March brings photographic evidence of a picture-perfect time for Houston art lovers this month with the opening of Houston FotoFest, the first and longest-running international biennial of photography and new media art in the United States. Since it seems almost every gallery and art museum in town are putting their best photography forward, we thought a special FotoFest edition of the monthly art openings was in order.
For a complete rundown of all the museums, galleries, and art organizations participating in the festival as well as openings, talks and special events, check out the FotoFest listings. Here are some of the highlights we don’t want to miss.
FotoFest main exhibitions
"African Cosmologies" at Silver Street and Winter Street Studios (through April 19)
This central exhibition for the festival explores artists from the continent and its global diaspora, linking notions of blackness untethered to the specificity of geography or chronology. Using a wide range of image media, the artists focus on themes of liberty, rights and representation.
"Ten by Ten" at The Silos at Sawyer Yards (through April 19)
Revisit favorite artists of FotoFest past, in one of the Biennial's most popular exhibitions. Ten international renowned reviewers select ten portfolios from the Meeting Place Portfolio Review for Artists for a special showcase of their work. The featured artists are just a few of the hundreds of success stories that emerge from the FotoFest portfolio reviews every year.
Participating spaces related to "African Cosmologies"
"Everyday Strangers" at Houston Museum of African American Culture (through April 18)
The culmination of three years of work done by HMAAC’s first Global Artist Fellow, Alonzo Williams, the exhibition will showcase recorded interviews of the people Williams photographed to create a video as well as photographic canvass of the human aspirations, challenges, and joy resulting from life on our planet.
"Slowed and Throwed: Records of the City Through Mutated Lenses" at the CAMH (through June 7)
This a two-part interdisciplinary exhibition focuses on the legacy of the late Houston legend DJ Screw. Featuring photography and new media created by strategies paralleling the musical methods of the innovative DJ, the featured artists draw attention to inequities stemming from race, gender, and sexual orientation, suggesting new possibilities and alternative realities.
"Tools of Revolution: Fashion Photography and Activism" at Houston Center for Photography (through May 10)
The exhibition presents the photographic work of Harlem-based, Civil Rights activist and photographer, Kwame Brathwaite, and positions his legacy in the current moment through the work of three young artists similarly working at the nexus of fashion, activism, and photography in New York, Arielle Bob-Willis, Micaiah Carter, and Dana Scruggs.
"Through an African Lens: Sub-Saharan Photography" at the Museum of Fine Arts (through July 5)
Selected from the MFAH’s vast photography collection, this exhibition explores a variety of artistic styles and expression from the 1950s to the present. Offering a small segment of the breadth of photography created in sub-Saharan Africa, these photographs address themes of personal identity, cultural traditions, modern aspirations, and social and political issues.
"Tortoise Ontologies" at Project Row Houses (through May 3)
In her series, 'Tortoise Ontologies" (2015), artist Zina Saro-Wiwa explores the psychic impact of folktales, specifically those which center the tortoise. This never-before-seen photographic series is one of a number of works the artist created over a five-year period that explore relationships between the tortoise and traditional Ogoni folktales. The Ogoni are an ethnic group native to the Niger Delta region of Nigeria where Saro-Wiwa was born.
Galleries and museums participating in FotoFest
"The State of Water" at Houston Museum of Natural Science (through May 28)
The exhibition will feature 31 photographs from award-winning photographer Brad Temkin that showcases the designs and architecture behind the water systems we use every day.
"No Man’s Land" at Station Museum of Contemporary Art (through July 26)
The group exhibition features artists and individuals from four continents whose work reflects on the legacy of colonialism and political intervention, especially as it relates to migration and diaspora. The work offers a meditation on the complex legacy of colonialism as well as a starting point for conversations on the shifting layers of indigeneity and belonging.
"The Writing on the Wall, Hatsubon," and "Where We Are" at Art League Houston (March 13-April 25)
The Writing on the Wall" is an installation of work by artist Alice Leora Briggs and text written by Julián Cardona and Briggs that addresses immigration and border politics in the city of Juárez. Tomiko Jones’s "Hatsubon" is a memorial exhibition exploring the dynamic tension between tradition and performance through photographs. "Where We Are," by Artists Micaela Cadungog, Veronica Gaona, and Jamie Robertson explores how each of these artists use their physical body as part of their creative practice.
"A Tribute to Suzanne Paul" at Deborah Colton Gallery (March 14-April 11)
The exhibition features work from the archive of Houston-born artist, Suzanne Paul, and highlights influential figures in Houston’s art history and reveals a reflection of Paul's time in New York.
"Seeing Stevie Ray" at Antiquarium Gallery (March 14-April 19)
Artist Tracy Anne Hart’s tribute to Texas musical legend Stevie Ray Vaughan includes images of Vaughan’s influences and his legacy, including photographic portraits of Jimmie Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Gary Clark Jr., Ian Moore, Eric Tessmer, Lukas Nelson, and Charlie Sexton.