Visual Arts

July Art Shows: "Impulse," Higher Ground and "Shooting the Moon"

Still from Higher Ground by Hillerbrand+Magsamen.
Still from Higher Ground by Hillerbrand+Magsamen. Film still by Hillerbrand+Magsamen

Space might be the final frontier, but it and the 50th anniversary of the Apollo lunar landing have served as inspiration for more than a few art shows this month. Texas Art Asylum is hosting "Cosmic Perspective" with celebrations of TV's Lost in Space, portraits of Neil deGrasse Tyson and Carl Sagan, and sci fi themes — but no Star Wars as "they have their own show." Over at Sawyer Yards, there's an "Out of This World" event on the second Saturday with space-themed fitness offerings, projections of the solar system in the train shed, clips of the moon landing on the Riviana Rice silos, and outer space photo opps throughout the studios.

Remember that Houston family that filmed themselves tearing up their house to build a rocket ship in their back yard, then took home the win for Higher Ground in 2015's CineSpace competition? Hillerbrand+Magsamen are back, sharing that film along with photos, objects and merch in "Higher Ground (Relics of a Mission)" at FotoFest. Over at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, curators have raided the vault for iconic space, moon and launch objects including a projection of Cassandra C. Jones's Wax and Wane video, a recreation of Buzz Aldrin's first footprint on the moon, and Ansel Adams's Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico.

If she sells seashells by the seashore, then we can seesaw through summer with the luminescent "Impulse." Powered by motion and imagination (as seen in the above video), participants will become musicians and artists via responsive sound and light along Avenida Houston.

Public art takes a different form over at Art League Houston, where more than 1,000 volunteers joined skilled artisans from sewing co-ops in South African Eastern Cape communities to create beaded tapestries for Selven O'Keef Jarmon's 360 Degrees Vanishing (360DVP) at Art League Houston. Then celebrate instant gratification when local artists create pavement art during Midtown Houston's "Chalk on the Block."

For something completely meta, check out Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson's The Visitors, shot in a single take with nine cameras filming musicians in nine different rooms as they collectively sang the poem, Feminine Ways. That opens at MFAH later in July, filling the gallery with harmonies and immersing visitors in the presentation.

Savvy collectors know to hit up Archway Gallery's annual Juried Competition, giving us a look at works by area artists whom we wouldn't normally see at the gallery. This year's juror is artist Penny Cerling who has the tough job of winnowing the entries; making our task easier of perusing the best of the best with sales supporting New Hope Housing. Then hop over to The Jung Center to view works by next-gen artists at the Kinder HSPVA group show.

If you didn't catch Gus Kopriva's concurrent shows over at Redbud Gallery, they're still up through the end of August. Years ago Kopriva asked The Menil Collection's Walter Hopps, "Who should I collect?" and his advice was the undervalued and under-appreciated female Surrealists; view select works on paper in the east gallery. Next door in the west gallery Kopriva is showing a few pieces that haven't been seen before in Houston: a diptych by Julian Schnabel, works by Ben Culwell and Amita Bhatt, and a "glistening hanging hare" by Emily Cheney.

If you're planning a road trip this summer — we've got some great recommendations for water holes and lakes — then hit up Austin's Central Library to view photos taken by Elizabeth Chiles during the drought of 2013 and then again five years later, when the Colorado River was experiencing historic flooding. Staying in town? Driving Allen Parkway between Waugh and Montrose will net a glimpse of Justin Brice Guariglia's LED "We Are the Asteroid III." And if your budget won't allow a vacation, but you want your social media feed to look like you've been chilling out in an igloo or stealing unicorn kisses, then head to Sugar Land Town Square for the hottest new pop-up experience, courtesy of SLTX Studio.

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From the series "Collection of Whispers," by Sunni Forcier, on view at Hooks-Epstein Galleries.
Photo by Hooks-Epstein Galleries

Shows Already Up or Opening the Last Week in June:

Through September 2, "Impulse," Avenida Houston, 1001 Avenida de las Americas, open daily

Through July 17, "VISIONS: A Celebration of the Creativity of The Jung Center Community," The Jung Center, 5200 Montrose

Through July 20, Daniel Heimbinder, "So It Will Be;" Bill Brown + Sabine Gruffat, "Flicker Futures;" Kasey Short, "Sustainable Lifeguard Chair Chicken Coop (SLICK);" and Tijay Mohammed, "Ubuntu: I am because we are;" Art League Houston, 1953 Montrose

Through July 21, SLTX Studio, "Sweet Sweet Summer," Sugar Land Town Square, 15958 City Walk, Sugar Land

Through August 27, Dorothea Tanning, Leonora Carrington, Louise Bourgeois, Toyen, Dora Maar, "Female Surrealists," Redbud Gallery, 303 East 11th

Through August 27, Julian Schnabel, Ben Culwell, Amita Bhatt, Emily Cheney, Corinne Jones, Barbara Biel, Crystal Murley, Celea Guevara, Ray Donley, James Surls, Carlos Canul, Ron Hoover, Randall Mosman, "MishMash," Redbud Gallery, 303 East 11th

Through August 31, Justin Brice Guariglia, "We Are the Asteroid III," with text by philosopher Timothy Morton, Professor and Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English at Rice University, Buffalo Bayou Park, Wortham Foundation Grove, Allen Parkway (between Waugh and Montrose)

Through September 1, Justin Favela, "All You Can Eat," and Tiff Massey, "A Different World," Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, 4848 Main

June 29-August 10, Angel Castelán, "Echoes," and Sunni Forcier, "Collection of Whispers," Hooks-Epstein Galleries, 2631 Colquitt (artist reception 6-8 p.m. June 29)

June 29-August 10, Bethany Johnson, "We Live on a Planet," Moody Gallery, 2815 Colquitt (artist reception 5-7 p.m. June 29 with artist talk at 5 p.m.)

June 29-30, "Beautiful Wickedness," a John Waters themed art show, Texas Art Asylum, 1719 Live Oak (4-8 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday)

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Subject #9 by Karen Navarro, on view in "Belonging in Modern Times."
Photo by Gray Contemporary
June 29-July 27, Karen Navarro, "Belonging in Modern Times," Gray Contemporary, 3508 Lake (reception 6-8 p.m. June 29)

June 29-July 27, Francis Fontaine, "The Weight of Lightness," Gray Contemporary, 3508 Lake

June 29, "Abstract Vibes" group art exhibit and open studios, JoMar Visions Studios, 5249 Langfield (3-7 p.m. Saturday)

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360 Degrees Vanishing (360DVP) by Selven O'Keef Jarmon will be unveiled June 29 at Art League Houston.
Photo by Selven O’Keef Jarmon
June 29, Selven O’Keef Jarmon, 360 Degrees Vanishing (360DVP), Art League Houston, 1953 Montrose (unveiling 6-8:30 p.m. Saturday)

June 30, Swap #7: VHS Alien Abduction Sighting, hosted by Houston VHS Swap with vendors, artists and trading at Insomnia Gallery, 708 Telephone (1-4 p.m. Sunday)

Read last month's story, June Art Shows: Nudies in the Cube, FOMO Factory and Mineko Grimmer for information about even more shows opening the last week in June:

  • "Icons of Style: A Century of Fashion Photography" at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
  • "Collection Close-Up: The Graphic Work of Dorothea Tanning" at The Menil Collection
  • "Café Arts Series featuring Jennifer Thompson" at AMSET in Beaumont
  • "Steven Evans: If I can't dance, it's not my revolution!" at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
  • Caprice Pierruci and Sydney Yeager, "Currents Beneath the Surface," at Laura Rathe Fine Art (Colquitt)

New Art Openings This July:

July 4, Ice Cream Social + Art Auction, John Palmer Art Gallery & Studio, 1218 Heights (2-4 p.m. Thursday)

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Sad Little Moon by Hydria Illustrations, on view in Thorn & Moon Magickal Market's Cirque de Magie.
Photo by Thorn and Moon Magickal Market
July 5, Thorn & Moon Magickal Market, Cirque de Magie, Avant Garden Houston, 411 Westheimer (7 p.m.-midnight Friday)

July 6-14, Bret and Rachel Harmeyer, "Microcosms," G Spot Contemporary Art Gallery, 310 East 9th (opening reception 6-8 p.m. July 6)

July 6, First Saturday Arts Market, "Art After Dark," 530 West 19th (6-10 p.m. Saturday)

July 6, Hands-On Houston: Jewelry Making, complementing Tiff Massey's "A Different World" exhibit, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, 4848 Main (11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday)

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Archway Gallery hosts the Eleventh Annual Juried Competition.
Photo by John Slaby
July 6-August 1, Eleventh Annual Juried Competition, Archway Gallery, 2305 Dunlavy (opening reception 5-8 p.m. July 6 with Juror's remarks at 6:30 p.m.; closing reception and late night pie social 7-9 p.m. July 27)

July 6, Found Object Portrait | Open Studio, inspired by "Stonewall 50" artist Chitra Ganesh, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 5216 Montrose (2-4 p.m. Saturday)

July 6, Midtown Houston, "Chalk on the Block," Elizabeth Baldwin Park, 1701 Elgin (10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday)

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Still from Higher Ground by Hillerbrand+Magsamen.
Film still by Hillerbrand+Magsamen
July 8-19, Hillerbrand+Magsamen, "Higher Ground (Relics of a Mission)," FotoFest, Winter Street Studios, 2101 Winter (artist talk and reception, 2 p.m. July 13; curatorial walkthrough, 6:30 p.m. July 18)

July 13, Recycled Mask Making | Drop-In Experience, inspired by "Stonewall 50" artist Leilah Babirye, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 5216 Montrose (1-4 p.m. Saturday)

July 13, Pop Shop Mercadito, hosted by Xaibe Boutique at Superb Studio, 3420 Rusk (5-9 p.m. Saturday)

July 13, Second Saturday, "Out of This World," Sawyer Yards: Silver Street Studios, 2000 Edwards; The Silos at Sawyer Yards, 1502 Sawyer; Winter Street Studios, 2101 Winter; Summer Street Studios, 2204 Summer (6-10 p.m. Saturday)

July 13, Second Saturday, "Out of This World," Sawyer Yards: Spring Street Studios, 1824 Spring; Sabine Street Studios, 1907 Sabine (noon-7 p.m. Saturday)

July 18, Screening of the film, 1985, in conjunction with the exhibition "Steven Evans: If I can’t dance, it’s not my revolution!," Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 5216 Montrose (6:30-8 p.m. Thursday)

July 20, Chain-making Workshop, complementing Tiff Massey's "A Different World" exhibit, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, 4848 Main (11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday)

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Untitled, from the series "Space, 2007."
© Photo by David Levinthal, courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
July 20-September 2, "Shooting the Moon: Photographs from the Museum’s Collection 50 Years after Apollo 11," Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Audrey Jones Beck Building, 5601 Main (family art-making 1 p.m. July 20; Summer Festival: Celebrating the Moon, 5 p.m. July 20)

July 20, Artists' Talk: Ambreen Butt and Beili Liu, complementing "Site Lines: Artists Working in Texas," Asia Society Texas Center, 1370 Southmore (2-3:30 p.m. Saturday)

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Still from nine-channel video, The Visitors.
© Photo by Ragnar Kjartansson; courtesy of the artist; Luhring Augustine, New York; i8 Gallery, Reykjavik; and MFAH
July 20-September 22, "Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors," Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Audrey Jones Beck Building, 5601 Main (teen workshop 1 p.m. July 26)

July 23-August 27, Kinder HSPVA group show, The Jung Center, 5200 Montrose (opening reception 5-7 p.m. July 27)

July 26, Summertime Art Show & Sale, hosted by Sawyer Yards at Spring Street Studios, 1824 Spring (5-9 p.m. Friday)

July 26, "Summer Slashers: Tribute to Horror," Insomnia Gallery, 708 Telephone Road (8 p.m.-midnight Friday)

July 27-28, "Cosmic Perspective," a 50th anniversary art show, Texas Art Asylum, 1719 Live Oak (2-8 p.m. Saturday and 2-5 p.m. Sunday)

July 31, What is Performance Art?, dialogue with artists, educators and writers, The Jung Center, 5200 Montrose (6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday)

On the Move:

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Gallery owner Nicole Longnecker.
Photo by Jack Opatrny
Gallery row's loss is east Heights' gain. After more than 100 exhibits in six years at its gallery space on Colquitt, Nicole Longnecker Gallery is heading to new digs in the ALARA Garage complex, guaranteeing that our parking woes will now be a thing of the past. For those not familiar with the venue on West 11th in the Heights/Cottage Grove district, the garage complex owned by pro racer Ara Malkhassian sells and maintains high end automobiles and hosts a variety of events throughout the year. Mark your calendar for Nicole Longnecker Gallery's opening reception on October 5 at 3233 West 11th.

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Elizabeth Chiles, On Water (no. 01).
Photo by Elizabeth Chiles

Out of Town:

July 16-August 16, Elizabeth Chiles, "On Water," Austin Public Library, Central Library, 710 West César Chávez, Austin (opening reception 7-9 p.m. July 19)
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Susie Tommaney is a contributing writer who enjoys covering the lively arts and culture scene in Houston and surrounding areas, connecting creative makers with the Houston Press readers to make every week a great one.
Contact: Susie Tommaney