Bright ideas

Cutting-edge art city: Four Houston projects given Idea Fund grants

Cutting-edge art city: Four Houston projects given Idea Fund grants

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The "Transgender Umbrella" is a visual that dynamically captures the complexity of the gender spectrum and offers succinct vocabulary words to provoke questions and encourage dialogue. Courtesy of DiverseWorks ArtSpace
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Nohegan East 2010 participants at the Brazos Bend State Park campsite pose before closing up camp with a group hug. Courtesy of DiverseWorks ArtSpace
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Lisa Marie Godfrey photographing Elaine Bradford’s sculptures in nature during Nohegan 2008 activities Courtesy of DiverseWorks ArtSpace
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“Make & Mail a Post Card” workshop with Josh Rios and Deanna Renee Ledezma workshop during Nohegan 2009 Courtesy of DiverseWorks ArtSpace
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The purpose of "the GENDER book(let)" is to radically transform the dialog around gender in our local communities. Courtesy of DiverseWorks ArtSpace
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Houston, make room for some cool artsy unconventional projects. The idea-ed ones have been selected in the annual Idea Fund, funded by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, administered by DiverseWorks, Aurora Picture Show and Project Row Houses

Each year, the program awards Texas artists and art collectives $3,500, plus an additional $500 toward their next project, to create new work that falls outside traditional boundaries. Panelists culled through over 200 applications to select the 10 winners. Four are from the Houston. Here they are with their winning descriptions of the artwork they have planned:

ArtScouts Houston (Elaine Bradford, Emily Link, Dennis Nance, JoAnn Park) — Nohegan East: An art-making weekend retreat with a focus on community.

Nathaniel Donnett — What's the New News? A project that will challenge, respond to and juxtapose the way we read the news and how rap and poetry interprets it, the differences in generations when seeking information regarding issues and current events specifically in Houston's Third Ward.

David Feil, Amye McCarther  —  Andrus Studio Archives: An artist-volunteer run archive of a collection of audio reels from Andrus Studios, an independent, progressive and artist-directed recording studio owned and operated in Houston by Walt Andrus from 1964-1971.

GENDER book creators (Boston Bostian; Mel Reiff Hill; Jay Mays) — The GENDER book(let): A colorful highly-illustrative resource, short in length and with detailed real-life experiences, the GENDER book serves as a starter manual that presents the beautiful diversity of gender.

The selection team included Contemporary Art Museum Houston director Bill Arning; Kate Lorenz, executive director, Hyde Park Art Space, Chicago; and Andrea Mellard, assistant curator, Austin Museum of Art.

“I cherished my role as an Idea Fund panelist for many reasons, but one stands out,” Arning said in a statement. “As a new Texan, having moved to Houston in 2009, I feared that the work being made here might be more conservative than what I enjoyed in New York and Boston.

"After seeing so many wonderful proposals of non-traditional artwork, I am happy to say that the artists we funded produce the edgiest art being made anywhere. As a lifelong advocate of avant-gardist practices that does my heart and soul good to see.”