Elizabeth Rhodes
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Work in Progress: The Hidden Agenda

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Aki Neumann, “Spring 2, 2024,” 2024 (detail)


This week brings in artist talks and exhibition openings at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Project Row Houses and more, as well as the construction of a sand mandala by Tibetan monks at the Asia Society Texas Center.




The Mystical Arts of Tibet Featuring the Tibetan Monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery at Asia Society Texas Center

From August 18 to 21, Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery will return to the Asia Society Texas Center (1370 Southmore) to construct a beautifully intricate sand mandala and perform ceremonies in the Center’s Louisa Stude Sarofim Gallery. Last year’s mandala creation and ceremonies drew more than 3,300 visitors, and this year’s program will also include a special sacred music and dance performance on Saturday, August 20. Check the Center’s hours as they vary from day to day during the creation of the sand mandala, which is set to be completed on Sunday, August 21.


Thursday, August 18


Summer Studios Artist Talk at Project Row Houses

At 6 pm, visitors can join Project Row Houses (2521 Holman) to hear from the resident artists of the organization’s Summer Studios 2024 as they reflect on their experiences in the art houses and present on the installations they’ve developed, which opens Saturday, August 20.


Friday, August 19


Opening Reception — Daryl Gannon: Block Party at Samara Gallery

From 6 to 8 pm, join Samara Gallery (3911 Main) for the opening reception of Daryl Gannon’s solo exhibition, Block Party. The body of work presented is inspired by Gannon’s fascination with exploring the potential of childhood, as well as connecting with those profound moments of youthful exuberance. “There is a positive, progressive motif in the approach of a child, and an acceptance of the notion that anything could happen next, and probably will.” Gannon’s exhibition will be on view through September 2.


Opening Reception — Right Here, Right Now: Houston, Volume 2 at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

From 6:30 to 9, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (5216 Montrose) is hosting the opening reception for Right Here, Right Now: Houston, Volume 2, composed of three simultaneous solo exhibitions by Houston-based artists Amy Blakemore, Thedra Cullar-Ledford, and Susie Rosmarin. As the second edition of an ongoing series, the exhibitions are part of the museum’s Right Here, Right Now series, which celebrates the region’s vibrant creative community.


Opening Reception — Aki Neumann: Paradise at Near Northside Studios

From 7 to 11 pm, Bea Ying Projects is hosting the opening reception for San Francisco artist Aki Neumann‘s first solo exhibition, Paradise, at Near Northside Studios (1506 Lorraine). Neumann’s exhibition features a series of eight paintings in addition to sculptures and animation, all of which were created during her past year spent in Houston. Her stark yet muted paintings present surreal landscapes and interiors, “underscoring the dangerous relationship between the observer and the observed in illusions of paradise.” The exhibition will be on view through August 27.


Opening Reception — Edgar Meza: FC at Blank Check Gallery

From 8 pm to midnight, Blank Check Gallery (1834 1/2 Westheimer) is hosting the opening reception for Edgar Meza’s solo exhibition, FC. The Houston artist “revisits the theme of disappearing liberties and points to instances where Americans used violence to bring attention to government overreach.” The show’s title, FC, is a reference to the adopted moniker, Freedom Club, used by Ted Kaczynski during his terror campaign. The show, which runs through September 15, is “meant to be viewed as both a place for like minded individuals to gather and plot but also as a group show, albeit one where all the work is made by a single person.”


Saturday, August 20


In Conversation: Artist Thedra Cullar-Ledford with Bill Arning at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

Houston-based artist Thedra Cullar-Ledford and CAMH Director Bill Arning will discuss the exhibition Lady Part Follies, one part of CAMH’s three part exhibition series, Right Here, Right Now: Houston, Volume 2. Starting at 2 pm, Arning and Cullar-Ledford will discuss the artist’s art-making process, personal history, and how life and art can intertwine and transform into political expression.


Opening Reception — Summer Studios Opening at Project Row Houses

From 4 to 7 pm, join Project Row Houses and their residents for the opening reception and presentation of their installations. “Under the guidance of mentor artist Kaneem Smith and public art director Ryan N. Dennis, the residents have honed their artistic practices, discussed community engagement and developed the installations on view.” Participating 2024 residents include Amiri Boykin, Rachel Even, Devon Grigsby, Robert Riojas, Caroline Ryan and Huidi Xiang.


Opening Reception — Thedra Cullar-Ledford and Charise Isis: Cleave at Nicole Longnecker Gallery

From 5 to 8 pm, Nicole Longnecker Gallery (2625 Colquitt) presents the opening reception for Cleave, a pop-up exhibition featuring works by Thedra Cullar-Ledford and Charise Isis. The exhibition features paintings from Cullar-Ledford and large-format photographically-printed Habotai silks from Isis, with the two artists presenting highly personal works based around experiences with breast cancer. The exhibition will be on view through September 2.