Regine Basha Named New Artpace Director

Glasstire reports powerhouse curator Regine Basha has been appointed Executive Director of Artpace in San Antonio, beginning March 1. From 2002-2007, Basha was Adjunct Curator at Arthouse in Austin, where she oversaw the first Arthouse Texas Prize, and co-founded fluent collaborative. Some Texas Exhibitions she’s curated include the upcoming  Pfieffer at The Blanton in Austin (Fall 2012); Seedlings at The Dallas Contemporary (2010); The Marfa Sessions, Ballroom Marfa (2009); The Activist Impulse, Women & Their Work (2008); Julieta Aranda at Sala Diaz (2008). If that’s not enough, she’s a graduate of NYU and Bard, and is fluent in Spanish, French, Italian, and Hebrew.  Says Basha, “I look forward to working with such a dynamic organization as it evolves and continues to challenge the role of contemporary art while fostering creative careers and giving access to the public.”

Welcome to Amy Powell, our new Mitchell Center Curatorial Fellow at Blaffer Art Museum!

Creative Pride recently welcomed Powell to Houston and learned more about her role at UH.


The recipients of the 2012 Creative Capital grants in Film/Video are:  Cam Archer, Robert Bahar & Almudena Carracedo, Amy Belk & Matt Porterfield, Brad Butler, Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Véréna Paravel, Eric Dyer, Daniel Eisenberg, Yance Ford, Brian L. Frye & Penny Lane, Sonali Gulati, Kenneth Jacobs, Nina Menkes, Akosua Adoma Owusu, Brian Pera, Rick Prelinger, Michael Robinson, Mark Elijah Rosenberg, Norbert Shieh, Stacey Steers, Deborah Stratman, Jesse Sugarmann, Christopher Sullivan and Jake Yuzna.

The recipients of the 2012 Creative Capital grants in Visual Arts are: Janine Antoni, Raven Chacon & Nathan Young, Patty Chang, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Theaster Gates, Ken Gonzales-Day, Taraneh Hemami, Tahir Hemphill, Simone Leigh, Eric Leshinsky & Zach Moser, Phillip Andrew Lewis, Carlos Motta, My Barbarian (Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon & Alexandro Segade), The Propeller Group (Matt Lucero & Tuan Andrew Nguyen), Teri Rofkar, Paul Rucker, Connie Samaras, Lisa Sigal, Jim Skuldt, Kerry Tribe, Joan Waltemath, Women (Scott Barry & Neil Doshi) and Amy Yao.

Austin Museum of Art/Arthouse Looking for new Executive Director & CEO

Launching an exciting new chapter for the arts in Austin, the Austin Museum of Art (AMOA) and Arthouse at the Jones Center (Arthouse) merged in November 2011.  With a strong vote of confidence, both boards approved the merger along with a vision for an institution that will be a key player on the national art scene and an important reason to visit Austin.  With an annual operating budget of $3.2 million, a $15 million endowment and zero debt, combining the two organizations made both fiscal and artistic sense and has created a newly combined entity with a rich history, dedicated staff and board, strong programs, a successful school, multifaceted physical assets, and enormous potential.

Find the job description here.

Parking Lots as Public Spaces

Houston is said to have 30 parking spaces per resident.
Read the New York Times article from Sunday’s Arts and Leisure section on how our parking lots don’t have to be dead zones.

Under the Radar: 5 Questions about ‘Word Becomes Flesh’

Former long time Mitchell Center Artist in Residence, Marc Bamuthi Joseph recently spoke with the New York Times ArtsBeat about stepping back from his own work and letting others speak for him in his spoken word piece, “Word Becomes Flesh”, part of this year’s Under the Radar festival taking place through this Sunday, January 15.

Instead of performing solo as the performance was presented in 2005,  Bamuthi Joseph directs a five-man ensemble in a reimagined version of the poetry and hip-hop-inflected show about a series of letters from fathers to their unborn sons.

Dionysia Audition Notice

On Monday, January 30, and Tuesday, January 31, from 7:00pm to 10:00pm in the The Honors College Commons at the University of Houston, the Center for Creative Work,  at the University of  Houston Honors College will hold auditions for a new production of Aristophanes’ Frogs adapted by John Harvey (Director of the Center for Creative Work) and directed by Aaron LandsmanCynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts Artist in Residence.

Character parts as well as Chorus are available. Ability to play and move a plus. Diversity embraced. Questions welcomed. Performances will be April 26-May 1, 2011. Rehearsals begin in early February.

For more information contact John Harvey at

Mierle Laderman Ukeles Redux

‘Trash’ dance celebrates everyday labor as art

No rhythm in garbage delivery? Rubbish! Austin trash trucks are stars of upcoming production. Read more here.

The new year brings a new home for Classical Theatre Company, Mildred’s Umbrella Theatre Company and Stark Naked Theatre. Read about their move here.

Houston Poetry Fest’s First Friday Poetry Reading Series

Deborah “D.E.E.P” Wiggins Mouton
January 6

Deborah ”D.E.E.P” Wiggins is an internationally-known poet/vocalist/songwriter. She published her first poetry anthology, Heartstrings and Lamentations, at the age of 19. A certified teacher and the current co-coach of Houston Meta-Four youth poetry slam team and the head coach of the Houston VIPer adult national poetry slam team, she has traveled all over the continent, writing, performing, and leading workshops. In 2008, she was ranked as the number-two-best female performance poet in the world.

LOCATION: 1520 West Main, one block south of the Menil Collection, one block east of Mandell

Elizabeth Dunbars lands at DiverseWorks

Glasstire, CultureMap Houston, austin360 and 29.95 have broken the news, DiverseWorks has a new Art Czar in town.

Ai Weiwei Piles 1,200 Bikes On Top Of Each Other, For Dazzling Effect

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum hosts a large-scale exhibition of the Chinese dissident artist with his new work, Forever Bicycles.

by James Gaddy

The humble bike has inspired artists ever since Marcel Duchamp put a bicycle wheel on top of a stool in 1913–even Picasso, during the bleakest period of World War II, used a pair of handlebars and a bike saddle to whimsically conjure the skull of a bull. The artist Ai Weiwei, who was detained in a secret location for 81 days by the Chinese government last summer, continues this tradition with a new exhibition in Taiwan.

As part of what the museum bills as the first large-scale solo exhibition of the artist’s work to be held in the Chinese world, Ai Weiwei’s most recent work, Forever Bicycles, installs 1,200 bicycles–some hanging from the ceiling, some standing upright on the floor–one behind the other. The bikes have no handlebars and no seats and instead use those parts of the frame to extend upward and outward to connect to other wheels and other frames, creating the illusion of a labyrinth-like space in a three-dimensional area.

Installed at the highest point of the museum, nearly 100 feet high, the sheer quantity of bikes allows this most functional of objects to take on an abstract quality when viewed from a variety of different angles. The exhibition, entitled Absent because the artist is not allowed to travel and therefore will not be present at the show, contains 21 additional works by the artist, already famous for his Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium in Beijing. It will be on view until January 20.

James Gaddy is a writer and editor. His work has appeared in Print, Interview, New York, Details, I.D., The New York Times, and many others. Read more

The Visual Arts in 2011: Giving Thanks and a Wish List

Ben Lima’s wish for Dallas: A University Contemporary Art Museum.

In the U.S., university museums are crucial in supporting ambitious, challenging contemporary art that might be too edgy and non-commercial for more populist museums, on a grander scale than the galleries can do. Archetypal examples would be the Wexner Center at Ohio State, the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, or the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston. With the resources to publish full-scale scholarly catalogs and support multi-city tours, these institutions do a lot to set the agenda for contemporary art beyond their home towns.

Read the full article filled with thank yous and a wishlist here.


Take a Bow: A First Look at the Costumes for the Merce Cunningham Company’s Last Performance

The series of shows at the Park Avenue Armory will be the last for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and mark the end of the Legacy Tour, a journey that celebrated eighteen of the choreographer’s seminal works with more than fifty engagements across the globe. Designed by the Cunningham Dance Foundation before his death in 2009, the Legacy Tour was created as a way to preserve Cunningham’s body of work for future audiences. With the help of Robert Swinston, a company dancer and the director of choreography (he has been staging works since he began assisting the choreographer in the early nineties), the trust will continue to license Cunningham pieces to dance companies worldwide.

Read the full article in Vogue here.


Jacob’s Pillow Announces 80th Anniversary Season

January 2012 will kick off the momentous 80th Anniversary of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, a National Historic Landmark, National Medal of Arts honoree, and America’s longest-running international dance festival.

Deborah Stratman receives 2011 Harpo Foundation Grant

The Harpo Foundation is pleased to support former Mitchell Center Artist in Residence Deborah Stratman’s sculpture and sound installation, “Tactical Uses of a Belief in the Unseen (2),” which will be re-envisioned for the Images Festival.


UH Public Art Collection, Blaffer Art Museum and CLASS cordially invite you to an evening reception and holiday party to celebrate the closing of the Portable On Demand Art Project

Thursday, December 15, 2011, 5-7:00 p.m.
: Fine Arts South Lawn
Parking: For the duration of this event, visitors may park anywhere in Lot 16B

Presented by Blaffer Art Museum, the UH Public Arts Collection, and Houston Arts Alliance, the Portable On Demand Art project (P.O.D.A.) is a temporary public art exhibition featuring the work of Aerosol Warfare, BOX 13 ArtSpace, Lynne McCabe, Gabriel Martinez, Metalab, and Anthony Shumate. Each artist or collective of artists has uniquely transformed a PODS® container into a work of art.

Originally created for the May 2011 American Association of Museums (AAM) Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo™, P.O.D.A. was funded by a partnership between PODS Houston, the City of Houston, and the Houston Arts Alliance.  The P.O.D.A. project provides a non-traditional platform for artists to explore the cultural, ecological, political, scientific and socio-economic forces shaping Houston’s aspirations for the future, and showcases our city as a vibrant arts and cultural capital and museum mecca for locals and visitors alike. For the past seven months the P.O.D.A. exhibition has been on view in various locations throughout the greater Houston area. Six out of the eight projects are currently on view near the Fine Arts Building and the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston. For participating artist information and past project locations, please visit: