Newswire

Local Art People Talk About the Scene at the DMA

timthumb-1.phpFor every new art season, KERA and the Dallas Museum of Art pair up to bring us the State of the Arts conversation series, with one of the evenings dedicated to a discussion with local visual artists and/or people involved in the contemporary art scene.

It’s hosted by KERA’s Jeff Whittington at the DMA. The next installment takes place on September 11, and Whittington’s guests are Devon Nowlin (Fort Worth artist and founding member of Homecoming!Committee), Arthur Peña (Dallas artist and founder of the recently retired Ware:Wolf:Haus, an alternative art space), and Darryl Ratcliff (Dallas community activist).

Whittington makes an affable host and the conversations tend to be lively and honest and usually revolve around—you guessed it—the state of the local art scene (though also about the individuals’ work and processes). For more info about tickets, etc, please go here.

State of the Arts, KERA/DMA, September 11, 2014 at 7.p.m at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Houston Couple Donates $10 Million Collection to Blanton

tate_galaHouston residents Charles and Judy Tate have donated their private collection of 120 modern and contemporary Latin American artworks, valued at nearly $10 million, to the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas. In an extra fit of generosity and smart thinking, they also donated more than $1 million to an endowment that supports a Latin American curatorship.

As Houstonians, the Tates could have donated the collection to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s impressive Latin American collection. They are also MFAH supporters, but as UT alumni, the couple says they always intended that the collection go to the Blanton. “As a teaching institution, the Blanton has other missions. It relies on alumni for support,” Tate said.

Texas art lovers tend to take their Latin American art for granted, but the Blanton and the MFAH were huge pioneers in the now-popular field. For more on the players and history of Latin American art at the two institutions, as well as the Tates’ gift, read Molly Gletzner’s in-depth article in the Houston Chronicle.

(Photo: Blanton Museum of Art)

O Superman! Laurie Anderson Lectures in Houston

unnamedThe Mitchell Center for the Arts at the University of Houston continues its Mitchell Artist Lecture, which “spotlights innovation and the creative process,” on September 10 with Laurie Anderson, NYC-based pioneering artist of sound, technology, and performance art.

The Mitchell Center characterizes Anderson as “known primarily for her multimedia presentations…[and] has cast herself in roles as varied as visual artist, composer, poet, photographer, filmmaker, electronics whiz, vocalist, and instrumentalist.” She’ll be speaking about her various collaborations over the course of her career, which has included projects with “Wim Wenders, Jonathan Demme, Bill T. Jones, Trisha Brown, and Robert LePage.”

Click here for free reservations: Please note that ticket availability is extremely limited for this event

MITCHELL ARTIST LECTURE featuring Laurie Anderson, September 10, 2014, 7:00pm lecture (reception beginning at 6:00pm), at Moores Opera House, University of Houston, Entrance 16 off Cullen Blvd

galleryHOMELAND Returns! New Space, New Mission

GalleryHomeland_logoThe folks at Houston’s galleryHOMELAND are gearing up for the opening(s) of their revamped space in the East End (2327 Commerce Street). They’ve brought in a new board and expanded their mission to include more ambitious programming, such as “an international artist residency, monthly performance events, a national and international lecture series, and ongoing programming engaging the audiences of our culturally rich communities and regions.”

galleryHOMELAND will reopen with two receptions: one on Wednesday, September 3, 6-9pm, and another on Friday, September 5, 8-11pm; one is pre-Texas Contemporary art fair shenanigans and the other is right in the midst of it. The opening exhibition, Urban Tactics, will feature Houston artists Daniel Bertalot, Jed Foronda, and John Forse.

Fort Worth Venues Welcome All for Big Free Day in the District

fw-moma-0506Following yesterday’s news about Austin’s Museum Day comes news of Fort Worth’s similar initiative, now in its ninth year, called a Day in the District (meaning FW’s Art District). This family-friendly event takes place all day on Saturday, Sepember 27, with free admission to nine museums and other non-profit art venues. There’s plenty of events and programming throughout the day, and while the neighborhood is walkable, there’s also free transportation on The T (FW’s city bus service) for the day.

The Amon Carter, Kimbell, and the Modern are of course participating, and six other organizations, including the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and the Fort Worth Botanic Garden; the full list of venues and special programming is here.

Fort Worth’s Day in the District, Saturday, September 27, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. at multiple venues.

The World’s First Citywide Photoblog!

Who knew that Garland, Texas has “the world’s first citywide photoblog”? That’s what they claim on Garlandeyes.com. To post on the site, the images must be of Garland, by someone from Garland, or of someone from Garland and it looks like Garlandites take a lot of pictures. The site is divided into bunches of galleries like “Animals,” “Landscapes,” “Personalities,” and “History.” Some are the expected clichés that such an open forum would attract, but some are quite good. Now, they want to share Garland with the exhibition Garland Eyes at Garland’s Granville Arts Center, which starts tomorrow and runs through mid-October.

From the looks of their “Eyes” gallery, a large percentage of Garlandites seem to wear glasses. Maybe they spend a little too much time squinting through those viewfinders.

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Austin Museum Day Returns With Free Admission to the Big Venues AND Some Unexpected Gems

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The Harry Ransom Center

The 17th Annual Austin Museum Day returns September 21 with its hallmark free admission to 35 institutions and non-profits throughout the city; many of the spaces offer special events and programming for the day as well. It’s an all-day event that Sunday; for a look at the schedule of tours, events, participants, etc, go here.

The participants are a varied bunch, from the major players like the Blanton and the Contemporary at Laguna Gloria and UT’s Visual Arts Center, to cool special interest players like the Harry Ransom Center, to the charmingly esoteric, such as the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, and the Texas Medical Association History of Medicine Gallery, which states: “Your only chance on a weekend to see the popular Bugs, Bones, and Blood exhibit on the history of forensic medicine.” Go see some art (and other stuff)!

 

Austin Museum Day, Sept. 21, 2014

Win a chance for a free SXSW pass at the Texas Contemporary Art Fair!

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Hugh Forrest will be giving away a free SXSW pass at our talk at the TX Contemporary Fair!

This year we’re excited to be hosting the Glasstire Talks at the Texas Contemporary Art Fair on September 6 & 7 in Houston. We have three great talks organized, none of which have to do with how to collect contemporary art! Our speakers will be covering the great corporate collections, both past and present; and How to Get Rid of the Art You Don’t Want Anymore. We’re especially excited about our first speaker, Hugh Forrest, the Director of the SXSW Interactive Festival!!

Hugh will be giving away a free pass to SXSW to one lucky member of the crowd at his talk — these are not easy to come by, even if you are prepared to shell out the $1,295 walkup rate to get in.

But never fear: we are giving away three VIP passes (worth $100) to the Texas Contemporary Fair, which will get you in to all three of our talks, as well as the VIP reception opening on Thursday night, September 4th! Register to win by emailing winning@glasstire.com — we’ll announce our randomly selected winners on Wednesday, September 3rd!

Art on the Water in Houston’s East End

transportedHouston isn’t just a big maze of cars and its art scene isn’t restricted to the Museum District, according to the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA). HAA has teamed up with local artists and community partners to present an ambitious project this fall, called Transported + Renewed, focusing on the city’s East End. Houston’s historic transport hub and neighborhood hugging Buffalo Bayou and the Houston Ship Channel will be infused with a series of concerts, performances, visual art installations and more.

There are a crazy amount of events planned and many of them involve various modes of transportation, as the project title suggests. From September 1-November 30, there will be marching bands, a bicycle opera, walking tours, a light rail art tour, and a car parade featuring Houston’s famous SLABs, art cars, and low riders. More buoyant adventurers can participate in September 13th’s Afloat! A Parade on Water, presented by HAA and Buffalo Bayou Partnership, but the registration deadline is September 1st. People-powered canoes, kayaks, paddleboats, rowboats and dragon boats are invited to join the fleet of police and fire department boats as they proceed from Allen’s Landing to Houston’s East End. Participants are encouraged to decorate their boats and wear costumes. Awards for the “Funkiest Floater” and “Cutest Crew” will be presented at the finish line, post-parade party located at 901 N. York St.

Participants and spectators should also be on the lookout for Whatever Floats, a giant inflatable sculpture by Houston artist Sharon Engelstein, anchored in the water near the finish line (its official unveiling will take place on September 2 at City Hall, then will change locales). Among other visual art projects are works by Amber Eagle, Patrick Renner, and Jesse Sifuentes.

Asa Hursh Named Art Alliance Austin’s New Director

asa-hurshArt Alliance Austin has announced the appointment of Asa Hursh as their new Executive Director. Hursh recently served as Deputy Director of the organization, and has been on staff there since 2012. AAA is one of Austin’s oldest arts nonprofits, and is involved in the production of several annual arts events, including EAST, PechaKucha, the Downtown Holiday Stroll and Art City Austin.

Additionally, AAA has announced Holly McDaniel as its new Director of Development and Wendy Prindle as Director of Operations, and several new board members.

The board includes David Bodenman, Highland Resources (Chair), Jada Garrison, The University of Texas at Austin (Vice Chair), Berkeley Claxton, St. David’s HeathCare (Treasurer), Ryan Bennett, Frost Bank (Secretary/Parliamentarian), Kim Eckert, IBM, Sharon Kronberg, philanthropist, Grover Bynum, Austin Technology Council, Steve Maddox, Austin High School, and Joel Sumner, National Instruments, but the AAA’s announcement does not make it clear who on this list is new.

Dallas Road Crews Mistake Public Art for Dumpster. (Not Really. They Were Just Being Irresponsible.)

Yesterday it was documented that some Dallas roadworks contractors had been using the beloved public sculpture at the entrance to Deep Ellum as a dumping ground. Loose bricks, open bags of concrete and other refuse were strewn around and right up to the shiny steel birds that are part of the “Traveling Man” sculpture series by Brad Oldham and Brandon Oldenburg, commissioned by Dallas Area Rapid Transit in 2008. DART has been notified and as of yesterday was working to get the garbage removed.

Roadworks and construction throughout Deep Ellum are heavy and ongoing. The birds, called “Awakening,” are vulnerable to public disruption (and are built to withstand a lot, which is good because they’re close to the road and in a neighborhood known for bars and high traffic), but this construction-crew sloppiness is pretty insulting.

(image via CultureMap Dallas)

Glasstire Hacked! CAMH Artist’s Guerilla Post!

At 9:22 a.m. on Friday, August 22, Houston artist and Glasstire contributor Carrie Marie Schneider used her access to Glasstire’s website to insert a guerilla article.

Titled “Right Here, Right Now: Houston, Hearing from CAMH’s Director” the post’s quotes were drawn from early 70s articles about then-CAMH-director Sebastian “Lefty” Adler, rather than Bill Arning, the CAMH’s current director. Schneider had no further comment.

Schneider, along with Houston artists Nathaniel Donnett and Debra Barrera is featured Right Here, Right Now: Houston at the CAMH, opening tonight from 6:30-9 p.m.

Glasstire publisher Rainey Knudson said of the incursion: “I think it’s funny. This is exactly what artists are supposed to do,” after cancelling Schneider’s site access.

The full text of the rogue post is here:

Right Here, Right Now: Houston, Hearing from CAMH’s Director

By Carrie Marie Schneider

Today the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston opens with a show entitled “Right Here, Right Now: Houston” featuring the work of local artists. In anticipation of this exhibition, and concurrent with the institution’s 65th anniversary season, I sat down with the Director of the CAMH to learn more.

 CAMH ceiling grid

Why did the CAMH choose to show local Houston artists?

I feel it should be one of our responsibilities to recognize the [local] artists who present new ideas and a fresh approach. It is one of our responsibilities. Museums and art centers are so preoccupied with exhibitions that they tend to forget the artists. We do not intend to make the museum a sacred temple. We mean to research new ideas. For too long now, we in the museums have considered the artist merely as a commodity to be used, but the artist today is someone who uses [their] imagination to produce something more than just an object to be collected. I think the real savers of the environment will be the young creative people who understand the problems of an urban society and can change that society for the better. I think artists should work directly with city planners. People say that’s being done now, but it’s just tokenism. I’ve talked about paying artists to come to the museum and innovate and people tell me it’s a silly idea, that we’re doing the artists a favor. Well, I say you can’t get a scientist to work for you without paying him. Why should we treat our artists any differently?

How could the CAMH afford such a proposal?

We’re going to dispose with a lot of the unnecessary crap that most museums get stuck with.  This museum cannot be either an Acropolis or a country club and it won’t be. It’s going be a place to move things- and it’s…flexible enough so that it can function inside and out as an artistic medium in which artists can create imaginative works. The outside walls have a reflective skin, so that the whole building can be turned into a light sculpture. We hope to make everyone aware of sensations they may have forgotten or have never experienced. We have to get over the idea that all art must be viewed under glass and at a distance.

I look forward to seeing that.

This place won’t just be concerned with exhibitions, either. [We'll have] an after-school program with a thousand kids enrolled.  And I don’t mean making things to take home to Mama. The idea is to take a kid and make him aware of his environment, that’s all. [We'll get] seven-year-olds making fountains. We’re trying to develop awareness, not art, and we’ll do it with rock music or whatever else it takes.

That’s a big education initiative, but is it really the CAMH’s place?

I believe in a total education program. I want to develop a living center for the community. We need people from the public schools in here with us. The education department has been a dirty word in museums, but public school teachers are vitally important. I’ve got to take time to meet with teachers and find out what their kids want and need, and not just send them a lot of stuff they don’t need. I want to get this museum involved with college students, too. Let them install shows and get them working directly with artists. It is not Culture on a Corner. We plan to bring visiting artists and to take a role in the development of the whole city, by bringing statements, via exhibitions, about urban development. One day art forms will be flowing out TO people rather than being collected IN what we now think of as museums. Art can’t be divorced from people. Art is society and society is art. Art today moves out of museums and into the whole city.

That is all impressively ambitious, but really, how could you afford it?

I’m concerned with here. I came here because I believed Houston was capable of vigorous art activity. I know it is now. The money is here, the resources haven’t been tapped. Houston is potentially able to support contemporary art as few other places can. And who’s in a better position to act as liaison between the artists and the corporations than the museum?

And how will the board be convinced to go along with it?

I’m one of the few museum directors in the country whose trustees don’t interfere with museum programs and I couldn’t have that freedom in Los Angeles or New York or anywhere else. I gave a lecture at the Chamber of Commerce not long ago, and told them a lot of things that would have horrified conservatives in other cities, and when it was all over a lot of those businessmen told me, “I like what you said.”

What’s the impetus behind these policies?

Artists today aren’t interested in selling works to collectors – at least, not the artists I want to work with. This will enable an artist to come in here and use the museum, not just show in it. We’ve got to put the human thing back into our museums, and the only people who can do it are artists.

Right Here, Right Now: Houston opens at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston August 22 at 6:30 pm and is on view until November 30, 2014.

The New Art of Art Vandalism

The latest act of art vandalism occurred yesterday afternoon at the Jeff Koons retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Koons_vandalA man splashed a red substance on a blank gallery wall on the third floor of the Whitney, was quickly apprehended by security and removed by the police. He was later taken to a hospital for evaluation. In this case, no actual art was damaged.

Whether motivated by artistic frustration or some confusing, conceptual performance art notions, getting attention by making a mess of other artists’ work seems to be a growing trend for artists. In February of this year, a painter walked into the Perez Art Museum Miami and smashed an Ai Weiwei vase valued at $1 million. Here in Texas, we’ve produced some impressive art vandals: Waco artist Joe Magnano was arrested in March for making a huge mess of Prada Marfa and, in 2012, Houston artist Uriel Landeros sparked an international manhunt after adding his own stenciled spraypaint to a Picasso in the Menil Collection.

The online journal Hyperallergic has the most interesting article on yesterday’s incident. The author posits that the vandal may be Hungarian-born Canadian performance artist Istvan Kantor, one of the founders of Neoism, and that the “red substance” may have been his own blood.

(Photo by Antoine Lutens via The New York Times)

Wanna Make Some Public Art in Dallas? Go To This Workshop.

CarlosDonjuanA coalition of Dallas art institutions and groups has formed to create the ongoing workshop series called “The Business of Art.” It’s a doozy of an alliance. Here’s who is involved: The Dallas Art Dealers Association (DADA), Creative Arts Center (CAC), The McKinney Avenue Contemporary (The MAC), and joining more recently are the Business Council for the Arts (BCA) and the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA).

The series, which began in April and will reappear with a September installment, provides “…hands-on opportunities to explore being in the fine art business.” The September 13th workshop, titled “The Business of Art: Public Art 101” and hosted by the McKinney Avenue Contemporary “…will include public art basics and beyond, from finding the call for artists to the completion of projects. Participants will receive in-depth information and public art resource materials from the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs.”

Given the trickiness of navigating such public projects and the all bureaucratic red tape involved, this promises to be a helpful day of programming for artists interested in getting into making public artworks and for others wanting to know more or participate in the process.

For info on purchasing tickets and the full schedule, please go here.

Houston Graffiti Scene Loses Arts/Community Activist

EstesJohnathan Estes, founder of Southern Artists Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to help autistic children, which runs Kingspoint Proper, a concert venue and art gallery, was killed on Monday evening.

According to yesterday’s story on Click2Houston.com, in which Estes’ identity had not yet been confirmed, police say they responded to a shooting call around 9:30pm to the parking lot outside Kingspoint Proper. Estes was found with several gunshot wounds and was transported to the hospital, where he later died.

A father of autistic children, Estes created the Southern Artists Foundation in early 2011 to organize local artists to work in the community and help raise awareness about autism. The art space, known as Kingspoint Mullet (a reference to the front gallery space and the back party space: “Business in the front, party in the back”) offers street artists a place to create murals legally.

The Facebook pages of Johnathan Estes and Kingspoint Proper are already overflowing with posts expressing shock, grief, and condolences. A memorial is planned for Friday, 7pm, at Kingspoint Proper (10900 Kingspoint Rd., Suite 5, Houston 77075).

(Photo by Michael Paulsen/Houston Chronicle staff)

DMA Goes Public With New Digital Database

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Mythical aso (one of a pair), 19th Century, from the Pacific Rim dept of the DMA. The database tells me all about these little wooden guys’ Dayak origins, that they are on display on the third floor of the museum, and a whole lot more. And now I love them.

Today, the Dallas Museum of Art launched its new and vastly improved digital database, years in the making and slated to be complete by 2016, which will “…dramatically improve online access and representation of the Museum’s global collection …with increased content and functionality.” This means the DMA now boasts “…one of the world’s most sophisticated online art collections, providing open access to its entire collection… available to visitors, students, teachers, and scholars.” To start browsing its encyclopedic collection, go here.

This open-access sensibility matches the DMA’s free general-admission policy, which kicked in January 2013 under its director Maxwell Anderson; both initiatives are made possible by anonymous gift of $9 million to the DMA.

As of today, all 22,000 of the museum’s works are accessible through the database, and 11,000 are illustrated with digital images. In addition: “…over 4,500 objects are now available for free download without licensing fees or content restrictions. All images available via DMA.org continue to be freely available for non-commercial and educational use. Over time, additional high-resolution images of all works in the public domain will be released for public use.”

Reminder: Deadline Approaches for Artpace’s Texas Open Call

IAIR-Wallslider-cropThree times a year, San Antonio’s Artpace invites a guest curator to choose three artists to live and create art in San Antonio for two months. Each residency cycle includes one international, one national, and one Texas-based artist. While unsolicited applications for the International Artist-in-Residence program are not considered, the Texas-based artists are culled from an annual open call for submissions. The guest curators makes selections a year in advance, so artists interested in a residency for the spring, summer, or fall of 2016 need to submit applications by August 27, 2014.

The prestigious and long-running artist-in-residence program has a history of some pretty serious guest curators who are encouraged to work closely with the artists. Texas artists chosen for the 2014 residencies were Anna Krachey (Austin), Jungeun Lee (Frisco), and Jessica Mallios (Austin). The 2013 trio included Ivor Shearer (Houston), Clarissa Tossin (Houston), and J. Parker Valentine (Austin).

Oscar de la Renta Does Dallas

couture-finalHeads up, design buffs: Oscar de la Renta, iconic fashion designer to women of means, is the subject of a thorough exhibition spanning fifty-plus years of his work at The George W. Bush Presidential Center at SMU in Dallas. The show is staged along the lines of similar recent exhibitions of major designers’ careers (like McQueen and Gaultier), with mannequins posed in choice couture pieces as well as educational odds and ends that contextualize the designer’s time and place in the history of fashion design.

The pics available for this show are spectacular; there is no doubt de la Renta (who is now 82) has created some masterpieces along the way. Born in the Dominican Republic and originally trained by Cristóbal Balenciaga in Spain, de la Renta became a favorite couturier to Jackie Kennedy in the 1960s and has been designing some of the most coveted red-carpet gowns for stars and first ladies ever since.

“Oscar de la Renta: Five Decades of Style” runs through October 5. Info and tickets here.

 

(image: George W. Bush Presidential Center)

Almost Every Sculptor in Texas Gathers for One Big Show

Some sculpture is really heavy! George Tobolowsky at Lawndale.

Some sculpture is really heavy! George Tobolowsky at Lawndale.

Houston’s Lawndale Art Center is turning over all of its galleries, as well as its outdoor garden space, to its upcoming exhibition Texas Sculpture Group 2014: A Panoramic View, curated by James Surls in memory of late Texas Sculpture Group members Lee Littlefield, Bert Long, Jr. and Damian Priour. Surls has certainly done a good job of finding a wide variety of big name sculptors from all over the state. An obvious omission is that of Dan Havel and Dean Ruck—but don’t worry. Havel Ruck Projects is busy installing a big show a few blocks away at Art League Houston, which will open a few weeks later.

Here is the crazy long list of artists participating in Texas Sculpture Group 2014: A Panoramic View, which opens on Friday evening:

Ben Appl (Austin), Peter Arcidiacono (San Marcos, TX), Richard Ariola (Las Vegas), Jan Ayers Friedman (Fort Worth), Brent Baggett (Austin), Jerolyn Bahm-Colombik (Wimberly), Robbie Barber (Waco), Verina S. Baxter (Flintstone, GA), Jill Bedgood (Georgetown), Lauren Browning(San Antonio), Steve Brudniak (Austin), Susan Budge (San Antonio), Danville Chadbourne (San Antonio), Valérie Chaussonnet (Austin), Roger Colombik (Wimberley), Dylan Conner (Houston), Princess Cook (San Antonio), Erin Cunningham (Austin), Stephen Daly (Austin), Stephanie Darling (San Antonio), Glenn Downing (Waco), Kurt Dyrhaug (Beaumont), Carter Ernst (Houston), Daniel Esquivel-Brandt (Houston), Bill FitzGibbons (San Antonio), Susan Fitzsimmons (McAllen), Jerry Freid (Dallas), Brooke Gassiot (Austin), Amy Gerhauser (San Angelo), Nell Gottlieb (Houston), Larry Graeber (San Antonio), Andrew Bellatti Green (Austin), Jack Gron (Corpus Christi), Thomas Jack Hilton (Austin), Chad Hines (Temple), Yu Ru Huang (Houston), Dewane Hughes (Troup), Richard Hyslin (McAllen), Meredith Jack (Houston), Maria Cristina Jadick (Houston), Paul Kittelson (Houston), Sharon Kopriva (Houston), Eric F. Krause (Johnson City), Alexander Larsen (Houston), Margaret Losinski (Houston), Peter Mangan (Blanco), Wells Mason (Coupland), Colleen McCulla-Thomas (Martindale), Jason Mehl (Dallas), Bill Molthen (Austin), Hans Molzberger (Houston), Mary Morse (Austin), Steve Murphy (Houston), Sherry Owens (Dallas), Griselda Elena Peña (Austin), Beverly Penn (Austin), Caprice Pierucci (Austin), Susan Plum (Houston), Chasity Porter (Missouri City), Cat Quintanilla (Austin), Patrick Renner(Houston), Greg Reuter (Corpus Christi), Jim Robertson (Trinity), Jonathan Sanders (Austin), Paul Seeman (Corpus Christi), Sabine Senft (San Antonio), Luke Sides (Oak Point), Judith Simonds (Austin), Richard Skurla (Waco), Stephanie Sterling (Leander), Sebastian J. Stoddart (San Marcos), Laura Sturtz (Austin), Tanya Synar (Denton), Damon J. Thomas (Houston), George Tobolowsky (Dallas), Cody Vance (San Antonio), Hank Waddell (Austin), Gary Webernick (Austin), Brian Wedgworth (McAllen), Jonathan Whitfill (Lubbock), Ed Wilson (Houston), Michael Witzel (Bergheim) and Ben Woitena (Houston).

The Not-So Smoke-Filled Room: Breakfast Club Talks Houston’s Arts Future

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On August 7, high-powered Houston-area cultural administrators gathered over breakfast at the Junior League of Houston to plan our arts future. The get-together, called “Building a Shared Vision,” was presented by Center for Houston’s Future and included a discussion of the Center’s 2014 Arts & Cultural Heritage Indicator Report in a collaborative round-table format.

Topics ranged far and wide, and included addressing the  increasing cost of living for artists, leveraging Houston’s diversity, promoting arts education as an audience-building tool, and bringing art to Houston’s far-flung suburbs. A summary of the talk is online.

The  discussion was moderated by Jill Jewett, Project Manager, Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston (MATCH), the group included Philamena Baird, Co-Chair, City of Houston Cultural Plan; Carroll Parrott Blue, Executive Director, The Dawn Project; Minnette Boesel, Mayor’s Assistant for Cultural Affairs; Tony Diaz, Host and Founder, Nuestra Palabra: Writers Having Their Say; Joseph Havel, Artist, Director, Glassell School of Art; Pat Jasper, Director, Folklife and Traditional Arts Program, Houston Arts Alliance; Susannah Parnin Mitchell, Director, Washington Avenue Arts District; Debra Simon, Vice President, Arts and Events, Brookfield Properties; Ana Villaronga-Roman, Director and Curator, Katy Contemporary Arts Museum.

Attendees included Laurette Canizares, Executive Director, Houston Museum District Association; Gwendolyn Goffe, Center for Houston’s Future Fellow, CFO, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Retired); Nancy Giles, Director of Development, Alley Theatre; Catherine Mosbacher, CEO, Center for Houston’s Future; Lilliana Molina, Co-Director, Art of the World Gallery; and Dr. Kelly Zuniga, Executive Director, Holocaust Museum Houston.

The Center for Houston’s Future, The Region’s Think Tank, is a nonprofit affiliate of the Greater Houston Partnership, in charge of researching and envisioning big picture issues, whose ultimate goal is to “to advance the Houston region as one of the top ten global communities in which to live and work.”

Photo: Ann Shaw