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.

Daring Greatly on Oprah

Brene Brown and Oprah

Oprah sits down with New York Times bestselling author and nationally acclaimed speaker, Dr. Brené Brown, to discuss her latest book “Daring Greatly.”  For the past twelve years, she’s studied vulnerability, worthiness, shame and courage as a professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work.  At the 2010 TEDx Talk in Houston, she opened up about her own vulnerabilities and her quest to better understand herself.  Her story of personal discovery resonated with people beyond those in attendance, garnering more than seven million views on TED.com.

The Emmy® award-winning series “Super Soul Sunday” premieres an all-new episode ‘Oprah & Brené Brown: Daring Greatly’ on Sunday, March 17 at 11a.m. ET/PT on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

Watch a preview of the show!

Is Your Summer PLAND?

PLAND

PLAND is currently accepting applications, RSVPs, and inquiries for the 2013 Summer Residency Program, Building Program, and Special Projects. Applications are available at www.itspland.org

APPLICATIONS DUE MARCH 15 at pland.info@gmail.com

As Old Man Winter spews his icy squalls, we crave the golden summer season at PLAND. What are your plans once the snow melts?

If you are a worker, maker, thinker, or doer who brings self-awareness, experimental processes, and creativity to what you do – and PLAND sparks some ideas for you – then we encourage you to apply to and participate in our 2013 summer programs.

We believe that a place is made by living in it and so the 2013 Summer Residency Program is focused on completion of PLAND’s Main House. We invite you to help us continue building and making PLAND by proposing a project that will increase on-site livability for visitors and future residents. Residencies span two to four weeks between June and September. Teams and collaborators are encouraged to apply. Click here to learn more and to download the application.

There is no formal application process for the 2013 Building Program. Instead PLAND takes RSVPs for related events such as work parties and workshops. The 2013 Work Parties take place May 31 – June 4 and Sept 18 – 22. Contact PLAND anytime after January 20 for more information and to RSVP.

The Special Projects Program allows for projects and events that do not necessarily fit into the parameters of either the Residency or Building Programs, yet mirror the creative and innovative spirit of both. Applications to this program are primarily by invitation and often coincide with specific funding possibilities. Anyone who is interested in receiving more information may contact PLAND anytime after January 20.

Although humble, rugged, and not without its plentiful share of hardship, we offer you the opportunity to get in touch with the basics. Water, food, shelter, fire, weather, people, time, and space – all of these elements become the daily luxuries in which we invite you to indulge.

PLAND is a multidisciplinary organization that supports the development of experimental and research-based projects through a variety of on and off-site programs. Headquartered off-the-grid in Tres Piedras, New Mexico, PLAND is a hands-on, exploratory approach to Do-It-Yourself, alternative living.

MAGNITUD/E

 

A Literary Event Presented in Conjunction with the FotoFest Exhibition Crónicas

Magnitud/e is one of the major programs for FotoFest’s new original multi-media exhibition “Crónicas,” showcasing seven contemporary Mexican visual artists who are interpreting, rather than documenting, the violence of the Mexican drug war.

This bilingual poetry event features three acclaimed poets from Northern Mexico and two from the Houston area. The work of each of these poets creates a dialogue around the on-going violence in Mexico using a variety of techniques from appropriation to translation, from slam poetry to post-conceptual writing.

FEATURED POETS:
Marco Antonio Huerta (Cd. Victoria, Mexico) – Translated by John Pluecker
Lupe Méndez (Houston)
John Pluecker (Houston)
Minerva Reynosa (Monterrey, Mexico) – Translated by Stalina Villarreal
Sara Uribe (Cd. Victoria, Mexico) – Translated by John Pluecker
Magnitud/e is co-sponsored with Make.Play.Speak and John Pluecker

For more information click here.

Special support from Nuestra Palabra. This event is supported by a grant from Poets & Writers, Inc.

The Progress of Love

A Conversation with Author & IART Professor Nick Flynn

The Reenactments: A Memoir

IART professor Nick Flynn will be discussing his new book, THE REENACTMENTS—a memoir about glass flowers, memory, and the making of a movie—with David Eagleman at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston on Sunday, January 13 at 2pm.

FREE WITH MUSEUM ADMISSION

A reception and book signing in the museum galleries follow this program.

Nick Flynn and David Eagleman, two noted authors with Houston connections, come together on the occasion of Flynn’s latest book, The Reenactments: A Memoir, the story of Flynn adapting his 2004 memoir into the film Being Flynn. In the new memoir, Flynn reflects on his experience of being on the set during filming of two central events in his life: his mother’s suicide and his father’s long run of homelessness. In a lively conversation punctuated by film clips and visual references, neuroscientist Eagleman engages his friend in reflections about the intersections of life and art.

Toni Valle

Congratulations to UH faculty member Toni Leago Valle, the new general manager of Karen Stokes Dance (KSD). Valle brings 12 years of professional experience on and off the stage to KSD. As project director of Dance Source Houston for 11 years, Valle oversaw A Weekend of Texas Contemporary Dance at Miller Outdoor Theatre, the Dance Card, the Dance Source website and the Dance Table.

VOICES BREAKING BOUNDARIES Freedmen’s Town gets its due: Vibrant past of overlooked historic neighborhood being recovered

For its latest production, arts group Voices Breaking Boundaries (VBB) is hoping to shed light on Freedmen’s Town — one of the most historically dynamic (and most historically overlooked) neighborhoods in Houston.

Read the entire article on CultureMap here.

You Can’t Stop Renu Khator

The chancellor and president of the University of Houston has had a very good year.

Read the interview in Texas Monthly this month by Jake Silverstein.

Houston Press Names Mitchell Center Among 15 Best Pieces of the 2012 Texas Contemporary Art Fair

Engaging local musicians and poets to perform and read to native plants, the immersive Mitchell Center booth installation at the Texas Contemporary Art Fair this past weekend played with the framework that positions both audience and performer in the context of contemporary art.

Houston Press ranked the Mitchell Center among the 15 best pieces of the Fair, see the full list here.

“Booth: Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Performing Arts at University of Houston 
While this “exhibit” was not technically one of the pieces on display at the Fair, it could and should have been included. A man sat in a chair, surrounded by green foliage — most likely an homage to The Woodlands, the home of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion — and played off-tune notes, some long, and some short. All the while, he seemed to be quite enjoying himself. The message most likely being pushed out, through the scene, as a whole? “Check out the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Performing Arts Center at University of Houston”. Bravo, marketing whiz. Way to get the point across via art.”

RESONATE in 2012

This year, we’re excited to announce several new surprises. A new time of year, a new location, and new ideas to resonate with the world. We’ll explore the relationships between simplicity and complexity; we’ll search within and imagine without; and we’ll once again examine the full spectrum of diverse voices that resonate around us.

Resonance, at its fullest, can dramatically change reality. Fine glass sings at its resonant frequency and if the oscillations breach a threshold, resonance will shatter the vessel. This interplay between what makes us resonate and how we react, is a fascinating metaphor for the exchange of ideas especially in the multi cultural, diverse and exciting environment of our community – with so many different voices, all resonating through their cultural frequencies.

The dichotomies we will be exploring are a crucial part of the language of resonance. Every wave has two peaks which simultaneously oppose and define each other. The dynamic relationship between those two extremes and their merger and compromise, leads to movement, progress and change. The creative friction between opposites, even when they seem mutually exclusive, creates the energy required to move the system forward.

East and West, Foreground and Background, Complexity and Simplicity, Inward and Outward. All of these dualities are the essence of one underlying mechanism. This year, we have summed it up in the metaphor of Resonance.

Please help us determine how we can each contribute to the beautiful melody of our city. How can we resonate within ourselves, so that what we share resonates within others, and as one voice? Once again this year, our community will move forward towards progress and positive change. Will you join us?

Applications close Wednesday, October 10th.  Click here to apply to attend TEDx Houston on November 3rd.

Celebrating the Lawndale Art Center Artist Studio Program

Mitchell Center Fall Season 2012 on Vimeo.