It might be difficult to maintain the shhhhhh factor when Houston Arts Alliance exhibits “Speak, An Exhibition of Lee Littlefield’s Sculptures” at Houston Public Library. “The idea is to let the art open and humanize the space,” says Matthew Lennon, HAA’s director of civic art and design. “The organic and colorful quality of Lee’s work makes doing that easy.” Little-field planted his stalky, brightly colored, tree-like structures in non-gallery spaces, perhaps most notably at the notoriously bottlenecked intersection of I-10 at 610. He passed away earlier this year, but not before his art — dubbed “pop-up” art — became a welcome touch of calm and culture amid the cars.
“Most artists talk about working, and want to work ‘out-side the box.’ Most never do,” Lennon continues. “Lee did, because he understood that working in the world was working outside the constraints and artificiality of the institutions and the market. He understood and demonstrated what it means to be an independent artist, to act on your own.” Littlefield created his pop-up art before it became a popular cliché, Lennon adds. “You know, when it was ‘guerrilla’ art. And in doing that, he brought pleasure to those of us paying attention to the world we live in.” The exhibit includes five suspended sculptures and several photographs.
10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m Fridays and Saturdays, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. Through January 18. 500 McKinney. For information, call 832-393-1313 or visit houstonartsalliance.com. Free.
Nov. 20-Jan. 18, 2013