Artist Advisory Board
Sara Balabanlilar is an arts organizer. She draws strongly from her roots as a queer, transnational woman. She founded Barbee Manshun, an arts collective that worked with She Works Flexible Gallery to showcase works from marginalized artists. She currently co-runs Paraspace Books, a Montrose bookstore and workshop project devoted to queer speculative and science fiction. Sara is interested in creative pedagogy in the arts, quantum futurism, and interactions of tech, literature, and DIY-publishing within the arts and curating worlds. Paraspace: facebook.com/paraspacebooks and instagram.com/paraspacebooks/
"I’m interested in the study of human behavior and the psychosocial conditions that shape them. My work is rooted in Dark Imaginarence, a term I’ve coined that conceptually and formally tie together-social critique, Black American cultural expression and the poetics of the everyday poor and working class. It’s my polyrhythmic non-linear approach to art making and culture producing.
My work is best described as free verse- experimental poems touching social topical interests; improvised instrumental jazz solos, old school southern black Baptist church choirs who transcend technicality and approach the soul of the matter, and freestyle-off the top of the head raps spoken over diverse sonic sounds, rhythms and beats.
Lately I’ve been interested in spatial relationships, black presence-plurality-nuance, memory, and the idea of a black ontological aesthetic. However my work oscillates between ideas and observations; therefore, my approach, process and medium varies with a focus or two where ideas overlap or inform the next idea. These options allow me to seek questions that are ongoing and gain a greater sense of self, society, and the human condition."
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". He is a recipient of the 2015 Idea Fund /Andy Warhol Foundation Grant and a 2015 Houston Downtown Vehicular Wayfinding Signs Project public art commission. Donnett has also received the 2014 Harpo Foundation Grant, 2011 Houston Arts Alliance Established Individual Artist Grant, 2011 Idea Fund/Andy Warhol Foundation Grant, 2010 Artadia Award. Donnett has exhibited at The American Museum, Washington, DC, The Kemper Contemporary Arts Museum, Kansas City, MO, The Theresa Hotel, Harlem, NY, The Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury CT, The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX, Redline Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, 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. http://notthatbutthis.com/ www.nathanieldonnett.com
Lisa E. Harris
Recognized by the Huffington Post as “One of Fourteen Artists that are Transforming Opera”, Lisa E. Harris is a creator. From Houston,Texas, this American soprano and composer who often creates with media, performance, and installation, lists filmmaker, singer/ songwriter, writer, educator, community organizer, environmental transformer and Mother Earth advocate as part of her identity as well. Harris clarifies her artistic voice through experimental film, improvisational performance and compositional practices, and further translates her music through the application of natural sciences, spirituality, popular song, melody, harmony, ritual and ceremony. She recently performed “Work Songs” at the 52nd Venice Biennale. In 2007, Harris founded Studio Enertia, a multi-media production collective, with longstanding collaborator Alisha B. Wormsley and in 2013 began the artists run Studio Enertia Artist Residency Program in Houston. A collaborative artist with Jason Moran presents A Fats Waller Dance Party, Harris is a featured vocalist along with Meshell N'degecello on the Grammy nominated album All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller. She is a 2015 Valiante Award recipient and a 2016 inaugural artist in residence at The New Quorum. Her two new opera films “Cry of the Third Eye” and “Children of the Lost” use vocal composition and film to amplify the quelled voices of youth and displaced people due to rapid gentrification in Houston’s Third Ward. Harris attained a Bachelor of Music Degree from the Mannes College and a Master of Music Degree from Manhattan School of Music.
Edgar Meza is an artist living and working in Houston Texas. He holds a BFA in Sculpture from the University of Houston and an MFA from SUNY Purchase College. Since 2014 he has been the director of Scott Charmin Gallery located in the Magnolia Park neighborhood of Houston. scottcharmin.tumblr.com edgarmeza.tumblr.com
Emily Peacock is an artist who lives and works in Houston, Texas. She received her M.F.A. at the University of Houston, with an emphasis in Photography and Digital Media. Peacock was a 2013-2014 Lawndale Artist Studio Program artist in residence and she recently received the Houston Arts Alliance Individual Artist Grant for 2016. She has exhibited her work throughout the United States, Vienna, Austria and the U.K. Peacock’s work is in the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston collection.
Texas native Anthony Suber is a multimedia artist working and living in the South. Utilizing his love for history and art historical reference, Suber works primarily with emblematic connections, chronological references and narrative “stills”. His work is also derived from his own personal experiences of spirituality, mysticism, race, and narratives linked to his childhood. In doing so, Suber seeks to record as well as present a segment of the human experience that allows the viewer to participate in the compositional narrative. Suber is an alumni of The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston Texas and received his BFA from The University of Houston. anthonysuber.weebly.com
Prince Varughese Thomas
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. I incorporate 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, the University of Texas @ Arlington, and the Queens Museum. Thomas’ work has been exhibited in over 150 solo and group exhibitions at museums, galleries, and alternative spaces including: Gallerie Huit, Arles, France; The Queens Museum, NY; the Zentral Bibliotheck, Zurich; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Houston Center for Photography; Bunker 8, Beijing, China; the Museum of New Art, Detroit, MI; the Alternative Museum, NY, NY; the Contemporary Museum, Atlanta, GA; FotoFest International; & The Station Museum of Contemporary Art.
Thomas received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Arlington, and a M.F.A. from the University of Houston. He is currently a Professor of Art at Lamar University. Website: www.princevthomas.com