It’s been 16 years since Houston last celebrated sculpture on a city-wide scale with Sculpture 2000. Volker Eisele, director at Rudolph Blume Fine Art / ArtScan Gallery, and Tommy Gregory, artist and curator at the Houston Airport System, thought it was time to do it again and began Sculpture Month Houston.
“Tommy Gregory and I were shooting the breeze,” Eisele told us by phone recently, “we said sculpture hasn’t been dealt with in any way and there are so many young talented artists that really don’t have a showcase. We should do something. You know how it goes, you say, ‘We should. We should.’ and finally we did.”
Along with Sean Rudolph and Antarctica Black, also of Rudolph Blume Fine Art / ArtScan Gallery, Eisele and Gregory began approaching galleries and art venues to gauge interest. “Everybody we asked said, ‘Of course we’ll participate.’ That took us by surprise, quite frankly.”
The organizers eventually recruited 40 venues, including commercial galleries, non-profit organizations and public spaces. Dozens of artists, from newcomers to well-established, are participating.
There are four curated group shows including “From Space to Field” at SITE Gallery Houston at The Silos at Sawyer Yards. “This is the core show,” Eisele said. “Tommy and I curated it. We have 23 artists. We wanted to show the diversity that Houston has. We wanted to show the masters, the ones who got things started here, and get them together with some of the young turks, so to speak.”
“From Space to Field” participating artists include Ed Wilson, Wei Hong, David Medina and Mari Omori.
Eisele curated “Outta Space,” the group exhibit at Rudolph Blume Fine Art / ArtScan Gallery. “I have younger artists who are rarely shown. We have a very young artist, a 19 year old, who just finished the High School for the Performing Arts, Gaison Alvizures. He’s a very interesting artist from Guatemala.”
Along with Alvizures, “Outta Space” artists include Abby Sherrill, Antarctica Black and Ken Beasley.
Tommy Gregory curated “proof through the night,” the group show at Capitol Street Gallery. “It has a little bit of a political tinge to it because it’s an election year.” Participating artist there include Benito Huerta, Joseph Havel and Felipe Contreras.
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In addition to the exhibitions, Sculpture Month Houston features several events including a tour at the oddly named Itchy Acres, a row of neighboring studios and semi-wild green spaces near the Garden Oaks area.
“Itchy Acres, it is what it says,” laughs Eisele. “You go out there and it itches because by mistake you fall in the sumac or the mosquitoes eat you. There’s Tim Glover, he has a house there. Ed Wilson and his studio is there. So are Carter Earnst, Paul Kittleson and Liza Littlefield.”
There’s also a Kick-Off Party and Opening Reception: “From Space to Field” at SITE Gallery Houston at The Silos at Sawyer Yards, a series of micro-lectures, tours and musical performances.
Times and locations vary. October 15 to November 19. For a full listing of participating venues, call 713-807-1836 or visit sculpturemonthhouston.org. Free.