Jesús Moroles Memorial Service Announced for Saturday


Photo via Delilah Montoya and

In the wake of artist Jesús Moroles’ death on June 15:

Visitation to be held Friday, June 19th from 5- 9 p.m. at:

Charlie Marshall Funeral Home
814 E Main Street
Rockport, TX 78382
(361) 729-2451

A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, June 20th at 10 a.m. at:

Martha Luigi Auditorium
Rockport – Fulton High School
1803 Omohundro Street
Rockport, TX 78382

“In lieu of flowers, contributions could be made to the charity of your choice or Arco Iris Earth Care Project non-profit 501c3, HC70 Box 17A, Ponca, Arkansas, 72670.”

For more information, please go here.

McNay Director Gives 67-Week Notice

Chiego2William J. Chiego, Director of San Antonio’s McNay Art Museum, has informed the museum’s board of trustees of his intention to step down from the directorship of the McNay on September 30, 2016.

The McNay board will need that time to figure out how to organize a search for its new director, a task with which it has little experience. By the time Chiego retires, he will have served more than 25 years as director, only the second leader of the museum in its 62-year history.

“The timing of this announcement is to ensure that a succession-planning process will be deliberate and seamless until the best qualified candidate is secured and a smooth transition follows,” stated Board President Sarah Harte in a press release. The McNay has appointed a transition committee, which will direct the international search for a successor.

During Chiego’s tenure at the McNay, the collection more than doubled from 9,000 to over 20,000 works of art and the museum’s footprint nearly tripled. Chiego spearheaded a $51 million capital campaign that culminated with the 2008 opening of the Jane and Arthur Stieren Center for Exhibitions.

Chiego Iooks forward to a continued association with the McNay and having more time to spend with his wife and family.

(Photo: Courtesy McNay Art Museum)

DiverseWorks’ Rachel Cook Among Warhol Fellowship Winners


Rachel Cook

Rachel Cook, associate curator of DiverseWorks in Houston, has been named as one of four national recipients of the Spring 2015 curatorial fellowship granted by the Andy Warhol Foundation. The foundation has been granting these fellowships since 2008 with funds of up to $50,000 per curator project, which ” …are designed to support travel, archival research, convening of colleagues, interviews and time to write.”

The fellowship category is Travel and Research, and Cook’s project will entail travel to New York and Africa to research Walker Evans’ photographs of African art and artifacts. In preparation for an exhibition around this research, she’ll also conduct studio visits in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, and Houston, and the project will culminate with discussions, shows and events at the Menil, MFAH, and DiverseWorks.

For more info, go here.


FOOD. ART. HCP Brings Slideluck to Houston!

SlideluckDallas has held two successful Slideluck events; Austin has held seven. Now, the Houston Center for Photography (HCP) is holding the very first Slideluck Houston!

Part slide jam, part pot luck dinner (although both slides and pot lucks are pretty rare these days), the event is presented in cooperation with New York-based Slideluck, a non-profit organization dedicated to building and strengthening communities through the mixture of food and art. Since 2000, Slideluck has shown the work of roughly 10,000 emerging and established artists in over 100 cities worldwide.

Slideluck Houston will take place at Cottonwood (3422 North Shepherd Drive) on Wednesday, July 22, from 7-10pm. Artists are invited to submit their photographic or video works for consideration by Friday, June 26. (Guidelines on submission specifics and entry form may be found on HCP’s website.) The theme of the Houston presentation is “Cruel Summer,” inspired by the Bananarama song of the 1980s.

Jesús Moroles, 1950-2015 (Updated)



Jesús Moroles, Sculptor, 1950-2015.

Jesús Bautista Moroles died yesterday in a car accident north of Austin, near Georgetown. The Rockport Pilot reports that the artist returned to Rockport from an installation in Dallas in order to report for jury duty on Monday, then left in the evening, headed towards Oklahoma to begin work on his next commissioned piece. As he was traveling on IH35, Moroles was involved in the deadly car accident.

Born in Corpus Christi in 1950, Moroles was an internationally renowned sculptor and National Medal of Arts honoree whose work has been featured in museums and institutions around the world, including the White House and the Smithsonian Institute. In 1978, he received his BFA at the University of North Texas, Denton, after which he served as apprentice to sculptor Luis Jiménez and then spent a year working in Pietrasanta, Italy.

In 1981, Moroles purchased his first large diamond saw, which began his long-term commitment to create a studio in Rockport. By 1983, the Moroles studio became a family effort involving his parents Jose and Maria, his brother, Hilario, his sister, Suzanna, and brother-in-law, Kurt Kangas. In 1987, Moroles completed his most visible work, “Lapstrake,” a 64-ton, 22-foot-tall sculpture located across the street from the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His largest single work is the 1991 site sculpture, the “Houston Police Officers Memorial.” There are also several sculptures by Moroles in his hometown in the sculpture garden at the Rockport Center for the Arts.





White Art Student/Black Activist Outed as Caucasian

Dolezal_PariahThis morning, Houstonians missed out on Matt Lauer’s interview with Rachel Dolezal because the NBC affiliate chose to cancel it in order to have minute-by-minute hysterical coverage of the any-minute-now-almost-rain coming with Tropical Storm Bill. (But you can click on the link above to view the interview.)

If you’ve been under a rock this past week, you may have missed the controversy surrounding Dolezal, the former president of the NAACP chapter in Spokane (she resigned yesterday). The bizarreness of the story stems not from the fact the Dolezal is Caucasian (It’s not the NACP; there are white people in the NAACP, which stands for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), but from the fact that she allowed people to assume that she was African American or “transracial” and, in some cases, actually lied about her heritage.

The later news that she (unsuccessfully) sued Howard University, a historically black school, for racial discrimination while she attended as a white student simply adds to the baffling story. But the confusing touch for art lovers is that she received her MFA from Howard as a major in experimental studio with a minor in sculpture.

In Lauer’s interview with Dolezal, she reveals her artistic inclinations as well as her racial identity issues as early as five years old: “I was drawing self-portraits with the brown crayon instead of the peach crayon, and the black curly hair.”

Dolezal’s website, which doesn’t seem to have been updated since 2012, shows much of her artwork, including Pariah (above) and Regret (below).Dolezal_Regret

Vernon Fisher retrospective opening in LA this week


Hotel, 2015. Acrylic on canvas, 54 x 54 inches.

Vernon Fisher, artist and pillar of the Texas scene (and based in Fort Worth) has a retrospective opening at Mark Moore Gallery in Los Angeles on June 18.

Fisher’s work is in the permanent collections of nearly every major museum in the U.S., and the Modern Museum of Fort Worth held a major retrospective of his work in 2010-11. The curator of the Mark Moore retrospective is Hugh Davies, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

Via Mark Moore Gallery:

Hugh Davies first saw Fisher’s work in the late seventies and was immediately impressed with the combination of conceptual rigor, and consummate craftsmanship. Davies, along with co-curator Madeleine Grynsztejn, organized a mid-career retrospective of Fisher’s work at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in 1989. In the accompanying catalogue essay, critic Dave Hickey stated that Fisher works in a kind of formula of “imperfectly analogous juxtapositions of three imperfectly distinct kinds of phenomena (the personal, the social, the natural), described by three imperfectly distinct information systems (the literary narrative, the iconographic image, and the cartographic grid).”

The exhibition will run through July 18. For more info, please go here.

Neil deGrasse Tyson Invites Aliens to the Rothko Chapel

Rothko_Chapel_2A few days ago, superstar astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson (director of New York City’s Hayden Planetarium and executive editor/host of Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey, the recent reboot of Carl Sagan’s landmark television series) posted an AMA (“ask me anything”) on reddit on the topic of art.

Of the many questions asked, one was, “Which three works of art would you choose to give to an alien species that you feel best expresses the human experience?” The Rothko Chapel topped his list! Here is Tyson’s response:


I think I would have them visit the Rothko Chapel, in Houston. Obviously, there’s more than one work of art there, but it emanates from the same soul of creativity. That would be one of them, if I would be allowed to group that as one work of art.

Another group of art, I would say the Sistine Chapel, the ceiling. That captures the height of our artistic expression, triggered by religious emotion. And religion is a big part of what civilization has been. The Rothko Chapel is a path to your inner solitude.

And the fact that art can get you there – in a space, I think – matters.

And I would say third, again it’s a space – the Waterlily Room, in Paris, where you have the Waterlilies, where as Impressionist Art, you don’t think Waterlilies by seeing the artwork, you feel them. And it’s a way to have art convey a feeling more than a visual.

And this would tell the aliens that we, as a species, do much more than think.

We feel.

And then they’d have to contend with that.

Maybe they’d vaporize us, haha! I don’t know any force operating in our culture but art to capture that fact.

(Thanks to Cody Ledvina for catching this and passing it on to Glasstire!)

A show that celebrates the interns


“Hannah” by Desiree Espada

Holly Johnson Gallery in Dallas has of course employed interns since it opened in 2005, and they were and are most often photography BFAs at the University of North Texas and other schools in the region. Evidently, some of them are quite talented.

As part of its ongoing celebration of ten years in Dallas, on June 27 the gallery opens My Favorite Intern, an exhibition that showcases the work of more than 20 of these interns.  Here’s the list of artists:

Julianne Rose Aguilar, Eva Aldridge, Megan Armstrong, Shoragim Amir, Robert Collier Beam, Kasumi Chow, Roxanne Cottongame, Rachel Cox, Sara Deal, Megan DeSoto, Brandon Dupre, Desiree Michelle Espada, Ðan Lam, Dannie Liebergot, Jonathan Molina-Garcia, Gibson Rēgester, Natalie Sales, Mallory Stika, Macy Villars, Travis Williams, Mary Kathryn Wimberly and Trey Wright.

The show runs through August 15. For more info, go here.

Tomorrow: Artist Mark Menjivar leads a death-row workshop in Houston


In conjunction with its current exhibition by Amy Elkins, which explores death row and the capital punishment system in the U.S. and Texas, the Houston Center for Photography is offering a fascinating-sounding free workshop in which participants “will learn about the basic processes of the capital punishment system in Texas through interdisciplinary artistic activities.” Texas has executed 500 people since 1976.

San Antonio-based artist Mark Menjivar and educator Ryan Sprott, who will lead the workshop, “have been working with a group of high school students using public archives, oral history, community engagement and the arts to explore capital punishment from multiple perspectives.”

Menjivar, known his projects which fall under the banner of Social Practice, has recently had a book published on one of his ongoing projects. Read about it here.

This workshop takes place tomorrow (Saturday), June 13 from 1-5 p.m. For more info, please go here.

Oak Cliff Film Festival Kicks Off Tonight


Still from Rick Alverson’s movie “Entertainment”

The fourth annual Oak Cliff Film Festival  in Dallas starts up tonight and runs through the weekend, primarily at the Texas Theater, the Kessler Theater, and the Bishop Arts Center, and is organized by the Aviation Cinemas crew (a.k.a. the diehard cinephiles who run the Texas Theater).

This is a growing, international festival that’s getting national attention, with a lineup that skews indie and art-house. Via the Festival’s site, this year’s theme “…takes its inspiration from the No-Wave movement of the late 70’s that took root in New York City before spreading throughout the world.”

The great-looking schedule can be found here.

For information on attending the festival or individual screenings, go here and scroll down.

Francois de Menil Quits the Cooper Union Mess

Dominique de Menil with son Francois, architect of Houston's Byzantine Fresco Chapel, completed in 1997. (Photo By Betty Tichich via Houston Chronicle)

Dominique de Menil with son Francois, architect of Houston’s Byzantine Fresco Chapel, completed in 1997. (Photo By Betty Tichich via Houston Chronicle)

On Tuesday night, five members of the Cooper Union’s board of trustees (and staunch supporters of the college’s president) resigned en masse, including Vice Chairman Francois de Menil. On Wednesday evening, the president of the art, architecture, and engineering university also resigned.

The president and board have dealt with criticism, protests, and sit-ins since they decided to start charging tuition for the first time in its 150-year history. The school was established in 1859 as a free school and the idea of free tuition has become a growing national discussion, especially after President Obama’s proposal for tuition-free community college in his recent State of the Union address. But to get a sense of the humongous mess that has been going on at Cooper Union for the past few years, visit the websites of Free Cooper Union and CSCUFCSCU (Committee to Save Cooper Union from the Committee to Save Cooper Union), both of which display cleverness and humor in their mud-slinging against each other.

From the Free Cooper Union website

From the Free Cooper Union website

From the CSCUFCSU website

From the CSCUFCSU website

De Menil was not one of the three trustees who decided to publicly post their resignation letters, but it must have been a difficult decision for him. The fourth child of John and Dominique de Menil had a career in publishing and filmmaking before he decided to go back to school and get a degree in architecture at Cooper Union. He graduated in 1987 and established his own practice in 1991. De Menil has served on the Cooper Union board twice—from 1993 to 2000 and from 2005 until Tuesday evening. In 2011, he was elected as vice chairman, and he led the search committee for the current president (whose resignation is not effective until the end of the month).

‘Not That But This’ Launches New Site with a Party This Saturday


Houston-based webzine Not That But This––is celebrating its redesigned site with a party at Project Row Houses this Saturday evening. The website was founded by Nathaniel Donnett in 2012, and features contributors M’Kina Tapscott, Autumn Knight, Kenya Evans, Robert Pruitt, Jamal Cyrus, and contributing editor Kathy J. Brown.

Via Not That But This, the site was “created out of necessity, by artists and various creatives, that seeks to showcase and celebrate contemporary art and culture created by people of color throughout the African diaspora. Not That But This strives to be an expressive, critical, and experimental platform for the investigation, interpretation and freeform exploration of the contemporary art world, as well as the everyday aspects of modern life.”

The party runs from 7-9 p.m. and will feature music by DJ Flash Gordon Parks. The writers will be in attendance and will be able to talk to partygoers  “about the website and its purpose.” (Via Project Row Houses.)

For more info on the launch party, please go here.

More Aggie Art! Exhibition Promises Updated Version of Conservative Collection

ForsythAs if in response to Rainey Knudson’s recent essay, “The Cult of Memory at Texas A&M,” the Forsyth Galleries at A&M opened an exhibition called A Second Look: Interpretations of Selected Works from the Permanent Collection. The Forsyth Galleries is known for its collection of 19th and 20th-century decorative arts and American paintings, but the exhibition description promises an update to the conservative collection:

This exhibition juxtaposes traditional paintings from the Forsyth Galleries’ collections with responses to those works by area artists. Working in various media, the artists invite viewers to see the “conventional” works in innovative ways, while introducing refreshed interpretations of medium, theme and subject.

(Of course, the show is not in response to Knudson’s essay—the show opened June 5 and the essay was posted on June 7. There will be an opening reception tomorrow evening from 5:30-7pm.)

Richard Long Installation Still Drying in the Arts District

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 6.52.55 PM

Renowned British land artist Richard Long was in Dallas over the weekend to install a massive wall piece in the lobby of the new building that anchors Hall Arts, developer Craig Hall‘s five-acre complex in the middle of the Arts District behind the AT&T Performing Arts Center. The high-rise building, KPMG Plaza,  once it opens, will house offices for Jackson Walker, UMB Bank, Hall Financial Group and a restaurant by Stephen Pyles.

Long flew in to execute the installation himself (along with an assistant) and was accompanied by Glasstire friend and Lisson Gallery director Joanna Thornberry, who texted over the accompanying photo. This is among the first of the artworks that are meant to take up residence indoors and out at Hall Arts. Long named the White China clay piece while he was here: it’s called Dallas Rag.


Art-Loving Foodies: Eat and Learn at the MFAH

PersianOn Thursday evening, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is presenting another of its Art+Cuisine series, this time on Persian cuisine. The program begins with a brief presentation and conversation by Sussan Babaie, an internationally acclaimed art historian; and Najmieh Batmanglij, who has been hailed as “the guru of Persian cuisine.” Afterward, guests are invited to enjoy a tasting buffet of Persian foods. The doors open at 6pm; the program starts at 6:30pm. Tickets are a bit pricey ($40 for members, $50 for nonmembers), but it’s an educational dinner.

For those on a budget who just want to work up a good appetite, the Culinary Institute LeNôtre has a free monthly Culinary Movie series. Who knew? This month’s, Somm, is also on June 11 (1:15pm and 6:15pm). Next month’s will be Like Water for Chocolate.

(Image: Persian, Sekandar Marries Roshanak (detail from folio 326b) in Shahnameh, late 16th century, British National Library.)

A Summer Art Block Party that Goes on Until Midnight

2014 Fall Block PartyThe Dallas Arts District is throwing a Summer Block Party on Friday, June 19 from 6 p.m. to midnight; Flora and Harwood will be given over to pedestrians, and it all promises a lot of open doors and festivities.

The Nasher Sculpture Center, the Crow Collection and the Dallas Museum of Art are all participating by staying open late (for free!) with special screenings (A Fish Called Wanda, The Avengers and more), a free meditation session,  live bands The Walden Twins and Quiet Company, and of course the museums’ exhibitions are open as well. There will of course be gourmet food trucks galore, activity tables, scavenger hunts… the whole nine yards.

This is all co-hosted by the Texas Commission on the Arts and The Dallas Foundation. For more info, go here and here.

The Met Names Kelly Baum as New Curator

Kelly Baum (Photo: Frank Wojciechowski)

Kelly Baum (Photo: Frank Wojciechowski)

On Saturday, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced the appointment of Kelly Baum as the new curator of the department of post-war and contemporary art.

Houstonians may remember Kelly Baum from her stint as a curatorial assistant at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston a dozen or so years ago. Austinites will know her from her five years as assistant curator at the Blanton Museum of Art.

For those who don’t know the ins and outs of climbing the curatorial ladder, the leap from curatorial assistant to assistant curator is a huge one (which many never make). A curatorial assistant is the first rung on the ladder, but is usually a glorified and grossly underpaid secretary; assistant curator is the position that allows one to be called a Curator.

In December 2007, Baum moved on to become the Princeton University Art Museum’s Locks Curatorial Fellow for Contemporary Art, where they eventually created a new position and appointed Baum as the first Haskell Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. Baum, who holds a Ph.D and M.A. in art history from the University of Delaware, organized numerous award-winning exhibitions while at Princeton.

While Baum has shown her curatorial chops over the years, the rise to curator of the department of post-war and contemporary art at the Met (!) is pretty darn fast and pretty phenomenal. Congratulations to Kelly!

Garland Muhammed Cartoons to be Televised in the Netherlands

Geert Wilders Speaks To Pegida GatheringGeert Wilders is at it again.

The Dutch far-right politician who was the keynote speaker at the “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest” last month in Garland, Texas that prompted an attack and left two dead, says he plans on showing the cartoons during a television broadcast in the Netherlands. To get around laws that would normally edit out depictions of the Prophet Muhammed on national TV, he’s using a loophole rule that states that political-party broadcasts cannot be edited.

Wilders’ party, The Party for Freedom, is anti-immigration and anti-Muslim, and holds 12 of 150 seats in Dutch parliament.  He says he’ll run the broadcast in the coming weeks.

Photo artists: Want Your portfolio reviewed by experts? You do. This is networking.

2014mp_04Every two years FotoFest in Houston, as part of its big international Biennial, offers photography based artists an opportunity to receive honest feedback on their work  from more than a dozen visiting art professionals. Early registration begins on June 17 for the March 2016 portfolio review, and FotoFest is promising artists at least 16 meetings apiece, plus other VIP initiatives. That’s a lot of eyes, a lot of feedback, and a lot of NETWORKING. This is the largest pro portfolio review in the art world.

This is a first come-first serve situation. Space is limited.

So far, the professionals who are on board to look over your work include:

Alexa Becker: Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany
Debra Klomp Ching: Klompching Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Claude Goulet: Artistic Director, Rencontres de la Photographie a Gaspesie, Canada
Dina Mitrani: Owner/Director, Dina Mitrani Gallery, Miami, FL
David Oresick: Executive Director, Silver Eye Center for Photography, Pittsburgh, PA
Christopher Rauschenberg: Founder, Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, OR
Heather Snider: Director, SF Camerawork, San Francisco, CA
Frank Wagner: Independent Curator, Berlin, Germany
Lars Willumeit: Curator, East Wing Gallery, Doha, UAE
Amy Wolf: Photo Editor, Photo District News, New York, NY
Duan Yuting: Director/Founder, Lianzhou Foto Festival, Guangzhou, China
Susan A. Zadeh: Publisher & Editor, Eyemazing Editions, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Manfred Zollner: Editor, fotoMAGAZIN, Hamburg, Germany

Additional reviewers will be announced by June 17. For more info on registration, please go here.