Saturday, October 6, 2007

This'll Be Good

Houston Screwston

Rob G "Reppin My Block" feat. Lil Keke & Slim Thug

Gorilla Zoe - Hood Nigga (Chopped & Screwed Music Video)

Lil Wayne - You Ain't Know (Chopped & Screwed)

Don't forget that this is the dominant vernacular in Houston. You live simultaneously in Screwston- and unlike any other it is prone to abstraction. In a dialogue presented between the Northside and Southside; lyrics, music and videos emphasize locale and locality. Its relationship with Atlanta is both emulation and contrast, while a warm relationship has been nurtured with Memphis. Is there any relationship between DJ Screw's musical innovation and the art produced not so far away?
Watch these. It'll put meat on your bones.

FAT PAT "Tops Drop" long version

DJ Screw - I Had a Dream by Chamillionaire

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Houston Downtown Management District sez:

"Lester Holt and a crew from the Today Show were in town shooting a feature story on Houston that will run on Sunday. The Houston story is the first of four city segments (Chicago, Minneapolis and Boston are to follow), featuring off-the-beaten path attractions in "Cities They Love."

Lester interviewed Thomas Jones, Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau chairman, in a canoe on Buffalo Bayou, and they also visited the Beer Can House and learned about the ongoing renovation. The cameramen filmed the view from the top of Hotel ZaZa, as well as the view of Minute Maid Park from the Alden Hotel. They also visited David Adickes' studio to see the presidents' heads and the Beatles statues.

On Monday, they flew to Lufkin to interview native Houstonian Clint Black. His suggestions (which they visited) were to visit Goode Company BBQ, Pappasito's, the ice rink at The Galleria and the Mucky Duck for great live music.

Lester was on KPRC promoting Sunday's segment, and he mentioned the My Houston campaign."

Alright... Just Be Careful


The world thinks we're crazy for living in a swamp, ignoring public services and supporting the Bush family- but the news out of Houston sure doesn't help matters. Let's see if the locals pick THIS story up. Everyone else is already rolling their eyes...


class mascot: our potato

Andrea Grover's Participation Art Class at U of Houston has a blog up and running, check out the kids as they pretend to be tourists, watch Fluxus videos and leave things on cars in the parking lot!

las turistas

Sebastian Foray's Manifesto

Participation Art Here

Things To Do (Waste Time)

Well, you could vote one that poll to your left or...

Check out what I Love You, Baby! has been up to HERE.

Give Up

Scope Gulf Coast taggers at Keith Plocek's Dirty Third Streets HERE.


Stop off at Houstonist for pics and articles HERE.


more about the CSAW fallout...

you know what IS going on? right across the street and then some, there are new TOWNHOUSES being built all around that area. pretty soon, all that area will not look the same NOR will it be the same. Since, as humans, people that own property absolutely love money. it's MUCH easier to make money, off of tennants than art openings. So in all, that is all she is doing and i guarantee you that once they get rid of that, then the place next door will be gone, and around the corner, Bootleg will be gone and quite possibly, ASHS warehouse will be gone too. Even the regular livable warehouses directly in front of CSAW will be gone sooner or later. I've been going to these places for years - they were a lot more popular back then but then again, there is and was a different type of crowd that was being catered too. the best thing to do is to get everybody all along that stretch of land, from both sides of the railroad tracks to actually come together to make a protest. Gentrification is at hand and those people will stop and NOTHING to get what they want!! And you know why? cuz they got money. and in our society, money is power. at least in the material way and everybody nowadays seems like they want to cash in. i guarantee you that the landlord , if it is the same one as back in the day, probably did not think too much about the warehouse cuz nobody really wanted it. they were OLD industrial businesses that went out of business and caused the area to turn into a ghost town, so to speak. NOWADAYS, all of Commerce St. is a hot commodity and i bet you anything that - that same landlord was offered up something she could not refuse. you'll see. we will all see. but that does suck because that always was and will be the best art place around. matter of fact, that was the very first place that i went to when i first got into the scene. tu che! i fucking hate those motherfuckers that are ruining our own city to make it their own. thanks for sharing. i'll definitely help spread the word. werd.

John Evans sez:

My name is John Evans. I am a member of I Love You Baby!, and a former member artist of CSAW. I exhibit under the name Jim Fat, and I occupied Studio D at Commerce Street Artists Warehouse prior to Skeez, Xavier Herrera and Mario Jose Olvera. I left CSAW, and the United States, in deep frustration at the state of the visual arts world there and came to the United Kingdom to embark on an international career unfettered by local politics. Given my closeness to the situation, I feel compelled to comment.

When I joined as a member artist of CSAW in 2002, the organization was already deep in the midst of a constitutional crisis. The problem then was as it is now, the conflicts between two essential groups: those who are genuinely there to be a part of a vibrant artistic community and those who are tenuously hanging on to the cheap rent. The latter group is generally far less productive than the former, and usually derive the money by which they pay rent by means other than art. More crudely, you could define this as a conflict between dedicated artists in a state of financial precarity versus hobbyists with “real world” jobs or independent wealth who are more financially solvent.

Maggi Battalino, whose Studio B looks much more like a luxury condo than the working artists studios in CSAW, is one of the latter group. I do not know to what Maggi owes her success as an artist, but (I say) the work that comes out of her studio is bland and uninspired, and lacks any sense of technique or design, and is a crude shadow of the real work coming from real artists’ studios 50 and 60 years ago from which it is so clearly derived, so I dare to put forth the notion that she is simply good at “playing the game.” We all know that the art world is populated by people like this, those lacking in talent enjoying undeserved success , but the corporate ethos with which we are forced to live in mega-cities like Houston encourages this type of thing to happen. It’s also helpful if you make art that looks like art by real artists who suffered for their trade generations ago, but which has since been accepted by the mainstream. It’s no risk for an investor from the business world to buy a new painting that breaks no ground and resembles the work of the past, nor does it constitute a risk on the part of the artist to produce such a picture.

Of the financially secure group at CSAW, however, Maggi is the most productive artist. The other members of this group derive their income from full-fledged careers in other fields or other means (such as teaching, nursing and alimony) and seldom make time for art, and contribute very little to quality of life and art at CSAW. For those people it is simply a long-term cheap rent situation, and every influence they exert over the organization is to make it a more pleasant environment in which to have a city apartment, to make events at CSAW conform to a schedule that does no harm to the early bedtimes they must keep so as to accommodate their non arts-related careers. If you can’t see the conflict of interest there, then you are probably one of the ‘artists’ of whom I speak.

Another contributing factor would be the death of our previous landlord, who was 103 years old when she passed on three years ago. When our precious benefactor passed away, ownership of 2315 Commerce Street transferred to her heirs, who are several in number. It was always suspected that when this group took over ownership of CSAW, that the tender stewardship provided by the departed would give way to lecherous money-suckling, and sure enough, it has.

I offer CSAW itself as proof of that. One need only look at the website to find that CSAW now has, all embodied in Maggi Battalino, a CEO, Treasurer and Liason! It’s proof that a dying organization has reached the depths of staleness. And now CSAW must surely be irrelevant to Houston, seeing how it has devolved into the vanity project of a select few whom I doubt have ever read the bylaw or mission statement.

So I raise a glass of good stout beer here in England to the final demise of that long-suffering Good Idea Gone Wrong. I lament what could have and should have been: a vibrant epicenter of the long-suffering community of dedicated struggling artists ideally placed in Houston’s 77002 zip code to provide a much-needed antithesis to the powerful corporate culture, rather than another of its bastions.

This is what you get when financial success is the only measure of an artist’s ability, those braver types doing stuff that actually is innovative are discouraged, and those with a little money in their pockets become monsters who STILL make terrible art. If Maggi Battalino is using CSAW money to pay cops and for her own agenda, she needs to go. If she is trying to make the place into a dormitory for over 40’s, she’s got to go. If she is monopolizing communication with the landlords in what is supposed to be a democratic collective, she has got to go. If she’s screening applicants for studios according to her own criteria, she’s go to go. And honestly, for her terrible work bringing down the integrity of the place, she needs to go.

The only way to save CSAW is for all the tenants to band together and evict Maggi on breach of the bylaws. However, as the article pointed out and I have elaborated on, CSAW is not really a place for risk-takers anymore. I seriously doubt anyone has the gumption to stand up to their newly crowned CEO.

Alternatively, one could call the Fire Marshall.

John Evans -a.k.a.- Jim Fat
Bristol, England
Great Britain

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Poll Results- University of Houston Wins

UH: 71%
Rice: 10%
TSU: 7%
St. Thomas: 7%
HCC Northwest: 2%

No Votes: UH Downtown, Art Institute of Houston, and UH Clear Lake

a peace concert in March of 1970, University of Houston

Man, UH trashed the competition! In a decisive victory the school with the only graduate painting program in town had a bit of a leg up on the competition, but the resounding win is still a bit of a surprise. I had hoped the wording was vague enough to encompass art education and exhibitions, and that's how people voted, I guess.

Jim Love, Landscape with Blue Trees, 1983

U of Houston has a large, disjointed art program where the painters, sculptors and art historians are separated by classes and social circles. There are enough people in each group to make a community- which is nice- but little cross-pollination and collaboration. The Mitchell Money has been moseying along with the Intermedia Lab and guest lectures but with such a big pot they really should be going out on a limb. The campus at UH is pretty good on public art, full of Jim Love sculptures and other less memorable ones. The Blaffer Gallery is an above average university gallery, director Terri Sultan has upped the ante in the past few years by bringing in national shows and exposing students to diverse works. Unfortunately she seems to treat the student shows like dog shit, leaving the artists out in the cold without a gallery for their senior shows besides a 2 week break in the schedule. They really need another gallery for the kiddos.

Kristen Hassenfeld, Dans la Lune, 2007; pic by Rainey Knutson

Rice University is a distant second, buoyed by the Rice Gallery- and rightly so. Dedicated exclusively to installation art, the gallery brings artists that would never have a shot anywhere else no matter how good the works, and they are goood. Their undergrad program does exist, but produces few artists here in Houston (they go elsewhere for Ivy and grad school). The academic atmosphere is strong, housing writers and philosophers from the stinging rain of poverty by nestling them in the soft bosom of tenure and allowing for ambitious stretches of the imagination. Rice also has Valhalla- and if young artists and cheap beer don't go together then I'm living on another planet.

John Biggers, Nubia, Origins of Business and Commerce, 1999
Jesse H. Jones School of Business, Texas Southern University. Houston, Texas

Texas Southern University boasts the most impressive public art in Houston universities, mural works from several points in John Biggers' history from under the spell of Diego Rivera to his space-time-continuum mind-bending late work- more related to Hironymous Bosch and Medieval historical landscapes than the simple class-reinforcing realism of much African American muralism. In a classroom building lobby, stretched across a wall of the cafeteria (not in the best shape) and at the TSU Museum- where an early mural permanently watches over the rotating exhibits.

Jim Love’s Can Johnny Come Out and Play (detail) (1990-91)
Cullen Sculpture Garden, next to the Glassell School

St. Thomas tied TSU, and they farm their art classes out to the Glassell. Well, I guess the MFAH deserves the credit for that, and the insertion of university students into the continuing education courses of various ages and experience levels is sure to be a boon to the youngsters. The community of CORE residents, (who teach some classes) teachers, (who are artists) and part-time or continuing education students from all walks of life may produce some enlightened young undergrads. The St. Thomas campus was designed by Phillip Johnson in the 60s, and its super Modernist style makes it a pretty convincing ripoff. He also did the St. Basil's Chapel in '95 in a very different period.

As for the rest of them, it was tough to not include options on the list- you can't exclude the community colleges or the suburbs unless you actually know about them, and they have full programs that spit out art majors all the time- HCC Northwest is known for music production programs, UH Downtown has the O'Kane Gallery, a Biggers mural and a great location, The Art Institute has produced a few people who don't suck, and UH Clear Lake is always tooting their horn about shows and festivals and stuff (and they hosted Judy Chicago's Dinner Party when no one else would in the late 70s).

The only Texan in the Race

Ron Paul- hunter and hippie

Did you know that presidential hopeful Ron Paul is from Galveston? or that he raised 5 mil in the past quarter?

Thirteen Openings and a Kickball Game

Thirteen openings and a kickball game in Marfa this weekend. Man, I've got to take a serious road trip out there. Marfa pics HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE. It's only 14 hours and a tank of gas away....

Hypertexting Someone Else's Article

Commerce Street Artists' Warehouse
A disputed eviction heightens artists' and management's struggle for control of the alternative art space

From the Houston Press
Written By Troy Schulze
Published: October 4, 2007

They even got in trouble for being in the parking lot.

Xavier Herrera and Skeez 181 were evicted from CSAW after being three days late on rent.

When performance artist Xavier Herrera and well-known spray-paint artist Skeez 181 rented studio space at Commerce Street Artists' Warehouse in 2004, the building, considered a home for the experimental and alternative, seemed like a good fit for them. Rent was cheap. The other tenants were artists making it happen. And the environment was "party-friendly." Despite CSAW's financial ­struggles as an organization, things went well. Calling themselves the "Mexican Arsenal," along with artist and studio mate Mario Olvera, they made art, organized art shows and were happy at CSAW. But a couple months ago, things went south.

Herrera had organized "Chiahui Ome," a festival of indigenous Aztec art and dance, and had invited the local community, largely Hispanic, to attend on Saturday, August 4. "We went through the proper channels," says Herrera, "we talked to the curators about it and got permission. I wanted to make it a family thing and not serve alcohol. We had musicians and poets and vendors, and legally, we were all clear."

But property manager Maggi Battalino and a Harris County constable shut down the event at 9 p.m., something that has never happened in the history of CSAW. Skeez confronted Battalino. "I came up to her and I was like, 'What's up with this, why did it have to be our art show that got shut down?'" says Skeez. "And she's like, 'Don't you mess with me, sir, don't you mess with me, mister,' you know, threatening me in front of the cops."

Herrera believes Battalino made it her mission to disrupt the event. According to Skeez, that meant utilizing CSAW funds to hire the constable. "I asked one officer if he got paid to come and he said YES!," Skeez posted on a local blog.

It turned out to be the last event Mexican Arsenal hosted at CSAW. "Lo and behold, about a week later, we have an eviction paper on our door," says Skeez, "and the reason we were evicted was because we were three days late on rent."

If you walk into CSAW today, you will see laminated signs stating, "This is a professional artists' workspace. Zero drug tolerance." One local artist commented, "A sign like that doesn't belong anywhere outside a halfway house."

Jack Massing, one half of The Art Guys, witnessed the birth of CSAW in 1985. Like others in the art community, he's concerned about the historic building's future. "It seems to me that the people in charge are less concerned with really trying to make great art and be cutting edge and have a career than they are about saving their place," he says. "The collective doesn't seem to be celebrated there as it was, when the collective was saying, 'All right, how are we going to make this place great for artists to make work?' Now it's like, 'How are we going to make this place safe and quiet at night?'"

The atmosphere at CSAW has been in flux for some time. Roughly a year ago, Mexican Arsenal received complaints from a new artist in the building. The neighbor, who requested that his name not be printed here, objected to the studio's loud music and spray-paint fumes and filed formal complaints with Battalino. Soon, Battalino posted notices on tenants' doors proclaiming spray-paint verboten on CSAW ­premises.

Former tenant Lisa Marie Godfrey, who moved out recently, partly in response to Battalino's behavior, remembers the episode well. "One day I show up and there's notes on all the doors that say, 'No spray paint is to be used on CSAW property, period,' and I'm thinking, okay, that's really strange," she says. "And hey, isn't this a community? Since when does she just get to decide that we don't get to use spray paint anymore?"
The tenants fought the ban and won, but the struggle between manager and tenants over control of the building had begun.

Maggi Battalino became the property manager at CSAW during a time of crisis. About two years ago, CSAW had incurred severe debt. The former building owner had died, and the warehouse slipped into limbo while new ownership was de­termined. A handful of tenants didn't pay rent for up to a year, and the finances were being incompetently handled. "It was a CSAW-lounge-around-take-your-time sort of thing," says former tenant Daniel Adame. "So we had a meeting, and everybody started getting gung ho about taking action, and Maggi Battalino steps in like a savior. She's got the administrative wits to kind of shut everybody up," he says.
Battalino, a successful artist who designed the artwork for Metro Light Rail's Museum District stop, volunteered to spearhead the debt recovery, and CSAW as a collective granted her the power. In the opinion of some, that decision is what landed the building in its current pickle. "There are no more checks and balances," says Adame. "Once she started communicating with the owners, she had a monopoly on CSAW as far as finances and the rights to CSAW's existence — a social monopoly that she took advantage of." According to Adame, that included handpicking new tenants.

Traditionally, CSAW artists reviewed prospective tenants' work and voted whether to allow that applicant to rent ­studio space. Admission, as stated in CSAW's 1999 bylaws, "is open to any artist in the community." However, several current and former tenants believe that Battalino is filtering applications, allowing only those she deems appropriate to go before a tenant review. "It's like voting for president," says Herrera. "It's the candidates she chooses." Several of the tenants note that almost all of the recent tenants have master's degrees.

It seemed like tenants were ready to confront Battalino and her policies at a Sunday, September 9, tenant meeting, but Battalino, who had scheduled the meeting, cancelled it only 15 minutes before it was set to start. She rationalized the cancellation, claiming that most of the meeting's agenda had been addressed through e-mails. Regardless, tenants held their own meeting without her.The situation has left not a few artists disgruntled. For example, Godfrey is considering boycotting the space altogether. "Me and some friends are supposed to have a show there in December, and we're pretty much considering not doing the show. Why should we support that place? Why should we bring people there, especially with the possibility of HPD showing up at 9 p.m. and kicking everybody out? I feel like I got out in the nick of time. If I were still there I would leave," she says.

Align Center

i do love them i love you baby cat shit cupcakes

Dale Stewart, a longtime CSAW tenant and a member of the art collective I Love You Baby, believes the eviction of Herrera, Skeez and Olvera was excessive. "I Love You Baby always turned in rent late; there was all kinds of leeway," he says, "There's no precedent for anything like what happened to those guys."
When a tenant is late on rent, according to CSAW bylaws, "a $25 fine will be assessed on the tenant, which is payable by the fifth of the month following the month on which the tenant is notified of the assessment of the fine." The bylaws also state that CSAW tenants will determine whether a tenant is ultimately evicted from the property.

"We've actually been late before, including other artists here," says Skeez. "The routine was, we pay a late fee and that's that. That same day we got that eviction notice, I sent Maggi the money order for rent including our late fees. She rejected it. Sent it back. She just doesn't want us here."

The case went to court, and a judge ruled in favor of Battalino and the property owners, who had granted Battalino carte blanche authority to evict at her discretion. Herrera and Skeez moved out of the building during the first week of September. Olvera was also evicted. He has since moved to Colorado and was not reached for comment. Battalino was contacted for this article, and her only official statement is that the eviction was "due to late payment of rent."

Current tenant Teresa O'Connor attended the court hearing. "The judge didn't even look at the bylaws," says O'Connor, "[Battalino] has been given authority by the owners to do this. If we cause a lot of turmoil, the owners may just want to kick us all out because they don't want to deal with it. They don't want to deal with any of our internal problems; they just want their rent."

Current tenants want to resolve their issues in-house rather than involve the owners, who have been more than kind in allowing CSAW to get paid up and back on track. Many tenants were reluctant to weigh in on the controversy, afraid that doing so would invite Battalino's harassment as well as rankle the owners.

Mimi Quinn, who shares ownership of the CSAW building and other properties on Commerce Street with members of her family, says she supports Battalino "110 per cent." Quinn confirmed O'Connor's concerns about the tenuous relationship between tenants and owners. "It's a liability for the family, and we're not going to put up with it," she says. "Rather than deal with issues and have a problem, and this new mutiny that they've got going on down there, we will just shut the buildings down completely until we have them sold," she says.
Which could happen sooner rather than later. As part of an initiative to install a permanent, multifaceted arts center on Commerce Street, the Commerce Street Arts Foundation is in talks with Quinn to buy the CSAW building. Clement Aldridge III, CSAF's executive director, is concerned about the controversy and hopes CSAW can talk it out. "I've been hearing a lot of rumblings," he says, "and we're trying to save the situation, the physical structure and the original driving spirit. To see all of this unrest that's going on, it's nothing too pleasing. I'm starting to hear about people leaving, and that's not good. As far as the foundation is concerned, we want CSAW like the original, the way it was in '88 and '89, when I got my first exposure to CSAW. Talk about diversity; talk about things happening."

Asked whether he would maintain Battalino in the role of CSAW property manager once CSAF owned the building, Aldridge wouldn't comment directly. "As far as organization is concerned," says Aldridge, "we're about to make an extremely large investment in the community; we don't have the luxury to count anybody out. Personally, I've never attended a meeting with CSAW artists; I have no idea whether [Battalino] will still be at CSAW once we purchase the building. It would be highly speculative of me to comment on that." Aldridge did confirm that Battalino sits on CSAF's advisory board.

Aldridge says that he wants CSAW to remain a collective. "I don't see how [CSAW] could exist and not be a collective; otherwise it's just another place for people to rent space. That would kill the spirit."

questions or comments? email Troy @

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Bully Billy, Bully.

Bill Davenport's art reviews, mostly metaphorically

Bill Davenport has finally started using his blog on glasstire, today he returns to the Lawndale to shiv Wentz and Mueller after cutting up Emily Sloan the other day. Check it out HERE.

Just To Reiterate

BBAP announces a call for proposals:
Buffalo Bayou Trail Show.
Deadline: October 7, 2007

The Buffalo Bayou Trail Show is a juried installation exhibit along the trails of Buffalo Bayou. Artists are encouraged to research and find specific spots within the park suited to their project ideas. The opening of the show will coincide with ArtCrawl Nov. 17th. Projects will be installed for two weeks and must be properly secured and must withstand the weather for the duration of the exhibition. Maps will be produced to guide visitors to the various project sites. Honorariums will be given to all artists selected for the show.

Please submit the following:
-A written proposal outlining project specifics. (A budget would be helpful, but is not required.)
-Sketches for project.

Submissions may be emailed to:

Submissions may also be mailed to:
Buffalo Bayou Art Park
PO Box 70260
Houston, Texas 77270-0260

All submissions must be received by October 7, 2007.

For more information regarding BBAP, please visit our website at:


Since 2001, BBAP has sponsored an annual display of "Christmas Trees" made by individual local artists and artists in partnership with area elementary and middle school students. You, too, could be part of this tradition. Submit a proposal for a "tree" to us by October 14, 2007, and we could put your tree out on display for the world, or at least all of Houston, to see for the holiday seasons. The show will be on public display throughout the month of December. All artists selected for the show will be given honorariums.

Project specifications:
-Trees must be properly secured and must withstand the weather for the duration of the exhibition which will last approximately one month.
-Trees may or may not have anything to do with the holidays.
-Trees should be family friendly. Awww...come on! For the kids!

Submission guidelines:
-A written proposal.
-Sketches for "tree."

Thank you and happy trails!

The Great Texas Wind Rush

$21,000 per green box

All that petrochemical industry infrastructure that becomes less useful by the day as American oilfields dry up may be helpful in transitioning to renewable energy resources. WEST, Wind Energy Systems Technology, just bid to operate off the Galveston coast using used oil rigs as floating barges for dozens of turbines. 8 miles off the beach, I sure hope you can't see them from the pier. Asked about the possibility that you may be able to spot them on the horizon in a Chron article HERE Texas 'Land' Commissioner Jerry Patterson (I hope tongue firmly in cheek but I doubt it) said "I don't think it looks all that bad."

Texas is now the largest producer of wind energy in the US, thanks mostly to wind fields in West Texas. The GOW, Galveston Offshore Wind project, will- according to the company's site- "...produce enough electricity to provide power to about 40,000 homes. By comparison, an equal amount of electricity would require about 20.7 million barrels of oil, or 6.5 tons of coal to produce. By not burning these fossil fuels to create this amount of energy, the wind farm will displace approximately 2.7 million tons of carbon dioxide each year. By comparison, it would necessitate planting nearly 150 square miles of forests to achieve the same goal." Lets go out and plant 150 square miles of forests just to be safe.

Its Supposed To Be Too Big

Overgrown, Saturday, October 13th, 12-8 pm

Overgrown is one in a series of growing exhibits which span the last three years of the resurgent Westheimer Block Party. Over two dozen young artists will exhibit their sculpture, performance, paintings, and interactive art October 13th in, on and around the 300 block of Westheimer to push the limits of artistic space and community interaction.

The exhibition will blend into the social environment of the street and the Montrose neighborhood’s lush and elegant organic growth. The gradual, deliberate evolution of flora throughout the city explodes out of concrete and frequently overtakes houses, power lines and interstitial space, as well as acting in concert with the humid bayou environment. The changing face of architecture and urban planning across Houston seems to act as a foil for the natural overgrowth wrestled against since Allen’s Landing.

The work of eight artists, including Betsy Askew, Robert Hodge, The Rick Brothers, Matthew Dupont, and Tina Hernandez will be presented as large signage, engaging the cars inadvertently thrown into the social space of the Block Party. Across the rest of the festival many installation works will be exhibited in unexpected places and performance works by Chloe Stewart, Caleb and Frank Olson are scheduled. The will be an art map of the festival area available for visitors at the Free Press Houston booth in the parking lot of Numbers (300 Westheimer)

Artists living here in the city are constantly aware of the long reach of human construction and manipulation, as well as the organic effects of an overactive natural environment that seems to find ways to envelop and adjust to anything in its path. Overgrown focuses on the abundance of Houston grown, both technological and ecological, outside of the gallery space. The American Wandering Club has organized Westheimer Block Party exhibits since 2004, including our first show SOLID: the State of Things as well as stoned. in 2005 in response to Hurricane Katrina and the “Texodus” after Hurricane Rita. Our last exhibit Formicide featured artists exploring the neighborhood as a medium, hanging signs from store windows, placing sculptures in trees and experimenting with invented musical instruments.

Presented in conjunction with the Westheimer Block Party; Saturday, October 13th from 12 noon until 8 pm. Between the 300 and 500 block of Westheimer, near Taft Street. Participating spaces include Numbers Nightclub, La Strada Fine Dining, Mango’s Cantina and Avant Garden (Helios). Contributing arts organizations are ABC Bodyart, Art League Houston, Artshouston Magazine, Case Magazine, the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston Free Press, and The Mexican Arsenal. Organized by the American Wandering Club; proud sponsor of B.S. Houston ArtBlog.

Featured artist include Paula Anicete, Betsy Askew, Eli Brumbaugh, Joey Bender, Vonetta Berry, Caleb, James Ciosek, Bryan Cope, Sasha Dela, Matthew Dupont, Norberto Gomez Jr., Tina Hernandez, Robert Hodge, Mark Hougham, Chad Jessel, Mary Keene, Cody Ledvina, Amye MacCarther, Cheyanne Ramos, Patrick Renner, The Rick Bros., Brian Rod, Derek Shumate, Jeff Smith, Chloe Stewart, Anonymous, Frank Olsen, and David Waddell

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Eli Sebastian Brumbaugh sez:

Westfest 2003

You should come to Westfest (Westheimer Street Festival) on October 13th

If you don't dinosaurs will break into your home and maul your face.

But seriously the Houston Free Press has work for years to restore this once epic event to this town. Come out and help give this town back some culture it so desperately needs.

I remember being a little kid running around Westfest with my parents before we moved outside the loop because of financial issues. Now I show my art work there along side many talented Houston artists and musicians. I like to think I've come back home if only for a day.

Read the history here: Westheimer Street Festival

just to add to Eli...

2004 Obituary: HERE

Pics from the spring festival: HERE

Better pics by Charles: HERE

Check it Out- Quick Pick

Kurosaki lecturing at Leiden U. in Germany

Development of Japanese Contemporary Prints in the Twentieth Century

Rice University - Dept. of Visual and Dramatic Art
Today, 7 pm

October 2, 2007

Rice University Department of Visual and Dramatic Art presents a lecture entitled Development of Japanese Contemporary Prints in the Twentieth Century by Japanese Printmaker, Akira Kurosaki, the Dean of the Department of Printmaking at Seika University in Kyoto. The top woodcut artist in Japan for the last thirty years, Rice University is honored to host such a distinguished artist.

This event is in partnership with the Museum of Printing History and endorsed by the Consulate-General of Japan at Houston.

Tuesday Morning Cartoons

A little Elaine Bradford for ya!

Mongolian Knotted Deer, 2007

Snarl, 2006

...with your Grandmother's Afghan, 2007

Untitled (Dots and Stripes), 2007

Conjoined, 2007

Longneck, 2007

Divided Attention, 2006

There is a pretty funny thread at Offbeat America about Elaine's work HERE.

Monday, October 1, 2007

It's War!!!

Patricia Johnson wrote a review of the War & Peace & Quiet show at Moody HERE, but I think mine is better.


via Artshouston

Suzanne Bloom, MANUAL and Ed Hill, War & Peace & Quiet @ Moody Gallery

The tightest of three September ‘War’ themed exhibits in town, War & Peace & Quiet finds collaborators Ed Hill and Suzanne Bloom looking to the past, present and future of our current conflict and exploring the corresponding grief, indignancy and hope that Americans find themselves experiencing at the sixth anniversary of the War on Terror. In three distinct bodies of work a timeline is established; Ed Hill reaches back to draw upon Renaissance masters and Mexican lithographs to contextualize the Iraq War as a macabre constant in Western art, the collaborative effort MANUAL slams simple, reductive polemics through digital compositions, and Suzanne Bloom explores music as a visual medium in a crossbred installation creating beauty through language, AK47s and totenkopf portraits. Walking through the gallery, the three projects lead the viewer from the indelible past through a polarizing present and into the back gallery, where horror and hope are found, whimsically illustrated as the notes of a musical composition.

In a large series of sketches and drawings Ed Hill returns to a medium he had abandoned for over three decades; the two subjects broached here steer the mind to our exposure to photographs of American soldiers and historical representations of war from art historical sources. In the artist’s hand solitary figures march, watch or wait; the sketchiness of his execution fuels their imagined movement. Wounded Soldier presents its subject as a foreshortened figure lying prone, only his bandaged face and right arm are finished in color. With the ghost of Luis Jimenez, Raphael Sanzio or Jose Posada sitting on his shoulder, Hill has labored on another group of works twisting other epoch’s symbolization of war. Though well executed, the disparate sources relate to too many loose ends to be coherent, in trying to rope a large swath of history under his singular vision they seem confused. Boogie Nights in Baghdad takes the gleefully deceased figures of the Mexican social conflict popularized by Posada in the late 1800s to the streets of Iraq’s capitol, but without grounding references the intent fades to replication.

MANUAL, a thirty-year project that eclipses the career of either of its members, is well known as a pioneer in computer-aided art. The alter-ego has allowed Bloom and Hill to confront their emotional subject head on as they set up simple relationships like WAR-GAME and NATURAL-HISTORY as both opposing polemics and synchronistic, everyday phrases. While they may be accurately described as radical, the niche this body of work fills is full of the bile that has been building throughout the United States. Danse Macabre, all the way at the back of the space in a naturally lit gallery, is the strongest of the projects on display. On a large television a looping series of five musical compositions plays, alternating dulcet tones and raucous, cacophonous blasts. The five works are displayed as framed images, and their line drawings of weapons of war and peaceful figures are the basis for the music. If you’ve ever wanted to know what sound a skull makes when it is ‘played’ Bloom has given you a representation that transcends both aural and visual mediums, like Schoenberg’s atonal experiments that broke open musical forms in the beginning of the 20th century. Listening to the works and watching the shapes and figures being played is delightful, the highlight of the group being Truth Assassinated, a work for the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskya, gunned down last year for her inquiries into corruption. Available as edition works and DVDs, their simple evocations of messy world politics are a clear bell when experienced with an open mind- one can hope for them to be distributed and appreciated through the same digital channels that provide horror and war to the world in video, words and music.

A Messed-Up Mixed-Up Family

Just like any other... Shane Maberry came by to snap some 'family photos' for an upcoming show of performance work October 18th (6-9pm)at 4411, 4411 Leeland. Check out our fucked family!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Last Night

Ran out to see the Optiks Gala at Winter Street and then up to 19th Street to check out Robert Hodge's Turn the Radio Off. The gala by spacetaker glitzed up the barren studio spaces of Winter Street well, but the train tracks right outside could hardly be masked. The crowd was well off but not the richies that buy art save a couple of scattered singles. Deborah Colton flew back from New York, she skipped a Guggenheim party to be there. Hired girls in white dresses walked around and carried food. We left at like 9:30 when they finally started enforcing the 'this is the VIP area' rule. I think I saw about a quarter of the auction with bids. Stopping off in the Heights we walked into a totally different part of the art-going public, the small gallery was packed with about 60 people spilling out into the street listening to Onyx (remember them?) and snapping photos. Oh, I forgot about the photographers at the gala- there sure as shit was a lot of them.

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Artshouston photog Kara Duval

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Ankah from Space City Gamelan

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gala auction stuff- basquiat-flavored sneakers in the box

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Rene Cruz drawings!

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Solomon Kane and a box of hot sauce

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photographers scramble to catch Daniel Adame's performance

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Daniel Adame

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and his ramp

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he kicked a hole in the wall

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I saw this new Give Up on the street and kicked myself for not getting a pic
good thing it was up on the wall here!

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this FAILURE board was on the floor backwards.
I turned it around but I couldn't hang it back on the wall.

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Hey Chuck!

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David Brown (left)

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Tamalalalia Cooper (left)

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Nick had to tell people not to trip at the front door.
We had to sign a waiver to get into the party
so we wouldn't fall off the roof or anything.

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Robert Hodge at H Gallery

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the Heights is nice!