A Letter From the Publisher

by Brandon Zech March 25, 2020
Houston Artist Elaine Bradford Masks

The perfect social distancing art. From Houston artist Elaine Bradford’s Masks series.

Honestly, I haven’t quite collected my thoughts about our current moment, and I know I’m not alone. In a phone call with my grandmother, I mentioned how I have never seen anything like this. She replied that in her 82 years she hadn’t either.

Museums and other organizations are, with urgency, considering moving the entirety of their missions online; galleries are scrambling to set up digital viewing rooms; and restaurants are rapidly adapting their business models and pleading for patrons to buy merchandise and gift cards. The healthcare industry, of course, is bracing for an impact the likes of which it has never seen.

I’m proud that our wonderful team at Glasstire sprung into action and is facing this critical moment with concern and compassion. We are and always have been an online publication — since 2001 — so you, readers, know you can visit us daily and weekly to read art criticism, engage with artists through interviews, listen to topical podcasts, and watch our recommendations on video.

And since museum and nonprofit doors have shut and galleries have reduced their public hours, online space is more important than ever, and we are committed to being the conduit to the art and artists you know, love, and want to see.

Last week, because our staff so lamented the idea of not being able to go see some art, we came up with the idea of our Five-Minute Tours series, for which galleries, nonprofits, and other spaces send us video walkthroughs of their shows. I was thrilled about this, not only because we could bring exhibitions to viewers, but also because it meant I’d (selfishly) get to see shows everywhere and in every kind of art space — from the Art League of Baytown to the Cardozier Gallery in Odessa to 500X’s last exhibition in its founding space in Dallas.

As always, and especially now, we at Glasstire are dedicated to using our publication to connect you with art and artists across Texas. Because our work is built on the work of artists, and because this crisis is significantly impacting how people live their lives, we will use the coming weeks to help artists show you what they’re up to, and tell their stories.

We do what we do at Glasstire because we believe that art is a critical part of life. Our staff eats, breathes, and sleeps art, and that isn’t going to stop just because we can’t go to museums. Keep checking our website for new recommendations, reviews, interviews, podcasts, and videos (there’s a lot these days); keep watching our video tours; and if you really believe in our work and want us to continue, please consider donating to help keep us afloat during these times. We are a nonprofit, and yes — every little bit helps.

That’s all for now. Keep your heads. Wash your hands. See some art.

-Brandon Zech


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MC March 26, 2020 - 07:53

Love the 5 minute gallery tours. It should remain a regular feature even after we are through this. I have learned about spaces that I did not know existed and have had a chance to view some exhibits I otherwise would not be able to see.

Carl Smith March 31, 2020 - 12:06

I think now is the time for artists to do what they do best; make stuff. Work. We can potentially show people how to survive alone, how to stay engaged and alive in a single space alone. We can inspire people to be strong and go deep down into who you actually are and how you feel and how you can survive and thrive and live creatively from that place. Not everyone can live there 24/7 like that but artists can offer a brief glimpse into what it means to be yourself, not to copy how others but find who you are in all this mess and work and live consistently from that place.


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