For ten years, Professors Aaron Parazette and Gael Stack have been handing their undergraduate painting students a simple but goofy assignment, conceived with the intention of directing attention to questions of “high” and “low” culture, context, commerce, and visual strategies: visit both the Menil Collection and a Fiesta supermarket to gather information, images, and objects, and then synthesize their findings into a series of paintings.
The faculty has enjoyed the results so much that they have organized a two-day pop-up exhibition, The Menil/Fiesta Project, at Inman Gallery, August 23-24. For those still lamenting the recent closing of the small Dunlavy Fiesta (as opposed to the supermercados throughout the city), this is bound to be an uplifting and therapeutic show. If only Inman could get the person responsible for the Dunlavy Fiesta’s awesome music to DJ the opening festivities!
Never once did I hear a bad song in that Fiesta. Sometimes I’d stall checking out just to hear the next one and it was never a disappointment. When the Dunlavy HEB opened, they briefly flirted with the Oldies station on their Retail Radio satellite setup, but once that Fiesta closed they went right back to those Muzak instrumentals of Adult Contemporary classics. I once heard a Muzak cover of Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” there — probably the most aurally-offensive soundpiece that I will ever hear. Regardless, looking forward to this show!
Gael Stack was the best art instructor I ever had!