Call for Proposals: Houston Thanksgiving Day Parade

thanksgiving parade 2015 houston

Houston’s HEB Thanksgiving Day Parade has recently announced its Call for Artist Proposals. They’re looking for parade entries that “convey a spirit that is uniquely Houston.” This year’s theme is, scintillatingly, “Houston on Parade.”

In the past two years, the parade has included cornucopias of skateboarding vegetables and a larger-than-life tribute to Third Ward’s Flower Man, so artists, get your juices flowing! The call is open to Houston-based individual artists, artist teams and organizations, and consists of a $13,000 budget per float. However: the finished float will be the property of the City of Houston, so when the Whitney comes a-calling, they can’t have your parade float.

Proposals are due September 11th and will once again be juried by Diane Barber. For more information, go here.


Raw Paw’s Zine Release Party is Tomorrow in Austin

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 3.31.29 PMRaw Paw, the multi-tasking Austin collective (est.  2010), might be best known for its zine, which commissions and collects original works by Austin-based artists. Raw Paw is releasing its sixth volume tomorrow night at the Mohawk.

Raw Paw Vol. 6:: Alien compiles work by a wealth of Austin creative people, including, according to its website:

39 visual artists • 24 writers • 22 musicians

114 pages of offset printed beauty with vellum inserts, a minizine, and a die cut cover. 
Oh yea, and a 22-song mixtape!!!!  

The release party, which is open to anyone but will charge a reasonable cover, will feature a lot of bands, including Hikes, Ringo Deathstarr, and Big Bill.

Here’s Raw Paw’s list of visual art contributors to this volume:

• Ajay Malghan • Rachel Long • Justin Van Vliet • Kevin Kurecki • Kevin McNamee-Tweed • Rachelle Diaz • Chris Wright Evans • Brittany Laurent • Alison Whitworth • Alex Diamond • Ekta • Alex Webb • Jinni J • Jules Buck Jones • Chris Long • Connor Shea • Peter Shear • Erin Smego • Lyndsey Smith • Dylan Sutton • Chris Varnum • Ben Aqua • Cameron Coffman • Andrew Cooke • Ryan Davis • James Flames • Ryan Francisco • Daniel Kliewer •Manik Raj Nakra • Simon Landrein • Kameron Richie • Andrew Riggins • Caroline Ruffault • Yamel Thompson • Stephen Fishman • Nick Gregg • Kyle Carter • Jessi Brattengeier

For more info, please go here.




Dinosaur Art in an Uptight Age

sugarland_dinoWacky yard art is not an uncommon sight to Houston’s inner-loopers and, when it’s taken to the extreme—such as The Orange Show or the Beer Can House—is treasured. So when Nancy Hentschel saw some large metal sculptures while on a trip to Arizona, she brought them back to her Sugar Land (a city just southwest of Houston) home and installed them in her front yard.

The problem is that Hentschel and her husband live in a subdivision called New Territory, with a homeowners association that regulates everything from paint color to grass height and the new sculptures, a T-Rex and velociraptor, are causing quite a stir. First reported by the local ABC news station, then picked up yesterday by USA Today, it’s a funny little story that appeals to both people that would say, “Dinosaurs in the front lawn? That’s just crazy!” and people that would say, “What’s the big deal? Suburbanites are so weird!”

“Obviously it does make a little bit of a statement,” Henstschel says, “and I’ve met more neighbors in the past 24 hours than I have in the 17 years we’ve lived here,” adding that the presence of the dinosaurs is about “creating a sense of community, and letting yourself roar.”

Kittelson_dinoIt’s just not as easy to install large dinosaurs as it was in the eighties. In 1986, Paul Kittelson received a modest $500 grant from DiverseWorks and fashioned a dinosaur out of old mattresses and other junk. Its glowing eyes startled drivers under the I-59 overpass at Montrose (there used to be an overpass instead of an underpass). The sculpture became a public phenomenon during its nine-month installation until it was set on fire by anonymous arsonists.

(Top photo: New Territory Homeowners Association Facebook. Lower photo credit: DiverseWorks via Houston Chronicle. Some info from Houston Alternative Art Wikipedia page, created by CAMH staff.)


Malcolm! Malcolm Warner Returns to the Kimbell for One Night Only

IMG_9091On Friday, September 11, DFW favorite Malcolm Warner — former deputy director of the Kimbell Art Museum— will return to the museum to give an early evening lecture titled “Henry Raeburn: Scotland’s Old Master” in conjunction with the Kimbell’s exhibition Botticelli to Braque: Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland. 

Warner left the Kimbell in 2012 for his current gig as Executive Director of Laguna Art Museum in California.

For his talk at the Kimbell, Warner (an expert on British painting) will discuss Scottish portraitist Henry Raeburn (1756–1823) and his work “…in relation to traditions of European portraiture, recent British portraitists such as Reynolds and Gainsborough, Scottish society at a time when Edinburgh was an important center of the Enlightenment, and the contemporary significance of Highland dress.”

The lecture is free and open to the public. Seating is first-come, first-serve. For more info, please go here.

Viva la Mujer! Señorita Cinema Back for its Fifth Year

SenoritaCinemaHouston’s independent Latina-made film festival kicks off tonight with a reception from 6-9pm at East End Studio Gallery. There will be art, vendors, refreshments, and a chance to win an all access VIP festival pass and tickets.

Founder Stephanie Saint Sanchez was originally inspired by the Boyle Heights Latina Independent Film Extravaganza in Los Angeles, founded by Josefina Lopez, screenwriter of Real Women Have Curves. Lopez’s new film, Detained in the Desert, will be screened on Friday night at the Rice Media Center. Señorita Cinema has also just added a Saturday afternoon workshop with Lopez called “Where is the story? Creating and connecting” to take place at East End.

On Sunday afternoon, Aurora Picture Show will present “Señorita Cinema Saturday Night Super Shorts.” At 14 Pews, there will be a “performance and film fiesta” billed as “Mystery Matinee Live.” So far, the mystery seems to be the date and time.

Online Auction for Unexpected Windfall of Iconic Posters




Hat tip to Robert Wilonsky of the DMN for this tidbit. A branch of Half Price Books in Dallas received an unexpected windfall of notable (and near-mint) vintage concert posters — illustrated by some of the greats of the psychedelic era — that the company will, in an unusual move, auction off online on Monday, August 31.

Apart from Bill Graham and his Fillmore, concert promoter Chet Helms was the other kingpin of the ’60s San Franciso rock scene, with his promotion company Family Dog organizing shows mainly at the Avalon. The 69 numbered posters up for auction are Family Dog joints and should be highly collectable. Baroque illustrative posters promoting shows by the likes of The Doors, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Janis Joplin (with BB&tHC) are among the collection, and reserve prices are refreshingly low for this sort of thing (some starting at $100). Via the Half Price Blog, “Several of the most prominent innovative illustrators of the time and place are represented, including Rick Griffin, Stanley Mouse, Alton Kelley, and Victor Moscoso.”

Half Price will put the posters on display in its Northwest Highway (Dallas) location starting at 5:30 this Friday night. The online-only auction, open to anyone with an internet connection, begins Monday morning. For more info go here and here, and for the online catalog go here.

50 Years of Curated Fashion On View in the Perfect Dallas Venue



Fall is upon us, and here’s a curated show of fashion you can see as you shop. This week an exhibition opened at NorthPark Center in Dallas (a Nasher deal): Art Meets Fashion: 1965 – 2015. Curator and professor Myra Walker is also the director of the acclaimed Texas Fashion Collection at the University of North Texas, and she’s put together an all-star show of 29 iconic looks from the past 50 years, including those by Pierre Cardin, Todd Oldham, Christian LaCroix, and Halston. The collection also features pieces (via NorthPark) “by current designers from the 2007 Neiman Marcus show Future Fashion.”

The show is on in the ground-floor section between Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom (of course!). It’s up through October 25. Obviously free and open to the public.


Poet Cynthia Macdonald Dies at 87

MacdonaldCynthia Macdonald, co-founder of the University of Houston’s creative writing program, died earlier this month of heart failure, reports William Grimes in yesterday’s New York Times.

Macdonald had a varied career, but was best known for her idiosyncratic poetry published from the 1970s through the late 90s. She earned her BA in English with a minor in music from Bennington College, and then returned to New York to study voice. She sang as a dramatic soprano in small opera companies for a while but, in the early 60s, she began to write poetry and was encouraged by poet Anne Sexton. Macdonald returned to school, earning a master’s degree in writing and literature from Sarah Lawrence College in 1970. She taught at Sarah Lawrence and Johns Hopkins before founding the UH writing program, where she was director for many years.

She also trained as a Freudian psychoanalyst at the Houston-Galveston Psychoanalytic Institute, becoming certified in 1986. She specialized in treating patients with writer’s block. Every type of artist can certainly relate to a statement she gave to the Houston Chronicle: “I’m not sure everyone would agree with this, but for me poems have to do what is not intended as well as what is, because that takes you to a place beyond where you could go otherwise.”

Macdonald is survived by her daughter Jennifer (a conceptual installation artist who, with her partner Hillary Leone, has had numerous exhibitions, including the CAMH’s 1998 show, Projected Allegories: A Video Series), her son Scott, and a grandchild.

$40K Will Buy You the Silliest-Sounding Masters Degree

international arts management program

If you have an extra $40,000 laying around and want to travel the world, then SMU has something for you! They are now accepting applications for the 2016-2017 iteration of their Master of Management in International Arts Management program.

What on earth is a Master of Management in International Arts Management, you ask? Through a partnership with HEC Montréal and SDA Bocconi (Milan), this program is an intensive, year-long session where students will spend four months studying at each of the involved universities. The coursework emphasizes the international nature of the program and ranges from law to marketing to leadership (and presumably, management, as well as the various business applications for semantic redundancies). Graduates from the program now work at organizations such as Cirque du Soleil, the Alley Theatre and the Dallas Museum of Art Friends Program. Cirque du Soleil, people!!!

Of course, you could just get a plain vanilla MA in Arts Leadership from the University of Houston for approximately $16,000. But then you wouldn’t have traveled the world, and more importantly, you might not truly have a grip on managing the managerial mastery of international arts management… and isn’t that what really counts?

Austin Artists. Houston Museum. National Attention!

Hubbard_BirchlerCongratulations to Austin-based artist-duo Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler, whose current exhibition at Houston’s Blaffer Art Museum, Sound Speed Marker, received a long, gushing review in the online art news and criticism journal Hyperallergic yesterday!

Hyperallergic’s Charissa Terranova called the show a “category buster.” She went on to say that their work “strikes a profound and rich in-between,” and that their “memorable films turn the contrivance of cinematic reality on its head, exposing the myths of myth-making and the complex contradictions undergirding them.” That’s some serious language.

For those who have yet to see the exhibition, it runs through September 5, with two upcoming gallery talks. On September 2, Delilah Montoya and Raúl A. Ramos will speak about the show and, on September 3, Vanderbilt University scholar Lutz Koepnick will speak about issues of time in relation to screen-based installation art. A Q&A with the artists will follow.

Image: Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler, “Grand Paris Texas” (2009), high-definition video with sound, 54 min (English with German and Spanish subtitles), single-channel projection, aspect ratio 16:9, NTSC, stereo; installation dimensions variable (courtesy Blaffer Art Museum)

Bring the Ball to Texas

This past Wednesday, a 250-lb red ball decided to break free of its handlers in Toledo, Ohio. Part of a public art project by Kurt Perschke, the ball was wedged between two buildings when, during deinstallation, a gust of wind caught it and sent it on its way.

It appears that the ball is touring cities across the world – it has been installed in Montréal, Abu Dhabi, and Barcelona, just to name a few. The goal of the project apparently lies not in the ball itself, but in (via Perschke) “what it can create for those who experience it.” Basically, it looks like a fun, selfie-inducing project – which is great.

The big question now is: when can we expect the ball to come to Texas? Wedged inside of Judd’s concrete sculptures, stuffed in the CAMH’s doorway, the possibilities are endless!


Who doesn’t want this?


New Artists-In-Residence for Artpace

artpace family daySan Antonio’s Artpace has just announced their Fall 2015 artists-in-residence. This term’s guest curator was Cecilia Alemani, Curator and Director of High Line Art and curator of Frieze Projects. The three artists Alemani selected are:

Larry Bamburg of Marfa, Texas

Marie Lorenz of New York City

Cally Spooner of London

The artists will arrive on September 14th and their exhibitions will open November 12th.

MFAH to Host Art Education Conference

hap conference 2015This September, the MFAH will be hosting the 2015 Houston Arts Partners Conference. This is the fifth annual conference organized by Houston Arts Partners and is co-chaired by James Drew from Fort Bend Independent School District and Craig Hauschildt from Da Camera. Focusing on arts education, the conference will examine “critical connections among the arts, arts integration, and success in other core and STEM subjects.”

The conference is September 11th and 12th. For more information go here.

What to do with the old Astrodome? Give it to Banksy!

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

The elusive graffiti artist Banksy has created a theme park on the site of the Tropicana, which once was a public swimming pool in a town on England’s west coast. Banksy’s park is billed as a “bemusement park” called “Dismaland.” It features his art and installations, as well as work by over 50 other artists, including Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer, and David Shrigley.

Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

As one would expect from Banksy, the project was shrouded in secrecy. Locals were led to believe that it was a film set for a crime thriller. Within the past week, though, rumors started to fly. Yesterday, the press was given a peek; today, it opens to townies; and tomorrow, to the general public for five weeks.

The artist described the work as “a festival of art, amusements, and entry level anarchism,” in a press release. There are rides and booths, as well as three galleries, but most have described the experience with words like terrifying, grotesque, and anarchy-infused. Sounds like tons of fun! But what would he call his new Astrodome?

Photo by Toby Melville/Reuters

Photo by Toby Melville/Reuters

The Crusades Never Looked So Good


U.T.’s Blanton Museum in Austin just announced that 40 unbound pages from one of the most important illuminated manuscripts from the Middle Ages will be on view starting in December; these are startlingly complex and gorgeous 700+ year-old illustrations.

The exhibition, The Crusader Bible: A Gothic Masterpiece, has as its centerpiece the famous Crusader Bible, a French manuscript from around 1240 depicting the stories of the Old Testament through medieval/crusade imagery (it was, in other words, contemporary at the time). The illustrators are anonymous, but it would have been commissioned in Paris by King Louis IX, and has enjoyed tremendous good fortune in being passed down from responsible hand to responsible hand through centuries to reach our eyes today.

For further historical context, the exhibition will also include (via the Blanton), “medieval arms and armor from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art,” and “sixteenth-century Persian illustrations from the Metropolitan and the Ardashir-nama, a seventeenth-century Judeo-Persian manuscript of Old Testament stories from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York.” In other words, a fascinating and well-rounded exhibition.

The Bible will be on loan from the Morgan Library & Museum in New York until early April.  For more info, please go here.

Dallas Zine Explosion Coming Your Way



On September 5 and 6, Dallas will host interconnecting events focusing on the region’s burgeoning love affair with zines.

On September 5 at 3 p.m. at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library (downtown) there’ll be a panel discussion about the library’s Fine Arts Division’s new initiative for collecting zines. The panel will discuss “what zines are, their importance in the art and literary communities, zine festivals, the zine community in Dallas, and artists who are currently making zines.”

Via the event’s PR:

The panel includes artist and educator Randy Guthmiller of SHAPE Zines, Anastasia (Stacy) Kirages of the art zine Modernizm and organizer of Houston Zine Fest, David LaBounty, editor and publisher of Workers Write! and The First Line, Houston based artist Sarah Welch of Mystic Multiples and current resident at UT Dallas’ Centraltrak, and Sandra Davalos of the global humanitarian music label and publishing house, Cemetery Sisters

There’s a zine-making workshop following the panel, and art collector Michael Wynne’s zine collection (decades in the making) will be on view.

On September 6 starting at 1 p.m., there’s a full-blown zine fair and party at The Wild Detectives independent bookstore in Oak Cliff, featuring work by dozens of local and national DIY micro-publications, zine artists and designers, and underground presses.

For more info, go here and here.

Glasstire to Present Robert Irwin + Michael Govan

Michael Govan

Michael Govan

Independent Curators International (ICI) just announced that Michael Govan, director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), will be presented with the 2015 Leo Award this November for ICI’s 40th anniversary. The annual award, named after dealer Leo Castelli, honors those who have demonstrated outstanding support of contemporary artists and have made groundbreaking contributions to the field.

Before he receives the Leo, Govan will be in Houston for Glasstire’s “OFF ROAD: Conversations with Artists Offline” on October 17 at the new MATCH center. The pioneering “Light and Space” artist Robert Irwin will join him in the conversation with “no rules, no limits, and no podiums.” From 1994 to 2006, Mr. Govan was president and director of Dia Art Foundation, where he spearheaded the creation of Dia:Beacon, a museum in New York’s Hudson Valley, with grounds designed by Irwin. Since Govan’s arrival at LACMA, he has orchestrated the commission and installation of the artist projects that dot the museum’s campus, including Irwin’s evolving palm garden.

Robert Irwin

Robert Irwin

Earlier this year, Irwin began a giant installation for the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, which is expected to open to the public next year. The installation will be the first major installation added to the Chinati Foundation since 2004 as well as the first freestanding structure designed by Irwin that is devoted solely to his work.

Art Lovers! Watch Some Really Good Movies on a Rooftop in Dallas


A good new movie and video series has been happening at the Power Station lately– the contemporary art space in Dallas housed in an historic Power & Light building in Expo Park– and takes place on its groovy rooftop on summer nights (and might extend into fall). The series is called Sunscreen, and the next installment is this Thursday, and doors open at 8 p.m.

The program is free, BYOB, and open to the public (this one a generally an art-and-film loving crowd).

Here’s this Thursday’s set list, via the Power Station:

9:00PM – Zbigniew Rybczyński’s Tango
9:10PM – Norman McLaren’s Neighbours
9:20PM – Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love

Here’s a program note:

SUNSCREEN has put together three films that address notions of shared space; the crowded room and the neighbor next door. One week from tomorrow, we’ll visit an overpopulated loft, two men who will stop at nothing to win ownership of a prized flower, and new friends who must resist the temptation to repeat the same unfaithful habits of their own spouses.

Since seating is limited, it’s not a bad idea to rsvp and include the number of people in your party:

For more info on the Power Station, please go here. 



Ex-Texan Museum Folks Enter Hot Mess in Phoenix

vicarioThe Phoenix Art Museum and its Director Amada Cruz, who resigned last year as executive director of San Antonio’s Artpace after two years, announced yesterday the hiring of Gilbert Vicario as its new chief curator, a position the museum hasn’t had in more than a decade.

The Arizona Republic reports that more than a dozen employees have left the Phoenix Art Museum since Cruz took over in February, some of whom were terminated and some who quit under “acrimonious” circumstances.

Cruz, who stepped into the position held by Jim Ballinger for 32 years, said of the high turnover: “This is not something unanticipated. It’s not that I wanted people to leave, believe me. But 32 years of leadership at a museum is rare, so we already had an unusual situation where people literally grew up with Jim. When you have this sort of dramatic change, it’s not unanticipated, and it’s not unusual.”

Vicario was assistant curator of Latin American and Latino Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston for five years until 2009, when he took a job as senior curator at the Des Moines Art Center. Let’s see if Cruz and Vicario can bring some of the famous Texan conviviality to Arizona.

Amon Carter Throws a Big Public Party on its New “Porch”


The Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth has been under renovation since February; it overhauled its facade for the sake of art conservation and accessibility (don’t worry; it didn’t compromise its distinctive Philip Johnson-ness). On September 26, probably just as the worst of DFW’s blazing heat gives way to something evoking a fall season, the museum will have a “Party on the Porch,” a free event from 5-10 p.m. with “live music, food trucks and art.”

Via the Amon Carter:

“Guests can listen to three fantastic local bands, Quaker City Night HawksThe Unlikely Candidates andGinny Mac, and eat at a variety of food trucks, including BellatrinoCentral MarketGypsy ScoopsSteel City Pops and Taco HeadsThe Photo Bus, a vintage photo booth in an original 1966 Volkswagen bus, is coming to the Amon Carter as well, and drinks will be available for purchase from Bar Louie, who will have a full satellite bar on site. Special lighting effects throughout the evening will highlight the portico.”

The museum will extend its exhibition hours to 9 p.m. that evening. There’s something called a “social media scavenger hunt.” There will be docent tours. It all sounds lovely. For more info, please go here.


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