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The Hidden Agenda: Making It Big

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Liz Hickok, “Preternatural,” 2024 (detail) from Houston Center for Photography’s 34th Annual Juried Membership Exhibition


This week brings in an assortment of art and film events, including Houston’s LGBTQ film festival, QFest, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and Lawndale Art Center‘s annual juried exhibition, The Big Show.




QFest 2024 at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

From Thursday, July 21 through Sunday, July 24, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (1001 Bissonnet) presents screenings for the 20th annual QFest, Houston’s international LGBTQ film festival. This year includes six films examining familial bonds and connections, and selections include a tribute to Italian filmmaker Liliana Cavani, director of The Skin (La pelle), an Italian war film, and The Night Porter, which follows the story of a former concentration camp victim who encounters a previous abuser. General admission to each screening is $10 and be sure check out the full lineup of films.


Thursday, July 21


Book Signing, Screening, and Discussion: Mark Flood’s Art Fair Fever at Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston

Starting at 6 pm, you’ll have the chance to pick up a signed copy of the brand new exhibition catalogue for Mark Flood: Gratest Hits, as well as catch a screening of the artist’s film, Art Fair Fever at 6:30 pm. The film is Flood’s critical and satirical look at the contemporary art world and the cultural implications of art as a commodity. Following the screening, CAMH director Bill Arning will discuss the film and art fair politics with Stephanie Mitchell, Executive Director of Lawndale Art Center.


Friday, July 22


Opening Reception — 34th Annual Juried Membership Exhibition at Houston Center for Photography

Houston Center for Photography (1441 West Alabama) is presenting their 34th Annual Juried Membership Exhibition with an opening reception from 5:30 to 8 pm. Juror Yasufumi Nakamori, Curator of Photography and New Media at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, says of the exhibition: “The 190 submissions […] deal with a wide range of subjects, and among the 40 selected artists I found particularly strong themes of reinterpreting/revising histories, personal or collective, commentaries on environments, and materiality and technology of photography.” Nakamori will provide remarks starting at 6 pm and the exhibition will be on view through September 4.


Opening Reception — Salon Des Refusés: Work Rejected from the Lawndale Big Show at Hardy & Nance Studios

In 1863, the Paris Salon — the staple of esteemed academic art — refused two-thirds of the entries presented to them for their annual show. Uproar ensued, and as a result, Napoleon invited these ‘rejected’ artists to exhibit their works in a different part of the Palace of Industry. So became the Salon Des Refusés, and now the event exists here in Houston as a byproduct of Lawndale Art Center’s The Big Show, with an opening reception from 6 to 10 pm at Hardy & Nance Studios (902 Hardy) featuring dozens of local artists.


Opening Reception — The Big Show at Lawndale Art Center

Lawndale Art Center (4912 Main) presents The Big Show, an annual art exhibition of new works by artists practicing within a 100-mile radius of Houston. Since Lawndale chose to waive submission fees this year, more than 510 artists submitted their works. As the event is known for featuring guest curators, this year’s show was juried by Tina Kukielski, Executive Director of ART21 in New York, and Apsara DiQuinzio, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Berkeley Art Museum. The opening reception for The Big Show takes place form 6:30 to 8:30 pm and the exhibition will be on view through August 27.


Midnight Madness: The Room at River Oaks Theatre

The River Oaks Theatre (2009 West Gray) is hosting another of their popular “Midnight Madness” screenings, this time of Tommy Wiseau’s hilariously bad movie, The Room. The film, widely regarded for being one of the worst movies ever made, is sure to bring laughs with it’s atrocious performances and clichéd dialogue. Tickets are $10 and the screening starts at midnight.


Saturday, July 23


Opening Reception — New Exhibitions at BOX 13 ArtSpace

BOX 13 ArtSpace (6700 Harrisburg) is hosting the opening reception for three new exhibitions, including Incorporated Waste, featuring work by Shannon Duncan, Rachel Rushing and Marilyn Waligore; DeLuxe Candle of the Seven Stars by Stephanie Saint Sanchez; and Dreaming in Print, a window installation by AM DeBrincat. The opening reception takes place from 7 to 9 pm and the exhibitions will be on view through September 3.