best august art
9 vivid and eye-catching August art events no Houstonian should miss
Though never the busiest of art seasons in Houston, August always give art lovers a time to beat the heat exploring those cool museum and gallery shows they might have missed over the bustling summer.
This month brings several shows championing local artists and showcasing what they can accomplish when given space and time to create and transform their work and practice.
A secretive, elusive glimpse of the hottest international street artist today happens in a mysterious downtown setting. And art fans and shoppers can check out a fun new summer market.
“The Art of Paper” at Laura Rathe Fine Art (now through August 27)
This collective exhibition, will feature a roster of esteemed artists united by one simple medium universally known: paper, and its varying forms.
Alongside the exhibition will debut works by new artists Kandis Susol and Stef Ross alongside international artists like Zhuang Hong Yi and Texan artists like Carly Allen Martin. Whether gestural or structured, calculated or organic, each of the featured artists' work highlights the eternal repetition of small elements combined to create a moment greater than themselves.
Art League Houston School Exhibitions (now through September 2)
Take a look at the latest work from established Houston artists, as well as up and coming and future artists, with the Art League’s annual shows intersecting their school.
On view in August will be the ALH Student Exhibition, a group exhibition featuring works in drawing, mixed-media, ceramic, printmaking and painting by students who participated in classes through the Art League School. Also look for the Summer Intensive for Teens’ Exhibition: “What We May Be,” by students from the Summer High School Studio Art Intensive Program and the Instructor Exhibition, featuring works in jewelry, drawing, mixed-media, ceramic, printmaking and painting by Houston artists who also teach at the school.
“Hot Topics” at Sabine Street Studios (now through October 9)
This new exhibition features new work from Artists at Sabine Street Studios, including Kelly Best Bourgeois, Drea the Artist, Eric Coan, L'Art Du Bois, Justin Earl Grant, SJ Art and Frames, Gin Martini, La Vie Photography, Chris Pinon, and Mont Art House.
Whether it's through the intense colors, or steamy content, this diverse collection of paintings, photography, sculpture and fashion represent the current climate here in Houston and the world.
“Samuel Fosso: African Spirits” at Menil Collection (now through January 15, 2023)
Presented in conjunction with the 2022 FotoFest Biennial and African Cosmologies Redux, this exhibition features fourteen large-scale gelatin silver prints from the acclaimed Cameroonian-born Nigerian photographer Samuel Fosso’s African Spirits series, completed in 2008.
In this series of self-portraits, Fosso pictures himself as Angela Davis, Martin Luther King Jr., Patrice Lumumba, Kwame Nkrumah, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Malcolm X, and other prominent figures from 20th-century Black liberation movements.
“I am proud to see the African Spirits series exhibited at the Menil Collection. I have a deep respect for the actions of Dominique and John de Menil, discovered in the Menil’s publication Art and Activism,” said Fosso in an announcement of the exhibition. “I made this series so that more people can understand the history of these important figures and to share the thirst for democratization, which is also at the foundation of the Menil’s fabulous collection.”
“Banksyland” at an undisclosed downtown location (August 12-20)
This international touring exhibition that immerses audiences in the works of the infamous and elusive artist, Banksy. The exhibit features more than 80 pieces and installations, including original and studio works, salvaged street artworks, and never-before-seen immersive installations.
As mysterious as the artist, the event takes place in a secret location somewhere in the Downtown area that will only be revealed to ticketholders two weeks before the opening of the event.
BAM! Art Market at Silver Street Studios (August 13)
The monthly Second Saturday Outdoor Art Market at Sawyer Yards took a summer break, but now comes roaring back with a bunch and beat the heat indoor special showing.
First Saturday Arts Market artists will join exhibitors and artists from The Market at Sawyer Yards for one big, air conditioned art market, on August 13, noon-8 pm. Visitors will find the best of the outdoor markets without the heat, including a food truck, art demos, music, food, and libations. This event is free to the public.
4th annual Fresh Arts Summit at Silver Street Studios (August 19-20)
While not a show or exhibition for the art-loving public, we have to highlight this important event for artists. The summit for emerging to established artists, makers, and creatives of all disciplines will feature a two-day series of artist panels, round table discussions, presentations and peer-to-peer learning opportunities focused on Building Community across creative communities.
Topics will include supporting artists and collaborations, fundraising and funding models, connecting and supporting communities, and more. Sessions will be led by organizational partners and field experts including practicing artists and other creative leaders working in the Houston arts community.
“Charlotte Salomon: Life? Or Theatre?” at Holocaust Museum Houston (August 19-December 4)
This major exhibition of German-Jewish artist, Charlotte, Salomon, features over 200 small gouaches on paper which Salomon created as part of a larger body of work in the early 1940s when in hiding from Nazi oppressors.
Through imagery and text these gouaches tell the slightly fictionalized and theatrically imagined story of Salomon’s family. HMH notes that the works unveil a vivid self-portrait spanning across all facets of Salomon’s existence: from a complicated family life, growing up in Berlin, the rise of the Nazis, to her exile to France.
“In Residence: 15th Edition” at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (August 27-October 29)
Every year, the Artist Residency Program at HCCC gives resident artists a space for creative exploration, exchange, and collaboration with other artists, arts professionals, and the public. Then, the public gets a chance to see the crafted fruits of that space and time with the Center’s In Residence exhibition.
This 15th edition features work in clay, metal, and fiber by 2021-2022 resident artists, Joan Clare Brown, Kelly Dzioba, Priscilla Dobler Dzul, Jihye Han, Chenlu Hou, Carl Johnson, Naomi Peterson, Kerianne Quick, Nash Quinn, and Stephanie J. Woods.
“What separates 'In Residence: 15th Edition' from its predecessors is the collaboration among residents,” explains HCCC Curatorial Fellow Cydney Elaine Pickens. “While some of these artists had the opportunity to create collaboratively in person, others were in conversation about how their practices may align or differ, and each was uniquely impacted by their residency here in Houston.”