Material Expressions: The Hidden Agenda
Laura Splan, “Embodied Objects,” 2023.
This week in Houston brings in a night of sound and music by female performers at Art League Houston, the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration at Rothko Chapel, and numerous exhibition openings, including those at Lawndale Art Center, Art Palace and Capsule Gallery.
Thursday, January 12
Discussion — Flow: Lettering in the Age of Hip Hop with Erik Marinovich at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
Starting at 6:30, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (5216 Montrose) and AIGA Houston present a discussion with San Fransisco-based lettering artist and designer Erik Marinovich. Marinovich poses the question, “What makes lettering and hip hop so appealing, and why are the similarities between them so uncanny?” As such, he will explore parallels between the two art forms and the effects each have on their industries and culture at large. Seating is limited so arrive early to guarantee your spot.
Opening Reception — Emily Fens: Rainbow Room at Matchbox Gallery
From 7 to 11 pm, Rice University’s Matchbox Gallery (6100 Main) will host the opening reception for Emily Fens installation Rainbow Room. The piece, inspired by nature, explores the dynamic of microscopic parts coming together to form something much larger, manifested in the many small watercolor blobs that compose rainbow gradients across the gallery space. The opening reception for the exhibition, which will be on view through February 1, will feature drinks and music from DJ Kona FM.
Friday, January 13
Performance — Hear Her Ear: Women in Sound at Art League Houston
From 6 to 7:30 pm, Art League Houston (1953 Montrose) will present the second night of sound and music performances and readings by women, organized by Ayanna Jolivet Mccloud. The night brings performances by Megan Easely, Veronica Salinas, Sonia Flores & Victor Hernandez, Anisa Boukhlif and Lisa Harris. There will also be readings of writings by Pauline Oliveros, Mahalia Jackson, Cecilia Vicuna and Maryanne Amacher, among others, between performances. The event is part of Score: Field Work, a site-specific installation by Mccloud that features visual scores and sound by women artists, writers and musicians.
Opening Receptions at Lawndale Art Center
From 6 to 8 pm, Lawndale Art Center (4912 Main) will host the opening receptions for four exhibitions including Pulltight, Texas by Glenn Downing, an installation of works inspired by the artist’s experiences in Texas; R. Eric McMaster’s video installation involving competitive dancers called A Routine in Parts; Play It as It Lays, a group exhibition curated by José Guadalupe Garza; and Irene Reece’s Mon Frère, an installation centered around the artist’s brother, who has special needs. The exhibitions will be on view through February 25.
Opening Reception — Laura Splan: Material Expressions at Capsule Gallery
From 6 to 8 pm, Capsule Gallery (3909 Main) will host the opening receptions for Laura Splan’s solo exhibition Material Expressions. Splan uses biosensors to create data driven forms and patterns for sculptures, tapestries and works on paper. “Much of her work is inspired by experimenting with materials and process including digital fabrication, medical diagnostics and textiles, which she mines for their narrative and untapped potentials.” The exhibition will be on view through February 11.
Opening Receptions — Emily Joyce: The Masks and Tomory Dodge at Inman Gallery
From 6 to 8 pm, Inman Gallery (3901 Main) will host the opening receptions for Emily Joyce’s exhibition The Masks as well as an untitled exhibition by Tomory Dodge. Joyce’s exhibition presents visual idioms and geometric abstractions that mine 20th century art history and the 16th century Italian theater form “commedia dell’arte.” Dodge’s exhibition presents oil on canvas and collage works of patterns and subtle figural suggestions within heavily abstracted surfaces. The exhibitions will be on view through March 4.
Opening Reception — Sarah Fisher: Seen and Bill Willis at Art Palace
From 6 to 8 pm, Art Palace (3913 Main) will host opening receptions for Seen, the first solo exhibition by Houston painter Sarah Fisher, as well as a series of new watercolors from Bill Willis. Fisher’s oil paintings are stark yet sentimental, unique portraits crafted through love and authenticity. Willis will also present a new set of watercolors, which are often beautifully stylized depictions of rather unceremoniously presented food items. The exhibitions will be on view through February 28.
Saturday, January 14
Cups for Y’all: A Pop-Up Sale at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
From 10 am to 5 pm, join Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (4848 Main) for a pop-up sale featuring a wide variety of cups and mugs made by celebrated ceramic artists from all over the country. In addition to pieces by more than a dozen artists, the event will also feature complimentary coffee and donuts from Morningstar.
Sunday, January 15
Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration at Rothko Chapel
Starting at 5 pm, the Rothko Chapel (3900 Yupon) is hosting an unforgettable celebration in honor of the live and work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The event kicks off with a ceremony on the plaza to welcome the return of the Broken Obelisk by Barnett Newman after a year away for conservation. Additionally, speakers will include MFAH Director Gary Tinterow and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, as well as original poems performed by Jackson Neal and Fareena Arefeen, the city’s second Youth Poet Laureate. Refreshments will be provided and the evening will end in the chapel with a talk by American commentator, journalist and novelist, Leonard Pitts, Jr.
Monday, January 16
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Audio Installations at Rothko Chapel
In honor of MLK Day, Rothko Chapel is playing a series of speeches from his life throughout the day, starting at 11 am. The event concludes with his “I Have a Dream” speech, which starts at 5 pm.