Art Conspiracy Celebrates Ten Years This Saturday

Art-Con-X_web-bannerDallas-based non-profit outfit Art Conspiracy, which calls itself “street-level philanthropy,” will hold Art Con X this Saturday night starting at 7 p.m. This is the tenth anniversary of what is a generally a big annual blowout fundraising event that benefits other arts-based non-profits in the region. This year Art Con’s proceeds go to the Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico.

Art Con is usually staged in a big warehouse and many dozens of local artists participate. “Rather than donating old, unsold inventory, Art Con artists gather at the venue to create original artwork on Art Con’s signature 18 x 18 boards in a single day. Each piece is auctioned LIVE at Art Con X with bids starting at $20.” There’s music and other live performances, mural painting, food trucks, the whole nine… . Sarah Jaffe is booked to play the preview party on Thursday, November 13th from 7:00-10:00pm. For info on that, go here. This year the event will be at at 500 Singleton Blvd in the Trinity Groves neighborhood.

Tickets are $10. VIP tickets are $125. For more info, go here and here.

First Lady Honors Workshop Houston!

Workshop_HoustonFirst Lady Michelle Obama presented the 2014 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award to students representing 13 after-school programs yesterday, including Workshop Houston. First presented in 1998, the award is a signature program of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, of which the First Lady serves as honorary chair.

Workshop Houston was founded by four long-time collaborators: Seth Capron, Katy Goodman, Benjamin Mason, and Zach Moser. Guided by the belief that the foundations of progressive change are in positive and engaged communities and that dynamic hands-on learning processes can create these communities, they came from Oberlin College in rural Ohio to Houston in 2003 to start the Third Ward Bike Shop. The Bike Shop was the first project of the organization that became Workshop Houston. The program now includes youth development programs through its four shops: the Chopper Shop (welding and metal fabrication), the Beat Shop (music production), the Style Shop (fashion and graphic design) and the Scholar Shop (tutoring and academic enrichment) and is now co-directed by Reginald Hatter and Katy Goodman.

“You teach kids more than just skills in the arts and humanities, but you light a fire in them,” the First Lady said to all the award recipients. “That has an impact on our kids—not just on their arts and the humanities, but in their successes in school and in life.”

Go Workshop Houston! Congratulations!

Peter Plagens Talks About Bruce Nauman in Fort Worth Next Week

unnamedPeter Plagens, artist and longtime art critic for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Art in America and ArtForum, also happened to be Bruce Nauman’s studio neighbor in Pasadena throughout the ’70s, and friend and collaborator of Nauman’s during those seminal years. On Monday, November 17 at 5:30 p.m., in advance of  his new book Bruce Nauman: The True Artist (Phaidon, 2014) the New York-based Plagens will share his insider take on Nauman’s work at the Moudy Building lecture hall on TCU campus in Fort Worth in a talk titled “Artist on Artist: A Painter Writes About Bruce Nauman.”

The lecture is free and open to all who are interested, and is sponsored by the TCU School of Art and the Stuck Art History Lecture Fund. For a map to the Moudy North Building and parking info, please go here. The talk takes place in Moudy North, room 141.





Houston Cinema Arts Fest is Back in Town!

The Houston Cinema Arts Festival (HCAF) is returning with its usual explosion of films, lectures, and performances. This year, HCAF will present 50 programs in five days (November 12-16), plus eight films that screen during the four-day “Spotlight on Texas” program after the festival (November 17-20).

James Ivory will receive HCAF’s Levantine Cinema Arts Award.

James Ivory will receive HCAF’s Levantine Cinema Arts Award.

This year’s featured guests will be filmmaker James Ivory and Tony-winning theater director Julie Taymor. The venues include Café Brasil, Brandon Gallery, Menil Collection, Rice Cinema, Aurora Picture Show, Project Row Houses/El Dorado Ballroom, Miller Outdoor Theater, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Sundance Cinemas. Like last year, many of the films and documentaries are about art and artists. There are also a number of films and events around the theme of street photography.

The passes are pricey: $600 for an All Access Pass, $150 for a Weekend Pass (which covers a good chunk of the schedule), and $80 for a One Day Pass. But check out the full program of events (some events are free!) to see if you can whittle it down to an affordable movie nerd schedule.

Mayor Unveils New Parking Meter Art: Stanley’s Urban-Over-Growth


Houston Mayor Annise Parker will be at Winston’s on Washington Ave. in Houston to unveil new parking meters designed by local artist Troy Stanley this weekend.

On Monday, November 10 at 7 p.m., three leafy, illuminated meters begin officially collecting $2 an hour at night and $1 an hour during the day at three locations: Stanley’s Urban-Over-Growth-Spring is at Winston’s on Washington, 5111 Washington; Urban-Over-Growth-Summer in front of The Salvation Army Thrift Store, 2208 Washington; and Urban-Over-Growth-Fall by Darkhorse Tavern, 2207 Washington. It’s part of a new pay-to-park district on Washington Avenue approved by City Council last year.

The Washington Avenue art meters are the second wave in Houston’s art parking meter project. Mayor Parker unveiled the first set in the warehouse district last month: David Medina’s Found Art at 1300 Sterritt St.; Anthony Shumate’s Wind Blown Meters at 1200 Sterrett St., Devon Moore’s Car & Meter History at 1300 Nance St. and Ketria Bastian Scott’s Time Machine #1 at 1400 Nance.

Wanted FAST: Adjunct with Ideas at HCC Southeast Residency Program

airHouston Community College Southeast is looking for an art appreciation adjunct with a good Idea to take part in their Spring 2015 Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program, which aims to make higher education more relevant to students and faculty by using art as a participatory tool.

The resident artist will get a $3,000 stipend and a $1,000 budget for materials, in addition to the regular pay for teaching one class as a guest artist (for which they need to hold an MFA or MA to meet college credentialing requirements).

Proposals should include a letter of introduction, a project description, a CV, and a PowerPoint with 5-8 images of recent work. Proposals should be emailed to June Woest at

Finalists for the residency/teaching gig will be called in for interviews in late November, and a final selection will be made in December. The teaching/residency begins January 20 – May 17, 2015

Hurry! The deadline to submit your great idea is Midnight Monday, Nov. 10!

Rubin Center and Machine Project team up in El Paso’s new Cuadro



UTEP’s Rubin Center has partnered with LA’s Machine Project to create Cuadro, a temporary art laboratory at 210 N Stanton St., in a storefront space of the O.T. Bassett Tower in El Paso’s newly designated Downtown Arts District.

Cuadro will feature a series of weekly, weekend events by a mix of local artists and artists from Machine Project, aimed at doing good things like “building a dynamic and experimental platform for different models of artistic practices” and “serving as a catalyst for developing artist-led projects and engaging new and diverse publics.”

On November 6-8, Cuadro will host We Are Local, a showcase of local artist initiatives. On November 13-15 it will host CAMLAB, a collaboration between Jemima Wyman and Anna Mayer begun at CalArts in 2005.

Cuadro is made possible with support from The City of El Paso Museum and Cultural Affairs Department, The El Paso Community Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Fort Worth Modern Participates in Visual AIDS Day By Screening a New Film Series

logo_0The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is participating in the 25th anniversary year of Visual AIDS Day/ A Day With(out) Art by screening a new series of short films titled Alternate Endings on Wednesday, December 3 at 2 pm.

For this year’s observance, filmmaker Tom Kalin (Swoon; Savage Grace) commissioned seven artists or collaboratives to create new films to commemorate AIDS Day which will screen internationally during early December; the series will hit many hundreds (thousands?) of screens in museums, galleries, libraries, performance spaces, etc., across the nation. The filmmaking participants include Rhys Ernst, Glen Fogel, Lyle Ashton Harris, Derek Jackson, Tom Kalin, My Barbarian, and Julie Tolentino.

The annual Day With(out) Art is the continuation of the original Day Without Art, which debuted in December of 1989 as a “national day of action and mourning in response to the AIDS crisis.” The Modern is a fitting host for this year’s installment due to its current exhibition Urban Theater: New York Art in the 1980s, and indeed after the screening there will be a special tour of the exhibition.

For more on the history of Visual AIDS Day/ A Day With(out) Art and this event, please go here.

Sound/Video/Performance Collective Makes Noise Across Texas

FECThe Flinching Eye Collective (F.E.C.), a group of seven interdisciplinary media artists, is blasting through Texas beginning tonight. What they call “The Aberration Tour” starts in Austin at the Salvage Vanguard Theater at 10pm, presented by the Church of the Friendly Ghost. Friday night at 8pm, F.E.C. takes it to Dallas’ CentralTrak, in conjunction with the CentralSound music series, and on Saturday at 7pm, the tour concludes in Houston at Nicole Longnecker Gallery.

The seven members (Max Bernstein, Scott Ferguson, Tobias Fike, Adan De La Garza, Ryan Wade Ruehlen, Benjamin Gale-Schreck, and Matthew Weedman) formed in 2011 and live in NY, CO, WA and TX. They state that their goal is “is to provide a unique transient art experience that engages the community, as well as challenges contemporary notions for exhibition.” If you like descriptions such as “immersive,” “disruptive,” and “audible landscapes,” check them out in your nearest Texas city.

Sarah Thornton Speaks About Her New Book This Thursday In Dallas

e065fec1-6614-4836-840d-4ccdfcf3695bThe Dallas Museum of Art, as part of its Arts & Letters Live Series, and the Nasher Sculpture Center, through its 360 Speaker Series, team up to host author and art-world vivisector Sarah Thornton at the DMA on Thursday evening, November 6. Thornton will discuss her newest book, 33 Artists in 3 Acts, in which she “interviewed over 130 artists, including Cindy Sherman and Ai Weiwei, to investigate artists’ psyches, personas, politics, and social networks.” Thornton, of course, is the author of the much talked-about Seven Days in the Art World, published in 2008.

Thornton will speak at 7:30 in the Horchow Auditorium at the DMA at 7:30 p.m. Reservations and tickets are required ($30), but a hardcover of her new book is included in the price. Go here for all pertinent info, or reserve online at, or call 214-922-1818.

Baytown Artist on Mission to Paint Every Texan Fallen Soldier

On Thursday evening at 7pm, on the show Arts InSight, Houston Public Media will feature Baytown artist Ken “The Dauber” Pridgeon, who is attempting to paint portraits of every Texan soldier lost in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

PridgeonIn his youth, Pridgeon spent ten years in the Air Force before becoming a billboard painter, and making his own paintings at night after work. He’s a well-known local painter of landscapes and nature scenes, with a number of murals in the Baytown area. But, in 2010, he was asked to paint a portrait of a fallen soldier during a fundraiser and before he finished it, someone tapped him on the shoulder and told him he would have to paint a portrait of another local soldier who had just died a few days earlier. Pridgeon was sucked into the project; word spread and now he has painted well over 150 of the portraits. Eventually, the Portrait of a Warrior Memorial Art Gallery opened in Baytown, although it already running out of room.

Pridgeon told the Texas Observer, “See, I have a problem…So I said I was going to do 500, that’s when we had 500. Now we got even more.” He added, “I just knocked them out, because I told people I was just going to do as many as I could live to do. I’ve been blessed with good health the last two years. But my goal is to do all of them.”

In the same interview, he shared his insights into the difficulties of veterans: “I paint the ones that died [in the U.S.] from suicide because they really died in Iraq and Afghanistan, okay? They were killed there. With the IEDs and their friends getting killed next to them and all that. They just came back to the United States, met their moms and dads, and then killed themselves. But they died there.”

In a clip from tomorrow night’s Arts InSight segment, Pridgeon also says, “People ask me, well, what are you gonna do when the war ends? I said, man, I’m gonna get out in the street and celebrate with everybody! What are you talking about? This war has lasted too long!”

(Image via Houston Chronicle. Photo By Mayra Beltran/Chronicle)

Dallas’ Arboretum Presents its Artist in Residence this Saturday


Work by Irby Pace at the Dallas Arboretum

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is in its second year of hosting an artist-in-residence program, called The Artist’s Garden, and on Saturday, November 8 at 11.30 a.m. it will hold a reception to showcase the work of the 2014 resident artist and UNT grad, Irby Pace.

Last year kicked off the program with artist Alison Jardine, who helped shape the residency with the Arboretum’s Joy Matthews. The residency will continue next year; the chosen artist will create new work in response to the gardens during the spring and summer of 2015 and exhibit the work at the Arboretum in the fall, and develop some educational programming around their work.

For more information on the program and this Saturday’s event, please go here.

SA’s Luminaria is Mixing It Up This Year and Going Big Time

DiazIn 2008, the mayor of San Antonio initiated Luminaria as an annual one-night downtown arts celebration, focusing primarily on showcasing the works of San Antonio artists. Since then, it has grown and morphed but, this year, they’re throwing in some big transformations.

It’s changed from March to November (7th and 8th, 6pm-nidnight); from Hemisfair park (where it’s been since 2011) to the northern part of downtown (bookended by the SA Main Library and the new Tobin Center for the Performing Arts); from one night to two; from strictly local to include national and international artists; and from an open call format to a curated event.

This year, San Antonio artists will join artists from Latin America to create murals, light/video installations, and performances. It’s a great chance to view tons of San Antonio artists within the context of the art world at large.

Besides the lengthy and impressive list of artists (including former San Antonian Alejandro Diaz, whose work is pictured above), there’s also bunches of stages with music and, on Saturday during the day, there will be a number of sessions and panel discussions called the “Luminaria Convergence,” in conjunction with the 2014 Western Arts Alliance Institute.

SMU’s Meadows Museum Shows ALL THE COLLECTIONS


El Greco

Southern Methodist University’s Meadows Museum is going to move the date of its recently and breathlessly announced House of Alba Collection show, which was going to open next spring, so that it can make room for Yet Another Big Big Private Collection Show. “The Abelló Collection: A Modern Taste for European Masters,” will showcase 70 paintings from the acclaimed collection of Madrid-based collector Juan Abelló, with its emphasis on masterworks by the likes of Georges Braque, Salvador Dalí, Edgar Degas, Francisco Goya, El Greco, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso. Like the House of Alba Collection, this will be the first time many of these works will be shown in the United States, and together these exhibitions make a nice celebration of Meadows’ 50th anniversary.

Please note, then, that the opening date for the House of Alba Collection has shifted from springtime to Sept. 4, 2015, and the Abelló Collection exhibition will open April 18, 2015. For more info, go here.



Charge!!! Houston Area Artists Learn How to Take Charge and Charge!

chargeThe Art League Houston (ALH) has been doing a good job of promoting its upcoming two-day seminar “charge: practicum” to take place on November 8 and 9. In fact, it is already threatening that it’s almost full (register now here!). The event includes lectures, workshops, and panel discussions on the economics of being an artist (practically, socially, and politically).

While the title “charge” may imply electric energy, a call to battle, or a plea to artists to ask for proper compensation, there will also be a charge of $10 to participate. But the fees go towards a “charge grant.” All participants will be invited to submit written project proposals online by January 4, 2015. The grantee (winner take all) will be selected through online voting by participants.

For cynics turned off by the term “practicum,” the use of lower case letters, or the overall off-putting academic language (we just discovered the term “hackademic” on another website this morning)—have no fear! The list of discussion topics and presenters sounds pretty interesting (see below); the whole thing starts with laughing yoga (doofy, but highly recommended!) led by Houston artist Tony Day; and there’s a rocking dance party on Saturday night.

Presenters: Michelle Barnes (The Community Artists’ Collective, Houston), Nestor Topchy (TemplO/Zocalo, Houston), Beth Secor (The Effemera Museum, Houston), Lauren van Haaften-Schick (Non-Participation, New York) and Helena Keeffe (Standard Deviation, San Francisco), Gabriel Martinez (Alabama Song, Houston), Dawn Weleski (Conflict Kitchen/City Council Wrestling/Bus Stop Opera, Pittsburgh), Zach Moser (Shrimp Boat Projects/Workshop Houston/The Big Parade, Houston), Aay Preston-Myint (Chances Dances, Chicago), Robert Pruitt and M’kina Tapscott (H.O.S.T – Houston), Lise Soskolne (W.A.G.E., New York), Alison Gerber (Yale), and Ayanna Jolivet McCloud (artist/writer, Houston).

Houston Artists Who Need Health Insurance And Still Haven’t Enrolled: Look Here


Ouch! Also, I wanted to use a skeleton image on Halloween.

On Wednesday December 3, The Actors Fund, Dance Source Houston, and Fresh Arts are teaming up with Legacy Community Health Services to host a public workshop called “Every Artist Insured.” At 7 p.m. that evening at The Barn on Preston Street (Dance Source’s headquarters), healthcare marketplace pros will be on hand to “discuss how to enroll in an ACA plan” and help you navigate “the Marketplace web site and help you with the enrollment process.” They’ll also walk you through your options for federal subsidies, when applicable. You could walk outta there with health insurance! Or at least a concrete start date for your new health insurance!

(People: I signed up for the ACA last year and have been really pleased with my plan through 2014, and yes, I’ve been using it.)

This workshop is free. They are hoping for RSVPs, though. For more info, go to this Facebook page or try here.

Ratcliff: Why Worry About Art Criticism When the House is On Fire?

Trash art self portrait by Tom Deninger

Trash art self portrait by Tom Deninger

Dallas arts writer (and sometime Glasstire contributor) Darryl Ratcliff blogged yesterday for CentralTrak’s Canvassing that : “The Whole Arts World Is Totally Fucked. And Everyone’s Talking About Arts Criticism?

Responding to Glasstire’s Christina Rees recent article on crowdsourced curating at museums, Ratcliff argues that museums aren’t necessarily to blame: wacky, populist curatorial strategies are symptoms of a larger campaign against creativity in general.

Bringing in the Newly released W.A.G.E. guidelines, Robert Boyd’s blog about them, and spiraling art-school tuition, Ratcliff says the end is near, just in time for Halloween!


Lecture Series for WWI Postcards Show Starts TONIGHT in Houston

unnamedTo accompany its current exhibition “Postcards from the Trenches” (which looks like a good one), the Printing Museum in Houston is launching a lecture series which begins this evening at 7 p.m., with a talk by Steven Fenberg, author and filmmaker. The title of tonight’s discussion is “Give Until It Hurts: Jesse Jones, Houston and World War I.”

The series will continue on November 6, with a talk by author and filmmaker Jay Winter titled “The First World War: A Transnational Approach,” and will conclude on November 20 with national radio host and music historian Michael Lasser with “’Smile the While You Kiss me Sad Adieu’: The Love Songs of WWI.”

These lectures are free, but seating is limited and RSVPs are encouraged: call (713) 522-4652. For more info, please go here.


The Museum of Printing History · 1324 W. Clay Street, Houston, Texas 77019

Artists and Writers to Decide If They Have Anything in Common

ligaturesGulf Coast Magazine has put together a “conversation,” which will take place tonight at 7pm in Houston’s El Dorado Ballroom. They have lined up two authors (Jennifer Scappettone and Ilya Kaminsky) and two artists (Autumn Knight and Clarissa Tossin) for “Ligatures: Authors and Artists in Conversation.” They will discuss the artistic process and how to actually get stuff done. Conversation from the audience is encouraged.

Of course, there are a number of artist/authors who have already figured it out (Glasstire’s own Laura Lark, for one), but it probably wouldn’t make for as good of a conversation.

Belo Auction Sets Records for Some Texas Artists’ Prices

heritageAs mentioned in this space the week before last, the auctioning off of Belo Corporation’s art collection on Oct. 18 in Dallas was sure to be a big success, and it turns out it was. According to, the auction, which was made up of decades’ worth of Texas art, was standing-room only and brought in more than $620,000. This surpassed high-estimate expectations.

FYI: David Bates’ “Blue Heron,” considered the big-ticket item, “took top lot honors early in the auction when it crossed the block for $106,250, a new record for the artist.”

A record was set for Dennis Blagg’s work: two of his works sold after multiple bids, for $40,625 and $37,500. Also of note: “Two paintings by abstract artist Billy Hassell also saw interest by multiple bidders,” with works selling for $21,250 and $20,000, “both fresh records for the artist.” And, a “geometric abstract work by artist Dan Rizzie, ended at $32,500, also a record for the artist.”

For more on this, go here.