best april art
9 vivid and eye-catching April events and openings no Houston art fan should miss
Time to get revved up, Houston: we’ve got a zooming month of art ahead.
From nature-inspired wilderness sculptures to a pioneering graphic novel, to museum basketball to photography taken with youthful eyes, April brings art in a multitude of unique and innovative forms.
Fasten those seat belts and hit the road for art everywhere — including the streets themselves, as the world’s greatest Art Car Parade rolls into town once more.
“CAMH Court” at Contemporary Arts Museum (now through April 27)
Houston-based artist Trenton Doyle Hancock makes basketball into (even more) visual art with this interactive installation presented by a slam-dunk of a partnership between CAMH and adidas Basketball.
Billed as the first-ever playable basketball court in an art museum, CAMH COURT conforms to the signature dimensions of CAMH’s Brown Foundation Gallery through canting a regulation-size court into a parallelogram. Emerging from Hancock’s hyper-imagination, the court is an immersive and uniquely spirited environment where players might dunk from the three-point line or lose themselves in the embrace of Hancock’s striped Bringback characters, which swarm from baseline to baseline.
In addition to the custom court, Hancock has designed the backboards and basketballs, extending the cast of characters that populate his fantastical world into new dimensions.
“Ada Trillo & the Sirkhane: Darkroom” at Houston Center for Photography (now through June 4)
These two, parallel solo exhibitions put at the forefront the migration and immigration experience of family and children in geographic distant border countries: United States-Mexico-Central America and the Middle East.
First-generation, Mexican-American photographer Trillo shares a series of photographs that make visible the migrant caravans traveling through Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico since 2020.
Self-taught Syrian-born photograph Serbest Salih and founder of Sirkhane Darkroom, non-profit mobile darkroom and photo lab dedicated to underprivileged children from Syria, Turkey, and Iraq, exhibits some of Darkroom students’ analog photographs.
"Ripple Effect” at Retrospect Coffee Bar (April 14)
This collective exhibition organized by local artist Anna Hazel will benefit the Buffalo Bayou Partnership. Works inspired by Buffalo Bayou from over 25 artists will be on display for one night only, and a percentage of sales from every piece sold will support BBP and their mission to create and steward welcoming parks, trails, and unique spaces along the city’s most significant natural waterway.
Art Car Parade Weekend at various locations throughout Houston (April 13-16)
As we note in our breakdown of events, the weekend keeps it artfully weird with the Main Street Drag April 13, designed to bring the parade to those people who might not be able to attend the parade, with artists bringing their Art Car Art Cars to schools, hospitals, nursing homes, developmental facilities and other locations.
Friday brings the ultimate art party, the Legendary Art Car Ball at the Orange Show World Headquarters. Appropriately, Marilyn Oshman, Founder of the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, will be this year’s grand marshal.
On Saturday the 36th Annual Houston Art Car Parade brings us our full day of rolling folk art with every kind of animal, vegetable, mineral and political statement made artfully manifest in car form.
Finally, cheer on your favorites at the Awards Ceremony on Sunday back at the Orange Show.
“Eye on Houston: High School Documentary Photography” at Museum of Fine Arts (April 19-Spring 2024)
Each spring, we get a peek at tomorrow’s artists today with this annual exhibition of student photography from area high schools that celebrates Houston’s diverse neighborhoods from the perspective of these budding artists who live here.
In this 28th year, the exhibition features images by students representing eight high schools: Bellaire, Carnegie Vanguard, DeBakey, Eastwood Academy, Furr, Westbury, Westside, and Jack Yates.
The students documented daily life in their respective communities, capturing moments that reflect their sense of self, their future, and their imminent transition into adulthood.
“Hyperreal: Gray Foy” at Menil Drawing Institute (April 21-September 3)
Enter the surrealistic and sometimes magical world of Gray Foy’s imaginative artwork in this first solo museum exhibition of the midcentury American, Dallas-born artist.
Spanning the artist’s career from the 1940s to the 1970s, the exhibition traces Foy’s early Surrealism influences, which he described as “hyper-realism,” to his later inspiration in nature’s transitional and transformative states, culminating in works were he explored botanical and ecological subjects.
The exhibition also celebrates two recent gifts of nearly 80 drawings to the Menil, a selection of which will be on display.
“Gray Foy’s unusual talent caught the eye of some of the savviest drawings connoisseurs of the mid-20th century, but because Foy stopped working mid-career, he is not well remembered today. This exhibition is selected from recent gifts to the Menil Collection, now an important repository of Foy’s drawings,” describes Menil director, Rebecca Rabinow.
“Si Lewen: The Parade” at Menil Drawing Institute (April 21-September 3)
In a first for the U.S., the MDI brings together all 55 original drawings that the ground-breaking Polish-born American artist created for graphic novel, The Parade, about the never-ending cycle of war.
The Parade speaks to cycles of war, the seductive glory and pomp, followed by soldier enlistment, community deprivation, devastating destruction, death, and heartbreak.
Of the monumental work, MDI assistant curator Kelly Montana describes, “Si Lewen: The Parade evokes the destruction and despair surrounding World War II in Europe as authoritarian violence built and lives were lost. Inspired by the traditions of visual narrative by artists like Frans Masereel, Lewen created a deeply affecting set of works that carry a message as potent today as it was in the 1950s when the book was published.”
“A Gift from the Bower” at Locke Surls Center for Art and Nature (April 22-23)
Yes, we have to get outside the Loop — multiple loops — for this art in nature exhibition at Splendora Gardens in Cleveland, Texas. But with a partnership between DiverseWorks and the Locke Surls Center for Art and Nature (LSCAN), we expect it worth the drive.
Originally conceived by artists James Surls and Charmaine Locke, this outdoor, multidisciplinary art exhibition lies within natural galleries formed by small clearings in the woods of Southeast Texas.
The project is co-curated by Jack Massing and Xandra Eden to include newly commissioned works by fourteen artists and artist teams. The flora and fauna of the grounds of LSCAN take a central role in a number of the artists’ works, while others focus on community, the environment, and our relationships to nature and land.
Look for art from renowned and up and coming artists including Leticia R. Bajuyo, Susan Budge and George Tobolowsky, John Calaway, Carlos Canul and Rachel Gardner, Lina Dib, Alton DuLaney, Ronald L. Jones, Sharon Kopriva, Charmaine Locke, Jack Massing, Sherry Owens and Art Shirer, Patrick Renner, Kaneem Smith, and James Surls.
“Evita Tezeno: Out of Many” at Houston Museum of African American Culture (April 27-June 17)
This new exhibition by the Texas-born collage artist showcases her technique that combines painting and collage.
Tezeno’s tapestry-like works are carefully constructed from a variety of materials she brings together to depict everyday scenes from Black Life in America. Turning the phrase “Out of Many, One” and its Latin form E Pluribus Unum, which articulates the ideals of America’s Founding Fathers, the exhibition “Out of Many” aspire to those ideals, representing, with fondness, the days in the lives of everyday Black Americans.