The Ion Announces Next Eye On Art Installation Artists

by Jessica Fuentes August 12, 2023

The Ion, a tech hub based in Houston, has announced that Christopher Blay and Kill Joy will be the next artists to create site-specific window installations as part of its Eye On Art program.

Launched in April 2022, the Eye On Art program aims to support artists and create engaging installations that welcome visitors into The Ion. The installations rotate approximately every six months and artists are selected by the Ion and Ion District Art Advisory Council with support from Piper Faust, a public art consultant. 

In a press release, Jan E. Odegard, Executive Director of the Ion, noted, “Innovation and art have a lot more in common than you might think. Many of our local artists learn how to use emerging technologies to create their pieces and hone their craft. Creativity plays a vital role in fostering innovation and we’re honored to provide artists like Christopher and Kill Joy with a platform to serve as an inspiration for the entire innovation ecosystem here at the Ion.”

A photograph of artist and curator Christopher Blay.

Christopher Blay, 2022, during his show at Barry Whistler Gallery. Photograph by Allison V. Smith

Christopher Blay, the Chief Curator of the Houston Museum of African American Culture and a contributing writer for Art in America, is an artist, writer, and curator. His current studio practice explores speculative futures of Black people. The Ion explains that “His work reflects on all conditions that have been a part of Black life in America, from triumphs of culture to socio-political situations.” His installation at the Ion will be an expansion of his recent work, The SpLaVCe Program, which combines aspects of slave ships and spaceships as it considers the past and future. 

An in-progress photograph of Christopher Blay's installation at the Ion.

Christopher Blay’s Eye On Art installation, in progress.

A photograph of artist Kill Joy wearing a red bandana that covers her nose and mouth.

Kill Joy

Kill Joy, who was recently selected for a public art commission at the Montrose Library, seeks to honor the earth while creating work about environmental and social justice through her artistic practice. Perhaps best known for her murals and printmaking, Kill Joy also has a history of creating puppets. Her window installation at the Ion, Creation, Current, Solution, incorporates animated puppets presented through the lens of Philippine mythology or Filipino folklore. According to the Ion, “The piece centers indigenous experience by exploring regional mythology and how it speaks to current living situations. It is an exploration of destiny for people and planet, and how we can construct technological advancements for sustainable living conditions.”

The new installations will be unveiled on Wednesday, August 16, during a public event hosted by Ion and Piper Faust Public Art at Second Draught (located in the Ion at 4201 Main Street) from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Learn more about the event via the Ion District’s website

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