John M. O'Quinn GalleryUPPA Crust - Robert Hodge, Lovie Olivia & Michael Kahlil TaylorDARe to go FURther
Taking into consideration the staggering range of diversity that the African Diaspora has to offer, DARe to go FURther aims to investigate and reveal many enigmatic layers. UPPA Crust fastidiously addresses the presence of stereotypes, myths and cultural similarities of both African-Americans and native Africans. Robert Hodge, Lovie Olivia and Michael Kahlil Taylor of the UUPA Crust Collective, are exploring and navigating beyond the surface of many beliefs associated with certain communities. In forms of visual narratives, paintings, and mixed media on paper, UPPA Crust analyzes the adaptation and mutability of culture.
The artists of UUPA Crust share a common fascination for cross-continental interactions, and the parallelisms despite lost and altered history of individuals particularly whose roots are African. "Cleverly hidden in the show title is the region of DARFUR which caught the attention of all of us. We felt that the mass media's handling of the information was discerning. This motivated us to pry further into how blacks are globally received. From our neighborhoods and beyond we celebrate our culture and heritage by daring to go beyond the newspapers and T.V. screens." This is expressed visually and metaphorically. In this past year, the members have traveled to the African continent, the Caribbean and the common melting pot of New Orleans Louisiana to gather detail. In the tradition of anthropologists UPPA Crust has spent time gathering and cataloging to bring us steps closer to these visual resolutions.
"From Kenya , the Caribbean to New Orleans and back to our neighborhood blocks we've witnessed cultural exchange and contrast that we wish to express in these works." Various symbols of wealth, status and spiritual practices are relevant through tattoos, scarification, piercings and elaborate coiffures as forms of identification. Myth, folklore, spirituality and hip-hop harmoniously blend into visual amalgamation expressed through DARe to go FURther.
UPPA Crust is a Houston based artists' collaborative working internationally. Members Robert Hodge, Lovie Olivia and Michael Kahlil Taylor met around 1994 while attending the High School for Performing and Visual Arts. UPPA Crust formalized as collaborators while showing work collectively over the past 3 years at art institutions such as the Community Artists' Collective, Project Row Houses, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH), HAATX Space 125 and this summer at Nairobi, Kenya's GoDown Arts Center & PaYaPa Arts Center.
UPPA is a multidisciplinary collective with each artists also contributing film, music and performance experience which include Olivia's theatrical set design, Hodge's nationally touring band and Taylor's 2005 Houston Poetry Slam Champion credits. Recent member awards from Houston Art Alliance and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston have contributed to article in the Houston Press, Arts Houston, Dallas Art Revue and documentaries by A.M. Houston. As the artist expands their experience as individuals and collectively, UPPA Crust continues to expand and share ideas locally and internationally.
UUPA Crust - Robert Hodge, Lovie Olivia, and Michael Kahlil Taylor
Matter of Myth, 2009
Mixed media on cotton paper
10' x 10'
| Mezzanine Gallery |
Christopher Cascio & Anne J. Regan
Christopher Cascio's work explores the themes of sound production and replication by using the visual impact of finely cut paper on bright negative space. Cascio creates ornately cut Xeroxes of tangled cords and audio equipment arranged over a fluorescent orange background with a thick layer of high gloss varnish on top. The concept of this series of new work centers on the visual interpretations of synthesized sound and the complexities inherent in signals passing through various speakers, processors and recorded media. Cascio is interested in conceptual associations brought to mind (such as the idiosyncrasies of sound gear collections/collectors,) as well as certain visual associations such as how the lined up gear resembles structural elements and other familiar geometric patterns.
Anne J. Regan's works are rooted in the blues, in the heavy history of the south, of its struggle with truth and longing for a home. Astrology, rootwork and alchemy play heavy roles in her practice, all resting upon the belief that devotion and embracement of such belief systems will conjure the true nature of the concepts in the works. Each piece is constructed to temporarily transfix the viewer with an intuitive recognition of presence, engaging them in a call and response between the work itself and its materials. The natural world features in these pieces as a binder to now intangible people, places and times. Soil, air, water and wax become symbols not only of the history of the locations themselves but of death's sanctification of the land, of a sacred space to return to, of those still moving and singing within us. Nothing ever goes away.
Both artists' works focus on the different spheres of sound: sensory, spiritual, historic, cosmic, social and scientific. In Harmonic Spheres, Casico and Regan's habits are laid bare as it becomes clear that they are both collectors who have dismantled and reconstructed their devotions into these fully developed worlds. Shown alongside each other, all of these combine to create another new composition, their final harmony, which resonates throughout the gallery space.
Christopher Cascio was born in New Orleans and raised in Houston. After graduating from the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in 1995, he received a bachelor's degree in painting/drawing from the San Francisco Art Institute. Over the next four years Cascio worked in Los Angeles as part of the collaborative duo Uncomfortable Jams, who were represented by New Image Art Gallery and performed regularly in and around Los Angeles. In 2003 Cascio returned to Houston, found work as Marketing Manager at Da Camera of Houston, a chamber music and jazz presenter located on The Menil Collection campus, and thinking outside the collaborative mindset, he began developing a new body of densely covered and ornately detailed pen and ink drawings. In 2007 Cascio and six fellow HSPVA graduates formed the ArtStorm gallery, founded to create an accessible, approachable and affordable gallery space for emerging and unrepresented artists. Around this same time his drawings gradually gave way to text work and his current body of work, the large-scale collages on view during the exhibit Harmonic Spheres at Lawndale Art Center.
Anne J. Regan was born along the blues trail, howling on the banks of the Illinois river in the year of our Lord, nineteen-hundred and eighty. After earning a BFA from California College of the Arts in San Francisco, she consulted the stars, carefully packed her records and moved to the South to pursue an MFA at the University of Houston. She can be found rambling through the heavy Southern landscape or gassing up en route to another site on an endless list of musical haunts, forever on the lookout for a home.
Jammin' on the One, 2009
Xeroxes, fluorescent acrylic and varnish on canvas
46" x 65"
Anne J. Regan
| Grace R. Cavnar Gallery |
For the installation at Lawndale Ned Dodington will fill the Grace R. Cavnar Gallery with roughly 40 nylon-stocking-filled pods of grass seed and potting soil, left to grow from simply black pods into green, verdant, almost hairy, living sculptures. Poly-Lawn-Dale will hope to show that by recontextualizing the natural and the cultural we can begin to understand new ways of being in a complex and multi-natural world. Poly-Lawn-Dale is at once intricately designed and totally unplanned. Human intervention is visible and also erased by the whimsy of living grass.
Dodington states, "'Nature has never been natural' and as our global economy and global populations continue to expand and intertwine the distinction between what were once thought to be the natural and cultural worlds become less and less clear. Furthermore, with continued movements towards social equality (women's rights, religious tolerance, abortion rights, and non-traditional marital unions), and environmental responsibility, the vanguard of social activism today appears to be centered around bio-politics and ethics. It is becoming less and less clear what exactly makes us Human and why exactly we find that so important. Poly-Lawn-Dale will explore these issues with the installation of a highly artificial/natural installation."
Ned Dodington received a B.A. in Art History from Carleton College in 2003 and an M.Arch from Rice University in 2009. While at Rice Dodington devoted his graduate career to studying ecological design strategies with an eye towards the built environment. His work has been published in "Arhcitectural Design Magazine", "Brkt Magazine", "Humanimalia", the "Columbia University GSAP" yearly student review, as well as "Rice Working 06-08", and "All things Must Move; 15 Years at Rice School of Architecture 1994-2009". Dodington has written for The Architetural Society in New York, "Manifold Magazine", and Houstonist.com and maintains a well respected blog, Animal Architecture (www.animalarchitecture.org). His built work has been shown in Minnesota and Houston. Dodington has been awarded both the Technos International Traveling Fellowship in 2002 and the Mitchell Travel Fellowship in 2006 and has studied in New York, Paris, and Shanghai. Dodington is currently employed at PDR in Houston, TX and manages two small businesses devoted to fostering creative communities in Houston - Caroline Collective and C2 Creative. Dodington grew up in New York City and currently resides in Houston with three roommates, Matthew and Grace and D'acry.
| Project Space |
Sally Heller explores, and exposes, the glut of a consumer-oriented society by building an abstract landscape installation using scraps and other found materials including netting, plastic flowers, cardboard, coat hangers and blanket scraps-cultural remnants of our everyday lives. A curtain made of chain surrounds parts of the landscape, broken up into swags, creating large negative spaces. The negative spaces are covered with tulle and opaque material, functioning as a device that lures the viewer to peek inside through its few openings which will break to form a single entrance. A video of a swamp scene, projected onto the landscape introduces the viewer to the relationship between real nature and its artificial counterpart.
Sally Heller has been building site specific installations for the past five years. She often builds them at college galleries and university museums with the help of art students. They generally take the form of landscapes, complete with tin foil trees, flora and fauna assembled out of cellophane, pipe cleaners and endless bric a brac, the kind of consumer detritus one uses and discards. Colorfully bold and laboriously handmade, these whimsically sly forests speak loudly to the vast amount of global mass production and our addiction to convenience.
Heller attended the University of Wisconsin and holds a Masters Degree
of Fine Art from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has shown extensively over the past five years and has had solo installations in various galleries such as Columbia College, Chicago, IL; Miami University Art Museum, Oxford, OH; Dalton Gallery, Atlanta, GA; Jim Kempner Fine Arts, New York, NY; Gallery Bienvenu, New Orleans, LA; Georgia College Art Gallery, Milledgeville, GA; Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA; Richard E. Peeler Art Center, Depauw University, Greencastle, IN; and Whitespace Gallery in Atlanta, GA. Last year Sally received a grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation to build a public sculpture which she recently completed. She is currently working on a new show for Ohio State University Gallery.
In the Thicket of It, 2009
Mixed media installation
| Mary E. Bawden Sculpture Garden & Room 317 |
Houston Migration Center
Jarrod Beck's Migration Center consists of two corresponding installations. Outside, in the Mary E. Bawden Sculpture Garden, a poured plaster structure will be created on site. Inside, in the Lawndale's classroom space, the artist has culled a selection of artifacts from past installations and drawings to be assembled with new work. Here, the abstract sculpture at the entrance to the art center will be contextualized as the remains of an event held in the 4900 block of Main Street.
Jarrod Beck holds an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Master of Architecture degree from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. He has also studied at the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland and Parsons New School of Design in New York. His work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions at the Leslie Lohman Foundation, New York (2004); and at MASS Gallery, Austin, TX (2006). Visitor Center, presented through the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Swing Space Program opened in January, 2009 at the South Street Seaport Museum. In the fall of 2008, he began a residency with the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. Beck was also a resident artist at the Lower East Side Printshop, New York (2003-4). In 2008-9 he designed the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. This summer he designed and fabricated a portable set for the Fringe Festival production of "A History of Cobbling" . Beck's work has been reviewed in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Village Voice and the Austin Chronicle. His work is included in the Judith Rothschild Foundation Collection of Contemporary Drawings at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY.
Lawndale Art Center is a nonprofit alternative exhibition space
dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art in all media,
with an emphasis on the work of Houston area artists.
Monday-Friday, 10-5; Saturday, 12-5; Closed Sunday
Exhibitions open on Friday, January 22, 2010
and will remain on view through Saturday, February 27, 2010.
For additional information, please contact:
Programs at Lawndale are supported in part by The National Endowment for the Arts, The Houston Arts Alliance through the Houston Museum District Association and City Initiatives Program, The Texas Commission on the Arts, Houston Endowment, The Brown Foundation, Inc., Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Cavnar Foundation, The Cullen Foundation, The Wortham Foundation, Inc., John M. O'Quinn, Cecily Horton, Ann W. Harithas, Jonathan and Barbara Day, Diana Hudson and Lee Kaplan, Anita and David Garten, Mary and Roy Cullen, Karen J. and David A. Sobotka, Daniel K. Dubrowski, Jenny and Mark Johnson, Samantha Schnee, Continental Airlines, Target, Art Colony Association, other contributors, memberships, benefit events and many volunteers.