100 Creatives 2013: Peter Lucas, Film and Video Curator, Music Lover and Self-Described Culture-Slinger
What He Does
Photo courtesy Lawndale art Center Voyager Found, an A/V installation by Peter Lucas, at Lawndale Art Center
Native Houstonian Peter Lucas in an independent curator who works with numerous art organizations in Houston to bring film and collaborative arts to the masses. Among other projects, he's the creator of Aurora Picture Show's massively popular Soul Nite series, he compiled found footage for the CAMH's Cineplex pop-up theater last year, and on February 22 will co-present Love Songs Listening Party, a collection of African songs inspired by love, with Jonathan Kertzer at the Menil Collection in conjunction with the museum's current exhibit, The Progress Of Love. Lucas was formerly the curator of the Northwest Film Forum in Seattle.
Why He Likes It
Though he studied film in college, it's a combination of interests that drives him. He once gave a salon talk at Aurora Picture Show that focused on the title sequences of films, such as Hitchcock's Vertigo. The first few minutes of that film alone feature Hitchcock's incredible writing, Saul Bass's graphic design, and a score by Bernard Hermann. Those three things exemplify Lucas's interest, he said.
"I just love music and I know a lot of people who do. I am interested in all kinds of films, and in design," he said. "(Vertigo) is the collaboration of all those art forms."
"Interesting collaborations and collisions make me giddy with enthusiasm. I love showcasing these works and encouraging collaborations."
And Lucas doesn't just compile the work of others. Though he's primarily a curator, he also makes his own art in the form of collages, videos and more. In November he presented an audio-visual installation piece at Lawndale called Voyager Found, a response to the gold-plated phonographs astronomer Carl Sagan sent into space in 1977 on board NASA's Voyager spacecrafts.
"I'm trying to do as much with as many people as possible at all times," he said. "It works best for me when I am doing a lot of things.
He says that's part of his collaborative/collision approach to art.
"It's a kind of adrenaline. There are always ideas popping up at all times. I really love if I can get a hurricane of projects going."
If Not This, Then What
"Perhaps working in a music store or video store?" Lucas said he worked in such places as a kid.
"It was a lot of fun. I like that kind of interaction with the community. It's basically what I do now -- I'm kind of a culture-slinger."
If Not Here, Then Where
Lucas is a Montrose native, and working in the Museum District has been important to him. After going to school in New York, we moved to the West Coast, and only recently returned to Houston full-time a few years ago.
"It meant a lot to me coming back. I remember being a punk kid walking through the Menil with headphones on," he said.
"I like big cities. It's really important to me to be in Houston right now and I love it. But I'm kind of intrigued with New Orleans right now. I'm not quite sure what the experience of living there and working there is, but there's a diversity there that interests me."
In addition to Love Songs Listening Party at The Menil this month, in June Lucas will present a series of jazz-related films at the MFAH. He's also co-producing a film called The Powers Project, a collaborative effort (of course) in which 40 artists create responses to the 1977 Ray and Charles Eames film Powers of 10.
More Creatives for 2013
(In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).
Ana María Otamendi, collaborative pianist and vocal coach
Billy D. Washington, comedian
Michele Brangwen, choreographer and dancer
Kristin Warren, actress and choreographer
Kelly Sears, animator and film maker
Colton Berry, Bayou City Theatrics' artistic director
jhon r. stronks,dance-maker
Joe Grisaffi, actor, director, writer, cinematographer
Jordan "Monster Mac" McMahon, artist, designer