Helmreich New Dean of Fine Arts at TCU

helmreichProvost Nowell Donovan announced friday that Dr. Anne Helmreich will be the new Dean of Fine Arts at TCU in Fort Worth. Helmreich taught art and art history at TCU from 1996-2003, but has been Senior Program Officer at the Getty Foundation in Los Angeles for the past four years.

Helmreich replaces Scott Sullivan, Dean of TCU’s College of Fine Arts since 2000 as the college is set to begin “exploding nationally in terms of visibility,” in the words of Dr. Harry Parker, chair of the TCU theatre department and a member of the dean search committee.

She discusses digital publications in museums in this Youtube video:

Who WOULDN’T Want a Liam Gillick Paddleboard?


Gillick’s paddleboard.

The art apocalypse continues apace. The Contemporary Austin has commissioned six well-known artists to create bespoke…ahem… paddleboards to be auctioned off at the non-profit’s fundraising art dinner on May 9. They’re pretty cool, actually. See them here.

(The first time I spotted stand-up paddleboarders on White Rock Lake I just kept thinking Dear Lord, why. Why? Is this just a trendy hedge against surfing? Swimming? Kayaking? Any other physical activity involving water?) They’re valued by Paddle 8 at $1200 apiece. The artists are Andy Coolquitt, Liam Gillick, Jim Hodges, Angelbert Metoyer, Tom Sachs, and Marianne Vitale. The Metoyer would almost convince me to try stand-up paddleboarding. Almost. Not really.

Have fun and be careful out there, kids! At the auction I mean.


New Art Lands in the Woodlands

The Houston Chronicle reports on four new sculptures being installed at Hughes Landing, a new development in The Woodlands, developer George Mitchell’s suburban enclave north of Houston. The pieces are the most recent of 80 purchased so far and sited in the Woodlands with money from the Woodlands Art Fund, set aside from commercial land sales and fees by George Mitchell.

Yvonne Domenge,Wind Waves

Yvonne Domenge,Wind Waves

Yvonne Domenge’s flashy, red Wind Waves, which was displayed temporarily at Hermann Park last year, will be permanently sited by a lake.

“We think it’s dramatic and it fits the concept of the lake situation,” said Peter Doyle, executive vice president of design and construction for The Howard Hughes Corp., which chose the piece. “We want things to be provocative and contemporary.”

Fenris Glacier by Julie Speidel Photo: David Hopper

Fenris Glacier by Julie Speidel Photo: David Hopper

West coast artist Julie Speidel‘s Fenris Glacier, a set of angular, ten-foot stainless steel boulders, will be sited nearby on Hughes Landing Boulevard.

“We wanted something that was strong, dramatic,” Doyle said.

John Runnels' piece at Sabine St.

John Runnels’ piece at Sabine St.

Houston artist John Runnels’ Dream Boat, a steel canoe like those by the Sabine St. bridge in downtown Houston, will be installed at the entry to a Wetland Garden on Aviator Way and Hughes Landing Blvd.

“We wanted something that related to water,” Doyle said. “It’s a provocative structure.”

John Clement, Firefly

John Clement, Firefly

One of New York artist John Clement’s Fireflies, a bright yellow coil of steel pipe, will be installed in front of a nearby office building.

“Our intent was to do something interesting and different,” Doyle said.


Your Mind Is Not Playing Tricks On You


The Museum of Fine Arts Houston is approaching the end of its tenth annual series “Movies Houstonians Love.” Prominent Houstonians introduce each screening and expand on their affection for the movie, and on April 26, Willie D from Geto Boys will present the ever-charming 1995 release Babe.

Remember, Houston’s Geto Boys have been banned from radio and generally politically lambasted in the past due to ultra-controversial lyrics. Babe. Extreme controversy. Babe. We love complicated people. And Babe really is that good!

For more info, go here.


Julie Farr to Leave Houston Craft Center

FarrJust as one executive directorship gets filled, another opens up. Yesterday, the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) announced the resignation of Executive Director Julie Farr, effective May 1, “to pursue other projects.”

“This seemed like a logical transition point, both for me personally and the Center as an institution,” she said. “After eight years with the Craft Center, I feel I have made my contribution to the institution and helped forge its identity with the exhibitions, projects and programs we initiated. I am extremely proud of the work we have all done together.”

During Farr’s tenure, HCCC furthered a nationally recognized Artist Residency Program, created two annual fundraising events, established a fully funded curatorial fellowship position, and achieved a long-term goal of lending original exhibitions.

Victoria Lightman, Board President, stated, “We have been in extremely capable hands for the last eight years, and we commend Julie for her work at the Center. She created strong partnerships with other cultural institutions, and we hope to continue this collaboration.”

The HCCC Board will name an interim director in the near future.

(Image: Julie Farr, via Facebook.)

Don’t be shy: Glasstire is looking for writers!



Glasstire is looking for arts writers in Texas! Any level of experience or geographic location is welcome.

To apply, please submit one UNEDITED piece of your writing from the past two months that has not been published elsewhere. Examples include reviews, artist profiles, essays or anything pertaining to visual art.

Published contributors to Glasstire are paid.

Please send your writing along with a brief description of who you are to



The MATCH Staff Grows: Kirk Markley Signs On

MarkleyThe Executive Director of the Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston (the MATCH) has announced that Kirk Markley will join the MATCH as its first Managing Director in late May. Markley is currently the Managing Director of Houston’s Catastrophic Theatre.

E.D. Chuck Still explains the serendipitous hiring process: “This position came to be after Kirk and I had several conversations about the project, conversations that neither of us expected to lead to his working at MATCH. Over time though, his enthusiasm for the MATCH, his belief in the vision, made our working together inevitable.”

The building, at the 3400 block of Main St., seems to be coming along nicely. It will have five performance spaces, including one 350-seat house, and 4,000 square feet of exhibition space. The Match is working on the last little bit of fundraising and, now, it has a staff of two. It seems like it just may make its projected fall opening.MATCH_construction

(Upper photo via Flickr; lower photo via Facebook.)

If You’re Looking For an Excuse To Visit Marfa Soon…

Steve Earle Google Images… here’s one: Steve Earle is slated to play at the Crowley Theater on June 14.

The great singer-songwriter (and soundtrack composer/actor/Renaissance man) Earle recently released his newest album Terraplane, and like his other more recent (Grammy-winning) previous ones, this one explores an American music genre in a hyper-focused way. Terrraplane is his Texas blues album, thus influenced by Freddy King, Robert Johnson, Stevie Ray, et al. So it makes sense that Marfa could finally lure him out to play a show.

This performance is full band, so it’s really Steve Earle and the Dukes, and it’s brought to you by Ballroom Marfa. Tickets are cheap! $15 members/$30 non-members. For more info, go here.

It’s Time to Check Out Our Future Art Stars

Brianna Ramos, “Nothing Was the Same,” 2015. Courtesy the artist via

Brianna Ramos, “Nothing Was the Same,” 2015. Courtesy the artist via

It’s springtime and that means a ton of new exhibitions, including high school student shows. Although these student exhibitions are popping up throughout the state, two shows are bound to present some interesting work.

The Goss-Michael Foundation will host the 7th annual Retail as Art, a photography scholarship competition open to high school students in the DFW Metroplex. A charitable initiative started by United Commercial Realty, three winning entrants receive monetary college scholarships, and earn their high schools a donation to its arts/photography department. Lest you think that the sponsors and the theme would just encourage teens’ natural instincts to glorify shopping malls, take a look at some of the past winners. The photos will be on view April 23-25, with winners announced on Saturday evening.

The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston’s Teen Council has been organizing its biannual juried show of teen art long enough that a few of the artists exhibited are now well-known artists. This year, Perspectives 189: From the Margins will open on the evening of May 1 and run through July 19.

Houston Artists: Speak Your Mind at Another Town Hall Meeting!

town_hallAnother town hall meeting will be held to discuss the state of the arts on Saturday, May 2, at 11:30am at Houston’s El Dorado Ballroom. The City of Houston has held a few open meetings to aid in its creation of a new Arts and Cultural Plan before Mayor Parker leaves office. This meeting does not have the City’s name behind it but, instead, is hosted by Fresh Arts, Project Row Houses, DiverseWorks, Art League Houston, and Dance Source Houston. The folks behind the event want to make sure that artists’ voices are heard: “Our goal is to clarify and prioritize some of the most pressing needs for our independent artist community in an effort to better advocate for their consideration in the plan.”

The event’s Facebook page already has some conversation starters and plenty of opinions, so add your two cents online or at the El Dorado.

Bob Wade Revamps First Public Sculpture – in Waco!

Wade in Waco photo: Waco Tribune staff photo by Jerry Larson

Wade in Waco photo: Waco Tribune staff photo by Jerry Larson

Bob Wade, 72-year-old icon of roadside kitsch was in Waco earlier this month, and stopped to refurbish Funny Farm Family, his first large scale piece of public art, reports the Waco Tribune.

Trib reporter Carl Hoover interviewed him about the old days, when students helped haul and painted the hunks of scrap metal for not-so-easy A’s in Wade’s classes at McLennan Community College, before he moved to Austin, took the nickname Daddy-O, or ever thought of placing a giant igiuana atop a Fifth Avenue bar in Manhattan.

All this reminiscing has been stirred up by a documentary film, Flight of the Iguana, in the works about Wade and his populist marvels.

Dallas Approves Stevie Ray Vaughan Statue For Oak Cliff

Rangel’s clay model

Rangel’s clay model

The Dallas Park Board approved a new statue honoring Dallas natives and blues brothers, Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan for Kiest Park in Oak Cliff, near the brothers’ childhood home. Blues guitarists, the brothers grew up in Oak Cliff, and made it big in Austin in the 70’s, but Austin’s already got a statue: Stevie Ray Vaughn,by Ralph Helmick, was installed in 1994 in Auditorium Shores Park beside Ladybird Lake.

Stevie Ray Vaughan, who was killed in a helicopter crash in August of 1990, and his band Double Trouble, will, not conincidentally, be inducted into the Rock ‘n’Roll hall of fame today in Cleveland , Ohio.

The Oak Cliff Foundation (the philanthropic arm of the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce), which will contribute partial funding for the project, has already raised $68,000 of the project’s total budget of $142,000. The remaining $74,000 will come from from the 2006 Bond Program for  public art projects in parks. The Dallas Parks Press release says that a call for artists will be issued this summer, but San Antonio artist Victor L. Rangel’s clay model of a proposed statue, roughly quarter the proposed size, was displayed at the Kessler Theater during last year’s “blues and barbecue” event to kick off fundraising for the project.

Bill Davenport to step down as editor of Glasstire


Bill Davenport at his eponymous junk store


Today Bill Davenport announced that he will be stepping down as Editor-in-Chief of Glasstire at the end of April to focus on his work as an artist. A longtime fixture of the Houston art scene, both as an artist and a writer, Bill has served at the helm of Glasstire for the past two years.

Founder Rainey Knudson said, “When Bill became Editor-in-Chief in 2013, I asked him to stop working as an artist, which he did. It was an enormous sacrifice, and I will always be grateful to him for that. Bill enthusiastically stepped into the role and brought his energy and iconoclastic vision to the site. Over the past two years under his leadership, our absolute unique visitors increased 60 percent, we’ve strengthened our editorial staff and introduced new features like our Top 5 video series.”

Davenport was Glasstire’s first writer, contributing a weekly column titled “Tire Iron” in 2001-2002, and later serving as News Editor from 2007 to 2013. “Bill has been with Glasstire since the very beginning and has helped build the site. He will continue to contribute to Glasstire in the future, which I’m very pleased about,” said Knudson.

In the coming months, the Glasstire staff will be retooling the site’s design and adding new contributors to our content. Knudson (who founded Glasstire in 2001 and who has focused on the administrative side of the organization since 2004) will step into an actively editorial role for the first time in a decade, to guide Glasstire through the redesign and editorial transition.

“For decades, Bill Davenport has been a vital presence in the Houston art community. His independence and artistic vision have helped strengthen Glasstire in the two years he’s served as Editor-in-Chief,” said Glasstire’s board president Julie Kinzelman. “This transition will begin a new chapter for Glasstire, as we look to the launch of our new speaker series this fall, and as Rainey returns to editorial work.”



New Media Favorite Evan Meaney Visits DFW Later This Month

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 8.36.59 PMThere’s a lot of good geek buzz around this: Artist and new-media pioneer Evan Meaney is scheduled to make appearances in Dallas and Denton the week after next, with a screening of his “/” at CentralTrak on April 26 and a public lecture on UNT campus on April 27.

An artist, teacher and researcher of new media and gaming at University of South Carolina, Meaney contributes to the Atlantic and recently “has worked with the super computing team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory on projects made possible through the National Science Foundation.”

To get an idea of what he’s about, here is an interview he did with Art21 in 2011. Art21’s editor’s write: “His practice dives into the ‘liminalities and glitches of all sorts, equating failing data to ghosts, seances and archival hauntology.'” For more info on his lecture and screening, please go here and here.

Texans Awarded Guggenheim Fellowships

Mel Chin, Post-Election 2014, Western North Carolina (detail), photo: Wiles & Glick

Mel Chin, Post-Election 2014, Western North Carolina (detail), photo: Wiles & Glick

The Guggenheim Fellowships were announced this week and the list includes Houston’s Mel Chin (in the Fine Arts category) and Austin’s PJ Raval (in Film-Video).

In its 91st competition for the U.S. and Canada, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has awarded 173 Fellowships to a diverse group of 175 scholars, artists, and scientists. Appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of over 3,100 applicants. Of the 175 fellows, Artforum lists the 55 fellows within the visual and performing arts. (The magazine also lists Mel Chin as being a resident of Burnsville, NC, but we are ignoring that; Mel’s a Texan!)

PJ Raval, image via

PJ Raval, image via

Chin took over Houston for the first few months of this year with his huge show Mel Chin: Rematch at four major museums. The award-winning filmmaker PJ Raval, named one of Out Magazine’s “Out 100 2010” and Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film 2006,” helped to organize the OUTsider Film and Arts Festival, which took place in Austin this past February.

Congratulations to both!

Black Man Walking in Houston Heights!

black man walkingPedestrians are becoming more common along Studewood Street in the highly gentrified Houston Heights, especially around the intersection of 6th St. New bars, restaurants and a bike trail have upped the steet-level amenities in recent years.

But not for everyone. This morning, one walker, a middle-aged black man in a white T-Shirt and jeans, was wearing a sandwich sign: “BLACK MAN CAN’T WALK IN THE HEIGHTS – IT’S SOME LAW” The man, who identified himself as 27-year Heights resident K. Moss, said that his protest was in reaction to an incident last week in which he had been stopped and harassed by a District 1 constable while walking to work, a block from Studewood and 6th.

“It’s like we’re going back to the 60’s,” said Moss, who says he will walk the Heights every morning before work. He plans on improving his sign, too: he’s going to add a target.

Rick Lowe to Settle Down as PRH Names New Executive Director

Linda Shearer officially retired on Friday as Executive Director of Houston’s Project Row Houses (PRH) and, on Tuesday, PRH announced a shift in organizational leadership. Rick Lowe, who started PRH with six other artists in 1993, will officially lead the organization with the job title of Founding Director.

Lowe has had a busy few years recently. He brought his community-building concepts to Dallas’ Vickery Meadow as part of the Nasher XChange anniversary celebration in 2013; later that year, President Obama appointed him to the National Council on the Arts; months later, the Nasher officially named him as its first ever artist-residence; in the summer of 2104, Mayor Parker appointed Lowe to co-chair the development of the City’s cultural plan; the following month, he was named a 2014 MacArthur Fellow, known as the “MacArthur Genius Grant.”

“Rick feels, and the Board of Directors agrees, that he is well-poised in his career to really use his recognition and reputation to take PRH into the next chapter of its history,” said Board President Andrew Speckhard.

Eureka Gilkey (Photo courtesy PRH)

Eureka Gilkey (Photo courtesy PRH)

To assist Lowe in this new role, PRH has also named Eureka Gilkey, who is leaving her expansive career in Washington, D.C, where she served in the Obama Administration, to join PRH as Executive Director. Gilkey has over a decade of experience in development, activism, outreach and community relations. “Eureka has been engaged in many impressive projects throughout her career,” Speckhard stated. “She is a quick study, and this opportunity will help push Project Row Houses to the next level.”

Bexar County Artists: You Have About 24 Hours to Complete Berlin Residency Application

website banner_2Think of it like tax day; as long as your intention is postmarked by April 15th, you’re doing all right.

Blue Star Contemporary in San Antonio is continuing its partnership on a three-month artist residency (for Bexar County artists) with Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, and the while the deadline is April 15, as long as you’ve started your application process by then, you have a one-day grace period to finish applying.

This is the third year for the by all accounts very successful program. The last set of cycles included artists Justin Boyd, Chris Sauter, Adriana Corral, and Jessica Halonen. The 2015-16 residency cycles begin as early as this summer and as late as spring of 2016. And, “Following the completion of each artist residency an exhibition of artworks made during the residency and since the artists return, will be held at Blue Star Contemporary.”

For more info on eligibility and links to the application ($10), please go here.


MenilFest Returns and Smart People Know How to Party!


Image above and below via Flickr

The annual one-day festival of “art, words and noise,” which brings together visual, literary and performing arts organizations, returns to the Menil campus this Saturday, April 18, 11am-6pm. The MenilFest and Gulf Coast Indie Book Fair will take over the grounds surrounding the Menil Collection, The Rothko Chapel, and the Houston Center for Photography (HCP). Local and independent artists, authors, and musicians abound!

Menilfest1At HCP, prints by local photographers will be on sale and on exhibition. They will also host Gulf Coast as they present panels and readings throughout the day (full schedule here). After browsing through all the indie books and chatting with authors and poets, cross the street to the Menil bookstore for Zine Fest Houston’s Unbirthday Party (1-5pm) and grab a slice of cake. Be sure to check out the entire MenilFest schedule to ensure you don’t miss some of the indoor events at the Menil foyer, the Menil library, and the Rothko Chapel.

P.S. JUST FOR FUN: This is probably far from the version of Camille Saint-Saëns’s The Carnival of Animals that Da Camera of Houston will perform that afternoon, but here is Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck in a performance based on that music and the poetry of Ogden Nash.

Dallas’ (Actual) Original Mascot Returns to Downtown


The 2000 replacement, soon to be joined nearby by the original.

The giant rotating red Pegasus sign at the top of the Magnolia Hotel in downtown Dallas is the second one to fly in that spot; the first one, installed in 1934, was retired in 1999 and has since moldered away in a couple of different storage sheds until developer Jack Matthews and the late Jeff West decided to track it down in 2012 (they did) and refurbish it to the tune of $200,000.

The dimming, two-sided original was replaced atop the Magnolia Building (once the headquarters of Magnolia Petroleum–later Mobil Oil–and  in its day the highest skyscraper in town) with a brighter, shinier version in 2000, which is still in action. But finding the (appx) 40 x 40 foot original, restoring it and reinstating it downtown, this time on top of a 60-ish-foot high platform in front of the Omni Hotel, sounds just fine to us. It’s being installed over the next couple of weeks. The more Pegasuses (Pegasi? Pegusea?) around here, the merrier.