Helen Ann Rasplicka, a founding member of the San Antonio Calligrapher’s Guild died on July 23, 2014. Rasplicka moved to San antonio in 1975. She learned calligraphy from Kitty Maguire, and formed the guild with Jennie McHugh, helping to write the by-laws and serving as president from 1977-79. She taught calligraphy at the Southwest Craft Center (now the Southwest School of Art) for 13 years. She used to have a motorcycle. A celebration of her life will take place at 11 a.m. Nov. 28 at Los Patios, 2015 N.E. Loop 410, San Antonio.
Art In The Metroplex, one of the oldest annual open-call visual art shows in the state, took a three-year break after a 28-year run at Texas Christian University, but now it’s back at The Fort Worth Community Arts Center. Art in the Metroplex’s call for entries is open to artists in most of the counties in the North Texas region and is a guest-curated affair.
This year’s curator is Sara-Jayne Parsons, who we yesterday announced has just taken the position of Curator of the Galleries at TCU. Previous curators include Polly Apfelbaum, Toby Kamps, and David Pagel. The show has ranged from tight and spare to inclusive and riotous; it all depends on the disposition of that year’s curator, as well as, of course, the quality of the submissions. Historically, there have been cash prizes for the top selections, also decided by the curator.
Call for submissions is open now and runs through August 25. There is a $35 fee to enter. Guidelines for entry can be found here.
Lubbock art collector E. Jay Matsler has left his entire 125-piece collection of Texas and New Mexico regionalist art to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, “because of their …magnificent job in showing and promoting regional art,” according to his will.
Matsler collected prints by Texas artists, especially those by the Dallas Nine, including Jerry Bywaters, Otis Dozier, Perry Nichols, William Lester, Florence McClung, and Everett Spruce, and members of the all-female Texas Printmakers such as Stella Lodge LaMond. He also collected works by Lubbock artists Bess Bigham Hubbard, Leo Bernice Fix, Mona Pierce, and Dorothy Bryan. Notable works in the gift include: Jackrabbit (1943) and Cotton Pickers by Otis Dozier; a watercolor by New Mexico artist John Meigs; an oil by Santa Fe painter Odon Hullenkremer; a print by Gene Kloss, and a sketchbook and archives from Bess Bigham Hubbard.
“The size, breadth, and depth of the Matsler Collection make it the most significant gift of art objects Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum has received since the Lucille Nance Jones bequest in the 1970s,” said Michael R. Grauer, Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs and Curator of Art and Western Heritage at PPHM.
Matsler was born at home on Aug. 7, 1939, in the Liberty Community to the late Grover C. and Lura Nell Matsler, a Hale County Pioneer family. He died on Dec. 31, 2013, in Lubbock at the age of 74.
After processing and cataloguing, pieces from the Matsler collection will be featured in the PPHM’s galleries.
Texas Christian University in Fort Worth has hired a curator for its satellite gallery, Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, for the 2014-15 academic year. Sara-Jayne Parsons is coming to Fort Worth from her position as Exhibitions Curator at the Bluecoat in Liverpool, England, a non-profit contemporary community arts center. This is something of a Texas homecoming for her, however, since prior to her post overseas, Parsons was Assistant Director at the UNT Art Galleries, and received her MFA from UNT in 1996.
Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, a space on the edge of the university campus, is dedicated to curated exhibitions of regional and international art, and some student exhibitions. It’s beginning its seventh year of programming. Parsons starts this month.
Dallas’ Photographs: Do Not Bend Gallery (PDNB) will exhibit what it believes to be the most important photograph made since the famous View from the Window at Le Gras (c.1826), by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, which is now in the permanent collection of the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin.
PDNB Gallery Director Burt Finger found the photograph several years ago. Since he discovered the print, the gallery has been investigating at length, traveling all over the world to museums and private collections to pinpoint the relevant historic value in the history of photography. Through painstaking research, the gallery has decided that there is no other photograph that exists of its kind. It will be a big surprise on Saturday evening when the exhibition, entitled The Most Important Photograph Ever Made, opens since PDNB says that the work is too delicate to be photographed, so there are no press images available.
PDNB’s press release opens with a description of the importance of View from the Window at Le Gras—the earliest surviving photograph produced by the father of photography, but it never actually states that it will be on display in the gallery. Dallas Art News, on the other hand, reports on the PDNB show with this statement: “This is a rare opportunity to see the print outside the permanent collection of the University of Texas, Austin.”
Of course, we could just call the gallery and ask, but it adds another exciting element of surprise to the show. Is PDNB so casual with its press releases that it has downplayed the major coup of getting this historically groundbreaking photograph (which almost never travels), or did the Dallas Art News totally misinterpret the release?
One or both photographs will be on display at PDNB’s opening on August 9, 5-8pm. The exhibition will be up through August 30, although the gallery will be closed August 10-18.
Part Two (continued from yesterday): Texas Artist Populations. How Many Working Artists Are There in Texas?
Following its massive “Artists in The Workforce” report from 2008, the National Endowment for the Arts kept collating and gathering and cross-referencing all the info it could get from the newer quarterly census (2010) and thorough the big American Community Survey (2005-09) and a couple of years ago published “Artists and Arts Workers in the United States.” It details the percentages of artists in the total workforce, its definition of working artists (which is broad but logical), education, pay, growth, etc, and breaks it down by city and region. Lots of information here.
No surprise that New York and Los Angeles top the list, and California is especially strong because the NEA considers most professionals in the movie industry artists. Texas, sadly, has fewer artists per worker than the national average, not breaking into the top 15, and not even matching places like Utah and Montana. This somewhat belies the idea of Texas’ status as “the Third Coast.” But Texas has a big relative population.
A year ago, D Magazine’s Front Row did a bang-up job of further breaking down artists by Texas city using the available data. Dallas ranked sixth in the nation for artists in the workplace, and Houston ranked 11th—both far, far behind New York and Los Angeles, though every other city in the nation ranked far behind them as well, even Chicago at number three. As a percentage of the overall workforce, no Texas city’s artist population made it past the nation’s mediocre average (give or take 1%), and certainly not in the top 20 cities in the nation.
When breaking down by category (i.e actors, art directors, architects, musicians, etc) Dallas makes the top ten list in the nation for every category of artist except actors (no. 13), but Houston only makes an appearance on the top ten lists for writers and dancer/choreographers. San Antonio doesn’t make any top ten list, though Philly is about the same size and makes multiple appearances, and neither does Austin make any list (not even musicians), even though smaller cities like Seattle and Portland often make an appearances in various catagories, and of course Nashville does, too (musicians!).
They Could’ve Just Asked Some Artists: Researchers and Businesses Discover That Doodling Makes Us Smarter
A recent Wall Street Journal article reports that neuroscientists and other researchers have now discovered that doodling can “help people focus, ease impatience, vent emotions and even generate bursts of insight or new ideas.” Much of the article is based on Austin author Sunni Brown’s new book The Doodle Revolution. Brown, who is also listed as “Infodoodler™-in-Chief” of the consultancy firm SB, Ink, states that doodling “is a thinking tool” and that it “can affect how we process information and solve problems.”
Whether making abstract, representational, or font-based doodles, the process can keep the brain engaged enough to increase concentration. In one study, participants were encouraged to doodle while listening to a list of people’s names and, in a later surprise quiz, doodlers were able to remember 29% more of the information than non-doodlers. Another study found that doodling can increase creativity and communication and that “the participants’ doodles expressed complex emotions they wouldn’t have shared via written posts or texts.”
Yes, liberal versus conservative environments seem have some bearing on the feasibility of an artist thriving in his or her city, if going by various recent indicators.
Today we’ll start with this:
Yesterday the Economist published a well-researched chart showing how conservative or liberal large cities (pop. more than 250,000) swing in the U.S. In GT’s ongoing soul search for The Truth about art and culture and how it fares across Texas, we scanned the chart for Texas’ listed cities for our own quick comparisons. (Here is the chart.)
To sum it up, the study mostly confirms the notion that, nationally, larger cities skew more liberal. Though there are some discrepancies in Texas itself. Few surprises, but here’s the TL;DR version, from most to least liberal large metropolitan areas of our great state:
Austin is the no-brainer most liberal city in Texas (it’s the 14th most liberal city in the U.S.), followed by Dallas (!). Houston ranks third most liberal in the state.
El Paso is next, followed by the very closely ranked San Antonio and Corpus Christi. Fort Worth is next, and looks pretty conservative on this chart as the 12th most conservative city in the U.S., and lastly, Arlington turns out to be decidedly non-liberal and the sixth most conservative city in the nation.
Hold on to your hats. In conjunction with these stats, tomorrow we look at the number of working artists in parts of Texas by population. It has a lot in common with the aforementioned rankings.
In May, Houston’s folk art Smither Park celebrated phase two of its construction with a big artist party and, since June, Nashville-based metalsmith and woodworking artist Matt Gifford has been working on creating the “skin” for the park’s grotto-amphitheater. The park, designed by visionary architectural sculptor Dan Phillips, is located next to the Orange Show and has been in the works since 2011. Gifford, who has worked before with Phillips at his Huntsville company, is slowly and steadily transforming the amphitheater into a giant, crazy fish, partly inspired by the mosaic panels that are installed along the park’s “memory wall,” many of which have an aquatic theme.
The Orange Show has now sent out a call for materials needed for Gifford to complete the project, so check that junk out in your garage and see if you have any of the following items:
Motorcycle exhaust pipes (or anything chrome from automobiles), car tail lights/reflectors in any color, bricks, foam/packing peanuts, thin sheet metal (or small, oddly shaped, rusted anything), road signs, pallet wood, ceramic tile (large quantities of a single color, intact or broken), old farm discs, and antennas (matching pairs of any size).
Deep Ellum is Always On the Brink But Maybe This Time For Real, Thanks One Good Developer (and Some Artists, Too)
The stretch of 100-year-old empty storefront spaces in Dallas where artists Justin Ginsberg and Jeff Gibbons staged their pop-up art installation programming for two seasons in 2013-14, called Deep Ellum Windows, is about to start undergoing its big makeover if all goes well.
Late last month Deep Ellum developer Scott Rohrman, who let Ginsberg and Gibbons use the spaces, unveiled his proposal for the section of Main Street he owns, and it looks good from here.
Rohrman owns more than two dozen buildings and half as many parking lots along the street, and the Urban Design Peer Review Panel took a look at his master plan for the area on July 25. According to Robert Wilonsky at the Dallas Morning News (and Rohrman as well): “Rohrman, under the auspices of his 42 Real Estate, …[has] a master plan intended to create ‘a truly “mixed-use” project integrating a diverse, mutually supportive combination of urban uses that include local/micro-retail, restaurants, services, walkway and seating into one continuous public realm to be used throughout all times of day and evening.’” By our eyes, this is by far the best-looking, most functional and culture-friendly plan we’ve seen for the crucial section of Main Street between Good-Latimer and Crowdus. The historic storefronts are part of the plan.
Rohrman, in the run-up to this proposal, was one of the rare Dallas owner-developers to work with artists on making good use of empty urban space, and he picked the right guys to trust with his buildings. Deep Ellum Windows was a successful part of Dallas’ latest art renaissance, and while Rohrman hasn’t specified what kinds of businesses he expects to take root in the development, we think galleries and art-related non-profits would be attracted to the area after the popular reception and healthy crowds of Deep Ellum Windows.
In the meantime, Rohrman and Deep Ellum watchers will wait to see if the city will grant his plan tax increment financing, which would help move things along. It’s possible that big parts of the proposal along Main will be realized within about 18 months.
(photo courtesy 42 Real Estate/Droese Raney Architecture and the Dallas Morning News)
The Galveston Arts Center (GAC) seems to be having a rough time. After a period with no director and no curator (long-time supercurator Clint Willour is still on medical leave), GAC finally hired an interim director. Elliot Lessing arrived with a splash last month, jumping into the Houston/Galveston art scene with enthusiasm, and curating its current exhibition Palace Revolution.
Lessing may have wanted to start an actual revolution, but apparently GAC wanted no part of it. After just a few weeks, they cut their losses and let him go. It sounds like a bit of a manic mess: there was an unsuccessful attempt to make some staff changes, after which Lessing sent the GAC board an email that was not well received. Executive committee member Mary Jo Naschke would not confirm the existence of the email, stating only that Lessing would be “more fulfilled on the creative side working as an independent curator.”
Naschke described Lessing as “really enthusiastic, bold, and creative,” adding that she thought he will stay in Texas as an artist/curator. She also stated that Lessing has been a long-time follower of the Texas art scene through reading Glasstire. And, indeed, he helped Glasstire out by adding a comment yesterday to a recent news post containing a time line of staff changes in the Houston area photo scene: “UPDATE: GAC Interim Executive Director Elliot Lessing terminated by GAC Executive Board on Thursday July 24, 2014.”
Alex Irvine, interim director of the Houston Center for Photography, and Christine Jelson West, executive director of Lawndale Art Center (both former GAC executive directors), have volunteered to curate GAC’s next two exhibitions.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker has named philanthropist Philamena Baird and Project Row Houses Founder Rick Lowe as co-chairs of the Cultural Plan for the City of Houston, a 2-year initiative begun in early 2014 to create what clifford Pugh of Culturemap called “blueprint for Houston’s cultural future.” The last cultural plan was made in 1993, more than 20 years ago.
“I want to thank Rick and Philamena for agreeing to give their valuable time and take this on,” said Mayor Parker. “Houston has changed dramatically since the last cultural plan in 1994. We are more diverse economically and ethnically. The number of arts and cultural organizations has grown, and our artist community has become one of the most exciting in the country. It’s time for a new plan that will position Houston as a leader and destination for arts and culture.”
The Mayor announced the plan and the implementation of a new five-year cultural arts budget using revenue from the hotel occupancy tax at the annual Elected Officials Reception for the Arts in January 2014. The cultural plan process is being coordinated by the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. Mayor Parker has directed that the plan be finished before she leaves office at the end of 2015.
(photo: Marc Pembroke for The Examiner)
The Lawndale Artist Studio Program has selected Josh Bernstein, JooYoung Choi and Lina Dib as their ninth round of artists in residence. The program will provide these artists with studio space for nine months (September 2014 – May 2015) on the third floor of Lawndale Art Center in Houston, a $500 monthly stipend, and an initial $1500 unrestricted materials allowance. Works produced during the program will be exhibited at Lawndale Art Center in May 2015.
The 2014-2015 residents were selected from 100 applicants by Kim Davenport, Director and Chief Curator of Rice Gallery; David Politzer, 2011-2012 Lawndale Studio Artist; and Katia Zavistovski, Curator and Lawndale Programming Committee member. 24 artists have participated in the Lawndale Artist Studio Program since 2007.
The Tyler Museum of Art is celebrating four decades of collecting and showcasing the work of Texas artists in “Contemporary Texas: Selections from the Permanent Collection,” an exhibition that opens this Sunday and runs through November 30. An accompanying lecture series featuring some of the artists begins in the fall. James Surls, Martin Delabano, Vernon Fisher, and Skeet McAuley are among the artists represented in the exhibition.
Caleb Bell, special events coordinator for the TMA, organized the show, and the Tyler Morning Telegraph writes: “…the exhibition highlights nearly 30 of the most notable works the museum has acquired since the 1970s. The art represents a cross-section of artists… who have made an impact on the contemporary Texas art scene. Many of the artists have been featured in previous TMA exhibitions.”
Bell says: “This exhibition offers a rare opportunity to view some of the most celebrated works from the TMA’s Permanent Collection together in a single exhibition, offering a glimpse into the Museum’s rich history and its indelible place in the Texas art scene over the past few decades.”
The exhibition is free and open to the public. The lecture series is noted as follows:
Sept. 14: MANUAL (Ed Hill and Suzanne Bloom)
Oct. 19: Martin Delabano
Nov. 16: William B. Montgomery
For more information on the lectures and exhibition go here.
(Image: Al Souza, “We Gather Together” 2001, puzzle parts and glue on wood. 46 x 54 inches. Courtesey Tyler Museum of Art, gift of Amy and Vernon Faulconer)
Visual artist Jesus Cimi Alvarado and composer performer Kiko Glen will team up for Corridos de El Paso, a set of original ballads and new paintings in the spirit of the original corridos, which told hard truths to the oppressed, on July 31, 7pm-10pm at Purple Pop-Up. On August 2, at 12 noon, Kiko Glenwill perform solo at Café Mayapan.
Sculptor Xochitl Rodriguez, will presents The Shell, works telling a story of survival, tragedy, adversity and destiny on August 2 from 7-9pm at 1500 N. Stanton.
Visual Artist Victor Muheddine‘s project, Qabee7 (“Ugly”), focuses on the vilification of Arabs in movies, cartoons and in the news media opens on August 4, from 4pm-10pm at 2226 Montana.
Visual Artist Ezequiel Zeque Pena will present WATERBOUND, a trans media project about the significance of water in a desert region on August 9, from 5-10pm at La Hacienda Restaurant, 1704 West Paisano.
Artist/Jeweler Criselda Lopez will display Viva-Cious-City – Representational Necklaces of the Sun City from August 8-29 inside Zig-Zag Tag, 369 Shadow Mountain Dr. Suite B.
Additionally, a project funded through last year’s program, Peter Svarzbein’s Conversos y Tacos Kosher Gourmet Trucks est. 1492, is traveling to New York this year.
The city’s Museums and Cultural Affairs Department developed the Artist Incubator Program in 2011 to support the creation of new work by local artists. The program directly funds projects that promote awareness of the contribution that El Paso artists make in their community.
Today the Dallas Museum of Art announced what will be its first show curated by the new Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, Gavin Delahunty. Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots will open November 2015 and the DMA is the exclusive American host. (The DMA’s partner in coordinating and presenting the exhibition, Tate Liverpool, is Delahunty’s last home; he came to the DMA in May.)
The Black Pourings, as they’re called, is a series of black oil and enamel paintings Pollock made in the early 1950s. According to the DMA, “Exhibiting works from the height of the artist’s celebrity set against his lesser known paintings will offer the opportunity to appreciate Pollock’s broader ambitions as an artist, and to better understand the importance of the ‘blind spots’ in his practice.”
Says Delahunty: “[Pollock’s] Black Pourings were exceptional in their absolute merging of color and surface, which went over and above what Pollock himself had previously achieved.”
The DMA will show Pollock’s drawings from the same period, which are meant to be some of his finest. The accompanying illustrated catalogue will include texts by Delahunty, his Tate colleague Stephanie Straine, Michael Fried, and Jo Applin. The exhibition was organized with the help of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the Washburn Gallery.
(Image: Jackson Pollock, Portrait and a Dream, 1953, oil and enamel on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated. © Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)
On September 13, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art will open an exhibition entitled State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now, dubbed by the New York Times as “a kind of heartland response to the Whitney Biennial.” In order to select the 102 artists for the show, the museum’s president, Don Bacigalupi, and an assistant curator, Chad Alligood, logged more than 100,000 miles and spent several months visiting the studios and homes of almost 1,000 artists.
Crystal Bridges, often referred to as the Walmart Museum in the Ozarks (it’s actually not directly affiliated with Walmart, but was spearheaded by Alice Walton, the daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton) officially opened in November 2011. Bacigalupi was appointed director of the museum in August 2009 and was promoted to president and board member last year. He is best known to Texans for his tenure as director and chief curator of UH’s Blaffer Gallery from 1995-1999 and the Brown Curator of Contemporary Art at the San Antonio Museum of Art from 1993-1995. In an article for the Huffington Post, Bacigalupi stated that they started out with a list of 10,000 artists’ names. “I started with people I knew in Texas and Ohio, because that’s where I had spent the majority of my career,” Bacigalupi said.
According to Crystal Bridges’ blog, they have finalized the checklist but will not release the list of artists’ names until shortly before the opening “in order to respect each artist’s preferences regarding publicity.” But they have lifted the official “gag order” on the selected artists, so names are beginning to leak out. The San Antonio Express-News recently announced three area artists (Michael Menchaca, Chris Sauter, and Vincent Valdez) to be included in the exhibition. The only specific information from Crystal Bridges is that show will include “25 from Texas and the South.”
If you’re on that list, let us know so that we can give you the congratulations you deserve!
Via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: The City of Fort Worth redirected some of its 2014 bond money from art into transportation, so its Public Art Commission is dealing with this $2.26 million loss creatively. Instead of breaking the remaining money up into countless little packages, it is “setting aside $1.66 million from the streets portion of the bond to go toward an ‘iconic’ piece of public art that would represent all of Fort Worth.”
Gregory S. Ibañez, chair of the Art Commission, gave a more detailed explanation of the funding proposal, which can be found here. In essence, this project wouldn’t take off for a few years because the public money needs to be matched (or topped) with private funding, which needs to be raised.
On August 11 and September 8, the Commission will take the initial outline of a funding plan to the public to get its input, and in October will decide on and present a more coordinated plan.
The Star-Telegram uses Chicago’s Millennium Park public sculpture Cloud Gate (aka “The Bean”) by Anish Kapoor as a model of iconic public art, though concedes that its $23 million price tag makes it quite a bit more ambitious than what Fort Worth might undertake in the near future.
(Photo: Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor, Chicago, http://gradsabroad.blogspot.com)
If you haven’t yet seen The Big Show—Lawndale Art Center’s annual open-call, juried exhibition, you have until August 9th to spend some time with the whopping 115 works by 106 emerging and under-represented Houston area artists. Bill Davenport’s recent review of the show only touched on a dozen artists; so, if you want to find out about more of them, drop by Lawndale tonight and tomorrow night. About half of the exhibiting artists will give very brief presentations at “The Big Slide Show.” There are quite a few new names in this year’s batch and this should be a quick and easy way to check out the up-and-comers. Presentations begin at 6pm.
Wednesday, July 30th artist presentations: Isela Aguirre, Joel Anderson, Celan Bouillet, Peter Broz, Vernon Caldera, Isabel Cuenca, Sandra de la Rosa, Jed Foronda, Keith Hollingsworth, Lulu Lin, Annie Lockhart, Carrie Markello, Kia Neill, Leslie Roades, Caroline Roberts, Penelope Ross, John Slaby, Megan Spacek, Adair Stephens, Todd Stevens, Dwight Theall, Nohelia Vargas.
Thursday, July 31st artist presentations: Mack L. Bishop III, Lindy Chambers, Yvette Chapman, JooYoung Choi, Vincent Fink, Diane Fraser, Eva Graf, J.G. Harkins, Tae Lee, David McClain, Palmer Mena, Adrienne Elyse Meyers, Kristy Peet, Laura Pregeant, Patrick Renner, Mireille Schellhorn, Sandy Tramel, Justin Varner, Amed Verastegui, Christopher Wallace, Dave Wilson, Amy Beth Wright.
We’re closing in on the opening day of Art Everywhere, the nation-wide public art initiative (modeled after a successful UK program of the same name) that will put the images of 58 beloved American works of art on billboards, the sides of public transit, newsstands, telephone kiosks, and other highly visible commuter spots across the nation—tens of thousands of spots, in fact. On August 4, the directors of the five American museums that participated in the program by supplying the available works will converge on Times Square in New York to kick off the event. Among them is Maxwell Anderson, director of the Dallas Musuem of Art. Other participating museums can be found here.
Over the spring, 170,000 votes came in from the public to narrow down the original pool of 100 images dating from before the American Revolution, through the Civil War era and both World Wars, the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, right up to this decade. Beside the museums, other entities had to cooperate to make all this possible, including the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA), plus foundations, estates, and in some cases the artists themselves. The display will run for a month. Of the winning 50 images, the originals of the ten works belonging to the DMA are currently on exhibition at the DMA throughout its building, which is free and open to the public. A list of those works is here. (They’re all great; go view the real McCoys, DFW!)
(Photo rendering by Art Everywhere; image: Edward Hopper, Nighthawks, 1942, courtesy The Art Institute of Chicago and Friends of American Art Collection)