Photo by Alex Barber

In One Form or Another; Verse One

Nathaniel Donnett

Exhibition dates: December 1, 2017 – January 20, 2018

Main Gallery


Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present In One Form or Another; Verse One, an exhibition by Houston artist Nathaniel Donnett which explores the aesthetics and visual language of art embedded within the forms and structures of social protests against injustice while simultaneously looking at Black Art movements and their responses to the social movements and ideas about art of their time. Black music references, abstracted slithers of black historical neighborhoods and black vernacular architecture are departure points for the installation. The works in the exhibition include sculpture, mixed media paintings, light, sound, video projection & performance and investigate the relationships between methods of art, protests, form, acts of resistance, and social justice.

Translation: Everyday it’s been the same old mess on my block. You either struggle or you had to protest on my block Housing discriminatory practice Homeless people need a loan just to afford a mattress, to sleep on. On my block they raise ya tax rate up. The medium income wealth of whites -100k up. For Blacks, it’s only 1700- straight up. For Latinos, it’s 2000, nothing I made up. That’s not an anecdote, that’s racial wealth gap data. Gentrifying 5th Ward, ‘cause of low social strata. From the Harlem Renaissance to the Black Arts Movement represented In black visual arts and black music, performance to literary stations, Jacob Lawrence Great Migration to mass incarcerations. On my block, you see aesthetics in vernacular Architecture, Houston, Texas from West Africa. On my block, the police will come test you. 4th Ward Camp Logan, Riots at TSU. So with their protest signs, they formed a line, 3rd Ward marches on Almeda by design. On my block, Black women strike with labor unions For higher wages but not treated human. On my block, systems sustain poverty Form became protest then became policies. (Hook) My block - when everything is everything for sheezy My block - protest has form, homie believe me My block – made a lot from a little look easy, fa sheezy My block - we’ll keep speaking out and speaking freely

Nathaniel Donnett Verse One - Inspired by Houston based rapper Brad “Scarface” Jordan and the song “My Block”


Nathaniel Donnett lives and works in Houston, Texas and studied at Texas Southern University. Donnett is the founder of the website blog "Not That But This". which was funded by a 2015 Idea Fund /Andy Warhol Foundation Grant, 2017 Houston Arts Alliance Individual Artist Grant, 2015 Houston Downtown Vehicular Wayfinding Signs Project public art commission. Donnett has also received the 2014 Harpo Foundation Grant, 2011 Houston Arts Alliance Individual Artist Grant, 2011 Idea Fund/Andy Warhol Foundation Grant, 2010 Artadia Award. He’s exhibited at The American Museum, Washington, DC, The Kemper Contemporary Arts Museum, Kansas City, MO, The Theresa Hotel, Harlem, NY, Harvey B Gantt Art Center for African American Arts and Culture, Charlotte, NC, The Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury CT, The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX, Project Row Houses, Houston, TX, Texas Southern University Museum, Houston, TX, The New Museum, NY, NY, The National Museum in Lima, Peru and The Modern Museum of Peru. Nathaniel Donnett is a recipient of an Individual Artist Grant Award. This grant is funded by the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance. This exhibition is generously sponsored in part by Linda Darke and Greg Shannon. 

Photo by Alex Barber

Houston Sinfonia music for found sound

Ross Irwin & Harry Leverette

Exhibition dates: December 1, 2017 – January 20, 2018

Hallway Space


Art League Houston is excited to present Houston Sinfonia: music for found sound by Houston based artists, Ross Irwin & Harry Leverette. Houston Sinfonia is an installation of experimental music featuring six motion-activated music boxes, each of which plays a different part from the work along with a video accompaniment. The random but over-lapping playback of these parts imitates background noise as we experience it, coming to us from many directions at once. Houston Sinfonia is music made with ambient sounds from Houston, Texas. The everyday clamor of Houston’s demolition and construction, its year-round air conditioning hum, its passing trains, its own species of toad, some local TV personalities, and a band of rodeo trail riders provide starting points. Houston Sinfonia is an exploration of sounds within sounds. The process begins by extracting a few audio grains from the original recording or by “stretching” the original recording to a much longer length. These raw audio samples are then digitally processed to create musical voices. Houston Sinfonia is available as a free album for digital download:


Ross Irwin (MFA/Painting, Houston Baptist University) and Harry Leverette (MA/Literature, University of Houston) have been making experimental music together for the last twenty years. Recent work includes music for wolves, a sound design for Prey, an exhibition by Rachel Gardner at the Galveston Arts Center and Texas Art House, as well as music for Moby-Dick, three and a half hours of dark ambient opera for digital download.


The Beauty of the Black Woman

Aesha Lee

Exhibition dates: December 1, 2017 – January 20, 2018

Front Gallery


Art League Houston is excited to present The Beauty of the Black Woman, an exhibition by Houston based artist Aesha Lee addressing the diversity found in the African American woman. The series features more than twenty paintings, all 2 x 2 ft. oil on wood. The idea behind the series is to address some of the many concerns that plague the black woman, and to challenge those notions with playful titles and beautiful images. “All of my portraits have titles which reflect some of the things that black women are told on a daily basis from not just [people of] other races but within our own race, which come off as offensive even if they are not meant to be" says the artist. "Black women are ridiculed for our hair, the shape of our noses, the size of our lips, the way that we speak, and the different tones of our skin. We can be too dark or too light, our hair is too nappy or too straight, it is a lot to try to please society. I want young women of all races to look at the portraits and see beautiful women with all of their flaws, and know that they too are beautiful.” Inspired by the cohesive design layout of Instagram, Lee creates uniform images in both dimension and content. Lee’s portraits address the viewer directly, with most subjects facing completely forward. Each piece, though able to stand alone individually, when displayed together highlight the vast array of beauty surrounding a single identity.


Aesha Lee is a local, Houston based artist who obtained her Master’s degree from the University of St. Thomas and her undergraduate degree from the University of Houston. She is currently working as a Professor of Arts at Lone Star College and has shown her work at various galleries in Houston which include, but are not limited to Project Row House, Lawndale, The Community Artists Collective, P.V.U., and HCC campus. This exhibition is generously sponsored in part by Linda Darke and Greg Shannon.

2017 Texas Artist of the Year Exhibition
Texas: 1997–2017

Trenton Doyle Hancock

Exhibition dates: September 29 – November 17, 2017

*Due to roof damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, the 2017 Texas Artist of the Year exhibition Trenton Doyle Hancock: Texas: 1997-2017 was relocated to Rice Gallery space. 

ARTIST TALK: Trenton Doyle Hancock + Introduction by Joseph Havel

Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present the 2017 Texas Artist of the Year exhibition: 'Texas: 1997-2017' by Trenton Doyle Hancock, one of Texas’ most celebrated and influential contemporary artists. The exhibition focuses on work made by the artist during the past two decades in which he has lived and worked in Texas and features more than fifty works in a diverse range of media, including mixed-media, painting, drawing, sculpture and printmaking. The works in the exhibition highlight a vast cross section of materials and textures that not only trace the development of the artist’s epic narrative, but also mark the significant evolutions within the artist’s dynamic and imaginative art-making practice. The exhibition opens Friday, September 29, 2017 with a reception from 6 to 9 PM, and will remain on view through November 17, 2017. A limited edition 2017 Texas Artist of the Year exhibition catalog is available here featuring an essay by Sue Graze.

For almost two and a half decades, Trenton Doyle Hancock has been constructing his own surreally beautiful and fantastical narrative that continues to develop and inform his prolific artistic output. Part fictional, part autobiographical, Hancock’s work pulls from his own personal experience, art historical canon, comics and superheroes, pulp fiction, and myriad pop culture references, resulting in a complex amalgamation of characters and plots possessing universal concepts of light and dark, good and evil, and all the grey in between.

“Being from Texas is such an important part of my narrative” says Hancock. “I've spent most of my forty-three years in Texas, most of which I’ve spent thinking through my pencil, and making things. It was in my bedroom in Paris, Texas, as a small child that I dreamed of becoming a professional artist. I wanted to paint images for movie posters, write and draw comics, and at one point, even design my own video games. As I got older however, the one thing that never changed through all of these phases was the desire to be continuously drawing, painting images, and elaborating on my imagination.”

When reflecting upon his relationship with Texas, the artist says “I grew up hearing that everything is bigger in Texas. At the time, that saying meant nothing to me, because I had no frame of reference to compare it to. However after living in Philadelphia for several years and establishing my art career in New York, I quickly began to appreciate the space I was afforded in my formative years in Texas. I took for granted that the art scene in Texas was so varied, offering up amazing museums, cutting edge contemporary galleries, community oriented non-profits, and visionary art environments. There is a sense that art is a necessity and is part of the Texan landscape, which in itself seems like a living mythical installation. I grew up with Bible stories, horror stories, used car jingles, cicada songs, and other Texan tall tales. All of which significantly informed me as I went on to spread the word of the Mound across the world, but I always returned home to Texas, the place that gives me the space to be me. It's really great to be honored by Art League Houston for my contributions to the Texas art scene. Reciprocally speaking, it's really humbling to know that I might be considered an important component in Texas's artistic identity too.”

At the center of Hancock’s storytelling is an imaginative and epic narrative about fictional creatures called The Mounds, which populate his fantastical landscape. Half-animal and half-plant, these mythical meat-eating creatures symbolize the earth. They are "a pin cushion for all of humanity and we take all of our troubles and we place it onto this beast,” says the artist. The Mounds are often hunted and tortured by the color-blind "vegans," who are goblin-like creatures that live under the earth. Another re-occurring character includes the unheroic super hero Torpedo Boy, an alter ego that Hancock created as a child. Torpedo Boy has super human strength and tries to protect the Mounds, but his human emotions, particularly his pride, prevent him from performing his heroic duties. Additional characters that appear in the work alongside him include Junior Mound, Bringback, Baby Curt, and Shy Jerry.”

Hancock transforms traditionally formal decisions—such as his use of color, language, and pattern—into opportunities to create new characters, develop sub-plots, and convey symbolic meaning. Hancock’s works are suffused with personal mythology presented at an operatic scale, often reinterpreting Biblical stories that the artist learned as a child from his family and local church community. His exuberant and subversive narratives employ a variety of cultural tropes, ranging in tone from comic-strip superhero battles to medieval morality plays and influenced in style by Hieronymus Bosch, Max Ernst, Henry Darger, Philip Guston, and R. Crumb. The text embedded within the paintings and drawings both drives the narrative and acts as a central visual component. The resulting sprawling installations spill onto beyond the canvas edges and onto gallery walls.

As a whole, Hancock’s highly developed cast of characters act out a complex mythological battle, creating an elaborate cosmology that embodies his unique aesthetic ideals, musings on color, language, emotions and ultimately, good versus evil. Hancock’s mythology has also been translated through performance, even onto the stage in an original ballet, Cult of Color: Call to Color, commissioned by Ballet Austin (2008, 2013), and through site-specific murals for the Welcome Center at the University of Houston, TX (2015), Houston Children’s Hospital, TX (2011), Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA (2010), Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, TX (2009), and a permanent multimedia installation as part of the centennial celebrations at Hermann Park in Houston, TX (2012).

Our greatest appreciation to Rice University for their generous support. Special thanks to the lenders of the exhibition: Lisa and Charles Brown, James Cohan, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Stephanie Harmon, Leigh and Reggie Smith, Denise and Chris Stewart and Peter and Linda Zweig. Major funding for the 2017 Texas Artist of the Year catalog was provided by The Eleanor and Frank Freed Foundation. Further funding and support has been generously provided by James Cohan, New York; Hales Gallery, London; Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles; Leigh and Reggie Smith; Judy and Scott Nyquist; Houston Center of Contemporary Craft and Fotofest.


Trenton Doyle Hancock was born in 1974 in Oklahoma City, OK. Raised in Paris, Texas, Hancock earned his BFA from Texas A&M University, Commerce in 1997 and his MFA from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University, Philadelphia in 2000. During undergrad, the artist worked as a cartoonist at his school newspaper and was at the time, considering a professional career in cartoons. “If painting didn’t work out, then I wanted to do cartoons,” says Hancock. “I had a whole portfolio ready to do newspapers and things, but painting took precedence. But eventually the cartoons came back.”

Hancock was featured in the 2000 and 2002 Whitney Biennial exhibitions, at the time, becoming one of the youngest artists in history to participate in this prestigious survey. In 2014, his exhibition, Skin & Bones: 20 Years of Drawing, at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston traveled to Akron Art Museum, OH; Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; and Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, VA. His work has been the subject of one-person exhibitions at The Public Trust, Dallas TX (2016), The Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota (2015), Museum of Contemporary Art, Indianapolis, IN (2014), Columbus School of Art and Design, Columbus, OH (2013), Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, NE (2011), The University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa (2010), The Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah and Atlanta (2010), The Weatherspoon Museum, Greensboro (2010), Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle (2010), Institute for Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (2008), The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2007); and Museum

Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2007), Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (2003), to Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL (2003), Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, TX (2001) and The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (2001).

Hancock’s work is represented in museums and private collections worldwide, including: Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY, California College of Arts, San Francisco, CA, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH, The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, HI, The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York, NY, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX, Eileen Harris Norton, Santa Monica, CA, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NY, Jones Teams Sports, Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Dallas, TX, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO, Modern Art Museum of Forth Worth, Fort Worth, TX, Museo d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Trento, Italy, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, The Museum of Modern Art, NY, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA, New York Public Library, New York, NY, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA, Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, NB, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY, University of Texas at Austin Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, Wexner Center for the Arts at the Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, Wichita State University, Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita, KS, The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, United Kingdom.

Hancock’s work has also been included in a number of significant group exhibitions, including Juxtapoz x Superflat, curated by Takashi Murakami and Evan Pricco, Pivot Art + Culture, Seattle, WA (2016-17), Statements: African American Art from the Museum’s Collection, Museum of Fine Art, Houston, TX (2016), When the Stars Begin to Fall: Imagination and the American South, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY (2014), Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX (2012), The Best of Times, The Worst of Times: Rebirth and Apocalypse in Contemporary Art, Kiev International Biennale of Contemporary Art, Armory, Kiev, Ukraine (2012), Wunderkammer: A Century of Curiosities, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (2008), Darger-ism: Contemporary Artists and Henry Darger, American Folk Art Museum, New York, NY (2008), Political Nature, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2005), Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2002), Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2000).

The recipient of numerous awards including the Joan Mitchell Fellowship, Joyce Alexander Wein Award, Penny McCall Foundation Award, Artadia Foundation Award, Skowhegan Camille Hanks Cosby Fellowship and more.

Trenton Doyle Hancock lives and works in Houston.


2017 Summer High School Studio Art Intensive Exhibition

Exhibition dates: August 4–26, 2017

Front Gallery

Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present BLACKLIGHT, the 2017 Summer High School Studio Art Intensive Exhibition, an annual group exhibition by students from Art League’s High School Intensive Program. This four-week summer program is a rigorous, in-depth studio art experience for high school students, ages 14-17. Participants received six hours of coursework each day in a variety of mediums, beginning with drawing and painting and expanding to less traditional forms. 

Led by established local, national and international artists and educators, projects go beyond techniques traditionally taught in high school art classes, teaching students practical skills necessary to develop as artists. In addition to studio classes, guest speakers (practicing artists, curators, and arts administrators) met with participants throughout the program to share stories and provide insight into the art world.  Participants also visited various art spaces and cultural institutions around Houston, gaining insight into the local arts climate in Houston. Each participant received an individual portfolio session to help prepare for college and art school admissions. 

Participating High School Students: Chloe Abate, Bri Al-Bahish, Eriane Austria, William Castillo, Morgan Fisher, Emily Goll-Broyles, Chloe Gonzales, Griffin Haq, Angel Hoang, Melissa Lara, Sarah Perkison, Lillian Plumlee, Aline Rodriguez, Jacob Severo, Mina Silva, Miriam Valdez

Intensive Counselor: Saxton Fisher

Participating Teaching Artists: Johan Barrios and Victoria Robles Barrios, Lee Carrier, María-Elisa Heg, Erin Joyce, Melinda Laszcynski, Gabriel Martinez, Ayanna Jolivet McCloud, Hazel Meyer, Lovie Olivia, Henry Sanchez, Carrie Schneider, Rajab Ali Sayed, Patrick Turk, Giovanni Valderas, Sarah Welch

Visiting Artists + Presenters: Jennie Ash, Garland Fielder, Dennis Nance, Adam Neese, Meredith Nudo, Cindy Peña, Cary Reeder, Jamie Robertson, Myke Venable, Kheli Willetts

2017 Art League Instructor Exhibition

Exhibition dates: August 4–26, 2017

Hallway Space

Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present the annual 2017 ALH Instructor Exhibition, a group exhibition featuring works in sculpture, mixed-media, drawing, painting and ceramics by some of Houston’s exciting emerging and established artists who teach at the Art League School.

Participating artists: Lucinda Cobley, Ruben Coy, Sasha Dela, Garland Fielder, Clara Hoag, Jessica Kreutter, Melinda Laszczynski, Polly Liu, Steve Parker, Cary Reeder, S Rodriguez, Laura Spector, Alexander Squier, and Myke Venable


Founded in 1968, the Art League School seeks to develop Houston-area artists through its quarterly studio art classes and workshops. Each year, over 1,000 adult students of diverse backgrounds, skill levels, and ages enroll in over 100 classes and workshops annually at the Art League School. Led by professional artist instructors, classes and workshops take place in three fully equipped studio spaces where students work in painting, drawing, watercolor, printmaking, mixed media, collage, jewelry, and other media. To ensure individual attention and to accommodate varying skill levels, courses are maintained with a limited number of students. There are no prerequisites for enrollment and courses are offered at an affordable cost to allow broad access to anyone interested. Students also have access to exhibitions, lectures, public programs, and artist talks offered throughout the year to further their training as artists.

2017 Art League Student Exhibition

Exhibition dates: August 4–26, 2017

Main Gallery

Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present the annual 2017 ALH Student Exhibition, a group exhibition featuring works in jewelry, drawing, mixed-media, ceramics, print-making and painting by students who participated in classes at the Art League School during the past year.


Founded in 1968, the Art League School seeks to develop Houston-area artists through its quarterly studio art classes and workshops. Each year, over 1,000 adult students of diverse backgrounds, skill levels, and ages enroll in over 100 classes and workshops annually at the Art League School. Led by professional artist instructors, classes and workshops take place in three fully equipped studio spaces where students work in painting, drawing, watercolor, printmaking, mixed media, collage, jewelry, and other media. To ensure individual attention and to accommodate varying skill levels, courses are maintained with a limited number of students. There are no prerequisites for enrollment and courses are offered at an affordable cost to allow broad access to anyone interested. Students also have access to exhibitions, lectures, public programs, and artist talks offered throughout the year to further their training as artists.

Suspended Memory

Shane Allbritton & Peter Bernick-Allbritton

Exhibition dates: June 9 – July 22, 2017

Main Gallery  


Art League Houston is excited to present Suspended Memory by Houston artists Shane Allbritton & Peter Bernick-Allbritton. The exhibition includes a series of installations which explore the ephemeral nature of memory, and continue the artist’s fascination with the dynamic process of how memories are stored and retrieved in the brain as encoded fragments. This series of works refers to the process of recollection and the premise that lost memory traces remain intact although hidden from one’s conscious mind. Suspended Memory is an extension of the artist’s previous body of work, and is inspired by personal experiences and inaccessible memories. Ambiguity is cultivated leaving an impression through interpreting, borrowing, and reconstructing an illusory array of code-like patterns across temporal landscapes. Translation by fragmented imagery, texture and transparent material flex and intermix with one another to present a visual poetry that recalls spatial networks or brain scans. These bits of distorted photography coalesce through time-lapse techniques to represent the passage of time, rendering them unrecognizable yet familiar.

“The fact that recalling our memories changes them means that they are relatively unstable” says artist Shane Allbritton. “This phenomenon is referenced through imagined, neurological patterns cut into fragile materials and soaked in water, reflecting a robust record-keeping capacity that is also elusive and delicate. Given that our concept of the past is fallible, each passing moment renewed, and forgotten experiences buried, our transient reality remains suspended in time.”


Shane Allbritton is a mixed media artist with twenty years of extensive work designing interpretive spaces for numerous museums, bridging the disciplines of visual communication, art, and experience design. Co-founder of public art studio RE:site, located in Houston, Tx, her collaborative work spans a range from comprehensive environmental graphics to art installations, including large scale murals, media design, suspended sculpture and painting. Her personal work applies manipulated digital imagery of layered compositions to reflect a dichotomy that drifts between ambiguous and distinct visuals. It is this threshold of uncertainty that Shane explores through technology and traditional media.

Working with diverse mediums, Peter Bernick-Allbritton utilizes re-appropriated industrial materials to found objects and shadow play. The transformative nature of re-contextualizing found objects and materials is of particular interest. He expresses a gesture of conversion with hands-on methodologies to modify materials while preserving their inherent qualities. Peter’s structures are often minimal yet organic, focusing on various permutations of a singular gesture as a canvas for Shane’s multi-layered work. Their collaborations produce a rhythm that shifts between elaborate configurations to visual and structural restraint, harmonizing an overarching expression.

Speak of the Devil

Edward Kelley

Exhibition dates: June 9 – July 22, 2017

Front Gallery

Art League Houston is excited to present Speak of the Devil by Iowa-based artist Edward Kelley. The exhibition features an interactive installation of over 250 surveillance cameras installed throughout the gallery, playfully addressing the invasive qualities of CCTV surveillance, as well as its acceptance in our everyday lives. For this exhibition, a third of the surveillance cameras will be motion activated, responding to viewers as they move around the gallery, while a few will be capturing surveillance-style photographs of individuals or groups. The photographs will be printed out on a printer installed in the gallery, where viewers will be invited to either destroy the photo using a paper shredder, install it on the gallery walls, or take it away with them.

“Systematic surveillance has become such a routine and inescapable part of our everyday culture, that we have become accustomed to its presence” says the artist. “The exhibition playfully highlights this growing presence through an immersive installation that explores the complexity and variability of our own understanding and engagement regarding surveillance technology, while also highlighting the ethical issues relating to personal privacy”.

This exhibition is generously sponsored in part by Nicole Longnecker Gallery.


Edward Kelley received a BA from the College of Charleston, Charleston, SC and a MFA in Sculpture from Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY.  Recent exhibitions include DEMO Projects, Manifest Gallery, and The Anderson gallery at Drake University. In September, Edward presented at the International Sculpture Center Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. He has led cast iron workshops as a visiting artist at various institutions including The Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis TN and the State University of New York Oswego.

In 2014, Edward spearheaded and curated the first “Art on Dart” exhibition, turning a Des Moines Area Rapid Transit bus into a mobile fine art gallery for a two-month period.  He is a recipient of a Des Moines Area Public Art Foundation funding grant for his work with Des Moines Area Rapid Transit.  Edward is a faculty member and studio technician in the Department of Art and Design at Drake University.


Benjamin Terry

Exhibition dates: June 9–July 22, 2017

Hallway Space  


Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present Thingness by Dallas-based artist and curator Benjamin Terry. The exhibition features a dynamic installation of wall and floor-based paintings and sculptural works that embrace a highly developed sense of form, color, line, and texture, combined with a child-like aesthetic, reflecting the artist’s fascination with the boundaries and transitions between memory, imagination, and reality. “Ultimately, the work is about editing and displaying” says the artist. “It is a reflection of my environment: a constant study of how paintings and objects interact and engage viewers.”


Benjamin Terry lives and works in Denton, TX. He received a BFA in Drawing and Painting in 2010 and an MFA in Drawing and Painting in 2013, from the University of North Texas. He has exhibited work in numerous solo and group shows in Atlanta, Charleston, Dallas and Houston. He most recently exhibited work at Site131 in Dallas. Terry was featured in volume 96 of New American Paintings: West Issue. He has received both the Clare Hart Degoyler and the Arch and Anne Giles Kimbrough awards from the Dallas Museum of Art, and an artist grant from the Greater Denton Arts Council. He currently teaches Drawing and Painting at the University of North Texas and Tarrant County College.


Exhibition dates: May 19–27, 2017

Main Gallery

Art League Houston is excited to present the Annual Healing Art Program Exhibition, a group exhibition curated by Houston artist Patrick Turk featuring work in a variety of mediums by artists in the Healing Art Program. Originally founded by Houston artist Patrick Palmer in 1990, the program provides weekly art classes for adults living with HIV/AIDS. In 1995, Art League expanded the program to include art classes for adults living with other severe illnesses including cancer, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and physical disabilities. This exhibition is presented in conjunction with The Martini, A Montrose Art Party benefiting the Healing Art Program. Artwork in the exhibition is available for purchase and a portion of the proceeds will help ensure the continuation of this vital program.

Comos Nos Expresamos

How We Express Ourselves

Exhibition Dates: May 19 - 27, 2017

Front Gallery

Art League Houston and Writers in the Schools (WITS) are pleased to present an exhibition of artwork and writing by over one hundred 2nd and 3rd graders at Wharton Dual Language K-8 Academy who have been in Art League Houston's Artbound! and WITS residency programs.

The Martini, A Montrose Art Party

Silent Auction

Exhibition Dates: May 19 - 27, 2017

Hallway Space

Art League Houston is excited to present a Silent Auction in conjunction with The Martini, A Montrose Art Party benefiting the Healing Art Program featuring work by Kelly Alison, Brittney Anele, Catherine Colangelo, John Forse, Gao Hang, Blake Jones, Nina Marinick, Abidemi Olowonira, Patrick Michael Palmer, Patrick Renner, S Rodriguez, Julie De Vries, Claire Webb, Sarah Welch, Mary Beth Woiccak and Dick Wray (Courtesy of Lauri Wray). 

The Space Between Grief and Morning

Prince Varughese Thomas

Exhibition dates: March 24 – May 6, 2017

Main Gallery     


Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present The Space Between Grief and Morning by Houston-based artist Prince Varughese Thomas. The exhibition features an interdisciplinary series of work that metaphorically explores the process of grief and mourning in private and public contexts.  Through a combination of drawing, video and photography, the artist draws on art historical, political and personal references about death, as it relates to personal and communal loss. Not only do the works in this exhibition captivatingly explore the transition of life from physical to spiritual planes, they also carefully reframe the distinct moments that express painful loss in global terms, directly speaking to the contemporary state of the world. The exhibition includes an original sound composition by Houston Composer Joel Love, and original choral composition by Composer Nick Rissman.

Thomas’s personal experience of loss provides a thematic and emotional touchstone for this exhibition. “In 2014, I lost my father,” says the artist. “I had been his primary care-giver for over ten years, having moved him and my mother to live with me in Houston.  During this time, I had taken care of every aspect of my father’s daily needs while witnessing the slow process of aging, disease, and its effects on the body”. This body of work  takes this very personal experience of loss and translates it to a larger audience by exploring grief and mourning in its various forms.

The cyclical nature of life, and the transition from physical to spiritual planes are concepts explored in the exhibition by Resurrection, a single channel video incorporating 3D audio. The video integrates the sound of the artist’s father’s heartbeat with video of blood pumping through his body.  The moon, a significant element within the video, has a rich tradition in many cultural histories as a referent for death and metaphorically acts as the vessel for this work.   

The exhibition also features Ancestors, a series of photographs inspired by four generations of funeral photos from the artist’s family’s archives. The photographs reference photography’s historical tradition with documenting death, while metaphorically speaking about communal and personal loss.  The moon is a recurring element within these images, referencing the mythological associations with death throughout cultures.

Mourners, a 2 channel video incorporating Stereo and 3D audio explores the artist’s fascination with the role of professional mourners.  This practice is not unusual in many African and Asian countries when there are few family members to actually grieve for the deceased, but is now surfacing more in Western Societies. The video features a group of actors performing as mourners for a fictitious death, alongside a group of vocalists who perform an original choral composition which musically reinterprets people grieving by Composer Nick Rissman. The piece creates a dialog between the two group’s interpretations on being mourners while metaphorically speaking to our contemporary times.

Additionally, the exhibition features The Space Between Grief and Morning, a series of high contrast minimal charcoal drawings inspired by various tragic events that have occurred around the world that speak to our contemporary times.  Murder, violence, migration, terrorism, and environmental tragedies are a few examples of the events that sparked the creation of these drawings, which pull from press photographs documenting the pain, suffering, and grieving of family members of these various events that have occurred globally.  From these original press photos, the artist distilled, fragmented, and restructured the distinct moments that express painful loss in global terms and directly speaks to the contemporary state of the world.  The title of each drawing reflects the specific location and date of a particular event that the drawing is referencing.

This exhibition is generously sponsored in part by Jereann Chaney, 3DIO, The Smither - Langley - Johnson Families, Picture Plus, Linda Shearer, Kenny Trull with Valspar Paint and Clint Willour. Special thanks to the Station Museum of Contemporary Art.


Prince Varughese Thomas is an artist who is part of what has come to be known as the Indian Diaspora. “Being Indian by birth, born in Kuwait, naturalized in the US, and raised primarily between India and the United States, I have felt outside the dominant culture in which I exist. This sense of being the 'Other' has influenced how I view the world, approach my conceptual concerns, and create art.  With an educational background and degrees in both Psychology and Art, I investigate and deconstruct complex sociopolitical issues from the interstices in personally expressive ways that humanize my subjects while incorporating a variety of photographic, video, and installation techniques into my artwork. My work has been characterized as poetic moments captured in chaotic worlds”.

A winner of the Time-Based Media in Art Prize 7 and a Texas Biennial Artist, Thomas has been invited to be a visiting artist, lecturer, panel discussant, and workshop instructor at numerous institutions including Ashkal Alwan Beirut, Lebanon; Indiana University; Memphis College of Art; the Light Factory, and the Queens Museum.  Thomas’ work has been exhibited in over 150 solo and group exhibitions at numerous museums, galleries, and alternative spaces.  His work is represented in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Thomas received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Arlington, and M.F.A. from the University of Houston. He is currently a Professor of Art at Lamar University.

How Do I Say Her Name?

Organized by Ann Johnson

ARTISTS: Regina Agu, Rabéa Ballin, Ann Johnson, Lauren Kelley, Autumn Knight, Rosine Kouman, Lovie Olivia, Kaneem Smith, and Monica Villarreal

Exhibition dates: March 24 – May 6, 2017

Front Gallery  


Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present How Do I Say Her Name? a group exhibition organized by Houston-based multidisciplinary artist Ann Johnson. The exhibition features a selection of multidisciplinary work by nine women artists of color; Regina Agu, Rabéa Ballin, Ann Johnson, Lauren Kelley, Rosine Kouamen, Autumn Knight, Lovie Olivia, Kaneem Smith, and Monica Villarreal. The works in this exhibition are made in direct response to the countless number of women, specifically women of color who have been victims of violence but whose stories have been erased from the larger demonstrations and narratives surrounding state violence and the demand for a broader vision of social justice.

“JULY 2015 changed me. For the first time in twenty-six years I was nervous about driving into Waller County. During the thirty minute commute to Prairie View from my house I was constantly telling myself don’t forget to use your blinker when you exit University Drive. You see that was what reportedly happened to Sandra Bland.  She was pulled over and three days later was found dead in a Waller County jail” - Ann Johnson

Recently there has been much attention paid to the #blacklivesmatter movement in the form of protests, marches and riots. The largest forms of protest and activism have been in response to the deaths of black males. But what about the women like Rekia Boyd, and Reneisha McBride? What about the mothers of Tamir Rice and Trayvon Martin? Or a mother being arrested for defending her child that was assaulted by a grown man? How many more news stories will we watch of little brown girls being slammed to the ground by law enforcement?  So many women are on the front lines of the protests, but rarely are the large protests and marches about women who have suffered the same fate as men with similar circumstances.

How Do I Say Her Name? features a dynamic group of women artists who creatively respond to these issues, as it relates to women of color. Throughout the course of the exhibition, there will be performances and a panel discussion addressing issues related to the #sayhername movement.

This exhibition is generously sponsored in part by Hooks-Epstein Galleries, Anita and Gerald Smith, Marci Regan Dallas, Minnette Boesel, Linda Darke and Kenny Trull with Valspar Paint.



Ann 'Sole Sister' Johnson is an artist who paints portraits with her feet.  Yes her feet!  Born in London, England and raised in Cheyenne, WY, Ann is a graduate of Prairie View A&M University in Texas, (where she now teaches) and received a BS in Home Economics.   She has also received an MA in Humanities from the University of Houston-Clear Lake, as well as an MFA from The Academy of Art University, in San Francisco with a concentration in printmaking. In 2010 she received the Teaching Excellence Award at Prairie View A&M University, and was awarded Art teacher of the year in the School of Architecture. In 2011 she received the distinguished Presidents Faculty of the Year award. Primarily a mixed media artist, Johnson’s passion for exploring issues particularly in the Black community has led her to create series’ of works that are evocative and engaging such as The Hoop Dreamin Collection. This is a series of decorative basketball goals that explores the social issue of a Hoop Dream. The series,   It Is The Not Knowing That Burns My Soul, is an investigation of exploratory mixed media works that examine the “Black Indian. The latter was included in an exhibition and catalog for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian titled: Indivisible. She has been invited to teach at Tougaloo Art Colony in Jackson, MS in 2009, 2011 and 2015.  Ann's work has been exhibited nationally in solo, group and juried exhibitions. She was a Prize winner in Houston’s “The Big Show” in 2004, and was the Mixed Media winner in the Carroll Harris Simms National Black Art Competition in 2007. Johnson was also included in the Texas Biennial in 2013. Most recently Johnson has focused on experimental printmaking, and in 2015 she was acknowledged as an “Artist to Watch” in the International Review of African American Art. Her series Converse: Real Talk has been exhibited at Women and Their Work in Austin, TX, Deborah Colton Gallery in Houston, TX and The Community Art Center in Syracuse, NY.  She has exhibited at The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, TX, The Museum of Printing History, Houston, TX, Women and Their Work Gallery, Austin, TX, Project Row Houses, Houston, TX, Tisdale Beach Institute, Savannah, GA, Charles H. Wright Museum, Flint, MI, The Apex Museum in Atlanta, GA, The 2016 Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, PA, and The California African American Art Museum in Los Angeles, CA. Johnson has published several articles for School Arts magazine (Davis), and has written and designed a number of books including: I’ll Fly Away (Solefolio Press), Bās (Solefolio Press), Paper & Ink (blurb), ROUX (Solefolio Press), Craft$ For The No Budget Art Teacher (Solefolio Press), Unapologetic and STIR (Solefolio Press).   Ann 'Sole Sister' Johnson aspires to leave a legacy of challenging and thought provoking work that will entice the viewer and inspire younger artists.  Johnson is represented by Hooks Epstein Gallery in Houston, TX.


Regina Agu is an artist and writer based in Houston, TX. Agu is a 2016-2017 Open Sessions participant at the Drawing Center in NYC. She is the co-director of Alabama Song, which received a 2016 SEED grant from the Rauschenberg Foundation. Agu’s work has been included in exhibitions, public readings and performances at multiple venues nationally. Agu’s published experimental texts include ON |OFF (onestar press, Paris, France via Book Machine, Houston), Visible Unseen (Nyx, a nocturnal, Goldsmiths, University of London), and Index, With and for: “Black Mo'nin',” by Fred Moten (Book Club Book, Future Plan and Program). 


Rabéa Ballin moved to Houston to pursue her MFA in drawing and painting at the University of Houston in 2003. She earned her BFA in Fine Art from McNeese State University. During her years at McNeese she returned to Germany to reconnect to her birthplace and attend the Goethe Institute, subsequently studying Art History in Rome and Florence, Italy. 

Currently a professor of fine arts, Rabéa is living and working in Houston’s historical Third Ward community and exhibiting nationally. She continues to explore personal narratives as it relates to her multi-cultural upbringing and her deep connection to hair politics through printmaking, drawing and photography.


Lauren Kelley is a 2015 Creative Capital Award winner and a 2011 Louis Comfort Tiffany Award recipient. Currently, Kelley serves as Associate Director, Curatorial Programs at the Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art and Storytelling in Harlem, New York. She has been a resident of the Skowhegan School, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Glassell School's Core Program and the Studio Museum in Harlem. This year the artist is also a resident at the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation's Studio Program. Her work has been exhibited in such venues as the New Museum, Spelman College Museum of Fine Arts, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., and the Contemporary Art Museum Houston. Reviews of her work have appeared in The Huffington Post, New York Times, The New Yorker, Art:21 Blog, Art in America, ArtLies, Houston Chronicle and Houston Press.


Rosine Kouamen is a visual artist based in Houston, TX who works with numerous media, including photography, sculpture, installation, fabrics, and more, to create a dynamic body of work. Her artistic practice endeavors to capture the transformation of humanity through visual narratives. She is concerned with global issues affecting gender, urbanism, the African identity and how they all work to affect the our visual experiences. Kouamen was born in Douala, Cameroon and immigrated to the United States as a teenager. Her work is very influenced by her

experiences an immigrant and as a global citizen. She is a graduate of Washington and Lee University (BA, ’05), the San Francisco Art Institute (BFA, ‘09) and the University of Houston (MFA, ’12). She participated in the first residency at Rice University's Emergency Room and also participated in the Jackman Goldwasser Residency at the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago. She has exhibited at Texas Southern University Museum, Project Row Houses, Art League Houston, Lawndale Art Center, Texas Contemporary Art Fair (ARTADIA finalist ’12), Main Street Project, DiverseWorks, Art Place, Blaffer Museum, Lone Star Studios, Blue Star Lab In San Antonio and the Swell Gallery in San Francisco.


Autumn Knight is an interdisciplinary artist working with performance, installation and text. Her performance work has been in group exhibitions at various institutions including DiverseWorks Artspace, Art League Houston, Project Row Houses, Blaffer Art Museum, Crystal Bridges Museum, Skowhegan Space (NY), The New Museum, The Contemporary Art Museum Houston, and Krannart Art Museum (IL). Knight has been in residence with with In-Situ (UK), Galveston Artist Residency, YICA (Yamaguchi, Japan) and Artpace (San Antonio, TX).She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2016) and holds an M.A. in Drama Therapy from New York University. In 2015, Knight was an Artadia awardee. Knight is currently a 2016-2017 artist in residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem (NY).


Houston-based visual artist Kaneem Smith recently served as a visiting faculty member in the Sculpture Program at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. She had also taught arts courses at the University of Houston/Downtown, the University of North Texas and at Texas Women’s University in Denton. Ms. Smith studied at the Maryland Institute, College of Art and Rice University before receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Syracuse University. She had also previously taught in the visual arts programs at Appalachian State University in North Carolina, the University of North Texas in Denton and at Texas Women’s University. Ms. Smith is currently working towards earning a PhD in Art Theory and Philosophy through the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts.

Among her many accomplishments, exhibitions, awards and residencies, she was the recipient of an Edward F. Albee Grant and a Visual Arts Fellowship from the Creative Capital Foundation in New York. She has been an Artadia award finalist and in she co-organized the 2015 Texas Sculpture Symposium, which featured visual artists and scholars Judy Pfaff and Ken Little. She has been awarded a residency with the Sculpture Space Foundation in New York that she will begin in 2018.


Lovie Olivia is a native Houstonian and a visual artist who employs painting, printmaking, and installation to create her works.  Although her past includes some formal artistic training, including graduating from Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, she mostly relies on her independent studies of art, cultures, music, literature and history to influence her work. She has exhibited at, Vanderbilt University Nashvelle, Jam Gallery - Brooklyn NY, Pillow – Brooklyn NY, 36 Steps Gallery – Pittsburgh PA, The Art League Houston, Darke Gallery, GalleryM2, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Project Row Houses, and the Arthello Beck Gallery in Dallas as well as Houston Museum of African American Culture and more.  Olivia’s work hangs in numerous private and public collections and her decorative interior and restorative painting applications can be found in many homes and businesses, throughout Houston.  In addition to her multifaceted approach to visual art, she enjoys teaching drawing at Art League and painting at High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She continues to volunteer and collaborate with organizations like Project Row Houses, Houston Arts Alliance, Art League and Diverse Works to name a few. Olivia is also a recipient of an Individual Artist Grant Award 2009 and 2014 which is funded by the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance.


Monica Villarreal is an interdisciplinary artist native to Houston. Her art explores ethnic identity, gender roles, migrant and environmental issues. She is a recipient of multiple awards in photography and filmmaking, and has participated in installation and performing art productions organized by Voices Breaking Boundaries, Project Row Houses, Houston Arts Alliance, Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts, Santa Fe Arts Institute, and Alabama Song.

Monica studied typography under Mainz Gutenberg Award winner Mahendra Patel and is currently learning printmaking from Master Printer Armando Rodriguez. She has a B.A. in Entrepreneurship from the University of Houston and an M.A. in Digital Media Studies from the University of Houston-CL. Monica wears various hats, as the founder of Creative Women Unite, a local feminist arts collaborative and as a traditional Aztec dancer with Danza Azteca Taxcayolot, a local group that practices Mexican indigenous traditions through spirituality, and community engaging performances. She has over a decade of experience organizing with local grassroots and nonprofit organizations.

Dysfunctional Systems

J. Pouwels

Exhibition dates: March 24 – May 6, 2017

Hallway Space         

Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present Dysfunctional Systems by New Zealand-born and California-based artist J. Pouwels. The exhibit continues the artist’s exploration into the rising issues related to the mismanagement of water resources in Chico where the artist lives, which is considered one of the agricultural heartlands of California.  Inspired by a series of recent drawings which re-imagine water-towers as a kind of inverted, or landlocked island built on dysfunctional structures, the exhibition features a life-size drawing of a collapsed water-tower drawn directly on the walls of the gallery, made using passages of text from several prominent documents on global climate change and various appropriations bills, which include the Paris Climate Agreement and the Agriculture Appropriations Bill from the House of Representatives 2016.

“As a New Zealander, a close relationship with water has been a pivotal part of our culture and is responsible for our security and isolation, as well as our identity” says the artist.  “A strong relationship with the ocean is found throughout the nation: in the weather, smells, foods, imagery, myths, history. I often play with water/island symbolism to define the tenuous connection I maintain with my historic culture, as I plot my way through a newer one. Living away from the ocean in the massive landscape of the United States has had a profound affect on my self-awareness. In the imagery I use I refer not only to social isolation but also one that is geographical, like unfamiliar dialects, landmarks or customs”.

“Since moving to Chico, one of the agricultural heartlands of California, I have been interested in the management of our valuable water resources.  In part, this has led me to a body of work called Dysfunctional Systems, a series of ink drawings that bring me back to my close relationship with the ocean, as I imagine the water tower as a kind of inverted, or landlocked island. But I also see them as a series of misguided structures built on concepts that are basically corrupted, ill-informed or woefully mismanaged. Focusing on the Right To Water as a theme, and pandering to my personal connection to the ocean, they reflect our alarming situation regarding the balance between a need for water and its clean, uninterrupted supply. The Flint, Michigan water crisis is only a recent example of our rising problems with water management as the climate changes”.

This exhibition is generously sponsored in part by Tom Phillips.


Born in Invercargill, New Zealand, J. Pouwels received an MFA from Miami University. Oxford, OH and BFA from Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA.  He currently lives and works in Chico, California where he maintains an active studio. Pouwels’ resume is extensive and international. Since 2002 he has shown in the United States many dozens of times including solo and group exhibitions in California, Ohio, Kentucky, Wisconsin, New York, Montana, and Washington, D.C. He has shown multiple times in New Zealand, Japan, and Italy. He has had residencies in Italy, the Netherlands, and New Zealand, and his work from 1996 through the present is part of more than twenty collections in California, Ohio, Amsterdam, and New Zealand. He has been commissioned for artwork many times and been the recipient of awards and scholarships here and abroad.

Loschmidt’s Column (The Reversibility Paradox)

Trey Duvall

Exhibition dates: December 2, 2016 – May 6, 2017

Sculpture Patio  

Art League Houston (ALH) presents Loschmidt’s Column (The Reversibility Paradox), a durational sculpture by Houston-based artist Trey Duvall.  The project explores the passage and blending of material states subjected to the manipulations and processes of entropic time. Comprised of a porcelain and steel sculptural intervention, the project focuses on irreversible material change and exchange based on specific conditions of a particular space in forward moving time.

Loschmidt's Paradox puts time reversal symmetry at odds with any attempt to infer from the second law of thermodynamics, which describes the behavior of macroscopic systems. Both of these are well-accepted principles in physics, with sound observational and theoretical support.


Trey Duvall is an artist and educator. Duvall works in various forms including large-scale installation, video, performance, and traditional sculptural mediums concerning duration, stamina, humor, exhaustion, and entropy. Duvall received his BA in Art Education from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, and is currently a Teaching Fellow and Masters of Fine Arts candidate at the University of Houston. Duvall has exhibited both locally and nationally at venues including Lawndale Art Center (2016), Art League Houston, (2016), School of Visual Arts, NY (2016), Plot Manifest, Marfa, TX (2016), and SITE Gallery Houston (2016). As artist and organizer of SITE Houston, Duvall's work has been featured on ABC News, Glasstire Magazine, the Houston Chronicle, and Art In America.

I called the zoo but the lion was busy

Chickie Brown

Curated by Francesca Fuchs

Exhibition dates: January 27–March 11, 2017

Front Gallery

Art League Houston (ALH) is thrilled to present I called the zoo but the lion was busy, a series of quirky, casual paintings by 94 year old Houston artist Chickie Brown, organized by Francesca Fuchs, Head of Painting at the Glassell School of Art. “If you did not know a 94 year old had made these paintings you would think they were by a hip young artist,” says Fuchs. Usually based on song lyrics, many of Brown’s paintings are narratives that explore relationships between men and women, and between the painted image and the written word. The paintings seem to come straight out of her stream of consciousness with astonishing directness and truth. Brown began painting at 60. She says: “My painting made me feel like I mattered.” 


Chickie Brown was born in Pittsburgh in 1922. At age 18 she eloped with Jack Brown, eventually moving to Houston, and raising three children. She recalls going to the Carnegie Museum of Art when she was young and falling in love with the paintings. Brown didn’t start making paintings herself until her 60’s. She took art classes at the Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, where she started out by painting more traditional portraits and figures from life. In the last 15 years, her paintings have become more idiosyncratic telling the stories from her youth, imagination and dreams. Brown used a summerhouse in her yard as a studio for years but, since losing mobility, moved into the back room of her small Bellaire home to paint. Art lessons at Glassell are still very important to Brown and her caretaker helps get her to class. She paints almost every day and loves painting people the most.


Francesca Fuchs was born in London and grew up in Münster, Germany. She completed her BFA at London’s Wimbledon School of Art (1993) and did her postgraduate work at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Germany (1995). Fuchs came to Houston in 1996 for a two year residency with the Core Program, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She has been teaching at the Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, since 1997 and is currently Department Head of Painting. Fuchs’ work has been shown in national and international venues including The ICA, London; The Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; and The Fort Worth Modern Art Museum. Fuchs is the recipient of two Artadia Awards and Individual Artist Grants from the City of Houston. She occasionally curates shows, including Fish & Chips, New British Art, at DiverseWorks and Morris Chackas for Optical Project.

Art Show!  

Iva Kinnaird

Exhibition dates: January 27 – March 11, 2017

Hallway Space

Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present Art Show!, an exhibition by Houston-based multimedia and performance artist Iva Kinnaird. The exhibition features a collection of small-scale paintings and sculptures that playfully yet carefully reveal show-and-tell fragments from the artists life. Although the works appear simple in appearance, and use humor to draw people in, they are weighted with stories about the persistent desire to connect with others and the need to produce art. “The work is personal and autobiographical” says the artist, “but hopefully the more specific and honest it is, the more universal and relatable it becomes.”  


Iva Kinnaird (born Dallas, Texas) is a multimedia and performance artist. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2014 and now lives in Houston. She has shown at galleryHomeland and Hello Project Gallery in Houston, and in Dallas at 500x. She is a recipient of a Clare Hart DeGolyer Memorial Fund grant from the Dallas Museum of Art, and has had residencies with Sojourn Montrose in Houston and with Co-Lab Projects in Austin. Her work was recently on view at Texas Woman’s University in a two person show with Shelby David Meier, and on Instagram at Performance Art Houston.

Romancing Banality

Lyle Carbajal

Exhibition dates: January 27 - March 11, 2017

Main Gallery

Exhibition Essay
Lyle Carbajal's Authentic World by Sara Lee Burd
Art League Houston (ALH) presents Romancing Banality, an installation-based exhibition by nomadic artist Lyle Carbajal. The exhibition features a mash-up of anti-artistry, folk, and contemporary themes, which pull from art history, cultural, economic, geographic and personal references, creating an immersive installation of densely layered mixed-media paintings, and sculptural compositions that combines everyday materials and aesthetic traditions. Carbajal, who was born in Los Angeles, and has lived in Mexico City and Buenos Aires, draws on imagery and narratives from his nomadic perspective, creating work that acknowledges the deep-rooted anthropological connections and patterns that traverse across history and place.  The exhibition features music by Third Root (San Antonio), Yarrow Slaps (San Francisco), Yung Turk (Houston), and video by PerrosConSueter (Juarez, Mexico), as well as an essay by writer Sara Lee Burd (Nashville). 

Excerpt from Lyle Carbajal’s Authentic World by Sara Lee Burd:

Place is significant and pluralistic to Carbajal because of the connections amongst the ideas, sounds, colors, words, and values that pervade the roving artist's perception. Taking reference photographs as he goes, he returns to the studio to make art with imagery that is so common it is easily overlooked by passersby, but that is immensely important to his understanding of the world. With his exhibitions, Carbajal invites viewers into his world to see what he finds evocative and meaningful in mundane life and urban detritus. He is not defining a particular culture as much as sharing himself by displaying curated selections of what he sees as the universal connections among urban environments. Romancing Banality is Carbajal's place. It is an extrapolation of what he has found and processed as authentic and meaningful in the world.


Lyle Carbajal is a nomadic artist, born and raised in Los Angeles, California, whose work exists somewhere between the vernacular and contemporary avant-garde. His work has been featured in numerous solo and group shows at national and international venues including Tinney Contemporary, Nashville TN (2015, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2004, 2002), Art Chicago; Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA), Seattle WA (2013); Cartwheel Street & Outsider Art Show, Hollywood CA (2013), The London Art Fair; Mark Rothko museum, Dünaburg, Latvia (2012), The National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago IL (2007), Museu de Estremoz, Portugal (2007), The Raw Arts Festival, London (2004), La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles and The Mark Rothko Museum in Latvia (2012) while participating in an artist residency in Daugavpils, the country’s second largest city. Romancing Banality began in Seattle in 2013, and has since traveled to New Orleans (2014), Tennessee (2015), and is currently in its fourth iteration at Art League Houston. 

In 2010, Carbajal published his first book, Urban+Primitive: The Art of Lyle Carbajal. Lyle is currently represented by CG2 Gallery in Nashville TN; The Frederick Holmes Gallery in Seattle, WA; Gallery Orange in New Orleans LA; Sardac Gallery in The United Kingdom; Galerie du Temple and Galerie Gabel in France; Mika Gallery in Tel Aviv. 

He currently lives and works in Houston and New Orleans

Score: Field Work

Ayanna Jolivet Mccloud

Exhibition dates: December 2, 2016 – January 15, 2017

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

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

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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