With the imminent demise of the Houston Chronicle's art department, the artworld cord to the general population has been more or less severed. The Houston Press deleted their art listings years ago but persist in their art reviews and capsules. With the new move to Articles Editor at glasstire, Houston Press writer Kelly Klaasmeyer may be acknowledging the relevance of getting off the newsprint page, but will she make the move entirely?
Not likely, she is now the most widely read art writer in town, with competition coming only from statewide or specialized sources. Artshouston focuses on Houston art, but burns pages on theater and opera. There is always and article or two on the subject in 002 and Envy, the gaudy Tribeza and Houston glossies, and the underground Free Press. Papercity is a cum dumpster for art parties and openings, but not so much writing.
Texas art news wranglers ArtLies and glasstire used to be based out of Houston, but now they have focused their attention on Austin- where the LA influence is much stronger and the clientèle hipper. It is nice to see Houston in national mags like Art Papers, Artforum or Art in America but it seems like we get the same coverage as Kansas City. (The new cover of Art in America does have the CAMH's new show of Mary Heilmann on the cover- but then again it came from Orange County first)
Who's blogging? Well the ranks of blogs about art are pretty slim- although I hope I can do something about that. Andrea Grover has a blog at the Aurora Picture Show and for her UH Participation Art class, Keith Plocek runs a graffiti site for the 3rd Coast, and a few artists run their own sites. Bill Davenport writes a lazy blog on glasstire. In general news blogs art has better placement than it ever did in the Chronicle; Houstonist is helmed by Monica Danna, blogHOUSTON is out there and Metroblogging too.
So what do we need to cover art is Houston better? More photos, more writing, more criticism- but mostly more transparency. If everyone is guarding their own interests and attempting to avoid offending people then we'll never get anywhere. The good 'ol boys system has gotta go.