2016 Lifetime Achievement Award in the Visual Arts
Artist in Action: Jesse Lott

Exhibition dates: September 30 - November 19, 2016
Opening reception: Friday, September 30, 6-9 PM

Press - 
Houston Chronicle - Jesse Lott always has a hand in the action
Houstonia Magazine - Taking a Master Class with Legendary Houston Sculptor Jesse Lott

Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award in the Visual Arts exhibition: Artist in Action by legendary Houston artist, teacher and mentor Jesse Lott. The exhibition features a concise but detailed survey of over thirty works in sculpture, drawing and collage, which focuses on highlighting the three key materials in Lott’s work – paper, wire and wood.  Pulling from art historical, political and personal references, the work in this exhibition reflects Lott’s profound engagement with the creative process, and his commitment to the value of lifelong learning and community building. In addition, the exhibition highlights Lott’s significant efforts as both a teacher and mentor, and includes work by some of the artists’ longtime students and co-collaborators; Patrick Davis, Kimberly Lakes, Angelbert Metoyer, Rhonda Rhodes and Kari Steele. An exhibition catalogue is available featuring essays by Mel Chin, Pete Gershon, James Harithas, Patricia Johnson, and Rick Lowe.

Jesse Lott is an African-American Houston-based artist who is known for his visionary wire sculpture, paper figures, and works on paper made using found materials. Lott is one of Texas’ most respected artists and has exhibited in major museums and universities in Texas and throughout the South. His art has also been shown at The Studio Museum in Harlem and The Alternative Museum in New York. His primary goal however has not been recognition and financial success, but simply to communicate true realism (Harithas, 1999). For the past forty years, his work has been grounded in an approach to art that he calls “Urban Frontier Art,” which involves the recycling of discarded urban material into art. His work expresses deep feeling and a magical sense of the mysterious other. In the words of the artist, “creativity is that part of awareness that goes beyond knowledge.” His signature sculptural aesthetic reflects a sophisticated grasp of folk art and often depicts a cast of characters including mythological beings, heroes, and ordinary people, as a way to explore the many complex dimensions of being human (Harithas, 1999). Through the lens of urban archeology, his art is inspired by the everyday, and becomes a vehicle of exchange through which viewers can re-examine their own sense of humanity and spirituality.

When talking about his perspective on the role of an artist, Lott notes:

“Artists are entrusted with a metaphysical vision. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. That means that many words have been entrusted to those to whom God has given the ability to create. When a pebble hits a pool, it starts a wave that covers the whole pool. The pebble is the concept. An artist puts out a concept and the concept changes the consciousness of the viewer, leading to a positive change in the pattern of his activity.”

The idea of using found organic or industrial material to make art occurred to Lott out of necessity. After he left his studies at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles in 1969, he realized that the cost of materials would be prohibitive not only for himself but also for all artists of limited means. At the same time, he realized that in a commodity-driven society a vast store of materials is available to any artist for the taking. His Piñatero method, based on the Mexican piñata, demonstrates the transformation of waste paper into sculpture (Harithas, 1999).

In addition to his visionary artwork, Lott’s shaman-like presence in the art community of Houston has also had a wide ranging impact, influencing many Texas artists including Rick Lowe, James Surls, Bert Long, Robert Pruitt, Angelbert Metoyer, and Robert Hodge among many others. He is respected for the integrity and mojo power of his art and greatly admired for his many private acts of compassion to the homeless, to poverty-stricken seniors, to the young and to artists throughout the community. His all-ages workshops that he has held over the years in his studio as a community service have inspired many students who would otherwise have no exposure to art.  Lott has also been involved in the genesis and aesthetic orientation of a number of significant community activities including Adept, the first museum devoted to African American culture in Houston, The Midtown Art Center, the Ann Robinson Gallery and the Art Car Museum. Lott’s community oriented philosophy and his Artists in Action program helped spark the creation of the now famous Project Row Houses (Harithas, 1999).

Born in Simmesport, Louisiana, Jesse Lott has been a resident of Houston’s 5th Ward for over forty years. During his youth, in Houston’s Fifth Ward, he began creating and selling his works at the age of fourteen. He was well acquainted with, now well-known artist, Mel Chin and his family.  Mel’s father, Benny Chin, was a legendary community activist and the local grocer.  He saw Art as a mechanism for commerce in the community, and strongly encouraged and supported Jesse in his efforts.  After high school he attend the Hampton Institute, Hampton, VA from 1962-1964, followed by California State University in 1965, concurrently with studies at Los Angeles Community College, and the Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles, CA from 1966-1969, and returned to Houston in 1974.

Lott’s work has been widely exhibited within Texas, throughout the South, and in New York. He has had solo exhibitions at venues including D. M. Allison Gallery, Houston TX (2013); The Station Museum, Houston TX (2009); G Gallery, Houston, TX (2007); New Braunfels Museum of Art and Music, TX (2004); Artscan Gallery, Houston, TX (1999-2000); Art Car Museum, Houston TX (1999); Museum of Contemporary Art, Washington D.C. (1998); Oakland Museum of Art, California (1997); Project Row Houses, Houston TX (1995); Art Museum of Southeast Texas, TX (1991); Midtown Art Center, Houston, TX (1991); Lawndale Art and Performance Center, Houston, TX (1989); and Hiram Butler Gallery, Houston, TX (1987).

Lott’s work has been featured in numerous group exhibitions at venues including Williams Tower Gallery, Houston, TX (2008); Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston TX (2008); Museo de la Nación, Lima, Perú (2007); Beeville Art Museum, Beeville, TX (2001); Art Car Museum, Houston, TX (1999); The Society of Contemporary Crafts, Pittsburgh, PA (1998-2000); Laguna Gloria Arts Museum, Austin, TX (1992); The Lubbock Fine Arts Center (1991); The Lubbock Black Cultural and Heritage Center, Lubbock, TX (1991); Texas Southern University, Houston, TX (1991); Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC (1990-1992); Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, TN; Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, LA; Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando, FL; Lawndale Art and Performance Center, Houston, TX (1990, 1982); Staten Island Art Center, New York, NY (1998); Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX (1987, 1979); Studio Museum in Harlem, NY (1986); Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston, Houston, TX (1986); Alternative Museum, New York, NY (1982) and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA (1978).

Additionally, Lott’s work is featured in several public spaces around Houston. In 2013, Lott was one of twenty-two artists commissioned to create a sculpture by Metro Rail's Arts in Transit program. The sculpture originally titled The Spirit of Transport, and later re-named by the community as Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!, was installed on the Southeast Metro line at Scott St. and Elgin St. in the Third Ward, and depicts a figure with its arms in the air constructed out of stainless steel and mixed metals. The same year, he was also invited to participate in the Texan-French Alliance for the Arts (TFAA) citywide “Open-The-Door” public art project, and created a tribute painting to Houston artist Bert Long. In 2010, he was commissioned by Hermann Park to create a public art piece for Lake Plaza where he integrated art objects and materials found around the city into the plaza’s walkways.

2016 Texas Artist of the Year
HOVER by Terrell James

Exhibition dates: September 30 - November 19, 2016
Opening reception: Friday, September 30, 6-9 PM

Press - 
Houston Chronicle - Poetic vision of Terrell James at Art League Houston

Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present the 2016 Texas Artist of the Year exhibition: HOVER by Terrell James. The exhibition includes a comprehensive survey of work in a range of media, including painting, sculpture and printmaking that, seen together, trace the development of the artist’s exceptional career. The work in this exhibition features a selection of paintings dating from 2007 to the present, which reflect James’s profound and lifelong engagement with the experiential essence of landscape and memory. Additionally, the exhibition introduces viewers to the artist’s lesser known sculptural works in bronze and clay, and premieres a never before seen series of monoprints. An exhibition catalogue is available featuring an essay by New York critic and writer Stephanie Buhmann.

The work of Terrell James is steeped in landscape – not in a pictorial but in an emotive sense. Her abstract paintings and works on paper capture a private, internalized experience of nature. They draw on its vocabulary without trying to reflect it. There are no depictions of skyscapes, water or land and yet, each of James' compositions seem to render a unique place as it emanates a distinct atmosphere. They offer an impression of mood, a glimpse of the artist’s private resonance with her subject. It is an approach that is timeless and yet, honors a certain tradition of abstract painting. Excerpt from ‘PLACE AND TRANSITION IN THE WORK OF TERRELL JAMES’ by Stephanie Buhmann.

Terrell James is a well-known Houston-based artist whose abstract painting and works on paper are characterized by an expansive vocabulary of gestural mark-making, automatist brushwork and illuminating interactions of form, light, color and density, embodying strong references to the natural world. For the past thirty years, her methodology has been playfully intuitive and intellectually rigorous. She has produced an extraordinary body of work which reflects the conviction and knowledge of a skillful painter. Additionally, the work negotiates the dichotomy between the conscious and the subconscious, while remaining as open to interpretation as possible.

James is a fourth generation Houstonian, and seventh generation Texan. Although Houston-based, she has lived and created work in studios nationally and internationally including Soho, Harlem, Long Island, Montauk, Bald Head Island, Bologna, San Miguel de Allende, Marfa, and Berlin. Since the early 1990’s, she has made trips to the Davis Mountains and to the Big Bend region at the northern end of the Chihuahuan Desert in west Texas. On these trips, James fills her sketchbook with line studies, not as notations of what is scenic about landscapes, but rather of what the daunting terrain suggests—free flowing impressions of colors, lines and shapes (Edwards, 2014).  

Walter Hopps, the legendary Curator and Founding Director of The Menil Collection, viewed James as being among the finest gestural abstractionists working in Texas and as one of the best in the country. Hopps stated, “she has mastered a lyrical freedom usually seen in watercolor rather than in oil. Although articulated line is often structurally important, the paintings are primarily built of patches and fluid areas of color.” Hopps, having earlier championed the abstract paintings of Richard Diebenkorn and Sam Francis in the 1950’s, is eminently qualified to have praised the art of James in the first decade of the twenty-first century.

In addition to her large painted canvases, James began a long-term series of color explorations in 1997 titled Field Studies, which the artist describes as drawing with paint. Over the past decade, she has created more than six hundred oil on vellum works in this series, treating each one like scientific research and cataloging it with a specific number. As opposed to the densely layered surfaces of her canvases, the Field Studies are spontaneous open paintings with floating fields of color. The title Field Studies is a reference the Impressionist technique of color “notes” taken quickly outdoors, as well as a reference to her own process of experimenting with color and form (Froelick, 2010).

In talking about her work, James states:

“I am certain that natural places and living things will always underlie much of what I do. However, as it has evolved, my practice has grown to absorb contexts beyond narrow definitions of “landscape” and “nature.” I now deliberately explore newly available and even unavoidable fields. My work has become engaged with unexpected material. Sometimes it seems that I am simply absorbing and processing everything I encounter. The limitless deluge of the all-enveloping digital world has inspired an expanded palette, to include a vastly larger range of materials, colors and effects.”

Often James’s approach to painting can be site-specific, painted as a mural directly on the wall.  Previous work on steel, sometimes collaboratively with artist Ed Wilson, can become a part of “permanent” architecture, or be presented as a site-specific installation with abutting panels.  These pieces can be divided, standing on their own, or presented as a frieze, commanding an entire room. These have been done on cold rolled steel panels, chemically manipulated in color, rusting in Rorschach-like patterns; as well as fourteen-foot-long sections of painted paper, oil and acrylic. Presented in a continuum, the pieces are later separated and placed in various locations, spanning less than 35 feet. 

Expanding her repertoire into three dimensions, James also experiments with and creates sculpture. In a statement written in 2003, James talks about her initial explorations into sculpture, in clay, wax, and bronze. “For years I had been wanting to make things, populating the floor, not the wall.  In making them, a door opened.  I saw the unnamed images in my drawings, the recurring curves and language glyphs that have populated my work for fifteen years, with a new understanding. When seen from the corner of the studio, the clay forms seem to belong on the ocean floor, or in the recesses of a cave; and, somehow, I began to draw the objects themselves into new paintings. There is a new solidity, a rigor that has come from the sculptural objects. They are really more aptly described as expressions of the hand in a new material.” The newest three dimensional works are in clay, consisting of multiple vessels made from North Carolina and Georgia clay, created at the invitation of master ceramist Hiroshi Sueyoshi, then director of the Pancoe Ceramics Center at the Cameron Museum of Art, in Wilmington, NC. James considers the vessels series to be a collaboration with Sueyoshi.

In 1977, James received a BA in Fine Arts from the University of the South, in Sewanee, Tennessee, with additional study at the Instituto Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico (1973), Bellas Artes, Universidad de Mexico, Print Annex, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato (1973) and the School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (1978-79).

Early in her career she worked for five years sorting and documenting the work of many artists and museums for the Texas Project of the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art, preparing for microfilming original source material of artists, collectors, and institutions for future scholarship. James has also curated shows at local, national and international venues including the Houston for the Center for Art and Performance, DiverseWorks, Hiram Butler Gallery, GalleryHomeland, along with Wei Hong and Wang Yiqiong, Songzhang Art Space, Beijing. In addition to her practice, James taught at the Glassell School, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, for fourteen years and was Chair of the Painting Department. She has served as a guest professor at Rice University, was one of the originating board members at DiverseWorks, and for over a decade served on the board of Gulf Coast: Journal of Art and Literature, the graduate publication of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston. 

Over the years, James has had solo exhibits locally, nationally and internationally at venues including Hiram Butler Gallery, Houston TX (2016, 2013, 2011, 2008, 2007, 2004, 2003, 2001, 2000, 1998, 1997, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1991); Cadogan Contemporary, London UK (2016); Froelick Gallery, Portland OR (2016, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2008, 2003); Barry Whistler Gallery, Dallas TX (2016, 2014, 2011, 2009); The Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington NC (2011); Jason McCoy Gallery, New York NY (2010, 2007, 2004); Fundacion Centro Cultural, Santo Domingo Dominican Republic (2003); Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi TX (1997), Delgado College Gallery, New Orleans LA (1992, 1985), C.G. Jung Center, Houston TX (1991), Graham Gallery, Houston TX (1989, 1985, 1982), Bishop’s Common, University of the South, Sewanee TN (1981), and Christ Church Cathedral, Houston TX (1978).

James’ work has also been included in national and international group exhibits at venues including Jason McCoy Gallery, New York NY (2015, 2011, 2010, 2009); Barry Whistler Gallery, Dallas TX (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013,2012 2011, 2010, 2009, 2001, 1991, 1988, 1987, 1986); Gallery Homeland, Portland OR (2012, 2009); Froelick Gallery, Portland OR (2014, 2012, 2011, 2009, 2006, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1996); The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston TX (2015, 2011, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1996, 1994, 1993); Williams Tower, Houston TX (2013); Lawndale Art Center, Houston TX (2011, 2000, 1998, 1996, 1994, 1993, 1987, 1986, 1985, 1984, 1983, 1982, 1979); Pillsbury Peters (2011, 2010, 2009, 2008); Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe NM (2011, 2009); Sin Sin Fine Art, Hong Kong (2008, 2006); Portland Art Museum, OR (2010, 2003); Museo Moderne Artes, Trujillo, Peru (2007); Marfa Book Company, Marfa TX (2002); DiverseWorks, Houston TX (2002, 1990, 1986, 1985, 1984, 1983); Hiram Butler Gallery, Houston TX (2001, 2000, 1998, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1989); Dutch Triodos Bank, Zeiss, The Netherlands (2010-2001); Arlington Museum of Art, Arlington TX (2001, 1999, 1991); The Old Jail—Art Center, Albany TX (2000); Hooks Epstein Gallery, Houston TX (2000, 1989); Tembo Cerling Print Studio, Houston TX (2000); The HK Visual Arts Center, Hong Kong (1999); Mohseni Fine Arts, Limited, Hong Kong (1999); Dutch Triodos Bank, Amsterdam (1999); United States Embassy, Mexico City, D.F. (1999); Shanghai Cultural Center, Shanghai, China (1999); Centro Cultural/Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City, D.F (1999, 1997, 1994, 1991); Galveston Arts Center, Galveston TX (1997, 1996, 1985); Takara Gallery, Houston TX (1997); Barbara Davis Gallery Houston, TX (1996); Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston TX (1993); Sally Sprout Gallery, Houston TX (1993); Transco Gallery, Houston TX (1992); BlueStar ArtSpace, San Antonio TX (1991); McNay Art Museum, San Antonio TX (1989); Jack Tilton Gallery, New York NY (1989, 1988); Graham Gallery, Houston TX (1988,1987, 1986, 1985, 1983); Sewall Art Gallery, Rice University, Houston TX (1988); Bronxville, New York NY (1986); Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans LA (1985); Southern California Gallery for Contemporary Arts, Los Angeles CA (1985); University of Saint Thomas, Houston TX (1985); Drawing Room Gallery, Houston TX (1985); Houston Coalition for the Visual Arts, Square One Gallery, Houston TX (1985); Midtown Art Center, Houston TX (1984); Rachel Davis Gallery, Houston TX (1984); Houston Women’s Caucus for Art, Houston TX (1984, 1983); Center for Art & Performance, Houston TX (1982); Art League Houston, Houston TX (1979), St. Luke’s School of Theology, Sewanee TN (1977), Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga TN (1976).

James’ work is featured in several public collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York NY; The Menil Collection, Houston TX; Dallas Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Casa Lamm/Televisa Cultural Foundation, Mexico; Centro Cultural/Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City; Museum of University of the South, Sewanee, TN; Portland Art Museum—Gilkey Center Graphic Arts, OR; Rice University—Print Collection, Houston, TX; Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA and University of St. Thomas, Houston, TX.

Additionally, James’ work has been written about in publications including Art in AmericaARTnewsArt Lies, the Dallas Morning NewsGlasstireThe Oregonian, the Houston Chronicle, as well as various books and catalogues. James herself has had pieces published in Gulf Coast, the Houston Chronicle, and Art Lies, along with published artist statements.

In 2013, James joined the No Boundaries International Art Residency at Bald Head Island, NC, and was one of four artists selected by the Joan Mitchell Foundation's 2013-16 Pilot Call Program in Texas, which facilitates comprehensive documentation of artists' works, careers and legacies. Over the years, James has been commissioned to create paintings for venues including Sands Hotel Macao, China; The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas, TX; White Plains, NY; Hilton Americas, Houston; Gensler Architects, Dallas; Avant Garden, Houston; Gensler Architects Houston, and a Royal House in Saudi Arabia. A new installation of works has been installed in its own floor at Solvay America here in Houston. In Houston, Terrell James is represented by the Hiram Butler Gallery.

with/in: blurring the line between art and education
Organized by Zachary Gresham

Exhibition Dates: August 5 - September 17, 2016
ALH Main Gallery

Ancillary Event - 
Exhibition Walk-through with Zachary Gresham
11 AM Saturday September 17, 2016

Press -
Visual Vernacular: Zachary Gresham | Free Press Houston

Art League Houston is excited to present with/in: blurring the line between art and education, an exhibition organized by Art League Houston’s Education Programs Director, Zachary Gresham,  featuring work by Andres L. Hernandez (Chicago), Hannah Jickling and Helen Reed (Canada), Christopher Lee Kennedy (New York), and Patricia Vázquez Gomez (Portland). The exhibition, which includes documentation and works across a range of mediums,  aims to challenge the dichotomy of physical and conceptual space while exploring socially-engaged work centered on pedagogy to incite individual/communal action, response, contemplation, resistance.

with/in employs both an exhibition and a publication to examine the process, practice, and identity of socially-engaged artists who blur the lines between art and pedagogy. The exhibition presents the work of Andres L. Hernandez, Hannah Jickling and Helen Reed, Christopher Lee Kennedy, and Patricia Vázquez, all artists who utilize education as a medium in their work. The publication, designed by local graphic designer, Roby Fitzhenry, shows their work alongside Houston artists Saxton Fisher, Ayanna Jolivet McCloud, John Pluecker, Ruth Robbins, and Alex Rodriguez.

The artists included are radically redefining and reimagining what art education can be - often in stark contrast to the public's perception of visual art instruction. Whether their work is situated in schools, in the community, or in relation to other education institutions, each of these artists takes a unique stance on how they integrate ideas, models, and/or theories of education into their art practice. It seems fitting - intuitive - that this project would emerge from these overlays in the venn diagram of thoughts on art, education, and art and education.

The publication is neither extension nor accompaniment but rather a continuation of the exhibition that lends the textual format as means of relating the work of the exhibiting artists to that of Houston artists. The Houston arts community is comprised of many individuals who have challenged the standards of education by blurring the distinction between art and education. By exhibiting work from both groups in this publication, with/in localizes and globalizes the dialogue - engaging, inspiring, and mobilizing the Houston audience to reconsider the place of and distinction between both art and education.


Andres L. Hernandez is an artist and educator who re-imagines the environments we inhabit. Through collaborative, community-based work with youth and adults, and independent, studio-based practice, he explores the potential of spaces for public dialogue, community building, and social action. Hernandez is co-founder of Revival Arts Collective, a network of citizen activists using arts and culture as a catalyst for community redevelopment in Chicago, and is an Associate Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and workshop faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Christopher Lee Kennedy is a teaching artist and organizer who works collaboratively with schools, youth, and artists to create site-specific projects that investigate queer identity, radical schooling, and urban ecology. These projects generate publications, research, performances, installations, and ongoing exchanges that celebrate the collective knowledge of a place and its forgotten histories. Kennedy was born in Ocean County, New Jersey and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He has worked collaboratively on projects shown at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts, the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, the Levine Museum of the New South, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, the Queens Museum, and Ackland Art Museum. Kennedy holds a B.S. in environmental engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a M.A. in education from NYU, and a PhD in education studies from the University of North Carolina. Kennedy is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art and Design Education at Pratt Institute.

Helen Reed and Hannah Jickling have been collaborating since 2007. Their projects take shape as public installations, social situations and events that circulate as photographs, videos, printed matter, and artists’ multiples. They are currently fascinated with the “contact high” intrinsic to collaborative work, especially in their recent projects with children. Giant vegetable growers, orienteers, lesbian separatists and therian teens also feature in their work. Helen and Hannah have exhibited and performed internationally, with both individual and collaborative work appearing in such venues as: The Portland Art Museum (OR), The Dunlop Art Gallery (SK), Smack Mellon (NY), The Yukon Arts Centre Gallery (YT), YYZ Artists’ Outlet (ON), Carleton University Art Gallery (ON), Dalhousie University Art Gallery (NS), The Vancouver Art Gallery (BC), The Power Plant (ON) and Flat Time House’s first issue of NOIT (UK). They currently teach at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver, Canada.

Patricia Vázquez is an artist, educator and community worker originally from Mexico City and based in Portland OR. She holds BAs in Graphic Design and Education and a MFA in Social Practices from Portland State University. Her practice includes a range of media, from painting and murals to video and socially engaged art projects, and it is deeply informed by her experiences working in the immigrant rights and social justice movements both in content as well as in the methodologies she uses. Her work has been shown at the Portland Art Museum, the Reece Museum and the Autzen Gallery at Portland State University, but also in more accessible spaces as apartments complexes, community based organizations and schools; reflecting her commitment to a practice that makes art available to diverse audiences. She is the recipient of the 2013 Arlene Schnitzer Visual Arts Prize and has received grants from the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC), the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA), Portland’s Jade and Midway Districts and the Oregon Community Foundation.


Saxton Fisher is a seventeen-year-old graduate of the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.  He has worked primarily in found object sculpture, sometimes in combination with other materials. In the fall Saxton will begin attending Reed College in Portland, Oregon, where he will likely major in Environmental Studies. He is considering going into marine conservation as well as being a practicing artist. Saxton’s other interests include philosophy, mathematics, cosmology, oceanography, and queer activism.

Ayanna Jolivet McCloud is an artist based in Houston, Texas. Her work takes on many forms including sound, writing, and painting. While minimal, her work often explores sensation, physicality, and materiality. She has participated in exhibitions and residencies throughout the Caribbean, Latin America and in the U.S. She is the founder of labotanica, which is scheduled to relaunch this year.

John Pluecker is a writer, interpreter, translator and co-founder of the language justice and literary experimentation collaborative Antena. He has translated numerous books from the Spanish, including Antígona González (Les Figues Press, 2016), Tijuana Dreaming: Life and Art at the Global Border (Duke University Press, 2012). His most recent chapbooks include An Accompanying Text (She Works Flexible, 2015). His book of poetry and image, Ford Over, was released in 2016 from Noemi Press.

Ruth Robbins is an artist and educator currently living in Houston Texas. She holds a MA in Social Practice from California College of the Arts. Her practice currently includes images, sound and text that explore sensations of loss, embodiment, pleasure, delight and desire. Her work has appeared in numerous publications and she was commissioned to participate in dOCUMENTA13. Ruth’s most recent work ‘A Lexicon of Dusk’ can be seen at the Blaffer Museum of Art and on Tour with the exhibition Time/Image through 2017.

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, agender artist Alex Rodriguez’s work, primarily in video, installation, performance, and sculpture, explores communication through significant objects and memories connected with a variety of personal relationships. Alex is a recent graduate of the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA) and has attended the early college program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston employs Alex as a Teen Council member where they work on projects such as CAMH Teen Music Fest, art markets, curated exhibitions, fashion shows, film screenings, and poetry readings. Alex will start attending San Francisco Art Institute in the fall of 2016 for Studio Arts and New Genres. They plan to take curatorial courses to work their way up to becoming an art curator as well as an exhibiting artist.


Zachary Gresham is an arts administrator and educator who currently serves as Education Programs Director at Art League Houston. Zachary holds a BA from Lamar University, and completed his MA in Arts Leadership and M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction - Art Education from the University of Houston. He is an adjunct lecturer in the College of Education and the College of the Arts at The University of Houston, where he teaches Art in Elementary Schools, an art education course for upper-level education majors and Technology in the Arts, a graduate seminar in the MA in Arts Leadership program.

A Collection of Babysitters
Betsy Huete

Exhibition Dates: August 5 - September 17, 2016
ALH Front Gallery

Press - 
Visual Vernacular: Betsy Huete | Free Press Houston

Art League Houston is excited to present A Collection of Babysitters, a solo exhibition by Houston-based artist and writer Betsy Huete featuring a chapbook of poetry and sculpture based on the children’s fiction series The Babysitters Club by Ann M. Martin.  Germane to a particular generation of women born in the eighties and who came of age in the nineties - although the series remains popular today - Huete engages with questions of female friendship, and the camaraderie, jealousy, love, and loyalty inherent in it. She’s also interested in the importance and confinement of female representation: what is the value and what are the problems of popularizing young girls starting a babysitting business in white, suburban Connecticut?

Huete assembles her poetry by lifting phrases from the first eight Babysitters Club volumes, intuitively selecting and remixing the words into prose poems of her own. Although the content of The Babysitters Club reads as innocuous, even saccharine, Huete believes that embedded within the text are deep-seeded feelings of all the things that make relationships tick, that make them fall flat, and she thinks that conflating and confusing the language Martin uses in her novels can unearth some of the reasons why these books are engrained in the collective nostalgia of a particular generation of women. In short, there’s more to the story than Stacey hiding her diabetes and Kristy’s jealousy of Mary Anne’s and Dawn’s new friendship.

View a preview of Huete's chapbook here.

The sculptures are in turn translations of the poems.  Huete dissects her poems line by line, allotting and establishing a bank of materials from which to play and let sculptures organically develop.  Perpetually residing between construction and decay, Huete is interested in the ways these objects, through a kind of double translation, continuously point to and turn their backs on notions of nostalgia, childhood, and innocence.


Betsy Huete is an artist and writer from Houston.  She received her BFA from Rice in 2006 and her MFA in Sculpture from the University of Houston in 2014.  Huete has had solo and two-person exhibitions at Lawndale Art Center, Matchbox Gallery, and galleryHOMELAND, and participated in Houston’s Fringe Festival in 2012.  She attended the artist residency Mildred’s Lane during the summers of 2012 and 2013, and was subsequently included in the residency’s exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in the fall of 2012.  A frequent contributor to Glasstire, Huete has also written for The Great God Pan is Dead,, and served as the assistant editor for the Art Lies section of Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts in 2013. Additionally, in 2012 she collaborated on Dis Manibus: A Taxonomy of Ghosts From Popular Forms published by Information as Material in the UK.

Michael McFadden

Exhibition Dates: August 5 - September 17, 2016
ALH Hallway Space

Press -
Visual Vernacular: Michael McFadden | Free Press Houston
Michael McFadden at Art League Houston I Glasstire

“Professions are, in essence, self-regulating. They have strict codes of conduct and ethics. Their willingness to stick by these codes, enforce them on errant members and expel impenitent ones is what distinguishes professions from trades. But there is no agreement in the American art world on how critics, museum curators or dealers should behave.” Robert Hughes, 1978

Art League Houston is excited to present aesthetic][equity by Houston-based writer and organizer Michael McFadden. Making use of Art League’s hallway space as a site of reflection, the exhibition focuses on the turbulent history of socio-economic inequity found within the Houston arts community. Through a presentation that is part visual record and part call-to-action, the exhibition lays the groundwork for artistic intervention and theoretical efforts to level an unjust art-world hierarchy.

At its core, aesthetic][equity attempts to pick apart the history of equity and labor within the art world and examine the effect of reliable, authoritative measures such as industry regulation and systemic conformity as a counter-weight opposing the dominant contemporary art economy.

The root of inequity in the art world can often be traced to a lack of regulation and art’s ties to both symbolic and monetary significance. “In aesthetically transgressing our social existence we experience that we are equal. Political equality is an aesthetic effect,” Christoph Menke writes. “We make ourselves aesthetically equal; aesthetically, we make ourselves equal.” Menke implies that the artist makes herself equal through the symbolic act of creativity. But, when art becomes a commodity, does it lose its symbolic value? Opening the conversation on the value of art within capitalist structures where subjectivity itself is subject to manipulation, Robert Hughes writes, “Only when an object is truly useless…can capitalism see it as truly priceless.” Is art a critical need with a value that can be defined according to regulated capital?

aesthetic][equity provides an opportunity to reflect on this duality of values by honing in on the Houston art scene and broadening out into the larger art world. The exhibition allows the public to learn of the tribulations of the art world, ruminate on the value of art and artistic labor, and respond.

Moving through the hallway, the public is exposed to the present state of the Houston art scene from the perspective of those who participate in it firsthand. The exhibition also presents The Artists’ Reserved Rights Agreement penned by Bob Provjansky in 1971 and e-flux’s Time/Bank as two efforts to organize and regulate. Building on these efforts, the art community is invited to create a resource center in the hallway by offering their skills to one another and calling attention to yet unlisted efforts. 

Updated to address faults and outdated information, these tools along with the resource center act as an initial step - one of many - in organizing efforts to establish artists’ rights and distribute equal pay for labor. At the conclusion of the exhibition, contributions to the resource center will be gathered into a skill-share equity directory that will be distributed to local art spaces and made available to artists throughout the community.


Michael McFadden is a Houston-based writer and arts administrator. He has organized programs and exhibitions throughout the city with the curatorial collaborative Suplex. He is currently a graduate student in Arts Leadership at the University of Houston.                                

2016 Summer High School Studio Art Intensive Exhibition

Exhibition Dates: July 1 - 23, 2016
ALH Front Gallery

 Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present the 2016 Summer High School Studio Art Intensive Exhibition, an annual group exhibition by students from ALH’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 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 share stories and provide insight into the art world.  Participants also spend two days visiting various art spaces and cultural institutions around Houston, gaining insight into the local arts climate in Houston. The program concludes with a final exhibition and celebration of the work produced for friends, family, and instructors. Each participant receives an individual portfolio sessions to help prepare for portfolio reviews when applying to colleges and art schools.

Participating High School Students: Margaret Errickson, Diego Flores, Megan Hegeman, David Hernandez, Sophia Ghauri, Morgan Grosser, Phoenix Ingram, Madison McKnight, Safa Qureshi, Xochitl Tavira, Marissa Thompson, DeCarté Washington-May, Marisa Wattenbarger and Vanessa Zambrano.

Intensive Counselors: Saxton Fisher and Alex Rodriguez.

Participating Teaching Artists: Benjamin Clark, Lucinda Cobley, Hillaree Hamblin, Melinda Laszcynski, Lovie Olivia, Carrie Schneider, Delaney Smith, Alexander Squire, TRACE Program (Andres L. Hernandez and Kimeco Roberson), Patricia Vazquez Gomez, Zine Fest Houston (Maria-Elisa Heg, Stacy Kirages, and Sarah Welch).

Visiting Artists + Panelists + Presenters: Pia Agrawal, Jessica Anderson, Jennie Ash, Debra Barrera, Hayley Berkman, JooYoung Choi, Caroline Docwra, Brad Epley, Clara Kang, Gabriel Martinez, Janet O'Brien, Cindy Pena, Jason Poland, Jamie Robertson, Althea Ruoppo, Michael Simmonds, Kelli Vance and Rachel Vogel

2016 Art League Student Exhibition

Exhibition Dates: July 1 - 23, 2016
ALH Main Gallery

Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present the annual 2016 Art League Student Exhibition, a group exhibition featuring 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.

2016 Art League Instructor Exhibition

Exhibition Dates: July 1 - 23, 2016
ALH Hallway Space

Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present the annual 2016 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.

Participating artists: Kelly Alison, Lucinda Cobley, Ruben Coy, Caroline Graham, Barbara Jackson, Jessica Fortier Kreutter, Polly Liu, Steve Parker, Cary Reeder, Laura Spector, Delaney Smith and Myke Venable. 


Exhibition Dates: May 6 – June 18, 2016
ALH Main Gallery 

Art League Houston is excited to present Array, an exhibition by Houston-based interdisciplinary collective {exurb} in ALH’s Main Gallery. The exhibition features an interactive audio video installation made up of LCD video monitors hung from the gallery ceiling facing downward. The sound and video in the exhibition evolve based on input from the viewers in the space. Below the monitors is a viewing area with movable seating where viewers are invited to sit down, lay back and experience the installation.

“Throughout human history, we have looked up in order to observe, catalog, map coordinates, install communication networks, and mine information” says the collective. “We are interested in this act of looking up, of observation for the sake of discovering and mapping patterns, how it is that we have recognized asterisms in order to identify localities, navigate, and mark the passage of time, how data networks traverse land and sea while satellites and drones bounce information around the planet, how different networks - data, social, communication, neural, intelligence gathering - fold into one another. We are curious about what our minds construct, between what’s actual and imagined, in the gaps and ruptures, the fragments of objective truth kneaded into projections of ourselves.” 

“We are also inspired by that meditative moment of casual imagination, the bucolic daydream, those moments of mental and physical leisure when we loosen the grip on our conscious thoughts and allow our eyes to build and re-build the clouds and stars and vast spaces we usually ignore.”

ABOUT {exurb}

{exurb} is an interdisciplinary collective interested in the confluence of art and technology, the rapidly increasing space that technology occupies in our everyday experience, and its effect on our relationships and understanding of one another. The group’s practice implements programming, electronics, construction, mechanics, video, sound, and other media. Through these techniques, {exurb} strives to make works that are immersive, site-specific, and interactive. The co-founders of the collective include an electrical engineer, a writer and musician, a sculptor and a digital media artist. 

Johnny DiBlasi is a Texas gulf coast native who has exhibited nationally. He earned his MFA in Photographic and Electronic Media from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD. Prior to that, DiBlasi received his BFA from the University of Houston in Photography and Digital Imaging. DiBlasi works with hybrid art-making processes that include video, programming, installation and other (digital) media. He currently lives and works between Indianapolis and Houston and teaches Digital Media & Art at the University of Indianapolis.

Stephen Kraig received his degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University. He previously worked as a hardware design engineer designing vibration sensors for industrial equipment. Stephen recently founded Kraig Amplification, a manufacturer of custom hand-wired tube amplifiers for electric guitar and bass, which he now manages full time. 

Patrick Renner is a native Houstonian. He received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and his MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. At the start of 2016, Renner founded Flying Carpet, a company whose mission is the design and creation of public art. He has exhibited in Texas, New York, Missouri, Ohio, Michigan, Rhode Island, California and once outside the US in Cuba.

Eric Todd is a West Tennessee transplant who received a BFA in Creative Writing and Theater from the University of Houston. A writer and musician, he has been an editor at NANO Fiction Magazine as well as a regular contributor the Houston Rockets ESPN affiliate Red94.

Totemic Lore
Alex Trimino

Exhibition Dates: May 6 – June 18, 2016
ALH Front Gallery 

Art League Houston is excited to present Totemic Lore, a solo exhibition by Miami-based artist Alex Trimino in the ALH Front Gallery. The exhibition features a series of illuminated fiber-based sculptures and installations that re-contextualize the traditional use of colloquial, low-tech crafts; crochet, knittings and weavings exploring social views on civilization, technology and gender. 

Glowing totem poles, covered in crochet, knittings and found objects reveal the similarities between the modern, hi-tech materials used (micro- controlled neon lights) and the colloquial, lo-tech crafts used (crochet, knittings and weavings); creating an equilibrium between traditions, technologies and generations. Old ways and new technologies commingle together, exploring how we connect to reality today. The artist uses embroidery and technology, creating a connection between past and present and between gender related trades. Trimino transforms and duplicates the shadows the pieces cast using silver silhouettes in order to emphasize that reality is a shared hallucination.


Alex Trimino was born in Colombia and lives and works in Miami, FL. Trimino graduated with a Master in Fine Arts from Florida International University. She received an Ox-Bow Artist Residency in 2012 affiliated with the school of the Art Institute of Chicago as a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Scholarship for Visual Artist. In 2013, Trimino's work was part of "OpenArt" International Art Symposium, Sweden and her solo exhibition "Dark Light" was presented at Läns Museum, West Gallery, Örebro, Sweden. Her 2012 solo exhibition "Luminous" was presented at the Art and Cultural Center of Hollywood, FL. In 2011, Trimino's work was part of "Witness to Creativity" at Florida Museum for Women Artists and her solo exhibition "Binocular Disparity" was presented in the Museum's project Room. Trimino has been the recipient of grants and awards from The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, The Elliot Museum, Appleton Museum of Art, Rawls Museum Arts, Cambridge Art Association and Joan Mitchell Foundation. Trimino is represented by Diana Lowenstein Gallery, Miami. 

Johan Barrios

Exhibition Dates: May 6 – June 18, 2016
ALH Hallway Space

Art League Houston is excited to present Intervalo, a solo exhibition by Colombian artist Johan Barrios in the ALH Hallway Space. The exhibition features a series of small works on paper that have an otherworldly, haunting quality, exploring the artist's ongoing enquiry into concepts of time, movement and space, as well as notions of self-disclosure and intimacy. From a distance these delicate drawing read as photographs, but up close their intricate surfaces become visible, striking a subtle balance between the materiality of graphite and paint, and its emotional and figurative resonances. 

“My work is a reflection on the materiality and temporality of art, as I am interested in speaking to the fragile and ephemeral condition of drawing” says the artist. “I have brought these passive yet troubling situations together in this group of pieces titled Intervalo—the amount of time that exists between two things or two incidents generally of the same nature. Within the works, there is a constant, specific interest in positing simple questions like, why is paper paper? Or why is graphite graphite? Perhaps this is why there is always a gesture—whether graphic or pictorial—that interrupts these characters; perhaps this is always a reminder to the public that my work does not attempt to be representational, and even less so does it attempt to be a photograph. For me, these are performances of drawing that address drawing itself, but also at the same time address other human psychological and social issues inherent in my own self, like loneliness or fragility. Over the last two years, my work has been focused on drawing as a conceptual strategy; there is something immediate and poetic that I find in drawing, one of the most primitive of artistic tools. Perhaps it is the monochromatic sensation of the void that prevents any type of distraction.”


Johan Barrios was born in Barranquilla, Colombia in 1982. He recently moved to Texas five months ago, and is living and working in Spring, Texas. Johan Barrios received a MFA in Visual Art from the University of Antioquia. His paintings have been shown in numerous national and international exhibitions.

And She Was
Margaret Meehan

Exhibition Dates: March 4 – April 9, 2016

Art League Houston is excited to present And She Was, a solo exhibition by Dallas-based artist Margaret Meehan. The exhibition focuses on the hidden histories of female soldiers during the American Civil War, and features a mixture of sculpture, photography and sound as well as several small ceramic works and tintype collages.

It is a little known fact that 400-1000 women disguised themselves as men and fought for both sides of the Civil War. Some were discovered and sent home while some stayed on the battlefield and worked as nurses. Others fought as men with distinction and came out as women only when safely living again at home. Many more were killed and buried on the battlefield, like Sarah Rosetta Wakeman (also known as Pvt. Lyons Wakeman), before the discovery of their true gender.

Meehan’s intention with this body of work is to highlight the legacy of these forgotten and invisible women and to compare their stories with those of contemporary queer and female American enlisted. She connects the stories of nineteenth century female soldiers who passed as men in order to serve with contemporary military members who are now allowed to fight in combat but still have to endure a number of social roadblocks placed before them. This exhibition also focuses on recent official policies of secrecy like “Don’t ask. Don’t tell” in the context of larger patterns in the military that extend the debates in society at large with regard to gender and sexuality, revealing the difficulties that LGBTQ soldiers and their families still face.

*A portion of this exhibition was originally commissioned and produced by Artpace San Antonio.


In her expansive multimedia installations, drawings, and photographs, Margaret Meehan juxtaposes the past with the present, evoking questions of race, gender, and cultural memory. Some of her previous awards and residencies include Artpace, San Antonio, TX (2014), The Lighthouse Works Fellowship, Fishers Island, NY (2013), Bemis Center, Omaha, NE (2009), the Dozier Travel Grant, Dallas Museum of Art, TX (2008). She has shown at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, The Dallas Museum of Art, Soil Gallery in Seattle, David Shelton Gallery in Houston, and Conduit Gallery in Dallas, among others.

It Will All Come out in the Wash
Shannon Duncan and Delaney Smith

Exhibition Dates: March 4 – April 9, 2016
Main Gallery

Art League Houston is excited to present It Will All Come out in the Wash, a collaborative exhibition by Shannon Duncan and Delaney Smith in conjunction with FotoFest 2016 Biennial, centered around the ritual of transforming or letting go of what is no longer pertinent. Two video diptychs, projected onto cast paper, explore the practice of shedding what is outgrown in both domestic and public spaces. In contrast to the intimate diptychs, overhead projectors and quiet paper sculptures provide visual breathing space. Through this exhibition, the artists merge their individual processes of lens-based media (Duncan) and sculptural paper making (Smith) to create an amalgamation of empty lots, repurposed cotton fibers, embedded zippers, and melted tea candles.

Both artists are interested in the act of collecting and the repurposing of material for their independent and collaborative work. While each artist’s work is distinct, there is an overlap in the performance of repetitive, process-oriented tasks. Duncan uses lens-based media to record personal experiences. Once these incidents have been documented, the physical material associated with the process is discarded. This subjective work catalogs memory while purging objects. Smith uses an accumulation of materials that have either been found or donated to create a mass of repurposed texture. This material is often transformed into a pulp, which is then cast onto various, conceptually relevant surfaces.


Shannon Duncan is a location-specific photographer and installation artist with an interest in social documentary. Duncan received her BA in Studio Art and Sociology at Wesleyan College and her MFA at the University of Houston. Duncan is currently the Photography Coordinator at Rice University, an instructor of Photography/Digital Media at the University of Houston and Houston Center for Photography.


Delaney Smith is a visual artist working primarily with paper and bookmaking to create sculptures and interactive books. Smith received her BFA in Graphic Communications from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2007 and her MFA in Fibers from the University of North Texas in 2013. Her work is part of the permanent collection at Texas Women’s State University, and she is a featured artist at Hunter Gather Project in Houston, Texas.

Land || Border || Other
K. Yoland

Exhibition Dates: March 4 – April 9, 2016
Hallway Space

Art League Houston is excited to present Land || Border || Other, a solo exhibition by British artist K. Yoland in conjunction with FotoFest 2016 Biennial. The exhibition features a series of photographs created during the artist’s four-month artist residency at Marfa Contemporary in West Texas.  While on the border between Mexico and the United States, Yoland used video, photography, sculpture, and performance to investigate sites of division and restriction.

Yoland made several field excursions to the borderland, some by herself and others with border patrol guards, oil industry workers, and cattle ranchers.  On these trips, Yoland observed the effects of natural and artificial boundaries upon these different groups. For example, when she was with the ranchers, she noticed how tumbleweeds passed freely over barbed wire fences or the national border.  She also discovered this iconic plant of the American landscape is not indigenous, but rather, originated in Russia.  Such paradoxes became a source of inspiration for this body of work and a means through which to investigate ideas about borders, invasion, migration, and the alien.

Barbed wire and the commonplace red paper used by construction workers in the area appear frequently.  In response to the fact that ninety-five percent of land in Texas is privately owned, Yoland used these markers of division to delineate and conquer the landscape and the figures in it.  She explores the importance of mapping and ownership as an attempt to assert control over the vast landscape and ourselves.

Through performance, sculpture, photography, and videos, Yoland’s work considers how the physical and conceptual demarcation of the land shapes our relationship to hierarchy, control, and freedom.


Through photography, live-performance, video and installation, K. Yoland explores the nature of identity, power and borders in our society. Yoland started working with photography eight years into her artistic practice and in many ways it is the natural distillation of her live and video works, influenced as much from theater, dance and cinema as it is informed by the history of photography, performance-art and video-art. The framework of these multi-media experiments lie in the intersection of documentary, magical realism, group-participation, rehearsal and site-specific research.

Given Yoland’s performance background, she says “it is natural that I envision photography as a means to capture a frozen moment from a cinematic or live performance. Blurring the line between fiction and reality, the images act as documentation or witness to an intervention, which I stage with performers, using occasional props or costumes.”

Using a wide range of participants, both trained professionals and volunteers, across Europe and the States, previous projects have included directing a haircut between a barber and soldier outside in the desert, choreographing dancers in a video installation in Copenhagen, performing with Olympic fencers on scaffolding in London, making dream interviews with people on the streets of Harlem and taking employment in 21 different 'day-jobs' in Paris.

Exhibiting internationally, Yoland has recently shown with The Lisson Gallery (London), Talley Dunn (Dallas), Turner Contemporary (UK), Alan Cristea Gallery (London) and Marfa Contemporary (West Texas). The artist's 2014 and 2015 solo exhibitions were Foreign Affair at BeefHaus (Dallas), which focused on international conflict zones including Iraq, Palestine/Israel and Serbia; and Land || Border || Other at Oklahoma Contemporary, which investigated the nature of territory, migration and the alien on the USA/Mexico border.

Yoland moved from London to West Texas, to be the inaugural artist-in-residence with Marfa Contemporary in 2012. Prior to Marfa, Yoland was the 18-month artist-in-residence with South London Gallery and Acme in London. Having just completed a one year residency with Central Trak (Dallas, 2015), Yoland is currently teaching socially and politically engaged art at UTD. Yoland’s current research is on the history of segregation, racism and marginalized communities in Dallas and the United States.

The Kenmore: The Slow Game
Sebastien Boncy
Curated by Emily Sloan

Exhibition Dates: March 4 – April 9, 2016
Reception Area

Art League Houston is excited to present The Kenmore: The Slow Game by Sebastien Boncy curated by Emily Sloan in conjunction with FotoFest 2016 Biennial. This exhibition features a selection of small-scale photographs from the artist’s ever growing and uncategorized archive of photographs that find resolution as sequences, installations, publications and other types of image networks. This new work will take the shape of a game, where the audience is asked to Restore the Rules of the Universe by interacting with a set of photographs.


Sebastien Boncy was born and raised in Haiti, and now lives and works in Texas. He received his BFA from the University of Houston, and his MFA from the University of North Texas. Recently, his work has been exhibited at The Oak Cliff cultural center, published in Sugar and Rice magazine, and part of the multi-media presentation Houston No Limits at the Co-Cathedral of The Sacred Heart. His writing currently appears in Not That But This.


Not just another white cube, The Kenmore is a small, cold, mobile exhibition object measuring approximately 36" x 24"x 24". The Kenmore's mission is to keep ideas fresh through the opportunity of a unique exhibition context and the experience of collaborating with an object.


A Forged Utopia
Giovanni Valderas

Exhibition Dates: January 22 - April 1, 2016
ALH Sculpture Patio 

Art League Houston is excited to present A Forged Utopia by Dallas-based artist Giovanni Valderas, a new site-specific installation in ALH’s Sculpture Patio. This project aims to appropriate, re-create and transcend the most basic element of commercial enterprise, a real estate sign.  Real estate signage often holds a strong visual presence symbolizing impending economic and social changes. As the social fabric of our communities change in the name of progress and prosperity, we are also faced with repercussions. One such consequence is gentrification, often viewed as beneficial in reducing crime and boosting economic investment, it often leads to cultural marginalization and displacement of other “sub-groups.”

“One prominent “sub-group” most affected by gentrification are Latinos” says the artist. “I seek to utilize one of the most iconic symbols of Hispanic culture, the “piñata.” This sculptural artwork aims to appropriate the “piñata’s” original identity and transform its current popular cultural meaning from one of mere birthday celebrations to one of a cultural construct. In addition, I have incorporated the Spanish colloquial saying, “NO HAY PEDO” in lieu of the traditional contact information found in real estate development. "NO HAY PEDO" is a very authentic term used in everyday slang vernacular. “NO HAY PEDO”  (meaning: there's no problem) at times can fail literal translations, which acts as a metaphor for society’s misunderstanding of cultures deemed as foreign.  I also selected this term because I wanted to reach an audience not typically familiar or comfortably with art, a way of being more inclusive. My intent is to empower people whom at times feel marginalized or unappreciated. In my view, the Latino community face numerous struggles from putting food on the table to deportation but we always manage to push forward and persevere with the simple nonchalant saying, "NO HAY PEDO - It's no problem." This artwork isn't just for Latino audiences; it's for everyone who is interested in seeking out the essence of the Latino culture”.  


A native of Dallas, M. Giovanni Valderas is the Assistant Gallery Director at Kirk Hopper Fine Art. He also serves as an appointee by Dallas City Council as Vice Chair of the Cultural Affairs Commission, where he serves under Mayor Mike Rawlings. Previously he was the Gallery Director at Mountain View College. Valderas graduated from the College of Visual Arts & Design at the University of North Texas with a Master of Fine Arts in Drawing & Painting. He has taught Mural Painting, Beginning and Intermediate Figure Drawing at the University of North Texas as well as Foundation Drawing and Art Appreciation at Richland and Mountain View College. He is a former member of 500x gallery, one of the oldest co-op galleries in Texas. His work has been featured in the 2013 Texas Biennial, New American Paintings Magazine, issue #108 and Impossible Geometries: Curated works by Lauren Haynes at Field Projects.

Shoulder Pads on Vacation
Cobra McVey
Presented by The Lens Capsule (One Night Only!)

Opening Reception: 6 – 9 PM Friday March 4, 2016
ALH Parking Lot

Art League Houston is excited to host The Lens Capsule: Shoulder Pads on Vacation by Houston-based artist Cobra McVey in conjunction with FotoFest 2016 Biennial. The exhibition features snapshots of found shoulder pads touring the United States. In each snapshot nature and fabrication collide and fantasy challenges reality. Hypothesis 1: The unmanageable surplus of non-essential consumer products accumulating in the developed world mutates into new life forms.  Hypothesis 2: The new life forms go on vacation.


Cobra McVey uses found objects and recycled synthetic materials in combination with traditional art making techniques to create futuristic environments that reference contemporary culture. McVey 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. Currently, she is one of three artists in the Artist Studio Program at Houston's Lawndale Art Center. She has lived in Massachusetts and Arizona, but now considers Texas home.


The Lens Capsule is a mobile exhibition space currently hosted from the back of a rental truck. It was co-founded by Houston artists, Emily Peacock and Britt Thomas. We have operated solo and group exhibitions for emerging lens-based Texas artists during the Fotofest Biennial since 2012. This is The Lens Capsule’s third Fotofest biennial season.

The Lens Capsule’s mission is to bring professional opportunities to emerging lens-based Texas artists. As artists ourselves, we know how difficult it can be to find shows when beginning one’s career, especially at locations that attract a large crowd. Our mobile space allows us to bring art directly to the audience versus persuading an audience to visit an exhibition.


Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin

Exhibition Dates: January 22 - February 27, 2016
ALH Main Gallery 

Press - 
Houston Chronicle - Artsy guys embark on a Wild West odyssey
Houston Public Media - Arts InSight: "50 States: Wyoming" by Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin

Art League Houston is excited to present 50 STATES: WYOMING, an exhibition by Houston-based artists and husbands Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin. The exhibit is structured around a historic 1843 expedition in which William Drummond Stewart, a homosexual Scottish lord-turned-fur-trader and his lover, the celebrated hunter Antoine Clement, led one hundred likely gay men on a 1,200 mile pleasure excursion from St. Louis to a remote lake in what is now Wyoming. 50 STATES: WYOMING is the first in a series of fifty unique exhibitions that the artists are creating in response to recently uncovered or underappreciated LGBTQ2 narratives from each state’s history. Dating from the 1600’s through to the Stonewall riots of 1969, these stories have been excluded from mainstream history.

Through the lens of contemporary art, 50 STATES: WYOMING aims to critically and creatively respond to newly discovered and under appreciated queer narratives from Wyoming’s history, and emphatically assert that America’s queer forbearers have long been an integral and unrecognized force in shaping the character and mythology of this country.

50 STATES aims to celebrate a wide spectrum of ethnically, socio-economically, and geographically diverse queer experiences that were previously ignored and sometimes actively erased.  As historians, archivists, and activists continue to work at the forefront of this field, Vaughan & Margolin aim to create a body of work that lends powerful and engaging imagery to these narratives, providing a visual and conceptual framework for a history so sprawling and disparate that it touches every type of American and every corner of the country.  Equal parts visual art and social action, 50 STATES: WYOMING is an undertaking that feels vitally important in this time when society’s views of gender and sexuality are shifting at such an astonishing pace. 

Special thanks to Visual Arts Alliance, Legacy Clinic, CS Gulf Coast, Bill Arning, Devin Borden Gallery, Russell Pitman, Peranteau/Sawyer and James Magee & Camilla Carr.


Nick Vaughan & Jake Margolin are interdisciplinary artists who’s solo shows include “A MARRIAGE: 2 (WEST-ER)” (Invisible Dog Art Center, Brooklyn); “A MARRIAGE: 1 (SUBURBIA)” (HERE Arts Center, NYC, MCLA’s Gallery 51, North Adams, MA, Sleeping Weazle, Boston); and “Art/Slant Presents: Nick & Jake” (Chicago, IL) as well as the upcoming “50 States: WYOMING” (Art League Houston) a yet-to-be-titled show at Devin Borden Gallery (Houston, TX) and “50 States: TX:OK:CO” (Invisible Dog Art Center, Brooklyn)

They’ve participated in group shows at Art Center South Florida (Miami), the Brooklyn Historical Society (in collaboration with BRIC Arts), The Wassaic Project (Wassaic, NY) The Lumen Festival (NYC), Scope Art Fair (NYC), Double Take Gallery (Saugerties, NY) and Mabou Mines/Suite (NYC)

Their collaborations with choreographers include creating the environments for Faye Driscoll’s “Thank You For Coming: ATTENDANCE” (Danspace, NYC; ICA, Boston; The Walker, Minneapolis); Multiple collaborations with Yoshiko Chuma – “π=3.14 . . . Nothing, or Everything” (La Mama Etc), “Shredded” (Gallery 128, NYC), “Love Story, Palestine” (La Mama Etc) and “POONARC” (National Dance Center, Bucharest, Danspace, NYC); and Pavel Zustiak’s “S(even)” (New Hazlett Theater, Pittsburgh). 

Nick & Jake are members of the devised theater company The TEAM with whom they have created five plays that have won numerous awards and toured throughout the world to venues such as The Barbican Centre, London; The Royal Court, London; The Shed at the National Theater, London;The Public Theater, NYC; PS122, NYC; The Walker, Minneapolis; Culturegest, Lisbon; and the Hong Kong Arts Festival.  As a scenographer, Nick has designed over 70 shows for theater, opera and dance that have been seen throughout the US, Canada, the UK, Portugal, Romania, China, Japan, and Oman.

Nick & Jake currently live in Houston, Texas where they are researching and developing a series of work about pre-stonewall LGBT histories in Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado.  These pieces will be shown at the Invisible Dog in 2016.  They are recipients of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (2014), a MAPFund Grant (2013) and the Tulsa Artist Fellowship (2016).  They are represented by Devin Borden Gallery, Houston.

Sugar Coated
Ying Zhu

Exhibition Dates: January 22 - February 27, 2016
ALH Front Gallery

Art League Houston is excited to present Sugar Coated, a site-specific installation by Nebraska-based artist Ying Zhu in the ALH Front Gallery. The exhibition features an installation of sculptural forms wrapped in cotton candy that will flow throughout the gallery space. Due to the nature of the material, the installation will slowly change color and form throughout the duration of the show.

“Sugar Coated aims to create a familiar yet novel environment that stimulates the searching nature within us” says the artists. “Novel environments permit us to become conscious of the acts we take for granted, such as speaking, walking or gesturing. These situations can cause an immediate shifting of gears, and we suddenly feel like foreigners in our own body. I’m trying to create something that we can relate to based on our own experiences and perspectives. My hope is that the viewer will have an engaging experience within the kinesthetic spaces that I create, leaving somehow empowered to take ownership of one’s place, wherever it may be on the creative spectrum”.

Special thanks to Sky High Party Rentals.


Ying Zhu was born in Lanzhou, China in 1979 and graduated with an MFA from the Studio Art department of University of Nebraska, Lincoln in 2010. Zhu’s work has always been tied to the self in the context of the world around us. In her site-specific installations, she methodically draws out the relationships between action and consequence. Her practice takes her from rural China to Omaha, Nebraska, where she currently lives and works.

A former artist-in-residence at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art and Vermont Studio Center, 2013, and at Headland Center for the Arts, 2014, Zhu regularly collaborates with established organizations. Her recent work includes a mural crafted solely out of lego bricks for Project Harmony, a non-profit dedicated to preventing child abuse. The University of Nebraska also invited Zhu to create a piece for their Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, resulting in an immersive installation constructed of tinted mirror shards. She participated in the Klein Sun Residency at Millers Falls Art Bridge in 2015.

Her work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions including “Crumbs of Tenderness,” Lied Gallery, Creighton University, Omaha, NE (2014); “Return As Departure,” Lux Center for the Arts, Lincoln, NE (2014); “Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining,” Union for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE (2014); and “Please Watch Your Step,” Museum of Nebraska Art, Omaha, NE (2013). Group exhibitions include “Magical Thinking,” Roots Division, San Francisco, CA (2014); “Process,” Antenna Gallery, New Orleans, LA (2013); III Moscow Young Art Biennale, Moscow, Russia (2012); “Mind the Gap,” Neukolln Art Festival Nacht Und Nebel, Berlin, Germany (2011)

Small Cities On Stars
Jessica Kreutter

Exhibition Dates: January 22 - February 27, 2016
ALH Hallway Space

Art League Houston is excited to present Small Cities On Stars, an installation by Houston-based artist Jessica Kreutter in the ALH Hallway Space.

“This is a piece about the place of imagination occupying the chasm between our minds on earth and the stars” says the artist. “Looking up into the night sky, I experience both a connection and separation from something so vast, distant and seemingly timeless. Space is a concept so unfathomable that imagination often fills in the gaps. We form pictures to connect the stars, we send out wishes and wonder at the possibilities. I seek comfort in this unknown”.

“This is a passage way where to find our way, we look up. Suspended overtop is a netted ceiling of weightless volume. It has structure, yet holds no mass and remains empty.  It may catch or protect against something. Colonies of white droplets hang like suspended rain or the constellations above and tall white towers grow in corners. This is a place we must travel through. A place that exists to connect other places”.


Jessica Kreutter has lived, been educated and made work in Denver, Portland, Knoxville and, currently, Houston. She has been a resident artist at Anderson Ranch, Vermont Studio Center, Art342 PlatteForum, TheHouston Center for Contemporary Craft, Caldera and The Oregon College of Art and Craft. In 2013, she designed an ice sculpture in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art (Denver) and created an unfired clay installation for the NCECA Project Space. Her clay installation work is featured in the January 2014 Issue of Ceramics Monthly.  Recently, she has shown at Vertigo Gallery (Denver), Castle Gallery (New York) and Red Arrow Contemporary (Dallas). She loves all creatures both real and imaginary.

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