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The Saving of Prada Marfa

When it’s a battle between Art and the State, it can get ugly. Max Ernst vs. the Gestapo. Robert Mapplethorpe vs. Senator Jesse Helms. Ai Weiwei vs. the Chinese government.

Then there’s the chilling power of the Texas Department of Transportation.

Wait, what? You mean TxDOT, the state agency with the cute nickname that plants bluebonnets along the road? Yes, and last summer, wielding the chilling power of the Highway Beautification Act, they nearly shuttered a beloved West Texas art installation: Prada Marfa.

Image: Moon Over Prada, by Don Auderer

Image: Moon Over Prada, by Don Auderer

At that time, in July 2013, TxDOT had just declared Playboy Marfa an “illegal outdoor advertising sign” according to the 1965 federal act. The previous month, Playboy Marfa had appeared, literally overnight, along Highway 90, just outside of the desert art mecca of Marfa. It was a Richard Phillips creation, with the trademark Playboy logo of the bunny in a bowtie, towering 40 feet above a Dodge Charger on a concrete platform.

It was commissioned by Playboy Enterprises; it featured a corporate logo; and it sure looked like advertising. It turns out they didn’t have the proper highway permit for the bunny-on-a-stick-on-a-box.

With Playboy Marfa under investigation, the TxDOT bureaucrats then adjusted their orange safety vests and drove—slowly and with caution—west along Highway 90 to Prada Marfa.

Was Prada Marfa art or advertising? Most saw it as the whimsical satire of European artists Elmgreen & Dragset. It was installed in 2005 by Ballroom Marfa and the Art Production Fund. But on its surface, it was a phony shoe store, brandishing the Prada brand to the millions (well, ok, thousands) of travelers who whiz past it into the dusty town of Valentine: population 217.

Well, this Friday (September 12), the verdict finally came down. TxDOT has now given up its more than yearlong crusade. It released a statement, saying “the complaint file will be closed.”

“Prada Marfa is officially saved,” crowed the website of Ballroom Marfa, which commissioned the piece almost a decade ago.

One of the key moves for Ballroom was that in February of this year, they began leasing the land on which the art exhibit is located. The building’s branding was subsequently considered to be an “on-premise” sign and therefore didn’t require a permit under the Highway Beautification Act.

“I was happy with that,” said artist Boyd Elder about TxDOT’s decision. He is the site curator of Prada Marfa and a resident of the town of Valentine. In recent years, he’s seen the site grow into a bona fide tourist destination, a must-stop for “selfies” along the road. Its urban façade set ironically against the empty desert landscape.

“Whenever I’ve had to do work over there,” he said, “it’s incredible the number of people who come up to me and want their photo taken.” On a 2012 trip, Beyoncé accelerated this trend, when her friends took a snapshot of her leaping into the air in front of Prada Marfa. In a yellow blouse and black skirt, she floats above the road, arms outstretched.

Prada Marfa now may be safe from bureaucrats, but it’s still the target of vandals. The two biggest attacks were in 2005 and earlier this year, in Spring 2014. In the first major attack, a few days after it opened, thieves broke into the storefront and made off with Prada shoes and handbags. Earlier this year, a resident of Waco, in a clumsy attempt at a political statement, grafittied the walls of the exhibit and slashed the cloth awnings. The legal case is still ongoing, and according to Elder, the site itself has not been full restored.

As for Playboy Marfa? It gave up the fight. It was dismantled barely six months after it was erected. On a cloudy November day, it was trucked east, to a new home at the Dallas Contemporary. Most Marfa residents were happy to see it go. To this day, a few “Ban the Bunny” bumper stickers still appear around town.

For some, it was too bad Playboy Marfa was ever lumped in with Prada Marfa in the first place. Playboy was the name-dropping party-crasher at the cool kids’ party, parachuting into town to take advantage of the Marfa name.

It was a stealth installation and there was no opening. Playboy’s PR flacks wouldn’t even talk about the sculpture for two weeks after it was installed. Playboy staff barely made their presence known. The publicity photos of Raquel Pomplun, Playmate of the Year, were taken in front of the sculpture in the wee hours of the morning. By that afternoon, she was on a plane back to the West Coast.

In the end, Creative Director Landis Smithers was happy that Dallas wanted what Marfa had scorned. And Prada Marfa, now with security cameras firmly in place, will soon enter its second decade.

Maybe TxDOT knows what they’re doing after all.

Joan Davidow Gives Her Art Collection to UTD for its New Art Building

ATEC Building - UT DallasJoan Davidow, longtime collector, art advocate and formerly head of the Dallas Contemporary, has announced along with the University of Texas at Dallas that her art collection will be installed as a permanent display in the public areas of UTD’s new Edith O’Donnell Arts & Technology Building. Davidow, an avid fan of art made in this region, has an eclectic collection of video, photography, and new media art by artists in the early and middle stages of their careers.

On September 19th at 6:30 p.m. in the first floor gallery of the new building, a reception and show called “Tech Talk” curated by UTD’s John Pomara and Davidow will open to celebrate this gift. The reception is open to the public. Via UTD: “UT Dallas President David Daniel and Arts & Humanities Dean Dennis Kratz will welcome a gathering of students, artists, teachers, collectors and arts advocates to honor this highly inventive and meaningful gift to the university.” For more info on this event, go here.

 

 

(photo via UTD) 

 

Project Row Houses to Change Leadership

Houston’s Project Row Houses (PRH) announced that it has launched a search for a new executive director. The current executive director, Linda Shearer, has decided to step down at the end of this calendar year.

Linda ShearerShearer originally came to Houston in 2007 to serve as interim director for the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH). Although she made it clear that she was not interested in the permanent position at the CAMH, she accepted the directorship at PRH and led enthusiastically for five years. “These past five years have been extraordinary for me,” Shearer said. “I have learned so much about Houston and the Third Ward, about African American art and culture, about the amazing synergy between Houston arts organizations, about the enormously supportive cultural community that exists here, and about the power of art to affect change.”

Alberto Mejia II Named New Dougherty Arts Center Manager

mejiaAlberto Mejia II is the new manager of the city of Austin’s Dougherty Arts Center. Mejia arrived in Austin this summer from Seattle, where, as a self-described “engaged idealist” he organized youth arts programs for the EMP Museum, a Seattle nonprofit “dedicated to the ideas and risk-taking that fuel contemporary popular culture” and with enough money from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen for an outlandish guitar-inspired Frank Gehry building!

The Dougherty Arts Center (DAC) is a repurposed Marine/Naval reserve training facility rededicated to the Arts in 1978 that offers three programming components – the Dougherty Arts Center Theater, the Julia C. Butridge Gallery and the Dougherty Arts School.

Amon Carter’s Photo Archives Go Digital

Carlotta M. Corpron; Bisymmetric Design, 1944

Carlotta M. Corpron; Bisymmetric Design, 1944

Fort Worth’s Amon Carter Museum has just finished digitizing all the prints in their archives of eight important American photographers, putting more than 35,00 images online. The images are from the archives of Carlotta Corpron, Nell Dorr, Laura Gilpin, Eliot Porter, Helen Post, Clara Sipprell, Erwin E. Smith and Karl Struss, whose archives the Carter owns. Also digitized are 12,000 very fragile glass negatives, nitrate negatives and autochromes that the museum is unable to display in the galleries due to format and fragility.

The project, the Amon Carter’s largest digitization project to date, was made possible by a $75,000 digitization grant the museum received from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in 2012 and brings the number of Carter-owned works available online to 60,000.

As part of Google’s Hangout On Air series, museum staff and scholars will talk about each of the eight photographers during an hour-long, live Google Art Talk on October 9 at 11 a.m. CST, accessible at https://plus.google.com/+GoogleArtProject/. It can also be viewed later at https://www.youtube.com/user/GoogleArtProject.

Newcomb Pottery Comes to the Stark in Orange, Texas

NPE-9_wLogos-WEBA very cool offshoot of the Arts and Crafts movement was the Newcomb Pottery collective and college in New Orleans, post Civil-War and lasting until the 1940s. It was centered around women and their betterment and enterprise, making primarily pottery, but also jewelry and textiles, and the one-of-a-kind pieces the collective produced are highly sought after by collectors.

A show of Newcomb pottery and other items will be on loan to the Stark Museum in Orange and opens September 20. According to the museum: “The exhibition offers new insights into the Newcomb community—the philosophy, the friendships, the craftsmanship, and the women who made an enduring mark on American art and industry.” The exhibition was organized by the Newcomb Art Gallery and the Smithsonian. A rare opportunity to see a collection of such works in one place.

Women, Art and Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise at the Stark Museum of Art, Orange, TX from Sept. 20 through Jan 3, 2015.

(Pictured: Newcomb vase, artist unknown, 1897.)

Six (Not Seven) Texas Artists in Crystal Bridges’ Big Survey

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At Crystal Bridges now: Vincent Valdez, “The Strangest Fruit” 2013

I do not know where I got the number seven, but here on the ground in Bentonville, Arkansas, during the press preview for Crystal Bridges‘ new State of the Art survey of contemporary American art (think Whitney Biennial), I can count six artists from Texas represented in the show. They are Kim Cadmus Owens, Vincent Valdez, Gabriel Dawe, Chris Sauter, Autumn Knight, and Dornith Doherty. I feel like I knew this going in, though all proceedings have been very hush-hush up until this morning’s official launch.

Since there is still no one centralized list, even on the pretty and newly-live comprehensive, searchable website, this is what I’m able to put together. If anyone out there knows something I don’t, please speak up. There are 102 artists in all, representing 44 states. I don’t think I’ve missed anything or anyone.

 

I’ll review the show for tomorrow morning.

 

 

 

 

UTEP Arts Center Throws a Short Party to Celebrate Everything!

UTEPThe University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is celebrating its centennial and UTEP’s Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts is turning ten, so the Ruben is throwing a party on Friday, September 12, 5–7 pm. Two hours is hardly enough time to grab a drink, gobble down some appetizers, check out the current exhibitions, and hear about plans for the coming year—but they’re packing even more into the evening.

Painter Gaspar Enriquez, the subject of one of the current shows, will be honored, and he will gift the mural, “IGNITE,” painted by some of Enriquez’s former students, to Bowie High School, where he taught art for 33 years. They will also be honoring Rachelle Thiewes, another current exhibition artist, and announce a new endowment from Thiewes, which will fund research in the Department of Art for UTEP creative faculty and staff. And there will be a preview screening of Machine Project Presents!, documenting ten years of eclectic, performative events by the L.A.-based Machine Project collaborative, founded by Core Program alumnus Mark Allen.

Tuesday Evening Lecture Series Fires Up With a Look at Art in the 1980’s

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Barbara Kruger (1987)

The acclaimed Tuesday Evenings at the Modern Lecture Series at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is starting its new season on September 27. This first installment pertains to the exhibition originating at the Modern called “Urban Theater: New York Art in the 1980s” and will feature art historian Mark Thistlethwaite in conversation with the show’s (and the museum’s) chief curator Michael Auping, curator Andrea Karnes, and assistant curator Alison Hearst.

Terri Thornton, Curator of Education at the Modern is the series longtime organizer. She splits the season into two sessions; one Fall, one Spring. The Fall session’s schedule is:

September 30: Allan McCollum
October 7: Jenny Jaskey
October 14: James Cutler,
October 21: Carlo McCormick
October 28: Kenny Scharf
November 4: Fionn Meade
November 11: Eric Fischl,
November 18: Jules de Balincourt

For more info on these guests, please go here.
The lectures are free; for more info on location, tickets, etc, go here.

Arts Orgs: Give Some Love and Cash to Unpaid Interns!

There has been increasing criticism of unpaid internships (read “Reliance on unpaid volunteers is turning public museums into a middle class commodity” or “British Museum Wants Someone to Update Its Website for Free,” among many other recent articles), but the Leigh Bess Boone Foundation wants to help arts organizations relieve some of that guilt. The Foundation awards stipends to outstanding interns and volunteers in the visual and performing arts and it is accepting nominations through October 1.

The Foundation was established in 2009 after the tragic death of Leigh Boone in an accident involving her bicycle and a Houston Fire Department truck. Boone was very involved in the arts in Houston and elsewhere; she interned in multiple art areas in different cities. There seems to be no restrictions on the location of the nominating arts organization, so if you have had an intern who you would like to praise with a little attention and cash, fill out the application now!

In honor of arts interns everywhere, it seems a perfect time to repost Glasstire’s “Interns on Video” series, created by video artist Albert Sosa this past spring. View the entire series here.

 

Find out what’s opening this week in your city!

 

FINALLY! We’re launching a handy new guide to tell you what art events are opening in your city, every week!!!

Tomorrow we’re sending out the first editions of this email, for Houston, DFW and Austin/San Antonio. Don’t miss out! Click here to sign up!

 

What?? IT'S A CALENDAR.

What?? IT’S A CALENDAR.

 

 

Yet Another Celeb-Turned-Artist: Miley Cyrus

miley_cyrusAfter a whole two and a half months of making what NYMag.com calls “neon stoner-meets-summer-camper collages and jewelry,” Miley Cyrus will be exhibiting her work in an exhibition called Dirty Hippie. The work will be featured in Cyrus’ collaborator and fashion designer Jeremy Scott’s NY Fashion Week show tomorrow, and then will be on view at the gallery in the offices of V Magazine (11 Mercer Street, NYC) starting September 11.

While many eyes may be bleeding from excessive rolling, her interview with V Magazine includes some sentences that sound similar to statements from many young, hip-but-incoherent artists. Below are some excerpts, which could well be cobbled together to create…

Miley Cyrus’ Artist Statement:

“This seems so fucking lame to say but I feel like my art became kind of a metaphor—an example of my life.”

“I think art is everyone’s favorite class—but I would get in trouble because I would always draw fucked-up things. I don’t know why, but I would always draw girls in a bathtub. I remember my teachers calling my parents and being like, What the fuck?”

“Everything just kept shitting on me and shitting on me. So then I started taking all of those shit things and making them good, and being like, I’m using it… So, that’s how I started making art. I had a bunch of fucking junk and shit, and so instead of letting it be junk and shit, I turned it into something that made me happy.”

“This fucking banana was a hamster toy at Petco and I bedazzled it.”

“They say money can’t buy happiness and it’s totally true. Money can buy you a bunch of shit to glue to a bunch of other shit that will make you happy, but … obviously the shit you buy doesn’t make you happier because I’m sitting here gluing a bunch of junk to stuff.”

“I just sit around and smoke weed anyway, so I might as well sit around, smoke weed, and do something. And this is me doing something. I love it. I mean, I’m up until seven in the morning doing this stuff all the time. It was much weirder when I started doing it while I was sober.”

(Image: mileycyrus/Instagram)

“There She Is, Miss Texas (State Artist)!”

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 2.08.44 PMIn case you didn’t already know about this: Each year the Texas Commission on the Arts chooses two artists (one 2-D, one 3-D) to represent the state, sort of like a poet laureate or Miss Texas gig.

The call for nominations is ongoing; the deadline is October 15th and the nomination form is here. You can nominate yourself and are in fact urged to do so, and the overall number of nominations for each artist will not effect the outcome, because instead of this being a popularity contest, winners are chosen by a panel of judges. (You can also nominate a state musician and a state poet.)

Via the Commission’s website: “Texas State Artists serve one-year terms and represent the state’s artistic legacy. Texas State Artists are widely recognized for their contributions to the state and the advancement of their respective art forms.”

And why apply? “Artists receive statewide recognition, and the designation provides a unique marketing opportunity.” The State Artist can also join the Texas Touring Roster. Some recent past State Artists include Texas favorites Julie Speed, Melissa Miller and Jim Woodson.
FAQ’s are here.

Call for Proposals: Year 2 of Wacky Artist Parade Floats

bounty_crewAfter 65 years of Houston’s traditional Foley’s (later Macy’s) Thanksgiving Day Parade, organizers abruptly called it quits last year, but the Mayor’s Office of Special Events quickly found a new sponsor (H-E-B), an artist float curator (Diane Barber), and a new tradition was born. Well, at least, it’s making it to year two.

Last year’s parade was a hit, if only for the weird float designed by Patrick Renner, Alex Larsen, and Dennis Nance. “H-Town Bounty” featured a giant cornucopia that functioned as a half-pipe in which skateboarders dressed as giant vegetables showed off their moves. Potential inventive float artists should consider the gauntlet thrown.

The City of Houston is now seeking proposals from artists or organizations to create parade floats to be part of the 2014 H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade. Artists will receive a materials budget of up to $11,000 and a $2,000 artist fee. The deadline for submissions is September 26.

(Photo: H-Town Bounty crew: skateboarders, DJ Gobbles, and artist/float driver/giant fork. Via danmacfarlane.com)

Bank Funds Restoration of DMA’s Gem Encrusted Silver Vitrine

Czeschka-silbervitrine-1908In keeping with it’s policy of  “Corporate Social Responsibility,” Bank of America has given the Dallas Museum of Art funds  to restore a gem-studded silver display case the museum acquired last year. The Wittgenstein Vitrine, as it’s called, was designed by Carl Otto Czeschka, and will be the centerpiece of a show opening in November 15 in the DMA’s conservation gallery. Standing over five feet tall, this vitrine is the largest and most lavish example known of the silverwork of the Wiener Werkstätte.

This vitrine was purchased at the 1908 Vienna Kunstschau (Art Show) by Karl Wittgenstein (1847–1913), a Viennese iron and steel magnate and the leader of one of the most powerful families in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Wittgenstein’s family engaged in a series of artistic and architectural commissions in the following years, including paintings by Klimt and the remodeling and furnishing of a number of their homes by the Werkstätte. The vitrine, originally installed in the family’s palace in Vienna, remained in the Wittgenstein family’s possession until 1949, when it was sold at auction.

In 2013, the bank’s Art Conservation Project supported the restoration of Tudor portraits of Queen Elizabeth at the National Portrait Gallery in London; Augustus Saint-Gaudens’s “Diana” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; four portraits by John Butler Yeats at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin; three iconic Jackson Pollock paintings at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; and Rembrandt’s “Scholar in His study” at the National Gallery in Prague.

Art Apps: the Blanton and LACMA on Snapchat!

via LACMA's snapchat

via LACMA’s snapchat

via LACMA's snapchat

via LACMA’s snapchat

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art made cyber-news recently when Hyperallergic announced that they were the first museum to join Snapchat. A handful of other museums chimed in that they were also using the mobile image-sharing app popular with millennials, however with 40,000 Snapchat views, LACMA is clearly “killing it,” as LAist noted.

Since images or videos sent to other users disappear immediately after viewing, Snapchat has become associated, perhaps unfairly, with content that demands discretion (dick pics in common parlance). Users can, however, post “stories” that remain viewable for 24 hours, which is how most art institutions are using the app.

“The majority of people don’t use it as a sex app,” says Maritza Yoes, LACMA’s social media manager. “They’re using it as a platform for play, from the mundane to the cool. It’s a little less narcissistic than Instagram, it’s ephemeral, it’s quick.” In addition to sharing artwork from LACMA’s collection that she pairs with captions from pop culture, Yoes uses Snapchat to share content not available on other platforms, such as images of her visits to artists’ studios. There is also a new LACMA geofilter with which users can tag their museum snaps to properly brand their experience.

via the Blanton Museum's snapchat

via the Blanton Museum’s snapchat

via the Blanton Museum's snapchat

via the Blanton Museum’s snapchat

The Blanton Museum in Austin has followed LACMA’s lead, captioning old masterworks from their collection with lyrics from pop music, including Beyonce and, unfortunately, LMFAO.

 

Miranda July's Somebody [via http://unframed.lacma.org/node/1424]
Miranda July’s Somebody [via http://unframed.lacma.org/node/1424]

If you’re looking for a more analog way to communicate via smartphone, Miranda July has just released Somebody, a messaging app she created in collaboration with fashion brand Miu Miu. The basic gist is that you send a message to a friend, which, instead of showing up on their phone, is delivered in person by another app user in their general vicinity. You can specify inflections or actions such as “longingly,” “fist bump” or “ask her what she’s worried about and reassure her that everything will be OK.” A short film (with Miu Miu wardrobe) produced in conjunction with the app is equal parts sincere and cringe-worthy, so typical July fare.

LACMA's social media manager Maritza Yoes with Somebody sandwich board

LACMA’s social media manager Maritza Yoes with Somebody sandwich board

The app works best with a critical mass of users in one place, so official hot spots have been designated, including LACMA, the New Museum and the Museo Jumex in Mexico City. To promote the hot spot, Yoes recently spent a day walking around the LACMA grounds sporting seriously old-school messaging technology – a sandwich board.

It’s unclear if the hot spots will actually enhance the social aspects of museum-going, or if users will simply race past great works of art in attempts to deliver quirky messages to strangers. Concerns have also been raised regarding privacy issues, since the deliverer of the message is given GPS tracking information about the recipient to help locate them. This seems fine in a public space during the day, not so much if the message is delivered when one is home alone at night. Even less so if the message involves pooping back and forth forever.

The Met Finally Becomes One with Our iPhones

themetmuseumThe Metropolitan Museum of Art became the last of the major New York museums to jump on the dedicated-app wagon. While the museum has been dabbling in digital for a dozen years, it only yesterday launched its own flagship application. (There was a launch party and a performance by the NYC band Interpol.)

Called simply “The Met,” the app is currently available only iOS (the Android version is slated for 2015). It’s not a virtual-tour deal; it’s a service-y one. (Via digiday.com): “The app has a very basic and simple interface, and can serve as the go-to for visitors looking for information on timings, tickets, current exhibitions, must-see highlights of the museum, any special events of the day, upcoming events, staff picks and members-only specials. Tapping on an item provides the user with a brief description and its location.”

For more info and a video about “The Met,” go here.

Texas Arts SchmoozeFest Begins and Glasstire Talks!

TX2013Today marks the beginning of this year’s Texas Contemporary art fair at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center. For the fancy folks who shell out $100 for a preview pass, the party starts at 6pm and that first hour and a half benefits the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH). CAMH Director Bill Arning, along with Anne Ellegood, Senior Curator of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, will serve as this year’s jury of the Texas Contemporary Award, a cash prize of $10,000 bestowed to one exhibitor-nominated artist.

The rest of the schmoozers will start pouring in after 7:30pm (if you really can’t find a pass, tickets are $25-35). And there are some pretty good reasons for returning throughout the rest of the weekend (besides never actually looking at much art during an opening). Among other events, there will be the following three Glasstire Talks in the lecture hall:

Saturday, 11am
A Conversation with Hugh Forrest, Director of SXSW Interactive
Over the past 20 years, Forrest has built SXSW Interactive into one of the world’s most influential events for the new media industry. Join Glasstire Founder and Publisher Rainey Knudson for a conversation with Forrest about the history and future of the festival.

Saturday, 1pm
How To Get Rid of the Art You Don’t Want Anymore
Pick up some helpful hints from panelists Sandy Parkerson (Parkerson Gallery), Jessica Phifer (Christie’s), Michelle White (Curator, Menil Collection). Moderated by Glasstire Senior Texas Editor Christina Rees.

Sunday 1:30pm
American Tycoons: What They’ve Bought and Why
Art consultants Julie Kinzelman and Sally Reynolds highlight some of the great corporate collections from the 1960s to the present, in Houston and elsewhere.

(Photo: Texas Contemporary 2013 with Jeffrey Wainhause, Andrew Freiser, Bill Arning, and Max Fishko)

An Artist Discovers a New Use for Copyright Law

DrillingRigTexas artists who own any land in the state might be interested to know how a Canadian artist has handled the pesky oil, natural gas, and pipeline companies that want to enter or tap his property. Peter von Tiesenhausen, of Alberta “…has kept wells, compressors and pipelines off his three square kilometres of fields and trees — a notable feat for his location…” by invoking laws around artistic copyright protections. He has indeed copyrighted his spread.

His action may or may not in the long term stave off a Canadian version of eminent domain, but for now, according to the Edmonton Journal, “His legal move vastly increased the amount of compensation he is potentially entitled to demand from any oil or pipeline company wanting access to his place, because changing his property would be copyright infringement.” Any company imposing new infrastructure in or on his land would mean artistic property disturbance.

It seems to be a language the oil corporations understand, and Von Tiesenhausen can charge the presidents of major oil companies—who are now his visitors—$500 an hour just to speak to him, and they have to pay.

Kudos to Von Tiesenhausen for his creative use of peaceful (and lucrative) resistance to a certain kind of development. For more on the story, go here.

SA Botanical Garden Gets New Arts Collaborator

art in the gardenThere’s still time to catch “Art in the Garden” at the San Antonio Botanical Garden, the annual collaboration with Blue Star Contemporary, since it’s on view through the end of January. Founded by Bill FitzGibbons, Blue Star’s Director of Special Projects, this year’s “Art in the Garden” is by long-time Chicago artist Richard Hunt.

The Garden has now struck out on its own in finding a new artistic collaborator: LEGO® Bricks. Starting this Saturday, they will present 27 sculptures that make up 14 displays created from nearly 500,000 LEGO® bricks. The exhibition, entitled Nature Connects (get it?), will be placed throughout the Garden. Each sculpture has an internal structure and is covered with LEGO® bricks, individually snapped in place by artist Sean Kenney.

Rabbit_&_Fox

View the slide show of Lego art at Texas Public Radio.