9 Lively, Eye-Catching Arts Events in March No Houstonian Should Miss
March in Houston brings art offerings for all tastes. The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston is deploying three major spring exhibitions, two that will make us question the reality of art. Le Ménil presents us with a surreal giant, and CAMH shows some pride in the Rockets.
Plus, spring means it’s art-in-the-park time for the Bayou City Art Festival at Memorial Park. Here are your best bets.
“Dawoud Bey: an American project” at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (now until May 30)
The preeminent photographer has spent his career chronicling underrepresented communities and has rarely portrayed stories. This major retrospective featuring 85 works from the 1970s to the present day is organized around the evolution of Bey’s vision and direction throughout his career.
The galleries are organized around three main themes and major series including his photographic chronicles of street scenes, portraits taken in his studio, and his more recent projects exploring African-American history.
“The exhibition and its evocative title introduce Bey’s deeply humanistic photographs into a long conversation about what it means to portray America with a camera,” says MFAH director Gary Tinterow in a statement on the cultural power of the exhibition, which is co-organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
“Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” at Houston Holocaust Museum (March 11-July 31)
Not quite a visual art exhibit, but we must highlight this different kind of retrospective and examination of the life and influence of Supreme Court Justice, cultural and legal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Read a full story here.)
The exhibit creates 3D environments bringing to life significant moments in Justice Ginsburg’s life, including her childhood home in Brooklyn and the Supreme Court bench. Also look for several listening stations where visitors can hear RBG’s oral arguments, her dress and jabot, the desk in her bedroom, and official portraits of RBG and Sandra Day O’Connor, the first two women to serve in the Supreme Court, on loan from the National Portrait Gallery.
“Blue North” at Site Gallery (March 12 and every Saturday in March)
Housed in the former grain storage silo of the Sawyer Yards Site Gallery Circular Honeycomb Spaces, this space would definitely be placed in a competition for the weirdest and most wonderful art space in town. . (We’d say it’s still trickling with the Buffalo Bayou Cistern.)
We certainly can’t pass up this invitational multimedia show featuring living artists from Texas and Louisiana, as the jurors gave the 25 participating artists “little time to prepare.” Catch the show on Saturday to see what forms the hastily created art named after a wind-driven Texas cold front can take.
“Virtual Realities: The Art of MC Escher from the Michael S. Sachs Collection” at MFAH (March 13-September 5)
With art that bends time, space and minds, this first world exhibition of Escher could well become the artistic blockbuster of the season.
Organized by the MFAH from the collection of Michael S. Sachs, “Virtual Realities” will be the largest and most comprehensive exhibition of works by MC Escher ever, and will include more than 400 prints, drawings, watercolors, printed fabrics , constructed objects, wood and linoleum blocks, lithographic stones, sketchbooks and artist’s working tools.
Escher fans and novices will get an unparalleled insight into the physics-defying visions of the pioneering Dutch artist.
“Shahzia Sikander: Extraordinary Realities” at MFAH (March 15 – June 5)
Acclaimed for her art fusing the traditions of South and Central Asian manuscript painting with contemporary art processes and practice, Sikander is one of the most significant artists working today. The exhibit will feature more than 60 paintings, drawings, and video animations, including pieces she created in Houston as part of the core curriculum at MFAH Glassell School of Art.
“Her dynamic synthesis of illustrated manuscript painting with contemporary art practice has been instrumental in recognizing a wider range of perspectives, including those of women, people of color, Muslims and artists. working outside of the United States and Europe,” notes Gary Tinterow, explaining why the MFAH is so excited to once again showcase Sikander’s art in Houston.
“Sawed, Welded, Built: The Work of the Houston Metal Arts Guild” at Houston Contemporary Craft Center (March 19-May 7)
Craft goes industrial for this juried show from the Houston-based guild of jewelry and metal artists. The exhibition celebrates the wide range of designs, processes and techniques used in contemporary jewelry and metalwork.
Featuring works by 36 artists, the exhibition showcases pure sculptures yet functional pieces and wearable pieces like boxes, necklaces and medallions.
“Houston Rockets x CAMH” at Houston Museum of Contemporary Art (March 23-April 17)
Here’s one for the sports art lovers. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the NBA and CAMH decided to set up an artistic slam dunk by partnering with the Houston Rockets to order 11 limited-edition posters for the team’s Remix Night games during their season. 2021-2022.
Each game honored a different Rockets legend and local basketball-loving artists – Rabéa Ballin, Tay Butler, Gregory Michael Carter, Ann Johnson, Matt Manalo, Jack Massing, Robert Pruitt, Alexis Pye, Phillip Pyle, II, Sarah Welch, Stephen Wilson – were asked to create a celebratory piece of art for each night.
Now Rockets and art lovers can see all 11 posters together at CAMH, signed by Rockets legends and artists.
Bayou City Arts Festival at Memorial Park (March 25-27)
Although it doesn’t seem to be more than 25 days old, one of Houston’s favorite art festivals, the Bayou City Art Festival, celebrates its 50th anniversary this spring by once again showcasing art at Memorial Park.
Featuring 300 artists from across the country representing 19 different disciplines, the festival will also benefit six local non-profit partners: ArtReach, A Cause to Give Us Paws, Fresh Arts, Orange Show For Visionary Art, The Museum of Fine Arts and The Women’s Fund for Health Education and Resilience.
Head to the park for original works of art, including paintings, prints, jewelry, sculptures, and functional art. Since this is a real festival, stay for the day and enjoy two entertainment stages, an active imagination zone for the kids, a craft beer and wine garden for the adults, and the truck park catering for all.
“Meret Oppenheim: my exhibition” at Menil collection (March 25-September 18)
Although lesser known in the United States, Swiss artist Meret Oppenheim has held a central place in the surrealist movement internationally throughout her 50-year career. This new retrospective, which makes its U.S. debut at Le Menil before heading to the Museum of Modern Art in New York, will offer insight into the breadth of his creations from paintings, jewelry, sculpture and even poetry.
The exhibition will also trace its various themes ranging from the natural world to mythology, gender and individuality. Organized chronologically, “My Exhibition” will highlight the main chapters of his creative evolution from his years of artistic training in 1930s Paris to his re-engagement with Surrealist ideas and his later work alongside the New Realism and Pop movements. .
“As a museum with an extensive collection of Surrealist art, the Menil is proud to host the American debut of this important retrospective of Oppenheim’s vast and extensive career,” said Menil Director Rebecca Rabinow.