As of February 8th, I am stepping down as editor of Glasstire to pursue other projects. Some are creative and include more writing, some are (hopefully) lucrative. I love Glasstire and will continue to write for the publication. For now, the editorial duties will be taken over by the multi-talented Bill Davenport, who has agreed to act as interim editor while a search is conducted. (I would suggest lobbying Mr. Davenport to stay on as editor permanently – he’s absolutely great and was involved in the site’s beginning – but he’s rightfully attached to being an artist.) [Update: For anyone interested in applying, the position is posted here.]
Founder and director Rainey Knudson, newswire and events editor Bill Davenport and I have had some highly entertaining staff meetings over the years, usually at Bill’s Junk. And I’m going to really miss their running email commentary, they both have a great and insightful take on art and the art world. Bill’s amazing Glasstire booths for the Texas Contemporary Fair last year and the year before have been a helluva lot of fun. (Except for the time at the 2011 Texas Saloon when I was literally shoveling shit behind Sugar the miniature horse. Sarah Fisch was thoughtful enough to photograph the moment. No, I am not including a link.) I do confess, one of the great disappointments of my tenure is that the George R. Brown would not let us bring in the pet nutria for our Gulf Coast Dive Bar last year. Contemporary art and an orange-toothed swamp rat – what could be better?!?!
I have truly enjoyed my five years as editor and a lot of other nice things have happened in the time. Annual unique visitors have tripled since I started in November of 2007. In 2009, Glasstire won 1st Prize at the National Arts Journalism Summit in Los Angeles, beating out more than 100 other entries. That same year I was named a USC Annenberg / Getty Arts Journalism Fellow and received a Creative Capitol / Warhol Foundation Grant for Short-Form Art Writing.
The best part of the job has been working with truly wonderful writers, photographers and videographers. The contributors are what make Glasstire. I have always tried to find talented people with something to say and who say it in a manner that is inclusive rather than exclusive. Thankfully Texas has a wealth of them. Here are some (but by no means all) of my favorite pieces from the past 5 years…
- Michael Bise launching our “Worst Piece of Art I Ever Made” series…and Bise’s ongoing “Life on the List” drawing project chronicling his heart transplant.
- Laura Lark dissecting the Helmut Newton show with her trademark wit and intelligence.
- Hills Snyder’s touching group remembrance of the late Chuck Ramirez
- Jean-Sebastien Boncy’s poetic blog post about Alvin Walthrop at the CAMH
- The unforgettable “Ten List: Your Portfolio and You” by the great Clint Willour
- Sara Fisch’s two-part interview with Rigoberto Gonzalez, an artist who should be much better known
- Ayanna Jolivet Mccloud’s evocative review of Care House
- Jack Thompson’s lovely photos for our interview with the marvelous Rachel Hecker
- Robert Pruitt’s succinct appraisal of Black History Month
- Josh Fischer on Calvin Tomkins’ talk the Menil
- Noah Simblist’s thoughtful take on the Arthouse controversy
- Anything by Beth Secor, including her piece for the Art Narc Series: Bad Artist Statements
- Christina Rees’ dialogue-starting assessments of the Dallas Art Scene
- David F. Brown’s personal insight into War/Photography at the MFAH
- Toby Kamps’ crazy-brilliant Ten List: Crazy-Brilliant Art Ideas
- Eric Zimmerman’s seemingly endless supply of thoughtful essays
- Katie Geha on Laurie Anderson vs. Paul Thomas Anderson
- Margaret Meehan’s Similar but Different series and her uncanny ability to track images and ideas, crafting a collective stream of consciousness
- Mark and Angela Walley’s moving and years-in-the-making video Vincent Valdez: Excerpts for John
- Titus O’Brien‘s intelligent and entertainingly contentious observations
- Lucia Simek on the surprising community of CADD’s Mystery Dinner
- John Aäsp crafting a stunningly insightful essay on race and equality in America inspired by two Hollywood films
- M.A. and M.B.A. Claire Ruud crunching the numbers on arts institutions
- Peter Lucas’s eye-opening blogs about film and video
- Carrie Schneider championing the Houston art scene as its own school of art
- Rachel Hooper’s excellent review of The Deconstructive Impulse: Women Artists Reconfigure the Signs of Power, 1973-1991
- Betsy Lewis’s 20 Awkward Items on Richard Phillips, International Art God
- Meredith Jack and Jim Edwards’ Remembering Virgil Grotfeldt
I have to stop adding now but there are so many more. As soon as I hit publish I will think of 30 other wonderful things…
Most especially, as the inimitable Bert Long fights pancreatic cancer, I want to tell him how fondly I remember his Bolivar project. Bert started going down to Bolivar after Hurricane Ike and taking photographs of the devastation. Months later not a lot had changed and Bert was incensed by the lack of progress and lack of help for the residents. My son was born a few weeks before Hurricane Ike hit and was maybe 7 months old when Bert loaded us both in the car and took me to see what was going on. We wound up going back and doing interviews with Bolivar residents to accompany Bert’s photographs. Bert’s artistic talent, empathy, outspokenness and sense of justice are just a few of the things that have made him a legendary member of Houston’s art community. We love you Bert.
I’ll really miss editing Glasstire, but the up side is that I’ll now have more time to see art and write about it. Let me know what’s up. You can reach me at kelly (at) kellyklaasmeyer (dot) com.
Kelly Klaasmeyer has been the editor of Glasstire since 2007. We’re sorry she can’t add “nutria wrangler” to her resume. We’ll miss you, Kelly! Thanks so much for a stellar five and a half years!! – Rainey Knudson