Score: Field Work
Ayanna Jolivet Mccloud

Exhibition dates: December 2, 2016 – January 15, 2017
Opening reception: 6 – 9 PM Friday, December 2, 2016
Main Gallery

Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present Score: Field Work, a site-specific installation by Houston-based artist Ayanna Jolivet Mccloud. Incorporating elements of sound, performance, writing and installation, the exhibition includes work by the artist, together with a selection of women artists, musicians, and performers, whose work question women's role in sound art, and explore the materiality of sound through a feminist perspective. Transforming the gallery into a multi-sensory environment, the works in the exhibition include an installation by the artist of reverberating bells that suspend from the ceiling in the center of the gallery, along with a series of scores and writings by women musicians and sound artists, which span across the gallery walls. Additionally, the exhibition includes a collection of sound featuring audio performances and interviews by women musicians/sound artists. During the run of the exhibition, the artist will present two nights of live performances, readings and workshops by local women artist/ musicians.


Hear Her Ear: Women in Sound
January 6, 2017
6:30 PM Friday
Art League Houston

Regina Agu
Garden Medium
Stalina Villarreal
Ayanna Jolivet Mccloud & Ruth Langston
Gee Okonkwo

Hear Her Ear: Women in Sound
January 13, 2017        

6:00 PM Friday
Art League Houston

Megan Easely
Veronica Salinas
Sonia Flores & Victor Hernandez
Anisa Boukhlif
Lisa Harris


Ayanna Jolivet Mccloud is an artist and writer based in Houston, Texas. While minimal, her work is driven by explorations in materiality, physicality, and sensation. She has participated in exhibitions throughout the Caribbean, Latin America and in the U.S. including Centro Cultural Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Brooklyn Arts Council and Chashama Project Studio in New York; and Diaspora Vibe Gallery and Art Center/ South Florida in Miami. She has participated in artist residencies in Morelia, Michoacán, México as part of Identidades; Art in Public Spaces International Encounter organized by 5célula and International Cultural Exchanges in the Bahamas and St. Maarten organized by Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator. Her creative practice takes on many forms including studio-based art, sound performances, community/ land/ site-specific installations, and writing/publications.

Ayanna Jolivet Mccloud is a recipient of an Individual Artist Grant Award. This grant is funded by the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance. Special thanks to Kenny Trull and Valspar.


Jennifer Ling Datchuk

Exhibition dates: December 2, 2016 – January 15, 2017
Opening reception: 6 – 9 PM Friday, December 2, 2016
Front Gallery                                                               

Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present Blackwork, an exhibition by San Antonio-based multi-discipline artist Jennifer Ling Datchuk whose practice incorporates ceramics, sculpture, photography and installation. The exhibition features a series of installations made using porcelain, continuing the artist’s ongoing exploration into issues surrounding identity, race, and gender. The daughter of a Chinese mother and a Russian-Irish father, Datchuk has faced the complexities of being “in-between, an imposter, neither fully Chinese nor Caucasian.” Drawing on sources from both cultures, the work in this exhibition explore the tensions between cultural appropriation and appreciation, and challenge the racial and gendered politics usually associated with hair, and themes related to labor, power, and beauty.

“Most scholars agree that blackwork embroidery originated with the Moors, but was described as “Spanish work” throughout Europe - the African history erased in the hands of white women” says the artist. “Even so, I was drawn to the innocence of embroidery, especially as a traditional pastime for young girls, so different from the pursuits expected of girls in the digital age. Globally, girls still labor to be seen as equals, find their voice, defend their choices, while being endlessly critiqued. And yet, girls are increasingly finding solidarity in younger political and cultural role models, especially those of color.”

“The painstaking, meditative aspect of embroidery reminded me of the slowness of hair growth. Across the world, women and girls grow their hair for money. Different nationalities are prized for their virtues, but the hair dealer I met in China said Chinese hair was the best for wigs because it can mimic any texture or style, and be transformed into any color. We live in a world where identity can be manufactured and appearances appropriated without concern or even awareness. I explore this conflict through my chosen media – porcelain, which nods to my Chinese heritage but also represents “pure” white – the white desire I find in both cultures. I aim to take back that fluidity and use it to explore my own identity as a woman of color—the sense of being in-between, an imposter, neither fully Chinese nor Caucasian. Blackwork, then, is an intersection of labor, innocence, girl power, and white ideals of beauty and industry.”


Jennifer Ling Datchuk is a ceramic sculptor and artist born in Warren, Ohio and raised in Brooklyn, New York.  Her mother came to this country in the early 1970s from China; her father born and raised in Ohio to Russian and Irish immigrant parents.  Beyond initial appearances, the layers of her parents’ past and present histories are extremely overwhelming and complicated – a history of conflict she has inherited and a perpetual source for her work.  She captures this conflict by exploring the emotive power of domestic objects and rituals that fix, organize, soothe and beautify our lives.  Trained in ceramics, the artist works with porcelain and other materials often associated with traditional women’s work, such as fabric, embroidery, and floral patterns, to discuss fragility, beauty, femininity, identity and personal history.

She holds an MFA in Artisanry from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and a BFA in Crafts from Kent State University. She has received grants from the Artist Foundation of San Antonio and travel grant from Artpace to research the birthplace of porcelain in Jingdezhen, China.  Recently, she was awarded a residency through the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum to conduct her studio practice at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, Germany. Awarded in 2016, a fellowship through the Black Cube Nomadic Museum, which allowed her to create a large site specific installation in Gold Hill, Colorado that explored the historical fiction surrounding the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Currently residing in San Antonio, Texas, where she maintains a studio, teaching practice and small design line of ceramic objects for the home.


Erin Stafford

Exhibition dates: December 2, 2016 – January 15, 2017
Opening reception: 6 – 9 PM Friday, December 2, 2016
Hallway Space                                                               

Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present Wanderlust, an exhibition by Dallas-based artist Erin Stafford. The exhibition features an installation of five identical View-Master stereoscopes, each revealing a uniquely layered three-dimensional photograph that the artist made using pre-existing View-Master imagery, relating to themes of travel, religion, storybook narratives and culture. Inspired by ideas of nostalgia and fantasy, the work in this exhibition proposes new ways of engaging with historical material, and expands upon the artists exploration with combining the social graces and ritualistic propriety from bygone eras with philistine sensibilities, revealing personal desires in the form of visual delight.

“By layering seemingly disconnected three-dimensional images from various View-Master reels, I have created visually uncanny effects that exposes our vulnerability in relation to perceptions of memory” says the artist. “The viewer is confronted with images that are simultaneously familiar and yet disorientating, while using an object that is infused with sentimentality. When observing these images, the mind will attempt to recall past events, filling in the gaps where information is missing, thus creating a reconstruction that is neither truth nor fiction.”

“While drawing influence from Joseph Cornell, I am interested in our ability to carve out memories from both our realities and our dreams that is often filtered by unspoken desires for the past. These tokens of remembrance will present an opportunity to escape into surreal, dream-like visions that are illuminated with layers of mystery, whimsy and absurdity. The interactive component of the work will provide an intimate viewing experience, as only one person can view the work at a time. The work will combine multiple layers of the past, confronting our memories in a way that is free of consciousness and tapping into the mysteries of dreams and desires.”


Erin Stafford's aesthetic tendencies are reflected in her studio practice as a result of her affluent upbringing in Dallas, TX where she found upper-middle class expectations full of irony and contradiction. Her influences stem from her perception of this cultural refinement, including various forms a rituals and traditions that have evolved from anachronistic forms of propriety from bygone eras. She began her art education in painting and drawing at the University of North Texas. It was here that she began to question established social conventions while surrounded by eccentric artists and jazz musicians. After receiving her MFA at the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2009, she returned to her hometown to begin her curatorial endeavors at the artist run space called Red Arrow Contemporary. While continuing her studio practice, Stafford began experimentation in diverse mediums and challenged her art-making process with sculpture and installation. Her recent exhibitions include FRESH at The Mom Gallery in Austin, TX, Biennial 600-Sculpture curated by Leigh Arnold at the Amarillo Museum of Art, Tongue-and-Groove at Lawndale Art Center in Houston, TX and Misbehaving at Kirk Hopper Fine Art in Dallas, TX.

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