H-Town Actor Comes Back Home with Directorial Film Debut: Must See!


Tim Guinee, teenage actor

HaidAmong the 50+ programs and celebrity events happening this weekend at the Houston Cinema Arts Festival (HCAF) is a quiet, short film directed by Houston native Tim Guinee. A 27-minute film is hard enough to promote at film festivals, but it also breaks another basic rule for short films: Don’t do a period piece. Guinee went ahead and made the film, and it’s been playing at a bunch of film festivals and winning all sorts of awards and accolades.

Tim was born in California, but he is a true Houston boy and attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA) in the theater department (full disclosure: he was in my class). He now lives in upstate New York in a 1840s farmhouse in the Hudson Valley with his wife Daisy Foote.


Daisy Foote and Tim Guinee

If the name Foote sounds familiar, it’s because actress/playwright Daisy is the daughter of playwright/screenwriter Texan-raised Horton Foote, who wrote the screenplays for To Kill a Mockingbird and Tender Mercies, among countless others, including this film, One Armed Man. If the name Guinee sounds familiar, it’s because he’s all over TV and film. If you actually go see interesting movies, you might recognize him from the 1986 epic film Tai-Pan, or from the 1995 indie The Pompatus of Love, or as the star of the very charming and underrated Sweet Land from 2005. But if you’re just a trashy crime drama junkie like me, you know him from several episodes of Law and Order and a juicy Criminal Minds episode. I don’t have cable, so I totally missed the highly critically-acclaimed, but short-lived series Strange World. When the ads came out for the new series Revolution, I was very excited to see Tim featured, and was devastated when he was killed off at the end of the very first episode (although he later reappeared in a few flashblacks). A quick check on shows that I missed him as a recurring character in a number of TV shows: Wiseguy, Golden Years, L.A. Law, etc.

footehorton1Horton Foote wrote the play One Armed Man, which Tim directed and Charles Haid stars in (another crime drama junkie alert! Haid played Officer Renko on Hill Street Blues), is playing at the MFAH on Friday morning at 11am. Several high school classes will be in attendance, including students from HSPVA, and the screening will be followed by a Q&A with Tim, led by Bob Singleton, former director of HSPVA’s theater department. But there are extra seats and the screening is free! HCAF Artistic Director Richard Herskowitz graciously added another screening at Sundance Cinemas on Sunday at 12:30pm (also free!) for the adult working folk.

Speaking of the working folk, Tim discusses Foote’s play in terms of contemporary issues:

Many consider him a behavioralist writer, but I think it’s very much a social issue thing. It’s absolutely current in terms of worker/CEO, wage-earning disparity, worker safety, and in terms of guns and violence as an issue. [DELETED: in order to not give away the ending to the movie] is fascinating, and unsettling, and terrible. What’s the price of the justification that we all participate in? That, to me, is what feels like our great human sin—how much we’re willing to justify everything. Certainly, the cotton gin owner justifies what he’s doing and the guy with one arm justifies what he’s doing. And I’m not convinced that any of them are making the world a better place through their actions.

Tim adds: “I like this piece of Horton’s a lot because it does make us uneasy, and it should!”

As for Tim Guinee’s return to Houston, he’s got a lot going on. Of the MFAH screening, he says, “My mom was a painter, so there’s something so cool about getting to screen this movie at the MFAH and taking my mom along.” In terms of seeing his old friends, he says, “I’ve never made one of those reunion things, so it’s gonna be fun to see people’s faces.” In terms of seeing his family, he says, “The week before we started shooting, while we were in pre-production, my father died. So I’m excited to come home. This will be the first time I’ve come home since he’s passed.”

And, in terms of presenting Horton Foote’s story in Houston, he says, “It’s sort of like the place it should be seen, because it’s Horton’s people. That feels right.”

One Armed Man, 27 minutes, director Tim Guinee. Friday, November 14, 11am at MFAH. Sunday, November 16 at 12:30pm at Sundance Cinemas. Both screenings are free.

Prada Marfa Vandal Admits Guilt, Agrees to Pay for Cleanup

prada vandalismOn November 7, A little more than a week before his trial was set to begin in the 394th District Court of Jeff Davis County, Prada Marfa vandal Joe Magnano pled guilty to two counts of misdemeanor criminal mischief. According to the Jeff Davis County District Attorney’s office, Magnano agreed to pay $10,700 restitution to Ballroom Marfa, which maintains the sculpture, and a $1000 fine. He will be on probation for two years, and agreed not to further publicize nor profit from his actions.

The 36 year old Waco artist, acting under the pseudonym 927 1977, was responsible for painting Elmgreen and Dragset’s Prada Marfa blue and attaching incoherent manifestos to its front awnings and windows on March 9, 2014.

On April 17 a Jeff Davis County grand jury indicted Magnano with two counts of felony criminal mischief, each of which could have carried a penalty of two years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Magnano’s trial was set to begin on November 18. The case was going to be a tough one to win, as Magnano had admitted his crime in to the Waco Tribune and other press outlets.

The investigation of Magnano’s confessions provided a close-to-home illustration of law enforcement’s relations with the press in Texas. On March 14, Jeff Davis deputy sheriff Jerry Walker served Big Bend Sentinel reporter John Daniel Garcia with a subpoena demanding he “produce and permit inspection and copying” of “text messages from an artist known as 9271977.” The Sentinel published an account of the subpoena and comments from law enforcement officials, and a summary of the 2009 Free Flow of Information Act which outlines standards the state must meet to compel reporters to divulge information.

Houston: Listen to a Kiwi Art Critic Shed Some Light On Detroit.

mt0914cont_Anthony_Byrt-150x150Anthony Byrt, Auckland-based arts writer and ArtForum contributor, spent 2013 as the Critical Studies Fellow at Cranbrook Academy of Art just outside Detroit and also wrote a book about globalization’s impact on contemporary art.

On November 25 at the Rice Cinema Film Theater, Byrt will talk about the photography of New Zealand artist Yvonne Todd, but intriguingly, will couch it “in relation to questions of suburbia and monstrosity” in a talk that will deal with “sex, cars, passive-aggressive teenagers, Mike Kelley and Matthew Barney, and end up either on Auckland’s North Shore, or somewhere south of 8 Mile Road in Detroit…two sides of the same coin.”

This is perhaps the most interesting lecture description I’ve read all year. If I lived in Houston I would check it out.

Lecture is Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. at the Rice Cinema Film Theater. A reception with Byrt follows. Go here for more info.

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!