Newswire

“The future is much simpler than you think.”

The fall lecture series organized by the Rice School of Architecture (RSA) and the Rice Design Alliance (RDA) is called “Near Future” and it brings to Houston five visionaries from a mix of professions whose creative work attempts to forecast the future. Last week, they introduced the series with architectural historian and critic Jean-Louis Cohen, who explored themes of the future.

BarretThis Wednesday, the RSA/RDA series continues with Belgian photographer Filip Dujardin in dialogue with Oscar-nominated production designer K.K. Barrett. Barrett has partnered with Spike Jonze on all four of his feature films, including the director’s latest, the futuristic romance Her. Wired Magazine called the film the anti-Minority Report and Barrett told the magazine, “The future is much simpler than you think.” In the near future of Barrett’s production design, “Technology hasn’t disappeared,” writes Wired. “It’s dissolved into everyday life.”

It may turn out to be a comforting discussion for those overwhelmed by the speedy turnover of new technologies (although falling in love with Siri is not the recommended method of humanizing our machines).

The discussion starts at 7pm at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, with a wine reception beginning at 6pm. Tickets are available online.

(Photo via imdb.com.)

Mission Aborted: Chicago Gallery Abandons Texas Outpost

missionSebastian Campos, owner of The Mission Gallery, has announced the “end of our yearlong outpost in Houston.” The gallery’s space in the 4411 Montrose building will close its doors on October 25, at the end of the current exhibition, Moments in the System, featuring works by Adam Gondek and Anna Elise Johnson. For the record, the gallery’s Houston sojourn included eight shows:

Moments in the System
Adam Gondek, Anna Elise Johnson
Sep 5 – Oct 25, 2014

Erica Bohm : Visual Novel
Jul 25 – Aug 23, 2014

OFF THE GRID
Natalia Cacchiarelli, Gustavo Díaz, Curtis Gannon, Cecilia Jaime, Jeroen Nelemans, Michelle Prazak
May 30 – Jul 19, 2014

Lateral
Erica Bohm, Jeremy Bolen, Alex Chitty, Marcelo Grosman, Jason Lazarus, Jeroen Nelemans, John Opera, Daniel Shea, Missy Weimer, Bryan Zanisnik
Apr 5 – May 17, 2014

Curtis Gannon : Remnants of Yesterday/Fragments of Tomorrow
Feb 13 – Mar 29, 2014

Latin American Group Show
Gustavo Díaz, Marcelo Grosman, Fernando Pareja and Leidy Chavez
Nov 9, 2013 – Feb 1, 2014

Latin American Group Show
Gustavo Díaz, Marcelo Grosman, Fernando Pareja and Leidy Chavez
Nov 9, 2013 – Feb 1, 2014

Inaugural Group Show
Erica Bohm, Susan Giles, Adam Gondek, Máximo González, Jeroen Nelemans, Mariana Sissia, Missy Weimer
Oct 5 – Oct 26, 2013

Looking At Art Turns 25! Now let’s all move along to the next location . . .

looking at artMarshal and Victoria Lightman’s ever-present Houston art appreciation group, Looking at Art, turns 25 this year. Established in the fall of 1989, Looking At Art takes groups of earnest self-educators, fledgling collectors, and other curious folks on visits to artist’s studios, galleries, alternative spaces, museums, and collector’s homes. After 25 years, the group has visited everyone and everything there is to see in Houston many times—and though the herd-like hustle it takes to get a large-ish group from one site to another makes it easy to disparage the art-lookers as tourists, the availability of a fun, not-too-expensive group intro into the Houston art scene has put many a timid layman in touch with some the real contemporary art that’s happening in the city.

The Lightmans are super-fans: Looking at Art is but one of many pies in which they’ve got their fingers: Victoria serves as board president at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft as well as advisory board member for Inprint. Marshal currently serves on the boards of Diverse Works, Core Fellow committee at the Glassell School, and Houston Arts Alliance Civic Art committee.

Get Your Fanny Perpendicular And Go See Cheech Talk About Art Tonight in Lubbock

13761715

Cheech Marin

Cheech Marin–actor, author, standup, and of course one-half of the legendary comedy duo Cheech and Chong–has long been an advocate and collector of Chicano art, and tonight in Lubbock he’ll talk about it in an installment of Texas Tech’s Presidential Lecture Series.

Marin’s talk, supported by Tech’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, is titled “Chicano Art: Perspectives of an Art Advocate.” Says Marin: “My goal is to bring the term ‘Chicano’ to the forefront of the art world. Chicano art is American art.” It starts at 7 p.m at Tech’s Allen Theater; general admission is $18, but Tech students get in free. More info on tonight’s lecture here. In addition to Marin’s appearance, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: “A display titled ‘Chicanitas: Small Paintings from the Cheech Marin Collection’ will be exhibited today through Dec. 14 at Tech’s art building, including from 8-10 p.m…[tonight].”

Court Ruling on Art Estate Taxes Could Save You Millions

Robert Motherwell, Elegy to Spanish Republic #134 (1976). Courtesy the Elkins Collection.

Robert Motherwell, Elegy to Spanish Republic #134 (1976).
Courtesy the Elkins Collection.

artnet news logo

 

 

By Eileen Kinsella

In what is being viewed as a victory for art collectors looking to dodge or minimize estate taxes, a US Appeals court agreed that shared ownership of a multi-million dollar blue chip art collection—also known as a “fractional interest”—entitled a Texas family to a substantial tax break when it came to settling an estate.

The value of the collection is immense. Over the course of nearly three decades (1970–99), Houston-based James Elkins and his wife Margaret collected 64 works by artists including Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Paul Cézanne, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Cy Twombly and Robert Motherwell, among others. Mrs. Elkins died in May 1999 and Mr. Elkins died in March 2006. Prior to their deaths, they arranged a grantor-retained income trust (or GRIT) by which partial ownership of the art passed to each of their three children.

Though the terms of this particular estate planning vehicle are complex, the basic principle is that the shared ownership interests inhibit a sale or transfer of the works, since the divided ownership means there would have to be unanimous agreement on any proposed sale. Further, the children had publicly stated that they have no interest in selling the works and are in a solid enough financial position that they have no need to.

The Elkins family reasoned that the restricted ownership impacted the value of the works and that the estate taxes owed on them should reflect a discount of 44 percent in determining their fair market value. Further, the family employed three well-known experts to provide and substantiate the extent of the discount. These included: David Nash, co-director of Mitchell-Innes & Nash; William T. Miller, an expert on Texas law; and Mark Mitchell, an expert on the valuation of fractional interests in property. The IRS, however, disagreed and hit the family with a tax bill, or “deficiency notice,” stating they owed more than $14 million plus interest.

The ruling, handed down on September 15 by the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, sided with the family. The judge ruled “that deficiency resulted solely from the [IRS] Commissioner’s disallowance of the ‘fractional ownership discount’.” Earlier, a US Tax Court ruled that the family was entitled to some rate of discount but it did not accept the Elkins family’s calculations and instead settled on a seemingly arbitrary “10 percent” discount allowance. The appeals court took issue with this, stating, “We disagreed with the ultimate step in the court analysis that led it not only to reject the [Elkins family's proposed discount] but also to adopt and apply one of its own without any supporting evidence.” The Fifth Circuit decision ruled for an even more extensive discount that ranged from 52 percent to 80 percent, depending on the work in question and based on testimony from the estate’s experts.

Donald Wood, the attorney who represented the Elkins family, told artnet News via telephone: “There is a long history under tax law of allowing discounts for minority interests in all kinds of tangible and intangible property as well as real estate. This case simply extended that well-established law to works of art. This is really the first case to ever seriously consider that issue in the case of fine art.”

We also asked art law expert Nicholas O’Donnell, a partner with Sullivan & Worcester in Boston, for his take on the ruling. O’Donnell replied, via email: “The case is a little unusual because while the taxpayer put on an extensive case about the appropriate rate of discount, the IRS put on none. Compounding that, the Tax Court decision under review rejected the estate’s proposed discount and chose 10 percent. The 5th Circuit was particularly critical that this number seemed more or less plucked out of thin air. ”

Follow @KinsellaEK on Twitter

This post originally appeared on Artnet News on Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fort Worth Modern Starts Instagram Pilot Program

4939039-Modern_Art_Museum_Fort_WorthFollowing an Instagram program he admired at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Texas-based photographer Olaf Growald is helping launch a version of the photo-sharing initiative at the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, and the museum is calling it “#emptymodern.” The profile-boosting pilot program starts on the morning of October 6 and will take advantage of the museum’s off day (a Monday, of course); ten Instragrammers from various backgrounds and professions are invited for each round, and “…the participants have the opportunity to venture through the Museum and grounds unimpeded.” Their Instagram posts will carry the tag “#emptymodern @themodernfw.”

A new group will be invited each month, and “the goal of this initiative is to showcase new perspectives on the Modern to the public, grow #emptymodern and Modern followers, as well as support our participants as they build their followers.” In the spring (exact date TBA) the Modern will host an #emptymodern meetup for the public.

Happy Birthday, Gandhi! Texas Arts Orgs Celebrate Bapu

GandhiHappy Birthday to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (or “Mahatma” [high-souled] Gandhi, or “Bapu” [Papa]), who was born 145 years ago today! October 2 is also celebrated in Gandhi’s honor as the International Day of Non-Violence.

In the midst of the world currently going to hell in a handbasket and all, it’s refreshing to see everyone’s favorite non-violent freedom fighter for civil rights and religious pluralism being the focus of a humongous number of upcoming visual arts/performance arts/educational/spiritual events. Most programs have been organized in conjunction with Houston’s Menil Collection’s exhibition of Experiments with Truth: Gandhi and Images of Nonviolence, which opens tonight (reception at 7-9pm, after a 6pm conversation between Menil Director Josef Helfenstein and exhibiting artist Amar Kamwar).

The Menil Collection’s extensive programming seems totally in line with the de Menil’s original mission. Jean and Dominique de Menil were not just patrons of art, but serious vocal champions of human rights locally and worldwide. Now, at the Menil and throughout Houston, there will be dozens of performances, concerts, demonstrations, gatherings, poetry and book readings, off-site exhibitions, film screenings, and lectures.

Lecturers include Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson and biographer of Mahatma Gandhi, and civil rights activist, the Reverend James Lawson, Jr. Related exhibitions include Yusuke Asai: yamatane at Rice University Art Gallery and Organized Love: Ideas on Nonviolence at The African American Library at the Gregory School.

In North Texas, UT Arlington will celebrate Gandhi’s birthday with a lecture by his great-grandson Satish Dhupelia this afternoon and, in Irving, the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial of North Texas will open this evening at 5pm with a dedication ceremony.

Peace out!

Dallas’ CentralTrak Hosts Professional Workshop Series for Artists

IMG_6188-816x544Starting later this month, UTD’s Artist Residency, CentralTrak, will host a three-part workshop for artists “who wish to hone their skills and receive guidance while professionalizing their practice.” Each workshop is led by regional professionals who know their stuff: visiting writer-curator Sally Frater, photographer Melissa Tran, curator Alison Hearst, and gallerist Danette Dufilho.

The workshops are free but interested artists should sign up for a space by emailing CentralTrakprofessionaldevelop@gmail.com. Here is the schedule:

Writing Your Bio, CV and Artist Statement – Tuesday October 21, 2014 7-9 pm

This workshop will guide participants through the steps of drafting their artist biography, CV and artist statement. The session will review what type of information should be included in these documents and how they can be used to communicate crucial information about artists and their practices. Participants should come to the workshop with a printed copy of their CV and a printed rough outline of their artist statement. Led by Sally Frater.

Documenting Your Work – Tuesday October 28, 2014 7-9 pm

In this session participants will be provided with an introduction to art documentation. Participants will receive helpful hints in order to learn how to photograph and present their work to juries, submission committees and applications in the best way possible. The session will cover topics such as lighting and basic Photoshop. Led by Melissa Tran.

Portfolio Review – Monday November 3, 7 -9 pm

Artists will have the opportunity to have their work reviewed by a Dallas/Fort Worth-based curator in a 15-minute session. Participants should come to the session prepared to discuss their practice and should bring examples of their work in a portfolio, on a flash drive, CD or DVD disc and should bring no more than 15 images/ examples of their work with them. Prior registration is required and space is limited, participants are expected to arrive to their scheduled session on time. If you attend the first two workshops, you will have priority registration for the Portfolio Review session. Led by Alison Hearst, Danette Dufilho, and Sally Frater.

More info on the series and those leading the sessions can be found here, and CentralTrak’s website is here.

 

 

Scared to Death! Funeral Museum Gets into the Halloween Spirit

funeral_museumHouston’s National Museum of Funeral History is opening its exhibition of Dracula Cemetery today, which will run through November 3. It’s an educational show about Vlad “The Impaler” Tepes who was the basis for the story Dracula. Vlad‘s notoriety came from his insatiable cruelty and his penchant for consuming parts of his victims, namely, drinking their blood. Dracula aficionados can geek out on the original Dracula book on display; the rest of us can borrow a pair of fangs and a cape from the museum and have our pictures taken in a coffin.

During the same time (October 1-November 3), the museum is also presenting its 3rd Annual Haunted House, rated PG-13 and open late on Friday nights. On Saturday, October 25, it will host the 7th Annual Halloween Car Show, a costume contest for cars.

Pulitzer-Winning Cartoonist Michael Ramirez Talks Media Ethics at SMU

MJS_Michael_Ramirez_Editorial_Cartoon.21On Thursday October 2 at 8 p.m., one of the most celebrated political cartoonists of our time will speak at SMU’s Bob Hope Theater, as part of the Sammons Lecture Series and the Division of Journalism at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.

Ramirez Has won two Pulitzer Prizes for his sharp, dark cartoons, which have appeared in just about every major paper and magazine including (though certainly not limited to) The New York Times, The Washington Post, New York Post, Time Magazine, National Review and Los Angeles Times. He’s was a frequent on-air contributor and commentator on News Hour with Jim Lehrer. And he’s won every prestigious journalism award out there.

This is an installment of the annual Rosine Smith Sammons Lecture in Media Ethics. It is free and open to the public. For more info, go here.

Lauster Lone Texas Artist Shortlisted for ArtPrize Award

lausterArtPrize, the international art competition based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, announced its juror’s shortlist yesterday, selecting twenty artists from the 1,536 entrants. Darryl Lauster, selected for his installation God Bless America, is the only Texas artist on the list.

Jurors will award $200,000 to the Grand Prize winner and $20,000 in each of four categories (2-D, 3-D, time-based, and installation). The same prize amounts and categories will also be decided by public vote, for a total of $560,000 in awards. An artist could potentially both a public vote and juried prize.

Round 1 public voting has begun and will continue through October 4, so go to the ArtPrize site and register to vote!

(Image: Lauster in video still from Prone, Episode One: The Landing)

Wanted: New Public Artwork for Austin Studios Expansion

austin_studios__silva__ainsworth__0001The Austin Film Society is expanding its headquarters, Austin Studios, and has partnered with the City of Austin in an open call for Texas artists to submit proposals for a new public artwork as part of the expansion.

This follows the approval of a bond package to renovate and expand the Austin Studios’ existing site, which will eventually include “the 75,000 square foot former National Guard Armory building (NGB) which will be transformed into the Creative Media Hub.” The Creative Media Hub will function as an extended campus for AFS and its various programming and projects—a “hotspot for digital and convergent media” if you will.

The organizers are looking for a public work that will boost the profile and visibility of AFS and also “reflects the AFS mission and personality.”

The budget for the new work is $95,000; the submission deadline is Oct. 30, and AFS will host an informational meeting for interested artists on October 9.

For much more information, go here.

Want a Show at ALH? The Clock is Ticking!

havelruckThe Art League Houston (ALH) reviews submissions to its open call for exhibition proposals but twice a year and the deadline for the next batch is midnight tomorrow night. If you have an idea for the main gallery, the front gallery, or the sculpture garden, finish up that proposal and send it in.

ALH has been in the forefront of the (finally) growing trend of actually providing stipends to artists, so recipients receive a show and a few dollars. Just make sure you follow the proposal guidelines.

(Photo by Logan Beck: current ALH exhibition by Havel Ruck Projects)

Mark Osborne Named Executive Director of The Printing Museum

osborneMark Osborne has been named Executive Director of The Printing Museum in Houston.  Osborne took over the duties from Interim Executive Director Amanda Stevenson on August 18, after serving as Director of the Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum at Lamar University in Beaumont.

The Printing Museum was founded as the Museum of Printing History in 1979 by four printers intent on sharng knowledge about printing’s contribution to the development of the civilized world and the continuing advancement of freedom and literacy. The rambling organization on West Gray St. sponsors exhibitions, workshops, artist residencies and a small permanent display of historical printing technology. The museum will host Zinefest Houston, dedicated to underground DIY media and art on October 4, and the 12th annual Houston Book Fair on November 8.

UNT Art-Ed Institute Re-named to Honor Onsteads

ntievaThe University of North Texas College of visual arts and Design has renamed The North Texas Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts (NTIEVA) as the “Jo Ann (Jody) and Dr. Charles O. Onstead Institute for Education in the Visual Arts and Design” after a $2.5 million gift from the Dr. Charles & Jo Ann Onstead Foundation. UNT educates about half of the state’s certified art teachers.

The institute was founded in 1990 by the Getty Education Institute to promite discipline-based art education in Dallas-fort Worth public elementary schools. In 1994 NTIEVA (now renamed!) established a National Center for Art Museum/School Collaborations focused on collaborative programming between art museums and schools.

The Institute also prepares free curriculum resource materials making them available to teachers through its newsletter and website.  Most recently the Institute has collaborated with the Center for the Advancement and Study of Early Texas art to develop classroom materials based upon the work of early Texas artists.

Both Charles and Jo Ann “Jody” Onstead are UNT Alumni. Jody graduated in 1944 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Charles graduated with a political science degree in 1947 after serving in World War II.

“Street-Level Gallery Of Chalk Masterpieces” at Annual Chalk It Up festival, San Antonio: Artists Announced

Artpace Chalk It Up Website banner

ArtPace in San Antonio has announced the 20 artists, chosen by guest curator Nina Hassele, who will participate in the 11th Annual Chalk It Up street festival, which takes place this year on October 11 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. downtown on Houston Street. Each artist will transform a stretch of sidewalk into a personal mural. In addition, says ArtPace: “The community is encouraged to contribute to a Freestyle area and help complete a city block-sized mural, and a variety of hands-on educational activities are offered in our Kidzones…  There will also be food, [and] music… .”

This year’s Chalk It Up artists are:

Fernando Andrade
Katherine Brown
Margaret Cook
Turtle (Joel) Cruz
Ernesto Cuevas Jr.
John Eric Delazerda
Zach Dorn
Alexandra Dubois
Irma Garcia
Raul Gonzalez
Ouro Boros (Robert Charles Gonzalez)
Eric Mathis
Amari Mizziw
Tim Olsen
Dora A. Orejel
Thomas Paulson
James Raska
Danie Rios Rodriquez
Alexis Souza
Luis Trevino Vega

For more info on the event, please go here.

Texas Filmmakers Lend Insights into Fugitive Eric Frein

otis and ivete

Texas Filmmakers Patrick Bresnan and Ivete Lucas have been siezed upon to provide insights into the character of fugitive Eric Frein, accused of killing one police officer and wounding a second in Pennslyvania, now the subject of a massive manhunt. Bresnan and Lucas interviewed Frein in 2010 during filming of their their upcoming documentary about Vietnam War reenactors titled “Vietnam Appreciation Day.” The duo’s footage of Frein appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America on Sept. 23, and the filmmakers themselves appeared on NBC. On Sept. 24, they were again interviewed by Anderson Cooper. Quotes from those interviews have been distributed worldwide as the sensational scenario continues to unfold.

Nancy Newberry Gets a Full Showing in the New York Times

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 6.18.43 PM

From Newberry’s “Halfway to Midland” series

Here’s a nice find: Today Dallas/Marfa-based photographer Nancy Newberry (included in the last Texas Biennial) is featured in the New York Times’ special “Lens” section,  which covers photography and photojournalism. Seventeen photos from her project “Halfway to Midland” make up a full slideshow, and in a written interview Newberry talks to Matt McCann about the impetus for the photos and her philosophy of taking pictures in her native Texas.

Those who know Newberry’s work will be familiar with the imagery; this particular body of work starts where her Mum series leaves off and further illuminates the lives of rural and small-town high school cheerleaders, marching-band kids and football players, as well as some of her more immediate neighbors’ nesting instincts.  (And she’s right: That mirrored horse from the house next door is looking pretty good. I would have offered to buy it, too.)

 

 

It’s a Nerdfest! Comic Art Comes to S.A.

In recent years, geekdom has finally been declared cool, or has The San Antonio Current explains in anticipation of the upcoming Alamo City Comic Con, “Now, nerding out is the new normal.”

Stan_LeeFor those interested in all things comics, the convention starts tonight at San Antonio’s Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, with a preview from 5-9pm. All day on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, there will be comics and toys, photo ops, and panel discussions with artists and writers (as well as other celebrities of nerd culture). Of course, George Takei will make an appearance, but the superstar all weekend will be the “grandfather of comics,” Stan Lee of Marvel Comics.

(Photo: Stan Lee. Image via radiosefarad.com)

Someone Had To Do It And Frisco Has Agreed To Take It: A Museum of Video Games

Defender_arcade_screenshot

Defender!!

Frisco will be the home of the country’s first and only museum dedicated to video games. The Videogame History Museum has up until now been a traveling operation, launched by three guys from different parts of the country who decided in 2009 to pool their collective obsession with classic home and arcade video games and create a non-profit. John Hardie, Sean Kelly and Joe Santulli have reached an agreement with the city of Frisco to house the museum initially in the already existing city-owned Frisco Discovery Center, and after a capital campaign it will likely get a building of its own, also in Frisco. 

The city will pay the rent and for some renovations in the space the museum will take up for the time being; some grants are incoming for start-up costs, and the museum itself will match funds. The museum is slated to open in April, and will OF COURSE feature Pong. As well as Sega stuff, all Atari, Vectrex, Intellivision, et al, and every other classic and retro game and gaming system you can possibly remember from that era going forward, plus paraphernalia, prototypes, and other ephemera. I personally am hoping to once again play the original Defender in the museum’s promised recreation of a ’80s gaming arcade. Newsflash extra: I am terrible at Defender but I love it.