Late summers seldom brings in blockbuster art exhibitions like the spring and fall, but August lets us slow down and catch up on some of the quietly extraordinary shows we might have missed.
With the recent news that both the Van Gogh immersive shows will be delayed until September or October, we’re taking this month to view local. August brings us several shows that celebrate what Houston and Texas artists can accomplish when given space and time to create and transform their work and practice.
This month also gives us chance to get a glimpse of the future as galleries and art organizations highlight student and emerging artists around the city.
“Fire/Works: Enamel Art through the Centuries” at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (now through fall)
With so many must-see exhibitions opening at the MFAH this year, we sometimes miss some of the unique surveys of a specific medium, like this one focusing on enamel art across cultures and millennia.
As the MFAH so succinctly explains, enamel is actually a form of glasswork that is mixed with metallic oxides for color and applied to a metal or glass base through the act of firing at high temperatures. From ancient windows to jewelry and sculpture to contemporary innovations, this exhibition gives visitors insights into this still vibrant art form, while highlighting the MFAH’s own collection of enamel works.
“Round 52: Gulf Coast Anthropocene” at Project Row Houses (now through December 5)
Twice a year, Project Row Houses presents an Artist Round series. Artists are invited to create a positive creative environment within the neighborhood, usually in line with a specific theme, question or idea.
This latest round asks artists Annotation 184.108.40.206, Kai Lumumba Barrow, Whit Forrester, Preston Gaines, HTX Community Fridges, Kindred Stories, Cristina Molina, and Xaviera Simmons to think about life and sustainability in Anthropocene times, thought of as the geological era associated with humans’ impact on the earth.
According to PRH, Round 52 “questions what public art can inform us about this era, our connection to the built and natural environments, and our need for a more just and sustainable world.”
“Artists on Site Series 2” at Asia Society Texas (now through September 12)
The second installment of Asia Society’s initiative to bring working studio space and funding to Houston-based BIPOC artists will feature artists Bennie Flores Ansell, Guadalupe Hernandez, Preetika Rajgariah, and Stevie Spurgin.
The building’s galleries become studios for the artists, allowing the public to view both artists’ process and art in progress. Look for works in a multitude of forms and medium including painting, sculpture, design, performance, and installation.
“Eye on Houston: High School Documentary Photography” at Museum of Fine Arts (now through Winter 2022)
This annual collaboration between the MFAH and Houston Independent School District features the photography of local young artists as they use their cameras to chronicle their lives and the diverse neighborhoods of our city.
This 26th edition of the exhibition presents works by students representing nine high schools: Bellaire, Carnegie Vanguard, DeBakey, Eastwood Academy, Furr, Jane Long Academy, Washington, Westside, and Jack Yates. Their photographs depict this year of immense change and challenges, along with personal and community moments of hope and joy.
“Alexa, Take Me Home!” at Anya Tish Gallery (now through September 4)
This show gathers the work of four local, emerging artists who have been inspired by their everyday environment and find common ground through the use of household materials.
The exhibition will feature large scale, complex work by Michelle C. Gonzales, intimate, multi-layered paintings by Sara Marcheli and Lee Walters, and Douglas Welsh’s music inspired abstracts.
Student Exhibitions at Art League Houston (now through August 28) and Glassell School (now through September 5)
School maybe out for the summer, but for art schools, it’s the best time of year to showcase art stars of tomorrow today with annual student exhibitions.
Look for works in drawing, mixed-media, ceramic, printmaking and painting by students who participated in classes throughout the year. ALH will also be championing teachers with an additional show by some of Houston’s emerging and established artists who teach at the school.
“In Residence: 14th Edition” at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (August 14-October 9)
For another chance to see what artists can create when given some funding and a studio of their own, check out this show that highlights the latest work this year’s CCC residents.
The annual program supports emerging, mid-career, and established artists working in all craft media. This 14th Edition exhibition features work in paper, metal, clay, fiber, and stone by Chloe Darke, Abbie Preston Edmonson, Hong Hong, Hillerbrand + Magsamen, Stephanie Robison, Michael Velliquette, and Kirstin Willders.
“Third Ward Special” at Community Artists’ Collective (August 14-September 25)
As one of Houston’s most cultural rich and historically important neighborhoods, the Third Ward continues to inspire and influence artists of all mediums. This latest Community Artists’ Collective show puts the focus on how local contemporary photographers have documented and been inspired by live in the Third Ward.
The show features works by photographers, filmmakers, and digital artists Marc Furi, Flash Gordon Parks, Rabéa Ballin, Risky Cereal, Brian Ellison, and Derrell Boson — all artists with deep roots in Houston’s Third Ward.