Past Exhibitions



Exhibition dates: November 20, 2015 - January 11, 2016
Opening reception: Friday, November 20, 6-9 PM
ALH Main Gallery I Artist talk at 6:30 PM


In collaboration with artists from Occupy Museums, Art League Houston is excited to present Debtfair, an exhibition which aims to expose the relationship between economic inequality in the culture industry and artists' growing debt burdens. The exhibition features work from sixty Texas-based artists who responded to an open call inviting artists to submit artworks that are of equal relative value to their monthly debt payment. The works in this exhibition represent a collective debt of over $3 million dollars, with interest rates ranging from zero using income-based repayment plans to as high as 19%.

By focusing on a monthly debt payment as a position of value, artists and viewers are asked to consider the fluctuating relationships of artists' time, development, creative production, exploration, community, and sustainability under increasing financial burdens. Answering questions on their economic realities as part of the open call process, participatingDebtfair artists reveal the enormity of the often speculative loan industry with debts to over 30 financial institutions represented amongst the 60 participants. Displayed directly inside wall openings between studs in Art League Houston's Main Gallery, the work of exhibiting artists will invoke the layers of extraction that exist in most spaces and those particularly present in the rarified value system of the culture industry.

Growing out of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, conceptualization for Debtfair began in 2012 by asking artists to share their economic realities in alignment with their art work. Discovering the complexity of decisions that inform not only an artist's work but also their economic conditions, collects profiles presenting artist's imagery and their statements on the ways "economic reality affects your art."

With 99 profiles to date and $5.1 million in debt represented, continues to align artists' work with their economic realities as a new prism in which to consider cultural production in the growing debt crisis. Asked to create profiles in tandem with physical installation, each Texas-based artist's online statements provide a narrative window to the feelings and experiences of being an artist while navigating economic conditions. 

While many feel isolated by their economic reality, Debtfair works to build solidarity and community around our shared economic conditions. Art League Houston will host the first fully-realized project using the Debtfair model. Artwork in the exhibition will be organized in collective groupings ("bundles") based on commonalities between each artist's economic realities, presenting artworks and artists in shared rather than individual terms. Total debts amongst the artists are tabulated in a running tally while identifying the institutions in which these debts are rooted, the feelings they elicit and the choices they represent.

Debtfair Bundle Pricing Statement

Each artist in this exhibition has declared a financial value for their artwork that is connected to their monthly debt payment or a monthly economic burden relative to their art practice. All artists have been free to create associations they see fit within their own economic reality and the details they have chosen to share with DEBTFAIR in our artist questionnaire. The total of all individual values is the base price of each collective bundle. No artworks within the exhibition of the show will be sold individually but rather available as a collective unit in solidarity.

In order to place artists' economic realities in the context of the larger economy, unique interest rates will be applied beginning January 1st to the base price of each bundle. Totals will be compounded daily through the remainder of the show.

The interest rates in general are an effort to draw attention to the ways that our debts and economic risks are financialized and converted to profit for the financial industry based on the continued burden of others. Each interest rate chosen relates to a unique reality among the participating artists or a condition of the broader culture. On January 1, the prices of bundles will increase in the following ways:

  • The "Bank" Bundle will increase in price by 7%, the average interest rate artists are paying on their debts within the bundle.
  • The "Works Multiple Jobs" Bundle will increase by 4.4%, the rate of unemployment in Texas as of October 2015.
  • The "Fear, Stress, Anxiety" Bundle will increase by 13%, the percentage of Americans on antidepressants recorded in 2012.
  • The "Gallery Represented" Bundle will increase by 8%, the global increase in art sales in one year measured in 2013.

In the event of a sale, individual values declared by each artist will be honored and all interest increases evenly split as artist payment. All payments will go directly to the artists' lending institutions in the form of financial debt relief. For any questions, please contact

For further information on the project, participating artists or the availability of collectivized artworks, please contact Jennie Ash at


Debtfair is an ongoing artistic campaign dedicated to exploring the relationship between economic inequality in the art market and artists' increasing debt burdens. Debtfair at Art League Houston is organized by Noah Fischer and Kenneth Pietrobono with Tal Beery, Imani Jacqueline Brown and Arthur Polendo: Occupy Museums members. Occupy Museums is a direct action art group that grew out of the Occupy Wall Street Movement in

This project is funded in large part by the Heimbinder Family Foundation


Lauren van Haaften-Schick
Exhibition dates: November 20, 2015 - January 11, 2016
Opening reception: Friday, November 20, 6-9 PM
ALH Front Gallery

Art League Houston is excited to present Non-Participation, organized by Lauren van Haaften-Schick. Non-Participation is a collection of letters written by artists to decline invitations to participate in cultural events for various political or ethical reasons. In recent years there has been a surge of public protest against highly notable and prestigious art events, including the 2014 Whitney Biennial, The 19th Sidney Biennale, Manifesta 10, and many others. Concurrent with this phenomenon is an increase in attention to artists' labor rights, as evident in the great interest in Working Artists for the Greater Economy's W.A.G.E. Certification system, and major conferences facilitating new ways of speaking about art and labor, such as the Art League Houston's charge practicum. In this moment of encouraging upheaval in the arts, Non-Participation seeks to collect the evidence of these efforts and make visible the key role that acts of refusal and withdrawal might play in introducing reform. In the words of artist Michael Rakowitz, "what an artist refuses is sometimes more important than what he or she agrees to."

The act of non-participation extends beyond a statement of "no." It forces a pause or stoppage allowing for the reconsideration of our routine modes of production and of the transactions in which we take part, and leads us to ask why it is that we might feel pressured to say an unqualified "yes." The activation of non-participation as strategy and method is dually tied to histories of protest as well as creative destruction, wherein the aim is to reveal a new form of production that disrupts the reproduction of the standards in place. As written documents, the letters and statements within this project comprise an archive of pauses, breaks, risk, and non-reproduction. The declaration and inscription of "N-O" remains the foundation, for it ends with an opening. 

These letters have been collected through an ongoing open call for submissions, complemented by historical research. Issues raised in these artists' letters include the non-payment of artists' fees, the denial of copyright ownership, censorship, and controversy over funding sources, among many others. The submissions received are global in reach, from as far as Australia, the Balkans, to all regions of the US, and include both established and lesser-known artists. At the Art League Houston, this presentation of Non-Participation focuses on letters that challenge labor and economic inequities, in conversation with the second edition of charge. Letters submitted during the exhibition at the Art League Houston will be added to an online archive at Submissions should be sent to

Previous presentations and workshops around Non-Participation have been held in St. Louis, MO, the University of California at Berkeley, the Art League Houston, TX, and in Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark. In the summer of 2014 the first exhibition of Non-Participation was held at the Luminary in St. Louis. The letters are currently being compiled into a book published with Half Letter Press (Copenhagen/Chicago), and will also be collected in an ongoing online archive. 

Call for Submissions: Non-Participation

Lauren van Haaften-Schick is now collecting your letters of non-participation, which will be compiled as a publication and online archive at, with additional exhibitions and events to be announced. 

Please send copies of your letters via email to With your submission, please indicate whether or not you wish to remain anonymous. All names and contact information can be omitted or made public. Each letter should be accompanied by a very brief factual account of the incident and/or any other relevant information that could illuminate the situation, as you see fit. There is currently no deadline for submissions.


Lauren van Haaften-Schick is an art historian, artist, and curator whose work considers the artistic appropriation and deployment of legal technologies, such as contracts, concepts of property, and regulation. Subjects include the work of curator and bibliographer Seth Siegelaub, Conceptual Art, artists' publications and media interventions, and artists' labor and property rights. She is currently pursuing her PhD in the History of Art at Cornell University, and is the Associate Director of the Art & Law Program in New York City. 

Recent exhibitions include "Non-Participation," The Luminary, MO, and "Canceled: Alternative Manifestations & Productive Failures," The Center for Book Arts, NY, among additional venues (2012-14). Presentations & publications include: "The Artists' Resale Right," Artists Space Books & Talks, NY, as a member of the W.A.G.E. Artists Resale Rights Working Group; "What Now? The Politics of Listening," Art in General and the Vera List Center, NY; Law, Culture, and the Humanities at Georgetown University Law Centre; "Gauging the Gray Area" (with Helena Keeffe) for "Valuing Labor in the Arts" at the Arts Research Center, UC Berkeley, and "charge practicum" at the Art League Houston; "Seth Siegelaub's Agreement as Critical Circulation," New York University; and "Cariou v. Prince: Toward a Theory of Aesthetic-Judicial Judgments" (with Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento) published in the Texas A&M Law Review.

2015 Texas Artist of the Year

I’m Not Tellin’ by Amy Blakemore

Exhibition dates: September 25 - November 7, 2015


Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present the 2015 Texas Artist of the Year exhibition: I’m Not Tellin’ by Amy Blakemore. The exhibition features a survey of new and existing work that span over a twenty five year period of the artist's prolific and exceptional career. Ranging from the spontaneous to the vulnerable to the ominous, the works in this exhibition feature a selection of portraits, landscapes and still lifes that reveal a visual diary of the artist’s travels to Mexico, and Europe as well as Houston during 1989-2015. The exhibition pulls from several bodies of work that were taken using the artist’s characteristic Diana and Robot Royal cameras, and range from the artist’s earlier black-and-white series to her more recent color photography. In addition, the exhibition will feature a small selection of the artist’s hand-made ceramics, and in the ALH Hallway Space, a unique installation made up of 1950’s Jean & Sandy head vases that the artist has been collecting for over the past twenty years.  

An exhibition catalog will be available featuring an essay by Josh Bernstein.

Renowned for her deceptively simple photographs of friends, family, and local landscapes, Amy Blakemore creates intimate and emotional narratives from everyday situations and mundane gestures. Often capturing candid moments of complete strangers, the Tulsa-born artist has the unique power of taking the unfamiliar and making it completely personal. Blakemore’s photographs are all hand-developed and printed from color film in the artist’s wet darkroom.  Since the early 1980s, she has focused on working with Diana cameras, inexpensive plastic box cameras that first appeared in the 1960s as prizes at raffles, carnivals or even in cereal boxes.

In 2011, Blakemore also started working with a 1953 Robot Royal camera, a very well made and rugged German camera, which takes square photographs on normal 35mm film. This camera was introduced in Germany in the 1930’s, and was often used during wartime for military research and record work. 

“If you have any streak of contrarian in you, few things are sillier than art working too hard to be poignant.  Inflated, generalized displays are cartoonish, and cartoons are goofy.  And even a sincere straight-shooter will concede that significance never sticks to the obvious things anyway.  The indelible memories always end up being a light breeze tousling your bully’s hair, or the groom’s sweat-stained suit, or a weird reflection in the floor polish as you hug your mom.  They stay with you because those are the details that affirm it really happened.  You were there; it wasn’t boilerplate.

Amy Blakemore is, among many other things, a contrarian.  She got distance from her teachers in graduate school by switching from black-and-white to color photography, and subsequently switched twice more.  She persisted in using a Diana camera in the face of considerable early scorn.  Now celebrated for her Diana pictures, she’s moved to a Robot Royal to test her limits.  She resists the term ‘artist’ in favor of ‘photographer’ or ‘documentarian’, but gives precious little orienting information to her photographs.  My personal favorite: in an interview a few years back, when asked what emotional impact she wanted her photographs to make, she replied, “I’m not telling.” She’s not going to guide you through the world she’s chronicling.  Try to keep up.” Excerpt from I’m Not Tellin’ by Josh Bernstein 2015


Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Amy Blakemore lives and works in Houston. She received a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Art from Drury College (now Drury University), Springfield, MO, and an M.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. From 1985–87 she was an artist resident at the Core Residency Program, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Blakemore has exhibited her photographs throughout Texas and internationally for the last thirty years, including participating in the 2006 Whitney Biennial, Day for Night, curated by Chrissie Iles and Philippe Vergne, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, and solo presentations at Inman Gallery (2014, 2012), James Harris Gallery, Seattle, WA (2010) and the 2005 Pingyao International Festival for Photography in Pingyao, P.R. China. A twenty-year retrospective of the artist’s work, Amy Blakemore: Photographs 1988–2008, was organized by Alison de Lima Greene at the MFAH (2009), and traveled to the Seattle Art Museum (2010) and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (2011). She is Chair of the Photography Department at the Glassell School of Art, MFAH where she has taught for the past thirty years. Amy is represented by Inman Gallery, in Houston.

Art League Houston is enormously grateful to the individuals who lent work to this exhibition: Lynn Herbert, Cecily Horton, Elise & Stephen Hough, Kerry Inman & Inman Gallery, Sam Lasseter & Dillon Kyle, Erika & Jim Liu, Claire Smith & Russell Murrell, Kathryn & Jim Sherman, Paul Smead, and Jane & Stuart Weil.

Major funding for this catalog was provided by The Eleanor and Frank Freed Foundation. Further funding and in-kind support has been provided by: Sam Jones and Art PROvision Company, Mary & George Hawkins, Houston Endowment Inc., The Brown Foundation, the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Speedy Printing, the Texas Commission on the Arts, Mrs. Kathrine McGovern and the John P. McGovern Foundation, Kerry Inman and the Inman Gallery.

In 1983, Art League Houston created the Texas Artist of the Year award as a dynamic annual project documenting Texas art history. Art League Houston was the first organization in the state to develop such an award. To date, thirty-one artists have been honored. Past recipients include Havel Ruck Project, Rachel Hecker, Kermit Oliver, Aaron Parazette, Mary McCleary, Joseph Havel, Melissa Miller, Al Souza, The Art Guys, Luis Jiménez, Bert L. Long, Jr., Jesús Moroles, James Surls, and Dr. John Biggers, among others.

2015 Lifetime Achievement Award in the Visual Arts

The Greatest of All is Love by Forrest Prince

Exhibition dates: September 25 - November 7, 2015

Opening reception: Friday, September 25, 6-9 PM


Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award in the Visual Arts exhibition: The Greatest of All is Love by Forrest Prince. The exhibition features a survey of over thirty works that span over a forty year period of the artist's spiritual and visionary career. The works in this exhibition range from the late 1960’s to 2013, and include pieces that have never before been publically exhibited. The works include a selection of the artist’s distinctive mirror mosaic sculptures, along with some of his early carved wood sculptures, and later works which deal with compelling issues related to health, animal rights and social justice.

An exhibition catalog will be available featuring an introduction by Caroline Huber and an essay by Susie Kalil.

For more than 40 years, Houston artist Forrest Prince has created some of the region’s most compelling, religious-inspired artwork. His sculpture, assemblages, and installations in the shape of hearts, crosses and text that reflect his spirituality and ardent commitment to a life of compassion and explore his strong feelings about food consumption and government corruption. Unlike many other artists who are interested primarily in self-expression, Prince is didactic in his art. He means, first and foremost to get a message across. His artwork gives people a chance to wake up. As Forrest says, “The truth will set you free.”

He is perhaps best known for working with mirrors, a material the artist uses to highlight the importance of self-reflection. Working with no formal art education, Prince is an exquisitely skilled craftsman whose artwork not only embodies a unique aesthetic that is both traditional and contemporary, but also reflects a powerful and engaging sense of peace and beauty.

“ATTENTION ARTISTS - If the work you are doing is not contributing to peace on earth and the health and welfare of all the creatures who reside here, you are wasting your life and everyone’s time.” - Forrest Prince

Born is 1935 in Houston’s East End, Forrest Prince began living on the streets around Navigation Blvd and Wayside Drive when he was thirteen. He joined the Marines when he turned 17 and was honorably discharged three years later. After a troubled early life of drug and sex addiction, crime, jail, and multiple suicide attempts, Prince found art and God at about the same time in 1969. His spiritual conversion came when he was lying on a bathroom floor with blood running from holes in his arms and legs and a needle full of amphetamines stuck in the back of one leg. He couldn’t find a vain.

In the more than four decades since then, Prince has led an ascetic life of service. His religious beliefs are based on the Dead Sea Scrolls, believed to be the earliest form of the Bible. Considering his body to be a temple to God, the artist stopped eating meat or any other cooked food, and began fasting on Sundays. Although his beliefs take the form of fundamentalism, he doesn’t proselytize as some fundamentalists do. He applies his rules only to himself. He is an artist with a true sense of humility and without false pride.

“Forrest has been fearless in the issues that he tackles in his work. He has been living at the edge of our culture in every sense, financially, spiritually, and this has allowed him to see the truth. He has never compromised. Looking at his work, we not only see ourselves, but we also see our own truths. The work is challenging on every level." - Susie Kalil, Independent Art Critic and Curator

Prince’s trials in overcoming addiction, as well as his life of sobriety, self-imposed poverty, and compassion for people in dire need has helped inform his practice and given him the knowledge and the inner strength to make authentically spiritual works of art. One of the first people to recognize his artistic talent and introduce him to local gallery owners was George Feurmann, a local historian and the editor for the Houston Post from 1971 to 1983. Feurmann and Prince connected over some old City of Houston tax rolls that the artist found while looking for materials to make art. When Prince was in trouble, Feurmann gave him a place to stay in the country to get clean and work on his art.

In 1976, Prince was offered his first solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston by the Museum’s then Director Jim Harithas. Since then he has participated in solo shows at The Station Museum (2013), a solo retrospective at DiverseWorks (1991), and several group exhibitions in museums and galleries including The Art Car Museum (2014, 2010, 2007, 2001), Zoya Tommy Contemporary (2012), The Station Museum (2010, 2005),  Lawndale Art Center (The Big Show: 2008, 2007, 2004, 1995, 1994), The Menil Collection (2005), San Antonio Museum of Fine Arts (1991), DiverseWorks (1987), Hooks-Epstein Gallery (1989), Midtown Art Center (1983), and the Lawndale Annex (1982). His work is in the permanent collections of the University of Houston and The Menil Collection. In 1983, Prince established the Praise God Foundation with a friend to help care for people who live in nursing homes and health-care centers around the city. He donates the income made from his artwork and any other donations he can find to the Praise God Foundation. 

We would like to thank the lenders to the exhibition: Anonymous, Lourdes & Ray Balinskas, Sarah Balinskas, (Sue Ann) Jacquie Banks, Jody Blazek, Tommy & Ana Lisa Cloud, Gayle & Mike DeGuerin, Laura Fain, Monika Federowicz, Georgia W. Hitchcock, Lollie Jackson, Jon Jenkins & Robert Scott, Sandra Jensen & Cruser Rowland, The Menil Collection, Greg Mermel, Elizabeth & Dene Oliver, and Jean Schuler. 

Major funding for this catalog was provided by The Eleanor and Frank Freed Foundation and Laura Fain. Further funding and in-kind support has been provided by: Sam Jones and Art PROvision Company, Houston Endowment Inc., The Brown Foundation, the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Speedy Printing, the Texas Commission on the Arts, Mrs. Kathrine McGovern and the John P. McGovern Foundation.

In 2013, Art League Houston celebrated its 65th Anniversary as an arts organization and the 30th Anniversary of its Texas Artist of the Year award. In recognition of this occasion, Art League Houston established the biennial Lifetime Achievement Award in the Visual Arts for artists whose career has spanned more than forty years, and who have made an outstanding contribution to the world of visual art in Texas and beyond. The first recipient was Kermit Oliver.

2015 Houston Fine Art Fair:  The Loft: Mat Kubo + Paul Middendorf + Randy Bolton  

September 9 - 12, 2015

NRG Stadium


Art League Houston is excited to present The Loft, a special project space at the 2015 Houston Fine Art Fair featuring installations and performances by Mat Kubo, Paul Middendorf and Randy Bolton.

Paul Middendorf will present The Power Tower, a temporary site-specific installation in the form of a deer stand-inspired structure. Part social gathering spot, and part back woods hangout, the structure welcomes weary art fair attendees. The Power Tower will feature new works and interdisciplinary ideas and will function as a self-sustaining interactive environment, where the artist will not only host interviews with visitors, exhibiting artists, curators and gallerists, but perform at various times through the duration of the fair. Hunt or Be Hunted, Bargain seekers, and deep woods animal trophy collectors and providers, the installation and environment combines the survivalist within all of us. The Power Tower is part of an ongoing site specific performative sculptural elements by the artist and will be shown for the first time through the ALH at the 2015 HFAF.

Mat Kubo will present No Talking, Just Typing, an on-going performance piece where HFAF fairgoer’s will be invited to sit across from the artist with a 1970's style typewriter and communicate with him in silence through an exchange of typewritten messages. This conceptual performance often allows participants to open up and share private details of their lives they wouldn’t in a causal conversation. 

Randy Bolton will present Today + Tomorrow, an innovative sculptural print installation that explores the interplay between narrative imagery and three-dimensional objects, as well as the conceptual notion of a sculptural print and an image/object multiple. Today + Tomorrow introduces a new kind of open-ended, associative narrative structure” says the artist “that allows for the possibility of the emergence of a new type of visual fiction – one constructed from a collection of metonymic fragments in which the many seemingly unconnected, unrelated images and objects represent parts of a larger, and not yet defined whole.”

Special thanks to Dean Liscum, Ann-Marie Tcholakian, Wayne Gilbert, Paul Hester, Gary Wasserman, Marc Schwartz, Ferdinand Andres and Nancy Wozny.

Zoo at the Edge of the World: A Continuum of the Exotic  
Lavar Munroe

ALH Main Gallery

Exhibition Dates: July 31 – September 12, 2015

Opening Reception: Friday July 31, 2015 I 6 – 9 PM


Art League Houston is excited to present Zoo at the Edge of the World:  A Continuum of the Exotic, an exhibition by US-based Bahamian artist Lavar Munroe. The exhibition features a selection of mixed-media paintings that explore the nineteenth century phenomena of the “human zoo”. The work in this exhibition investigate how this phenomenon, which is arguably the origin of racist stereotypes today, fits into the wider discourse of history.

Through the manipulation of imagery sourced from ethnologic illustrations, human zoo advertisements, and sideshow banners, Munroe’s work creates an “elsewhere” that examines narratives, exhibits and fascinations that resulted from Human Zoo displays. In much of his work, the ‘exotic human other’ is often paired alongside a wild animal and beast, which was true to many of the human zoo exhibits of the time.

“I simultaneously reference the systematic representation of human difference that occurred during the phenomena of the “human zoo”,” says the artist. “The work introduces an alternate history that readdresses the then popular craze for monstrosity through displays and commercialization of human difference in order to justify superiority of Western exhibitors during the Colonial era.”

The artist’s process of destruction and rebuilding onto the artworks surface is meant to further charge the narrative in these works. Through cutting, tearing, stitching, stapling and ‘nursing’ the surfaces, the work points to the history of exploitation and cruelty that was, and still is faced by the underrepresented body within the larger framework of society.


Munroe was born in Nassau, Bahamas where he resided in the community of Grants Town until 2004. He grew up challenged with a lot of stigmas and stereotypes that were associated with the community that he lived in. Much of Munroe's understanding of such societal disparities was informed by his upbringing. This is evident in the disturbing, yet gorgeous and powerful works he creates. He relocated to the United States of America in 2004 to pursue tertiary level education. He has resided in the United States of America ever since.

In 2007 he received his Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from Savannah College of Art and Design and a Masters of Fine Art degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 2013. In April 2015, Lavar Munroe was invited to participate in the 56th Venice biennale’s international exhibition, All the World’s Futures, curated by Okwui Enwezor, and in 2010, represented The Bahamas at the 2010 Liverpool Biennial. In 2014, he was selected as a finalist for the Chairo Painting Prize at Headlands Center for the Arts, and in 2013, he was selected as Editor’s Choice in issue no.105 of New American Painting. Munroe is an alumnus of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and a recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painting and Sculpture Grant in 2013. Most recently Munroe was awarded residencies at the Joan Mitchell Center and the MacDowell Colony. He is currently pursuing a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

Other awards and recognition's include: The Kraus Family Foundation Fellowship, Beach Institute’s: Yes We Can Grant, The Mildred Suliburk Dennis Memorial Scholarship, Sam Fox Dean's Initiative Fund Grant, Mary Beth Hassan Fund Grant, The Central Bank of The Bahamas Fellowship, The National Endowment for the Arts Grant: Nassau Bahamas among others. Munroe has exhibited in institutions such as The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum (St. Louis MO), the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (Nassau Bahamas) and the Nasher Museum of Art (Durham North Carolina), and the Contemporary Art Museum (Raleigh NC). His work is represented by Jack Bell Gallery based in London and NOMAD Gallery Brussel/Miami.

Munroe lives and works between Washington, DC, Chapel Hill North Carolina, and Nassau Bahamas.

Bayou Baroque

Letitia Huckaby

ALH Front Gallery

Exhibition Dates: July 31 – September 12, 2015

Opening Reception: Friday July 31, 2015 I 6 – 9 PM


Art League Houston is pleased to announce a new exhibition by Letitia Huckaby entitled Bayou Baroque. The exhibition honors the nuns at the Sisters of the Holy Family Mother House in New Orleans, Louisiana: an African-American congregation, founded in 1842 as servants to the youth, the poor and the elderly. Their foundress Henrietta Delille broke with the traditional placage system of colored women being placed as concubines to wealthy white men in New Orleans. Inspired by the spirit of sacrifice and faith in these women, the work in this exhibition embraces a visual vocabulary that evokes old master portraiture.

"I have always been drawn to old master religious paintings, and I wanted to give these pieces the same compositional weight" says the artist. "The women were photographed either in front of or silhouetted by bed sheets with intricate floral patterns. Kehinde Wiley's heroic portraits of the urban male were a huge inspiration for me and I studied his use of pattern, color and pose. Bayou Baroque is my way of honoring these women, their courage, their sacrifice and their faith with my own unique visual vocabulary."


Letitia Huckaby holds an MFA in Photography from the University of North Texas, a BFA in Photography from the University of Boston at Lesley and a BA in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma at Norman, Oklahoma. Her work is part of the permanent collections of the Art Museum of Southeast Texas in Beaumont, the Samella Lewis Contemporary Art Collection at Scripps College in Claremont, California, the Brandywine Workshop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the City of Fort Worth at Ella Mae Shamblee Branch Library and the City of Dallas at the Highland Hills Branch Library.

Luminous, Yet Devoid of Chroma

Michael Menchaca

ALH Hallway Gallery

Exhibition Dates: July 31 – September 12, 2015

Opening Reception: Friday July 31, 2015 I 6 – 9 PM


Art League Houston is excited to present Luminous, Yet Devoid of Chroma, a video installation by San Antonio artist Michael Menchaca, which reflects on recent events regarding racial tension in the U.S.

Index of figural archetypes and recurring pattern ornamentation is Menchaca’s own allegory that re-imagines the history of the Americas. The artist presents metaphors of contemporary social issues with a uniquely pre-Hispanic visual vocabulary. His symbols and motifs harken to those of ancient South American culture specifically; however, his imagery speaks widely to human communication and history.


Menchaca was born and raised in San Antonio, TX as a first-generation Mexican-American. His work investigates issues of race, class, identity and cultural hybridity as they relate to the distinctive history of the American continent. Menchaca recalls the history and iconography of Pre-Columbian civilizations using a similar visual vocabulary interspersed with contemporary digital information. His identity as a Neo-Chicano Artist sustains his desire to bring his cultural roots in the direction of innovative 21st-century technology in an effort to expand the representation of Chicanos in the digital age.

He received his BFA in Printmaking from TX State University in 2011 and that same year attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. In 2012, he had a solo-show at the Austin Museum of Art and in 2013 he was included in State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now at the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art. Menchaca is a recipient of numerous awards and residencies including Artist Foundation of San Antonio (2011), Serie Project at Coronado Studios (2012), Vermont Studio Center (2013), and the Peter St. Onge Memorial Travel Grant, Sri Lanka (2013). He recently completed his MFA in Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2015 and is an incoming Visual Arts Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA for 2015-2016.


June 26 - July 18, 2015

ALH Main, Front Galleries and Hallway Space

Art League Houston is excited present the annual 2015 ALH Student, Instructor and High School Intensive Shows; a round of exhibitions in conjunction with the Art League School. These shows highlight the diverse range of media and techniques practiced by students and faculty at the Art League School. Additionally, the exhibits provide prospective students the chance to check out a variety of the Art League School’s class offerings, and the types of artwork that are produced.

The 2015 ALH Student Show features a group exhibit in the ALH Main Gallery including works in jewelry, sculpture, drawing, mixed-media, ceramics, print-making and painting by students who participated in classes through the Art League School during the past year.

The 2015 ALH Instructor Show includes a group exhibition in the ALH Front Gallery featuring over twenty works in jewelry, sculpture, mixed-media, ceramics, print-making and painting by some of Houston’s most exciting emerging and established artists who teach at the Art League School.

Participating artists include: Kelly Alison, Lucinda Cobley, Ruben Coy, Linda Dellandre, Caroline Graham, Lisa Marie Hunter, Barbara Jackson, Jessica Kreutter, Polly Liu, Shayne Murphy, Steve Parker, Phillip Pyle II, Preetika Rajgariah, Cary Reeder, Armando Rodriguez, Mary Rogers, Beth Secor, Laura Spector, and Myke Venable.

The 2015 ALH High School Intensive Show presents an annual group exhibition by students from ALH’s High School Intensive Program; a three-week rigorous, in-depth studio art experience for high school students, ages 14-17. Participants receive six hours of coursework each day in various mediums, with an emphasis on drawing and painting. Led by established Houston 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) meet with participants throughout the program to will share stories and provide insight into the art world.

Participating high school students include: Lina Alsudail, Liam Baker, Leslie Clark, Monique Coleman, Rebecca Duron, Morgan Fisher, Aryssa Gonzales, Kara Hickey, Laura Martinez, Alexandra Moura, Tracy Ricker, Brenna Rogers, Alexis Rojas, and Samantha Roquemore.

Participating teaching artists included: Daniel Bertalot Trey Duvall, Jessica Kreutter, Shayne Murphy, Lovie Olivia, M'Kina Tapscott, Melissa Walter, Sarah Welch, Elizabeth White-Olsen and Monica Vidal.

Visiting lecturers included: Rachel Cook (DiverseWorks), Emily Link (Lawndale Art Center), Caroline Docwra (Houston Center for Photography), Juliana Forero (Houston Center for Photography), Jamie Robertson (Houston Center for Photography), Clare Hulfish (The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), Garland Fielder, Stephanie Saint Sanchez, and Carrie Schneider. 

Portfolio reviewers: Natasha Bowdoin (Rice University), Ryan Dennis (Project Row Houses) and JooYoung Choi.  



ALH Main Gallery 

May 8 - June 13, 2015

PRESS: Arts + Culture Texas - Canonizing the Commonplace by Charisse Weston

Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present The Lucky Seven: Adventures of the New Saints, an exhibition featuring photography, sculpture and video by Houston-based filmmaker & curator Stephanie Saint Sanchez. Inspired by the history of the Patron Saints, who have traditionally been used as intercessors and advocates in heaven for a nation, place, craft, activity, class, or person, this exhibition playfully tells the story of seven new patron saints who have been created in response to present-day socio-political issues, and everyday living.

The Lucky Seven include: St. Anglo de Gated Communiti - Patron Saint of protection of wealth; St. Velveeta of Sheboygan - Patron Saint of pasteurized processed cheese food; St. Tierra of Azucar - Patron Saint of oddly named Texas Towns; St. Schmatta of Arme-Salut - Patron Saint of second hand clothing stores; St. Mortua of Giggleheim - Saint of people who die laughing; St. Qwerty Perdida - Patron Saint of lost passwords; St. Simon K. Si y La Jovencita de Shenanigans - Patron Saints of bad ideas and his child apprentice of pranks, and the St. Aethelwird of Hirsute-Moire - Patron Saint of bearded drag queens

Each Saint will be honored in an elaborate altarpiece, with candles, daily prayers, and other significant trinkets. The Lucky Seven will also be featured in a short film, depicting the trials and triumphs faced as they deal with the complexities of modern day life. Throughout the exhibit, viewers will be invited to post petitions and prayers to the new saints using post-it notes specifically blessed by the artist.


Stephanie Saint Sanchez is a by-any-means-necessary media artist, movie maker, and instigator. As founder of La Chicana Laundry Pictures, she has made over 25 award-winning, genre-bending shorts. She also started the Señorita Cinema film festival, the only all Latina Film Festival in Texas. She is a recipient of a S.W.A.M.P. Emerging Filmmakers Fellowship, The Idea Fund, and Lawndale Artist Studio Program.

Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present DaMask, an exhibition of new work by Houston-based artist Lovie Olivia. The exhibition features a series of large scale paintings that depict intricate and multi-layered portraits of African American women, exploring the stigmas and entanglements associated with minority women, living with mental health disorders. The strong and the vulnerable, the beautiful and the harrowing, the overt and the mysterious; DaMask examines the simultaneous embodiments of minority women who struggle with mental health challenges. Using a modified plaster fresco technique, where pigments and ornamental design are applied to wet plaster and the surface of the work is elaborately carved into and layered upon; the paintings become a physical manifestation of what it means to mask one’s identity.

“This complicated and reoccurring theme has been an acute interest of mine for the past four years,” says the artist. “It has reshaped my life as I have watched family and community members suffer and perish, as a result of mental illness, depression and emotional distress. From my personal experience I’ve witnessed that African American women have commonly been portrayed as "pillars" of their communities--resilient mothers, sisters, daughters, aunties, wives, and grandmothers who remain steadfast in the face of all adversities. While these portrayals imply that African American women have few psychological problems, the scientific literature and demographic data present a different picture. They reveal that African American women are at increased risk for psychological distress because of factors that disproportionately affect them.


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, 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.

Lovie Olivia is a recipient of an Individual Artist Grant Award. This grant is funded by the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance



ALH Hallway Space

May 8 - June 13, 2015

Interview with John Medina by ALH Intern Adam Mrlik

Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present I Thought I Heard Music, But I Can’t See the Truck, an exhibition by San Antonio-based artist John Medina. The exhibition features a series of paintings that playfully explore notions of love and loss, inspired by a neighborhood ice-cream truck from the artist’s childhood.

John Medina’s father used to tell a story of when he was a young boy. Medina would often sit at the front window which looked out towards the street. The hot South Texas sun forced everyone inside, but he longed for a connection to the outside world. As his father explained, Medina would press his forehead up against the glass while sadly repeating, “Ice cream man! Come to my house!” For his father this was an amusing anecdote about the strangeness of childhood, but for Medina, it reminded him of the disappointment he felt on days when the ice cream man didn’t show up. It also conjured feelings of longing, loneliness and isolation. He cannot help but relate these memories to his adult experiences with love, loss and his ambition to succeed.

For this body of work, Medina utilizes a variety of non-traditional sculpture materials, most notably hot glue, to create forms that inspire a sense of curiosity and wonderment. Other works in the series evoke a sense of childhood nostalgia, conveying a sense of disappointment at the unfulfilled promise of something as fantastic as ice cream.


John Medina was born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas; the hometown of Whataburger and Selena. He received his BFA from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and his MFA from Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Illinois. He currently lives and works in San Antonio as an artist and designer for Alamo Basement. Medina often incorporates a variety of media into his artwork but has an affinity for hot glue and relief printing. His work is inspired by Mexican folklore, Texas history, urban legends, cryptozoology, quantum physics, religious iconography, cultural traditions, science fiction, comic books, “gangsta” rap, breakfast tacos and drunken story-telling. His latest accomplishment, collaboration with San Anto Cultural Arts, was completion of the world’s first stereoscopic 3-D mural entitled, Vision del Futuro. Located in downtown San Antonio, this large-scale mural project, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, features an innovative painting technique that is enhanced by the use of 3-D glasses.

Medina is a part of Dumbo Press, a performance group that combines printmaking, sculpture and installation in an effort to make the art world more accessible to the general public.  He is also a writer for the satirical blog, Lighter Fluid, Match, which takes a cynical and humorous approach to art history.  Recently he was one of the founders and Conference Coordinators for The Jackalope Art Conference, a new forward thinking art conference advocating in-depth discussions in contemporary art making and studio practice.



ALH Main Gallery

March 6 - April 11, 2015

Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present This and the Wall, an exhibition by Houston-based artist Cassie Phan. The exhibit features an installation of over thirty sculptural works, and a series of video that occupy the floor of the gallery, deliberately avoiding any direct contact between the work and the gallery walls. Exploring themes of denial, fallible memory and variable human perception, the works in this exhibit are positioned low to the ground, viewable only from either looking down or crouching low, creating a narrative that disrupts the stillness of detachment, and invites an increased awareness of the viewer’s perspective. 

"Functioning predominately as inquiries into the effects of chronic traumatic experiences, my work parallels, reflects and often informs an increasing sense of self-awareness,” says the artist. “Largely autobiographical in nature, the work seeks to subtly reveal secrets that may foster a sense of connection with an emerging personal narrative. Intuitive investigation of relationships between materials drives my process, allowing an element of play that is also wrought with heaviness. The work contains both non-representational and figurative elements and is primarily constructed of humble, derelict materials. By way of ever-changing installations, the relationships between objects and materials construct narratives that can be played out in different scenarios: a constant state of revision that seeks to lend agency to each individual piece and vitality to the whole.”


Born in Galveston TX, Cassie Phan is an artist living and working in Bryan, TX. She received an MFA in Drawing and Painting from the University of North Texas, Denton, TX in 2013, and a BFA in Drawing and Painting from James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA in 2007. Phan has had solo exhibition at venues including TERRAIN Dallas TX (2014), 500X Gallery, Dallas TX (2014), Cora Stafford Gallery. University of North Texas, Denton TX (2013), and Union Gallery, University of North Texas, Denton TX (2012). She recently received the Juror’s Award at EXPO 2013, 500x Gallery, Dallas TX and is currently an Adjunct Instructor at Blinn College. Bryan, TX.



ALH Front Gallery

March 6 - April 11, 2015

Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present Queering the Lines, an exhibition of works by New York based artist Caroline Wells Chandler.  The exhibition features paintings of celestial bodies in ceramic drag, as well as, hand crocheted drawings and sculptures of bears, antennas, equine familiars, and the axis mundi to explore notions of queerness in all its rainbow spectrum glory! 

Fluent in the language of kitsch, Chandler's works are Neo-Sublime. The Neo-Sublime simultaneously explores the conflicting emotions of awe, shock, horror, and joy executed via the tactile in effort to bridge the subconscious with the conscious mind. 

Chandler does not seek to isolate his work by gender, but to use the work to elevate queerness to the same level of universality as heteronormativity.  The etymology of queer comes from old German terkwh, meaning to turn, twist, and wind and accurately describes the process and primary medium of this show: crochet.


Born in Norfolk, Virginia, Caroline Wells Chandler currently lives and works in New York.  He completed his foundation studies at the Rhode Island School of Design and received his BFA cum laude from Southern Methodist University in 2007.   He has shown at numerous institutions including: Zurcher Studio (NY), Anna Kustera (NY), Field Projects (NY), Vox Populi (PA), Sanctuary (PA), N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Art (MI), Open Gallery (TN), The Bascom (NC), Arlington Arts Center (VA), and the Stieglitz Museum ('s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands) among others.  Chandler is a 2011 MFA recipient in painting at the Yale School of Art where he was awarded the Ralph Mayer Prize for proficiency in materials and techniques. He lives and works in New York.  Queering the Lines will mark the third solo show within a year for the artist.


ALH Main Gallery

January 16 - February 21, 2015

Art League Houston is proud to present Ed Wilson: A Survey, an exhibition which brings together, for the first time, an incredible selection of work that spans over a twenty year period of the sculptor's career. Known for his brilliant craftsmanship in metal fabrication, and his ability to create powerful objects that embrace an unwavering sense of honesty, both personally and politically, Ed Wilson is one of Houston's most revered artists. 

“My work is, at its core, a point of view of the human condition,” says the artist. “The content of my work is the beginning. The joy is the process. I love the challenge of making ideas tangible through my chosen medium of metal. Working in the studio is a struggle of will, forcing the material into forms that are expressions of my thoughts and at the same time revealing the innate beauty of the material itself.”


Ed Wilson was born in Louisiana in 1953, and lives and works in Houston, TX. He received a BFA in sculpture from Louisiana State University in 1981, and an MFA from the University of Houston in 1984. He has shown his work in numerous solo exhibitions at venues including Flight Gallery, San Antonio, TX (2014); The Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston, TX (2007); Mönckskirche, Salzwedal, Germany (2007); Portikussi, Franfurt-Offenbach, Germany (2006); Moody Gallery, Houston, TX (2006); Redbud Gallery, Houston, TX (2003); Artscan Gallery, Houston, TX (2000); McAllen International Museum, McAllen TX (1999), and Art League Houston, Houston, TX (1995).  His work has been featured in many group exhibition at Lawndale Art Center, Houston TX (2014), Tophane Arts Center, Istanbul, Turkey (2013); Red Arrow Contemporary, Dallas, TX (2013); Beeville Art Museum, Beeville, TX (2009); Arlington Museum of Art, Arlington, TX (2007); Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX (1995); Diverse Works, Houston, TX (1991); and Blue Star Contemporary, San Antonio TX (1987).

His recent public art projects include Folded Plane, a public art sculpture on Heights Blvd, as part of True North, Sculpture on the Boulevard by Redbud Projects (2014), andNethership, a public art sculpture in New Orleans, as part of Sculpture for New Orleans Poydras Street Corridor by The Ogden Museum of Southern Art (2013). Other public art projects include commissions by the Houston Downtown District, Houston TX (1992), Schweizerhof Grundschule, Germany (2007) and Buffalo Bayou Art Park & Sculpture Garden (1992). Wilson’s work has received critical attention in newspapers, magazines and online blogs including ARTnews Magazine, Art Lies: A Contemporary Art Quarterly, Sculpture Magazine, Houston Chronicle, PaperCity Magazine, The Great God Pan is Dead Blog, and the

Paper Trail and Unauthorized Collaborations by Mel Chin 

ALH Front Gallery

January 16 - February 21, 2015

Art League Houston is excited to present Paper Trail and Unauthorized Collaborations by Mel Chin, a selection of forty years of drawings, diagrams and paraphernalia accompanied by new (unauthorized) physical alterations of oil portraits.  The exhibition features many studies and artifacts relating to artwork in the Houston presentation of Mel Chin: Rematch, the most expansive survey of Chin's work to date, which launches the following day at four Houston spaces simultaneously: The Contemporary Art Museum, The Blaffer Art Museum, The Asia Society Texas Center and The Station Museum. 

Special thanks to Ann and Jim Harithas for their support for this project.


Mel Chin was born in Houston in 1951. His art, which is both analytical and poetic, evades easy classification. He is known for his broad range of approaches, including works that require multidisciplinary, collaborative teamwork and works that conjoin cross-cultural aesthetics with complex ideas.

Chin insinuates art into unlikely places, investigating how it can provoke greater social awareness and responsibility. He developed Revival Field, a project that has been a pioneer in the field of “green remediation,” the use of plants to remove toxic heavy metals from the soil. In KNOWMAD, Chin worked with software engineers to create a video game based on rug patterns of nomadic people facing cultural disappearance. He also continues the Operation Paydirt initiative, which invites children and families to imagine and actualize a future free of lead poisoning. Representing nearly a half a million drawn Fundreds (original, hand-drawn interpretations of $100 bills) thus far, the artist collaborating with the educational and lead poisoning prevention community are in the process of creating the best way to   demonstrate the power and value of collective expression to transform an invisible nationwide threat. These projects are consistent with a conceptual philosophy that emphasizes the practice of art to include sculpting and bridging the natural and social ecology.

Chin’s work was documented in the popular PBS program Art 21 - Art of the 21st Century. He has received numerous awards from organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council for the Arts, Art Matters, Creative Capital, and the Penny McCall, Pollock/Krasner, Joan Mitchell, Rockefeller, and Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundations, among others.


ALH Hallway Gallery

January 16 - February 21, 2015

Art League Houston is excited to present Migrating Identities, an exhibition of works on paper by Indian-born and Houston-based artist Preetika Rajgariah. The exhibition features a large-scale watercolor painting on paper that wraps around the entire hallway gallery, and explores themes of migration, diaspora and cultural identity. The painting depicts an ephemeral landscape, effortlessly moving between abstraction and figuration, taking the viewer on a spiritual journey – an odyssey – into a realm populated with masses of people and cultures, gathering, converging, and unifying. 

“What began as a mark-making experiment has grown into a self-reflective/meditative journey for me as an artist,” says Rajgariah. “When I’m painting communities, figurative details are purposefully forgotten, and importance is placed on unity and movement as a whole. Though each mark represents the spirit of an individual, it is only when the figures come together that they can move forward in their travels.”


Born in New Delhi, India, Preetika Rajgariah lives and works in Houston Texas. She received a BFA in Studio Arts from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX in 2008. Her work has been featured in group exhibitions at venues including Box13 ArtSpace, Houston TX (2013), Krasl Art Center, St. Joseph MI (2013), Avis Frank Gallery, Houston TX (2012), Art League Houston (2011), Archway Gallery, Houston TX (2012), Montrose Gallery, Houston, TX (2011), Art House, Brooklyn NY (2011) and Richmond Art Gallery, British Columbia (2011).  Her work has been featured in New American Paintings, No. 102, Western Issue (2012), and she completed residencies at Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vermont (2014), and the School of Visual Arts Painting, New York, NY (2010).


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