ARTISTS: Regina Agu, Yaw Agyeman, Rabēa Ballin, Wesley Clark, Nathaniel Donnett, Shané Gooding, Esau McGhee, Johana Moscoso, Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, Ellington Robinson, Stacy-Lynn Waddell, and Rhonda Wheatley

November 16, 2018 – January 12, 2019
Main Gallery

Art League Houston presents Silos, a group exhibition curated by Jeffreen M. Hayes, Ph.D (Chicago) featuring artists Regina Agu (Houston), Yaw Agyeman (Chicago), Rabēa Ballin (Houston), Wesley Clark (DMV area), Nathaniel Donnett (Houston), Shané Gooding (DC), Esau McGhee (Chicago), Johana Moscoso (Sheboygan/Chicago), Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz (Orlando), Ellington Robinson (DC/Virgin Islands), Stacy-Lynn Waddell (NC/NYC), and Rhonda Wheatley (Chicago).

As a microcosm of our society, the art world maintains a system of marginalization based on racial and cultural difference. Artists identified as Other function in the silos, just as they do in society. Within this system, many of the artists create some of the most provocative works of art.

This exhibition, Silos, presents artists of color who examine the silos, otherness, and the cultural and social ramifications of marginalization based on one’s identity, whether self-defined or inscribed. With artists examining this space, absence and exclusion cannot be ignored. Bearing witness, as they do, not only identifies the pressing issues but also challenges the norm of marginalization, absence, and exclusion. This exhibit marks the third iteration of Silos, a multiyear project curated by Jeffreen M. Hayes, Ph.D and previously exhibited at Glass Curtain Gallery at Columbia College, Chicago, IL in 2017 and the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, Washington, D.C in 2016.


The Movement of Silos, Jeffreen M. Hayes, Ph.D.

People not actively engaged with the art world are often surprised at how this system maintains the status quo: white supremacy, patriarchy, and misogyny. The art world is a microcosm of our larger society and suffers from similar systems of oppression. And, while this is the case, it is the very reason why we look to artists and arts institutions to make sense of our humanity and for glimmers of hope for a better world.

Silos, an exhibition that centers artists who challenge oppressive systems connected to their lived experiences, presents the visitor with space to enter into art works that oppose the status quo and offer a respite of knowingness. A knowingness that those who are routinely seen, or not seen, as others in the margins of our society demonstrate by existing, and in this case, making art that speaks to one’s existence. These are not typically given attention in the art institution, and when it does, the institutions silo the experience by not giving the work prominent room to breathe. This act of marginalization is the primary impetus for Silos.

The artists in Silos are artists of color and women whose artistic voices continue to be underrepresented in the mainstream through exhibition opportunities, media presence, and art historical treatment. They work outside of New York City in artist communities that foster their development, and arguably make their art stronger because of space and place. The national scope of Silos attests to the reality that great art can be made anywhere: Chicago, Greensboro, Houston, Orlando, Sheboygan, and Washington, DC. Contemporary art and conversations are global as are the participating artists: Regina Agu, Yaw Agyeman, Rabēa Ballin, Wesley Clark, Nathaniel Donnett, Shané Gooding, Esau McGhee, Johanna Moscoso, Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, Ellington Robinson, Stacy-Lynn Waddell, and Rhonda Wheatley.

The exhibition’s movement acknowledges the many rich contemporary art conversations across geography, and was not initially intended to travel. Silos began at American University Museum in Washington, DC, and was organized at the invitation of professors Zoë Charlton and Tim Dowd. The invitation was born out of a candid conversation about the history and structure of museums and the role of institutions in artists communities. Art museums have a responsibility to exhibit local artists as they are key to how communities receive the institutions. In our discussion, we also talked about the university museum as important to the ecosystem of artist communities, and the role of American University Museum in DC. Additionally, we talked about how when mainstream museums invite underrepresented artists to exhibit, more times than not, they marginalize the artists by either giving them a less than prominent area or grouping them all together rather than throughout the gallery, integrating them into the larger context of art history.

How do you challenge these intentional acts with a group show in institutions and organizations within the system that carry the history of supremacy and oppression? Center the artists and bring together a diversity of media that are not the primary representation of art, which is historically painting. Silos uplifts interdisciplinary media that expands what we know to be art materials, especially for new audiences to the work. While an exhibition focused on artists of color and women may be viewed as re-inscribing marginalization, considering the lack of opportunities for underrepresented artists to participate in exhibitions, and particularly those that travel, exhibitions like Silos continue to be necessary and carve out space for a more reflective and represented art world to be seen and elevated.

These issues also played a role for a show that began as a stationary one to a show that traveled to Chicago, Illinois and Houston, Texas. During a moment when arts leaders are re-considering their audiences, the history of representation, access and equity, Silos was an exhibition that aligned with leadership practices, values and missions of art organizations: Glass Curtain Gallery at Columbia College Chicago and Art League Houston. At the invitation to collaborate on the show, the curatorial premise expanded to think about each of the respective communities’ challenges for artists of color and female artists. With this entering and shaking up the framework, as the show traveled to Chicago and Houston, artists from these communities were invited to participate in the exhibition.

Silos presents a different way of building relationships across geography and with intersecting ideas from artists around similar experiences. The inclusion of artists from these communities helped to build upon the notion of not only opportunities and access but also context making. Context making is an important, and often overlooked, aspect of curation. Some of the ways in which Silos accomplishes this goal is by thinking about what it means to have artists Ballin, Clark, Donnett and Moscoso in dialogue with one another, exploring everydayness and identity as materiality? What does it mean to have Agu, Agyeman, McGhee, and Robinson in dialogue as each artist considers space as it relates to historical and personal narratives? What does it mean to have Waddell and Wheatley imagine ways to heal and cope with the everyday through sci-fi? What does it mean to have Gooding and Raimundi-Ortiz challenge notions of presence of women of color in a hypervisible world? These are just a few of the many ways Silos creates a platform for these artists and their works to be in conversation with each other, and also creating room for large conversations at the intersection of art and social realities.

Silos illustrates the freedom of the excluded and isolated and demonstrates what cultural critic bell hooks remarks about the margins: “creativity and power.” The movement and growth of Silos also demonstrates the power in collaboration between curators, artists and art spaces and institutions that value, truly value, difference and a world that reflects our diverse society. If we are going to celebrate “we the people” and artists who help us make sense of our world, then we must open the doors wider, or better yet dismantle the systems that uphold the walls and barriers that keep our world monolithic and homogeneous.  Silos is a small act of resistance, practice and example of how intentionality paired with great art can provide a path forward.


Jeffreen M. Hayes PhD (Chicago)

Jeffreen M. Hayes, a trained art historian and curator, merges administrative, curatorial, and academic practices into her cultural practice of supporting artists and community development. As an advocate for racial inclusion, equity, and access, Jeffreen has developed a curatorial and leadership approach that invites community participation, particularly those in marginalized communities. Her curatorial projects include Intimate Interiors (2012), Etched in Collective History (2013), SILOS (2016), Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman (2018), and Process (2019). Additionally, she is a guest curator for Artpace San Antonio’s International Artist-in-Residence program. Jeffreen is the Executive Director of Threewalls, a Chicago-based organization that brings segregated communities, people, and experiences together through art. Under her leadership, Threewalls intentionally develops artistic platforms that encourage connections beyond traditional engagements with art.

Jeffreen earned a Ph.D in American Studies from the College of William and Mary, a Masters in Art History from Howard University, and a BA from Florida International University in Humanities. She has worked at several museums and cultural institutions including Birmingham Museum of Art, Hampton University Museum, Library of Congress and the National Gallery of Art.


Regina Agu (Houston)

Regina Agu is an interdisciplinary artist and writer based in Houston, TX. Her recent work investigates the complex relationships between the landscape and communities of color, with a special focus on the U.S. Gulf Coast region. Her work is conceptually oriented towards language, history, and representation. Agu's practice employs a variety of tactics drawn from critical geography, conceptual writing, and poetry. Her research often involves site exploration and working with and through archives. Agu produces texts, photographs, and drawings, in addition to installations, performances, and collaborative public projects.

Her work has been included in exhibitions, public readings, and performances nationally. She is a 2018 Center for Arts and Social Engagement + Project Row Houses fellow at the University of Houston. Agu received a 2017 Artadia Houston award and was a 2016-2017 Open Sessions participant at The Drawing Center. Agu was the co-director of Alabama Song, a collaboratively-run art space in Third Ward, Houston, which received a 2016 SEED grant from The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. Agu is the founder of the Houston-based WOC Reading Group, and her other collaborative projects include Friends of Angela Davis Park and the Houston-based independent small press paratext.

Yaw Agyeman (Chicago)

Yaw Agyeman is an interdisciplinary performing artist born in Chicago. He works primarily as a musician/sound designer but also has an extensive theater background (actor) and makes photos. Yaw’s work addresses language as cultural currency. His work also uses space as a way to share music, community, and culture. He has toured in the play Red, Black and Green: a blues (MAPP) and performed in the world premiere of the musical, Mister Chickee's Funny Money (Chicago Children's Theater). The play features music from the Motown great, Lamont Dozier. He has been featured on VH1's "Soul Cities," a show produced by Nelson George that showcases singers in cities all over the country, as well as on the Africa Channel's, "Soundtracks at Red Kiva," a program that focuses on artists of African descent. Currently, he is a member of the artistic collaboration, "Black Monks of Mississippi," headed by the dynamic and prolific, Theaster Gates.

He has performed at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington D.C., the Biennale in Venice, the Menil Collection in Houston, the Birmingham Museum of Art in Birmingham, White Cube in London, documenta 13 in Kassel, Germany, Art Basel in Miami and the Whitney Biennial. His video work, den na ma ye, was exhibited at the American University in Washington D.C and at the Glass Curtain Gallery at Columbia College in Chicago in the group show SILOS, curated by Jeffreen Hayes.

In April of 2017, the Black Monks produced three vinyl records and premiered a documentary in Helsinki at the IHME Contemporary Art Festival. He is a performer in the touring production, “Pehlotah” which showed at the MCA (Chicago), Kennedy Center and Brooklyn Art Museum and will tour at other venues in 2018 and 2019. He is a (2016 - 2017) artist in residence through the office of Arts + Public Life, in partnership with the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture at the University of Chicago.

Rabēa Ballin (Houston)

Born in Germany, raised in Louisiana, Houston-based artist Rabēa Ballin’s works explore the uniqueness of self-identity and beautification practices that involve hair. Influenced early on by Nigerian photographer J.D. ‘Okjai Ojeikere, Ballin continues to explore the complexities of hair as sculpture and their often lost cultural meanings. She documents these themes through digital photography, drawing and various printmaking practices. In addition to working as an independent artist, she has also been an active member of the all-female ROUX printmaking collective since 2011.

Rabēa moved to Houston to pursue her MFA in drawing and painting at the University of Houston. She earned her BFA in Fine Art from McNeese State University. During her years at McNeese she returned to Germany to attend the Göthe Institute, subsequently studying Art History in Rome and Florence, Italy. Currently a Professor of Fine Arts, she is living and working in Houston’s historical Third Ward community and exhibiting nationally.

Wesley Clark (DMV area)

Wesley Clark was born in Washington, DC and grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from Syracuse University and a Master of Fine Arts from The George Washington University — where he was twice awarded The Morris Louis Fellowship in 2010 and 2011; a fellowship primarily awarded once per incoming graduate class.

Clark primarily creates mixed media wood assemblages that read as familiar to the general masses, and are often hybrids of two or more objects or concepts. He refers to these objects as artifacts or fictional artifacts, made to look as if they’ve lived a life prior to being on display and prompting viewers to question their importance and create their own narratives based on their answers. Clark infuses social and politic criticisms into his works; merging the historical with the contemporary, to speak on issues faced by Blacks in America.

Wesley Clark has exhibited works at institutions such as the Katzen Arts Center at American University, in Washington DC, Columbia College’s Glass Curtain Gallery in Chicago, Illinois, and Prizm Art Fair in Miami, Florida during Miami Art Week. His work, My Big Black America is in the permanent collection of the Asheville Art Museum in North Carolina. His works Target, 456 & Welcome to the Tea Party were acquired in 2013 by noted art collector, Peggy Cooper Cafritz. In 2016, he was commissioned by The American Alliance of Museums to create, Shift. Rotate. Repeat. — a public artwork at the site of President Lincoln’s cottage in Washington, DC for museum week. Clark was a panelist for the Critical Craft Forum that took place at the College Arts Association 2016 conference. He has also been a guest lecturer at Capital City Public Charter School High School, in Washington, DC, speaking to students about thinking through one’s ideas and developing their process.

Nathaniel Donnett (Houston)

I created a term to conceptually and formally (self) identify my multidisciplinary art practice. I call it Dark Imaginarence. Dark Imaginarence is rooted in socio-political concerns, working class resourcefulness, Black American cultural expression, the everyday aesthetic, and the experiential. I'm interested in human behavior and the society that shapes it. I am mainly presenting questions or what comes from them, the notion of Black Americans being and subjectivity as a way to arrive at an idea of black objectivity (to which there is none; therefore, an ongoing quest). Black as human being, space occupiers, socio-political critique, and idea generators are generally viewed through the lens of discrimination and fetishisms; oppression and survivors; resilience and inventiveness. These descriptions, I think, informs the Black Aesthetic or types of aesthetics that amplifies the black experience and its nuance. These descriptions not only questions what is or can be contemporary art but also centers blackness as the expansive and not the restrictive in terms of the social and spatial location. I'm interested in this idea of the spatial and the socio-political-poetics of everyday blackness that exists within these conflicting contexts. While addressing this human condition in this context, I hope to achieve a deeper understanding of self and society. I wish to find in some way, a parallel in my work, to all the things that Black music accomplishes within the personal and social settings.

Nathaniel Donnett lives and works in Houston, Texas and received his BA in fine arts at Texas Southern University. Donnett is the founder of the website blog "Not That But This." Donnett is a recipient of a 2017/2011 Houston Arts Alliance Individual Artist Grant, 2015 Houston Downtown Vehicular Wayfinding Signs Project public art commission. Donnett has also received a 2014 Harpo Foundation Grant, 2015/2011 Idea Fund/Andy Warhol Foundation Grant, and a 2010 Artadia Award. Selected exhibitions were at The Ulrich Museum, Wichita, KS, The McColl Center, Charlotte, NC, 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 Community Artist's Collective, Houston, TX, The Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury CT, The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX, Project Row Houses, Houston, TX, The University Museum, Houston, TX, and The New Museum, New York, NY.

Shané K. Gooding (DC)

Shané K. Gooding is a photographer and video artist telling stories about the human experience. Part of her work is deeply personal and reflects on home and identity. Another part of her work also analyzes and probes into the image constructions and representations of race and visibility in mass media, it’s vapidity and the toggle with intersectionality, from the individual agency to the macro level of systems. Her interest is in creating imagery that illuminates those and the personal journeys of those blown out of sight. The mode is interdisciplinary multimedia with an expanded notion of photography to encompass moving portraiture, video installations and writings with a multi-platform approach.

Gooding was educated at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, majoring in Film and Television. She began interning, working and writing in the film and television industry with production companies like DreamWorks and Miramax. She soon after received her Masters degree from Howard University in Mass Communications and Media Studies. As of recent, she received her Master of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for Photography. Her work has been exhibited at such places like the Center for Fine Art of Photography, Art Expo Chicago, Filter Photo, South Side Community Arts Center in Chicago and Smack Mellon Gallery in New York. She has also Co-Produced a documentary for PBS.

Esau McGhee (Chicago)

Esau McGhee’s interdisciplinary artistic practice is a critique of image construction found in landscape. Utilizing photography, found objects, collage and sculpture the works physically embody conventional strategies of representation, class and race construction.

McGhee is a member of Tiger Strikes Asteroid which is a network of artist-run spaces that seek to further empower the artist’s role beyond that of studio practitioner to include the roles of curator, critic and community developer. His artistic practice has also lead to the development of the podcast Too Many Degrees. Of which he functions as Co-host and Co-producer. He currently works and lives in the United States.

Johana Moscoso (Sheboygan/Chicago)

Johana Moscoso is an artist who explores co-narratives of South American and North American cultures. She incorporates a variety of mediums into installations that express her interest in gender roles, culture, and migration.

In her fiber work, she utilizes stitch and embroidery to create tapestries that reference the migratory journeys of her family. These tapestries become abstract maps made that trace the time, labor, and nostalgia of these journeys. Other tapestries reflect her personal journey as a Latinx immigrant and the need for migratory reform in the United States.

In her performance work, she strives to evoke intimate feelings that cannot be described by words but are better expressed through movement. By using traditional Latinx dances in her performances, Moscoso questions gender roles in Hispanic culture. Engaging these fragile human states is the pivotal endeavor in her performance work.

Ultimately, her application of fiber, textiles and performance with physical environments has enabled her to create performative installations that empower the feminine presence and celebrate culture and migration.

Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz (Orlando)

Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz is a nationally and internationally recognized, award winning interdisciplinary visual and performance artist. Her latest project, Pieta, debuted at the Knowles Memorial Chapel at Rollins College and was presented as part of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s IDENTIFY: Performance as Portraiture series. She was awarded a 2017 UCF Luminary Award, 2016 Franklin Furnace award for performance, nominated for the prestigious 2016 United States Artist Fellowship, named one of UCF’s 2016 Woman Making History honoree by the University of Central Florida’s Center for Success of Women Faculty. She is was a 2016 Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition semifinalist, top ten finalist for the statewide 2015 Orlando Museum of Art Florida Prize in Contemporary Art, two time Joan Mitchell Foundation grant nominee, 2013 Creative Capital “On Our Radar” honorable mention, recipient of the 2011 UCF Keeper of the Creed Award in Creativity, MFA 2008 Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of Art Ralph Bunche Fellow, AAS 1998 Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture alum, 2002; Selected exhibitions include Project 35: Last Call, Garage Museum, Moscow, Russia, The Florida Prize in Contemporary Art, Orlando, FL 2015, Manifesta 8, Murcia, Spain 2010, American Chambers, Gyeongnam Art Museum, Changwong City, South Korea, Performa 05 biennial, Artist Space, NY; The S Files 05 and Artist in the Marketplace 25, Bronx Museum of the Arts; Mercury/Mercurio, Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos; The L Factor, Exit Art, New York. Collections include The Orlando Museum of Art, FL, El Museo del Barrio, NY, Jersey City Museum of Art, NJ, and the private collection of Mr. Corey Baylor.

She currently teaches at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida.

Ellington Robinson (DC/Virgin Islands)

The reason why I paint is in pursuit to build self-awareness by immersing myself into the historical, critical, theoretical and processes of civilizations from the nascent stages of human existence. Although, the work embodies a large scope of time, the focus is a concentration on the migrations within the African Diaspora and how these movements interact with the world at large, the galaxy, then the universe; i.e. if one looks at the equatorial currents that were used to carry the ships across the middle passage, we have to look at the gravitational pull of the moon that allows for those currents to happen. We also will have to look at the creation of the moon 4.5 billion years ago. These steps in time allow for experiences to be in sequential order. My work attempts to stretch thought into this elastic capacity, from the Big Bang, to now. I want to understand how we came to be and how we are evolving as a result of global ideas, technology, and environment. The journey is to find who our ancestors are and the vital connections that link the 21st Century to the past.

Stacy Lynn Waddell (NC/NYC)

With a variety of transformative processes that include heat/laser technology, accumulation, embossing/debossing, interference and gilding, Stacy Lynn Waddell creates works that structure sites of intersection between both real and imagined aspects of history and culture. These points of intersection, pose important questions related to authorship, beauty and the persuasive power of nationalistic ideology.

After earning her MFA from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2007, her work has been recognized and exhibited nationally. Waddell has participated in exhibitions at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston Salem, NC, the John Hope Franklin Center, Franklin Humanities Institute and the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in Durham, NC, the Weatherspoon Art Museum at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Greensboro, NC, The North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, NC, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, PA, Project Row Houses in Houston, TX, The Studio Museum in Harlem in New York, On Stellar Rays in New York, the Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, MA), Columbia College (Chicago, IL), The Katzen Center at American University (Washington, DC), the Speed Art Museum (Louisville, Kentucky), and the Atlanta Contemporary (Atlanta, GA) among other venues.

Her work is included in several public and private collections that include The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University (Durham, NC), the Weatherspoon Art Museum at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (Greensboro, NC), The North Carolina Museum of Art (Raleigh, NC), The Gibbes Museum of Art (Charleston, SC) and The Studio Museum in Harlem (New York) and most recently The Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum (New York) among others.

Waddell was named one of The New Superstars of Southern Art in Oxford American Magazine’s 2012 100 Under 100 List, is a 2012 recipient of an Art Matters Grant and a 2010 recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant. During Fall 2017, Waddell was an Artist-in-Residence at Joan Mitchell Center (New Orleans).

Currently, she is in-residence at QueenSpace Residency in New York until 2019 and splits her time between North Carolina and New York.

Rhonda Wheatley (Chicago)

Rhonda Wheatley is a Chicago-based multidisciplinary artist, educator, and energy healer whose projects are grounded in the speculative and metaphysical. Through her sculptures, written works, paintings, workshops, and interactive performances she explores healing, consciousness expansion, and transformation.

Wheatley has had solo exhibitions at Hyde Park Art Center (HPAC) and David Weinberg Gallery in Chicago with an upcoming solo show at the Aurora Public Arts Commission in Aurora, Illinois. She has participated in recent Chicago-area group shows at Glass Curtain Gallery at Columbia College, The Franklin, the 2017 Terrain Biennial, and The Donnelley Foundation, to name a few, as well as Walter Maciel Gallery in Los Angeles and The Chicago 9 at the Prism Art Fair in Miami. Wheatley performed in the 2017 Chicago Home Theater Festival, at UIC’s Gallery 400, and more. And in the Spring of 2018, she will perform as part of the Museum of Contemporary Art’s “In Progress” series. She’s facilitated healing and transformative workshops at Link’s Hall as part of the Eclipsing Festival, Chicago Artists Coalition’s (CAC) LAUNCH Residency, the Teaching Artist Summit, and other art spaces.

In 2017 Wheatley was the recipient of the CAC Maker Grant’s inaugural Coney

Family Award and a 3Arts Make a Wave Grant. Additionally, she is a Professor at Indiana University Purdue, Indianapolis and teaches several youth and adult classes at HPAC. Wheatley earned a BA in English Literature with a minor in African American Studies from Loyola University, Chicago and an MA in Writing from DePaul University.

I ♥ 3RD WARD: Marc Newsome

November 16, 2018 – January 12, 2019
Front Gallery

Art League Houston (ALH) is proud to present I ♥ 3rd Ward, a photo, video, and soundscape exhibition by Marc Newsome. The exhibition features a series of documentary style photographs depicting 3rd Ward, a historically African American neighborhood located in Houston, Texas, which having been a longtime epicenter of Black American life, culture, commerce, and existence, has become subject to the forces of rapid gentrification, causing shifts in the economic, geographic, and racial landscape.

Many of the locations depicted in the photographs have changed due to updates in the area. Even through the duration of this exhibition, many 3rd Ward structures formally existing for decades will be subject to development, and no longer exist as they have been previously known. Each photograph in the exhibition has been printed on metal to reinforce the idea of a permanent existence, despite the many permutations each location has seen before.

In addition to the exhibition, the artist will be screening episodes of his I ♥ 3 W web series, consisting of short interviews chronicling people’s thoughts on the changes in the 3rd Ward area. The artist will also screen his award winning 2008 film “Here Comes the Neighborhood – A Gentrification Comedy”, a five-minute short film that satirically discusses the different aspects of gentrification by examining taxes, real estate developers, overvalued properties and how all this affects residents of a historically African American neighborhood. There will also be ambient soundscapes played of recorded sounds unique to 3rd Ward.


Marc Newsome is multi-disciplinary artist based in Houston, TX. Known by his artist moniker ‘Marc Furi’, Newsome works in photography, documentary filmmaking, sound scapes, graphic design, and social practice. His creative projects stem from his philosophy of exploring the profundity of scenes taken for granted.

He is a recent recipient of 3 grants via the City of Houston and Houston Arts Alliance for documentary work including TreSonik-3rd Ward Audio Anthropology, a web series chronicling what people love about 3rd Ward, and the life of Dr. Thomas F. Freeman legendary head coach of the Texas Southern University Debate Team. In addition, he was one of 3 ambassadors for the 3rd Ward art payphone project known as Trephonos, a project which explores the ambient noises of 3rd Ward through a payphone’s keypad.

Newsome currently explores the emotions that arise from gazing upon the dissolving landscape scenes of the gentrified 3rd Ward area of Houston, TX.

Data Breach: Susannah Mira

November 16, 2018 – January 12, 2019
Sculpture Garden

Art League Houston is excited to present Data Breach, an outdoor installation by Susannah Mira. The installation incorporates thousands of discarded sheets of microfiche film, creating a physical metaphor reflecting the millions of information disclosures shaping our world today. As with the artists’ overall body of work, Data Breach utilizes salvaged materials, which in this case, includes records of congressional documents de-accessioned from a library during migration to digital access.

Placed in an outdoor context, the pieces assimilate into the environment of the Art League Houston sculpture garden. The work literally places data carriers in the same context as nature, commenting on the pervasiveness of information technology and the information economy in our everyday lives. In addition, the work expresses how quickly methods of saving information change, keeping in mind that microfiche was considered the archival standard in preserving information until quite recently.


Susannah Mira earned a master’s degree in Environmental Art at Aalto University in 2008, however, she considers her experiential education, gained by living and working on handmade shelter in the American West just as important. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, and has been awarded close to two dozen artist residencies throughout North America, including opportunities at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and with Signal Fire. Born in San Francisco and raised in a nondescript Philadelphia suburb, she has been based in Houston since 2013, where she maintains a studio at Box 13.

Journey to the Brightest Star: George Smith

2018 Lifetime Achievement Award in the Visual Arts

September 7 – November 3, 2018
Front & Hallway Galleries

Art League Houston (ALH) is pleased to present the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award in the Visual Arts exhibition: Journey to the Brightest Star by George Smith. The exhibition focuses on work made by the artist during the past four decades and features drawing, sculpture and printmaking. The works in the exhibition reflects Smith’s lifelong fascination with synthesizing three fundamental sources; the sense of scale and the intuitive look of Abstract Expressionism; the flat-faced industrial geometry of Minimal Art; and the expressive symbols and geometry inspired by the Dogon peoples of West Africa. The exhibition opens Friday, September 7, 2018 with a reception from 6 to 9 PM, and will remain on view through November 3, 2018. A limited edition 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award in the Visual Arts catalog will be available in conjunction with the exhibition featuring texts by Dr. William Camfield, Phillip E. Collins, Mel Edwards, James Harithas, Tierney Malone, Tierrie S. Rouse-Rosario, George Smith and Dr. Walter Widrig.

Funding for the catalog has been generously provided by the Heimbinder Family Foundation, Ann & James Harithas, South Texas Charitable Foundation, Gerald & Anita Smith, Dr. Greg Shannon, John Guess, Jr. & Melanie Lawson, Wortham Foundation, Inc., and Nicole Longnecker Gallery.

About the Artist

Born in Buffalo, NY, Smith received a B.F.A. in Sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1969. In 1972, he received an M.A. in Sculpture from Hunter College, New York where the artist worked with sculptor Tony Smith. Additionally, Smith met and studied under curator and arts advocate James Harithas, who at that time was a Professor of Art History. Since then, Harithas has become one of Smith’s most significant supporters. Returning to Buffalo after college, Smith accepted an appointment in the Art Department at the University of Buffalo where he taught sculpture for 9 years. In 1981, Smith moved to Houston and was appointed Professor of Sculpture at Rice University, retiring in 2010. He has been awarded numerous fellowships and grants including a National Endowment Planning Grant (1980); National Endowment Individual Grant (1977); two New York State Council on the Arts Grants (1976, 1973); two Cultural Arts Council of Houston Grants (1975), and a Guggenheim Fellowship (1971).

Smith has been featured in solo exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout the United States including Nicole Longnecker Gallery, Houston, TX (2018); O’Kane Gallery, University of Houston/Downtown, TX (2016); Project Row Houses, Houston, TX (2014); G Gallery, Houston, TX (2009); The Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston, TX (2007, 2005); Wilmer Jennings Gallery, New York, NY (2006, 1999); Burchfield-Penny Art Center, the Museum of Western New York Arts, Buffalo, NY (2001); Joan Wich & Co. Gallery, Houston, TX (2000); Fleming Museum of Art, Burlington, VT (1999); Graham Gallery, Houston, TX (1987); Sewell Art Gallery, Houston (1983); Rice University, Houston, TX (1983): Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY (1980): Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, NY (1979): Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY (1972) and Reese Palley Gallery, New York, NY (1970).

Furthermore, Smith has been included in several important national and international group exhibitions at venues including MoMA PS1, New York (2009-09); Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX (2007, 1995); Camp Marfa, Marfa, TX (2007); Casa de Carton, Ingalls & Associates, Miami, FL (2007); Menil Collection Museum, Houston, TX (2006); African American Museum, Dallas, Texas (2015, 2006); Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, San Antonio, TX (2006); Rockland County Center for the Arts, West Nyack, NY (2000); Art Car Museum, Houston, TX (1999); Galveston Art Center, Galveston, TX (1999); Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX (1996); Studio Museum in Harlem, Sculpture Garden, New York, NY (1995); Project Row Houses, Houston, TX (1995); Kenkeleba Gallery, New York, NY (1992); Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX (1992); High Museum, Atlanta (1992); Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI (1992); Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston, TX (1992); Deanza College, Euphrat Gallery, Cupertino, CA (1992); United States Information Agency, Washington, DC (1989); Huntington Art Gallery, University of Texas, Austin, TX (1989); Longview Museum of Art, Longview, TX (1989); Bronx Museum, NY (1989); Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX (1989); The Museum of African American Art, Los Angeles, CA (1988); Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY (1988); Arnot Museum of Art, Elmira, NY (1973); New York Cultural Center, New York, NY (1973); Newark Museum, Newark, NJ (1973); Rutgers University, NJ (1971); Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY (1970) and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (1970).

His large-scale public commissions can be seen at venues including the African American Museum of Art Dallas, TX (1997); University of Vermont Burlington (1992); Lubben Plaza commissioned by A.H. Belo Corporation, Dallas, TX (1991); University of Houston, Downtown Campus (1989); Niagara Frontier Transit Authority (NFTA) Utica Station, Buffalo, NY (1981), and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) Lindbergh Center Station, Atlanta, GA (1981). Smith’s work is represented in the permanent collections at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Menil Collection, Houston, TX; Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; Cooper Cameron Corporation, Houston, TX; Burchfield-Penny Museum, Buffalo, NY and Adam Clayton Powell State Building, NY. Furthermore, his work is featured in numerous private collections locally, nationally, and internationally. Smith lives in Houston with his wife Thelma Smith. He is represented by Nicole Longnecker Gallery, Houston, TX.

Something: Francesca Fuchs

2018 Texas Artist of the Year

September 7 – November 3, 2018
Main Gallery

Art League Houston (ALH) is pleased to present the 2018 Texas Artist of the Year exhibition Something by Francesca Fuchs. The exhibition features a series of recent paintings of child-made objects from the artist’s family that have become treasured keepsakes. The paintings continue Fuchs's fascination with concepts of worth and value as they relate to themes of memory and home. Drawing from these personal references, the works in the exhibition portray moments of emotional and intellectual intimacy and self-reflection. Something is presented in conjunction with How to Tell the Truth and Painting at Inman Gallery (September 14 – October 27, 2018). A limited edition catalog titled She Lives with Objects will be available, featuring an essay by Laura August. Funding for the catalog has been generously provided by the Heimbinder Family Foundation, Wortham Foundation, Kerry Inman & Inman Gallery, Talley Dunn Gallery, Judy & Scott Nyquist, Julie Kinzelman, Leigh & Reggie Smith, Lynn Goode & Harrison Williams, and Jill Whitten & Rob Proctor.

About the Artist

Born in London and raised in Tübingen and Münster, Germany, Fuchs completed a BFA at London’s Wimbledon School of Art and finished her postgraduate work under Tony Cragg at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 1995. In 1996, the artist moved to Houston for a two-year residency with the Core Program at the Museum of Fine Arts, and she has remained in Houston since that time. She is the recipient of numerous awards, residencies, and fellowships including the MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, NH (2017); Artadia Award (2012, 2006); Individual Artist Grants through the Houston Arts Alliance (2013, 2008, 2003); Core Residency Program at the Glassell School of Art (1996-98); and the Hunting Art Prize (2006). In 1997 Fuchs began teaching at the Glassell School of Art, and from 1998-99 served as the curatorial assistant at Rice University Art Gallery. In 2006 she was appointed Department Head for Painting at the Glassell School of Art.

Over the years, Fuchs has had solo exhibits locally, nationally, and internationally at venues including Inman Gallery, Houston, TX (Upcoming – September 2018); Galveston Art Center, Galveston, TX (2015, 1999); Talley Dunn Gallery, Dallas, TX (2015, 2012); The Suburban, Oak Park, Illinois (2013); Texas Gallery, Houston, TX (2013, 2010, 2005, 2003, 2000, 1997); Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX (2007); Fayerweather Gallery at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville (2004); and DiverseWorks, Houston, TX (1998). Recently, the artist completed a large-scale mural project at Lawndale Art Center, transforming the organization's blank north wall into the illusion of a cathedral interior, in conversation with the building's iconic Art Deco façade. Fuchs’s work is part of the permanent collection at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and numerous private collections locally, nationally, and internationally.

Fuchs has been included in several important national and international group exhibitions at venues including the ICA at MECA, Portland, Maine (2017); Texas Gallery, Houston TX (2013, 2010); Sala Diaz, San Antonio, TX (2014, 2001); McClain Gallery, Houston, TX (2012); Lisa Cooley, New York, NY (2010); Inman Gallery, Houston, TX (2010, 2000); Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX (2008, 1997); Diverseworks, Houston, TX (2007, 2005, 1999); Arthouse, Austin, TX (2006, 1997); University of Texas, San Antonio, TX (2005); Dallas Contemporary Arts Center, TX (2005); Contemporary Arts Museum, South Florida, Tampa (2002); New Orleans Museum of Art, LA (2001); Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX (2000); Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX (2000, 1998); Arlington Museum of Art, TX (1998); British Council Window Gallery, Prague (1998); Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, UK (1996); Cornerhouse, Manchester, UK (1992-93); and the ICA, London, UK (1992-93).

Fuchs has curated several exhibitions which include The Chickie Brown Painting Sale, Bill’s Junk, Houston, TX (2018); Chickie Brown: I called the zoo but the lion was busy, Art League Houston, TX (2017); Morris Chackas: Still Lives 1973 - 1982, Optical Project, Houston, TX (2009); Dark Light, Uta Kögelsberger, Glassell Project Space, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX (2005); and Fish & Chips, New British Art, DiverseWorks, Houston, TX (1997).

Fuchs’s work has been written about in publications including The New York Times, ArtForum, Art in America, Art Ltd., Artlies, Artpapers, Houston Chronicle, Arts and Culture Texas, Houston Press, as well on online platforms such as, and

Fuchs lives in Houston and is represented by Inman Gallery, Houston, and Talley Dunn Gallery, Dallas.


2018 Art League Student Show

August 3 - 25, 2018
Main Gallery

Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present the annual 2018 Art League Student Exhibition, a group exhibition featuring works in jewelry, drawing, mixed-media, ceramic, print-making and painting by students who participated in classes through 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 ALH. 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.                     


2018 Art League Instructor Show

August 3 - 25, 2018
Main Gallery

Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present the annual 2018 Art League 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.


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 ALH. 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.                    


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2018 Summer High School Studio Art Intensive Exhibition

August 3 - 25, 2018
Front Gallery

Art League Houston is excited to present [insert text here…], the 2018 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 will receive 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 and national artists and educators, projects will 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) will meet with participants throughout the program to will share stories and provide insight into the art world. Participants will also spend two days visiting various art spaces and cultural institutions around Houston, gaining insight into the local arts climate in Houston. The program will conclude with a final exhibition and celebration of the work produced for friends, family, and instructors. Each participant will receive an individual portfolio sessions to help prepare for portfolio reviews when applying to colleges and art schools. This program is limited to 16 students. Participants must be able to commit for the full duration of the program.

Participating High School Students: Adora Goodluck, Amira Diaw, Barbara Villarreal, Bevy Cao, Claire Waller, Julian Garza, Juno Durcan, Kathryn Lloyd, Maria Cortes, Megan Ahmed, Samuel Nuñez, Sophia Guzman, Sohpia Malik, Victoria Umstead

Intensive Studio Assistant: Saxton Fisher

Participating Teaching Artists: Daniela Antelo, Nyssa Juneau, Nathan Parmer, Georganne Boardman, Emily Sloan, Dani Pontus, Peter Andrew, Armando Castellan, Jamie Robertston, Maya Joubert, Any C. Evans, Deidre Thomas, Jaz Henry, Cary Reeder, Carrie Schneider, Phillip Pyle II

Community Collaborators: Fresh Arts (Angela Carranza), Sawyer Yards (Grace Zuniga), TXRX Labs (Lauren Calderera), El Rincon Social (Moe Penders), Box 13 (Jake Margolin & Nick Vaughn), MFAH (Jason Dibley & Mayra Rivera), CAMH (Michael Simmonds & YET Torres), Station Museum (Sophie Asakura), and HAA (Deidre Thomas)


Complex 3

Seth Orion Schwaiger

June 8 – July 21, 2018
Main Gallery

Art League Houston is excited to present Complex 3, an exhibition by Austin-based artist, curator, and writer Seth Orion Schwaiger. This exhibition is part of an ongoing series of projects exploring ideas of intrinsic and assigned value, with an increasing focus on the value and quality of non-linear thought. The works in the exhibition include architectural intervention, labyrinthine installation, and doubling of imagery and symbols as a strategy to pull the implied line of traditional exhibition viewing back in on itself. The looping or spiraling of information produces a unique environment that challenges the viewer’s proclivity to process information in a way that speaks to a more outcome-driven, practical, algebraic, cause and effect way of thinking.

Complex 3 is Schwaiger’s first solo exhibition in Houston and his most transparently autobiographical exhibition to date. Here, Schwaiger transforms the gallery space into a spiritual quarantine, a space isolated through sonic and architectural means, in which a dark, yet comical image from the artist’s past can be processed in relative psychological safety. The centerpiece of the exhibition is an obscure video of an interpretive dance produced by the Midwestern Christian cult The Way International in 1986 in which their unique spiritual mythology is articulated through nylon clad performers — including the now disgraced former Way President the Reverend L. Craig Martindale who stars as the protagonist of this baffling film.

By opening this sensitive memory, reexamining the absurdity of his own past, and presenting the imagery of it in a physical way analogous to the mental structures and processes that surround trauma, Schwaiger invites the viewer to consider absurdity and pointlessness — to consider elements that add up to nothing, or to less than the sum of their parts. It is an invitation to take in existence without the overwhelming desire for it to make sense, to consider one’s own past without making every moment integral or necessary, and, in the end, to undo these very same conclusions by putting such pointlessness at the center of thought. It is an invitation into the artists own private mental space.


Seth Orion Schwaiger is a lecturer at the University of Texas. He earned a BFA from the University of Wyoming in 2007 and an MFA from the Glasgow School of art in 2013. Since that time he has published 100+ articles and exhibition essays through museums, galleries, and publications including art ltd., Artsy, Arts + Culture Texas, The Austin Chronicle, Glasstire, New American Painting, Sculpture Magazine, and Sightlines. His work has been shown and collected in Europe and North America including exhibitions in London, Zurich, Berlin, New York, Chicago, Austin, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Recent projects include several collaborations with Elizabeth McDonald Schwaiger: you i i i everything else at De Stijl Gallery, Austin; Arch , part of Good Mourning Tis of Thee at Co-Lab’s Demo Space, Austin; and Unheimlich at Anthem Gallery in San Antonio.

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The Dinner Table

Delita Martin

June 8 – July 21, 2018
Front Gallery

Art League Houston is excited to present The Dinner Table, by Houston based artist Delita Martin. The exhibition features an installation of 200 ceramic plates depicting hand drawn portraits of black women. Inspired by the idea of sitting in the company of powerful community builders, Martin created this exhibition as a testament to the powerful women she has encountered in her life.  No two plates are identical, each serving as a reminder to the unique existence of the woman depicted on its surface.

Throughout history, the marginalization of black women has led to problematic representations of their roles within community and family structures, as well as problematic visual and textual representations; thus making it difficult to document their positive contributions within collective systems. Martin’s current work deals with reconstructing the identity of Black women by piecing together the signs, symbols, and language found in what could be called everyday life from slavery through modern times. Martin's goal is to create images as a visual language to tell the story of women that have often been marginalized, offering a different perspective of the lives of Black women.   


The Dinner Table

Come, I have set a place at The Dinner Table for you.  Against a backdrop void of color, The Dinner Table is a space to nourish the body, mind and soul. I invite you to sit at the table and share in a moment of reflection.

When I began this project I imagined myself in the company of women who are reflections of love, wisdom, faith, beauty and power. I imagined standing shoulder to shoulder with women who are the very foundation of our communities. These are the women represented at The Dinner Table. They are mothers, daughters, sisters, and aunts. Real women who have come into my life during brief encounters or are still present. Through the acknowledgement of self, these women have changed their environment, but as a group of women they are changing the world. I have witnessed this transformation first-hand. The impact these women have on my memory and my spirit are a testament to their power.

The Dinner Table is a space where 200 woman drawn on ceramic plates have been brought together symbolically to share their stories. Each portrait offers a path to understanding who these women are as nurtures, providers, survivors and vessels of wisdom.  They are perfectly imperfect, unfiltered and real. Each plate is as special as the women depicted on them. The plate is a symbol of good fortune, provision, and survival.  These plates have nurtured many and survived being cast aside, even survived being separated and sold from their original homes. Chipped, worn and imperfect these plates rest here, strengthen by their numbers and their collective history.


Delita Martin is an artist currently based in Huffman, Texas.  She received a BFA in drawing from Texas Southern University and a MFA in printmaking from Purdue University. Formally a member of the fine arts faculty at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Martin is currently works as a full-time artist in her studio, Black Box Press. Martin’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. Most recently Martin’s work was included in the State of the Arts: Discovering American Art Now. An exhibition that included 101 artist from around the United States. Her work is included in numerous portfolios and collections.

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The New Border

Luisa Duarte

June 8 – July 21, 2018
Hallway Space

Art League Houston is excited to present “The New Border”, by Houston-based Venezuelan artist, Luisa Duarte. The exhibition features a site specific installation from the artists’ ‘Borders or Territories’ series, comprised of wax thread and thumbtacks that encapsulate space, and envision each pathway as a memory or anecdote. The vertices of each ‘territory’ are held in place by a simple thumbtack, pinned to the wall to hold the shape of each line. By using one continuous thread throughout the site of installation, the artist creates a tridimensional space traced on and over the walls, where seemingly single lines come together to form one unit.


Luisa Duarte is a Venezuela born, Houston-based visual artist. These two worlds, and a diverse blend of cultures, have shaped her ideas and understanding of what constitutes ‘home.’ A vague sense of displacement, and, at times, an underlying yearning to ‘belong,’ has lead the artist to create imaginary spaces that appear to straddle multiple worlds, perspectives and forms.

Throughout her upbringing, Duarte was widely exposed to contemporary non-figurative art during a time when the Latin American geometrical abstraction, constructivism and kinetic art movements were at their peak. This aesthetic, and its push to create new ‘Utopian’ cultural spaces in opposition to mainstream politics and culture, loosely informed her professional practice as an architect, and currently continues to influence her practice as a visual artist.

For more of Luisa’s work, head to

Neon Marty Dance Party!

A Montrose Art Party

Benefiting Art League's Healing Art Program
Co-Chaired by Zachary Gresham and Bobby Bass

Art League Houston is thrilled to invite the public to one of the organization’s most important events of the year, the 2018 Montrose Art Party (MARTY) on Friday, May 18 from 6 – 9 PM benefiting ALH's Healing Art program.

This year’s event, Neon MARTY Dance Party is co-chaired by Bobby Bass and Zachary Gresham and features live music by DJ Flash Gordon Parks, a cash bar (with a very special NEON concoction!), delectable bites, a silent art auction as well as an exhibition of artwork by artists participating in the Healing Art program. Furthermore, the event will honor the National Council of Jewish Women - Greater Houston Section for their continued support of the Healing Art program and its participants.

Established in 1990 by Patrick Palmer, the Healing Art program provides free art instruction and supplies to adults living with chronic illness and physical disabilities. Students attend classes led by experienced artist-teachers where they work on both individual and group art projects. Since many students are living on fixed incomes, tuition and art supplies are provided at no cost. These classes create a network of support in a safe environment and the sales of artwork from this exhibit help to supplement the income of Healing Art participants.

Art League Houston, one of Houston’s oldest arts organizations, connects the community through diverse, dynamic, and creative experiences that bring people together to see, make, and talk about contemporary visual art. Healing Art is a program near and dear to our hearts and we are thrilled to be chairing this exciting event and hope that you can support us in our efforts.

Como Nos Expresamos!

How We Express Ourselves

Artbound! Exhibition

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.

Art League Houston's artist residency program, ArtBound!, is a curriculum-based, in-school integrative arts program at H.I.S.D. elementary schools with little or no visual arts instruction. Classroom teachers participate in the planning process to ensure that the residencies support and enhance their classroom curriculum. Each residency has an Art League Houston Teaching Artist visiting a school eight to ten times during a semester, working with three classrooms per visit. For each visit, the teaching artist works with each class for approximately one hour. Art League Houston Teaching Artists are professional artists and experienced teaching artists. In addition, the ArtBound! residencies integrate into H.I.S.D. curriculum and is provided primarily to grade levels third through fifth.

Each ArtBound! residency includes a culminating event, which can be an informal showing of student art work at the participating school or at a neighborhood library or other venue. The Art League Houston Teaching Artist collects the artwork from the teachers and works with an Art League staff member to prepare and hang the art.

Since 2008, over 4,000 elementary students in H.I.S.D. have received visual arts instruction through the ArtBound! program that would otherwise not have access.

For more information about ArtBound!, e-mail Eepi Chaad, Youth & Community Outreach Coordinator, at or call Art League Houston at 713-523-9530.

Just Relax

Britt Thomas

FotoFest 2018 Biennial
March 23, 2018 – May 5, 2018
Main Gallery

Art League Houston is excited to present Just Relax, an exhibition by Houston based photographer Britt Thomas, in conjunction with Fotofest 2018 Biennial. The exhibition features a selection of audio, video, and photographic components that explores issues related to infertility. The phrase “Just Relax” refers to the most common advice given to people struggling with conceiving by well-meaning friends and family who frequently have no idea of the realities surrounding infertility and pregnancy loss. The reality is that 10-15% of the population suffers from infertility, and approximately 25% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage or stillbirth. Despite these high numbers, infertility is still a highly taboo topic to be freely discussed in public. The lack of discourse on infertility and pregnancy loss has sustained an atmosphere of isolation and embarrassment for people experiencing these obstacles.

“Considering that this exhibition is my first endeavor into presenting a predominantly private struggle,” says the artist. “I opted to start by applying my personal experience with infertility and pregnancy loss. Since 2014, my husband and I have been working on building our family. We chose in-vitro fertilization (IVF) as our method to create a family based on our wants and circumstances. Because of my intimate knowledge of this method, much of the artworks in this exhibition reflect that choice. Obviously, this is not the only option for individuals wanting to start a family, and I hope that this exhibition leads to more opportunities to work with people who are fighting to overcome infertility and build their families in other ways. In other words, this is not the culmination of this project, but the start of an extensive body of work exploring the many facets to infertility and pregnancy loss.”


Britt Thomas is an interdisciplinary artist currently living and working in Houston, TX. Extracting the strange from the familiar is Thomas’s aim in art making. She uses lens-based media and mass-produced materials to uncover inherent peculiarities in ordinary materials, visuals, and experiences. At the center of her art exploration is the human experience. Thomas’s introspective nature gives rise to over analysis of how people relate to each other, society, and their environment. Thomas was born and raised in Southeast Texas, receiving her M.F.A. in Photography and Digital Media from the University of Houston in 2011.

Makeover Kingdom

Cobra McVey

FotoFest 2018 Biennial
March 23, 2018 – May 5, 2018
Hallway Space

Art League Houston is excited to present Makeover Kingdom, an exhibition by Houston based artist Cobra McVey. Makeover Kingdom features found object assemblages representing the King, Queen, progeny and members of the court in a futuristic kingdom. The materials used to create the assemblages suggest new life forms mutated from orphaned thrift store objects and mass-produced consumer goods, foretelling the fallout from widespread industrialization as ruling the future. The installation transforms surplus synthetic objects into royalty and the hallway of Art League Houston into a castle space. Makeover Kingdom is a futuristic tableau that combines humor and fantasy with an underlying pragmatism.


Cobra McVey is a Houston based artist who uses found objects and recycled synthetic materials in combination with traditional art making techniques to create futuristic environments that reference contemporary culture. She is the lead singer and guitarist for Winelord, a female punk rock trio hatched from the same B-movie aesthetic that influences her visual art. She is also co-founder, costume maker, and a major dancer of The Bar-B-Que Gang Dance Troupe, an enterprise that combines design and performance. McVey received an MFA from the University of Georgia in 2012 and has been an Artist-in-Residence at Virginia Commonwealth University, The Vermont Studio Center, and Houston’s Post-Studio Projects and Lawndale Art Center. She has lived in Massachusetts, Arizona, and Georgia but now considers Texas home. Her work has been screened at festivals and exhibited nationally. Winelord’s album, III, is available online and at record stores across the United States.

The Unwaged

Rodrigo Valenzuela

FotoFest 2018 Biennial
March 23, 2018 – May 5, 2018
Front Gallery

Art League Houston is excited to present The Unwaged, by LA-based artist Rodrigo Valenzuela. The exhibition features a single-channel video addressing unpaid labor, volunteering, and internship culture rooted in the capital market. Coming from a low income family and spending most of his twenties as an undocumented worker, the artist was never able to enjoy the privilege of building a CV that would ensure a career. The Unwaged comments on the stress generated by unpaid labor, career building gigs and the outcomes of being underappreciated economically.

The video features a collection of interviews with individuals that have worked for free in exchange for the promise of a “good opportunity”. The length of each interview was determined by personal endurance, and composed to appear as if they all took place in the same room. The strenuous process and resulting composite footage reflect the environment of capital oppression that one must endure in order to achieve personal and professional goals. 


Rodrigo Valenzuela constructs narratives and stories which highlight the tensions between individual and community, and alienation and displacement. The artist utilizes autobiographical threads to inform larger fields of experience. Often using landscapes and tableaus with day laborers or himself, Valenzuela explores the way an image is inhabited, and the way that spaces, objects and people are translated into images. His work serves as an expressive and intimate point of contact between the broader realms of subjectivity and political contingency in order to engage the viewer in questions concerning the ways in which the formation and experience of each work is situated—how they exist in and out of place. He holds an MFA in photomedia from the University of Washington, a BA in philosophy from Evergreen State College, and a BFA in Art History and Photography from the University of Chile.


Hazel Meyer

January 26–March 10, 2018
Front Gallery

Art League Houston is excited to present Muscle Panic objects, a site-specific installation by Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist Hazel Meyer. The exhibition is part of the artist's ongoing, multifaceted project Muscle Panic, which explores the relationship between artistic and athletic practices. The exhibition features an immersive installation comprising of archival research, textile, sculpture, and performance conceived by the artist to recover the queer aesthetics, politics, and bodies often effaced within histories of sports and recreation.

Leading the viewer through the space, the works offer an extended consideration regarding the performative nature of the athletic as it intersects with queerness. The exhibition instigates an arena of sweat and queer desire, evoking the imagery of momentous sports history, the bodily gestures and actions of a drill or warm-up and the aesthetics of the gymnasium. Simultaneously an installation and a performance, the exhibition transforms the banal and austere white cube into a hot physically charged site for emotional and physical exchange.

Additionally, the exhibition features a performance at the opening reception led by the artist in collaboration with local women, trans and/or non-binary artists, athletes and activists. The performance begins for the performers with a 5 km run through Houston, and begins for the audience as they arrive at the Art League Main Gallery. Drawing on the gestures and routines of sports practice as a way to explore the emotive dimensions of sport, the performance is semi-improvised and based on athletic drills, pregame rituals, teammate dynamics and workouts. Remnants of the performance, including the performer's sweaty uniforms will be left on view in the installation, tying action with environment, and leaving a trace of the warm bodies that were there.


Hazel Meyer is an interdisciplinary artist who works with installation, performance, and text to investigate the relationships between sport, sexuality, feminism, and material culture. Recent exhibitions and projects include Propped at Oakville Galleries, Tape Condition: degraded with Cait McKinney at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives in Toronto, a screening of Muscle Panic at neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst in Berlin, a commission to produce the installation and performance Where Once Stood a Bandstand for Cruising & Shelter for Nuit Blanche Toronto and her text PONE BONE published in Art Criticism and Other Short Stories.  Her collaborative work with McKinney has been featured in No More Potlucks (CA), Little Joe: Queers and Cinema Magazine 5th issue (UK), PHILE (DE), INCITE Journal of Experimental Media (US), and the upcoming exhibition Deep Down Body Thirst, curated by the collective Radclyffe Hall in Glasgow (SCT) 2018. She holds degrees from OCAD University (Toronto) and Concordia University (Montréal) and volunteers as the textile-banner custodian at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives.

The artist acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.


Sherman Finch

January 26 – March 10, 2018
Front Gallery

League Houston is excited to present Perceptual Perpetual, an exhibition by Houston-based artist Sherman Finch. The exhibition features a new body of work that explores visualization, interaction, physics, and conceptual art. The show includes sonic sculptures, wall assemblages, and a mechanized drawing performance. The work relies on audience participation to activate a visual system, which allow variations of order and chaos to influence how the work is perceived. The artist describes the work as a kind of “physics machine,” similar to the anatomy of a pachinko game or a children’s handheld spinner toy, where gravity, kinetics, and a variety of other forces, cause surfaces to spin and set objects in motion. Each piece offers a unique interactive framework that creates random fluctuations in movement and audio mechanics. As the work is activated, a conversation emerges between visual aesthetics and embodied interaction. This results in a playful approach to the art experience.

The exhibition presents a nexus between art and science that recalls such sources as Galileo’s astronomical instruments, Leonardo da Vinci’s diagrams on perpetual motion, John Cage’s artistic philosophy of chance, and Jean Tinguely’s concept of meta-mechanics. Ultimately, this work celebrates creativity and human ingenuity.


Sherman Finch is a hybrid artist who works in traditional, digital, and multi-media forms, with a special emphasis in the area of creative interaction, kinetic assemblage, sonification, and conceptual art. He received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and two Master’s degrees from the Maryland Institute, College of Art: a multidisciplinary MFA at Mount Royal and an MA in Digital Arts.

His work has been exhibited, performed, and screened at venues such as Roswell Museum and Art Center, Amarillo Museum of Art, Artscape in Baltimore, Site:Brooklyn, Govenor’s Island Art Fair, Alexandria Museum of Art, Art Interactive Gallery Boston, Sarai Media Lab in New Delhi, New Museum of Art Detroit, York Art Gallery UK, among other places. He is included in the publication Future Now: 100 Contemporary Artists, produced by Aesthetica, a British art and culture magazine. Recently, Finch’s work was featured on a billboard in Los Angeles as part of the 2016 Billboard Creative Public Art Project and was an official selection of the 2017 London Experimental Film Festival.  He is an Assistant Professor in the Visualization Department at Texas A&M and a founding member of the collaborative group, The AKA Collective.

This exhibition sponsored in part by Ariel Camacho and Valspar. 


Gao Hang

January 26 – March 10, 2018
Hallway Space                         

Art League Houston is excited to present Good Times, Bad Times, Give Me Some of That, an exhibition by Chinese born and Houston based artist, Gao Hang. The exhibition features an installation of small scale watercolors from the artists’ diary highlighting his moments of culture shock upon arrival to the United States. The works in the exhibition mirror the humor, surprise, strangeness and optimism of his experience as a foreigner from China experiencing daily life in the United States. Drawing on the people, places and things around him as subject matter, the artist collects every interesting moment of daily life, and culls from this “database” to extract and distill interesting external phenomena and internal experiences through painting, drawing and sculpture. Hang’s work is a reconstitution of a new visual form using invented color and pattern, to mirror his physical and mental states from moment to moment. Furthermore, each artwork features a clever and sincere caption describing his early observations and impressions of day to day life in the U.S. 


"To my dear friends in America:

Time flies really fast. After six months, all the exciting experience and confusing culture differences were gradually becoming not that surprising to me. I can even calmly say "What's up" to a giant cockroach now. Luckily, I recorded this whole experience in stories via my watercolor diary which becomes immortal.

I consider life in the US as another new beginning of my life, so literally I am about to have my one year birthday in few months. Thanks to all my new friends I met here. You helped me a lot and you are all the "first group of friends" in my new life.

Hope you enjoy this diary.

Best wishes



Gao Hang (高航), is a Chinese painter and graduate of the School of Fine Art of Capital Normal University (Beijing, China). He is currently enrolled in the University of Houston’s painting MFA program. His work has been exhibited in Houston at Anya Tish Gallery, Lawndale Art Center, and Second Bedroom Gallery, and in Beijing and Guangzhou at various locations.   

Hang is influenced by eastern philosophy, particularly the doctrine of Zhongyoung, a practice of balance and harmony. He uses this as both a conceptual and structural armature, and as a result his works offer a sense of rational and stable readability in their often repetitive or dualistic nature. The artist’s recent move to the United States offers him a new lens of a more free and open society. This new terrain and vantage point unwraps endless possibilities, with much to explore.  

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