Monet Gets Rollin' on the River at MFAH Exhibit

MFAH/Dallas Museum of Art, Munger Fund
Claude Monet, "The Seine at Lavacourt," 1880, oil on canvas.

Throughout his lengthy artistic life, Claude Monet (1840-1926) painted a lot of different subject matter. But he had a particular fondness for water. And then for one certain body of water.

"I have painted the Seine throughout my entire life, at every hour, at every season," he once said. "I have never tired of it. For me, the Seine is always new."

Things get rollin' on the river when the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston presents a unique exhibit of 52 works by the leading light of French Impressionism in "Monet and the Seine: Impressions of a River."

The exhibit was put together by the MFAH and the Philbrook Museum of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Works were borrowed from a variety of museum, corporate, and private collections.

The paintings - which span decades - detail Monet's fascination with the waterway, and include many from his groundbreaking 1896-97 "Mornings on the Seine" series, which were exhibited to great acclaim.

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The 10 Best Nerd-Themed Instructibles for Your Crafty Side

Categories: Art Space


Hey, so are you obsessed with all things geek? Good. So are we.

We love geek culture, from Avatar "A" to Zelda "Z." In fact, we love nerdy nerd stuff so much that we wanted to know how to create our own nerd paraphernalia. Luckily, Instructables, the old school website full of, well, instructions on how to craft cool stuff, was around to school us on just how to do such a thing.

But as awesome as Instructables can be, digging around for crafty nerd projects can become quite the task. After all, there are projects on everything from "how to finger-knit a shawl" to "how to bling out a cat house," which makes uncovering those instructions on how to make Dr Who canvas shoes quite the task.

No worries, though. We dug around for you to find the 10 best nerd-themed crafts on Instructables. If this doesn't bring out your inner pocket-protector-lover, we're not sure what will.

Nerd away, folks. Everyone needs a Game Of Thrones dragon egg, right?

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"Crimes of Passion" - Inspired Art Show Arrives in Connection With TUTS Underground's Murder Ballad

Categories: Art Space, Stage

All art reproductions courtesy of Theatre Under the Stars
This is just some of the "Crimes of Passion" - inspired art
Works from 20 local artists will be showcased in a special art exhibit reception connected to the approaching TUTS Underground production of the pop rock opera Murder Ballad.

The one-night-only event -- a partnership between Texas Art Asylum and Theatre Under the Stars -- runs from 5;30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday April 11. A silent auction closes at 8 p.m.

Artists will be there to discuss their works as well as representatives from both organizations who'll be more than willing to talk about their individual projects. Food and beverages come courtesy of Phoenicia MKT Bar.

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Evocative Watercolors Showcase Another Side of John Singer Sargent

MFAH Houston/Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by Special Subscription.
John Singer Sargent, "The Bridge of Sighs" c. 1903-04.

The amazingly prolific American-born John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) had already secured his reputation and fame as the leading oil painting portraiture artist of his time. But by the turn of the 20th century, he felt the medium had staid and stale as some of his subjects.

So as a challenge to himself -- and to allow a more fluid and faster-paced creativity -- he began to concentrate on producing watercolors. Two exhibitions of these works at New York's Knoedler Galleries in 1909 and 1912 (curated by the artist himself) were massive successes.

The entire group of Sargent's works at each show was purchased by the Brooklyn Museum and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, respectively -- the latter before it even opened to the public.

Now, more than 90 of what one contemporary critic called "swagger watercolours" from both exhibitions come together in the MFAH's "John Singer Sargent: The Watercolors."

"At the turn of the century, Sargent was at the top of his game, but he felt he had achieved all he could in portraiture," says Kaylin Weber, assistant curator of american painting and sculpture at the MFAH.

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Bomdiggidy Smoke Shop's Glassblowers and the Art of Getting Stoned

Photo courtesy of Bomdiggidy Smoke Shop
Shop owner Matt and one wicked expensive piece

The temperature from the torches in this back-alley shop is brutal, even from a safe distance, and yet no one seems to notice but me. Every two feet or so, there's an artist standing over a torch, and they're all deep in the process of melting glass. This fire-meets-molten glass is their comfort zone.

One of the bespectacled guys begins the process of blowing into the molten glass, gently blowing the glowing material into an ever-expanding bubble. As I move a bit closer, I am completely unaware of anything other than the glow of the lava-like glass, and I come entirely too close to wiping out an entire table of glass pipes. Expensive glass pipes.

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UPDATED: Rice Students Put Together a Rubik's Cube Mosaic of Nelson Mandela

Photo by Jeff Fitlow
Nelson Mandela tribute created through Rubik's cubes.
Students from Rice University came together to produce a mosaic with 600 Rubik's cubes featuring former South African president, Nelson Mandela who died last year on December 5. In honor of Black History Month the montage will be on display at Rice University's BioScience Research Collaborative (BRC) building.

Cory Thigpen, president of the Rice Club, wanted to pay tribute to Mandela in a creative way and him and his team found out a way to do that by incorporating Rubik's cubes.

"The project was time sensitive and we really wanted something that was going to capture people's interest," said Thigpen. "Nelson Mandela had just passed and we thought it would be a great way to honor him."

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Couple's Collection of French Impressionism Makes Rare (and Unplanned) Stop at MFAH

Categories: Art Space

© The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts
"Dancers in the Classroom" by Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas, c. 1880, oil on canvas

As one of the heirs to the Singer sewing machine fortune, Robert Sterling Clark (1877-1956) didn't have to spend nights awake and worry about laboring to keep the lights on or bringing food to the table.

And while the stylish and reserved gentleman spent time as a soldier and explorer in China as a young man, it wasn't until he moved to Paris and met his future wife, theatrical performer Francine (1876-1960), that he began collecting art.

Over the course of decades, the Clarks amassed a unique collection which included books, paintings, drawings, silver, and porcelain. But the majority of their trove were paintings, and the majority of those works of French Impressionism.

Now, local museumgoers will get to see many of the Clarks' treasures at the MFAH's The Age of Impressionism: Great French Paintings from the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.

Included are many pieces created by one-name-needed-only artists like Monet, Manet, Pissarro, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Morisot, and Renoir - the last the Clarks' favorite and most collected artist. More than 70 paintings spanning seven decades from 25 artists will be on display.

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Local Artist Bryson Owen Turns Christmas Upside Down at Brazos Bookstore

Categories: Art Space, Books

Photos by Christina Uticone
Artist Bryson Owen and Brazos Bookstore manager Jeremy Ellis. (Go, Bobcats!)
The story behind the Christmas tree with the Seuss-ian angles that is currently (and quite literally) hanging from the rafters at Brazos Bookstore is one of serendipity--and good customer service. "One day I saw a shopper, and approached him to see if he needed any help," explained Brazos Bookstore manager Jeremy Ellis. "We got talking, and discovered that we both went to Texas State University, and around the same time. When Bryson told me that he was an artist, I asked him if he'd ever seen this big, wooden sculpture that someone had erected on campus when we were there--it was these big wooden two-by-fours that exploded upward; it was the best thing I saw in school--and he told me it was his. And then when Bryson told me he wasn't doing a lot of art, I jumped at the chance to have him do something for us."

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Os Gêmeos and Hennessy Present Limited Edition Collaboration in Houston

Photos by Marco Torres

In the world of contemporary art, few people have risen to the level attained by Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo. Known as Os Gêmeos, these identical twin brothers from São Paulo, Brazil have captured the imagination of the art world with colorful scenes inhabited by the jaundiced caricatures of self expression and whimsy.


The duo visited Houston on Monday to celebrate their most recent collaboration with Hennessy, a limited edition bottle with Os Gêmeos artwork designed and printed on the label. Previous manifestations of this type of art collaboration have seen Kaws and Futura2000 as the featured artists.

The Houston Press was one of three media outlets invited to a media roundtable and luncheon held at Diverseworks Gallery in Midtown, which included local artists Gonzo247, Dual, Skeez181, 2:12, and Dandee Warhol.

Highlights of the interview are provided below:


We started with drawing at an early age. Drawing for us was the best way to play. We later discovered drawing was our tool to express ourselves and communicate with family and friends. Later in the '80s we discovered other mediums, specifically spray paint. So we started to discover our city through graffiti. That was our key to the city, a city full of surprises. That later led to paintings and sculptures and gallery work, inside work. We do not call ourselves graffiti artists, or street artists. Yes, we do that, but that [graffiti] is outside. We work also inside and do it all. We use many different way to express ourselves. Graffiti is just one way. We respect too much this outside, graffiti world, and try hard not to mix.

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Caroline Collective is Officially Closed

Courtesy of Caroline Collective
After five years, Caroline Collective, Houston's largest co-working space, is saying goodbye. Sadly for its members, the time came sooner than expected. Last week, a shooting that occurred outside of the studio space, which is nestled along the quiet, tree-lined Caroline Street in the Museum District, put Caroline's inevitable closure on the fast track. Ned Dodington, co-founder and director, had hoped they could stretch the space's end into the next month, but the majority of the staff no longer feels safe since the incident. Caroline Collective is officially closed to the public as of yesterday.

Dodington and his team always knew that this day was inevitable. When Caroline opened, it was under a five-year lease with the consideration that the building was always for sale. As long as the owners of the property had the building, Caroline was welcome. However, over the past two years Caroline Collective was on a month-to-month lease playing something of a waiting game.

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