Student Spotlight: Chuck Ivy

by Bree Edwards

Chuck Ivy, a 2nd year Master of Fine Arts student in the Interdisciplinary Practices & Emerging Forms (IPEF) at the School of Art, came to the University of Houston with a background in music, computer science and photography. Ivy is blazing a trail of firsts within the Arts at UH.  He is the first graduate student in the IPEF program and also the inaugural Artist in Residence at the Texas Learning & Computation Center Visualization Lab (TLC²) where he is researching 3D visualization technology for the creation of art.

Ivy describes himself a “new media, research artist”. He explains, “new media art is a moving target, each year there’s something new, and some new technology to make it. So a big part of my artistic practice is the ability to teach myself new technologies as they are needed.” While working with faculty from the School of Art last semester on sound art and interactive environments, a new format for artistic collaboration emerged. Working with Arts Professor Abinadi Meza, Ivy created an online radio station for sharing sound art; such as spoken word, field recordings, “noise” and other experimental music. This personal radio project expanded this semester, and the station he created with Professor Meza is the platform for the course ‘Collaboration Among the Arts: Transmission Arts’. This class is part of the IART curriculum offered by the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, which emphasizes interdisciplinary collaboration between students.  About the collaborative experience Ivy says, “I can work with another creative student, with different skills and interests, and what we create together has the potential for being so much more than either of us could have done individually.” Ivy’s student leadership was acknowledged by a Scholarship from the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts.

Upon graduation, Ivy would like to teach new media art at the University level, while also working with local arts organizations in Houston such as Aurora Picture Show, Houston Center for Photography, Fotofest, and Lawndale Art Center. He will present his 3D artistic research from the TLC² Artist in Residence reception on May 6 at 6:00PM in the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, Wortham Theatre lobby.


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MAP Fund Invites Letters of Inquiry for Performance Work Embodying Spirit of Exploration


Administered by Creative Capital, with support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Multi-Arts Production Fund was founded on the principle that experimentation drives human progress, no less in art than in science or medicine.

Starting on September 8, MAP  will begin accepting Letters of Inquiry from artists, ensembles, producers, and arts presenters whose work in the disciplines of contemporary performance embodies this spirit of exploration and inquiry. The fund is particularly interested in work that examines notions of cultural difference or “the other,” whether based in class, gender, generation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or another aspect of diversity. Only projects that contain a live performance will be considered.

Grants up to $45,000 will be awarded in 2014 to nonprofit arts organizations. Unincorporated artists or ensembles may apply to the fund through a fiscal sponsor. Organizations and artists must demonstrate at least two years of professional experience.

Upon review of LOIs, selected applicants will be notified during the week of November 3, 2014, and invited to submit full proposals.

See the MAP Fund website for complete program guidelines, a schedule for upcoming informational webinars (beginning August 15), and application procedures.




Seven Artists Needed for Performance at Rice University

This is an integrated dining experience and installation hosted by Rice University. Featuring artworks and concepts by Marina Zurkow as well as culinary curation and execution by Lucullan Foods, this performance will take place at the Brochstein Pavilion at Rice University on March 20, 2014. The dinner, titled Outside the Work is comprised of a conceptual tasting menu that follows the lifecycle of a petrochemical. At play are elements of video, sculpture, printed material, lecture, and integrated food service/performance. For documentation of an earlier presentation of this experience, please visit:

We are seeking seven artists to play food servers. Food service experience is a plus but not mandatory, as aspects of service will be covered in the workshop. Please be comfortable with being documented as an integral part of this event. There will be both a videographer and photographer recording aspects of this event.


We are offering a stipend of $250 to cover travel expenses and time. There will be 1-2 days of workshopping and one day of performance, and all artists must be in attendance for all three days.

We anticipate 50 guests for this experience, so each artist will be responsible for the service of 7 to 8 guests. Artists will first act as ushers of guests into the dining space. Select artists will then be asked to create vignettes at the top of the meal, while others will actively engage the guests in a ritual-type service of the first course. Once the guests are seated, there will be six courses of food and drink that the artists will facilitate.

Please respond to this posting with a brief bio and explanation of your interest. Also, please provide your availability from March 17th to March 20th. Lastly, please confirm that you can provide your own wardrobe of a black dress shirt, black pant, and black shoes. A simple photograph of you would be helpful but is not required!



Antena Encuentro

antenda shelf pic

Friday and Saturday, February 14 & 15

A weekend-long gathering (encuentro) to explore the powerful ideas of language justice and language experimentation at the heart of the Antena installation. Eleven artists—both local, national and international—were invited to contribute work to Antena @ Blaffer; these artists will present workshops, readings, performances and more over the course of the weekend. The Encuentro is designed to facilitate bilingual conversation and collaboration between Houston literary and visual arts communities and artists from elsewhere working nationally and internationally. The entire encuentro will be in English and in Spanish with live interpretation between both languages. Participating artists are Benvenuto Chavajay (Sololá, Guatemala), Jamal Cyrus (Houston), María-Elisa Heg (Houston), Autumn Knight (Houston), Sueyeun Juliette Lee (Philadelphia), Ayanna Jolivet McCloud (Houston), Nuria Montiel (Mexico City), Kaia Sand (Portland), Efraín Velasco (Oaxaca), Cecilia Vicuña (New York/Santiago), and Stalina Villarreal (Houston).

See the full schedule here.


Visiting Artist and Scholar Series: Boris Groys + Anton Ginzburg

Anton Ginzburg, from Walking the Sea, on view at Blaffer Art Museum

Visiting Artist and Scholar Series: Boris Groys + Anton Ginzburg
Thursday, February 27, 6:30pm
Dudley Recital Hall, University of Houston (adjacent to Blaffer Art Museum)

Boris Groys is Global Distinguished Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University. His lecture, “New Archeology of the Soviet Empire,” will be followed by a conversation between Groys and Blaffer exhibiting artist Anton Ginzburg.

Boris Groys is a philosopher, essayist, art critic, media theorist, and an internationally acclaimed expert on late-Soviet postmodern art and literature, as well as on the Russian avant-garde. His philosophical writing includes A Philosopher’s Diary, On the New: A Study of Cultural Economics, and The Invention of Russia, while his contributions to art theory and criticism can be found in Vanishing Point Moscow and The Art of Installation. His most recent books are Under Suspicion: A Phenomenology of the Media and Ilya Kabakov. The Man Who Flew into Space from his Apartment (Afterall/MIT Press, 2006).

The 2013 – 14 Visiting Artist and Scholar Series is supported through a Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts Program Innovations grant, funded in part by the Houston Endowment, Inc.

Raqs Media Collective in Houston: February 22, 2014

From The Great Bare Mat & Constellation, 2012. Raqs Media Collective in conversation at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

Artists’ talk: Raqs Media Collective
Saturday, February 22, 4:00pm
Freed Auditorium at the Glassell School, Museum of Fine Arts Houston. 5101 Montrose Blvd
Free Admission

Blaffer Art Museum welcomes Raqs Media Collective to Houston for a two-week residency in advance of the group exhibition Time / Image, opening September 2015.  Raqs Media Collective (Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula & Shuddhabrata Sengupta) have been variously described as artists, curators, editors and catalysts of cultural processes. Their work, which has been exhibited widely in major international spaces and events, locates them along the intersections of contemporary art, historical enquiry, philosophical speculation, research and theory – often taking the form of installations, online and offline media objects, performances and encounters. They live and work in Delhi, based at Sarai, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, an initiative they cofounded in 2000. They are members of the editorial collective of the Sarai Reader series. Founded in 1992, Raqs Media Collective have had solo exhibitions at the Chronos Art Center in Shanghai, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the Audain Gallery at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Photographers’ Gallery and Frith Street Gallery in London, Nature Morte in Berlin, and many other venues in Delhi, Toronto, Paris, Mumbai, New York, Warsaw, Brussels and London. Their work has been featured in dozens of international  group exhibitions, including the 2012 Benin Biennale, Manifesta 9, Lines of Control, The Global Contemporary: Art Worlds after 1989, the 2010 Sao Paulo Biennale, Experimental Geography, The Art of Participation: 1950 to Now, Utopia Station, How Latitudes Become Forms, and Documenta 11.

Raqs Media Collective’s residency is supported through a Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts Program Innovations grant, funded in part by the Houston Endowment, Inc.


Mitchell Center Awarded $200K Grant to Promote Understanding of Muslim Culture Through Arts

Building Bridges


The Mitchell Center is thrilled to announce that it is one of only six organizations nationally to be selected for a Building Bridges grant, funded in part by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters; Building Bridges: Campus Community Engagement Grants Program, a component of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

This two year grant will fund the Mitchell Center’s project, INTERSECTIONS, an initiative that engages four artists in residence directly with the University of Houston’s immensely diverse student population. Led by a steering committee of artists, arts leaders, UH faculty, and Mitchell Center program staff, INTERSECTONS aims to increase knowledge about Muslim societies through the arts.

Theaster Gates with the Black Monks of Mississippi

Black Monks of Mississippi

December 7, 2013 6:30 pm
Eldorado Ballroom, 2310 Elgin Street

A live performance by Theaster Gates and the Black Monks of Mississippi, an experimental music ensemble of Chicago-based vocalists and musicians founded in 2008. Directed by Gates, the music is influenced by diverse traditions, including Gospel, Blues and Buddhist and Zen chants. Featuring Yaw Agyeman on vocals, Mikel Avery on percussion, Orron Kenyetta with spoken word, and Khari Lemuel on cello. Free and open to all.

Co-presented by Blaffer Art Museum, Project Row Houses, and the Mitchell Center. Supported through the Innovation Grants  program, which is funded in part by the Houston Endowment, Inc.


Remembering George P. Mitchell

George P. Mitchell


George Mitchell, philanthropist, Texas oilman and real estate developer, passed away today at age 94. Mitchell and his late wife, Cynthia, made considerable contributions to Houston, Galveston, The Woodlands and beyond through their leadership, philanthropic generosity and passion for culture and historic preservation. George Mitchell is remembered as a Texas legend for his innovations in drilling technology and real estate development, just to name a few.

The Mitchells made one of the largest individual grants in University of Houston history– $20 million– to create the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts. Read how UH is remembering George Mitchell and his incredible legacy here.




How Rick Lowe Helped Transform Houston’s Third Ward

Project Row Houses


The Mitchell Center’s frequent collaborator, Project Row Houses, is featured in this piece by the Dallas Observer highlighting founder Rick Lowe and his role in the transformation of the Third Ward.



University of Houston’s rock star president reveals all: Top challenge, favorite restaurant and a closet secret

Renu Khator

Since arriving at the helm of the University of Houston System as chancellor and as UH president in 2008, Renu Khator has been steadily transforming the university and enhancing the school’s national image. In only four years, she has taken the University of Houston from somewhat educational obscurity to national recognition including a Carnegie Tier One ranking. Read the full CultureMap article here.


Marching Orders

Photo by Julie Soefer

Photo by Julie Soefer

UH Mitchell Center Commissions Experimental Music

Houston, get ready: A student marching band turned experimental musical cadre is poised to create free-form, funky, soulful, danceable rhythms at downtown’s Discovery Green later this month. This parade-gone-wild is the creation of world-renowned musician and composer Daniel Bernard Roumain who, as University of Houston Mitchell Center for the Arts Artist-in-Residence is deconstructing conventional modes of music-making and taking artistic freedom to the highest level…

Read the full article on En Masse in April’s A+C Houston magazine here.


Outside the Citadel, Social Practice Art Is Intended to Nurture

A town-hall meeting on racial and economic issues at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in St. Louis.

A town-hall meeting on racial and economic issues at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in St. Louis.

In Detroit a contemporary-art museum is completing a monument to an influential artist that will not feature his work but will instead provide food, haircuts, education programs and other social services to the general public.

In New York an art organization that commissions public installations has been dispatching a journalist to politically precarious places around the world where she enlists artists and activists — often one and the same — to write for a Web site that can read more like a policy journal than an art portal. And in St. Louis an art institution known primarily for its monumental Richard Serra sculpture is turning itself into a hub of social activism, recently organizing a town-hall meeting where 350 people crowded in to talk about de facto segregation, one of the city’s most intractable problems.

If none of these projects sound much like art — or the art you are used to seeing in museums — that is precisely the point.

Read the full New York Times article here.

Houston Art Car Parade

Q&A with resident artist Daniel Bernard Roumain

Daniel Bernard Roumain

The Daily Cougar sat down with artist and composer Daniel Bernard Roumain to discuss En Masse, working with the Spirit of Houston marching band, and what it means to be in residence at the Mitchell Center. Read the full interview here.