Today Art League Houston (ALH), in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, announced the artists selected to contribute to Insta11ations, a pilot program which will feature a series of distinct public art experiences created for each of Houston’s 11 city council districts.
Eleven artist were selected based on how they visualize public art and experiment with the idea of public spaces. The selected artists were also chosen for how they approached the topics of social justice and equity in their work. Engaging and empowering communities through their stories, and finding a platform for those stories and histories were all part of the criteria for selecting the Insta11ations artists.
The artists and their corresponding project districts are: Sherry Owens & Art Shirer (Dist. A); Israel McCloud (Dist. B); Michael Stevenson (Dist. C); Erika Blumenfeld (Dist. D); Lina Dib (Dist. E); Antonius-Tín Bui (Dist. F); Katrina Moorhead (Dist. G); Violette Bule (Dist. H); Rabéa Ballin (Dist. I); Colby Deal (Dist. J), and Marsha Dorsey-Outlaw (Dist. K).
States Jennie Ash, Executive Director of Art League Houston: “The innovation of work demonstrated in this group of artists not only reflects the radically different approaches artists are utilizing when thinking about the future of community art, but also highlights the exceptional diversity of talent we have on a local level.” Debbie McNulty, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, adds: “The range of sites selected for each of these experiences is not only exciting, but will bring art to unexpected corners of the city, and to spaces never previously considered for public art. We’re excited for the work proposed by this group of artists and for their willingness to embrace this approach to bringing art to the community.”
Sophie Asakura, the Project Manager of Insta11ations, reflects on what makes the program special:“It embraces Art League Houston’s core values of inclusivity, creativity and learning; in particular, creating a platform for work that is challenging traditional notions of public art in both playful and critical ways, and providing support and learning opportunities to these artists from concept through fabrication and installation.”
María C. Gaztambide, PhD, the Director & Chief Curator of Public Art at the University of Houston, wrote about the transformative nature of the initiative, stating, in part: “These installations fulfill many practical imperatives — from gateways to spatial beacons to playscapes, or even forewarnings — yet they also help to anchor new sites for communing with urbanity, with nature and the environment, and above all with each other.”