Friday, December 10, 2010

2010-2011 TIF Grantees

DiverseWorks would like to congratulate all the awardees of the Round 3 Idea Fund. Let's hear it for:

2011 The Idea Fund Grantees and their Projects:

ArtScouts Houston (Elaine Bradford, Emily Link, Dennis Nance, C.H. JoAnn Park) – Nohegan East: An art-making weekend retreat with a focus on community. (Houston-Pearland)

Boozefox (Drew Liverman, Jules Buck Jones, Michael Phalan, Scott Eastwood) – Battleship Earth: A large sculpture/watercraft resembling an iceberg, which will be “driven” around Lady Bird Lake over the course of one or more days. (Austin)

Nathaniel Donnett – What’s The New News?: A project that will challenge, respond to, and juxtapose, the way we read the news and how rap and poetry interprets it, the differences in generations when seeking information regarding issues and current events specifically in Houston’s Third Ward. (Houston)

David Feil, Amye McCarther – Andrus Studios Archive: An artist-volunteer run archive of a collection of audio reels from Andrus Studios, an independent, progressive and artist-directed recording studio owned and operated in Houston by Walt Andrus from 1964 to 1971. (Houston)

Christine Foerster – Fish.taco.ponic: A fully functioning aquaponic greenhouse to be built, maintained, narrated and exhibited in collaboration with students and community members of Segundo Barrio, El Paso. (El Paso)

GENDER book creators(Boston Bostian; Mel Reiff Hill; Jay Mays) – the GENDER book(let): A colorful, highly-illustrated resource, short in length and with detailed real-life experiences, the GENDER book serves as a starter manual that presents the beautiful diversity of gender. (Houston)

Leila Grothe, Cynthia Mulcahy – Square Dance: A Community Project: This project proposes art as social practice in the form of an outdoor seasonal community dance at the new Trinity River Audubon Center in Dallas. (Dallas)

Buster Graybill – The Progeny of Tush Hog: This project will document the offspring of Tush Hogs, a hybrid species of Minimalist sculptures and deer feeders discovered near Marfa, TX, as they continually adapt and migrate towards the urban centers of San Antonio and Houston. (Converse, TX)

Andy Rihn – Texas’ Longest Hammer Choir: To make a slow rolling short film of an event consisting of 500 people hitting hammers together across abandoned railroad tracks, filmed from a custom-made railroad cart that houses the soundtrack musicians, propulsionists and film makers. (Austin)

The Rio Grande Collective (Mattie Matthaei, Eileen Torpey, Bett Williams)
– The River is the Road Festival: Our project is a street festival and a site specific video art installation in the historic Sacred Heart Chapel currently under restoration by the Texas Historic Commission. (Marfa – Ruidosa, TX)

Friday, November 12, 2010


So I'm constantly on the lookout for blogs that excite me, bloggers who love art, and bloggers who blog consistently. Well, my most recent discovery is Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then. Donna K, a movie star, or what I like to think of as the star of the film, Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then, has been blogging about filmmaker Brent Green and her adventures over the last year as they have taken the film and exhibition around the country. It's been entertaining to read about their last 2 weeks in Houston. It's a must read!

If you haven't seen the film, Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then, you can catch Brent Green and Donna K along with Drew Henkels, Brendan Canty and John Michael Swartz, performing tonight and tomorrow night as part of Cinema Arts Festival Houston at Frenetic Theater. It's your only chance to catch the film with a live soundtrack.

If you miss the performance, you can still catch the film at DiverseWorks. It will be running in it's entirety in the exhibition through Dec. 18.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

PILOT (FX) at DiverseWorks

Greetings DiverseWorks, all the way from Nigeria!

GONZO247 dropping in once again.

Super excited to show the 2nd installation of Grandalism featuring PILOT(FX). Adam Socie aka "Pilot" grew up in Pasadena, Texas just south of Houston. He started painting at the age of fifteen. Now at the age of thirty he is a member of the world famous FX crew, one of the top graffiti crews in the world...

"I no longer paint because I can, I paint because I can't stop." - Pilot

Come out to DiverseWorks, Friday night 6-9pm, to catch the unveiling of PILOT's sophisticated spray-paint based artwork! Watch the video for more entertainment.

GRANDALISM Featuring PILOT(FX) from GONZO247 on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Three times a charm: I survived TIF deadline

It's over yet it has begun.

After spending the past two months answering the same question for the 100th time and frantically sending out e-mails, I have survived another Idea Fund deadline which was for our 3rd round!

Fortunately for all the applicants, your work is done since the deadline was Friday, October 15. But my job is just starting, and hopefully with some help, we will be able to process the more than 250 proposals in time for the panel date of December 1.

Applicants will be notified about their status (if you got a grant or you didn't) by the second week of December. (Oh the number of late nights will be lengthy.)

So here's to hoping TIF makes your holiday wishes come true!


Friday, October 1, 2010

Rowers Wanted

You know how you have all the intentions of doing something, and then life gets in the way? I guess sometimes that it works out for the better.

I had been meaning to blog about the Universes residency here at DiverseWorks. Speak about how the show Ameriville was going to bring down the house – politically, artistically, and with the insightful energy of the company. Add in ideas about how Universes was going to be working with students from area high schools and Meta-Four Houston, the teen spoken-word crew that represents H-Town at Brave New Voices. Highlight that DW was awarded a Community Fund grant from National Performance Network that would allow for some of the Universes crew to work with students at MECA. (We’ll soon post video and pics from those events, so you, too, can see how awesome they were.)

After last night’s show and Q & A session, I have much more to say, or maybe be a bit smarter about what I should say.

Diane and I saw an excerpted version of Ameriville at the NPN Annual Meeting in Knoxville, and realized that it would be a great companion/extension to the Before (During) After exhibition that looks at how Katrina and other disasters have affected artists and their creative process. When Diane saw the show in New Orleans, and saw how the audience reacted and took it all in, it was clear that Ameriville needed to be part of the whole B(D)A and Under-Standing Water experience.

Let’s be clear. This is not a show about Katrina. This is not a show about New Orleans. Mildred talked about how, as the mouth of the Mississippi, New Orleans is the repository for all of America. The show takes on that metaphor and speaks about “America” in the past five or so years – the fear mongering, the panic, the lack of clarity and justice. This show uses Post-Katrina New Orleans as a lens to address ideas – post-September 11 culture; health care; environmental conservation; homelessness and a host of other issues – to examine what has happened to community in 21st century America.

What has always been important about Universes
– at least to me, is that the actual show is only half of the experience. The real art is the conversations that are catalyzed by the performance, so that the ideas don’t just exist on stage, but happen in the post-show Q&A, in cars & bars afterwards, and in the minds of people much later. Ameriville does what good theater always does – makes audiences think, feel and get energized about life and what is happening around us.

When asked what the company was hoping to accomplish, they talked about “wanting to bring the unity back into community,” and encouraging people to be part of the solution they want to see. In the words of the show, “Everybody Row.”

I hope people come to see the show tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 to join the ride. Buy tickets here.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Opening Reception of Graffiti Art Foundation

Howdy folks,

Its GONZO247 coming straight to you from Aerosol Warfare Gallery! Looking forward to the next Grandalism with PILOT(FX), to show off his exquisite and eye pleasing graff art! You will not want to miss him! If you'd like to get a sneak peek at what PILOT, myself and other local graffiti artists are doing with their skills catch the opening reception for "Graffiti Art Foundation" at Aerosol Warfare Gallery, Oct. 2nd, 2010 from 7p - 11p. The image included is only a taste of what you'll see!

This Oct. 2nd event is merely a kick-off to a much bigger and much anticipated event, Graffiti Gala Houston (GGHTX), planned for sometime in 2011. Our friends here at DiverseWorks have committed with a full force of support! Come out, enjoy the art, learn more about GGHTX and schmooze.

See you all at the next Grandalism opening, Nov. 5th! - GONZO
Artists in image are PILOT(FX) and MEENR.


Thursday, September 16, 2010


Come As You Are: HOUSTON! opens at DiverseWorks this weekend!
Jonatan Lopez gives us a preview of his work, Latin Lover Conservation, in the performance showcase.

The Latin Lover Conservation is a performance art piece and a social experiment. LLC, globally supports the efforts to better the lives of Latin Lovers and preserve their culture by auctioning their romantic services to our community at selected art events.The funds collected would be used primarily to provide them with affordable living and ease college tuition costs. These young Latinos are a talented and passionate kind. Their place in my performance as conceptual/commercial art does not only objectify them but it dignifies them too. They are sculptures to me. The world must enjoy them as the enjoy the world. Please feel free to interact with them and set the highest bid to win “A Date with a Latin Lover” as you help us preserve this peculiar species. Because without Latin Lovers , there would be no True Passion.

Come As You Are: HOUSTON!
September 17 & 18, 2010, 7:30pm
DiverseWorks ArtSpace
Tickets are $5.00 and a reception and discussion will follow the performance.

Thanks to our sponsors! Living Mosaic, Muffin Man, Saint Arnold Brewing Company, t'afia, Transgender Foundation of America, Whole Foods!

Come As You Are
is supported by the National Performance Network, Arcus Foundation, and The Theater Offensive.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Grandalism "History & Style"

GONZO247 gives you a cliff's notes version of some history and a little 411 on what to expect on opening night at DiverseWorks.

Grandalism "History & Style" from GONZO247 on Vimeo.

Join us Friday, Sept. 10, 6-9pm for the opening of Grandalism!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010


(Here's a little sneak peak)

Howdy party people! GONZO247 in the DW House! I'm excited to partner up with DiverseWorks this coming season for GRANDALISM, an 8-week long art exhibiton series.

Starting this September, DiverseWorks dock will be the backdrop for a rotating series of large-scale works by some of Houston’s most accomplished and sought after street artists. Every 8 weeks, a new artist reveals Grandalism, showcasing the raw talent and innovation of the city’s freshest and most prolific urban artists, selected by GONZO247, one of Houston’s most notable street art legends.

Grandalism explores the combination of street art’s traditional large scale format, its “grand” reaction from the public, and sometimes its unappreciated label of vandalism.

GONZO247 of Aerosol Warfare & PR!MO of Shoot. Edit. Sleep. collaborate once again...Check out the first Grandalism video!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bring on the bright ideas

Attention all Texas-based artists: The time has come to bring on the ideas! The Idea Fund is gearing up for its third round.

Just in case you don't know, The Idea Fund is a re-granting program administered through Aurora Picture Show, DiverseWorks ArtSpace and Project Row Houses, and funded by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, that provides cash awards to Texas-based, artist-generated or artist-centered projects that exemplify the unconventional, interventionist, conceptual, entrepreneurial, participatory, or guerrilla artistic practices that occur outside of the traditional frameworks of support. Each round, TIF awards 10 projects $4,000 ($3,500 for the awarded project, plus $500 seed money for future work) and this year one of the grants could be yours.

To learn more about the grant, including where to get an application and how to apply, please visit The Idea Fund's Web page or attend one of the following information sessions:

Wednesday, August 25 at 6:30p.m.
DiverseWorks ArtSpace, 1117 East Freeway, 77002

Wednesday, September 8 at 1p.m.
Aurora Picture Show, 1524 Sul Ross, 77006

Wednesday, September 15 at 1p.m.
Project Row Houses, 2521 Holman, 77004

Thursday, September 30 at 4p.m.
Information session webinar


Friday, August 6, 2010

Queer Junction

Last week, Blake Smith, one of the coordinators for Come As You Are: HOUSTON, told you about the performance showcase coming up on September 17 & 18 at DiverseWorks. This week we have a video performance sketch from one of the artists in the show, Daaimah Mubashshir.

Daaimah's work combines spoken narratives, experimental sound, video images and culturally based movement rituals. She is passionate about telling stories that use humor and characters to explore culture and customs. Her own story as a young woman raised in a Sunni Muslim home and her subsequent coming out as a member of the queer community deeply inform the stories she feels need to be told. This artistic inquiry, utilized for Come As You Are: HOUSTON! deals with the movement of Salah (Islamic prayer) as Queer action (Queer as a verb) and the act of being Queer (adjective) as reaching towards spiritual purity or holiness..

Make sure to follow Daaimah's blog The Fixed Eye to see what she's up to and to learn more about her performance at DiverseWorks.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hi! I'm Blake

Hi! That's me.

Hi! I'm Blake and I have had the awesome experience of working as a production intern at DiverseWorks since September '09. Currently, I am working as Coordinator for the upcoming performing arts show, Come As You Are: HOUSTON!

Come As You Are was a show originally created and produced by The Theater Offensive in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Inspired by the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, Come As You Are aims to investigate and celebrate queer sex, the diverse range of queer sexuality and the moral values underneath. The movement is not just about gay rights, but about inspiring queer people to express themselves and come together as a diverse community. Come As You Are is now a national project that gives grants to theaters so that they may create their own local, original production about queer sex.

Sixto and I talked about goals for Come As You Are: HOUSTON! He knew that he wanted to showcase short original works about queer sex and identity by Houston artists. He also wanted the show to be representative of our diverse queer community, particularly for it to be multi-gendered and multi-generational. With these goals in mind, Curators Chuck Jackson, Grayson Jacobs, and myself began searching for artists. Chuck, an English professor at University of Houston downtown, wrote an awesome open call to artists and we did our best to get the word out. We were so thrilled to find that we had an overwhelming response from Houston artists!

Check out the Come As You Are: HOUSTON! artists:

Chicago's Daaimah Mubashshir and Brooklyn's Michael Harren, both highly involved in Houston's queer community in the '90s, return now as established artists for Come As You Are: HOUSTON! Mubashshir utilizes traditional Muslim movement to identify queer sex as a holy experience; Harren couples Brahms on keyboard with a stories of how sex changes as he matures. Together, Daniel-Kayne and Michael Clay also take on highly-contrasting themes, placing the subject of queer sex with war and the country music medium.

The young Gendermyn utilize acrobatics and comedy to delve deep into the rarely spoken of sex lives within the genderqueer community, while Joe Watts of the pre-AIDS generation wrote a heart-felt traditional monologue about the unique experience of one transsexual woman.

The works of Julia Wallace and Jonatan Lopez are highly interactive, allowing the audience to actively participate as part of their performances.

Nancy Douthey as well as DumpTruck explore brief moments that highlight the quirkiness and fun within queer sex.

It has been so cool to be a part of this project from the very beginning and have the chance to work so closely with the DiverseWorks staff. As a transgendered person who has not lived in Houston very long, DiverseWorks has been a fantastic place to work! After working with the artists and Curators in this show, as well as Houston community organizations like the Transgender Foundation of America and HATCH youth, I feel more and more like I am finding my place in Houston and becoming part of an amazing community. I hope that everyone that comes to this show leaves with that same feeling!

Join us for a provocative exploration of queer sex through performance art! Each performance will be followed by a Q & A with the artists and a reception.

Date: Fri. & Sat., Sept. 17 & 18, 2010
Location: DiverseWorks
Time: 7:30pm

Also, check back on our blog later to see posts from some of the artists in the show!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What the National Performance Network has meant to me

The National Performance Network celebrates 25 years this year. DiverseWorks is proud to be one of the 69 National Performance Network partners across the U.S. who are dedicated to connecting today's artists with contemporary artists of all ages and cultures.

Sixto Wagan, Co-Director and Performance Arts Curator of DiverseWorks, has a long history with NPN and tells you what it means to him...

Him. I nominate him. We always talk of bringing younger people to the table, and he’s an artist, of color, and you’re queer, too, right?

Olga Garay, then director of cultural programs at Miami-Dade Community College, stated those words during that Southern Caucus Regional breakout at the Seattle Annual Meeting in 1997, nominating me to what would soon become the NPN Board of Directors. At first I didn’t realize how much these words would change my life. I was supposed to be teaching high school English and doing this performance art thing as a cool side gig, right?

Prior to that Annual Meeting, the National Performance Network was just this cool group that helped to pay for my first gig as a performing artist in the School’s OUT: The Naming Project residency with Mary Ellen Strom and Barbara Bickart at DiverseWorks in Houston, Texas. So I had already experienced NPN’s ability to affect lives through art, and all of that personal transformative stuff.

Click HERE to keep reading...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Summer Auction Success!

Well, the Luck of the Draw has come and gone and what a party. With the support from our awesome chairs (Doug Parker and Karen Niemeier); our super host committee (Fernando Aramburo, Tara Conley, Michael Coppens, Shauna Curtis, Monica Danna, Trevor Eade & Stephen Hill, Jeremy Keas, Marshal & Victoria Lightman, Alex Martinez, Lan Norwood & Brian Vezey, Christina Solis, Kim Stoilis, Mark Sullivan, Amy Tanner, Sarah Walters, Josh & Tina Zulu); our rockin’ sponsors (13 Celsius; Barr/Hill Studios; BoyarMiller; The Chocolate Bar / CANDYLICIOUS; CultureMap; Darke Gallery; Dolce Vita Day Spa; Rodney Honerkamp; Kent & Sussex Enterprises LLC; Lake House Waterside Cafe; Portia Leyendecker; Morris Architects; NX Media; Poparazzi's Gourmet Popcorn; Pivot Point Advisors; Real Ale Brewing Co.; Russo Services Inc.; Kellye Sanford & Fritz Lanham; Bob & Lane Schultz/ RHS Interests; Sign-O-Rama; Sprinkles Cupcakes; Terrazas Investments/; vitaminwater; Lillian & Bob Warren; Tria & Winston Wood; Zulu Creative); artists; volunteers and patrons, DiverseWork was able to raise more than $30,000 for programming.

I just can’t say if enough: Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Couldn’t make the event, you can browse event photos on our Flickr page, and read all around it on PaperCity's and CultureMap's Web sites.

Right now, DiverseWorkers are getting ready for our 2010-2011 season with a members only Sneak Peek on Tuesday, July 13 from 5:30-7p.m. Want to see? Well you need to be a current member (Not sure about your membership status, check with me – or you can come the day of the event and sign up for a DW membership.

Thanks for all your support and I hope to see you next season


Monday, June 14, 2010

Luck is what happens when...

Luck. We're all envious of it. But a wise man once said, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."

Well friends, I'm preparing you for your opportunity.

Diverseworks 9th Annual Luck of the Draw is upon us, and it's your chance to be lucky. Two hundred Art Chance ticket holders will go home with a piece of contemporary art created by locally and nationally known artists, some of whom have exhibited at DiverseWorks ArtSpace over the past several years. And the best part? You'll get these one of a kind art pieces at a fraction of the price. Why? Because Diverseworks believes in art BY the people, FOR the people. (Pssst. That's you, people.)

By purchasing an art chance ticket, you'll be entered into a random numbered drawing to make a mad dash for your one of a kind art piece. So put on your fastest kicks, and line up, because when you're number's called, you're up. Make it a good one.

Option one is sold out. Damn my luck. Well, your luck. And only a few Option 2 tickets remain, which will inch you up in the line between #6-#20. All other art chance tickets 21-200 are available now. What's your lucky number?

If you aren't up to the challenge of the art scramble, no worries. You're invited to watch as your friends claw each other' select their works of art. Party only tickets are available for $25.

Act quick, or your luck my run out.

Good LUCK, and see you at Luck of the Draw on June 16th!


Monica Danna (Also known as Cosmopolitician) is on the Luck of the Draw 9: The Musical! Host Committee.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dang! Diane Barber gives us the scoop on Luck of the Draw 9: The Musical!

We know that you have been following the list of artists closely to see if one of your favorites is donating to to the auction this year. Well, here's your chance to get the inside scoop from Co-Director and Visual Arts Curator Diane Barber. She walks us through some of the art for the Blind Auction as well as some of the pieces for the Luck of the Draw 9: The Musical. Whoa!

Tickets are still available! If you haven't bought your tickets, go to or call us at 713.223.8346.

Shawna Forney
Public Relations & Marketing Manager
DiverseWorks ArtSpace

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Doug & Karen Want You to Sing!

Every fantastic event needs a leader and DiverseWorks is thrilled to have J. Douglas Parker and Karen Niemeier co-chairing Luck of the Draw 9: The Musical! They help with all aspects of the event and it is with their support that will hopefully make it the biggest and the best Luck of the Draw yet. In fact, here's a word from our Co-chairs to get you excited about the event.

Plus, Luck of the Draw 9: The Musical! falls on Mr. Parker's birthday! Bring Presents. hee hee hee

Shawna Forney
PR & Marketing Manager
DiverseWorks ArtSpace

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Join us at the Luck of the Draw

Just in case you haven’t heard, DiverseWorks’ summer auction – Luck of the Draw 9: The Musical will be held on Wednesday, June 16 at our gallery (1117 East Freeway, Houston, 77002). This year we are going Glee-fully silly with the theme and hope you will join us.

“First 5” Art Chance Tickets are SOLD OUT and there are handful of “Top 20” Art Chance Tickets priced at $250 (these babies guarantee your number to drawn #6-20). However if you are looking to drop a little less dough, be sure to pick up an Art Chance for $100. But act fast because after June 1, these tickets go up $125 (So buy today and save $25!)

General admission tickets are $25 and all ticket holders can enjoy the food and drinks provided by The Lake House Waterside Cafe, Poparazzi’s Gourmet Popcorn, Sprinkles Cupcakes and Real Ale Brewing Company.

**All art chance tickets include admission – one ticket=one body.**

Still not sure about participating: Well, pictured above is a sample of of what’s up for grabs (Thanks Chalda Maloff).

To purchase tickets, just visit our Web site or call Tracey Morton at 713.223.8346.

Hope to see you there!


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dancing Muse

Wanted to share this article with y'all from Bomb Magazine online. Many of the DiverseWorks dance junkies should remember Michelle Boule who danced in Donna Uchizono's Approaching Green and Miguel Gutierrez and the powerful People's Difficult Bodies at DiverseWorks a couple of years back. Last year she performed with that same show with MG&PP at Austin's Fusebox Festival (going on now! check it out.) She also has danced in Deborah Hay's work If I Sing To You that I saw at the 2008 Melbourne Festival.
In all of these works (and in real life), Michelle is outstanding. I love how in the article she talks about her own growth through others' work, the intersections of dance/theater and developing her own choreographic voice.
Can't wait to see what she's up to next.

Thinking Big & Planning Accordingly

We’re thinking big and planning accordingly. DiverseWorks has recently launched a strategic planning process that will chart the organization’s course for the next three to five years. With financial support from the Houston Arts Alliance and the Andy Warhol Foundation, DiverseWorks has hired Callahan Consulting for the Arts to facilitate a planning process that is national in scope. This process will involve input from staff, board, artists, funders, audience members, and collaborative partners in an effort to focus the organization’s energies around mission-driven goals and plans for managed future growth. What this really means is that we get to set aside time to really talk about what we do and why we do it. DiverseWorks was founded to serve artists. 27 years later, service to artists remains at the core of what we do. We’re excited about what the next 27 years holds for our organization, for the arts in Houston, and for our national cultural growth and evolution. We see this strategic planning process as a time for both introspection and serious brainstorming regarding DiverseWorks’ role in the national arts ecology. We’d love to hear from you regarding things you love about DiverseWorks, things you would like to see more of, or things you think we could do better. Let us know what you think. Believe me, we’re listening.

Diane Barber
Co-Executive Director & Visual Arts Curator
DiverseWorks ArtSpace

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dreaming of Texas

Dreaming of Texas 19 April 2010

The idea of Texas has been firmly etched in James and my memories since 2005 when we began talking and thinking about Westerns. It seemed to occupy a space in both our minds and it seemed so familiar….heat, long shadows, cowboys and fake blood. Despite never having set foot in the US, let alone Texas we made a show about Westerns, or rather, a show about the memory of an imagined Western.

The first word of the piece is “Texas”. Every time we perform the piece it’s in Texas (where else could it be?!), so we wondered what would happen when we did it in Texas for real. In the show Texas has always been a faraway TV screen, in the same way the blood is made from ketchup and the scenes are generic and the guns are just the audience making gun shapes with their hands and shouting ‘peow’. Now the eruption of the Icelandic volcano has stopped us travelling I can really feel the 3000 miles between us and the real thing (if, in fact, it is real. All my favourite Westerns were filmed in Spain, masquerading as the Wild West).

It seems ironic that we were/are so close to performing in Houston and Austin, but we can’t quite make it over- first our visas didn’t arrive in time, then the Icelandic volcano stopped all air travel in and out of Europe- so Texas is still on the horizon but all we can do it imagine how it is, and we imagine it to be hot, dusty, all the men are cowboys or undertakers or bartenders or law men. We keep drifting into Westerns.

So we’re still here, on the other side of the Atlantic with our suitcases packed, trying to get to the place we’ve been thinking of for so long, waiting. Maybe Texas is destined to be only a memory for us, but I hope not. We want to say “Texas” at the start of the show and mean it for real this time.

-Gemma (pictured above)

Action Hero is Gemma Paintin and James Stenhouse. They are UK based artists making performance.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hey Folks,
The Yes Men are coming!! That's right, the fly in, all that's wrong w/ the world's, ointment will be setting up shop(for five weeks) at DW...
And we need your help! We need 3 male Mannequins ( which are not easy to come by apparently). Oh, and with heads! If any of you have any leads PLEASE contact Jon:

Also.. We are having a painting party on April 18th+19th. Its going to be a blast. Trust me! We'll be painting the entire from black to white.
There's nothing like it. Again, if you are interested, drop me a line.

Jon Read
Operations Manager

Monday, March 29, 2010

Crusade against shyness leads intern to DW

This week, we'd thought we'd let our interns blog. So here's what one of our interns, Abi Semtner, has to say.

So I’m sitting here trying to think of what to write because I’ve never done one of these things. Ridiculous…I know.

Being an artist is hard work. Recently I’ve been struggling with going in a new direction with my own artwork. Partly because some teachers have pushed me towards it and partly because I know I need to. That’s what this is all about right? How boring would it be to do the same painting your whole life!?! I’m realizing how important connections and experiences are to my own work. People connecting with other people, and mainly me connecting with other people (I’m trying to stop being such a painfully shy person). Since I started interning at Diverseworks I've been able to define the new direction I want to take in my artwork easier. A performance by a group called SO Percussion at Diverseworks really brought this idea home for me. See how Diverseworks has already helped in my crusade against shyness! The performance brought me to tears. Seriously!

I guess you could call it their closing piece; it involved one of the four members Josh Quillen making connections with certain audience members. It’s hard to explain but Quillen ran to these certain audience members and politely asked them to yell “I Love You Jason” as loud as possible to try and get Jason Treuting (another SO Percussion member) attention. While said audience members were trying to profess their love the other three members (Jason Treuting, Adam Sliwinski, and Eric Beach) were only paying attention to the piece they were playing that gradually got louder and louder and louder. So if you can imagine an audience yelling at the top of their lungs (which did happen because Quillen eventually recruited the whole audience) at one performer “I Love You Jason”, it was kind of an epiphany for me. How often do I ignore possible connections? So thank you Diverseworks and SO Percussion!

Abi Semtner is a graduate student, studying painting and drawing at the University of Houston.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

DiverseWorks members do it at DW

DiverseWorks members do it with style, contemporary flair and more importantly they do it at DW. What you might ask? See amazing programs, support an fixture in the Houston arts scene and, of course, have a ball. Where else can you get up close and personal with an elephant, be openly invited to peek into a room, get all dolled up for Debutante Ball and see dancing zombies? At DiverseWorks that's where. So if you are a current member, thanks for all your support and we love to see your happy mug around DW. Not a member or you have let your membership lapse, we'll let me make it easier for you
(just click here.)

Much Love,

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It's all about the video...

Host PJ Chavez of PantsuitLand

Wow. It's been a few weeks since our last post. Yikes! Sorry for the lack of posts but it's been a crazy couple of weeks at DiverseWorks with the Debutantes Run Wild Gala, Allison Hunter's Zoosphere and Kelly Richardson's Twilight Avenger. The staff of DiverseWorks has been busy but hopefully we will return to a more steady blog schedule very soon.

Recently I have been trying to investigate which artists and art organizations have been using video/social media in an interesting and creative way. My focus over the last few weeks has been primarily on You Tube/Vimeo. However, I am discovering more and more avenues to share your work (For example, The Yes Men On Babelgum). Although there is lots of research to be done, I figured that I would share some of my favorite discoveries.

Michelle Ellsworth -Hamburger Sex

Michelle Ellsworth has performed at DiverseWorks a few times and most recently with The Objectification of Things. Maybe you remember "Can I give a Shout-out to Carbon?"Probably one of the wittiest performers that you will ever see, Michelle Ellsworth created this video for her performance and it still makes me giggle. Please be advised-If you are a vegetarian or vegan, this might be a little unsettling.

Dance Theatre Workshop- Twitter Choreography
DTW creates a video every few weeks with themed choreography from Twitter suggestions. On Tuesdays, they ask for the suggestions, then they pull together the responses, find an awesome person(Ursula Eagly, Gang Dance, Ashley Tyler and many more) to perform them and film it.

Creative Time's Holiday Message

Creative Time joined forces with a great young magician named chris k to create this video/trick. It's a creative fundraising technique to raise money for Creative Time. I would love to know how much money they raised.

Live! from PantsuitLand

I'm not sure if this visual /performance piece is still happening but I always enjoyed it. The host PJ Chavez (in real life artist Jill Pangallo) takes this piece around to various art events and interviews attendees.

Zoe Juniper-the Devil you know is better then the devil you don't

Performing artist Zoe Scofield and visual artist Juniper Schuey posted small clips of their work online. I saw a performance by Zoe Juniper at the National Performance Network conference in Seattle a few years ago and I still think about it. The video does not do justice to how beautiful this performance was but it is a lovely reminder.

Also, lots of museums are adding fantastic online content and I especially enjoyed The Walker Art Center's video selection. They recently posted a lecture featuring Houston architect Blair Satterfield and Minneapolis architect Mark Swackhamer as well as a discussion between choreographer Morgan Thorson and musician Alan Sparhawk on their Heaven collaboration.

Please feel free to share some of your favorites too.

Shawna Forney

Public Relations & Marketing Manager

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dan Havel & Dean Ruck talk DiverseWorks

Dean Ruck and Dan Havel in front of their installation Inversion at Art League Houston

As part of this year's Debutantes Run Wild! Gala, we are taking the time to honor a few of those in our community who continue to support, present and create art. It's these people along with many others who continue to inspire and make Houston what it is today. Dan Havel and Dean Ruck have a long history with DiverseWorks and we are very proud to be honoring them at this year's gala. Plus, it's Dan Havel's Birthday so what better way to celebrate then to be honored! Havel and Ruck took some time out to talk about DiverseWorks and the gala, check it out…

Shawna Forney
Public Relations & Marketing Manager

Friday, February 5, 2010

February Fun

The Bell Tower on 34st. Street

More people are dancing into the gala and surrounding activities. We are really excited about your response to the Debutantes Run Wild! Gala! on Friday, Feb. 19th at The Bell Tower on 34th Street. Paul Mitchell Products staff will be on hand to give you a Deb upsweep and make-up during the gala.

Auction items such as trips to Hawaii and artwork by well-known Houston artists including photographs by Andy Biggs and Frank White and paintings by Howard Sherman, Aaron Parazette, Nicola Parente and others you all know. The auction also has a 4-day Trophy Hunting trip for Beceite Ibex in Barcelona, Spain; a weekend at a private Bay home in Rockport; a wine tasting led by Houston Chronicle’s wine writer extraordinaire Dale Robinson, a Dolce Vita Day Spa certificate and even an Andy Warhol T-Shirt from The Nasher Museum of Art and lots more.

Less than two weeks to go, and the reservations are coming in fast. Buy your tickets now to reserve your spot!

The most fun that will be going on in Houston in mid-February will be happening through DiverseWorks. So, keep checking back.

Margaret (DeeDee) Bott
Development Director at DiverseWorks

Monday, February 1, 2010


AUCTION, AUCTION, AUCTION! We are all now well versed in what to expect at gala & charity auctions....but have you ever been to a Diverseworks gala? Expect the unexpected, and dress to impress! Our auction in the past has proved to stand up to the same wacky expectations as our gala and our outstanding guests. We've had trips to Marfa, a smart car for a day, Reverend Butter Ice Sculptures, sports memorabilia, and "Star Dates" with ballerinas, ball players, and politicians! This year look for the daring, bid on a tattoo sitting, or the not so daring, a Henna artist sitting. Go green with David Morello's 2 hour design time, 2 45-gallon live oak trees, and planting included! Take a trip out of town with 3 of your buds, to Bay Flats Lodge, with 2 guided fishing trips. Don't forget the best part of the auction is the ART itself. Add to your own personal art galleries and bid on the outstanding art donated to us by local and international artists. This is just a small mention of what you will find in our auction. The best part is all of what you bid goes to Diverseworks and it's amazing artists they support! So put on your party dress, practice your curtsy, grab your saved stash of cash and GET YOUR BID ON!

Sarah Walters
Auction Chair
Debutantes Run Wild! Gala

(Above pic of Sarah Walters at last year's FireSale Gala!)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Debutantes Run Classy!

10 Debutantes from 10 different cities, all appearing in Houston at the Shamrock for something called (officially or unofficially) the Givenchy Ball... It was an added attraction for the customary Opera Ball given to benefit/celebrate Houston Grand Opera, and I trapped myself into representing Houston.

Two seasons before, I had been delivered reluctantly to the hallowed rite of Houston society’s most precious passage, the debutante Presentation Ball of Allegro... I had argued for months with my parents over the fact that this was not part of my great plan for life (I believe the words ‘not wanting to be sacrificed on the altar of society’ was my mantra)... refusing to be one until my father explained the theory of paying for my last year of college (as in, he wouldn’t if I didn’t). This logic proved eventually to be convincing, as my degree was to be my ‘road to freedom’... so I learned the St. James court bow (years of ballet at Miss Fanthom’s), practiced walking and smiling (a summer spent at Miss Kennerly’s Finishing Ranch... are we seeing a pattern here?) and made it through the overwhelming sense of ‘Here I Am! Ta-Dah!’ I was too shy to enjoy.

Two years later, out of college and working in New York, I was chosen to represent Houston at the aforementioned Opera Ball, the reason being that I had sung HGO chorus for several seasons besides being a deb. My job was swiftly going nowhere, so I thought I’d talk Walter Hoving, President of Tiffany’s (my boss in NY at the time) into allowing his jewelry from the newly-opened Houston store to be shown with the gowns... and my selling point was that one of the debs for this event was Tricia Nixon’s new sister-in-law, Mary Ann Cox. I accepted the ‘gig’, Tiffany’s backed out and I went to Houston on my own dime. Houston Grand Opera held a Tiffany Ball several years later. So much for the world of finagle and job-enhancement...

The Givenchy gown I wore to the ball was my mother's... spectacular, covered in beads and quite heavy. The gown for the runway (ah, yes, there was a runway) was more demure... Hairdressers had been sent down by Givenchy to coif us a la runway-style, and my look went from the mod ’60’s Vidal Sassoon look I had acquired in NY to something with pigtails out of Hansel/Gretel, but quite chic for the dress, apparently. My mother wore the ball gown herself several times, I wore it once again years later until my sylphlike self of the ‘Twiggy’ years began to resemble a normal person’s...

The society articles in those days, written by Beverly Maurice of the Chronicle, Betty Ewing of the Post, were often filled with lines like: ‘adrift in a sea of white chiffon’... and this ball in particular had attention to details like Faberge-style antique cigarette cases, decorator Harry Rice’s ‘fantasy forest of twinkling white willows’... I think creating images of society’s elite and their resplendent lifestyles was all part of society page erudition of the times. Truthfully... I had a good time (escort: longtime friend Paul Kelly), though my shoes hurt and my hair hurt and the dress was... very heavy.

Thanks for asking me to submit something for Debutantes Run Wild!, it makes me feel life comes full circle once in awhile.

-Diana Linder
Protocol Committee
Debutantes Run Wild!
(pictured above)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Countdown to the DiverseWorks Gala!

Hi I’m Patrick Keegan, and my wife Tracey and I are counting the days till February 19, when the 2010 DiverseWorks Gala, Debutantes Run Wild Gala! will unfold. We are excited to serve as co-chairs of the DiverseWorks annual gala and are focused on engaging more of our friends and other young professionals with the boundary breaking art space. We were introduced to DW through the annual Luck of the Draw summer auction; and we went home with some great art – and had a ton of fun. Our exposure to DiverseWorks fun and slightly raucous fundraisers lead me to serve as last year’s gala Silent Auction chair; and to accept the top hat as the gala co-chair with my wife this year. We are gathering our friends to purchase several gala tables (which start at $2,500 and up); and are psyched to bid on blue-chip art items at the Silent Auction including works by Aaron Parazette; Allison Hunter; Howard Sherman; Wendy Wagner, Frank White; and more. All proceeds from this annual fundraiser benefit and support DiverseWorks slate of outstanding exhibits, performances and programs. I plan to don an extravagant tuxedo complete with top hat; while Tracey is planning on wearing a sleek white gown to the party. But no matter what you wear, plan to be at the most playfully irreverent gala in February. Join DiverseWorks supporters at The Bell Tower, 901 West 34th Street, 77018 (HOT LINK: on Friday, February 19 at 7:30 PM to midnight. Practice your curtsy; and we’ll see you there.

(Above pic: Patrick & Tracey Keegan)

Check out the Debutantes Run Wild! Gala Facebook Fan Page!

Friday, January 8, 2010

2010 Idea Fund Grantees Reception

Join us as we celebrate the 2010 The Idea Fund grantees at a special public reception and presentation on January 27, 2010, 6-9pm at Diverseworks. The Idea Fund is an innovative re-granting program for Texas-based artists, administered through Aurora Picture Show, DiverseWorks Artspace and Project Row Houses, and funded by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. If you would like to attend, please contact Tracey Morton, 713-223-8346 or

2010 The Idea Fund Grantees and their Projects:

Bill Davenport: Bill’s Junk: A store where art, craft, nature and salvage are reconciled under the umbrella of commerce. (Houston)

Victor Payan and Sandra "Pocha" Peña: Rudos y Tecnicos: “Rudos y Tecnicos” incorporates a subversive “by any memes necessary” approach to guerrilla art interventions that explores latent historical and cultural conflict zones, while providing catharsis, participation and humor. (San Antonio)

Wura-Natasha Ogunji: one hundred black women, one hundred actions: 'one hundred black women, one hundred actions' is a performance of critical actions, gestures and movements from 100 black women around the world. (Austin)

Erin Elder, Nina Elder and Nancy Zastudil: PLAND (Practice Liberating Art through Necessary Dislocation): PLAND is an off-the-grid program that supports the development of experimental and research-based projects in the context of the Taos mesa. Houston is the host city because of its investment in sustainable building practices and alternative architecture, as well as its connection to radical, experimental, participant-based projects. (Houston)

Brett Koshkin: The Bayou City Soul Project: The Bayou City Soul Project will tell the story of Houston soul music. The scope of the project will include an audio documentary that includes oral first person narratives, sound clips and a historical narration. (Houston)

DumpTruck (Cory Wagner and Mat Wolff): How to make art in Texas and The Waiting Room: A collaborative video project comprised of interviews and performances featuring artists, curators, collectors, educators and other members of the Texas art community. Within the structure of the interview series, DumpTruck will present short video and/or documented performance works titled The Waiting Room. (Houston)

Mick Johnson: (v) = variable: (v) = variable addresses the re-use of existing architectural structures as temporary exhibition spaces. It intends to bring the collaborative effort of curator, artist and community closer together. (Houston)

Sketch Klubb (Seth Alverson, Jason Colburn, Rene Cruz, Russell Etchen, Sebastian Forray, Lane Hagood, Cody Ledvina, Nick Meriwether, Eric Pearce, Patrick Phipps, J. Michael Stovall, David Wang): Nerd Garage Sale: Sketch Klubb intends to publish a third book and celebrate the publication with an event called the Nerd Garage Sale which will take place in a public venue. Sketch Klubb intend to encourage drawing and other creative acts at some of the booths in the Nerd Garage Sale to facilitate a dialogue within the community. (Houston)

Potter-Belmar Labs (Leslie Raymond and Jason Jay Stevens): Panorama Marfa: As part of a larger body of work reinterpreting the traditional panorama and cyclorama forms, this multiple-screen, live cinema performance in Marfa will include video shot in the West Texas landscape along with an original score. (San Antonio)

Monica Henderson: Festival of African American Film: Film screenings of and discussions about works of little-known directors of color who celebrate life via honest, insightful, non-typical views of the struggles and accomplishments of people of color. (Houston)