Elizabeth Rhodes
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Delving In: The Hidden Agenda

Delving In: The Hidden Agenda
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Paul Ramírez Jonas, “Public Trust” as part of “Atlas, Plural, Monumental” at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston


This week brings in an extraordinary mix of creative events, including two performances presented by Nameless Sound, outdoor screenings of two of Sun Ra’s classic films, and a community discussion about artists’ roles and gentrification at Alabama Song.


Tuesday, May 23


Discussion — Here to There, A Call to Arms at Alabama Song

From 6 to 8 pm, Alabama Song (2521 Oakdale) presents a discussion with Teresa Silva, a writer, curator and the Director of Exhibitions & Residencies at the Chicago Artists Coalition, and Kristin Korolowicz, an independent curator and writer. The event — organized by artists Edra Soto and Gabriel Martinez, residents of the 2:2:2 Exchange initiative co-led by Project Row Houses and Chicago’s Hyde Park Art Center — will present an open discussion with the Houston community to address how artists, both directly and indirectly, impact the communities around them, specifically focusing on the complex politics of gentrification.


Wednesday, May 24



Agnes Martin, “Island No. 1,” 1960. Featured in The Menil Collection exhibition “Between Land and Sea: Artists of the Coenties Slip”

Discussion — Christina Rosenberger on Agnes Martin and Abstraction at The Menil Collection

From 7 to 8 pm, The Menil Collection (1533 Sul Ross) will host a lecture by Christina Rosenberger regarding artist Agnes Martin, the subject of her book Drawing the Line: The Early Work of Agnes Martin. Martin is one of the artists featured in the institution’s current exhibition Between Land and Sea: Artists of the Coenties Slip, which presents a group of creatives living and working during the late ’50s and early ’60s in the old seaport at the lower tip of Manhattan called the Coenties Slip. Rosenberger will examine the path of Martin’s early career, her interactions with artists like Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Indiana and Lenore Tawney, and the creative networks that formed between California, New Mexico and New York during her era.


Performance — Joe McPhee’s Survival Unit III at Studio 101 at Spring Street Studios

From 8 to 10 pm, Nameless Sound will host Survival Unit III, a performance by dynamic horn player Joe McPhee, at Studio 101 at Spring Street Studios (1824 Spring). Hailing from Poughkeepsie, McPhee is known for his use of profoundly experimental approaches in his relation to the radical movements of jazz in the ’60s. Mostly developing his career in Europe from the mid-1970s through the ’80s, this concert will mark 20 years since his inaugural performance in Houston, which was also the first concert presented by Nameless Sound founder David Dove. Tickets are $13 each or $20 for this performance as well as the Pauline Oliveros memorial on Saturday.


Thursday, May 25


Paul Ramirez Jonas_The Commons_2011_web

Paul Ramírez Jonas, “The Commons,” 2024

Gallery Tour — Atlas, Plural, Monumental with Deborah Fisher at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

From 6:30 to 7:30 pm, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (5216 Montrose) will host a gallery tour of Paul Ramírez Jonas’ survey exhibition Atlas, Plural, Monumental. Deborah Fisher, an artist, regular collaboraor with Ramírez Jonas and the founding Executive Director of A Blade of Grass, will explore how we “see experiences” in a participatory discussion of socially engaged art.


Discussion — Adela Andea and Pablo Gimenez-Zapiola at the Galveston Arts Center

Starting at 6:30 pm, the Galveston Arts Center (2127 Strand) will host talks with Houston-based artists Adela Andea and Pablo Gimenez-Zapiola as part of their 2024 lecture series. Andea will present Within the medium of light, addressing her use of light as an artistic medium and the influence of the opposing concepts of natural versus artificial. Gimenez-Zapiola’s presentation, My Way of Seeing + Merging the Analog with the Digital, will examine his work and how art can enhance life experiences of the viewer.


Saturday, May 27


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HJ Bott, “Big Alamo,” 1978

Last Chance — HJ Bott: Thick and Thin and Back Again at Anya Tish Gallery

Don’t miss your final chance to see Thick and Thin and Back Again, a solo exhibition from Houston-based artist HJ Bott. The exhibition, which celebrates Bott’s 70th year of exhibiting artwork, presents a selection of paintings from the artist’s most highly acclaimed Monochrome Series that began in the 1970s. Known for concocting his own paints to create striking metallic hues in monochromatic works, Bott has been using geometric forms as the basis for exploring adjacent or opposing forces. The gallery will be open from 10:30 am to 5 pm on Saturday.


“Public Trust” at 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. 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.


Closing Reception — United By Hand at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

From 3 to 5 pm, the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (4848 Main) will host the closing reception for United By Hand, an exhibition featuring works from Drew Cameron, Alicia Dietz, and Ehren Tool. The Memorial Day weekend event invites the public to reflect upon those who have fallen in service, and features readings from Dietz as well as poet and Vietnam War veteran David Brown. There will also be a ceremonial folding of Cameron’s “9.5 x 5: Houston Flag” and a giveaway of Tool’s unique cups.



Pauline Oliveros

Performance — Pauline Oliveros Celebration with Joe McPhee and the Nameless Sound Ensembles at MECA

From 8 to 10 pm, Nameless Sound will host a celebration and memorial for native Houstonian and distinguished composer and musician Pauline Oliveros, who passed away on November 24, 2024. The event, hosted at MECA (1900 Kane), will feature “Deep Listening Space Time Continuum,” written and performed by Joe McPhee, as well as a variety of scores from Oliveros herself, performed by the Nameless Sound Ensembles. Participating musicians include David Dove, Tom Carter, Ryan Edwards, Sonia Flores, Lisa Harris, Jason Jackson, Justin Jones, Rose Lange, Ayanna Jolivet Mccloud, Rebecca Novak, Alauna Rubin, Jawwaad Taylor, and Joe Wozny. Tickets are $13 each.


Sunday, May 28



Sun Ra

Screening — Sun Ra Sunday at Lil’ Danny Speedo’s Go Fly a Kite Lounge

From 8 until around 11 pm, join Lil’ Danny Speedo’s Go Fly a Kite Lounge (823 Dumble) for outdoor screenings of two classic Sun Ra films in honor of his belated birthday on May 22 (the event was postponed a week due to inclement weather conditions). Films include A Joyful Noise (1980) and Space is the Place (1974).