As the sixth edition of their biennial series "Talent in Texas," FotoFest and the Houston Center for Photography have joined forces for This Side of Paradise: New Photographic Work by Texas Artists, an exhibition highlighting works from nearly two dozen talented artists, ranging from the newly graduated to life-long photographers.
Thoughtfully curated by PaperCity's Arts and Culture Editor Catherine Anspon, the dual-venue exhibition features the works of 23 artists who hail from Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin and Odessa. Artists present lens-based work created by film or digital means — as well as photographic sculpture, collage, installation, performance and video — leading to an incredibly diverse array of subject matter and presentation.
"For this show, I really wanted to make it about discoveries, but also about rediscovering mid-career artists that are really creating extraordinary new bodies of work because the art world doesn't end when you're 20 years old," Anspon said. "There were different themes that emerged, particularly landscape portraiture (and) new documentary, but it’s not so tight, it’s a looser, abstract theme."
Ranging from Leigh Merrill's carefully reconstructed street scenes and the almost hilariously fantastical scenes created by Carlo Zinzi to Irby Pace's landscapes with mysterious colored clouds and the bright pop portraits of Kasumi Chow and Desiree Espada, the massive exhibition effectively conveys the scope of Texas' creative spirit.
The exhibition also includes Finding Our Way, made visible with a camera, a photographic installation from long-time Houston-based photographers Mary Margaret Hansen and Patsy Cravens. The installation, which explores Hansen and Cravens' real-life transformation from dejected housewives into artists armed with cameras, features works spanning almost four decades and explores cross-generational conversations about women's roles.
A number of events are being held throughout the duration of the exhibition, including a discussion with the artists at FotoFest on November 7 at 2 pm and a guided tour with Anspon on November 14 at 11 am that begins at the Houston Center for Photography.
The exhibition is on view at the Houston Center for Photography and FotoFest until November 14.