Sometimes two organizations come together in a way that seems totally bonkers but it's just crazy enough to work. Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) teamed up with the Texas Art Asylum for a Tupperware-inspired art show, which opened this past Friday night. Has TUTS gone home shopping on us? Not at all. The theater company is promoting its new one-woman show Dixie's Tupperware Party, which is about a sassy southern gal who regales the audiences with tales of her Tupperware travels and opens June 4 at the Hobby Center. Texas Art Asylum, in its new-ish home, is the perfect match for such a themed event; the place is filled with anything and everything you can imagine, Tupperware included.
The guidelines for the show were simple. Artists were to repurpose a piece of Tupperware donated by TUTS, the Texas Art Asylum or from their own junk drawer into whatever crazy design they could come up with. Ramona Brady, the co-owner of Texas Art Asylum, put a call out to artists through social media and friends and the result is 20 artists participating in the show. Some are regular names in the Houston scene as well as a few artists whose first show this is. The artists in the show are Erin Baer, Nicole Bean, Bonnie Blue, Mitch Cohen, Lacey Crawford, Adrienne Duncan, Mike Esparza, Megan Freemantle, Marsha Glickman, Robin Hanning, Khanh Ho, Jennifer McCormick, Kiki Neumann, Pat Padilla, Chasity Porter, James Scott, Brian Neal Sensabaugh, Chris Smith, Loni Sproles and Sam VanBibber.
While every piece is unique there are some commonalities between a few: Barbie. Yeah, her.
"For some reason lots of people incorporated Barbie," says Brady. "Maybe when you think of Tupperware you think of Barbie? Who knows?"
Or maybe there is a kitschy factor to it.
Scott Howard, the Design and Communication Manager of TUTS, mentioned that something they never thought of was how difficult it is to work with Tupperware. It's slick plastic, which makes it impermeable to many paints and doesn't take to adhesives easily. Some of the artists had to take a grater to the items to get them coarse enough to work with and others used an acetone mixture.
The work itself is a wide range from good to bad. I imagine it is not easy to have a Tupperware piece of art come off as mature or of a high-quality, but a few of the artists were successful. My favorite is James Scott and Brian Neal Sensabaugh's "Man Eater." The two artists created a light box fashioned out of a Tupperware bowl showing an illuminated a kitchen scene. If you really look into the silhouette you can see a woman in the kitchen readying to cook up a man's head.
Mitch Cohen and Austin Merrell's "Redneck Sukkulent Garden," turned three pieces of Tupperware into hanging planters by melting them together.
The show will be on display through June 9, and 30 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the TUTS education center.