We’re Here, We’re Queer, We’re Showing Some Movies!

BehaviorThe folks who put the Q in QFest are gearing up again for the five-day annual film festival dedicated to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer cinema. It begins Thursday evening with the Texas premier of Appropriate Behavior at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) and runs through Monday, July 28. QFest will feature 17 programs hosted at seven venues throughout Houston (full schedule here).

For those who want to start the party early, the Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP) is hosting a “Sneak Peak and ‘Bumper Crop’ Video Party” tonight at 6pm. QFest Artistic Director Kristian Salinas will share festival highlights and QFest Festival Administrator Stephanie Saint Sanchez will present this year’s submissions in the QFest Bumper Crop Shout Out. SWAMP is located at 1519 West Main.

(Image: film still from Appropriate Behavior)

We Lost a Good One in Dallas: Nona Barrett

NONAGenerous art collector and benefactor Nona Norsworthy Barrett, of Dallas, died last week. She is survived by her husband Richard. There has been no official obituary released as of this writing. This post will be updated when one becomes available.

Nona and Richard Barrett had been collecting art for about 25 years, and started their collection with regional work (Nona’s first purchase, while working with Dallas dealer Murray Smither, was reportedly a Vernon Fisher). Over the years they have gifted many works to the Dallas Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and other major institutions, sometimes with stipulations that some of the work find its way to regional museums across the entire state. Later on, they began collecting Swiss and Czech modernism.

In 2004-5, SMU’s Meadows Museum presented the well-received “Texas Vision: The Barrett Collection,” exhibiting more than 100 works from their private collection.

Nona was one of the top collectors in the region. She was a 4th-generation Texan who was a tremendous champion of Texas artists, and she will be missed.

(photo: Nona and Richard Barrett in February. Dallas Morning News)

The Dog Days of Texas Summer


Student art at the Dog Show, Photo By Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle

Art at the Dog Show. Photo by Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle

Of course it’s hot and muggy in Texas this time of year, but it suddenly seems like it’s literally the dog days of summer around here. If you missed the five-day “Houston World Series of Dog Shows” (and its accompanying exhibition of student art) that ended yesterday, don’t worry—there are more dogs on the way!

coloringbookHouston’s DiverseWorks, Barrio Dogs, and Box13 Artspace have teamed up to present No One’s Dog, a community-based project that uses art to bring attention to Houston’s animal overpopulation crisis. The project involves a photography exhibition at DiverseWorks (July 26-August 9), a community awareness event at Box13 (August 9, 5-7pm), and a commissioned coloring book created by Houston artist Michael Bise. The coloring book tells the story of Rusty the dog (in English and Spanish), one of Barrio Dogs’ greatest success stories, and will be distributed free of charge.

Austin animal lovers have been enjoying the Blanton Museum of Art’s summer exhibition In the Company of Cats and Dogs. They’ve already held their Pooch Parade and their Doga Class (yoga for dogs and their owners) but, in August, they will be hosting a few serious lectures on how we relate to our cats and dogs.

Speaking of Austin, has anyone in town fessed up yet to the friendly dognapping of Marfa’s missing art dog?

Tom Tierney, King of Paper Dolls, has Died in Smithville

tomTom Tierney, illustrator of the long-running and popular series of paper doll books for Dover Publications, died on July 12 at his home in Smithville, TX at age 85. The New York Times says Tierney “almost single-handedly revived the lost art of paper-doll making” in the 1970s as Barbie was killing a once-popular genre.

Born in Beaumont in 1928, Tierney studied art at UT Austin them moved to New York, where he began as a fashion illustrator. He spent most of his career in New York, drawing over 400 books of dolls and costumes ranging from Marilyn Monroe, to Drag Queens, to The Virgin of Guadalupe and the presidents of the United States, many with detailed annotations. He moved to Smithville in 2007.

leigh paper dolls

New Faces at the El Paso Museum of Art Foundation

EPMA foundation faces

Allan M. Goldfarb, Charles de Wetter, Stacey S. Hunt

The El Paso Museum of Art Foundation, the nonprofit which funds acquisitions, conservation/preservation, education and interpretation, not provided for by the City of El Paso, has announced it’s new executive officers for 2014: David Bernard, President; Katherine Brennand, Vice President; Jackson Curlin, Treasurer; and Rebecca Krasne, Secretary.

New board members were also announced: Allan M. Goldfarb, Charles de Wetter, and Stacey Hunt.

Allan M. Goldfarb, a native El Pasoan, is a partner and Chairman of Kemp Smith’s Business Department. Mr. Goldfarb’s primary focus is working with and advising owners and principals of closely-held and family businesses.  In addition, Mr. Goldfarb has extensive experience in probate and estate matters, including tax planning and filings with the IRS.

Charles de Wetter is the current Covenant Real Estate Managing Broker for west Texas and southern New Mexico and former President of De Wetter Hovious, Inc. He is chairman of El Paso’s Make-A-Wish Foundation a board member of the El Paso Community Foundation, and a past president of the Center Against Family Violence.

Stacey S. Hunt is a community advocate and volunteer. She worked in San Francisco and El Paso as an occupational therapist prior to having children. She is on the board of the El Paso Children’s Development Center, the El Paso Opera, Kids Excel El Paso, and the Lydia Patterson Institute. Mrs. Hunt was also a member of the Junior League of El Paso.

Meet Sandy, Galveston’s Newest Pink Resident

unnamedGalveston has a new monument, a pink dolphin carved from red limestone quarried from Corpus Christi. The dolphin-sized statue, installed at R.A. Apffel Park/East Beach on the island and conceived by artist Joe Joe Orangias, writer Sarah Sloane, and scientist Frank Pega and carved by Orangias, celebrates Galveston’s sexual and gender minority communities and its history of embracing these communities.

The statue takes its form and name, The Pink Dolphin Monument, from the storied Galveston watering hole the Pink Dolphin Tavern, as well as Galveston’s LGBTQ Pink Posse activist community.

According to its corresponding website, the “Pink Dolphin Monument is part of a network of monuments dedicated to gender and sexual minorities around the globe, but it is the first of its kind within Texas and the southern United States.” A list of other monuments in this global network can be found here.

The dolphin, nicknamed Sandy by park employees, was donated to the park by its creators, and its unveiling happens on July 25, 2014 from 5 to 6pm at R.A. Apffel Park/East Beach Pavilion, Galveston Island, Texas, 1923 Boddeker Road. It is open to the public.

Treehouse of the Future to Open in Houston’s Memorial City

treehouseWhen’s a treehouse on a freeway? MetroNational, the real estate corporation that runs the Memorial City Mall in West Houston is putting the finishing touches on Treehouse Memorial City, a showpiece of green design they’re billing as “The Office of the Future” at the corner of Bunker Hill Rd, and Gaylord in Houston.

Studio Red Architects (designers of the planned MATCH arts center in Midtown Houston) and Acumen Design are collaborating with MetroNational’s VP for Design and Construction and newly designated “environmental Czar of Green initiatives,” Glenn Fuhrman on the new hideaway- the building is reached from the MetroNational offices via a suspension bridge (Ewok City?) and sports every possible tree-hugging feature: a rooftop garden of native plants, solar panels, rainwater collection, a geothermal cooling system, furniture made from recycled plastic bottles, and a wind turbine by Houston art-cartist Mark “Scrapdaddy” Bradford.

Workers from Embark Services, a MetroNational subsidiary, hugging a giant live oak in Spring Branch.

Workers from Embark Services, a MetroNational subsidiary, hugging a giant live oak in Spring Branch.

Marfa’s Missing Art Dog Could Be in Austin

00G0G_gDoxfQ4KX5r_600x450A popular dog who normally roams freely around Marfa, named Tic Tac but also known as the “Art Town Ambassador” went missing from Marfa just as its Marfa Film Festival was ending on July 6. Many out-of-towners attended the event, and the reigning theory is that a well-meaning Austinite picked up Tic Tac and took him back to Austin.

Tic Tac, something of a celebrity who often makes an appearance on social media with his own hashtag (#tictacmarfa), is an orange and white mutt who belongs to Gina Leiss. Because he’s friendly and curious and a serious escape artist, he’s allowed to wander around the tiny center of Marfa. One of Leiss’ neighbors was visiting Austin on July 12, shortly after Tic Tac’s disappearance, and without knowing Tic Tac had been reported missing, swore he spotted a lookalike dog “sitting in a car on North Lamar Boulevard near The Tavern.”

Since then there has a been an artist-driven poster campaign in Austin and Marfa to track down the missing dog in hopes that the person or persons who might have innocently thought they were giving Tic Tac a new start in Austin will come forward and let him go back home to Marfa.unnamed-1

And if you know anything, go here.

Project Row Party! (Bring the Skeeter Spray)

PRHThere are some smart Houstonians over at Project Row Houses (PRH). They hold a monthly outdoor “Third Ward Community Market and Talent Showcase” but, in the summer months, they don’t even try to do it in the daytime. Last month’s event was cancelled due to bad weather, so they are promising twice as much fun this Saturday night, with artist vendors, craft activities, community performers, DJs, and food!

PRH’s “Third Ward Community Night Market and Talent Showcase” takes place on July 19th, from 6-10pm. Yes, it will probably rain again, but it’s supposed to clear up before the evening.

Friendly Staff Shake-Up as HCP Grows


Alex Irvine and Clint Willour at this year’s record-breaking HCP Print Auction. (Photo by Laura Burlton via CultureMap)

Alex Irvine and Clint Willour at this year’s record-breaking HCP Print Auction. (Photo by Laura Burlton via CultureMap)

Houston Center for Photography (HCP) announces that it is launching a search for a new executive director to lead the organization, effective immediately. Bevin Bering Dubrowski is stepping down from her role as HCP’s current executive director to become the organization’s first creative director. She will focus on new initiatives to enhance the community’s awareness of HCP’s programs. Alexandra Irvine, currently administrative director, will assume responsibility as interim executive director to aid in a smooth transition until a permanent executive director is appointed.

“During Bevin’s five year tenure as executive director, she has elevated the visibility and success of all fundraising endeavors, especially the annual print auction,” stated Jereann Chaney, president of HCP’s board of directors. Chaney adds, “The organization’s growth trajectory now requires programming be increased, which in turn means adding new staff positions.”

Congratulations to both Alex and Bevin!

These guys are hitting the road for a few weeks! Bevin will return in August as HCP’s new creative director. (Photo by Cody Duty/Houston Chronicle)

These guys are hitting the road for a few weeks! Bevin will return in August as HCP’s new creative director. (Photo by Cody Duty/Houston Chronicle)

NOW, TO RECAP THE PAST COUPLE YEARS IN THE HOUSTON AREA PHOTO SCENE: (The Galveston Arts Center (GAC) is thrown into this mix although it is not exclusively photo-oriented. But curator Clint Willour really knows his stuff and is very active in the photo world, so during his two decades there, it’s been more photo-heavy than most galleries/museums.)


September: Irvine resigns as executive director of GAC.


May: FotoFest founders announce “retirement” after 30 years and start a search for new executive director.

September: Irvine joins HCP. A couple of weeks later, the MFAH announces the retirement of photo super-curator Anne Wilkes Tucker and her replacement, Malcolm Daniel (although Tucker will not completely retire until June 2015).


January: FotoFest announces Steven Evans as new executive director.

May: GAC curator Willour goes on medical leave; no word yet on a return date.

Last week: GAC announces independent curator/artist Elliot Lessing as interim director.

This week: HCP announces staff changes and begins a search for a new executive director.

DMA Buys a Danish Masterpiece

dahlThe Dallas Museum of Art, under the direction of chief curator Olivier Meslay, has acquired a masterwork by Danish Norweigan painter Johan Christian Dahl (1788-1857).

“Frederiksborg Castle by Moonlight,” from 1817, is a large painting depicting its namesake, which was a residence for royalty in the 17th century. Experts estimate its value at around $5 million, though no comparable work has been on the market in years. It had long been considered lost and hasn’t been publicly shown since 1817.

This is considered the most important work by Dahl in an American institution. This month it will join the rest of the DMA’s small collection of other 19th-century Western and Northern European paintings in the galleries of the permanent collections.

Correction: Dahl was active in Denmark and later Germany, but was born in Norway.

(photo: Dallas Museum of Art)

East Texas Dogs Paint Canvases for a Good Cause

4194753_GVia KLVT Tyler: Last Saturday, an outfit called Therapet held a public event in Tyler in which therapy dogs used “their paws and tails to create one of a kind works of art.”

The large and small dogs’ paws were dipped in non-toxic paint and then they were set loose on canvases. These works of “art” will be professionally framed and auctioned off at an event called Therapet Unleased on September 13, also in Tyler.

Therapet is a 20 year-old donor-supported, volunteer organization that “uses specially trained and certified animals to promote health, hope and healing in East Texas.”

(image: KLVT Tyler)

But It Looks Like Contemporary Art!

Donning special shit-shaped caps, children line up to get flushed down the toilet.

Donning special shit-shaped caps, children line up to get flushed down the toilet.

This isn’t about a Texas art show and, in fact, this isn’t meant to be art at all. But every once in a while, a science museum or children’s museum puts together an exhibition that must make some contemporary art curators jealous.

Tokyo’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, known as the Miraikan (literally “Future Museum”) recently opened an exhibition called Toilet!? – Human Waste & Earth’s Future, which will run through October 5. Geared towards children, the show is meant to be educational, encompassing various environmental, biological, and cultural issues. The press release expresses great pride in Japan’s high-tech toilets, but goes on to explain, “A pleasant egestion experience involves human dignity and a person’s ideal toilet differs according to age, culture, and their living environment.”

(Photos via Spoon & Tamago.)

Poop just seems cuter in other languages.

Poop just seems cuter in other languages.

Dallas Zoo’s Bronze Giraffe is Ready for a New Pal

Giraffe-sculpture-at-Dallas-Zoo_151830The Office of Cultural Affairs in Dallas is seeking applications from artists to take on the project of designing a new sculpture to reside near the big iconic bronze giraffe at the entrance of the Dallas Zoo. Like the giraffe, which is visible from I-35, the area earmarked for the piece is big, and there are no height restrictions.

The piece needs to be low maintenance (read: bronze or stone or the like; the giraffe is an amalgam of fiberglass and bronze), and reflect the zoo’s mission: “Inspiring Passion for Nature and Conserving Wildlife,” and act as a “way-finding” element for the entrance of the zoo. (My two cents: It would ideally aesthetically complement the giraffe in some way.)

The artist or group of artists applying need to have  experience with this kind of major public-art project, including the execution/production and installation. There is a $3,000 research and development budget to kick it off. The application deadline is August 8.

I suspect there are two reasons why OCA has opened this call to Texas artists. 1) It’s a nice gesture and there are some artists here who could pull it off, and 2) the giraffe’s creator, Bob Cassilly of St. Louis, died in 2011. The giraffe, at 67 and half feet tall, is the tallest statue in Texas, and was installed in 1997.

For the application, go here.

(photo: Dallas Culturemap)

Artistes: Today’s the Day to Rock That Beret!

Auguste  Rodin, 1880

Auguste Rodin, 1880

Happy Bastille Day!

There are still plenty of people who assume that serious artists study in Paris, wear berets, and walk around with their thumbs stuck through those bean-shaped palettes. For artists who secretly harbor any of those romantic notions, today is your day! In honor of the 1789 storming of the Bastille, French folks celebrate the power of the people every year on this day.

Ugo Rondinone, dear sunset, 2013

Ugo Rondinone, dear sunset, 2013

Since Dallas has an interesting history of French connections (most notably La Réunion, the short-lived socialist utopian community formed in 1855 by French, Belgian, and Swiss colonists, later incorporated by the City of Dallas, and celebrated by Ugo Rondinone’s entry into last year’s Nasher XChange series of public sculptures), it is holding its fifth annual Bastille on Bishop Festival tonight from 6-10pm, where they take over 3 blocks of the historic Oak Cliff’s Bishop Arts District. It’s a ticketed event, but includes all things French: wine, crepes, mussels, musique, and can-can dancers.

Bouillet, Broz & Pregeant Big Show’s Big Winners

Celan Bouillet,<em>Hanging Gardens</em>, 2014. Acrylic on canvas, 72" x 56"

Celan Bouillet, Hanging Gardens, 2014. Acrylic on canvas, 72″ x 56″

Congratulations to artists Celan Bouillet, Peter Broz & Laura Pregeant, who each were awarded $1000 prizes by this year’s Big Show juror, Erin Elder, Visual Art Director of Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe.

Peter Broz, <em>Tower</em>, 2014. Acrylic on panel, 48" x 20"

Peter Broz, Tower, 2014. Acrylic on panel, 48″ x 20″

Lawndale Art Center’s annual open call juried show netted 981 works submitted by 382 artists this year, from which Elder selected 115 works by 106 artists for the exhibition, which opened Friday night, July 11.  The Big Show will be on view at Lawndale Art Center through August 9, 2014.

Laura Pregeant, <em>Places Unheard</em>, 2014. Mixed media, dimensions variable

Laura Pregeant, Places Unheard, 2014. Mixed media, dimensions variable

Other Artists selected for the exhibition are:

Maurice Abelman, Sarita Ackerman, Isela Aguirre, Mehek Ahmed, Homer Allen, Joel Anderson, Shara Appanaitis, Amanda Armistead, Logan Sebastian Beck, Mack Bishop III, Noreen Borys, Elaine Bradford, Jeff Bradley, Margaret Braun, Kari Breitigam, Betty-Ann Brose, Vernon Caldera, Lindy Chambers, Yvette Chapman, JooYoung Choi, K.C. Collins, Isabel Cuenca, Claire Cusack, Sandra de la Rosa, Kelley Devine, Luisa Duarte, Amber Eggleton, Sandy Ewen, Xenia Fedorchenko, Laura Feld, Vincent Fink, Jed Foronda, Jenn Fox, Diane Fraser, Leticia Garcia, Bryan Gardner, Helena Gijsbers van Wijk, Marsha Glickman, Eva Graf, Carrie Green Markello, The Center for Imaginative Cartography + Research, J.G. Harkins, Linda Harmes, Eric Hartley, J. Hassinger, Luis Hernandez, Keith J.R. Hollingsworth, Michael Horvath, Jordan Hughes, Jeff Jennings, Michael Sean Kirby, Jason Kishell, Alexander Larsen, Riah Lee, Tae Lee, Lulu Lin, Annie Lockhart, David McClain, Palmer Mena, Adrienne Elyse Meyers, Paige Moore, L.A. Naut, Kia Neill, Clark Nunn, Eric Ockrassa, Lee Alice (Hillman) Pablo, Eric Pearce, Kristy Peet, Robert Peña, Jr., Page Piland, Tara Ratliff, Patrick Renner, Leslie Roades, Lillian Roberds, Caroline Roberts, Natalie Rodgers, Penelope Ross, Nana Sampong, Charlie Jean Sartwelle, Nataliya Scheib, Mireille Schellhorn, Caroline Sharpless, Torie Shelton, John Slaby, Taylor Smith, Megan Spacek, Lou Sprecher, Adair Stephens, Todd Stevens, Gerald W. Syler, Kamilia Szczesna, Dwight Theall, Michael Toskovich, Sandy Tramel, Nohelia Vargas, Justin Varner, Amed Ruben Verástegui, Christopher Wallace, Elise Weber, Elizabeth Welch, Dave Wilson, Amy Beth Wright, Justin Zachary

New Book on Texas’ Groovy Midcentury Artists

9780292756595The University of Texas Press has just released a new book, “Midcentury Modern Art in Texas,” by Dr. Katie Robinson Edwards. Packed with never-before-published images, the book covers the important era of art making as practiced by the many Texan artists who were early adapters and interpreters of the movement.

From the 1936 Texas Centennial to the earliest Modernists in Houston to the Dallas Nine to the Fort Worth Circle and beyond, the book promises new research and insight to the state’s relationship to Ab Ex and Modernism. Texas was a real hothouse for the movement, and the book also traces how the Texas artists’ work was received nationally and internationally.

The book is the first in-depth full-length treatment of the subject. Dr. Edwards is currently the curator at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum in Austin.


Saturday Is Dallas Design District Gallery Day!

ddgd logoEvery Saturday is a good day to visit gallerys in Dallas’ Design District, but this Saturday, get there early: 15 art spaces are participating in the third Design District Gallery Day,  an annual mid-summer art party organized by Brian Gibb of The Public Trust. The first 25 people at each gallery will get a gift bag which includes the official t-shirt and other stuff. Craft beer will flow. At Red Arrow Contemporary, The Industry Print Shop will be screen printing and handing out free prints from 3-8pm.

Other participating galleries include: Alan Simmons Art + Design, Circuit 12 Contemporary,
Conduit Gallery, Craighead Green Gallery, Cris Worley Fine Arts, Dallas Contemporary, Galleri Urbane, Goss-Michael Foundation, Holly Johnson Gallery, Laura Rathe Fine Art, Mary Tomás Gallery, PDNB Gallery, Red Arrow Contemporary, Samuel Lynne Galleries and new comers to the event Christopher Martin Gallery and Zhulong Gallery.

12-8pm, all over the Design District.

ddgd t- shirt

Not bad!

Stunner of a Show Announced for SMU’s Meadows Museum

10DuquesadeAlbadeblancoGoyaVia the Dallas Morning News: SMU’s Meadows Museum has announced that next year it will show a singularly impressive collection never before exhibited outside of Spain. In what will be the most important show in the 50-year history of the Meadows (next year is its anniversary), The House of Alba collection is made up of priceless and rare works spanning 500 years of collecting by one illustrious and very well-connected Spanish family. The collection up to now has been held in the family’s three private palaces across Spain.

The collection includes paintings by Goya, Rubens, Renior, Titian, Velasquez, and others, plus “…16th-century tapestries by Willem de Pannemaker and 19th-century furniture created for Napoleon III. Selections also include illuminated manuscripts, books, historic documents, miniatures, antiquities, prints, sculptures and drawings. Among those will be documents related to Christopher Columbus.” One such document is Columbus’ personal handwritten list of sailors on board the Santa Maria in 1492.

I’ll call it now: This will be, deservedly, the most well-attended exhibition ever at the Meadows. The show also helps mark the 100-year anniversary of SMU. The curator for the exhibition is Dr. Fernando Checa Cremades, the former director of the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid. “Treasures from the House of Alba: 500 Years of Art and Collecting” opens April 18 and runs through August 16, 2015.

(photo: painting by Goya, courtesy House of Alba Collection and Meadows Museum)

Texas Art Teacher Dies in Car Crash Leaving Museum

Joey Doyle headshotAfter picking up student artwork from a Glassell School of Art exhibition, long-time Aldine ISD art educator Joseph Doyle was leaving the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) yesterday morning when he swerved into traffic, hit another car, and struck a tree, reports KPRC. Some witnesses report that Doyle was slumped over the wheel before the crash, but it is not yet known if he suffered from some sort of a medical issue.

Doyle was a Texas arts educator for thirty years and was Aldine ISD’s program director for Visual Art. Since 2000, he served as director of Texas Art Education Association’s Visual Arts Scholastic Events (VASE). Doyle was an award-winning teacher and administrator and, in 2005, was named Texas Art Educator of the Year.

A MFAH representative told KPRC that staff members recovered the artwork from the car in order to return it to the student artists.