Richard Long Installation Still Drying in the Arts District

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 6.52.55 PM

Renowned British land artist Richard Long was in Dallas over the weekend to install a massive wall piece in the lobby of the new building that anchors Hall Arts, developer Craig Hall‘s five-acre complex in the middle of the Arts District behind the AT&T Performing Arts Center. The high-rise building, KPMG Plaza,  once it opens, will house offices for Jackson Walker, UMB Bank, Hall Financial Group and a restaurant by Stephen Pyles.

Long flew in to execute the installation himself (along with an assistant) and was accompanied by Glasstire friend and Lisson Gallery director Joanna Thornberry, who texted over the accompanying photo. This is among the first of the artworks that are meant to take up residence indoors and out at Hall Arts. Long named the White China clay piece while he was here: it’s called Dallas Rag.


Art-Loving Foodies: Eat and Learn at the MFAH

PersianOn Thursday evening, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is presenting another of its Art+Cuisine series, this time on Persian cuisine. The program begins with a brief presentation and conversation by Sussan Babaie, an internationally acclaimed art historian; and Najmieh Batmanglij, who has been hailed as “the guru of Persian cuisine.” Afterward, guests are invited to enjoy a tasting buffet of Persian foods. The doors open at 6pm; the program starts at 6:30pm. Tickets are a bit pricey ($40 for members, $50 for nonmembers), but it’s an educational dinner.

For those on a budget who just want to work up a good appetite, the Culinary Institute LeNôtre has a free monthly Culinary Movie series. Who knew? This month’s, Somm, is also on June 11 (1:15pm and 6:15pm). Next month’s will be Like Water for Chocolate.

(Image: Persian, Sekandar Marries Roshanak (detail from folio 326b) in Shahnameh, late 16th century, British National Library.)

A Summer Art Block Party that Goes on Until Midnight

2014 Fall Block PartyThe Dallas Arts District is throwing a Summer Block Party on Friday, June 19 from 6 p.m. to midnight; Flora and Harwood will be given over to pedestrians, and it all promises a lot of open doors and festivities.

The Nasher Sculpture Center, the Crow Collection and the Dallas Museum of Art are all participating by staying open late (for free!) with special screenings (A Fish Called Wanda, The Avengers and more), a free meditation session,  live bands The Walden Twins and Quiet Company, and of course the museums’ exhibitions are open as well. There will of course be gourmet food trucks galore, activity tables, scavenger hunts… the whole nine yards.

This is all co-hosted by the Texas Commission on the Arts and The Dallas Foundation. For more info, go here and here.

The Met Names Kelly Baum as New Curator

Kelly Baum (Photo: Frank Wojciechowski)

Kelly Baum (Photo: Frank Wojciechowski)

On Saturday, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced the appointment of Kelly Baum as the new curator of the department of post-war and contemporary art.

Houstonians may remember Kelly Baum from her stint as a curatorial assistant at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston a dozen or so years ago. Austinites will know her from her five years as assistant curator at the Blanton Museum of Art.

For those who don’t know the ins and outs of climbing the curatorial ladder, the leap from curatorial assistant to assistant curator is a huge one (which many never make). A curatorial assistant is the first rung on the ladder, but is usually a glorified and grossly underpaid secretary; assistant curator is the position that allows one to be called a Curator.

In December 2007, Baum moved on to become the Princeton University Art Museum’s Locks Curatorial Fellow for Contemporary Art, where they eventually created a new position and appointed Baum as the first Haskell Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. Baum, who holds a Ph.D and M.A. in art history from the University of Delaware, organized numerous award-winning exhibitions while at Princeton.

While Baum has shown her curatorial chops over the years, the rise to curator of the department of post-war and contemporary art at the Met (!) is pretty darn fast and pretty phenomenal. Congratulations to Kelly!

Garland Muhammed Cartoons to be Televised in the Netherlands

Geert Wilders Speaks To Pegida GatheringGeert Wilders is at it again.

The Dutch far-right politician who was the keynote speaker at the “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest” last month in Garland, Texas that prompted an attack and left two dead, says he plans on showing the cartoons during a television broadcast in the Netherlands. To get around laws that would normally edit out depictions of the Prophet Muhammed on national TV, he’s using a loophole rule that states that political-party broadcasts cannot be edited.

Wilders’ party, The Party for Freedom, is anti-immigration and anti-Muslim, and holds 12 of 150 seats in Dutch parliament.  He says he’ll run the broadcast in the coming weeks.

Photo artists: Want Your portfolio reviewed by experts? You do. This is networking.

2014mp_04Every two years FotoFest in Houston, as part of its big international Biennial, offers photography based artists an opportunity to receive honest feedback on their work  from more than a dozen visiting art professionals. Early registration begins on June 17 for the March 2016 portfolio review, and FotoFest is promising artists at least 16 meetings apiece, plus other VIP initiatives. That’s a lot of eyes, a lot of feedback, and a lot of NETWORKING. This is the largest pro portfolio review in the art world.

This is a first come-first serve situation. Space is limited.

So far, the professionals who are on board to look over your work include:

Alexa Becker: Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany
Debra Klomp Ching: Klompching Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Claude Goulet: Artistic Director, Rencontres de la Photographie a Gaspesie, Canada
Dina Mitrani: Owner/Director, Dina Mitrani Gallery, Miami, FL
David Oresick: Executive Director, Silver Eye Center for Photography, Pittsburgh, PA
Christopher Rauschenberg: Founder, Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, OR
Heather Snider: Director, SF Camerawork, San Francisco, CA
Frank Wagner: Independent Curator, Berlin, Germany
Lars Willumeit: Curator, East Wing Gallery, Doha, UAE
Amy Wolf: Photo Editor, Photo District News, New York, NY
Duan Yuting: Director/Founder, Lianzhou Foto Festival, Guangzhou, China
Susan A. Zadeh: Publisher & Editor, Eyemazing Editions, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Manfred Zollner: Editor, fotoMAGAZIN, Hamburg, Germany

Additional reviewers will be announced by June 17. For more info on registration, please go here.

Enough With Politics! Who’s Your Favorite Artist?

Last night, the Asia Society Texas hosted the Mayoral Forum on Arts and Culture with Houston’s seven mayoral candidates. They spoke about the importance of arts and culture to the city, caps on HOT taxes, sources of funding, and whether they would support the (not yet finalized) cultural plan being crafted by the current mayor. To watch the entire event, visit the site where it was also live streamed last night. (Unless you like staring at the graphic for the forum while listening to calming music, start at 18:02.)

Many voters, though, tend to vote for candidates based on the “Would you want to have a beer with him/her?” personality test. (By the way, there are no “hers” in this group.) So, enough of serious civic issues—the best question came from the audience: Who is your favorite artist?

Chris Bell: Lamar Briggs



Steve Costello
: Mark Coyle, Justin Garcia, and Ashley Lynn



Adrian Garcia
: his daughter and Rick Lowe


Ben Hall
: Dalí and Escher




Bill King: Vincent Van Gogh




Marty McVey
: Rumi (the 13th-century Persian poet)




Sylvester Turner
: John Biggers, Jacarius Johnson, and Michelle Barnes





(All candidates’ photos via their websites. All art images via the linked websites.)

Bring CatCon to TX!

Cat art by Jeff Haynie. Image via Huffington Post.

Cat art by Jeff Haynie. Image via Huffington Post.

If you happen to be in Los Angeles this weekend, you are SO lucky because CatConLa takes place this Saturday and Sunday. CatCon is exactly what it sounds like: cat merch, cat adoptions, cat-inspired poetry, lectures, symposia, and tons and tons of cat art. And probably a few scary people in giant cat costumes.

Paul Middendorf. Photo via Facebook

Paul Middendorf with friend. Photo via Facebook

I would like to now nominate galleryHOMELAND’s Paul Middendorf to organize a CatConTX! Get on it, Paul!

Photographer Misty Keasler Will Walk You Through the Modern this Sunday

MistyHallDallas-based artist/photographer Misty Keasler’s work has been acquired by the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and features in its current show Framing Desire, alongside works by international biggies such as Catherine Opie, Laurie Simmons, and Philip-Lorca diCorcia.

This coming Sunday at one p.m., Keasler will host the Sundays at the Modern lecture in the galleries and walk viewers through the show and talk about her own work. It’s great opportunity to hear a local artist talk about his or her work in a larger, curated context (in this case of great photography and video).

Sundays at the Modern is an ongoing series and it free and open to the public. It’s an excellent way to tour and catch an artist, curator or writer’s POV on the Modern’s marquee exhibitions, and is available by podcast a few weeks after it takes place. But go in person, so you can see the work.

The Results are In: Austin Critics’ Table Awards

Margo Sawyer with Synchronicity of Color at Houston’s Discovery Green, 2008. Photo: Karen Warren / Houston Chronicle

Margo Sawyer with Synchronicity of Color at Houston’s Discovery Green, 2008. Photo: Karen Warren / Houston Chronicle

The winners of the 2014-2015 Austin Critics’ Table Awards, given by an informal group of arts writers from the Austin American-Statesman and the Austin Chronicle, were announced last night. The awards recognize achievements in dance, classical music, theater, and the visual arts. The Austin American-Statesman has published the full list of all the winners, but here are the folks who won in the visual arts category:

Museum Exhibition
“Do Ho Suh,” The Contemporary Austin

Solo Gallery Exhibition (tie)
“Contamination | Pollination: Elizabeth McDonald,” Pump Project
“Dave Culpepper: Wake Me When It’s Quitting Time,” Co-Lab Projects

Group Gallery Exhibition
“Gently Fried,” Los Outsiders, curators; Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center

Work of Art: Independent or Public Project
AHOM, Museum of Human Achievement

Artist of the Year
Margo Sawyer

Gallery, Body of Work
Women & Their Work

Congratulations to all!

Hello, Goodbye. A Beatles Memorabilia Show is Coming to Austin and Should We Care At This Point?

beatles-edFirst, a qualifier: I am a huge Beatles fan, and have been since I was little. Would I go see this show on my own? I doubt it. There is not another Fab Four factoid or photo out there I need to see or know. Would I take my nieces, who are in elementary school? Yes. Museumify that stuff, give it some context, and roll up for the Mystery Tour, children.

The announcement that the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin is hosting a touring show of early-Beatles stuff, and it’s co-produced  by the Grammy Museum and titled Ladies and Gentlemen…The Beatles! leaves me a bit hot and cold.

Here’s the skinny: this exhibition promises to “explore(s) the impact The Beatles’ arrival had on American pop culture, including fashion, art, advertising, media and music, from early 1964 through mid-1966 – when the British boy band was at its peak.” So there’s your context.

And a note on the stuff: “On display will be more than 400 pieces of memorabilia, records, rare photographs, tour artifacts, video, and instruments from private collectors and the GRAMMY Museum, including the original Ludwig drum head Ringo played on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show.’ It even includes an oral history booth where visitors can leave their own impressions of the timeless group.”

The show opens Saturday, June 13 and runs through the year; the exhibit is free and open to the public. Take your kids. Find your info here.

Houston Film Screening: Go Show Some Respect!

Painters_PaintingAccording to the weather reports, Houston should be dried out by Wednesday evening, so it will be a great time for an outdoor screening (but bring the bug spray!). In conjunction with the Menil Collection’s Barnett Newman exhibition, the Menil, the Rothko Chapel, and the Aurora Picture Show are presenting Emile de Antonio‘s 1972 documentary Painters Painting at the Rothko Chapel Plaza, June 3rd at 8pm.

If you went to grad school for painting, you’ve probably already seen it, likely in an altered state and giggling; it’s an art school rite of passage. The film is the definitive documentary on the New York School Painters from 1940-1970—that means it includes the biggies: de Kooning, Johns, Warhol, Rauschenberg, Frankenthaler, Stella, Newman, and more.

There was a brief period during which artists thought they had moved beyond the serious grandiosity and pretentiousness displayed in this film (for example, the “dumb art” movement, which is still prevalent). But there is no getting around the grandiosity, pretentiousness, as well as the grave importance inherent in all the silly endeavors of art.

So go watch it again with a little respect for the parents of contemporary painting.

Lawndale Wants Your Art, But Not in Person

For 31 years, the Lawndale Big Show has been the most important opportunity for emerging artists in a 100-mile radius of Houston to exhibit their work. It’s often the first show listed on an artist’s resume outside of school, and sometimes more seasoned artists use it to exhibit new bodies of work. The Big Show is as described: it tends to be a huge curatorial free-for-all, and a cheerfully mixed bag. I always look forward to it as an opportunity to see the very freshest and rawest work being made in the vicinity.

Traditionally, artists have physically delivered their work to Lawndale to be juried in person. But for this first time this year, Lawndale is bowing to the inevitable, asking artists to submit online to avoid several sweaty, stressful, extremely cluttered days during the Houston summer. The deadline is this Wednesday, June 3rd, so get your jpegs ready!

This year’s juror is George Scheer, the Director and Co-Founder of Elsewhere, a “living museum” and artist residency set in a former thrift store in Greensboro, NC.


Jurying the Big Show, before and after (that’s not George Scheer, but it’s nice to think of him jurying in his pj’s).




UT Austin Can Help Flood Victims Salvage Important Docs and Heirlooms

flooded_books_UWSuper_2The good people at the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Information are making themselves available to advise flood victims on how to best salvage important family heirlooms.

Via UT: “Wet papers and photographs, textiles, scrapbooks, books and other sentimental objects should be frozen, if possible, and not thrown out, the conservators say.”

For further instruction, “Flood victims are urged to contact the iSchool for advice on conservation at 512-903-9564 or”

Also, the faculty and students are planning to host workshops (in the regions most damaged by floods) on how to salvage these items. For more information, please go here.

(image via UT News.)

While Texas Floods, San Antonio Sculpture Floods Social Media

This past Memorial Day weekend, while Texans were busy posting stunningly awful images of the relentless rain and flooding, an image of an innocuous statue on the San Antonio campus of the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) made its rounds on the rest of social media.

Classmates by Paul Tadlock. Image via saddiego/Twitter

Classmates by Paul Tadlock. Image via saddiego/Twitter

As explained by the New York Times article entitled “The story behind the ‘Mansplaining: The Statue’ photo that went viral on Twitter,” a woman was visiting the campus, snapped the photo, and texted it to a few friends “to share the artist’s unintentional joke.” One of those friends was Cathy de la Cruz, a self-described “avid tweeter,” who tweeted the image with the caption, “A friend spotted this in Texas: #Mansplaining The Statue.” It quickly went viral and, on Tuesday, Jerry Saltz, the senior art critic for New York magazine, tweeted a version of de la Cruz’s original joke. Even Rebecca Solnit, often credited with coining the term “mansplaining,” reposted Saltz’s tweet. (Solnit did not coin the term, but it was inspired by her 2008 blog essay, “Men Explain Things to Me,” as well as her later book of essays of the same title.)

A UIW official stated, “The statue has long-symbolized the friendship and camaraderie that develops among students as they attend UIW. We are deeply saddened that this image of friendship has been misconstrued as a symbol of sexism on social media. Nothing could be further from the truth.” Paul Tadlock, the San Antonio sculptor who created the work, seemed a bit more amused. After having the term “mansplaining” explained to him, he denied that the sculpture was intended to describe the phenomena, consciously or unconsciously. But he added, “That’s generally the case. The ladies know more. Because guys, young guys particularly, love to tell everything they know to impress the girls, and the truth is most of the girls know it already.”

The viral photo has made its way into a number of articles and blogs, including the Huffington Post and Bustle, which seemed to find the whole thing pretty funny, but the Washington Examiner ended its article with this paragraph:

Note to future sculptors: When trying to show men and women talking as friends, don’t. There’s just no way you can do so without offending modern feminist sensibilities.

Fort Worth Modern Spins Popular Lecture Series Into Summer Film Series


Alfred Leslie and Robert Frank, “Pull My Daisy,” New York, 1959

The longtime, ever-popular lecture series Tuesday Evenings at the Modern (at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth) usually only runs through what we think of as the school year. But starting this coming Tuesday, Tuesday Evenings is extending into summer by launching a film series (under the name Tuesday Evenings At the Modern: Films).

The schedule has been released at looks great; see it here. Even if you’ve been able to see some of this work before, seeing it in the context of a museum crowd should add something to the experience, especially since discussions will follow each screening. The series kicks off Tuesday, June 2 with Short Films of Robert Frank

Via the Modern: “Selections for screenings are related to or recommended by artists and speakers who have participated in the lecture series or are otherwise affiliated with the museum. There is nothing particularly prescriptive about the line-up, but as with the lecture series, themes can be found and connections made. To create a full experience, these presentations include a brief introduction and opportunity for discussion following the films.”

These screenings are free and open to the public. Seating is first come, first serve.

For more info, please go here.

If You’ve Been Waiting for a Sci-Fi Latino Noir Performance Art Show, It’s Finally Coming to S.A.!

Jose-Torres-TamaSan Antonio’s Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, in partnership with the National Performance Network, will present performance artist José Torres-Tama during a week-long residency in mid-June. The residency will include three days of performance art workshops with Guadalupe students, two evenings of performances, and an afternoon lecture on immigrant rights.

From the press photo (above) and the titles, it doesn’t look like Torres-Tama plans on presenting the usual workshops, performances, and lecture. Here is the schedule:

June 15-17: Three performance art workshops
Guadalupe theater students will get the opportunity to work closely with Torres-Tama and learn about his process and technique as a performance artist.

June 19-20, 8pm, (tickets $10-12): “Aliens, Immigrants & Other Evildoers”
A sci-fi Latino noir one-man show that takes immigration head on by satirizing the status of immigrants as “extraterrestrials” and “exposes the hypocrisies of a system that vilifies the same people whose labor it exploits.”

June 21, 2pm: Immigrant Rights Forum, headed by Torres-Tama’s lecture “Art & Social Change: The Artist as Provocateur.” During this “live art” event, Torres-Tama will transform the traditional lecture into a multimedia, hybrid social commentary on the Latino immigrant experience, the mythology of the American Dream, and issues on immigration reform through short film presentations, performance and visual art, new media and poetry.

Are You a Houston Artist or Org Who Needs Help Due to Recent Flooding?

Houston_floodCertainly Houston Arts Alliance has gotten its share of public criticism lately from artists and more, and its new website isn’t complete yet, but in the wake of all the region’s flooding (too soon? pun really not intended… ) today the HAA sent out a formal “Request for Response” to artists and art organizations and here is is verbatim:

Artists and arts/cultural organizations: Did you suffer damage or loss due to this week’s flooding? 
Houston Arts Alliance is greatly concerned with your condition as a member of Houston’s arts/cultural community. City of Houston elected officials have directly contacted us to express an equal amount of concern and would like to ensure that you are aware of the aid, recovery resources and services available to you.
If you are an artist or arts/cultural organization and have suffered damage as a result of this week’s disaster, please email us at with the following:

  • Your Name
  • Your Organization (if applicable)
  • Preferred Phone Number
  • Preferred Email
  • Your Physical Address
  • Your City of Houston Council District (if available/applicable)
  • A Damage/Loss Description
  • Are You Insured? (Yes/No)

PLEASE NOTE: Houston Arts Alliance will endeavor to connect you with available resources, services and city leadership as soon as possible.

DMA Receives $4.3 Million for New Eagle Family Plaza

dma_aerialThe Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) announced yesterday that Jennifer and John Eagle have donated $3 million to the DMA for the renovation of the Museum’s North Entrance. John Eagle, a car dealer, served until recently as president of the museum’s board. The Hamon Charitable Foundation has given an additional gift of $1.3 million for the project, for a total contribution of $4.3 million. The North Entrance, to be renamed Eagle Family Plaza, will be designed by Dallas-based landscape architectural firms Studio Outside and Hocker Design Group, with a new freestanding food service building and interior renovations to the DMA’s cafe designed by local architectural firm Morrison Dilworth + Walls.

The project is designed to create a more flexible entrance for vehicles and pedestrians and will include an outdoor dining terrace extending from the interior café. Adjacent to this, a new lawn will serve as space for a rotating series of sculptures. The first commissioned work for it will be a site-specific sculpture by British artist Rebecca Warren.

Construction will begin in August 2015 with a proposed opening in spring 2016.

(Image via Hocker Design Group)

Rude Mechs Come to DFW For the FIRST TIME

Stop-Hitting-Yourself-5The Austin-based Rude Mechs (really Rude Mechanicals) is one of the most important things to happen to underground theater and performance in the state and really the country; since 1995 the founders and the collective have been creating some of the most original, strange, and uncategorizable theater-meets-art content since the Wooster Group. (One of the most memorable off-off-Broadway performances I’ve ever seen in NYC was in 2001; it was a Rude Mechs’ performance called Lipstick Traces, inspired by Greil Marcus’ opus of the history of the 20th Century, starring variations on characters modeled on John Lydon and Malcolm McLaren.)

Founded in 1995, Rude Mechs often tours and/or parcels out original material to other groups in other cities, but the collective itself has never performed one of its original plays on a Dallas stage until this week.

Rude Mechs will be at the Wyly Theater for three nights starting this Thursday to perform Stop Hitting Yourself, as part of AT&T Performing Arts Centers Off Broadway on Flora series.

Via AT&T Performing Arts Center: “With Stop Hitting Yourself, Rude Mechs is embracing the fundamental beliefs underlying late-stage capitalism and indulging in our version of 1930’s Hollywood glamour.”

Go go go! Here’s all your info.

Funding generously provided by: