Five-Minute Tours: Liz Ward at Moody Gallery, Houston

by Glasstire October 21, 2022

Note: the following is part of Glasstire’s series of short videos, Five-Minute Tours, for which commercial galleries, museums, nonprofits and artist-run spaces across the state of Texas send us video walk-throughs of their current exhibitions. This will continue while the coronavirus situation hinders public access to exhibitions. Let’s get your show in front of an audience.

See other Five-Minute Tours here.

Liz Ward: Silver River at Moody Gallery, Houston. Dates: September 10 – October 22, 2022.

Via Moody Gallery:

“Moody Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new works on paper by Liz Ward. Silver River marks her tenth solo exhibition with the gallery and is on view September 10 – October 22, 2022.

Ward states- ‘In September of 2019 I was an artist-in-residence at Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior. The Park is a remote archipelago surrounded by deep, fresh water and covered by boreal forests, marshes, and bogs. At that far northern latitude, the light has an almost palpable quality. It reminded me of the 19th-century Luminist landscape paintings I have always loved. Indeed, I felt myself to be ‘in’ such a painting. Most of the works in this exhibition, many of them titled with place names from Isle Royale, resulted from that residency experience. They are also informed by my study of classical Chinese landscape painting and Tantric art.

The Daily Labors gravestone rubbings and Silver River come from my many summers in the Keweenaw in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Keweenaw, also known as the Copper Country, is formed from the same ancient geology as Isle Royale. In the 19th-century, it was the nation’s leading producer of copper. The historic gravestones in our local Pine Grove Cemetery, where I made the rubbings, record the danger and the human toll of the early mining days. Both the Keweenaw and Isle Royale are former ancestral lands of the Ojibwe people.

The outlier Strangler Fig drawing was inspired by a five-week research trip to Costa Rica in summer 2021 with Trinity University. This species (Ficus costaricana) is a parasitic tree, which relies for its propagation on birds dropping its seeds into the canopy of the tropical forest. The seed grows from the top down and then up again, using the host tree as a support, and eventually strangling it. Apart from the strange beauty of these plants, one can imagine them as metaphors for the legacy of colonialism and unbridled resource extraction in all latitudes of the Americas.’

Liz Ward’s work has been widely exhibited at numerous venues including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; the Weatherspoon Museum, University of North Carolina, Greensboro; and the International Print Center, New York. Her work is also represented in many private, public and corporate collections, notably the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Menil Collection. In 2012, Ward received a Brown Foundation Dora Maar House Fellowship, an international artist-in-residence program in Ménerbes, France. With support of the fellowship, she completed a series of drawings for a Trinity Press book project, Unchopping a Tree, with renowned poet W.S. Merwin. Her work has also been recognized with two Mid-America Arts Alliance/NEA Fellowships, and the Dozier Travel Award from the Dallas Museum of Art. Liz Ward received an M.F.A. in painting from the University of Houston in 1990, and a B.F.A. cum laude from the University of New Mexico in 1982. She joined the faculty of Trinity University in 1999, where she is a Professor in the Department of Art and Art History, and an Environmental Studies faculty.

Moody Gallery is open Tuesday – Friday 10:30 am – 5:00 pm and Saturday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. To make an appointment to view the exhibition, please call or email the gallery at 713-526-9911 or [email protected]. Liz Ward – Silver River can also be viewed online at”

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