DMA Goes Public With New Digital Database


Mythical aso (one of a pair), 19th Century, from the Pacific Rim dept of the DMA. The database tells me all about these little wooden guys’ Dayak origins, that they are on display on the third floor of the museum, and a whole lot more. And now I love them.

Today, the Dallas Museum of Art launched its new and vastly improved digital database, years in the making and slated to be complete by 2016, which will “…dramatically improve online access and representation of the Museum’s global collection …with increased content and functionality.” This means the DMA now boasts “…one of the world’s most sophisticated online art collections, providing open access to its entire collection… available to visitors, students, teachers, and scholars.” To start browsing its encyclopedic collection, go here.

This open-access sensibility matches the DMA’s free general-admission policy, which kicked in January 2013 under its director Maxwell Anderson; both initiatives are made possible by anonymous gift of $9 million to the DMA.

As of today, all 22,000 of the museum’s works are accessible through the database, and 11,000 are illustrated with digital images. In addition: “…over 4,500 objects are now available for free download without licensing fees or content restrictions. All images available via continue to be freely available for non-commercial and educational use. Over time, additional high-resolution images of all works in the public domain will be released for public use.”

Reminder: Deadline Approaches for Artpace’s Texas Open Call

IAIR-Wallslider-cropThree times a year, San Antonio’s Artpace invites a guest curator to choose three artists to live and create art in San Antonio for two months. Each residency cycle includes one international, one national, and one Texas-based artist. While unsolicited applications for the International Artist-in-Residence program are not considered, the Texas-based artists are culled from an annual open call for submissions. The guest curators makes selections a year in advance, so artists interested in a residency for the spring, summer, or fall of 2016 need to submit applications by August 27, 2014.

The prestigious and long-running artist-in-residence program has a history of some pretty serious guest curators who are encouraged to work closely with the artists. Texas artists chosen for the 2014 residencies were Anna Krachey (Austin), Jungeun Lee (Frisco), and Jessica Mallios (Austin). The 2013 trio included Ivor Shearer (Houston), Clarissa Tossin (Houston), and J. Parker Valentine (Austin).

Oscar de la Renta Does Dallas

couture-finalHeads up, design buffs: Oscar de la Renta, iconic fashion designer to women of means, is the subject of a thorough exhibition spanning fifty-plus years of his work at The George W. Bush Presidential Center at SMU in Dallas. The show is staged along the lines of similar recent exhibitions of major designers’ careers (like McQueen and Gaultier), with mannequins posed in choice couture pieces as well as educational odds and ends that contextualize the designer’s time and place in the history of fashion design.

The pics available for this show are spectacular; there is no doubt de la Renta (who is now 82) has created some masterpieces along the way. Born in the Dominican Republic and originally trained by Cristóbal Balenciaga in Spain, de la Renta became a favorite couturier to Jackie Kennedy in the 1960s and has been designing some of the most coveted red-carpet gowns for stars and first ladies ever since.

“Oscar de la Renta: Five Decades of Style” runs through October 5. Info and tickets here.


(image: George W. Bush Presidential Center)

Almost Every Sculptor in Texas Gathers for One Big Show

Some sculpture is really heavy! George Tobolowsky at Lawndale.

Some sculpture is really heavy! George Tobolowsky at Lawndale.

Houston’s Lawndale Art Center is turning over all of its galleries, as well as its outdoor garden space, to its upcoming exhibition Texas Sculpture Group 2014: A Panoramic View, curated by James Surls in memory of late Texas Sculpture Group members Lee Littlefield, Bert Long, Jr. and Damian Priour. Surls has certainly done a good job of finding a wide variety of big name sculptors from all over the state. An obvious omission is that of Dan Havel and Dean Ruck—but don’t worry. Havel Ruck Projects is busy installing a big show a few blocks away at Art League Houston, which will open a few weeks later.

Here is the crazy long list of artists participating in Texas Sculpture Group 2014: A Panoramic View, which opens on Friday evening:

Ben Appl (Austin), Peter Arcidiacono (San Marcos, TX), Richard Ariola (Las Vegas), Jan Ayers Friedman (Fort Worth), Brent Baggett (Austin), Jerolyn Bahm-Colombik (Wimberly), Robbie Barber (Waco), Verina S. Baxter (Flintstone, GA), Jill Bedgood (Georgetown), Lauren Browning(San Antonio), Steve Brudniak (Austin), Susan Budge (San Antonio), Danville Chadbourne (San Antonio), Valérie Chaussonnet (Austin), Roger Colombik (Wimberley), Dylan Conner (Houston), Princess Cook (San Antonio), Erin Cunningham (Austin), Stephen Daly (Austin), Stephanie Darling (San Antonio), Glenn Downing (Waco), Kurt Dyrhaug (Beaumont), Carter Ernst (Houston), Daniel Esquivel-Brandt (Houston), Bill FitzGibbons (San Antonio), Susan Fitzsimmons (McAllen), Jerry Freid (Dallas), Brooke Gassiot (Austin), Amy Gerhauser (San Angelo), Nell Gottlieb (Houston), Larry Graeber (San Antonio), Andrew Bellatti Green (Austin), Jack Gron (Corpus Christi), Thomas Jack Hilton (Austin), Chad Hines (Temple), Yu Ru Huang (Houston), Dewane Hughes (Troup), Richard Hyslin (McAllen), Meredith Jack (Houston), Maria Cristina Jadick (Houston), Paul Kittelson (Houston), Sharon Kopriva (Houston), Eric F. Krause (Johnson City), Alexander Larsen (Houston), Margaret Losinski (Houston), Peter Mangan (Blanco), Wells Mason (Coupland), Colleen McCulla-Thomas (Martindale), Jason Mehl (Dallas), Bill Molthen (Austin), Hans Molzberger (Houston), Mary Morse (Austin), Steve Murphy (Houston), Sherry Owens (Dallas), Griselda Elena Peña (Austin), Beverly Penn (Austin), Caprice Pierucci (Austin), Susan Plum (Houston), Chasity Porter (Missouri City), Cat Quintanilla (Austin), Patrick Renner(Houston), Greg Reuter (Corpus Christi), Jim Robertson (Trinity), Jonathan Sanders (Austin), Paul Seeman (Corpus Christi), Sabine Senft (San Antonio), Luke Sides (Oak Point), Judith Simonds (Austin), Richard Skurla (Waco), Stephanie Sterling (Leander), Sebastian J. Stoddart (San Marcos), Laura Sturtz (Austin), Tanya Synar (Denton), Damon J. Thomas (Houston), George Tobolowsky (Dallas), Cody Vance (San Antonio), Hank Waddell (Austin), Gary Webernick (Austin), Brian Wedgworth (McAllen), Jonathan Whitfill (Lubbock), Ed Wilson (Houston), Michael Witzel (Bergheim) and Ben Woitena (Houston).

The Not-So Smoke-Filled Room: Breakfast Club Talks Houston’s Arts Future

shared vision

On August 7, high-powered Houston-area cultural administrators gathered over breakfast at the Junior League of Houston to plan our arts future. The get-together, called “Building a Shared Vision,” was presented by Center for Houston’s Future and included a discussion of the Center’s 2014 Arts & Cultural Heritage Indicator Report in a collaborative round-table format.

Topics ranged far and wide, and included addressing the  increasing cost of living for artists, leveraging Houston’s diversity, promoting arts education as an audience-building tool, and bringing art to Houston’s far-flung suburbs. A summary of the talk is online.

The  discussion was moderated by Jill Jewett, Project Manager, Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston (MATCH), the group included Philamena Baird, Co-Chair, City of Houston Cultural Plan; Carroll Parrott Blue, Executive Director, The Dawn Project; Minnette Boesel, Mayor’s Assistant for Cultural Affairs; Tony Diaz, Host and Founder, Nuestra Palabra: Writers Having Their Say; Joseph Havel, Artist, Director, Glassell School of Art; Pat Jasper, Director, Folklife and Traditional Arts Program, Houston Arts Alliance; Susannah Parnin Mitchell, Director, Washington Avenue Arts District; Debra Simon, Vice President, Arts and Events, Brookfield Properties; Ana Villaronga-Roman, Director and Curator, Katy Contemporary Arts Museum.

Attendees included Laurette Canizares, Executive Director, Houston Museum District Association; Gwendolyn Goffe, Center for Houston’s Future Fellow, CFO, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Retired); Nancy Giles, Director of Development, Alley Theatre; Catherine Mosbacher, CEO, Center for Houston’s Future; Lilliana Molina, Co-Director, Art of the World Gallery; and Dr. Kelly Zuniga, Executive Director, Holocaust Museum Houston.

The Center for Houston’s Future, The Region’s Think Tank, is a nonprofit affiliate of the Greater Houston Partnership, in charge of researching and envisioning big picture issues, whose ultimate goal is to “to advance the Houston region as one of the top ten global communities in which to live and work.”

Photo: Ann Shaw

AIR Swap: Museum of Human Achievement Trades Austinites for Brooklyners

Austin space

Austin space

Austin’s Museum of Human Achievement has inaugurated a new exchange program with Silent Barn, an art space in Brooklyn, NY. Dubbed “AIR Swap,” the new program will send Austin artists to NY, and invite a Barner to use a dedicated studio space in the Museum’s building for one-month residencies.

Brooklyn space

Brooklyn space

It seems like a good fit: the two organizations share similar structure and ideology: The Museum of Human Achievement is a members-only multi-disciplinary event space dedicated to “facilitating emotional reactions and new experiences” as well as offering affordable studio spaces. Likewise, Silent Barn is a complex of studio and living spaces that includes a collectively-directed art space, a “social and administrative experiment” where “residents live and work amid artistic activity.” Their building is equipped with two performance spaces, a silk screen studio, craft room, co-working office, recording studio, expansive gallery space, and audio visual equipment. Through Silent Barn, Residents are also granted access to Materials for the Arts, New York City’s premier reuse center.

Applications for the residency are due on the last Monday of every month and at least one month in advance of the selected residency date. Get out your wallets, though: a room at Silent Barn will cost you $800 a month plus travel expenses, and residents are required to contribute skills to the Barn’s collective upkeep.

Linda Pace Foundation Appoints Interim Director; Will Launch International Search For New One

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 2.36.12 PMNews from San Antonio: The Linda Pace Foundation (or LPF, the umbrella foundation responsible for the artist residency ArtPace as well as grants, scholorships, public projects and other non-profit art-related initiatives) has appointed an interim executive director. The San Diego-based Kathryn R. Martin is Vice President of Arts Consulting Group, Inc. (ACG), an arts-group management services provider; Martin and ACG have been tasked by LPF’s board to “provide interim management services” to the foundation while it launches an international search for a permanent director. Former director Maura Reilly departed LPF in April after serving for less than a year.

According to LPF, “Martin has over 25 years experience leading arts and culture organizations. Since joining ACG in 2003, she has helped numerous organizations strategically move through periods of transition; increasing their earned and contributed income by bringing clarity and focus to their efforts to advance their mission and goals.”

Writes the San-Antonio Express-News: “Rick Moore, president of the foundation’s board of trustees, said in a statement: ‘… Martin’s appointment is part of our strategic vision to continue to broaden our impact locally and around the globe.’ Among those programs are the SPACE Gallery exhibition program and ongoing plans to develop a museum and contemporary art campus for the late artist and philanthropist’s 600-work collection.”

Martin begins her appointment on September 2.

The Southwest School of Art to Welcome First BFA Class

southwest school of artFall Semester classes begin on August 25 at The Southwest School of Art in San Antonio, but this year is different: the inaugural class of 22 BFA students begin their four year program with classes in Visual Literacy, English Composition, Art History Survey 1, and Drawing.

The much anticipated new degree program has had a rocky start; overeager advertising earned them a delay from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board last year, but the program is now on track to graduate it’s first BFAs in the spring of 2018.

The program is tiny, accepting only 20-25 students each year for the first four years. Students will earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in one of six studio areas: ceramics, drawing and painting, metals, photography, printmaking or sculpture and integrated media. A seventh area, Fibers, will be added in 2017. The Southwest School of Art is the only independent art college in Texas. Originally the site of the Ursuline Convent and Academy, the city’s first school for girls established in 1851, the school was founded in 1965 and will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year.

That’s not Optimus Prime… That’s Our Recycling Truck!

art-truck-recycling-AUgust-2014_132457Well, this is cool. In an ongoing effort by the city to boost its green image, Houston’s recycling trucks are being makeover into mobile (and functional) works of art through a collaborative initiative between Houston Arts Alliance and the Solid Waste Management Department.

Yesterday morning, the first trucks to get the vinyl art-wrap treatment were unveiled in Hermann Park. Writes CultureMap Houston: “The six new Art Recycling Trucks, which will travel their regular routes, are designed by local artists selected by a panel of professional Houston artists from an open call of applicants.”

The slideshow on CultureMap features trucks sporting some visually satisfying and bold graphics by artists Pablo Gimenez-Zapiola, Aaron Munoz, Kia Neill, Troy Stanley, and Arianne Roesch. More art-wrapped trucks are slated for the future.


(image by Barbara Kuntz for CultureMap Houston)

The Black Guys Release Hit Single About the Menil

tbg_menilRobert Hodge and Phillip Pyle II have already begun promoting their upcoming exhibition at Art League Houston, presenting…The Black Guys, which doesn’t open until mid-November. While they promise a full-length album with the same title as the exhibition, they released the first single a few days ago on iTunes. It’s called “The Menil Song” and the lyrics contain a little art history, a little politics, and a whole lot of cool. (They even discuss the Menil Collection’s air conditioning.)

Hodge and Pyle describe part of the exhibition as an homage to the Art Guys; they will recreate five Art Guys performances, “while adding a twist that could only come from Black Guys.” They also plan on original performances and 2-D work. Until November’s opening, enjoy the music!

The Art Guys Agree on Painting, 1983

The Black Guys want to add a little more color to this mix. (The Art Guys Agree on Painting, 1983)

New Itinerant Gallery in Houston Opens With Group Show

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 8.10.07 PM

This image is meant to be upside-down.

There is a new roving art space in Houston called Self Actualization; it will stage its shows and events in various “vacant commercial real estate spaces,” and opens at 2800 San Jacinto Street on September 19-21 with a group show curated by Art Car Museum-alum/artist/poet/musician Tex Kerschen. This grand opening also features three days of events and performances by a number of regional and national artists and performers.

Self Actualization is the brainchild of Houston-based artist Monte Large and writer Jon Lindsey. This first show is called “Please Yourself” and will feature “drawings, paintings, unauthorized video, homewares, and complete trash.” Self Actualization’s founders claim: “Our interest is open-minded exploration of the transubstantiative properties of the physical spaces we occupy.”

For location, date and time info, as well as the list of artists participating in the three-day opening, go here, or call 713-446-7374.


Note: this item has been corrected to reflect that the opening is a group show curated by Tex Kerschen, not a solo show by him.

Executive Director to Leave Rothko Chapel

After seven years with Houston’s Rothko Chapel, Executive Director Emilee Dawn Whitehurst will be leaving to accept a position as Senior Vice President at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast. Whitehurst, who holds a Masters of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School, is an ordained Presbyterian minister. Although she states that her decision to leave the Rothko Chapel was difficult, she adds, “I am particularly disheartened by the religious extremism that fuels so much of the opposition to women’s reproductive rights and hope my theological training will be an asset to the ongoing movement.”

Photo by Melissa Phillip via Houston Chronicle

Photo by Melissa Phillip via Houston Chronicle

Border Radio + Old Jail in Albany = Summer Gold

033670If you’re in North or Central Texas, mark your calendar for August 22: The always-cool Old Jail Art Center in Albany is hosting journalist-performer Gene Fowler as part of its ongoing Focus Lecture Series. Fowler is the Austin-based author of the beloved 1988 book “Border Radio: Quacks, Yodelers, Pitchmen, Psychics, and Other Amazing Broadcasters of the American Airwaves.” Fowler will make what will likely be an unusual presentation about the type of culture-jamming “borderblaster” radio stations that enjoyed a heyday along the Texas-Mexico border from the 1930s to the 1980s, and he’ll tie it in to the narcocorrido culture.

This event compliments the Old Jail’s three current the exhibitions, which you should check out as well: artists Camp Bosworth, Allison V. Smith, and Ken Little each present an angle on West Texas and border culture.

The Fowler presentation begins at 6:30 p.m. on August 22 in the Old Jail’s Stasney Center for Education. The event is free and open to the public, but you can call 365-762-2269 or email to reserve your seat.

Call for Entries: It’s Happy Hunting Time Again!

The race is officially on! Yesterday, the oil services company Hunting PLC announced the call for entries for the 35th annual Hunting Art Prize in which Texas artists vie for a $50,000 award, the largest single prize in the category of painting and drawing available in North America.

Last year’s winner, Winston Lee Mascarenhas. Rite of Spring, 2013. Beeswax, resin, pigment on panel.

Last year’s winner, Winston Lee Mascarenhas. Rite of Spring, 2013. Beeswax, resin, pigment on panel.

The deadline is not until November 30, but there’s not much strategizing artists can do. Just follow the guidelines, as conservative as they are (basically: don’t attempt to “expand the definition of painting”), but a look at the previous winners won’t really provide any clues about what they may be looking for this year. They don’t even announce the jurors until about a week before the deadline. But Marshall K. Harris, the 2013 Hunting Prize winner, provided what he calls his “Strategic Submission Strategies” in the Glasstire comment section of that year’s announcement.

It’s a crazy competition. Besides the fact that it is restricted to painting and drawing (again: “No printmaking, photography, collage, assemblage, sculpture, relief, found object, or computer-generated works will be accepted”), artists are only allowed to submit one single image. They then whittle the entrants down to a gazillion finalists, who all show up to stand next to their works at the May gala, where the winner of the whole $50K is finally announced.

Good luck!

A Psychic Told Erin Cluley To Open a Gallery and So She Will


Erin Cluley is is opening her own space

Via CultureMap Dallas: The long-awaited announcement that the associate exhibitions director at the Dallas Contemporary is opening her own commercial gallery in Dallas came today. Erin Cluley, a graduate of MICA, has been with the Contemporary under Peter Doroshenko for five years, and now she’s launching her eponymous space in Trinity Groves. Opening September 13 with a solo show by Baltimore-based René Treviño, it’s the first full-blown commercial gallery in the neighborhood. Cluley plans on showing national and local artists (Francisco Moreno, Kevin Todora, and Josephine Durkin are among the Dallas-based artists named).

But here’s the gold, as CultureMap explains Cluley’s decision to take the leap from the non-profit to the commercial sector: “During a trip last summer to Salem, Massachusetts, on a lark Cluley sat down for a psychic reading. When it was predicted she’d open her own space, she decided to have a sit-down meeting with Trinity Groves developer Butch McGregor upon her return.” And thus, a 2000 square-foot space at 414 Fabrication Street was secured.

Teasing aside, we look forward to seeing what Cluley does. She promises to focus part of her gallery’s energy on helping artists create public artworks for the city, and we like the sound of that. For more info about the new gallery go here and here.

(image: Jamie Deerinwater for Dallas CultureMap)

Houston Artists Paint Coolers for Chance at Miami Show

Red Bull has added Houston as one of its stops on the tour of “Red Bull Curates: The Canvas Cooler Project,” in which they invite 20 local artists to make a work of art out of one of their coolers. The finished pieces will be displayed in a one-night only exhibition on Thursday, August 14, 8-11pm, at Winter Street Studios. (RSVP for free entry.)

The following area artists were selected for the exhibition:

SCOTT TARBOX, Anat Ronen, Sebastien “Mr. D” Boileau, Deck WGF, Dual, Kelley Devine, Marsha Glickman, Taft McWhorter, GONZO247, Cheryl Tamborello, Van McFarland, ARTKUNGFU/Angel Quesada, Dune Tencer, Kevin Hernandez, Phillip O. Perez/Article, Jed Foronda. Jesse “Dense83″ Greene, Tuyet T. Ongbarr, Jesus Martinez, and Anita Varadaraju.

gonzoGallery visitors and a panel of judges will vote for their favorite pieces, awarding two artists in each city an invitation to exhibit in Miami during Art Basel Week. GONZO247 was already working the Red Bull judges during his appearance yesterday on KPRC. Citing Red Bull as his inspiration, he added, “Red Bull is a big part of the Houston art community.” In describing the “awesome company,” GONZO said, “Definitely, Red Bull, they have their fingers on the pulse of what’s going on in the city.”

Someone wants to go to Miami.

Helen Ann Rasplicka 1935-2014

rasplickaHelen Ann Rasplicka, a founding member of the San Antonio Calligrapher’s Guild died on July 23, 2014. Rasplicka moved to San antonio in 1975. She learned calligraphy from Kitty Maguire, and formed the guild with Jennie McHugh, helping to write the by-laws and serving as president from 1977-79. She taught calligraphy at the Southwest Craft Center (now the Southwest School of Art) for 13 years. She used to have a motorcycle. A celebration of her life will take place at 11 a.m. Nov. 28 at Los Patios, 2015 N.E. Loop 410, San Antonio.

It’s Alive! Alive! The Resuscitation of Art in the Metroplex


Fort Worth Community Arts Center

Art In The Metroplex, one of the oldest annual open-call visual art shows in the state, took a three-year break after a 28-year run at Texas Christian University, but now it’s back at The Fort Worth Community Arts Center. Art in the Metroplex’s call for entries is open to artists in most of the counties in the North Texas region and is a guest-curated affair.

This year’s curator is Sara-Jayne Parsons, who we yesterday announced has just taken the position of Curator of the Galleries at TCU. Previous curators include Polly Apfelbaum, Toby Kamps, and David Pagel. The show has ranged from tight and spare to inclusive and riotous; it all depends on the disposition of that year’s curator, as well as, of course, the quality of the submissions. Historically, there have been cash prizes for the top selections, also decided by the curator.

Call for submissions is open now and runs through August 25. There is a $35 fee to enter. Guidelines for entry can be found here.

Matsler Gift of Regional Art to Panhandle-Plains Museum

dozier jackrabbitLubbock art collector E. Jay Matsler has left his entire 125-piece collection of Texas and New Mexico regionalist art to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, “because of their …magnificent job in showing and promoting regional art,” according to his will.

Matsler collected prints by Texas artists, especially those by the Dallas Nine, including Jerry Bywaters, Otis Dozier, Perry Nichols, William Lester, Florence McClung, and Everett Spruce, and members of the all-female Texas Printmakers such as Stella Lodge LaMond. He also collected works by Lubbock artists Bess Bigham Hubbard, Leo Bernice Fix, Mona Pierce, and Dorothy Bryan.  Notable works in the gift include: Jackrabbit (1943) and Cotton Pickers by Otis Dozier; a watercolor by New Mexico artist John Meigs; an oil by Santa Fe painter Odon Hullenkremer; a print by Gene Kloss, and a sketchbook and archives from Bess Bigham Hubbard.

“The size, breadth, and depth of the Matsler Collection make it the most significant gift of art objects Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum has received since the Lucille Nance Jones bequest in the 1970s,” said Michael R. Grauer, Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs and Curator of Art and Western Heritage at PPHM.

Matsler was born at home on Aug. 7, 1939, in the Liberty Community to the late Grover C. and Lura Nell Matsler, a Hale County Pioneer family. He died on Dec. 31, 2013, in Lubbock at the age of 74.

After processing and cataloguing, pieces from the Matsler collection will be featured in the PPHM’s galleries.

TCU Hires New Curator

Suspicious-Utopias-install-2Texas Christian University in Fort Worth has hired a curator for its satellite gallery, Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, for the 2014-15 academic year. Sara-Jayne Parsons is coming to Fort Worth from her position as Exhibitions Curator at the Bluecoat in Liverpool, England, a non-profit contemporary community arts center. This is something of a Texas homecoming for her, however, since prior to her post overseas, Parsons was Assistant Director at the UNT Art Galleries, and received her MFA from UNT in 1996.

Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, a space on the edge of the university campus, is dedicated to curated exhibitions of regional and international art, and some student exhibitions. It’s beginning its seventh year of programming. Parsons starts this month.

(image: Glasstire)