The Big Show is Lawndale Art Center’s annual open-call, juried exhibition. It has been an important venue through which emerging and under-represented Houston area artists gain exposure since the show’s conception in 1984. The Big Show was formerly the East End Show, sponsored by the East End Progress Association, at Lawndale’s original location.

100 Creatives: Robert Shimko

Robert Shimko is assistant professor in theater history and dramaturgy at University of Houston. He has also recently been named as senior dramaturg at the Houston Shakespeare Festival. Read the 100 Creatives article by the Houston Press.

Masters of Cyberspace

The Mitchell Center is Named as Best-Designed Site by Houston Press

Clean white backgrounds and gray and red text highlight nostalgic art and a gorgeous header that looks hand-­lettered. The Mitchell Center‘s Web site is so cool it could have been designed at Bauhaus. Its simplicity isn’t skin-deep, though. The site is drop-dead easy to navigate, putting the emphasis on the performers, not on the playbill.


Ai Weiwei released

After languishing for more than two months in prison without formal charges, China’s most famous dissident artist was abruptly released on bail late Wednesday. Read about his release here.

Chinese tax authorities are seeking $2 million for his “failure to pay taxes and willfully destroying financial documents”.



The Museum of Non-Visible Art or The Emperor’s New Clothes?

James Franco’s new art project with Praxis (Brainard and Delia Carey), a conceptual art duo from New York, is called the Museum of Non-Visible Art (MONA) and is described on it’s Kickstarter campaign website as:

As an extravaganza of imagination, a museum that reminds us that we live in two worlds: the physical world of sight and the non-visible world of thought. Composed entirely of ideas, the Non-Visible Museum redefines the concept of what is real. Although the artworks themselves are not visible, the descriptions open our eyes to a parallel world built of images and words. This world is not visible, but it is real, perhaps more real than the world of matter, and it is also for sale.

Mitchell Center Fall 2011 Season Release

Proposals Accepted for labotanica’s Community-Driven Grants Program
Deadline: June 15

labotanica’s grants program offers small support for creative projects. Offered twice a year, grants are supported by ten dollar donations from the public. Grant awards vary depending on total donations contributed by the deadline.

The grants program is developed from a belief that funding should be accessible and reciprocal. labotanica funds small scale projects that have the potential to multiply and be much more. This money is seen as seed money to develop one time projects or projects that could seek more funding in the future. Works of all media and genres are considered, and applicants of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Potential projects could range from community gardens, murals, research, activism, writing, interventions, residencies, performances, and workshops, among others.

To apply, individuals must complete an application AND make a ten dollar donation online or by mail. Make donation online at: by mail at: P.O. Box 8413, Houston, Texas 77288 [apply]

About labotanica:
labotanica is a project space in Houston, Texas. key words: reciprocity, exploration, freedom, magical thinking, open-ended, flexibility, de-center, soulfulness. labotanica is part of Project Row Houses’ Residency and Incubation program.


Five Promising Artists Receive Grants From Alpert Foundation

Amongst them,  Mitchell Center Artist in Residence Marc Bamuthi Joseph.  Read the full coverage here.

Exploring the Mind Through Music

The second conference hosted by Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music — in collaboration with Rice University’s Humanities Research Center and Methodist Hospital’s Center for Performing Arts Medicine (CPAM) — Exploring the Mind Through Music is aimed at opening conversations between musicians, scientists and scholars to begin understanding their relationship.

Read about the man behind this initiative, Anthony K. Brandt and the inspiration behind it which includes David Eagleman’s recently released book, Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain, in a recent CultureMap article by Joel Luks here.

Liz Alexander Visual Art Award

In commemoration of the one-year anniversary of Liz’s passing, Houston Arts Alliance announces the inauguration of the Liz Alexander Visual Art Award, to be made possible by contributions from her former colleagues, friends and family.

The Liz Alexander Visual Art Award will be presented to an emerging, visual artist residing in Houston. A minimum of $1,000 will be made possible by private contributions (the final award size will be announced by late summer 2011).

Award money may be used for a specific artistic project, for professional development or education in the field of visual or media arts. For the award guidelines and application process click here: Guidelines

Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.

The recipient of the Liz Alexander Visual Art Award will be announced to the public in fall 2011.


Liberal Arts + Technology

Steve Jobs once identified Norio Ogha, the former president and chairman of Sony Corporation, as a great inspiration as they shared the belief that to create true technological innovation you need a mix of technology and liberal arts. Jobs and Ogha knew that by exploring and going out of your comfort zone creates the most open and curious minds. Working with people that constantly question themselves and have different perspectives and new insights allows you to go beyond the obvious, to think outside the box, if you will. Read more about the necessary intersection of technology and liberal arts here.


Thursday, June 23, 2011 | 6:30 – 7:30PM

An extension of CAMH’s long-running Slide Jam series, Video Jams explore the ideas and inspirations of a range of film/video artists in Houston’s diverse and ever-changing arts community. This event’s featured artists, Kelly Sears and BE Johnny (Bree Edwards and Johnny DeKam), will show and discuss recent film/video work, talk about their creative practices, and answer questions from the audience. Held in the Cullen Education Resource Room, lower level of the Museum.

Co-presented by CAMH and Aurora Picture Show.


Luck of the Draw

Wednesday, June 22 6:30pm

Blind Auction Artists: Jean Barber, Loli Fernández-AndradeAngela Fraleigh, Buster Graybill,Brent Green, Lisa Marie Hunter, Tierney Malone, Libbie MastersonLori NixJim Nolan, Patrick Phipps, Jon ReadHoward ShermanLillian WarrenMarina Zukow and more.

How the Blind Auction Works: Write down your bid, slide it in the art box, and cross your fingers in hopes that you have the highest bid

Luck of the Draw X! Participating Artists: Click HERE for a list.

How the Luck of the Draw Works: Luck of the Draw is just that. You buy your art chance ticket, you get your number. Numbers are called at random, and when it’s your turn, you grab your art from more than 200 outstanding selections.

Congratulations to UH Assistant Prof David Politzer

2011-2012 Lawndale Artist Studio Program

We are pleased to announce the artists selected for the sixth round (September 2011 – May 2012) of the Lawndale Artist Studio Program:

Seth Mittag
David Politzer
Anne J. Regan

The Lawndale Artist Studio Program is part of Lawndale’s ongoing commitment to support the creation of contemporary art by Gulf Coast area artists. Lawndale studio artists have full access to  studio space on Lawndale’s 3rd floor, 24 hours a day, seven days a week; access to visiting artists, writers and curators; and receive a $500 monthly stipend for the duration of the program together with an initial $1500 materials allowance. During their residency, studio artists present a workshop or presentation to the general public and the local arts community to share their practice or explore a related topic. Works produced during the program will be exhibited at Lawndale Art Center in May 2012.

Also, on view through THIS SATURDAY only, June 4, 2011.MEASURED | Hillerbrand+Magsamen, Daniel McFarlane & Anthony Thompson Shumate

Lawndale Artist Studio Program Exhibition

100 Creatives: David A. Brown

Check out David Brown, one of the Houston Press 100 Creatives.

Sometimes, Merging Isn’t So Easy

As it has become more and more difficult to sustain arts organizations, many arts leaders and boards are considering merging with other arts organizations in an effort to reduce cost and improve efficiency. In some cases, the merger between two arts organizations can be the only way both missions can be pursued long into the future. But for organizations considering mergers, there are several reasons to proceed with caution.

Read the full blog post by Michael Kaiser, President of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, here.

Walker Art Center’s 2011-12 performing arts season

View their 2011/2012 season which includes red, black and GREEN: a blues with Marc Bamuthi Joseph and Theaster Gates.


Find out who influences choreographer Meg Wolfe, who’s piece trembler.SHIFTER premieres at REDCAT June 2-5.

Down on the Bayou: AAM Attendees Visit Center for Land Use Interpretation’s Houston Field Office

2011 AAM conference attendees visited the Center for Land Use Interpretation’s Houston Field Office, located on the banks of Buffalo Bayou, earlier this week.  Check out the blog post by Rachel Hooper,  Associate Curator and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fellow at Blaffer Art Museum.