Kimbell Curator Plucked by National Gallery of Art

dickerson1C.D. Dickerson, curator of European Art at the Kimbell Art Museum, has been named curator and head of sculpture and decorative arts at the National Gallery of Art, Washington. The Washington Post reports that Dickerson will assume his position, overseeing a collection of some 3,526 works of European and American sculpture, decorative arts, and medals, along with the associated exhibition program, on July 27.

Dickerson came to the Kimbell as associate curator in 2007 and became curator of European art two years later. He contributed to many exhibitions at the Kimbell, perhaps most notably to Bernini: Sculpting in Clay in 2012‒2013, of which Scott Cantrell of the Dallas Morning News wrote, “This first-ever comprehensive show of these models is a triumph for Kimbell curator C.D. Dickerson.” For those who think those internships don’t pay off—think again; Dickerson interned at the National Gallery 2004-2005. The National Gallery’s director states, “He has a great familiarity with our collection and brings fresh insights to exhibitions, acquisitions, and presentation of the art.”

At age 39, Dickerson is the youngest full-time curator in the National Gallery’s history.

Breaking: Crane Falls onto the DMA (will update)



photo via Dallas Morning News

photo via Dallas Morning News

Via the DMN: a crane fell over onto the roof of the Dallas Museum of Art around 9:30 am today, on the south lawn (narrowly missing the di Suvero); no art was damaged, though the crane operator was injured and taken to Baylor Medical Center.  The crane was being used to set up a tent for an upcoming event here in the midst of many, many art-related events in Dallas the coming week. The event, the Art Ball, is a big fundraiser for the museum and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

BIG News: Nasher Announces Massive Annual Art Prize

J2AUPmi_zSwaxUAwzrfSbY8h8gY7oJXLhQcjpD_WlrkExciting news. Today the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas held a press event to announce its new International Nasher Prize for Sculpture. Each year it will present the award to “a living artist in recognition of a significant body of work that has had an extraordinary impact on the understanding of the art form.”  The award includes a $100,000 prize.

For this inaugural year, the winner will be announced in the fall of 2015 and the prize will be awarded in the spring of 2016. This year’s heavy-hitter jury includes, as follows via the Nasher:

“Phyllida Barlow, artist; Lynne Cooke, Senior Curator of Special Projects in Modern Art, National Gallery of Art; Okwui Enwezor, Director, Haus der Kunst; Yuko Hasegawa, Chief Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (MOT); Steven Nash, founding Director of the Nasher Sculpture Center and Director Emeritus of the Palm Springs Art Museum; Alexander Potts, art historian; and Sir Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate.” Also: “The jury will evaluate nominations submitted by a larger group of their peers in a process moderated by Nasher Director Jeremy Strick.”

Our understanding of this initiative is that the award will consider the biggest names in sculpture (speculating, but on the level of Serra, Kapoor, et. al). Certainly the Nasher Prize and its attendant international press and events around it will further boost the profile of the city and region.

For more info, please go here.

Finally!!! Straight White Male Artists Get Their Due!

Alienated art viewers? Or special docents desperate to share their feelings? Photo by Benjamin Sutton for Hyperallergic.)

Alienated art viewers? Or special docents desperate to share their feelings? Photo by Benjamin Sutton for Hyperallergic.)

Hyperallergic reported yesterday that the Brooklyn Museum is launching White Male History Month in April, following Black History Month in February and Women’s History Month in March. Seemingly organized at the last moment, the only programs yet planned are closing the current Kehinde Wiley exhibition more than a month early and replacing it with a survey of artwork by white males over the centuries. “We thought it would be difficult to come up with enough work from our various collections to pull off the show in such a short time,” stated the managing curator of exhibitions, “but it was remarkably easy.”

The museum also plans to hire special docents for the month, who will be on hand to answer any questions visitors might have about what it’s like to be a white male. The online arts journal quoted outgoing Museum Director Arnold Lehman as saying, “The Brooklyn Museum has long been a leader when it comes to inclusion and diversity, and we intend to stay at the forefront.”

Then again, yesterday was April 1st and the article was tagged as “April Fools” and “LOL.” Good one, Hrag!

Slideluck: Art+Community Event Returns to Dallas

Slideluck-Dallas-Thorne-Anderson-6-950x633Fifteen-year-old non-profit outfit Slideluck, which started in Seattle and is now based in NYC, is a combo art slideshow/potluck dinner that franchises its concept to cities all over the world. It’s essentially a community building exercise. Thus far in Texas, Austin and Dallas have held a few Slideluck gatherings and Dallas’ second round will take place outdoors Saturday, April 11 in Annette Strauss Square from 7-11 p.m. Though submissions by local artists closed ten days ago, this iteration is curated by Leigh Arnold, the Nasher’s assistant curator.

My sense of this event is that it’s open to the public, anyone can bring homemade food to share, and there will be a some time set aside to watch a giant slideshow consisting of pictures of several dozen local artists’ work (as well as short videos). For more info, go here.

SAMA Has Room to Grow Thanks to Huge Land Gift

SAMAThe San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) is receiving a big gift of 3.5 acres of real estate, reports W. Scott Bailey of the San Antonio Business Journal. The space is approximately half of the real estate CPS Energy currently controls on Jones Avenue between SAMA and Camden Street. Although it remains unclear what will become of the other half of the space, SAMA Director Katie Luber told Bailey, “We are thrilled to get half of it.”

The museum plans to operate its administrative offices out of the old space and use the new space for its growing collection and increased programming. “This is a fantastic opportunity because we are so short on space,” stated Luber, adding that she is not sure when SAMA will take control of the new real estate, located near a redeveloped portion of the San Antonio River.

MISSING DOG: Not THAT Kind of Dog But an Important One Nonetheless

11080898_1070178086331064_6742904396377096317_nFort Worth artist Devon Nowlin has posted a “REWARD/MISSING DOG” sign on social media requesting the return of (or information leading to the return of) a small artwork that was stolen off a pedestal last Saturday night at a gallery opening. Nancy Lamb’s retrospective was the big draw that evening at Artspace 111 during Fort Worth’s Spring Gallery Night. Several of the gallery’s other artists had some works on show in the multi-room space as well, and Nowlin’s small prototype sculpture, “Frank,” was among them; he disappeared into the crowd right around closing time.

Frank is a small 3d-scanned figurine that Nowlin meticulously hand-customized thusly: “The checker pattern is made by ‘caning’ the polymer clay (like the swirl of a candy cane), then slicing the cane and applying the pattern to the figurine. That is then baked to harden the clay. This process takes FOREVER for such a small thing.” She’s been using the 5-inch-tall sculpture as a model for her current body of work. Nowlin, known for her virtuoso paintings and currently working toward her upcoming solo show at Artspace 111 in May, explained Frank’s importance to Glasstire: “[The piece] didn’t even have a price on it, because I made it to use as a model for paintings and didn’t imagine that anyone would want it for the value that it means to me. I don’t think that way about my other work… it’s an anomaly in that way.”

If you have any info, please refer to the contact info under the image above or send an email to:

What’s With this Naked Art Viewing Thing? G Gallery Bares All Tonight!

naked_tour_guideIf you happen to be in Australia this week, you should’ve already registered for the naked art tours of the current James Turrell exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Canberra. If not, you’re out of luck because the three naked tours (Wednesday at 5:30pm, Thursday at 7am! And 7:30pm) are already sold out. According to the Huffington Post, there is a long list of museums that have joined in this growing trend, including the Leopold Museum in Austria and the El Segundo Museum of Art in California.

But Houston’s art-loving nudists/naturists/exhibitionists should not feel left out—G Gallery has got you covered! (Or not.) For tonight’s opening of Bare Walls: A Collective of Nudes, the dress code is business attire/clothing optional. (The invitation states: “Dress Classy or Don’t Dress at All.”) The show of original body-inspired artwork by local artists also promises all-nude performance art, a life-drawing station, and one hundred nude models.

(Photo via Artist talk, MCA Sydney. Pictured: Robert Owen, Sunrise #3, 2006. Photo: Christo Crocker Courtesy the artist and Milani Gallery, Brisbane.)

In a Smart Move, Texas Tech Acquires Rare Bruno



photo via The Bowerbird/Texas Tech Public Art management

The newest addition to Texas Tech’s public art collection in Lubbock isn’t a recent commission (most big artworks on college campuses are new when acquired); in an uncommon move the university has purchased a large untitled 1974 piece by former TTU architecture professor/artist Robert Bruno. The piece had been living in a cotton field belonging to the late Bruno’s friends just outside Lubbock until it was relocated in January to its new post outside of TTU’s renovated College of Architecture. The sculpture and its new surrounding plaza will be dedicated on April 20. The story behind the piece, Bruno, and the university’s decision to add it to its collection is a good one.


Steel House

The giant steel abstract zoomorphic sculpture is one of the only remaining works by the enigmatic Bruno, who died in 2008 and is perhaps best known for his Steel House, an extraordinary sci-fi-ish sculptural dwelling which after 30 years in the making now sits unattended 15 miles east of Lubbock. (Word is that the 1974 sculpture acquired by TTU directly inspired Steel House.) Bruno, who worked on the house near-solo and piecemeal, died before it was completed. Here’s an excellent recent essay on the house and Bruno by the DMN’s Mark Lamster.


It’s Back! 12 Minutes Max Returns to DiverseWorks

jhon r. stronks, Miss. Universe. Photo by Dayna Morgan.

jhon r. stronks, Miss. Universe. Photo by Dayna Morgan.

Performance art, dance, experimental sound, comedy, spoken word—if you like those sorts of things and want to get a condensed version of what Houston artists are doing these days, DiverseWorks is bringing back its popular series 12 Minutes Max! Organized and produced by Artist Board members Tek Wilson and jhon stronks, participants are members of the DiverseWorks Artist Board and their collaborators.

If those words scare you, this is the place to get over your fears; no performance is over 12 minutes long.

Here is the schedule for this weekend:

Friday, April 3, 7pm (doors open at 6:30)
Sandy Ewen
Phillip Pyle II, Maurice Duhon, & Jawwaad Taylor
Sophia Torres
Daniel Adame
jhon r. stronks
Lori Yuill

Saturday, April 4, 7pm (doors open at 6:30)
Regina Agu
Rebecca Novak w/ Cecelia White, Sarah Rodriguez, & Steve Jansen
Tek Wilson & Ken Watkins
Alisa Mittin
Stephanie Saint Sanchez
jhon r. stronks

Menil Breaks Ground for New Drawing Center

At a ceremony on Saturday morning, March 28, the Menil collection formally began work on a new $40 million  freestanding building for the Menil Drawing Institute.

A plan for a park-like extension of the Menil Campus towards Richmond Ave. was outlined amid the usual congratulatory banter. The new building will link the main Menil building, the Twombly Pavillion and Richmond Hall with walking paths. The plan also extends West Main St., which used to dead-end into the old Richmont Square apartment complex, which has been torn down to make way for the Menil expansion.

The 30,000-square-foot, $40 million MDI building was designed by the Los Angeles architects Johnston Marklee, and principals Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee were in attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony, along with Mayor Annise Parker,  the Menil brass, and assorted Houston culture mavens.

The new construction for the MDI building is scheduled to be finished in mid-2017.

menil drawing plan


Art Bus Parks in Midtown Today: Dormalou Project Visits Renner Book Launch

suberHouston artist Chasity Porter’s art-space-in-a-bus will be coming to Gallery Jatad in midtown Houston this weekend bearing works by Houston artist Anthony Suber, in conjunction with Patrick Renner’s artist talk and book signing. Suber’s project, titled Archaic Habitat, will be the gallery’s first whole-bus installation.

Dormalou Project, as the bus and its roving offerings of emerging artists and community-based art projects are called, debuted in the fall of 2014, and has since appeared outside Independence Art Studios, Art Crawl, and the Next Wall Gallery, and various outdoor events. Advertising “No Themes, Jut Fun!”, the bus is also available for hire to visit schools, kids parties, and pretty much anywhere there’s a need for a pop-up temporary art studio. Upcoming appearances/exhibitions include Write On!, a group show of artists artists who combine visual and literary works on May 16 at Hardy and Nance Studios in Houston, and again on May 30, at Art Market on Market, Galveston, during Galveston Artwalk.


Dormalou Project will be outside Gallery Jatad,  1517 Blodgett St., Houston on Saturday, March 28 from 2-6 pm.

Someone Knocked Over a Cy Twombly Sculpture in Houston

toppled TwomblyHouston already knows this, so this is for the rest of the art-loving, trainspotting Texans that keep tabs on such things: Last Sunday a museum goer at the Menil Collection backed into a Cy Twombly sculpture and knocked it over. Everyone knows that sculpture is something you bump into when you back up to look at a painting. (Ad Reinhardt, comedian.)

John Hovig took the above photo and Robert Boyd posted it on his blog The Great God Pan is Dead.

It was, by all accounts, an accident. No one was hurt. The 1954 untitled piece is now with the museum’s conservation team. I can’t tell exactly from the photo and title but I believe it’s this one:2

And here is a nice picture of Dominique de Menil and Twombly in 1995.

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 8.16.50 PM




Report: Arts and Cultural Plan Town Hall Meeting

TownHall2Houston’s Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs held its Arts and Cultural Plan Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday evening to a pretty packed house at the basketball court-sized Metropolitan Multi-Service Center. It was presented in the standard format of introductions, PowerPoint presentations, a facilitator cracking jokes to try and make everyone feel comfortable, free tiny water bottles and snacks, handouts and breakout sessions.

In the development stage of creating a new Arts and Cultural Plan for the city, the meeting was held to get input from the public. (They also have an interactive website for concerned citizens to add their two cents.)

The City’s consulting team and advisory committee had already gathered perceptions and thoughts from “community stakeholders” and organized them into six overall themes. In the breakout sessions, each table was asked to address them. The half hour allotted for discussion was barely enough to allow everyone to ramble on and off topic about:

Theme 1: Equity in the distribution of City arts grants
Theme 2: Sustainability of Houston’s mid-tier organizations
Theme 3: Access to arts programs and services in neighborhoods
Theme 4: Development of cultural and support facilities
Theme 5: Updating the civics arts program
Theme 6: Arts programs structure


Tony Diaz and HAA’s Jonathon Glus

Then, volunteers from various tables were asked to stand up and report what their group came up with on a particular theme. Most tables probably had similar thoughts about each theme, although Tony Diaz of Nuestra Palabra presented an interesting idea (Theme 3) of assigning a certain amount of grants to each City Council member to bring in more neighborhoods and to raise the awareness of Council members about arts activity in their districts.

The room was filled with people from the visual and performing arts, as well as the general public. Those who have been following the ruckus of the past number of months aimed at the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) were sure to catch some of the coded references to it. Others must have been quite confused when Tracey Conwell stood up to present on Theme 5 and was interrupted by an annoyed table-mate who felt the need to inform the room that Conwell was making everything out to be pro-HAA versus anti-HAA. This is the same Conwell, “attorney, an artist, and an advocate for the arts,” who made allegations of misconduct against Brad Bucher, HAA’s Civic Art Committee Chair, to the City Council. (Read Bill Davenport’s report of that meeting here.) The situation was made more uncomfortable by the fact that Sara Kellner, who replaced Matthew Lennon after he resigned in protest as HAA’s Director of Civic Art + Design, was sitting at the same table. But, when asked after the meeting ended, Kellner reported no enmity during her table’s 30-minute discussion period.

Mayor Parker has directed that the plan be finished before she leaves office at the end of 2015.



Christine West Resigns from Lawndale

christine-west-lawndale-art-center-my-top-5After eight years as Executive Director at Lawndale Art Center in Houston, Christine West has announced her resignation, effective May 8. West says she is leaving “to pursue independent projects and other opportunities.”

West started in the position at Lawndale in 2007, and during her tenure shepherded in key initiatives such as the Artist Studio Program and the Mural Project.  West also served on the board of directors of the Texas Association of Museusm, Glasstire, and the Houston Museum District Association.

The current Chair of Lawndale’s board of Directors, Nicole Romano, writes: “We have been incredibly lucky to have Christine lead Lawndale for the last eight years. She leaves Lawndale in very capable hands with a dedicated Board and staff and together we are making plans for a smooth transition.” The Board of Directors will be putting together a search committee for a new director and will appoint an as-yet-unnamed interim director.




Free Yard Art Activism in Houston!


Some Houston folks have teamed up to create an art activist/environmental awareness project that they hope will take over the city. In a polite, generous way. Fossilized in Houston is offering hundreds lawn signs and thousands of posters and stickers to Houstonians for free. The group is commissioning 20 local artists to contribute images of species endangered by climate change. Each week, from March through July 2015, a new species will make its appearance. So far, they have released images created by Natasha Bowdoin, Jules Buck Jones, Josh Bernstein, and JooYoung Choi.

yardsignThe masterminds behind Fossilized in Houston are Matthew Schneider-Mayerson, a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences at Rice University; Lina Dib, a 2014-15 Lawndale Art Center studio artist in residence and an affiliate artist with the Topological Media Lab at Concordia University; and Houston artist/teacher/ laugh yoga guru Tony Day. “Our goal is to contribute to an enhanced intellectual and emotional awareness about climate change and the ongoing mass extinction,” the group states, “and hopefully push decision-makers in energy companies, city planners and individual citizens to reconsider collectively destructive yet normative behaviors.”

To request your free lawn sign, window poster or stickers, go here.

(Top image: African wild dog, by Natasha Bowdoin. Lower image via Facebook.)

Hunting Art Prize Posts a Big Online Preview of the Finalists’ Work



Nola Parker, “Pink House”

The Hunting Art Prize, the annual Texas-wide contemporary art competition that awards $50,000 to the winning artist, is now in its 35th year. Last month the open-call competition announced the 110 finalists who’ve made it into the final round of judging and are up for the grand prize (some familiar names and some newbies), and in the last few days the Prize has loaded up its newest Facebook post with pics of work by these artists, which is quite efficient. If you click on each image it’ll give you the name of the artist and the title of the piece.

(Eagle-eyed Houstonian Robert Boyd has posted an entertaining assessment of the Prize and this 2015 finalists preview on his blog, The Great God Pan is Dead. Read that here.)

The jurors for this year’s prize are Adam Justice, Curator of Art at the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Florida; Amy Moorefield, Deputy Director of Exhibitions at the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, Virginia; and Julien Robson, Curator of the Shands Collection in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Hunting Art Prize winner will be announced at the May 2 gala in Houston.



SMU’s School of the Arts and Museum Receive $45M from Meadows Foundation

SMUMeadows1The Meadows Foundation, Inc. has pledged a whopping $45 million to SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and the Meadows Museum, the largest single gift in SMU history. $20 million is going to the School of the Arts and $25 million is being given to the Museum. The “Prado on the Prairie,” which has one of the most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

The Meadows Foundation was established in 1948 by Dallas businessman Algur H. Meadows and his wife Virginia. In 1962, Algur Meadows donated funds to establish a museum at SMU to house his private collection of Spanish art, which opened to the public in 1965.

Since its inception, the Foundation has disbursed more than $700 million in grants and direct charitable expenditures to more than 7,000 Texas institutions and agencies. But Linda Perryman Evans, president and CEO of the Meadows Foundation and great-niece of Algur Meadows, sums up the importance of the gift: “This is a huge, big deal,” she told The Dallas Morning News. “This is the biggest gift we’ve ever made.”

(Image via SMU.)