Thursday, January 29, 2009

The storm before the show

Traditional there is calm before a storm, but the flurry activity surrounding the production of Pat Graney’s House of Mind has me forgetting what calm felt like.

The Graney crew, and DW staff, volunteers and interns (and you know who you are) have really been working their butts off to bring House of Mind to life. In case you haven’t heard, Pat has taken over the entire DW space with her visual/performing arts gem. I’m not kidding. The hallway to my office is even in the act.

Reservations for the performances, Jan. 30 & 31 and Feb. 5-7, have been quickly filling up. (Hint, hint: If you want to see this awesome show, get your reservation in today –713-335-3445)! And tonight, we are going into to overdrive to make sure everything is in top shape for the press preview/3D event.

Wanna know just how expansive and impressive this show is?...Come check it out for yourself.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Idea Fund annouces 2009 Grantees

I hope everyone had a great holiday and a Happy New Year.

On Monday, Jan. 5, 2009, The Idea Fund panelists gathered to select grantees for the 2009 The Idea Fund grant (a re-granting program that awards projects exemplifying unconventional artistic practices that fall outside the traditional frameworks of support). It was a difficult task, but the panel of 6 (Diane Barber – DiverseWorks; Long Chu – Writers in the Schools; Ashley Clemmer Hoffman – Project Row Houses; Mary LeClere – Glassell School of Art, MFAH; Mary Magsamen – Aurora Picture Show; Sixto Wagan – DiverseWorks) were able to pick 10 out of 127 proposals.

“The caliber of the projects submitted for this first year of The Idea Fund confirmed what we already knew: we have an extraordinary wealth of talent and creativity in Houston,” said Diane Barber, Idea Fund panelist and Co-Executive Director of DiverseWorks ArtSpace. “The Idea Fund is structured to provide artists with quick access to substantial financial support for projects that might not otherwise have access to funding. DiverseWorks, Aurora Picture Show and Project Row Houses have always recognized the impact that projects of this nature have on the city’s arts ecology and we are confident that the range and ingenuity represented in the 10 projects selected for funding this year will help to make 2009 a year for artistic firsts in Houston. We’re eager to see the projects realized.”

Here are the award recipients and a short description of their proposals:

Kevin Curry: Curry is a nationally-exhibited artist who was raised overseas (Puerto Rico, South Africa, Australia) and exposed to multiple countries and cultures. His proposal, Housewarming, consists of an oversized quilt that will cover a house in Houston, metaphorically and physically embracing of the present by the past.

Mary Margaret Hansen: A visual artist who favors photography, Hansen has had work shown at FotoFest and is a community leader serving as a board member and committee chairperson for American Leadership Forum. Her project titled Second Seating will be an installation creating fantasy dinner tables from a variety of products manufactured in or shipped from Houston’s East End.

Kara Hearn: Hearn is an interdisciplinary artist who is currently in her second year as a Core Fellow at the Glassell School of Art at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She plans to create a 30-minute narrative video that is based on the dreams and nightmares adults have had about being in high school.

J. Hill: A multidisciplinary artist, Hill participates in traditional gallery exhibits and community-based projects using various materials and strategies. Hill’s The Welcome Wagon will be a dynamic setting for collecting and distributing local culture consisting of a bicycle with a specially outfitted trailer reminiscent of a common cottage porch.

Ayanna Jolivet McCloud: McCloud acts as an artist, curator and collaborator on a range of projects. Her exhibition, Screwed Anthologies, will be a disjointed mix of videos and sound art inspired by “chopped and screwed” music.

Cody Ledvina and Brian Rod: Ledvina and Rod plan to use the funding to continue a project they started in March 2007,The Joanna, an experimental exhibition space created as an open platform for emerging artists and curators.

Benjamin Mason: Benjamin Mason is a Houston-based artist who helped start Workshop Houston, a non-profit that offers creative, technical and academic resources to youth in the Third Ward. His project will be to create an art space within a King's Market stall aimed at bringing art into a more accessible and comfortable place.

Zach Moser: Born and raised in the Bayou City, Moser plans to construct a series of small sailboats with students to be sailed and rowed throughout public waters in Houston

Kelly Pike, Sasha Dela and Kara Hearn: This collaborative of filmmakers will be applying the funds to launch the inaugural issue of The Buffet, a DVD publication sourcing Houston artists to create a portrait of where they find themselves now as Houstonians, artists, Americans, a community.

Ariane Roesch and Sasha Dela: Acting as co-directors, this duo will use the funding for SKYDIVE, a collection of exhibition space, The Free School for the Arts and an online venue of writing and Web-based projects.

Congrats to all the grantees and thanks to all the applicants for making The Idea Fund a great success!

*Note: The Idea Fund will be awarding grants for 2009-2010 so keep dreaming up those awesome ideas!