Modern Lectures Finally Make the Leap to Video!

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It helps to see it.

For years, if you missed one or live outside of DFW, you could listen to a podcast of any of the individual lectures from the excellent long-running series, Tuesday Evenings at the Modern, at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. (It was usually made available through the website within a few weeks of it happening.) Terri Thornton, the series’ organizer, and the Modern have announced that in addition to the podcast, the Modern has indeed joined us in 2015 (I joke!) and launched a Modern Youtube channel for the video-recorded version of the same; the videos will also be linkable through the Modern’s blog.

The podcast will still be made available, which is good for driving, but the video is will generally be preferable considering just how visual these lectures can be. Often, as you might imagine, the guest brings along an entire on-screen presentation that accompanies or even directs the lecture. Again, here’s the channel and the first available lecture: Janet Zweig and Dan Magnin (from Feb. 17, 2015).

More Mel Chin! Miranda Lash Returns to Houston to Explain it All


Image via Facebook: Miranda Lash and Jim Mulvihill looking fancy at the Speed Art Museum Ball this past weekend.

For those who have yet to fully react with Stendhal syndrome at the Mel Chin fest that’s been going on in Houston, there’s one more must-see. Speed Art Museum’s Curator of Contemporary Art Miranda Lash, former Houstonian and curator of the exhibition Mel Chin: Rematch, will be speaking this evening at the Blaffer Art Museum in conversation with Blaffer public affairs director Devon Britt-Darby.

From 2006-2007, Lash was a curatorial assistant at the Menil Collection while her husband Jim Mulvilhill ran public relations for the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Then the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) snagged her to be NOMA’s first curator of modern and contemporary art and the founder of the museum’s modern and contemporary art department, where she curated the big Chin retrospective. Since the summer of 2014, Lash has been the curator for the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, KY, where she gets to spend more time with her husband (Mulvihill knows his contemporary art, but his passion is writing about horseracing).

For a preview of Lash on Chin, read the article she wrote for yesterday’s Houston Chronicle, in which she quotes Chin as saying, “I was like Chris Rock in the movie Pootie Tang,” he said, “obsessed with appeasing the Corn God.” This could be an indication that this may not be your usual dry, academic talk.

The talk starts at 7pm. Tickets are free and can be reserved here.

Public Trust and Liliana Bloch Ditch Deep Ellum for the Design District

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no mas… see you in on Monitor Street!

As Deep Ellum transitions, the siren song of the Design District can’t be silenced.

The Public Trust opened its doors on Commerce Street in Deep Ellum in 2006 (then under its original Denton name, Art Prostitute); a couple of years ago Liliana Bloch opened her space-within-a-space at the same address and the two galleries have co-existed since. Now both galleries are moving to 2271 Monitor Street in the Design District (next door to Gallery Urbane) and will remain next-door neighbors, albeit in physically separate spaces (much like Holly Johnson and Cris Worley’s new set up). The Public Trust closed its Deep Ellum location two days ago.

Both galleries are looking to reopen in April. Liliana Bloch will kick things off at her new space with a solo show by Fort Worth’s Letitia Huckaby. In the meantime, Deep Ellum is undergoing a major, restaurant-heavy (so far) re-imagining by several developers, most notably Scott Rohrman, and we’ll be curious to see how that jibes with the few remaining art galleries in that neighborhood.

Only Hours Left to Vote for America’s Best Art District!

Dallas_HoustonThe art aficionados over at USA Today are holding a “Reader’s Choice” contest for “America’s Best Art District.” They’ve narrowed it down to 20 nominees with many usual suspects in New York and Los Angeles, but also included are the “Dallas Arts District” and “Houston Museum District & Project Row Houses.”

America’s favorite complimentary hotel newspaper will be accepting votes until noon EST time today. Dallas and Houston: go here and get out the vote immediately!

(Images via USA Today)

HCAF Announces $26,000 CineSpace Contest for Films Using NASA Space Pics

saturn hexagonSpace is pretty — NASA has been taking pictures of it for 50 years — and much of their imagery is public domain. Houston Cinema Arts Festival has partnered with the space agency to sponsor a contest for short films using it. The CineSpace Film Competition offers filmmakers a chance to share works using NASA imagery to win fame and $26,000 in cash money.

The competition is open to all filmmakers, both professional and aspiring. Submissions of all genres, up to 15 minutes running time, will be accepted. Entries must use at least 10 percent publically available NASA imagery.

The submission period is June 1 – July 31. Winners will be announced at a CineSpace event during the 7th Annual Houston Cinema Arts Festival, Nov. 12-19, 2015. Awards will go to the top three films and the two others that best depict the themes of “Benefits to Humanity from the International Space Station” and the “Spirit of Future Exploration of Space.” NASA reserves the right to use submitted films for its own purposes.

More information on CineSpace here.
Browse NASA videos and imagery here.

Dallas Artist Pays Especially Sweet Tribute to Spock

Amongst the various tributes to Leonard Nimoy via social media over the last few hours (many of us Gen-Xers are not taking this well), Dallas artist Rob Wilson created a particularly sweet homage to everyone’s favorite Vulcan. Via the Dallas Observer: the picture came with the simple caption “Beam Him Up.” Wilson, writes Lauren Smart, “has created numerous designs throughout Dallas and beyond, like the Welcome to Nightvale logos, greeting cards on the shelves of the Nasher Sculpture Center store, and the Kitchen Dog Theater designs for his previous employer, SullivanPerkins.” (He’s shown work at Erin Cluley Gallery.)

I’m a fan of visual artists reacting swiftly and thoughtfully to difficult news. Their creative impulse soothes those of us who are stuck with only words.

“Beam Him Up.”



Artists’ Payday is Here: Art League Houston Now W.A.G.E. Certified

wage certifiedArt League Houston and W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy) have announced that The Art League is now one of a handful of “WAGE Certified” nonprofits for 2015. This means that ALH has voluntarily agreed to meet minimum standards set by W.A.G.E. in 2014 for compensating artists who participate in ALH’s programming.

ALH joins newly certified orgs FD13 (St. Paul, Minnesota), Issue Project Room (NYC), and The Artist’s Institute (NYC) in providing a guaranteed minimum income to the artists they work with, paid in accordance with W.A.G.E. certification’s compensation standards and guidelines. The Art League Houston is one of the five spaces to achieve W.A.G.E. certification, and one of only two outside New York City.

W.A.G.E. is on the warpath: according to it’s “wo/manifesto“, it is dedicated to combating “organized irresponsibility of the art market and its supporting institutions, and demands an end of the refusal to pay fees for the work we’re asked to provide: preparation, installation, presentation, consultation, exhibition and reproduction” through providing guidelines for what it considers fair compensation for artists and encouraging arts organizations to follow them.

W.A.G.E. minimums

W.A.G.E. minimums

Last year, the Art League hosted Charge Practicum, a weekend of seminars and workshops centered on problems with the artist-money equation, which included a presentation by Lise Solkolne of W.A.G.E.

Read Glasstire’s recap of the Practicum  here.

Actual Artist Lofts For Actual Artists Planned for New Arts District Tower

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 6.34.31 PMAnd the Dallas Art District continues to grow: A new residential tower is going up at the corner of Flora and Olive, called Atelier/Flora Lofts (and next door to Museum Tower), and this one boasts plans for 39 artists lofts amongst its 370 luxury apartments. The non profit La Reunion TX is partnering with the developers to assign the rental lofts to deserving visual and performing artists for below-market rate. This has been a long time in the making but now appears to be moving forward. As early as 2013, La Reunion outlined its plans for the lofts via Art & Seek: The lofts would cost no more than $800 per month (a crazy bargain for the neighborhood) and “La Reunion will assemble the advisory board responsible for approving resident applications from artists.”

Note, via Steve Brown for the Dallas Morning News: “Unlike Museum Tower, which has a reflective glass skin that has been the source of a long-running controversy, the Atelier/Flora Lofts building has a masonry exterior with inset balconies. Much of the glass is recessed into the face of the building.”





Turrell’s Houston Quaker Skyspace Has Reopened

Image: James Turrell, Skyspace at Live Oak Friends Meeting House, Houston, Texas, 2000. Retracted skyspace shows light changing as sun sets. Photo by Joe Aker. Courtesy the artist and Live Oak Friends.

Image: James Turrell, Skyspace at Live Oak Friends Meeting House, Houston, Texas, 2000.  Photo by Joe Aker. Courtesy the artist and Live Oak Friends.

Since August 2013, when the Live Oak Friends Meeting House had to close its public viewings of James Turrell’s One Accord Skyscape due to water damage, no one has really had a chance to lament its absence. That was the same year that the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) hosted a huge Turrell retrospective and UT Austin opened The Color Inside Skyspace above its student activity center. And Houston’s Rice University had just debuted its Twilight Epiphany Skyspace the previous year.

But for Turrell lovers, there’s a special affection for Friends Meeting House piece. After the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston organized James Turrell: Spirit and Light in 1998, the MFAH commissioned The Light Inside, the light tunnel that connects its two museum buildings, which opened in 2000. Also in 2000, the Live Oak Friends Meeting House opened with its Skyscape.

Initially, the Friends were very suspicious of the entire project. A New York Times article at the time catches some cautious quotes from members, such as, “We have a testimony of simplicity. We have people who would have preferred to build a building of hay bales and corrugated fiberglass.” Here’s another from a later article: “In our meeting, we all share a common link—that there is a God. The language we use for that is ‘the inner light,’ But it is not physical light.” As self-proclaimed non-experts about art, the members held meetings with Turrell, who is also a Quaker, until they had an understanding of the project and gave the go-ahead.

Even the latest post on the Live Oak Friends Meeting Facebook page has some interesting quotation marks within its notice about the official reopening and its opportunities: “to talk with non-meeting ‘experts’ who will discuss James Turrell’s art and the place of our meeting house in that body of work….. for new or prospective docents to experience the art and for those new to our community to find out what the ‘Art’ is all about.

The Meeting House and Skyspace will now be open (weather permitting) every Friday evening, and on the first Sunday evening of the month, approximately 30 minutes before sunset for prayer, meditation, and viewing of the Skyspace. Private group viewings can be arranged by contacting the meeting scheduler at




How Did National Adjunct Walkout Day Go in Texas Artland?

pwcupiamjvg89xnshmieToday was the first (will it be annual?) National Adjunct Walkout Day; at noon on college campuses across the country, adjunct professors were urged by a common cause to walk away from their teaching posts in order to draw attention to their dire employment arrangements, which includes criminally low wages, no benefits or job stability, and just generally feeling totally jerked around by the same system that loaded them up with degrees at high cost and them sent them, often over-qualified, out into the world to teach Drawing 101.

Presumably, and going by my own FB feed, plenty of adjuncts in university art departments across Texas have strong opinions on the matter. But did they walk out? If so, will they teach again next semester? How sympathetic did the tenured faculty seem toward them this week?

Why Can’t TX Bring Back Its Curators/Directors?

Brooks Museum’s new E.D. Emily Ballew Neff. (Photo courtesy of Brooks Museum of Art)

Brooks Museum’s new E.D. Emily Ballew Neff. (Photo courtesy of Brooks Museum of Art)

Yesterday, as Glasstire’s Christina Rees posted her Weaver Watch (former DMA curator Suzanne Weaver’s exit from Miami’s Institute of Contemporary Art), the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art also announced the appointment of the its new executive director, Emily Ballew Neff.

It was a little more than a year ago that Neff left her curatorial position at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston after almost 20 years to assume the directorship of Oklahoma University’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.

The president of the Brooks board of trustees said that the search committee was impressed by Neff’s experience: “She has a good understanding of the role of the museum in the community and its responsibilities.” He also stated that Neff’s approachability and her articulate character impressed the committee. “It’s really exciting. I feel as if this is the beginning of a new era for the Brooks.” Neff is also president of the Association of Art Museum Curators and recently served as a fellow of the Center for Curatorial Leadership in New York.

Suzanne Weaver resigns from ICA Miami Six Months After Taking the Job

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 6.34.34 PMContinuing our devotion to watching the movements of former DMA curator Suzanne Weaver: Six months after the announcement of Weaver’s appointment as director of Miami’s beleaguered Institute of Contemporary Art (formerly the Museum of Contemporary Art) Weaver has either resigned or simply finished her task of restructuring the space and gone on her merry way. She was indeed described at the time of her hiring as Interim Director, charged with helping reestablish the ICA’s program and financial underpinnings as it planned a move to a new address.

While some sources close to the ICA claim Weaver has resigned (which implies she intended to make the transition to permanent director at some point), board members claim she was brought on only to see them through a troublesome growth spurt and that she has indeed done so, and the ICA is ready to hire a permanent director.

For more on this, go here and here.


BRRR, It’s Too Cold for Art in North TX

Image via WordPress: The Ice Museum inside Trick Eye Museum, Seoul, South Korea

Image via WordPress: The Ice Museum inside Trick Eye Museum, Seoul, South Korea

The Dallas Morning News’ Michael Granberry reported last night that the Dallas Museum of Art, the Kimbell Art Museum, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, the Crow Collection of Art, and the Nasher Sculpture Center have all announced that they will not be open today due to weather conditions. As of last night, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth had made no announcement, but the “Inclement Weather Policy” posted on its website states that it will not open if FWISD decides to close which, according to its Facebook page, it decided to do later in the evening.

For today, at least, we amend the Glasstire editors’ usual sign off on its weekly Top Five list. Instead of “Go see some art!,” go make some art! (Or just read a book or watch some movies with a cup of cocoa—but stay warm.)

Our Neighbors’ Art Billboards Make Residents Think “Terrorism!”


One section of the coast-to-coast Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND) series, called the Manifest Destiny Billboard Project, has struck fear in the heart of local residents. On a stretch of Interstate 10 along the New Mexico side of the NM-Texas border are 10 billboards by Daniel R. Small, and the Greek/Hebrew-derived text running across them, though actually a variation of the Ten Commandments (and an editor’s proofreading markups of it), has caused suspicion among those on the ground around Las Cruces.

Via Hyperallergic and the Las Cruces Sun News, reactions have been along the lines of: “I was beginning to wonder if it was some kind of threat or warning. You never know, we’re close to the border and you think that ISIS or some other subversives might be trying to get at us.”

Comments in the Sun News and on its Facebook page are similarly marked by mistrust, about terrorism in particular: you can read more here. To be fair, some of the nice photos of the billboards do evoke, for this sci-fi buff, some Area 51/Close Encounters mystery. To each his own.

Video Killed the Photography Star! (Maybe) in Two Talks

Keasler_SmithTomorrow night (February 24 at 7pm), photography and video will battle it out in a talk at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Curator Andrea Karnes will hold a conversation with Misty Keasler and Allison V. Smith, two artists featured in the current exhibition Framing Desire: Photography and Video. Okay, the argument is probably photography/video versus every other art medium, as is exemplified by the Modern’s exhibition description:

Like [Susan] Sontag’s assessment of photography [in her 1973 essay “In Plato’s Cave”], video also has the ability to seamlessly flow between reality and fantasy—and each medium does so to a marked degree over painting, drawing, or sculpture, especially because they often depict objects, places, and people from the real world. Yet even with their believability over other mediums, by the aim of the camera, click of the shutter, or roll of the film, artists choreograph and construct their shots, bringing their subjectivity to the image.

If you’re more north of Tuesday evening’s DFW talk, check out the program at the Mary Moody Northern Art Gallery (West Texas A&M). In conjunction with the show Multi-Channel: Currents in Contemporary Video Art, Chip Lord, video art pioneer and former member of Ant Farm (creators of the Cadillac Ranch), will give a lecture at the Branding Iron Theater.

For those too young to get the reference of the headline, here’s an extra treat: the first ever music video shown on MTV in the U.S., at 12:01am on August 1, 1981. Watch and believe—you can’t make this stuff up!

Religion and Hip Hop: Bun B & Anthony Pinn’s New Online Class Now Enrolling

breaking breadLast Thursday, Houston, Rice U professor Anthony Pinn and rapper Bernard “Bun B” Freeman launched a new book of collaborative writings on churches and hip-hop, authored by the CERCL Writing Collective. They also announced a new free massive open online edX course, “Religion and Hip-Hop Culture” (RELI157x). Both the book and MOOC grew out of the duo’s popular classroom course they have been teaching ar Rice since 2011.

Titled “Breaking Bread, Breaking Beats: Churches and Hip-Hop — A Basic Guide to Key Issues,” the book is a project where 10 people write as one voice to illuminate the ways that hip-hop and the black church agree, disagree and inform each other on key topics.

“Our classroom course at Rice went so well that people off campus were contacting us and asking us about the course and how they could take it,” said Pinn. “Working with Bun in the classroom, it became clear that there were ways of learning and teaching that we hadn’t tapped. The MOOC gave us a way to be even more creative and innovative in terms of how we link the rest of world with the cultural richness and diversity of Houston to get information across.”

Bun B and Anthony Pinn’s Religion and Hip-Hop Culture course begins March 24. More information here.

Homeless Jesus Sculpture Blessed By Pope Debuts in Downtown Austin

CPC-HomelessJesus-1sAn anonymous gift to Austin’s Central Presbyterian Church has led to the upcoming unveiling of a new permanent public sculpture on church property at the corner of 8th and Brazos streets downtown. The sculpture, called “Homeless Jesus,” is a life-size bronze of a sleeping cloaked figure with stigmata on both feet. The artist is Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz and this is the third edition of the piece (the other two are in North Carolina and Illinois). The model used in making it was blessed by Pope Francis in 2013 in Chicago.

The dedication ceremony is Thursday, February 26 at 9:30 a.m. (the piece is dedicated to the memory of an Austin a couple who long served its homeless community). Whatever the passing public thinks of this public work on private property, the pastor of Central Presbyterian, Reverend Joseph Moore, says this:

“Our church sits three blocks from the State Capital and three blocks from the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless. This statue sits at the intersection between power and powerlessness. Tonight over 2,000 people will sleep on the streets of our great city, and we believe this statue has the potential to inform the ongoing conversation around the issue of affordable housing and chronic homelessness in Austin.”

For more info, go here.

Gallery Row Rebranded: Tomorrow it’s Art Afternoon on Upper Kirby!

chambersSaturday, Feb. 21 is Art Afternoon among the Upper Kirby Galleries. Formerly Houston’s principal “gallery row” on Colquitt St., the venerable culture nexus has rebranded and expanded to include nearby McClain Gallery, and is experimenting with Saturday afternoon receptions rife with food trucks and free parking in a bid to revivify itself in the face of an Houston gallery scene which includes competing clusters of venues at Isabella Court on Main St., and the 4411 Montrose building, which compete for crowds on prime opening evenings.

From 2-5 pm this afternoon, the galleries, including Moody, McClain, Hooks-Epstein, McMurtrey, Nicole Longnecker, and others are promising artist talks, and special events in conjunction with their shows, which include:

Lisa Ludwig: Nests at Betty Moody- bronze twigs, and plenty of ‘em. This is harder to do than it looks.
Lindy Chambers at d.m. allison – you’ll remember Chamber’s colorful trailer-home scenes, like Cape Cod cottages, with alligators and pitbulls.
Katsumi Hayakawa: Paper Works at McClain, if it’s still on view. The show officially closed on Feb. 14th!
Colored glass sculptures and vessels by Toots Zynsky at Hooks-Epstein.
Photographs by Croatian artist Stanko Abadzic at Catherine Couturier Gallery.
Amy Lin / Cathie Kayser at Nicole Longnecker.
Sarah Williams’ paintings of rural America at McMurtrey (and don’t miss Hiyme Brummett: Semantic Color Space at white-hot Hello Project gallery inthe back room!)

Robert Irwin Installation to Proceed at Chinati


Installation shot of Irwin’s untitled (Four Walls), 2006, at the Chinati Foundation.

California-based sculptor Robert Irwin has spent 14 years planning an installation for the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, and construction for the project is set to begin this summer. This follows a grant for $750,000 from the Lannan Foundation to pair with Chinati’s campaign which raised $3.7 million last year. The budget for the Robert Irwin Project currently sits at $5 million.

The installation will continue Irwin’s exploration of light and shadow and will be housed within an old army hospital and its courtyard. Read more about it here.


OUTsider Arts Fest to Prove That Sometimes Austin is Still Weird

OUTsiderLike many cities, Austin has fallen prey to the same homogeneity created by the constant influx of young, white people with way too much money. That’s why those “Keep Austin Weird” bumper stickers seem overly self-conscious, desperate, and basically useless (and usually found on the cars of those rich white kids). Occasionally, though, Austin’s weirdness still pops up its joyful little head. In the next few days, the inaugural OUTsider Film and Arts Festival will provide some genuinely weird (or, at least, less than mainstream) experiences.

OUTsider will present performances, films, art, and music with a focus on queer artists (full schedule here). Tonight’s VIP opening features at Salvage Vanguard Theater features performance artist Silky Shoemaker’s Gay Wax Museum and performance artist Narcissister, whose act on America’s Got Talent is posted below.