SMU and Pastelegram Team Up for New Texas Art Magazine


Video still from Mary Walling Blackburn’s Son and Father, Konya, Turkey, 2012; image courtesy of the artist.

SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts in Dallas and Pastelegram, the non-profit art annual based in Austin, are collaborating on a new online art magazine called Coronagraph. The publication will feature “in-depth interviews between art thinkers and practitioners.”

Says Noah Simblist, the chair of SMU’s art division: “We wanted to create a platform that would allow for deeper conversation about artistic practice… to create a site that was unafraid to be too esoteric, theoretical or political, areas of discourse that are rare right now in Texas.”

The interviews will link Texas-based artists and writers to national and international ones, and feature talent from SMU and UT Austin. The interviews will fall under one of two headings: Objects and Acts, or Practices and Processes. The first three interviews have been posted here.

Menil to Honor Bill Camfield’s Picabia Work

PicabiaBill Camfield may have retired from teaching at Rice University in 2002 (where he had taught art history since 1969), but he hasn’t quit working. Over the years, Camfield has published a number of books and articles and now, in celebration of his recently published Francis Picabia: Catalogue Raisonné, Vol. 1, 1898–1914, the Menil Collection is hosting a book signing at 7pm tonight, with a short talk by Camfield at 7:30.

warhol_camfieldHoustonia magazine notes that Dr. Camfield, along with a team of French art historians, and in close collaboration with Picabia’s family, has been working on the catalogue since 1992. Camfield, who wrote his graduate school dissertation on Picabia, has four more volumes to publish, which he expects to happen at about the rate of one a year until the entire endeavor is finished around 2019. (A fifth volume dedicated to Picabia’s drawings is also planned.)

At Rice, Camfield originated the internship course that sends a number of students to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (and sometimes to the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston) each semester. The well-loved professor emeritus should have plenty of ex-students and art history buffs to come show their respect tonight and get an autograph.

(Photos: Francis Picabia in his studio, ca. 1912. Courtesy of Bain Collection, Library of Congress. Andy Warhol and Dr. William Camfield at the University of St. Thomas, May 1968. Courtesy of William Camfield.)

TONIGHT! Weigh in on the Future of Houston’s Arts & Culture

Rendezvous Houston, 1986. Photo by Patrick Burke via Wikipedia

Rendezvous Houston, 1986. Photo by Patrick Burke via Wikipedia

The City of Houston is seeking input from residents on its Art & Cultural Plan, a 2-year initiative begun in early 2014, through a series of “Community Conversations.” There are three of these Conversations left:

Tuesday, February 17th, 6:30–8pm
Charlton Community Center
8200 Park Place Boulevard
Houston 77017

Wednesday, February 18th, 6:30–8pm
White Oak Conference Center
7603 Antoine Drive
Houston 77088

Thursday, February 19th, 6:30–8pm
Sharpstown Community Center
6600 Harbor Town Drive
Houston 77036

The last cultural plan was made more than 20 years ago and Mayor Annise Parker has directed that the plan be finished before she leaves office at the end of 2015. When she named Philamena Baird and Rick Lowe to serve as co-chairs of the Arts & Cultural Plan Advisory Committee (for the full member list, go here), she stated, “It’s time for a new plan that will position Houston as a leader and destination for arts and culture.”

The City’s website says, “We need your input to help move our city forward. As part of the Arts & Cultural Plan process, the City will look to the community for opinions, experience and feedback.” Okay, Glasstire readers: we know you have plenty of opinions, experience and feedback. So go join the conversation!


Tomorrow: ‘Tuesday Evenings’ Kicks Off With Janet Zweig and Dan Maginn

Modern-Art-Musuem-Fort-Worth-Ando_9The excellent and popular long-running artist talk series, Tuesday Evenings at the Modern in Fort Worth is starting up its new season this week with guests Janet Zweig and Dan Maginn.

The series’ organizer Terri Thornton, the Modern Art Musuem of Fort Worth’s Curator of Education, says this of the New York and Kansas City-based artists: “You may or may not be familiar with Janet Zweig’s work or that of Dan Maginn but what they have to offer in the realm of ‘public art’ defies the stereotypes that can give the noble effort of making art available in public spaces a bad name. Work like Zweig and Maginn’s stands to change attitudes and communities as it appropriately challenges us in order to include us.”

This season lasts until April 21 (Laurie Simmons that night!). The lectures are free and open to the public (seats are first come first serve) and usually begin at 7 p.m. and end around 8 p.m. For the full season program, please go here.  Remember: tomorrow evening is the first installment.

Wars Fought With Art, Latest Battleground: Garland, TX

Photo: American Freedom Defense Initiative.

Photo: American Freedom Defense Initiative.

After last month’s shootings at the Charlie Hebdo Paris headquarters, the remaining staff continued publication and the issue sold out seven million copies in six languages, in contrast to its typical French-only print run of 60,000.

Then, earlier this month, NBC news reported that a global cartoon competition based on the theme of Holocaust denial was launched in Iran in response to the magazine cover that featured a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad. All cartoons must be submitted by April Fools’ Day because “April 1 is the day of big lies, and the Holocaust is a big lie that the Zionists invented to suppress the Palestinians,” said Masoud Shojaei-Tabatabaii, head of House of Cartoons and one of the competition’s organizers. A total of $25,000 will be awarded to three winners.

This Valentine’s Day, a gunman fired into a Copenhagen café, where a debate on freedom of speech featuring Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks was being held. Vilks is the creator of a number of controversial caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. He has been living under 24-hour police protection since 2010. One person was killed and three police officers were wounded.

Now, Pamela Geller, president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), has announced that she is organizing a “Draw the Prophet” contest and event in Garland, Texas—the same site of a recent “Stand by the Prophet” conference, organized by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (and protested by AFDI members). Artnet News called the AFDI contest “shameless Muslim-baiting.” The winner of this competition will be awarded $10,000. Entries will be accepted through April 5th and the event will take place on May 3rd.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has deemed the AFDI a hate group and refers to Geller as “the anti-Muslim movement’s most visible and flamboyant figurehead. She’s relentlessly shrill and coarse in her broad-brush denunciations of Islam and makes preposterous claims, such as that President Obama is the ‘love child’ of Malcolm X.”

Are you ready for the Southwest School of Art BFA? Deadline Feb 20!

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 10.40.48 AMThe Southwest School of Art in San Antonio, the only independent art college in the state of Texas, is currently accepting applications for the fall 2015 class of its new four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program. The priority deadline for applications is February 20. Students who complete their application by the priority deadline are eligible for scholarship consideration, including full tuition scholarships.

The program at SSA accepts 20-25 students each fall, and offers degrees in ceramics, drawing and painting, metals, photography, printmaking or sculpture and integrated media. For more information, please contact Leigh Baldwin, Director of Communications, at


Nasher Introduces Microgrant Program for Artists

2015-microgrant-bannerThe Nasher Sculpture Center has announced its Nasher Sculpture Center Artist Microgrants program, which will distribute small-sum grants to North Texas artists. Twice a year a jury chosen by the Nasher will pick artist recipients, who will be eligible for grants ranging from $250-$1000 for the purpose of supporting their projects and practices.

Via the Nasher: “The microgrants aim to champion artistic excellence and encourage innovation, collaboration and engagement within the local visual art community. In addition, by bringing in jurors from the international and regional art communities to meet the grant recipients and discuss their work, Nasher Artist Microgrants will help bridge the gap between the North Texas art scene and the world.”

The deadline for the first round is April 3, with the grant recipients to be announced May 1. The program’s first jurors are: “Dallas artists Frances Bagley, Annette Lawrence, and John Pomara and the Chicago-based artist Tony Tasset, as well as Nasher Assistant Curator Leigh Arnold and Nasher Curator of Education Anna Smith.”

For more info on the program, eligibility (the program pertains to artists in counties in North Texas) and the application, please go here.

RE Gallery Seeks Outdoor Intervention for Dallas Art Fair Weekend, Proposals Due Feb. 17!


Sam Schonzeit wrapped trees in the space last year.

Dallas’ RE Gallery is looking for some outside help with a couple of upcoming projects: it launched its first open call for proposals for a “temporary intervention in the everyday landscape” to be installed across the street from the gallery on a 100’x100’ parcel of land at 1710-1712 Gould Street during Dallas Arts Week and the Dallas Art Fair weekend. It’s wide open: the invitation specifically invites proposals from artists, architects, landscape architects, engineers, scientists, fabricators, and designers. Jurors will include artist Frances Bagley; Dr. Charissa Terranova; Gary “Corky” Cunningham, Patrick and Lindsey Collins and Charles Dee Mitchell. Details are online here, but hurry: the email deadline is 5pm Monday, Feb 17!

Heads Up, BFAs and MFAs: A Real Guerrilla Girl is Coming to TWU in Denton

unnamedGuerrilla Girls‘ member “Käthe Kollwitz” (a nom de guerre, n’est pas) will be at Texas Women’s University (Denton) to give a talk in the Margo Jones Performance Hall on Feb. 26. Presumably the discussion will focus on the Guerrilla Girls’ history (there was, to great effect, a whole gallery devoted to such in the recent 1980s show Urban Theater at the Fort Worth Modern), the cultural shifts the group has seen since its founding in NYC in 1985, and its current status. My guess is she will be wearing the mask.

The lecture is free and open to the public and begins at 7:30. College students, future artists, burgeoning feminists of both sexes and professional and armchair art historians are strongly urged to attend.

Info: Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. in Margo Jones Performance Hall / located in the Music Building on Pioneer Circle, Denton Campus TWU. 1100 Oakland St. 76201.

Parking information: Parking available in the lot south of the Fine Arts Building.



Hollywood Agency Announces Plans to Represent Visual Artists — Guess Who?

artnet news logo

by Cait Munro, Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Will this mean more artist-designed champagne bottles? Probably. Photo via Art Observed

Will this mean more artist-designed champagne bottles? Probably.
Photo via Art Observed

United Talent Agency, the Beverly Hills-based talent agency known for representing actors like Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, and Gwyneth Paltrow announced the launch of a new division called UTA Fine Arts, which will manage the careers of visual artists. What does this mean for the art world? It means things are about to get very interesting.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the agency will not seek to replace galleries in terms of showing or directly selling art. Instead, they will help artists find financing for projects, sign corporate sponsorships, or get involved in the movie business if they desire.

This means more opportunities to make big bucks, but also more opportunities to “sell out,” something art world insiders aren’t always keen on. “Do too much, and you’re just not cool anymore,” said Marc Glimcher.

Glimcher also points out that in order for the agency to correctly represent an artist, they’re going to have to have the kind of insider information that only their gallery can provide, and that it’s unlikely most galleries are going to want to provide it, at least at first. “It’s going to be super hard to pull off,” he told WSJ. “If you’re going to be an artist’s agent, you need to know more about their work, their prices and their collectors than their own dealer does—and no dealer will be induced to share that kind of information.”

We imagine the tides could change quickly, however, if galleries begin to realize that cooperating with an agency could mean increased exposure, and therefore increased prices, for their artists.

This announcement comes at a time of growing mainstream interest in the contemporary art scene—when Art Basel in Miami Beach is just as hyped as Coachella (see 15 Art Basel in Miami Beach Parties You’ll Never Get Into), when celebrities are desperate for legitimate visual arts credibility, and when champagne bottles designed by Jeff Koons and sneakers with Warhol prints on them sell like hotcakes (see Andy Warhol x Converse Coming in February). As much as insiders may hate it (or claim to), the art world is no longer its own insular cocoon.

“You look at artists’ careers these days, and it’s so much bigger than showing in the rarefied world of the gallery,” said Joshua Roth, an art lawyer hired to head the new division. “They’re vital to a larger community.”

While UTA Fine Arts has not signed anyone yet, Roth said he will spend the next year trying to cram the roster with “the best names in the industry.” The agency will charge a 10 percent fee for any project it initiates, which is in keeping with their other divisions.

Easy Come, Easy Go: Dallas Art Fair Announces 2015 Exhibitors

940_448_828691015513555The Dallas Art Fair, entering its seventh year, has released a list of 2015 exhibitors due at its usual Fashion Industry Gallery (f.i.g.) venue starting April 9th. You can read the entire list here.

Given that there were 94 exhibitors in 2014 and 92 this year (and it’s not unusual for a few galleries to jump on at the last minute), the fact that 42 are not returning means that the fair organizers are either: 1) not inviting back certain galleries for whatever reason, or 2) doing a bangup job of filling the roster losses with new blood. Probably some of both.

All DFW galleries that were on hand last year are returning save RE Gallery (which we understand is retooling); DFW additions include Zhulong Gallery and Kirk Hopper Fine Art. As for other Texas spaces: Deborah Colton Gallery (Houston) and Dutton (Austin) are not returning this year, which means the only Texas galleries in the 2015 Dallas Art Fair are DFW-based. That’s not keeping away other exhibitors from as far afield as Bogota, Helsinki, and Tokyo. And Antwerp!





94 in 2014 92 in 2015

Houston Art Scene Gears Up for Love Day


However one celebrates Valentine’s Day may or may not be a private affair (and may consist of grumpily ignoring the entire day). Whatever you do on February 14th is fine, but here is a great itinerary for pre-V-Day Thursday (Feb 12) for Houston art scenesters:

The Art Guys’ “Tunnel of Love” at One Allen Center (starts 11:45am)
Who knows what this is, but the Guys describe it as “the ultimate interactive site-specific installation phenomenon.” There are very few details except that it “encapsulates everything that everyone has ever experienced or will ever experience.” Commissioned by Arts Brookfield (tagline: “Art Set Free”), the exhibition has inspired Houstonia magazine to pen the recent silly article “The Art Guys Sell Out (Again).” Silly because “selling out” has kind of been built into the fabric of the Art Guys mission from the get-go. Whatever Galbreth’s and Massing’s political leanings are, the Art Guys have never presented as anti-corporate ranters. They leave their apolitical goofiness up to interpretation (perhaps to a fault, as they never took responsibility for many people’s interpretation of The Art Guys Marry a Tree, which Houstonia magazine called “ill-conceived and ill-fated,” hence the “(Again)” of the article title). But the tree project was, at heart, a romantic one. And despite the fact that “Tunnel of Love” was commissioned by a Canadian asset management company and installed in One Allen Center, it’s about LOVE and it’s free.

My Funny Valentine at Avis Frank Gallery (11am-7pm)
All day Thursday and Friday, Avis Frank Emporium will be hosting a Valentine’s Day spectacular with locally produced cards, gifts and art. They will have all sorts of weird and original love gifts, which they will wrap for you while you sip on some champagne!

acrocatsThe Amazing Acrocats featuring Tuna and the Rock Cats at FrenetiCore Theatre (8pm, $19)
Okay, it’s not really about Valentine’s Day; it’s not visual art; it’s not local; and it’s not free. But the Acrocats are in town!!! The one-hour show features over a dozen fabulous felines (all former orphans, rescues, and strays) walking tightropes, pushing carts, skateboarding, jumping through hoops, ringing bells, balancing on balls and turning on lights. The Rock Cats, the only known all-cat band, will perform. It’s the ultimate date night!

White Rock Water Theater To Be Replaced By New Bagley/Orr Piece?

lake_full-600x403Today the Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs released a statement that the anticipated engineering study is complete on Tom Orr and Frances Bagley’s public sculpture White Rock Water Theater (2001). The installation on White Rock Lake, which has fallen into disrepair as the city has not maintained it (much controversy ensued), required an engineering study to assess whether its underwater foundations needed an overhaul in order to restore the piece. The report indicates that “the structural steel footings and foundations of the Water Theater have deteriorated and a complete replacement of the poles would be needed.”

As of today, the “estimated cost of a complete restoration of the Water Theater is $198,375.” The Public Art Committee  will present its findings and recommendations at at meeting on Thursday, February 19 at the Latino Cultural Center (4:30 p.m. and open to the public).

The release further states:

“After additional research to identify opportunities for this public art project, the Public Art Committee has recommended to the Cultural Affairs Commission that a contract be issued to artists Frances Bagley and Tom Orr to develop a new public artwork that re-envisions the ideas of the Water Theater,” says Interim Director, David Fisher. “The new public artwork would be designed for sustainability and would be located in a place that does not currently have public art.”

You can read more on the report here.


S.A.’s Witte Museum Breaks Ground on Huge Expansion

The Witte’s future entrance (Photo By Rendering Courtesy of Gallagher & Associates/Courtesy photo)

The Witte’s future entrance (Photo By Rendering Courtesy of Gallagher & Associates/Courtesy photo)

San Antonio’s Witte Museum held a groundbreaking ceremony yesterday for the second phase ($60 million) of its ongoing expansion (total $100 million), reports the San Antonio Express-News and The celebration of the “New Witte” was attended by residents, donors, and city officials, including the mayor.

Most of the museum will remain open during construction and the main building of the New Witte, which will add 65,000 square feet, will open in 2017. The Mays Family Center will open in the summer of 2016, featuring a blockbuster exhibition about Mayan civilization. “We’re getting it instead of Houston or Dallas,” says museum President and CEO Marise McDermott. “For the first time, we’re able to compete at that level.”

“One Man’s Garbage is Another Man’s Gold.” Everything is Terrible! Descends on Texas

unnamedLater this month, the Chicago-based video blogging/comedy group Everything is Terrible! will come to Houston and (and two other Texas venues) for the first time to present an omnibus of some of the worst found VHS clips from the ’80s and ’90s, called “The Legends.”

Aurora Picture Show will host the event on Feb. 22. EIT! bring with them “an evening of live comedy and discarded video oddities that are mixed-up, mashed-up and reconstructed to satirize popular culture and entertain.” They promise “props, puppets, sets, and costumes” to coordinate with a screening of “thousands of unseen clips mashed together in a style unmatched in its pace and range of truly psychedelic comedy.”

EIT! has been scouring the country for the best of the worst infomercials, home videos, exercise and instructional tapes, public service announcements and the like since 2007.

For more info on the Aurora stop (tickets needed), as well as stops in Denton and Austin, go here and here.

Texas to Lose Two Museum Leaders to Florida and Arkansas

In the past few days, there have been a couple of announcements from museums that are snatching up some Texas art folks. First, the Tampa Museum of Art announced that Michael Tomor, who has been the director of the El Paso Museum of Art (EPMA) since 2006, will serve as its new executive director starting in April, reported ARTnews. Then ARTFIX Daily posted the announcement from the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art that Margaret C. Conrads will began her position as its director of curatorial affairs beginning in March. Conrads comes to Crystal Bridges from the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, where she served as deputy director of art and research.

Photo courtesy Tampa Museum of Art

Photo courtesy Tampa Museum of Art

At the EPMA, Tomor started the “Modern Masters Series,” which brings work from the Guggenheim’s permanent collection to El Paso. The second round of the series, Vasily Kandinsky and Franz Marc: Expressionism and Der Blaue Reiter, will open next week. Of his upcoming job, he states, “The board and staff are committed to the museum and its future role in the cultural landscape of the entire Tampa Bay region, and I’m thrilled to be part of that community leadership making all of this happen.”

Image via ARTFIX Daily

Image via ARTFIX Daily

Conrads has contributed select essays for Crystal Bridges’ inaugural collection catalog, Celebrating the American Spirit, and has published writings on key American artists in the Crystal Bridges’ collection. As to her move from the Amon Carter to Crystal Bridges, she says, “My husband David and I are eager to get to know beautiful Northwest Arkansas and call it home.”

Help Animals Help Artists!

best in show

BOX 13 ArtSpace in Houston has put out a call for entries for BEST in SHOW, an open-call exhibition and fundraiser: wall work on the theme of cats and/or dogs will be sold off, with half the proceeds going to Box 13, and the other half to helping nonhuman animals: via a selection of animal welfare groups.

The show opens on Saturday, March 7 from 3 – 5pm with an “adoption event” with Barrio Dogs; visitors will “get a chance to meet animals in need of their forever home,” and needy pets as well. The opening reception and sale is later on, from 6-8pm.

Flower Man Cleveland Turner to be Honored Today with Stories, Processions, and Demolition

flowermanA day of celebrating beloved Houston artist and personality, Cleveland “The Flower Man” Turner (who passed away in December) and a last look at the living work of art he left behind–his home and yard is a grand, vibrant and joyful assemblage located at at 2305 Francis St. in Houston. Sadly, the house will be demolished on Saturday due to high levels of mold. This is your last chance to see the yard-art landmark before it’s leveled.

10 – 10:30 Second Line from First Missionary Baptist Church (3239 Simmons St.) to The Flower Man’s home (2305 Francis St.)

10:45 – 11  Welcome and Remarks from Rick Lowe, Susanne Theis and Pete Gershon

11 – 11:15  First St. Matthew’s Missionary Baptist Church Choir

11:15 – 11:45  Demolition of The Flower Man’s home

11:30  Crafting – Paper flowers, bike decoration, notes for spirit tree

11:45 – 1:30pm  Community stories and presentations

1-2pm  Community Bike/Walk organized by Autumn Knight, Lisa Harris and M’Kina Tapscott

Gorilla Art Decorates Houston Streets

ronen gorillaThe Houston Zoo has commissioned four prominent Houston Street artists to paint gorilla-themed murals on inner loop building to promote its new 2-acre gorilla environment, set to open on Memorial Day.

The murals are going up now, and will last six months.

Mr. D is painting one  at 2119 Washington Ave; Anat Ronen at Richards Antiques, 3701 Main St (shown beginning at left); Michael Rodriguez, at Buffalo Exchange 2439 Bissonnet; and GONZO247, of aerosol warfare’s mural will be at the Downtown Food Park 1311 Leeland.

Blanton in Austin Sort Of Gets Its Own Rothko Chapel by Acquiring an Ellsworth Kelly Building

kellysquaresThe Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin has just announced the acquisition of a to-be-built Ellsworth Kelly standalone building titled Austin. The stone structure will be 73 x 60 feet ( 2,715 sf) “with luminous colored glass windows, a totemic wood sculpture, and fourteen black-and-white stone panels in marble, all designed by the artist.” It will be part of the Blanton’s permanent collection. (Seems the University of Texas is getting all the big art these days.)

Kelly has donated the design, “including the building, totem sculpture, interior panels, and colored glass windows.” Cost for construction is an estimated $15 million; $7 million has been raised thus far.

Also, UT “has committed $1 million, funded by earnings from the University’s Longhorn Network, to create an endowment for the care and conservation of Austin and for the research and study of Kelly’s work.”

Austin is the only freestanding building Kelly has ever designed.