Top Five: February 2, 2023

by Glasstire February 2, 2023

Glasstire counts down the top five art events in Texas.

For last week’s picks, please go here.

A photograph of a large colorful inflatable sculpture by FriendsWithYou.

FriendsWithYou, “Never Ending Story, Spiderman’s Eye,” 2019.

1. Blow Up II: Inflatable Contemporary Art
Art Museum of South Texas (Corpus Christi)
January 20 – April 9, 2023

From the Art Museum of South Texas:

“Opening to the public on January 20, the Art Museum of South Texas will host the traveling exhibition Blow Up II: Inflatable Contemporary Art organized by and originally presented at Bedford Gallery at the Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, CA

Blow Up II: Inflatable Contemporary Art explores the medium of inflatable art with imagery that is figurative, conceptual, and abstract. These large-scale inflatable sculptures, conceived by nine artists and art collectives from around the world, connote fun and whimsy, are familiar yet strange, and challenge the definition of art.

Featuring a new roster of artists, Blow Up II includes work by Nicole Banowetz, Sharon Engelstein, FriendsWithYou, Josh Harker, Susan Lee-Chun, Matt Ritchie, Lizbeth Rossof, Jen Stark, and Max Streicher– many of whom have never worked in the inflatable medium previously. The resulting artworks reflect a variety of themes, including consumerism, pop culture, history, and even mortality. Many of the works convey a surreal sensibility through over-sized scale or an uncanny human connection, like Max Striecher’s sculptures that appear to be living, breathing beings– they are just as dependent on air as we are. From the outset, the artworks in Blow Up II appear fun and playful; however, there is a touch of melancholy throughout the show as we are reminded that once the gallery lights dim, the artworks deflate and await their resurrection the following day.”

A photograph of a gymnast sitting on a balance beam.

Judy Walgren, “Amanda,” photograph.

2. ART AS SOCIAL PRACTICE: Technologies for Change
SP/N Gallery at Synergy Park North 2 – UT Dallas (Richardson)
January 20 – February 25, 2023

From SP/N Gallery:

“With a focus on contemporary socially engaged art practices, this exhibition demonstrates how artists use their creative practices to raise consciousness, form communities, create change, and bring forth social impact through new technologies and digital practices. Curated by invitation to artist-authors included in burrough and Walgren’s Art as Social Practice: Technologies for Change, the show includes works by half of the artist contributors.

Works highlighted in this exhibition span collaborative image-making, immersive experiences, telematic art, time machines, artificial intelligence, and physical computing. These works reveal how the artists collaborate with participants and communities, and have found ways to expand, transform, reimagine, and create new platforms for meaningful exchange in both physical and virtual spaces.”

An installation image of black and white photographs hanging in a gallery.

Installation view of “21st Annual Regional Celebration of African American Artists Exhibit: Ernest C. Withers Collection, Good Night, My Love”

3. 21st Annual Regional Celebration of African American Artists Exhibit: Ernest C. Withers Collection, Good Night, My Love
Texarkana Regional Arts & Humanities Council
January 17 – March 25, 2023

From Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council:

Good Night, My Love, presented by the Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council (TRAHC) and TRAHC’s African American Committee (TAAC), features work from the iconic worldwide photojournalist Ernest C. Withers. Withers recorded African American history in the segregated South for over sixty years. His vast collection contains some of the most significant Civil Rights Movement activities. Withers’ ever-present three cameras captured moments of change, conflict, classic, community, bravery, courage, determination, innocence, inspiration, and love. With the added local representation from photographer Barbara Pitts Riley, and a High School Cell Phone photography competition, this exhibition details significant history lessons with glimpses of the past, present, and future. This exhibition is sponsored in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts.”

A photographic work by Kevin Corcoran featuring a cactus with black text scattered across the image.

A piece by Kevin Corcoran for “Post-Score”

4. Post-Score
Co-Opt Research & Projects (Lubbock)
January 13 – February 19, 2023

From Co-Opt Research & Projects:

Post-Score is a group show of graphic and text scores curated by CO-Opt members Heather Warren-Crow and Andrew Weathers. The show collects contributions from over 30 artists across media, from music and performance art to poetry and painting. Artists created new event scores on index cards and sent them as mail art through the USPS. Included work ranges from text instructions in the tradition of Pauline Oliveros’s Sonic Meditations to mutated traditional musical notation to drawings and performance texts, showcasing the breadth of the form.”

A work by Amy Scofield featuring a design that is mirrored across a vertical axis.

5. Amy Scofield: Descendency
Prizer Arts & Letters (Austin)
January 19 – February 16, 2023

From Prizer Arts & Letters:

Descendency features new work from Austin-based artist Amy Scofield. Scofield is best known as a sculptor who works with leftover and found materials. She is also a prolific photographer of the urban debris all around us. For this show, she took individual images of discarded manufactured goods and evidence of consumerism and arranged each into a kaleidoscopic grid. Through this process, she transforms and morphs the original object – often beyond recognition – and the results are strikingly alive.”

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