JULY

July 31 I 6 - 9 PM

ALH MAIN GALLERY

ALH FRONT GALLERY

Michael Menchaca
ALH HALLWAY SPACE 

SEPTEMBER


September 25 I 6 - 9 PM

2015 Texas Artist of the Year Exhibition:  Amy Blakemore
ALH MAIN GALLERY

2015 Lifetime Achievement Award in the Visual Arts Exhibition: 
ALH FRONT GALLERY 

OCTOBER

October 16 I 7 - Midnight

2015 Annual ALH Gala Honoring Amy Blakemore, Forrest Prince and Mayor Annise Parker. To purchase tickets contact Jill Nepomnick, ALH Director of Operations at 713-523-9530.

 

Photos by Iva Kinnaid


Zoo at the Edge of the World: 
A Continuum of the Exotic  

Lavar Munroe

Opening Reception: Friday July 31, 2015 I 6 - 9 PM

Exhibition Dates: July 31 - September 12, 2015

ALH Main Gallery I Artist Talk at 6 PM

 

Art League Houston is excited to present Zoo at the Edge of the World: A Continuum of the Exotic, an exhibition by US-based Bahamian artist Lavar Munroe. The exhibition features a selection of mixed-media paintings that explore the nineteenth century phenomena of the "human zoo". The work in this exhibition investigates how this phenomenon, which is arguably the origin of racist stereotypes today, fits into the wider discourse of history.

 

Through the manipulation of imagery sourced from ethnological illustrations, human zoo advertisements, and sideshow banners, Munroe's work creates an "elsewhere" that examines narratives, exhibits and fascinations that resulted from Human Zoo displays. In much of his work, the 'exotic human other' is often paired alongside a wild animal and beast, which was true to many of the human zoo exhibits of the time.

 

"I simultaneously reference the systematic representation of human difference that occurred during the phenomena of the "human zoo"," says the artist. "The work introduces an alternate history that readdresses the then popular craze for monstrosity through displays and commercialization of human difference in order to justify superiority of Western exhibitors during the Colonial era."

 

The artist's process of destruction and rebuilding onto the artworks surface is meant to further charge the narrative in these works. Through cutting, tearing, stitching, stapling and 'nursing' the surfaces, the work points to the history of exploitation and cruelty that was, and still is faced by the underrepresented body within the larger framework of society.

 

ABOUT LAVAR MUNROE

 

Lavar Munroe lives and works between Washington, DC, Chapel Hill North Carolina, and Nassau Bahamas. He received a BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2007 and a MFA from Washington University in St. Louis in 2013. In April 2015, Lavar Munroe was invited to participate in the 56th Venice biennale's international exhibition, All the World's Futures, curated by Okwui Enwezor, and in 2010, represented The Bahamas at the 2010 Liverpool Biennial. In 2014, he was selected as a finalist for the Chairo Painting Prize at Headlands Center for the Arts, and in 2013, he was selected as Editor's Choice in issue no.105 of New American Paintings. Munroe is an alumnus of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and a recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painting and Sculpture Grant in 2013. Most recently Munroe was awarded residencies at the Joan Mitchell Center and the MacDowell Colony. He is currently pursuing a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

 

 

Bayou Baroque
Letitia Huckaby

Opening Reception: Friday July 31, 2015 I 6 - 9 PM

Exhibition Dates: July 31 - September 12, 2015

ALH Front Gallery I Artist Talk at 7 PM

 

Art League Houston is pleased to announce a new exhibition by Letitia Huckaby entitled Bayou Baroque. The exhibition honors the nuns at the Sisters of the Holy Family Mother House in New Orleans, Louisiana: an African-American congregation, founded in 1842 as servants to the youth, the poor and the elderly. Their foundress Henrietta Delille broke with the traditional placage system of colored women being placed as concubines to wealthy white men in New Orleans. Inspired by the spirit of sacrifice and faith in these women, the work in this exhibition embraces a visual vocabulary that evokes old master portraiture.

 

"I have always been drawn to old master religious paintings, and I wanted to give these pieces the same compositional weight" says the artist. "The women were photographed either in front of or silhouetted by bed sheets with intricate floral patterns. Kehinde Wiley's heroic portraits of the urban male were a huge inspiration for me and I studied his use of pattern, color and pose. Bayou Baroque is my way of honoring these women, their courage, their sacrifice and their faith with my own unique visual vocabulary."

 

ABOUT LETITIA HUCKABY

 

Letitia Huckaby holds an MFA in Photography from the University of North Texas, a BFA in Photography from the University of Boston at Lesley and a BA in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma at Norman, Oklahoma. Her work is part of the permanent collections of the Art Museum of Southeast Texas in Beaumont, the Samella Lewis Contemporary Art Collection at Scripps College in Claremont, California, the Brandywine Workshop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the City of Fort Worth at Ella Mae Shamblee Branch Library and the City of Dallas at the Highland Hills Branch Library. 


 

Luminous, Yet Devoid of Chroma 

Michael Menchaca

Opening Reception: Friday July 31, 2015 I 6 - 9 PM

Exhibition Dates: July 31 - September 12, 2015

ALH Hallway Space I Artist Talk at 6 PM

 

Art League Houston is excited to present Luminous, Yet Devoid of Chroma, a video installation by San Antonio artist Michael Menchaca, which reflects on recent events regarding racial tension in the U.S.

Index of figural archetypes and recurring pattern ornamentation is Menchaca's own allegory that re-imagines the history of the Americas. The artist presents metaphors of contemporary social issues with a uniquely pre-Hispanic visual vocabulary. His symbols and motifs harken to those of ancient South American culture specifically; however, his imagery speaks widely to human communication and history.


Michael Menchaca was born and raised in San Antonio, TX as a first-generation Mexican-American. His work investigates issues of race, class, identity and cultural hybridity as they relate to the distinctive history of the American continent. Menchaca recalls the history and iconography of Pre-Columbian civilizations using a similar visual vocabulary interspersed with contemporary digital information. His identity as a Neo-Chicano Artist sustains his desire to bring his cultural roots in the direction of innovative 21st-century technology in an effort to expand the representation of Chicanos in the digital age.


He received his BFA in Printmaking from TX State University in 2011 and that same year attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. In 2012, he had a solo-show at the Austin Museum of Art and in 2013 he was included in State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now at the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art. Menchaca is a recipient of numerous awards and residencies including Artist Foundation of San Antonio (2011), Serie Project at Coronado Studios (2012), Vermont Studio Center (2013), and the Peter St. Onge Memorial Travel Grant, Sri Lanka (2013). He recently completed his MFA in Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2015 and is an incoming Visual Arts Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA for 2015-2016.

 

 

The Art League is funded in part by a grant from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance and is supported in part by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Art League Houston acknowledges the following private foundations, public funders, and corporations for their support this season: Asakura Robinson Company, Axiom, Aztec Events & Tents, Bank of River Oaks, Bobby Bass and Adrian Robles, The Brown Foundation, Inc., Leslie & Brad Bucher, CenterPoint Energy, Inc., CHEVRON, ConocoPhillips, Sara Paschall Dodd, Jennifer & Steve Dolman, Krista & Mike Dumas, Eubanks Group Architects, ExxonMobil Foundation, Felvis Foundation, H-E-B, Houston Endowment, Inc., Kevin Glasheen, Poppi Massey, Kinder Morgan Foundation, John P. McGovern Foundation, Mrs. Katherine McGovern, Tina Knowles, The Morgan Family Foundation, The National Council of Jewish Women/Greater Houston Section, Oshman Foundation, Crystal & Don Owens, Michael Peranteau, Larissa Poindexter, Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation, Rice University, Cara & Michael Rudelson, Saint Arnold Brewing Company, Scott Sawyer, Louisa Stude Sarofim, Anita & Gerald Smith, Leigh & Reggie Smith,  Scott R. Sparvero, Sunbelt Rentals, Susan Vaughan Foundation, The Vaughn Foundation, Sergio and Trond Velasquez-Terjesen, Valspar, Visual Arts Alliance, Wells Fargo, Wortham Foundation, Inc.

Special thanks to The Eleanor & Frank Freed Foundation

Art League Houston also wishes to thank its many generous individual members & donors for their support.