Visual Vernacular: Curator and Collector Christopher Higham
Visual Vernacular is not only interested in the artists behind the work but also the masterminds behind the exhibitions who bring together various categories of talent here in Houston. One of the masterminds behind a very successful group show, now in its sixth year in existence, is local collector and curator Christopher Higham. After exploring the art world for ten years, eight of those as a collector, Higham has used his eye to scoop up the best talent that is well known and those artists that perhaps have not had their turn in the spotlight. It seems that group shows thrive here in Houston when paired with other senses such as sound and taste and Higham has always had the right recipe for such an evening.
A tall stately man with a rapid wit and sharp eye has been bringing together fascinating artists for a spring group show including music, food, and libations. Five out of the six years, Higham has also collaborated with collector (distinguished artist and gentleman in his own right) Michel Muylle on these pop up evenings. This Saturday, the alliance of C & M present Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls… which includes seventeen artists of various career levels and mediums hung throughout the halls of Spring Street Studios. Transforming a studio space into a space of mini studios, visitors will be able to roam amongst the works and visit with the artists. “You come to see x but you also see y and you enjoy them just as much as x,” says Higham.
An assemblage of paintings, ceramics, glass, sculpture, works on paper, photography, and instillation art are included for this one night only event. “A few of my favorites in the show include Anders Moseholm for his brilliant use of lighting,” says Higham. “Rachel Gardner makes incredible paper mache wolves. Rahul and Anika Mitra are a father and daughter team who have never shown together and have promised some interesting collaborative pieces. I’m also happy to have Violeta Alvarez included in this show for she is one of the premier rock photographers in Houston.”
Daniel Brents, “Convergence.”
Other artists in this enticing show include internationally recognized architecture photographer and artist Joe Aker who is known for his unique captures of the sculptural and modern, momentous images for the eye. An interesting tidbit of information: His work is also a part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Daniel Brents, who has lived and worked in Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, as well as in every region of the United States, exhibits work in both painting and drawing with subjects circling the dynamics of permanence and change.
Two artist of immediate interest include painter Anders Moseholm, whose improvisations and interpretations of empty old interiors, modern life and cityscapes portray a familiar memory but with a haunting atmosphere similar to those eerie frames in suspenseful movies such as those of Hitchcock. Abidemi Olowonira embraces his birthplace of Lagos, Nigeria with its abundant history of sculptures and contemporary regenerative arts. His first artistic experiences include those in his grandmother’s tie and dye workshop whereas now she works with leather to create modern stories through shapes and space.
Ceramic artist Susan Budge will be displaying work of colorful textures tied into her ongoing inspirations of mythology, illusions and psychology. Miniature plays and scenes orchestrated in antique suitcases will be featured by mixed media artist Mark Hicks. Artist Marshall Harris extracts elements from the process of observation in his photographs and drawings, some inspired by his design work that includes exhibits for zoos and aquaria in Antwerp and Taiwan as well as for US Aquaria and Science Museums. Intensive detail and angles both power his work.
Sandra de la Rosa, “Untitled.”
Painter Sandra de la Rosa‘s creations revolve around merging structures of various surfaces from architectural models, archival images, and dilapidated structures to construct elusive and impossible realities in her work. The exploration of constructing figure reversals that both remove and replace information is at the center of oil painter and photographer Megan Spacek’s bodies of work. Fashion advertising, IKEA catalogs and Internet ads are pillars in her inspiration as she fractures them on both canvas and in frames. Other artists include Chadwick and Spector along with Deck WGF.
This event usually draws the crowd of both the seasoned veteran of art hopping along with those who are just getting their feet wet. As for the Houston arts scene, I think it is in great shape,” proclaims Higham. “For the public that isn’t attending art openings and events, they need to because it isn’t the snooty exclusive world they think it is. The scene here is actually very inclusive not exclusive. If they actually come out and experience these events, they will realize what truly awaits them.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls… takes place on Saturday, May 21 from 6 to 10 pm at Spring Street Studios (1824 Spring Street). Jo Bird and Company are also slated to perform throughout the evening and the event will feature fashions by Jose Sanchez. Drinks and bites will be provided by Karbach Brewing Co., Dripping Springs Vodka, and Ritual. The event is free, but there is a $10 suggested donation to benefit the Houston Baptist University Master of Fine Arts Scholarship Fund.