Hold on to your cowboy hats, because the lazy days of summer just got more interesting over at William Reaves | Sarah Foltz Fine Art. From this weekend through early July, the Westheimer gallery straddling Montrose and Upper Kirby will bring in live music, artist panels, book signings and Texas films (natch) to make its annual "Texas Aesthetic" hotter than a rattlesnake's bite.
Of course the art is always the biggest draw, rounding up some of our favorite artists from the Lone Star State in this annual end-of-season reunion. "The Texas Aesthetic XI: The Search for 'Texas' in Contemporary Arts and Culture" delivers on its promise to showcase the wide variety of work produced by modern-day regionalists, including David Caton, Margie Crisp, Fidencio Duran, Laura Lewis, and the ever witty William Young.
There's always something to like at these exhibits: Robert McCoy's hyper-realistic vignettes, which photographs don't do justice; Billy Hassell's vibrant explosions of flora and fauna; the lazy days of Mary Baxter's west Texas; and paintings and sculptures by Keith Davis, who always keeps it weird.
What's most amazing about the companion programming, the six Saturday Summer Soiree Series, is the value added to the provenance of these pieces. Imagine spending an afternoon in conversation with one of these artists, knowing that one of his or her works is already in your personal collection, or soon will be.
KTRU's Joey McKeel will be on hand on May 13 and June 3 and 17, delivering up some boot-scootin' curated Texas music; and the house will be likewise rockin' on June 24 with live music.
If coffee table books qualify as art, and these just might, then be sure to check out some of these Texas tomes: There's the gorgeous Of Texas Rivers & Texas Art (May 13) and the adventurous Why the Raven Calls the Canyon: Off the Grid in Big Bend Country (June 17), plus The Book as Art by East Texas legend and renaissance man Charles D. Jones (June 24).
Laura Lewis's documentary, Midnight Oil: The Making of a Texas Mural, tells the story of a West Texas artist as she researches, designs and paints a mural depicting the history of oil discovery in the Permian Basin. It was produced by Larry Ray Causey II and already has won numerous awards at film festivals; the 24-minute Texas-themed doc screens at 2:30 p.m. on May 20.
Don't miss the closing flick on July 1, which tells the story of the premiere early Texas artist Frank Reaugh, with segments from 12 interviewees including SMU's Sam Ratcliffe; artist (and student) Lucretia Donnell-Coke; historian Robert Reitz; collecting guru George Palmer and CASETA co-founder Bill Cheek.
SUMMER SOIREE SERIES:
Saturday, May 13
11 a.m. to noon, Texas artist panel, "Painting Texas Traditions Today," with Pat Gabriel, Randy Bacon and Noe Perez
1 to 2 p.m., Featured Texas book, Of Texas Rivers & Texas Art, by William Reaves and Andy Sansom
2:30 to 4 p.m., Curated Texas music, Familiar Ground: The Sounds of Western Swing
6 to 8:30 p.m., Opening reception
Saturday, May 20
11 a.m. to noon, Texas artist panel, "New Regionalism: Defining Lone Star Character in Contemporary Texas Painting," with Laura Lewis, Fidencio Duran and Jeri Salter
1 to 2 p.m., Featured Texas book, Texas Identities: Moving Beyond Myth, Memory and Fallacy in Texas History, by Light Townsend Cummins
2:30 to 4 p.m., Texas film, Midnight Oil: The Making of a Texas Mural
Saturday, June 3
11 a.m. to noon, Texas artist panel, "The Nature of Art: Painting Wild Places & Wild Things," with Margie Crisp, Bill Montgomery and Debbie Stevens
1 to 2 p.m., Featured Texas books, River of Contrasts: The Texas Colorado, by Margie Crisp; and The Nueces River: Rio Escondido, by Margie Crisp with illustrations by William Montgomery
2:30 to 4 p.m., Curated Texas music, From the Heart: Classic Country with Lone Star Imprimatur
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Saturday, June 17
11 a.m. to noon, Texas artist panel, "The Lone Star Lens: Texas Photography Today," with E. Dan Klepper, David K. Langford and Michael H. Marvins
1 to 2 p.m., Featured Texas book, Why the Raven Calls the Canyon: Off the Grid in Big Bend Country, by E. Dan Klepper
2:30 to 4 p.m., Curated Texas music, The Tejano Spirit
Saturday, June 24
11 a.m. to noon, Texas artist panel, "Print Making in Texas," with Charles D. Jones, Craig Mindell and Charles Criner
1 to 2 p.m., Featured Texas book, The Book as Art, by Charles D. Jones
2:30 to 4 p.m., Curated Texas music, Stories in Music: Charles Jones' Friends
Saturday, July 1
11 a.m. to noon, Texas artist panel, "Painting Storied Lands: From the Big Bend to the Big Thicket," with Mary Baxter, David Caton and Lee Jamison
1 to 2 p.m., Featured Texas book, From Pecos to the Rio Grande, by Ron Tyler
2:30 to 4 p.m., Texas film, Frank Reaugh: Pastel Poet of the Texas Plains
"The Texas Aesthetic XI: The Search for 'Texas' in Contemporary Arts and Culture" continues through July 31, at William Reaves | Sarah Foltz Fine Art, 2143 Westheimer, open Tuesdays to Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 713-521-7500, reavesart.com. Free.