SCHOOL MAY BE OUT FOR THE SUMMER AND THE HUMIDITY INDEX IS INCREASING BY THE DAY, BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO SHUT YOURSELF INSIDE FOR THE NEXT FEW MONTHS.HOUSTON’S SUMMER ART SCENE IS HEATING UP ALONGSIDE THE TEMPERATURE.
Downtown Poetry with New Street Banners
When creative design duo ALAN KRATHAUS and FIONA MCGETTIGAN, owners of Core Design Studio, posed their idea for a new take on street- light banners to the Downtown District team, they weren’t sure what sort of reaction they’d get. But to their delight, it’s exactly what the Downtown District was hoping to add to our city’s streets in their ongoing downtown beautification project. Before Fiona and Alan knew it, the project had grown in participation and poetry to a whopping 575 banners hung from light posts in high traffic areas downtown, running the gamut from cynical to humorous, quirky to poignant.
“So many people wanted to contribute and say things about the city,”said Alan, “but only writers can bring to light the things that make our city unique.” To that end, they enlisted the editing expertise of Miah Arnold at Grackle and Grackle Literary Studio, as well as Writers in the Schools, Inprint Poetry Buskers, The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston. Layered over images of Houston in white text, each banner offers a poetic description of our fair city.
Banners are located on light posts downtown at Main Street, Theater District, Minute Maid Park, St. Joseph Medical Center and City Hall, and along Louisiana, Smith, Milam, Travis, McKinney, Lamar and Dallas Streets, among other locations.
Museum of Drawing Launches
Gallery owner APAMA MACKEY has had her hands full this spring. She has been busily working to re-open the Apama Mackey Gallery with an exhibit that focuses on the 2016 presidential election, as well as opening the Museum of Drawing’s inaugural exhibit within the gallery.
Mackey is a self-proclaimed drawing enthusiast: “I just have always adored the pure draftsmanship of drawing…To me, it’s the beginning of everything. Even the beginning of a painting is drawn, if only in the mind.” And with that enthusiasm at the forefront, Mackey set out to set up the Museum of Drawing, or MOD.
THE MOD’s opens its inaugural exhibit from the Panik Collective, curated by Los Angeles gallery director Matt Kennedy, which runs June 11– August 31. The Panik Collective is a team of credentialed painters, sculptors, musicians, mathematicians and curators dedicated to elevat- ing artwork to activism.
Meanwhile, the Apama Mackey Gallery takes on the presidential elec- tion with POLL(ITICS) 2016/THE DOCUMENTARY. The exhibit looks at the 2016 election cycle through the eyes of photographers, videogra- phers, painters and print artists, and features a wall of election memo- rabilia, from humorous to absurd.
The Museum of Drawing is located at the Apama Mackey Gallery at 628 East 11th Street, Houston, TX 77008. For more information, visit www.themod.org.
Art Everywhere in Houston
When you envision large, iconic art, like DAVID ADICKES’ We Love Houston piece off I-10 at Yale or the giant presidential heads beside I- 45, you don’t immediately think of them as moveable. But later this sum- mer, We Love Houston is headed for an as yet undetermined new loca- tion, to be replaced by two even larger sculptures.
HOUSTON’S ART SCENE HEATS UP
“If only we’d thought to buy the lot behind it!” Adickes lamented about the I-10 location. When an apartment block was built behind the much-loved sculpture, he felt the piece no longer worked in the space. “That’s just Houston. As quick as art goes up, something goes up behind it and ruins it,” Adickes quipped cheerfully. Leave it to the veteran sculptor to find a simple solution in an even larger project. He has designed a replacement – a verti- callyoriented Art Everywhere Houston sculpture to live in the I-10 location, and as an added bonus, a 34-foot tall sculpture of Charlie Chaplin to accompany it.
WHY CHARLIE CHAPLIN? “He’s one of the greatest figures in the history of cinema, but so rarely seen in the United States.” Another problem solved as he’ll now be seen by millions of commuters on the freeway each year.
James Victore Is an Interesting Man. And He’s Coming to Houston.
AIGA, the professional association for design, is bringing designer, artist, author and teacher JAMES VICTORE to Houston June 23. His bold and rebellious work can be found in MoMA’s permanent collection, as well as on the covers of Esquire, Entrepreneur, Wired and The New York Times Magazine. An international name in the design community, Victore’s “Design like you give a damn” philosophy has been inspiring designers (and anyone else with a penchant for do-gooding) for years. We caught up with James to ask him some questions, and trust us – you’ll dig it.
If you could provide your own caption for your headshot in a Houston magazine, what would you say?
I may say, ‘Howdy. I am looking for a few people who want to change the world. Care to join me?’ or possibly, ‘Don’t follow me, I’m lost too.’
What do folks in Houston need to know about your upcoming talk?
First of all, I think it’s important to let folks know that they haven’t seen anything like me – an outspoken artist and designer who fights for their creative freedom. Be prepared to take notes and write fast, because it will be a whirlwind of ideas, humor and inspiration that you can’t rewind and replay.
As a designer, what’s something you wish non-designers knew?
As a designer, I’d like other designers to stop being designers. Designers tend to think alike and even dress alike. I’d like them to work on expressing themselves, not just trying to make their boss or client happy. This field used to be called the Graphic Arts – we let go of the ‘art’ part.
Where do you think we should take you to eat when you visit Houston?
Are there any honky tonks left?
In one sentence: What’s the idea behind “Design like you give a damn?”
The idea is about caring for something outside of yourself. We should design with the main objective of changing the world – not just filling our 401ks. Take care of the important things first, and let the universe take care of you.
Thursday, June 23, 2016 | 6:30pm Check In | 7pm Lecture Begins Sundance Cinemas, 510 Texas Ave., Houston, TX 77002 $25 AIGA Members | $35 Non-members To register or for more information, visit www.houston.aiga.org/events.