DiverseWorks Announces Lectures and Studio Visits

Xandra Eden. Go meet her!

Xandra Eden. Go meet her!

Houston’s DiverseWorks has announced its “Fall 2015 Diverse Discourse Lecture and Studio Visit Series.” On September 23, DiverseWorks’ new Executive Director and Chief Curator Xandra Eden will speak about her past curatorial projects and vision for DiverseWorks’ future programming. On October 14, Chris Sharp, Mexico City-based writer, critic, independent curator, and editor-at-large of Kaleidoscope magazine, will speak.

Hey Houston area artists waiting to be discovered while you slave away in your lonely studio: It doesn’t work that way! Get out and meet these curators. Find out what they’re thinking about. Introduce yourselves and let them know who you are. And, if you fill out the DiverseWorks application by September 18, one of them may come knocking at your door for a studio visit.

So, keep up the good work, but don’t forget to get out once in a while!

Relocation of Jefferson Davis Statue Temporarily Halted

There has been lots of attention recently on the statue of Jefferson Davis that’s been located on UT Austin’s campus since the 1930s. Along with physical attacks to the statue, the student body has organized a petition to protest the statue’s presence:

“Statues serve to glorify and memorialize the values of what the subject stood for. Given Jefferson Davis’ vehement support for the institution of slavery and white supremacy, we believe this statue is not in line with the university’s core values—learning, discovery, freedom, leadership, individual opportunity, and responsibility.”

In March of this year, the UT student government voted to remove Davis’ statue from the campus. Additionally, UT’s president, Gregory Fenves, announced that the statue will be relocated to the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.

But as of August 14th, moving the statue has been delayed due to a temporary restraining order requested by The Sons of Confederate Veterans, the same group that lost its case before the Supreme Court last year trying to force Texas to offer a license plate with the Confederate battle flag. The SCV claims that “moving the statues violates the will of George Littlefield, a major donor to UT-Austin who paid for the Confederate statues’ construction.” (Meaning the SCV is cleverly using the same argument that certain members of the art press passionately use to argue against museum deaccessioning…)

While the statue of Davis is being relocated, four other Confederate statues (including those of Robert E. Lee and Texas Revolution hero Albert Sidney Johnston, which we discussed shortly before the graffiti “Black Lives Matter” appeared on the statues earlier this year) will remain in place on the campus. Instead of moving them, “Fenves will consider adding explanatory plaques to place them in historical context.”

Long story short: UT has made a move to move Davis’ statue. Now we must wait for it to play out.


TCA Offers Webinar on Diversity

The texas commission arts webinarTexas Commission on the Arts is offering a free web-based seminar series beginning this Wednesday, August 19th. Based on community engagement and building diversity, this seminar promises to give strategies for “authentic diversity outreach.”

Via TCA: “Dayron J. Miles, Manager of Community and Audience Engagement at the Dallas Theater Center, will present “Community Engagement: A Powerful Tool for Building Diversity.” Mr. Miles will cover the importance of shifting the institutional mindset, asking hard questions, and listening to communities. Following the presentation, Mr. Miles will take questions from participants.”


The webinar (web-seminar), Community Engagement: A Powerful Tool for Building Diversity, takes place August 19th at 2:00PM CDT. Register here.

Artpace Family Day to Feature Sno-Cones and Merriment

artpace family day frame

Prepare yourselves for this summer’s last-ditch super fun family extravaganza happening at Artpace tomorrow, August 15th, from 1-4:30PM. For this event, Artpace will provide “tours, interactive art projects, the city’s only TASK Party, music, snacks, merriment, and more.” This TASK Party has happened in past years and is (most likely) the conception of Oliver Herring, an artist who had an exhibition/residency at DiverseWorks earlier this year.

According to the event’s facebook page, there will be a free shuttle traveling between Artpace and Blue Star Contemporary throughout the day. Also, it appears there will be free Sno-Cones.

There you have it. Sno-Cones, merriment, and art: perfect for a hot Saturday.

Now Artists Can Co-Opt High School Football Season to Great Effect

Friday Night Lights

As good an excuse as any to put up a pic of Tim Riggins.

Like the book, movie and TV show Friday Night Lights? We sure do! And here’s a very cool call for submissions by the always-excellent Old Jail Art Center for original photography of Texas’ fevered high school football season.

Via the Old Jail:

“The Old Jail Art Center seeks modern photographs of Texas football.
We’re seeking both amateur and professional photography that tells the story of football through an artistic lens. (the action, the music, the food, the crowd…).”
The works will be juried by staff of the Old Jail, which will exhibit the works in September. Should make a good show.

We know Texas-based photog Nancy Newberry has done award-winning work around this subject. Let’s see who else wants to tackle (ba-da-ching!) this ever-loaded subject.

“Deliver submissions to the OJAC by
5:00 pm on September 10.
Your artwork must be ready to hang (matted or framed).
Please attach your name, title and date of work, and contact information to your submission.”

For more info, contact


Go to the Desert to Cool Off and “Curate” a Performance

Marfa Live Arts has invited the performance collective Lower Left out to Marfa for a program of choreography inspired by the West Texas landscape. The collective is asking folks to travel specifically for the event called “Secondary Surface Rendered” in the hopes that the audience will be able to fully immerse themselves in an unfamiliar environment.

The collective describes the event: “Moving away from the constraints of the standard proscenium setting, Lower Left invites the audience to curate its own experience as it follows the action of the performance installations in the Crowley Theater.”

This sounds like one of those things that could be really brilliant. Or terribly uncomfortable. But not in terms of the weather—Marfa is meant to be 10-15 degrees cooler than most of the rest of Texas this weekend.

There are two performances at the Crowley Theater, August 14 and 15, beginning at 7pm.

Clint Willour to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Willour with the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Anne Wilkes Tucker

Willour with the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Anne Wilkes Tucker

The unstoppable Clint Willour will receive the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Houston Fine Art Fair, (HFAF) which takes place September 9-12. Willour will be honored on Saturday, September 12, at 1-2pm in HFAF’s theater, with a VIP reception to follow.

Willour has lived and worked in Texas since 1970 and has been an uncanny presence at gallery and museum openings in Houston for decades (How can one man be in so many places at once?). Willour has been curator of the Galveston Art Center for more than 20 years; he helped found Art Houston and the Galveston Art Walk; and has been a leader of FOTOFEST International since its inception in 1984. He sits on 4 committees at the MFAH (including the prestigious acquisitions committee) and countless public and private art councils, panels and boards. Over the years, he has donated his art collection to the MFAH, valued at over $1 million (even though he has never earned more than $40k a year).

Says Rebecca Cohen, art critic for the Austin Chronicle, “Willour is the unsung hero of Texas art. I think Clint has done more for mid-career artists and arts institutions in the state than anyone else in Texas.”

Also being recognized at HFAF will be Michelle Swain Barnes, co-founder and executive director of the Community Artists’ Collective, who will receive the Illumination Award for Achievement in Arts Education on September 9, and Lester Marks, who will honored as Arts Patron of the Year on September 10.

(Image: Still from YouTube video “HCP Interview with Anne Tucker and Clint Willour.” Courtesy of Dory Michels.)

Art philanthropist Vernon Faulconer, 1939-2015

8526704_GVernon Faulconer, a Tyler, Texas philanthropist, art collector and oilman, died Friday at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, at age 76. Faulconer was the co-founder/co-owner of the Warehouse, the esteemed private collection space and art initiative which was opened in Dallas in 2012 by Faulconer and fellow collectors Howard and Cindy Rachofsky.

This, via Tyler KYTX’s Coretta Williams: 

Faulconer was born on June 4, 1939, in El Dorado, Kansas. He grew up on a dairy farm and attended Grinnell College in Iowa. It was there he met Amy Hamamoto, who was to become his wife.

Faulconer started a small oil-and-gas leasing and equipment firm. As the oil fields in Kansas started to play out, Faulconer moved his family to Tyler in 1970. In 1981, he formed Vernon E. Faulconer Inc. That company now operates wells in nine states.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, two sons, a daughter and a brother.

Funeral services were held in Tyler yesterday.

For more information, please go here. 

(photo via KYTX)




Nature Makes Some Cool, Creepy Art in Dallas Suburb

Artist collectives are so popular now that spiders are joining in on the fun. In Lakeside Park South located in Rowlett, a suburb in Dallas, they have taken over the trees along a stretch of road and installed a gigantic communal web that climbs up to 40 feet into the trees. While this phenomenon is very rare in the U.S., the same thing happened in 2007 only 35 miles away.

“If you get the chance to take a drive along CA Roan Drive in Rowlett,” says Mike Merchant, urban entomologist at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Dallas, “you might want to take a few moments to stop and admire this spider handiwork. But please don’t touch the art.”

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Mike Merchant

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Mike Merchant

Photo: Getty Images/Rob Stothard

Photo: Getty Images/Rob Stothard

Photo via Fox4News

Photo via Fox4News

Photo by Michael Ainsworth/The Dallas Morning News Staff

Photo by Michael Ainsworth/The Dallas Morning News Staff

Photo WFAA via WTSP

Photo WFAA via WTSP

New Nasher Fund For Acquiring Work by Women Artists


Today the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas announced a new fund for purchasing work by women artists. The Kaleta A. Doolin Acquisitions Fund for Women Artists (provided by its namesake art patron) will provide the initial $750,000 in seed money to kick off the initiative, and the first artist whose work is slated for purchase is Phyllida Barlow. The sculpture, titled untitled:hangingmonument2015,  is featured in Barlow’s current solo show at the Nasher.

Via the Nasher, the fund will help “…substantially grow both the Nasher Sculpture Center’s collection of work by women artists and, with a keen focus on living artists, its contemporary art holdings.” Also: “Works acquired through the Kaleta A. Doolin Acquisitions Fund for Women Artists will augment the Nasher Collection’s important sculptures by women artists, including Magdalena Abakanowicz, Nancy Grossman, Barbara Hepworth, and Beverly Pepper.”

For more info, go here.

Snoopy Turns 65 and He’s Not Slowing Down!

Sandro Kopp, Snoopy, archival ink-jet print, limited edition of 100. COURTESY EXHIBITION A. Image via ArtNet News.

Sandro Kopp, Snoopy, archival ink-jet print, limited edition of 100.

Happy birthday, Snoopy! The most imaginative character from the late illustrator Charles Schulz’s beloved comic strip turns 65 today (although a few web sites claim it was actually August 4). The good-natured beagle is prone to imagining fantasy lives, including being an author, a college student known as “Joe Cool” and a World War One flying Ace.

ArtNet News reports that Tokyo will soon have its very own Snoopy Museum, opening in March 2016. The museum is slated to operate for just two and a half years, through September 2018. There is already a museum dedicated to the Peanuts in Santa Rosa, California— the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center—but the Japanese are certain to take the presentation of the cartoon characters to the next level.

Rendering of the Snoopy Museum Tokyo. Photo: courtesy the Snoopy Museum Tokyo.

Rendering of the Snoopy Museum Tokyo. Photo: courtesy the Snoopy Museum Tokyo.

Speaking of the next level, a state of the art 3-D animated The Peanuts Movie is scheduled to be released on November 6, 2015 and we’re not so sure about it. The flat animated television Peanuts specials had a very understated charm and, although the new film’s composer promises that he includes some touches of the original scores by Vince Guaraldi, the trailers look like this movie and its music will be more action packed than the originals ever meant to be.

We’ll have to wait and see. But, meanwhile—enjoy your day, old man!

A New Survey for Houston Artists

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 2.15.53 PMArtists: here is your chance to dish on all of your favorite Houston-based organizations. The Present Group & Helena Keeffe have created a survey for Houston area artists and need YOU to fill it out with information about institutions throughout the city. By taking and compiling anonymous data from a number of sources, this survey hopes to “make evident the current landscape of support for artists while the city of Houston is determining the future of that support.” This, of course, refers to the city’s new Cultural Plan that is set to be finished before Mayor Parker leaves office at the end of 2015.

The Houston Area Artists Report is supported by Charge Practicum and Fresh Arts. The “Houston Ambassadors” for the survey are Jennie Ash, Jenni Rebecca Stephenson, and Carrie Schneider.

Take the survey HERE.

Last Call: Mystery Art for Sale in Dallas

public trust last callIf you are in Dallas and love deals, this is for you. The Public Trust has announced a moving sale happening today, August 8th, from 12-8:30PM. This event was supposed to take place in February, but was ultimately snowed out. The gallery is trying to clear out its back room and will be selling zines, t-shirts, prints, etc. for 20-60% off. They also have mystery boxes, mystery prints and mystery shirts, for all the adventurous collectors.

This quote from their website perfectly sums up the event: “So if you are looking to stretch your art dollar or hook up that guest room or hallway with nothing on the walls, the time is upon you.”

The sale is today from 12-8:30PM at The Public Trust, a contemporary art gallery located at 2271 Monitor St. in Dallas, TX. 

Swamplot Looking for Editor

help-wanted-300Swamplot is currently searching for an editor! Based in Houston, the website focuses on real estate news, gossip, and occasionally delves into art.

According to the call, this position is perfect for anyone that “can research, report, and write quickly and well; who’s attentive to detail, careful with facts, and has a good sense of humor; who can work independently but also bring out the best from collaborators in a small editorial team; and who can produce accurate and entertaining posts at a steady clip.”

The position is full-time and salary is commensurate with experience.

Check it out and apply here!

Dallas Billionaire Goes into the Cat Drawing Business

cubanMark Cuban, the Dallas Mavericks owner and “shark” investor on the TV show Shark Tank, is now an artist, reports a recent Forbes article. Although Forbes estimates that Cuban is worth $3 billion, he has been making personalized cat drawings and selling them for $1,000 each.

On Shark Tank, Cuban invested in “I Want To Draw a Cat For You!” (it’s exactly what it sounds like) and was later asked what became of became of the project while on the podcast “The Lowe Post.” Cuban describes his evolution as an artist:

Cuban: What made it even more fun for me is he had some that wanted the cat drawn by me. And I’m like “OK, I’m going to price it $1,000 so everybody says ‘no.’ Literally, people said ‘yes’.”
Lowe: Can you draw?
Cuban: No I can’t draw worth crap! But for $1,000 I’ll draw a cat.

Lowe: So there are Mark Cuban cat drawings probably on people’s walls somewhere.
Cuban: There’s like 10 of them out there. So literally I’ve made ten-grand drawing cats for people.

cuban002_smUpper image via Dallas Morning News. Lower image via Forbes.

Funeral History Museum Announces New, Hot Exhibition

pineapple urn

A pineapple urn – because who doesn’t love pineapple urns

Do you think about death often enough to wonder why the history of cremation has never been thoroughly covered? Well, the people at the National Museum of Funeral History sure do! Yesterday, they announced that the Houston-based museum is partnering with The Cremation Association of North America (CANA) to curate a special exhibition entitled The History of Cremation.

Set to open in summer of 2016, this exhibition will chronicle the growth of cremation in North America from the mid-1800s to present day. The exhibition appears to be broken down chronologically, with the fourth era in the show titled “Present Day Cremation (2005-present) The Sky is the Limit.”

If you are a member of CANA, you are encouraged to submit cremation-themed artifacts to be considered for the exhibition. These will likely be reviewed by the “task force of cremation experts” charged with conceptualizing the exhibition.

Via the museum’s press release: “The exhibit will launch just in time for the CANA convention in Houston, TX set for July, 2016. Members of CANA or any other funeral industry professionals who are interested in donating artifacts to be considered for the exhibit are encouraged to submit a picture and brief description of the item(s) to Genevieve Keeney at and coordinate delivery directly with her and the Museum.”

Go See Some Urns!

Happy Birthday, Andy!

Andy Warhol, Atomic Bombs, 1964. (On August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb called “Little Boy” was dropped on the city of Hiroshima.)

Andy Warhol, Atomic Bombs, 1964. (Seventy years ago today, an atomic bomb called “Little Boy” was dropped on the city of Hiroshima.)

On this date in 1928, Andrew Warhola, Jr. was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Happy birthday to Andy Warhol! Sing along!

A New Art Beer for Us All

art car ipa

If gasoline, duct tape, spit and prayers are what keep art cars running, then beer is the fuel that keeps the crowd going at the annual Houston Art Car Parade. So it is unsurprising that the seminal Houston independent brewery Saint Arnold is releasing their new Art Car IPA tomorrow. Just in time for the continuous one-hundred degree days in August (and on National IPA Day, no less), this new beer is inspired by the annual Art Car Parade and features label art by local graffiti artist Gonzo247. Additionally, Saint Arnold will celebrate the release of Art Car IPA through art car shows at various venues around Greater Houston:

Thursday, August 6:
5pm – World of Beer, 2643 Commercial Center Blvd, Katy
5pm – Hop Scholar – 610 Rayford Rd., Spring
6pm – Hay Merchant – 1100 Westheimer Rd.
7pm – Flying Saucer, Downtown – 705 Main St.
7pm – Revelry on Richmond – 1613 Richmond Ave.
7:30pm – Cottonwood – 3422 N. Shepherd Dr.
8pm – Wooster’s Garden – 3315 Milam St.
8pm – Petrol Station – 985 Wakefield Dr.
9pm – Liberty Station – 2101 Washington Ave.

Friday, August 7:
5pm – Canyon Creek – 6603 Westcott Rd.
6pm – Dry Creek – 544 Yale St.
7pm – Onion Creek – 3106 White Oak Dr.
8pm – Cedar Creek – 1034 W. 20th St.


The great Sashimi Tabernacle Choir art car, possibly our favorite of all time.



Study Shows Museums Lack Diversity. Duh.

AAMD-graphicThe Mellon Foundation has released the results of a new study assessing gender and ethnic diversity in museum staffs. Anyone who has ever worked in museums doesn’t need a study to know that museum staffers, especially those in curatorial and directorial positions, are very white. But the report puts the official stamp of shame on the lack of diversity at museums. Except for culturally specific museums, not much has changed over the years, although leadership positions are finally evening out in terms of gender.

Here is a great quote from the study, plucked by ArtNet News:

“To thrive in the long term, it is crucial that museums bring the demographic profile of their staff into alignment with that of the communities they serve,” said Elizabeth Merritt, director of AAM’s Center for the Future of Museums. “This will require challenging a broad range of assumptions about how museums train, recruit and manage the staff responsible for collections, interpretation, education and leadership of our institutions. And it will require taking a hard, uncomfortable look at the conscious and unconscious influences that have shaped our institutional culture and created the current imbalance.”

To read the results of the study, which was conducted with the assistance of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), go here.

A Homecoming for New South Plains College Instructor

Chris Adams, Apatosaurus Pollen

Chris Adams, Apatosaurus Pollen

South Plains College in Lubbock just hired Chris Adams, a Texas Tech University alumnus, as their new Foundations Instructor. During his “post-graduation ride,” Adams has lived and worked with junior high school students in Odessa, taught as an adjunct professor for Sanford-Brown College in San Antonio, and expanded and revitalized his artistic practice through experimentation with photography.

In his new position at SPC, Adams will be teaching basic design, drawing, and art appreciation. He is especially excited about working with non-art students in his appreciation classes: “It’s my sincere hope, however, to convert some of the non-believers to the cause! I plan on having a very good time and making sure everyone is enjoying the ride.” That’s the spirit, Chris!

Adams’ quotes via The Bowerbird

Funding generously provided by: