8 Lively, Eye-Catching July Art Events No Houstonian Should Miss

This month offers many interesting works of art to see on the warmer days. From ritual beauty to Texas state parks, photographic creatures to artists at work – plus the sweetest painted dance party of them all – expect art and artists for all tastes to savor. in July.

“Beauty and Ritual: Judaica from The Jewish Museum, New York” at the Museum of Fine Arts (now until September 18)
This new exhibit of Jewish ceremonial art alone features an astonishing array of artistic and cultural artifacts, from an 18th-century wooden Torah ark to ancient and contemporary Torah crowns, to Menorahs from antiquity to the 21st century.

“Beauty and Ritual” features nearly 140 objects from the Jewish Museum’s world-renowned collection, examining Jewish ceremonial objects from antiquity to the present day and exploring their artistic, ritual and cultural significance.

Yet the exhibition also represents the opening of a new chapter in the vision and artistic scope of the MFAH. “Beauty and Ritual” signals a new partnership with the Jewish Museum, as they will continue to loan artwork to the MFAH when the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Gallery for Judaica opens in early 2023.

“There are very few general fine arts museums in the country that have space dedicated to Judaica, and this exciting collaboration will have a significant impact on the field,” says Claudia Gould, director of the Jewish Museum.

The MFAH also calls the Herzstein Gallery the “centerpiece” of its World Religions Initiative. The Initiative aims to activate the themes of religion, faith and spirituality in the Museum’s encyclopedic collections through innovative programming and redesigned presentations.

“39th Center Annual: Living Creatures” at the Houston Center for Photography (Now through September 4)
The HCP Center’s annual juried group exhibition seeks to illuminate current photography themes, technologies and practices, and this year the lens of 15 chosen artists focuses on the relationship between the photographer and beings, qu whether human or animal, which they capture.

Juror Kristen Gaylord notes that aggressive words often used to describe the act of photographing such as “shoot” and “capture” have involved the photographer’s ability to control how the subject is perceived, and believes that the artists selected for the show understand the stakes of this relationship.

“They approach them with a range of emotions from joy and curiosity to grief and rage, but in every instance they teach us what it means to be a creature whose life is intertwined with millions of people. ‘others on earth,’ says Gaylord.

“Sugar Shack” at the Museum of Fine Arts (now until December 31)
This summer, after attending ‘Beauty and Ritual’ and the reality show ‘Leandro Erlich: Seeing is Not Believing’, head to the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building for a rare chance to see an extraordinary piece of painting Americana, Ernie Barnes. “Sugar shack.”

Although it was made famous as both the cover of Marvin Gaye’s 1976 album I want you and the end credits image of the groundbreaking 1970s television comedy, Good timethe painting alone dances like the quintessence of the black romantic tradition.

The MFAH notes that Barnes remembers the inspiration for the work as a childhood memory of sneaking into a local dance hall called the Armory. “It was the first time my innocence encountered the sins of dancing,” he told an interviewer in 2008. Visitors to the MFAH can see the original painting in person thanks to Houston collector Bill Perkins, which acquired “The Sugar Shack” at auction last month. , and lent it to the museum for the rest of the year.

Rotation of the Samuel Bak Gallery at the Holocaust Museum Houston (in progress)
As home to the nation’s largest permanent collection of painters and Holocaust survivors, the work of Samuel Bak – more than 140 works of art – HMH is committed to regularly rotating these works in the gallery. .

Born in 1933 in Vilna, Poland, Bak’s artistic talent was first recognized at an exhibition of his work in the Vilna Ghetto when he was nine years old. Bak and his mother survived the Holocaust, but his father and four grandparents all perished at the hands of the Nazis. Bak’s life and death experiences have inspired his prolific work and art collection.

In July, HMH launches 40 newly rotated works of art, including standout pieces like Celebrityin which a cracked porcelain cup in the foreground of the painting is marked with a broken Jewish star with a chimney placed inside, the Jewish star commemorates Bak’s father and Save facedepicting a decaying bust adorned with the scales of justice.

The Art of Texas Parks” at Foltz Fine Art (July 15-August 27)
In 2023, the Texas State Park System will celebrate its 100th anniversary.

In anticipation of this occasion, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation has partnered with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, galleries and museums across the state, including Foltz in Houston. Thirty contemporary artists from Texas were invited to participate in the project and paint designated state park sites.

These “centennial artists” were assigned specific state parks to paint; however, their stylistic preference, subject matter, and composition vary widely at the discretion of the artist. Of these submitted works, paintings have been selected for inclusion in Texas A&M University Press’s forthcoming book publication. This exhibition-sale-benefit will present a preview of around thirty selected works.

“Maria A. Guzmán Capron: Forma Seductora” at the Blaffer Art Museum (July 15-September 18)
This first solo museum exhibition by the Oakland-based artist will feature selections of her fantastical hybrid figures that explore converging forms of identity, culture, desire and social exchange.

Capron assembles these creations made of vivid, often recycled fabrics and paint, into twisted bodies in various states of motion and rest. Le Blaffer notes that the layered textiles seen in Capron’s exuberant assemblages speak to his interest in how clothing can signify a person’s history, class, gender, and/or cultural identity. For the artist, fabrics can indicate specific socio-economic associations as well as aesthetic narratives.

Describing her work, Capron recently said, “I’m a new thing and I want to signal with my textiles to other in-between people that they belong.”

“Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin: Wayfinding” at the Blaffer Art Museum (July 15-October 9)
This latest exhibition from Houston’s renowned interdisciplinary artists and life partners (aka Nick & Jake) creates a kind of artistic bridge between the different United States of their 50 State Project, their decades-long series of installations and performances made in answer to few known pre-Stonewall queer stories from every state.

The duo found a new medium for some of the images they captured by exploring these stories, creating a series of “wind prints”, spreading charcoal powder around the stencils of these images and then blowing the powder.

Vaughan and Margolin both have extensive theatrical experience which they leverage for lecture-performances with many of their shows. So also look for new performative works during the duration of the exhibition.

“Artists on Site series 3” at Asia Society Texas (July 20-August 28)
First developed in 2020, the Artist on Site series is an initiative that transforms Asia Society galleries into studios and project spaces for Houston-based BIPOC artists.

This third round in the series features four featured artists as they spend six weeks transforming the Asia Society Texas gallery space through an exploration of creative work. Ruhee Maknojia, Matt Manalo, Luisa Duarte, and Lanecia Rouse Tinsley bring their voices to the project, working across media including painting, sculpture, textile production, printmaking, installation, and more to develop their ideas over time, drawing visitors into a conversation with the artists and deeper into the practice of art.

Lanecia Rouse Tinsley is a multidisciplinary artist whose portfolio includes a range of abstract painting, photography, teaching, writing, speaking and curatorial projects for various non-profit organizations.

Houston-based multidisciplinary artist born in the Philippines, Matt Manalo, creates eco-friendly work incorporating raw materials and found objects and addresses ideas surrounding his own identity as an immigrant, his displacement and the definition of his ” at home “.

Ruhee Maknojia’s conceptual research and artistic practice has developed around the rich heritage of textiles and patterns and how they can serve as a basis for raising questions about contemporary ethics, values ​​and power structures in a changing world. constantly growing and interconnected.

The work of contemporary Venezuelan/American artist, Luisa Duarte, has been exhibited internationally. More recently, Duarte’s work was selected for inclusion in a major exhibition at the Art Museum of South Texas, Texas Artists – Women in Abstraction and a solo exhibition of her work, Inseparable links on display in the TC Energy building.