterans Memorial & Heritage Museum 281-391-8387 Lawndale Art Center 713-528-5858 Lone Star Flight Museum 409-740-7722 The Marguerite Rogers House Museum 281-585-2803 Melody Maids Museum 409-835-4503

The Menil Collection 713-525-9400 The Military Museum of Texas 713-673-1234 The Moody Mansion Museum 409-762-7668 Museum of American Architecture and Decorative Arts 281-649-3997 Museum of American GI 979-446-6888 Museum of Cultural Arts Houston 713-224-2787 The Museum of Fine Arts Houston 713-639-7300 National Museum of Funeral History 281-876-3063 Museum of the Gulf Coast 409-982-7000 The Museum of Printing History 713-522.4652 Museum of Southern History 281-649-3000 Nature Discovery Center 713-667-6550 Nolan Ryan Foundation & Exhibition Center 281-388-1134 Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum 409-766-7827 The Orange Center for Visionary Art 713-926-6368 Pasadena Historical Museum 713-472-0565 The Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts 281-376-6322 Pioneer Memorial Log House Museum 713-522-0396 Project Row Houses 713-526-7662 Rienzi 713-639-7800 Russian Cultural Center 713-395-3301 The Rutherford B.H. Yates Museum, Inc. 713-739-0163

Sam Houston Memorial Museum 936-294-1832 San Jacinto Museum of History 281-479-2421 Space 125 Gallery 713-527-9330 Space Center Houston 281-244-2100 Spindletop – Gladys City Boomtown Museum 409-835-0823 Star of the Republic Museum 936-878-2461 Station Museum of Contemporary Art 713-529-6900 Strake Jesuit Art Museum 713-774-7651 Texas Artists Museum 409-983-4881 Texas City Museum 409-948-3111 Texas Energy Museum 409-833-5100 Texas Forestry Museum 936-295-2155 Texas Prison Museum, Inc. 936-295-2155 Texas Seaport Museum 409-765-7834 Texas Southern University Museum 713-313-7145 Varner-Hogg Plantation State Historic Site 979-345-4656 Veteran’s Museum in Texas 713-962-5214 Wallisville Heritage Park 409-389-2342 Watercolor Art Society 713-942-9966 WaterWorks Education Center 832-395-3791 West Bay Common School Children’s Museum 281-554-2994 Wharton County Historical Museum 409-532-2600 Woodlands Childrens Museum 281-465-0955 Woodlands Science & Art Center 281-363-7919


Maggie Taylor The Menagerie, 2015. “Stranger Things Have Happened�

Opening February 27 from 5 - 7 pm. Exhibition open until April 2.

2635 Colquitt St Houston, TX 77098 (713) 524 - 5070




Western Texas Art f o r s a l e 713 628 9547


design / build remodeling general contracting



Whyyoushould buy art? by


T h i s w r i t i n g m a y s o u n d s e l f - s e r v i n g since I’m an artist seemingly asking other folks to buy my art work, devalue their art in return for a cash fix. Also they must or at least buy the work of living artists. But my reason for continue to search for galleries both able to sell their work writing this has more to do with a friend of mine than me. and that can be trusted to pay what they owe their artists This friend of mine is a fellow artist and I consider him (sometimes not easy). an artistic treasure. For over thirty years he has toiled So it seems that both artists and galleries fight over the mentally and physically to produce art of outstanding same small group of collectors for whom art is something quality. His efforts have been rewarded with scores of onemore than mere decoration. man shows over the years, by having his work shown in To support good artists and thus support the visual museum shows and collections, and with many sales at good arts in our culture it will take more folks willing to prices. Sounds great, right? Well, the truth is that he still “invest” in art, not for possible appreciation down the struggles to pay his bills and to live above poverty levels. road, but rather because it aids in the creation of art Why the troubles? Well, the art world is in tumult and my both now and in the future. This investment will also yield friend has suffered as a result. Once it was enough to dividends of aesthetic pleasure and pride of ownership, but have a great resume, a history of collectors, and pictures support of the arts should ideally be in the collector’s mind of your work published in magazines and art books. A as well. gallery could be counted on to do the selling, leaving the So wherever you live I urge you to step up and open artist free to create. This is akin to the old days where up your wallets to local artists of merit, ambitious a person worked for the same company all their life and galleries, and new generations of artists as well as then retired on a tidy pension. Sounds quaint doesn’t those artists like my friend who have devoted lives and it? Today with cheap art available online, with galleries careers in the pursuit of artistic excellence. Artists can no struggling, and tastes in flux, the road to financial success as longer rely on wealthy patrons as in ages past and governan artist is unclear at best. ment support is disappearing rapidly. Only individual art Now artists are forced to market themselves and their art lovers making individual decisions to support art that speaks while resisting the temptations to slash their prices and to them can assure the continued health of the creative process which has helped define us as people and cultures.



Niki Serakiotou

Suzette Schutze

Nichole Dittmann

Lily Gavalas

Lisa Hardcorn

Matthew Gantt

John Bernhard

Luisa Duarte

Gretchen Bender Sparks

Maria Hughes

Valentina Atkinson

Heather Yoki

Nataliya Scheib

Michele King

Darlene Abdouch

Studio 110 713-992-1327

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

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WHERE CULTURE HAPPENS WITH OPENINGS EVERY SECOND SATURDAY OF THE MONTH SILVER STREET is a complex with a museum atmosphere that includes a 20,000 sq ft event space and 70 artists’ studios. 2000 EDWARDS ST. HOUSTON, TX 77007 SILVERSTREETHOUSTON.COM



WHAT’S LEFT ? Jane Seam and Yvonamor Palix present a collective exhibit seen through the visual narrative of 12 international artists / photographers.


A moment of reflection, a moment of silence, a moment of life.

WHAT’S LEFT ? raises the question of how long we will continue to enjoy these distinct and seemingly immutable pleasantries of life? Nothing in nature is ever without consequence, yet our apathy towards the state of the planet, our disregard of how we treat the Earth and how we treat each other as humans raises questions that need to be examined. Through the eyes and lenses of these 12 artists or perhaps 12 modern day apostles comes a visual truth, a truth to be denied continually by politicians and the media. What will be our reaction and our position when we can no longer hide behind ignorance and are faced with some rather unpleasant realities? This exhibit is not a denunciation, but rather an acclamation of the fierce battle humanity must wage against itself in the years to come for it to preserve some dignity and further expand the potentialities of life. WHAT’S LEFT ? is a poetic forecast and prediction of what will remain and it is a chronicle of the ultimate sacrifice to come- life as we know it. Opening date to the public March 5, 2016 from 1- 5 pm.

Visits available after this date by appointment only. Consult FotoFest for hours and dates. A r t i s t s : John Bernhard • Keith Cottingham • Cyjo • Alfredo De Stefano • Emilie Duval • Florence Houriez Syd Moen • Enrique Segarra Lopez • Brenda Perry • Nikita Pirogiv • Gary Watson • A Yin W h e r e : French Consular Residence, 1904 Kirby 77019 Houston, TX C o n t a c t : Yvonamor Palix

281 467 6065.

We thank Honorable Sujiro Seam, Consul General of France and his family for their support in promoting the arts in their residence.








Silver Street Studios, 2000 Edwards St. #119

713 859 7143

E X P O S U R7 E7 7 7


In memoriam


713 594-1350




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





William Ropp Susie, 2005

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






For inquiries contact Lisa 713 628 9547


De Frog Gallery


fine art photography representation

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

C O L O P H O N 7799


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

Holly Walrath EDITOR, WRITER

Holly Walrath is a freelance editor and the Associate Director of Writespace, a nonprofit literary center in Houston, Texas. She attended the University of Texas at Austin for her B.A. in English and the University of Denver for her M.L.A in Creative Writing. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Pulp Literature, The Vestal Review, and Spider Road Press, among others. Holly resides in Seabrook.

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. He will have prints in two shows during the upcoming FotoFest exhibition. Lindstrom has a studio in Silver Street Studios and lives with his wife and their dog, Kirby.

Celan Bouillet A R T I S T, W R I T E R

Celan Bouillet is a Houston based artist and writer. She received her MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art and BFA in Painting and BA in English from the University of Georgia. Bouillet is the recipient of a 2015 Houston Arts Alliance grant for emerging artists, a recent artist in residence at HCC southeast, and a full fellowship recipient at the Vermont Studio Center.


Jay Wehnert is the Director of Intuitive Eye, an innovative arts organization he founded in 2011. He is engaged in artist representation, curating and writing, as he collaborates with collectors, galleries and institutions to bring the best of Outsider, Self Taught, Folk and Exceptional Contemporary Art to Houston. The “intuitive eye” belongs to both the artist and the viewer. His enterprise seeks the intuitive eye in all of us.

Karine Parker-Lemoyne CURATO R, EDUCATO R

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

Morgan Cronin WRITER

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

Layla Al-Bedawi WRITER, POET

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


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


editor’s pick


Lyn Sullivan

When the offices of Charlie Hebdo were attacked a year ago, urban photographer Lyn Sullivan’s annual Parisian holiday to visit her family turned into an intense, life-changing but ultimately life-affirming journey experienced literally on the streets of Paris. Armed with her camera, Sullivan used her art to capture the spontaneous cri de coeur of grief, rage and hope expressed by stunning graffiti everywhere she walked. Her evocative images from those extraordinary days have been exhibited last year under the title Never Forget at the Allliance Française in Houston. In last November, as I was working on the layout of this page, at that exact time, I heard that Paris suffered another horrifying terrorist attack. As everyone is still working to move forward from this tragedy, I like to reflect on Trevor Noah’s quote “Let’s not forget before we fight to love.”