Experimental printmaker Ann Johnson's work in the exhibit ''Bās: Rabéa Ballin, Ann Johnson, Delita Martin and Lovie Olivia'' comes from a series she calls Nests. A university professor, Johnson says she often sees students ''nesting,'' that is, creating emotionally private environments in public spaces (think of someone listening intently to music via headphones in the cafeteria). Johnson took photos of a few students, printed the images on feathers (we told you she was experimental) and placed those feathers into nests she crafted. Those nests will hang (from transparent wires) in the gallery at Art League Houston along with print works from fellow artists.
One student who appears in the series is Joel. ''Every now and then, you get that one student who gets it,'' Johnson tells us. ''That's Joel. He's really into his own creativity — I have to calm him down sometimes. I tell him, 'You're having a creative convulsion; just chill for a minute.' He has these long, beautiful [dreadlocks], and I took some shots of him while he did this Beyoncé-type dance.'' The result is a lighthearted image of a young man seemingly having the time of his life. ''Lighthearted'' isn’t exactly the word Johnson would use to describe the series. ''There is a little bit of playfulness, but I don't want to say it's whimsical. I don't want to say it's serious, either, because I'm not always serious,'' she says. ''I want to say it''s loud in a quiet way.'' ''Bās'' (pronounced “base”) is the third collaborative exhibit for the group.
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Through August 2. 1953 Montrose. For information, call 713-523-9530 or visit artleaguehouston.org. Free.
Mondays-Saturdays. Starts: June 28. Continues through Aug. 2, 2013