Fun Things

While traveling last weekend, I had occasion to visit Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum. Lovely little museum in a big old house. A snazzy contemporary yarn installation in the rotunda by HOT TEA led to this great picture by my friend Gretchen:

HOT TEA at Philbrook

As I posted on Instagram, it’s always worthwhile to go to a new art museum anyplace you are. Whether you’re visiting a cultural hub like New York or DC (or Paris or Rome) or are in a smaller place, you will learn quite a few new things. I was reminded by the one John Singer Sargent painting in the museum that he really had the goods: Continue reading

Travel Goals and Food Love

My son and I once checked a book out from the library, “Matisse, King of Color” by Laurence Anholt. We both loved it instantly – though of course I had guided the selection among a few artists in the series, Matisse is a favorite of mine. It tells the back story of how Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence came to be, with beautiful illustrations inspired by the artist. (Now that I’ve most of the rest of the series, it still holds up as one of the best.) After checking it out a few times, I suggested to grandma that it would be a good Christmas present.

Last night as we read the story for the Nhundredth time, it occurred to me that we could take Cash to that place, so he knows that it’s a real story. Continue reading

Congress Ave, Independence Ave, world

I had over 100 FB friends marching in 30+ cities around the USA in 22 states on Friday and Saturday.

In Austin, the crowd was about 50,000, quite likely the biggest-ever gathering at the Texas capital. (Second to about 25K at a UT anti-Vietnam war protest 40 years prior.) My mom said the Fort Worth rally was 6000+ after only being announced on Monday and with options all around, Denton, Dallas, etc.

It is so, so cool to hear all these huge numbers, and to have been there. Continue reading

Thoughts, Links, Etc.

Thanksgiving: Louisiana with my mom’s side of the family. Way fun, would do again. We love VRBO for these kinds of gatherings, more flexible and kitchen-y.

Spent a day in New Orleans, had a great meal and went to the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. After ending up at the Contemporary Art Center 4 hours too early for that day’s showing of Christian Marclay’s THE CLOCK. Maaaajor disappointment for me, as I’d missed it twice in NYC.

museum-district

So I’ve been doing a ton of reading and sort of trying not to think that much these days. Christmas in Arlington, visiting with cousin & fam in town from North Carolina, then a VERY chill New Year’s Eve in Waco.

Here are some links & events of interest:

Women who draw, a directory. via Cup of Jo

Artist changes artwork in museum display in response to election results. via Hyperallergic

I am a white feminist, but I’m working against White Feminism by thinking about intersectionality. via UUWF

Keeping up with the housework to unfuck your habitat. via Boingboing

UUWF is a partner of the Women’s March on Washington! Affiliated Minister Marti Keller will be there, and I’m planning to be in Austin for the Texas state capitol sister march. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a protest and I’m pretty excited.

I’ll be going to the Third International Women’s Convocation in February in Monterey California.

Coming up in the Waco art scene:
Joel Edwards show opens at Art Center Waco on Thursday, Jan. 19. Can’t wait, he is a very talented artist and a super nice guy.
Deep in the Heart Film Festival in February – which I will unfortunately miss because it’s the same weekend as the Convocation.
Top Young Artist exhibitions from March 1-18 at Studio Gallery, then at The Art Center from March 23 (Award Ceremony & Opening Reception that evening) to April 15. And last but certainly not least, is Art on Elm on Saturday April 8! We’re switching websites for simplicity – now at artonelm.org. Here’s a little history of the event that I wrote, and I want to dig more into the history of the area for another post.

 

Related Post: Art on Elm Avenue 2016.

 

San Antonio Visits

On a Thursday in November, I got picked up at home very early in the morning by my colleague in an unusually low-key car for her. We were on our way to a Texas Public Art Administrators meeting in San Antonio. It was so good to meet people in a specific realm of the arts, and they came from a variety of places and agencies: San Antonio Public Art of course, but also Love Field (an airport), Houston Airports, San Antonio River Authority, etc. Most are city-funded, others included a library with a public art program and no dedicated staff. It was two days after the election and we were all able to tell each other about our local places and not worry about national affairs for the day.

After lunch we met up at a newly re-done park called Yanaguana Garden, which was spectacular. The play structures were huge and wonderful, like nothing I’d ever seen, and there was art all over. We learned that in addition to the large, stunning mosaic sculptures by Oscar Alvarado, were 6 more artworks from the public art exhibition “Play” at Hemisfair, brought together by lead artist Stuart Allen, who led a tour of the park to talk about working with the city and the artists to make ideas reality.

After *that* Continue reading

Texas to NY to Texas to Columbus, OH

When I first knew I’d go to grad school, I wasn’t sure what for. I just knew that my brand new BA in Art History from a state school that most people outside the state have never heard of wasn’t going to get me far.

A few years after finishing undergrad working at a doctor’s office, I was feeling a little antsy and got an idea. I wanted to start a community arts center. To me museums were (and are) like church. Spiritual, contemplative places that are technically open to everyone but lots of people who may appreciate art do not feel at home there. I wanted to bridge the gap between the Art Institution and the person who could benefit from making or being around art (ahem, everyone). I started to explore graduate programs. To get into communities, to connect with people, you go through the kids. My plan was to have after school art classes, maybe in a building where there are studios behind and common areas in front. Give artists discounts or free rent for teaching art classes to the kids.

So I looked at art education programs – I would learn all about arts education, while also looking into nonprofit management on my own. Then, to my surprise & joy, The Ohio State University’s huge, excellent Art Education Department contained a program called “Arts Administration.” This is a thing! I found others and applied to 4 Art Administration programs (NYU, Ohio State, Indiana, and Oregon) and University of Texas’s Art Ed program.

I talked to friends and family about the idea, they all had input about what sorts of arts would need to be in a proper community arts center. ALL of them! Continue reading

Day After Reading: Around the USA

Through a fun grapevine of New York professionals &  friends, I got connected with a graphic artist named Luodvic Balland to help with publicity for his project Day After Reading. Balland is traveling with a team of journalists, historians and supporters to interview people about the news. What is your earliest memory of the news? How do you get your news? etc. They started in New York City, went to Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, St. Louis (where they got to be on the Washington University (aka WUSTL) campus during the debate that was also held there.

Now, I am helping to arrange interviews around the country, an exciting, fast-paced job for someone in a small town. I’ve gotten to speak to folks all around the country to see if they or a colleague or friend could be interviewed. Julie from Robert’s in Nashville is THE best! Jesse Lee Jones has a great story to tell, and I bet Julie does too.

The following city, in Memphis they were interviewed for a post on The Atlantic’s CityLab.

Today we interview the Mayor of Dallas, Mike Rawlings, then go to the Texas State Fair! What do you recommend we eat while there, fellow Texans?

Afterward, they will head west to go to Marfa and Fort Davis to visit the Chinati foundation and McDonald Observatory, respectively. I would love to go out west with them, but I will stay in Waco for about 5 days, then go off to Columbus, Ohio for a community leaders initiative of NeighborWorks America.

They will then go on to New Orleans, Miami, and DC for the election. More to come!

Image: Claire Sexton, Dr. Tiffany Anthony, abdominal transplant surgeon, during her interview 10/12/16 at Baylor Medical Center Dallas.

Houston, Part 3

It was a beautiful Tuesday morning in Houston in September. Auntie Julie and I went for a swim at her local outdoor pool (which stays open year-round! New Yorkers take note). After a shower and lunch I was off to the musum district again, this time to go to Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, or CAMH, where a longtime acquaintance now works. The show was Texas Design Now, timed, I suspect, with Design Week. It was a great show, full of wonderful stuff in nearly every media by people I’d never heard of. The Houston Chronicle did a nice review (though unfortunately they have a subscriber paywall).

I first encountered Dean Daderko, now a curator at CAMH,  when he was helping friend & colleague Tara Mateik install an exhibition at Art in General and I was Tara’s intern, around 2006. Dean has been at CAMH for 4 years and loves Houston. Another mark in the “pro Houston” camp! I was very impressed with the exhibition in the basement, Whispering Bayou, a collaboration between  Carroll Parrott Blue, Jean-Baptiste Barrière, and George Lewis. An interactive video installation, when you walk up to a screen it begins to play interwoven clips of people talking about growing up around the bayou, a phenomenon I’m familiar with.
static1-squarespace

We bumped into another curator friend of Dean’s, coming over from MFAH because of the excellence of CAMH’s packed shop. Networking!

Though I was set to head off to Waco again that afternoon, I could not resist popping in to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (aforementioned MFAH) to see their recently opened Mark Rothko show (open through Jan. 24!). With a stop in the James Turrell tunnel installation it made for the second Turrell I experienced in as many days.

Houston and Mark Rothko, of course! It was great, I’d never seen his early, more figurative work. It was a lovely show and a good visit to the museum. The last time I was there was while MoMA was renovating and sent parts of their collection on a tour. The first time I ever saw Starry Night was there.

A semi quick stop in the museum shop and 3 Christmas presents later, I was on my way to my old neighborhood of Sharpstown for a cruise. On the way out of town I stopped for a Vietnamese iced coffee and a Doughssaint (aka Cronut, my first!) in Chinatown, which I’d forgotten was so close to my childhood home. Another mark in the pro column for Houston.

Greater New York 2015 at PS1

The first show I ever saw at PS1 was Greater New York 2005, on a field trip with my “Galleries and Museums of New York” class, in my first semester of graduate school. Ahh, memories!

Apparently my visit was something of the opposite of Paddy Johnson & co, who went there straight from the airport and I had to hustle off to the airport so unfortunately I wasn’t able to view the whole show. It was a shame, as the first few photos and discussions in the review are interesting, yet I missed that part of the show.

Onward! I didn’t get a long/good read of the 2010 edition, though I remember thinking of it as crowded. Some of 2015 was crowded, other parts had plenty of space.

moffett
Donald Moffett’s Gold/Tunnel was early in the exhibition the way I went through and was the first thing that struck me. I hadn’t spent any time with his work before, and the layering of a monochromatic gold canvas and a video of water going under a stone bridge kept me interested for a while. There were a few more works of his further along in the galleries that I wouldn’t necessarily have guessed were by the same artist. (Fun to find in later research that he’s also a Texan and has the same alma mater as some family members.)

One of the works I most connected with was Glenn Ligon’s Housing in New York, a Brief History. It is framed around the circumstances that led him to and from the places he has lived, from his birth to 2007. I certainly connect with pegging life events to certain places, I still can’t visit Houston without cruising by the house I grew up in. It was interesting to connect with some of the places Ligon has lived, having recently left the Clinton Hill/Fort Greene area, where the artist spent the early 90’s, a very different time for the neighborhood. (On the very same visit that took me to PS1 for the exhibition, I was startled to find a Starbucks right next to a Chipotle, opened since I left in August of this year.) On a different side of the coin, I started working in Ligon’s current home of Tribeca during the same year the work was made. I am quite familiar with the Western Spirit store on the ground floor of his building that he mentions, and once spotted him in the nearby Starbucks.

harlem matriarch
Kevin Beasley’s Untitled/Harlem Matriarch is a striking three-dimensional work. Colorful, floral-printed house dresses cast in resin into a large, satellite-shaped disk that casts cool shadows.

Flynt-SAMO
Henry Flynt’s room full of photos of SAMO graffiti were of special interest to this Jean-Michel Basquiat fan. I’ve seen a few of the SAMO pieces smattered into exhibitions in the context of Basquiat’s work, but this was an excellent chance to get to know SAMO better, a line of photos around an entire gallery.

Mary Beth Edelman’s untitled collage (pictured at top) was one of my absolute favorite works in the exhibition. I enjoyed the idea that a seminal early feminist artist is still working on walls in PS1. It looked fantastic from far away but the detail was amazing as well, birds, sculptures, women mashed up throughout. There were other pieces of hers in the gallery, as well as a sculpture called Kali Bobbit in the big sculpture gallery on the second floor.

Bits and pieces in photo gallery + other notes:

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Juxtaposition of Ignacio Gonzales-Lang’s Kueens (2009) Ugo Rondinone’s dark lithe figure nude from 2010 was interesting, as the Gonzalez-Lang is a traditional african craft reading on a Ku Klux Klan outfit, in red.

Roy Colmer’s photos of downtown doors were another connection to old New York for me, as I’ve spent lots of time looking at doors and armitures in Soho.

Houston, Part 2: Haptics with Dr. E.

Throwing back to my visit to Houston in September. I decided to go to the ol’ hometown when I did based partly on AIGA Houston‘s Design Week. A friend works with Plus Pool and mentioned that her colleagues would be there for a talk. The +Pool panel was late in the week but I had to return to Waco for the Arts Fest that I’d been helping with. So I went for a Monday night talk with designer Lana Rigsby and neuroscientist Dr. David Eagleman. I arrived at the Rice Media Center, after a wonderful and gossip-filled dinner with a college friend, not knowing what to expect.

What I found was: Haptics, aka touch, geared toward the designing audience. I am not “a designer” the way most people there were, but I have done some graphic design and most certainly appreciate good design (aka don’t get me started on bad industrial design, especially WRT sinks in museums and restaurants). Great content, from Dr. Eagleman especially. I was a little disappointed that each person had a part and they didn’t have any conversation between them. Rigsby essentially introduced a the story of publication collaboration with Eagleman (A Communicators Guide to the Neuroscience of Touch, copies were distributed of at the end of the program) and let him have the floor. He is an engaging and handsome speaker, who clearly knows his stuff. The talk was about a month before his new PBS show about the brain premiered but if you’re watched it, you probably know what I’m talking about.

Below are some scarcely edited notes and thoughts.
Continue reading