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Eye Candy — May the 14th Be With You

Eye Candy — May the 14th Be With You
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Featured Image: “The Reigning Miss Magdalene” Marshall Harris (detail), via Nicole Longnecker Gallery.

Text by Megan McIlwain

This weekend gives you options with a few artist talks, openings, screenings and parties. Cross your fingers for strictly cloudy skies.




Cuban artist Alex Hernández Dueñas is showing an exhibition of paintings, glass etchings, and works on paper at Octavia Art Gallery with a reception from 5-8.

Inspired by artists like David Hockney and Richard Diebenkorn, Dueñas’ flat and softly colored compositions create a dreamlike setting in vacant places. In his new series of glass etchings, Dueñas sketches architectural images of American and Cuban golf and yacht clubs, however, they only exist as shadows when light is projected through their surface. His work investigates themes of status privilege within society through images of pristine pools, manicured lawns, and sleek homes. The idealized images symbolize aesthetic taste, expectations, and desire, reflecting the Cuban dream of Miami as a place of abundance, opportunity, and constant sunshine. This perspective exposes the decades of Cuban isolation and its citizens’ lack of awareness of the current realities of American life.




With bands, artist, and films the Generators Playground brings you a collaboration show with Senior Jukebox and Black Cassidy at Eastdown Warehouse from 6pm-2am. See what happens when both arts organizations bring together some of the most talented visual artists, vendors and musicians. Explore the local art scene with Bryan Lee, B1 art studio, Gicova Colton Canava, Cyko Marz, Sylvia F. Narvaez Blanco, Doll Partzz Asylum, Luna D. Lobos, Natalia Victoria, Richard Ortiz, Ms. Mata’s Art, Misa Minx Art, and Sherry Davis. Music from Shrey Day, Locate, Frog Hair, Lunch Break for Lyfe, Sir Mice, Dangfoo, Derek Casas, sets begin at 7pm.


BooTown’s next big Benshi show, I Don’t Wanna, You Can’t Make Me debuts at Orange Show both Friday and Saturday night. For the unaware, Benshi were Japanese performers who, during the silent film era, stood next to the side of the movie screen and relayed the story to the audience in theatrical style, speaking for the characters and such. BooTown puts their own spin on this classic form by cutting and re-editing a cult film and re-interpreting the plot. To make it even more interesting, all of the dialogue and music is performed live. The movie of choice is Hulk Hogan 90s classic, Suburban Commando. Director Lindsay Burleson is joined by a cast of voices including anime voice genius Andrew Love, local improver Ruth Hirsch, and funny-man-about-town Conner Clifton. Houston musician Joe Wozny will return to write and perform an original score for the performance. Austin Havican, BooTowns resident video wizard, will edit the movie. Head out to Orange Show Friday to catch opening band Something Fierce and Saturday with Vacation Eyes, beginning at 8pm. $15 tickets here or $20 at the door.




Head out to Houston Center for Contemporary Craft from 11-3 for Empty Bowls, a grassroots effort by artists and craftspeople in cities across the country to feed the hungry in their communities. Presented by Whole Foods Market, Empty Bowls Houston is implemented locally by Houston-area ceramists and various artists, HCCC, and Houston Food Bank. With a $25 donation you can select a bowl from hundreds of handcrafted bowls donated by local artists and have some soup (and I think some bread?) donated by Whole Foods. Plus, artist presentations throughout the day!


VBB Borderlines brings you the latest Living Room Art production, Migrations + Movement: [Un]Welcome. Led by Michelle Garcia, artist team members Diana Barrera, Eris DeBruin, and Charisse Weston will curate the apartment home of Gulfton resident Eduardo Flores (6060 Gulfton Apt. #1909 77081) to bring you a unique artistic experience that questions who is allowed to cross borders and how artists find empowerment in being “unwelcome.” From 3-6pm, the afternoon includes mixed media installations and performances by local and international artists: Karen Martinez and Gumaro Armando Silva, (Houston), Britto Arts Trust and Sadya Mizan, (Bangladesh), Manolo Lugo and Francisco-Fernando Granados, (Canada), Veer Munshi, Masooma Syed and Sebastian Varghese, (India), Claudia Espinosa aka Cerrucha, (Mexico), and Farrukh Adnan, (Pakistan). Music by DJ Lalo and refreshments donated by Whole Foods Montrose and St. Arnold’s Brewery.


Have a discussion with artist Marshall Harris about Dark Matters: and other topics for awkward dinner conversation, his current exhibition of graphite drawings and large-scale installations at Nicole Longnecker Gallery, 3pm.


Art League Houston invites you over for a screening of The Lucky Seven: Adventures of the New Saints, the exhibition by Stephanie Saint Sanchez currently on view. Inspired by the history of the Patron Saints, the exhibition playfully tells the story of seven new patron saints who have been created in response to present-day socio-political issues, and everyday living. Each Saint is honored with an elaborate altarpiece covered in candles, daily prayers, and other significant trinkets. The screening is from 3-5pm in the Main Gallery. Check out John Medina’s I Thought I Heard Music, But I Can’t See the Truck and Lovie Olivia’s DAMASK while you’re there!





Join artists of the PDM15 group exhibition Conditions for an artist talk at BLUEorange Gallery from 1-2:30. Conditions describes the wide variety of environment and starting points for each artist’s work. Such a diverse group of artists presents an equally diverse set of ideas and approaches to the photographic medium as an interdisciplinary. PDM 15 is the senior class of the UH BFA Photography/Digital Media (PDM) program. The PDM program provides an intensive studio course where the students work on conceptual art projects formed around digital and lens-based work. Each year, the students from PDM put together a group senior thesis exhibition of their work. This exhibition is organized by the students, with the assistance of faculty and provides each student with the opportunity to showcase their work from their final year of the program.


Join writer Pete Gershon for a public panel discussion featuring Lynn Randolph, Marilyn Oshman, Richard Stout, Earl Staley, Kelly Alison, and other local artists and administrators on Pow Wow: Contemporary Artists Working in Houston 1972-1985.

“In the 1970s and ‘80s, Houston emerged as a significant city for the arts, fueled by the oil boom and the arrival of several catalyzing figures including James Harithas, John Alexander, and James Surls. In 1985, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston presented Fresh Paint, a nationally-publicized survey of work by Houston artists that seemed to suggest the city was about to be recognized, along with New York and Los Angeles, as the country’s third major center for art-making activity. The mid-‘80s oil bust temporarily sapped the scene of some energy and resources, but the seeds had been sown for the vibrant community of visual art that Houstonians enjoy today.”

Sit in on the discussion from 2-4 at Glassell School of Art.


In conjunction with Sunday Streets, the East End Houston Culture District will host a ton of open studios, galleries, and theaters in one of Houston’s most interesting creative spaces. Houston Makerspace (3605 Texas) will be throwing a birthday bash at their new digs, ArtSquare Studios II (2327 Commerce) will have demonstrations of weaving, spinning and felting. Make your own Sunprint at BOX 13 (6700 Harricburg) and Screen Printing Gallery (4202 Canal) and El Rincon Social (3210 Preston) are always a good time. This is just to name a few that will have their doors open in Houston’s unique East End, full list here.





Blaffer Art Museum brings you Shane Tolbert: Fine China, the newest installment of the museum’s Window into Houston series at its satellite downtown Houston location, 110 Milam Street, with a reception from 7:30 to 9:30pm, the exhibition continues through July 29. Tolbert’s installation of three site-specific mural-length paintings marks an expansive departure from previous Window into Houston exhibitions. For the first time, the works will be displayed outside, exposed to the rain and eventual expected summer heat along the facades of three buildings including 112 Milam and the Magnolia Ballroom.