Elizabeth Rhodes
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A Better Yesterday: The Hidden Agenda

A Better Yesterday: The Hidden Agenda
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JooYoung Choi, “Paracosmic Viewing Station & Pleasure Vision Transmission Receiver [Gen. 1] Red,” 2024. From the exhibition “A Better Tomorrow” at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston


This week brings in a diverse selection of arts events, including opening receptions at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and BOX 13 ArtSpace and the Extremely Shorts Film Festival at Aurora Picture Show.


Thursday, May 18



Gissette Padilla, “No Tenemos Nada,” 2024

Opening Reception — A living, breathing brand at Rudolph Blume Fine Art | Artscan Gallery

From 6 to 8 pm, Rudolph Blume Fine Art | Artscan Gallery (1836 Richmond) will host the opening reception for the group exhibition A living, breathing brand. The exhibition, which features work by Pat Barry, Megan Harrison, Hillerbrand+Magasmen, Brendan O’Connell, Gissette Padilla, Brandon Ray, and Richard T Scott, explores the dynamics of branding and pop art, capturing the essence of our national fascination with products and promotion. The exhibition will be on view through June 10.


In the Studio: Craft in Postwar America, 1950-1970 at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

On Thursday, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (1001 Bissonnet) opens In the Studio: Craft in Postwar America, 1950-1970, an exhibition of nearly 40 objects made of clay, wood, fiber and metal. Working during a time that inspired a high degree of experimentation, artists began focusing increasingly on manual craftsmanship rather than industry, resulting in the birth of a new field of studio craft that embraced sculptural form as well as function. Providing a snapshot of American craft, the objects are made by masters who established new aesthetics and methods in their respective mediums. The exhibition will be on view in the Caroline Weiss Law Building through October 8.


Friday, May 19


The Martini: A Montrose Art Party at Art League Houston

From 6 to 9 pm, join Art League Houston (1953 Montrose) for The Martini: A Montrose Art Party, an event supporting the Healing Arts Program, which provides weekly art classes to adults living with chronic illnesses and physical disabilities, including HIV/AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia. The retro-inspired event, which serves as the opening of an exhibition of artwork by the Healing Art artists, will feature music by Flash Fordon Parks, light bites and a cash bar with beer from Saint Arnold Brewing Company and martinis from Deep Eddy. Admission is free and the exhibition will be on view in the main gallery through May 27.


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Jack Early, “Magical Surprises” (detail), 2024

Opening Reception — A Better Yesterday at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

From 6:30 to 9 pm, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (5216 Montrose) will present the opening reception for the three-person exhibition A Better Yesterday. Based on the concept that individuals must radically accept past traumas as part of the life experience and build from such, JooYoung Choi, Jack Early and Lily van der Stokker present musings on alternative narratives of their pasts. Choi creates an imaginary universe that draws upon childhood experiences, Early presents a multimedia installation focusing on his family, and van der Stokker’s large-scale paintings play on fond rememberances of a melancholic past. The exhibition, presented in the museum’s Zilkha Gallery, will be on view through September 3 and features a discussion with Choi and Early along with CAMH director and exhibition curator Bill Arning on Saturday from 2 to 3:30 pm.


Extremely Shorts Film Festival 2024 at the Aurora Picture Show

Aurora Picture Show (2442 Bartlett) will host the annual Extremely Shorts Film Festival, an open-call, juried collection of new, wide-ranging short films, each lasting three minutes or less. For two decades, the event has showcased an array of new films from local, national and international artists, presenting a short format that encourages a diversity of approaches and tones. The main program, which features more than 20 new short films, includes screenings at 7 and 9 pm on Friday. On Saturday at 2 pm, Aurora will host the Extremely Young program, presenting a selection of short films by filmmakers under the age of 17. All screenings include a $10 admission fee. From 7 to 10 pm on Saturday, the festival concludes with the Extremely Shorts Celebration, a special closing night program and fundraiser celebrating the 20 year run of the festival that will feature drinks, hors d’oeuvres and a survey screening of work selected from the course of the festival’s lifespan. Admission to the reception is $50 for non-members.


Saturday, May 20


Reception — Floating World at Cindy Lisica Gallery

Cindy Lisica Gallery (4411 Montrose) will host a one-day trunk show and reception of Kimono Zulu, a creative effort led by Tina Zulu, that presents a series of redesigned and reimagined Japanese kimonos by multimedia artists and fashion designers. Creatives participating in the show include Selven O’Keef Jarmon, Katsola, Jennifer Gabiola of Dawning Soul, Royal McGee, Dandee Warhol, Mina Gaber, Soi-K, Judy Masliyah of My Flaming Heart, Elijah Coccetti, Rene Cruz, and Ann Brooks. The collection will be on view and available for purchase from 10:30 am to 5 pm with an artist reception from 6 to 8 pm.


“Public Trust” by Paul Ramírez Jonas at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

From 1 to 5 pm, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston will present “Public Trust,” an interactive artwork by Paul Ramírez Jonas as part of his exhibition Atlas, Plural, Monumental. The piece asks museum visitors to examine the value of a word by declaring a promise, the words of which are recorded in a drawing that is shared with them and posted on a marquee board alongside similar pronouncements made by notable figures from the week’s headline news.


Build-A-Zine Workshop with Sarah Welch and Zine Fest Houston at Lawndale Art Center

From 2 to 5 pm, artist Sarah Welch and Zine Fest Houston will lead a zine-making workshop at Lawndale Art Center (4912 Main) focused on worldbuilding. When conceptualizing a project, worldbuilding can be extremely helpful for novelists, poets, comic writers or anyone looking to build a narrative. The workshop will present tips for creating a distinct sense of place and create their own original zine exploring a new reality. All materials will be provided at this free workshop, but personal collage materials and drawing tools are welcome.



David Lynch. Courtesy of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Screening — David Lynch - The Art Life at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The Museum of Fine Art, Houston will host screenings of David Lynch - The Art Life, a new documentary about the legendary artist and filmmaker. The film presents an intimate journey through the early decades of Lynch’s life, from his idyllic upbringing in small-town America to his rebellious high school years in Philadelphia. The coming-of-age story follows through his time at film school in Los Angeles when he made his first feature film, Eraserhead. Screenings take place on Saturday at 7 pm and on Sunday at 5 pm.


Openings Reception — Exhibitions at BOX 13 ArtSpace 

From 7 to 9 pm, BOX 13 ArtSpace (6700 Harrisburg) will host the opening reception for three exhibitions. In the Window BOX, Tere Garcia and Victoria Paige Gonzalez present The Knots In My Stomach, an installation that breaks down how images of women are utilized in advertising. In the Downstairs Back BOX, TEN Gallery and Collective from New Orleans address the issues related to the current cultural and political climate with Praying to the Giant Orange Head. With La ciencia avanaza pero yo no, presented in the Downstairs Front BOX, Angel Lartigue explores different aspects of language and what constitutes “life and death” of the physical body. The exhibitions will be on view through July 8.



Melinda Laszczynski, “Yes, Honey,” 2024

Sunday, May 21


Sparkling Canyon Workshop with Melinda Laszczynski at Lawndale Art Center

From 1 to 3 pm, Lawndale Art Center will host an afternoon workshop with artist Melinda Laszczynski inspired by her work Sparking Canyon, currently on view as part of Temporary Havens, Lawndale’s 2024 Artist Studio Program Show. In the workshop, attendees will create their own sparkling canyon worlds using marbled paint, glitter, feathers, sequins and rhinestones. Materials will be provided at this free, all-ages event.