10 vivid + eye-catching February art events no Houstonian should miss

Spring exhibitions bloom a little early this year, as several galleries and some of our favorite art organizations debut their new seasonal shows this month.

From the colorful to the political, and traditional painting to conceptual art, we have a lot of real and Reel (see below) art moments we’ll want to remember. Plus, February means Frida as the next giant immersive art experience hits town.

“Maya Stovall: Razón/Reason” at Blaffer Art Museum (now through March 13)
Art meets anthropology in this exhibition of conceptual artist Maya Stovall’s ongoing video work. Her visual art chronicles her anthropological performance projects to bring dance into public spaces from liquor stores in Detroit, to a public library plaza in Saskatoon, Canada to a fountain park in Aarhus, Denmark.

The Blaffer notes that Stovall infuses her doctoral studies in anthropology and the archive with dance, performance, sculpture, technology, and social practice, in order to translate human cartography into cumulative portraits of place.

This exhibition is part of a larger residency in which Stovall has been invited by the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts to work with a cross-disciplinary group of UH students to add a site-specific entry to this ongoing collection.

“ReelArt” at Sabine Street Studios (now through March 25)
In conjunction with the ReelAbilities film and arts festival, which celebrates the lives and stories of individuals with disabilities, this exhibition showcases art from Celebration Company.

This entrepreneurial employment program supports individuals with disabilities in creating art and products that celebrate the good of life. Working in a variety of mediums, such as painting, papermaking, photography, printmaking and glass fusion, the range of mediums allow the artist multiple ways to excel at expressing themselves, when they otherwise would be unable to.

“My Heart Holds A Universe” at Grogan Gallery (now through March 28)
This solo exhibition of acclaimed painter and sculptor René Romero Schuler’s work highlights her paintings that explores the heart of the human experience through portraiture. Her intimate portraits convey universal feelings of strength and vulnerability, offering collectors a unique, reflective viewing experience.

“Making Home: Artists and Immigration” at Asia Society Texas (now through July 3)
Featuring the art of Phung Huynh, Beili Liu, Tuan Andrew Nguyen, and Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya, this new exhibition centers on the complexities and personal histories of immigration.

In their paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, and installations, the artists particularly delve into themes of intergenerationality, the repercussions of colonial histories, dislocation, memory, otherness, belonging, and resilience. Each artist’s work will be displayed in a separate gallery with the curatorial hope that guests will be able to journey through each space and reflect on the connectivity between them.

“The work from these four artists speaks to the unique qualities and deeply personal experience of immigrating,” states Bridget Bray, ASTX’s director of exhibitions. “The artists manifest these histories and invite viewers to reflect on the impacts immigrating has on individuals, families, and communities, and we hope that visitors will join in the conversation and share their experiences as well.”

“Moments to Remember” at Deborah Colton Gallery (February 12-April 23)
This photography and film exhibition chronicles American artists William John Kennedy, Jonas Mekas, and Suzanne Paul with a focus on their photosling of those icon memorable moments from the 1960s to the 21st century.

Kennedy created photograph art by capturing fellow artists, including 60s art pioneers like Marisol, Jasper Johns, James Rosenquist, Claes Oldenburg, Ultra Violet, Mario Amaya, Dorothy Miller, Henry Geldzahler and Eleanor Ward. The godfather of American avant-garde cinema, Jonas Mekas, distills those fragile moments of American life from the famous like Salvador Dali, the Kennedy’s, Warhol, Yoko Ono and John Lennon, Elvis Presley, the World Trade Center to his family and everyday nature.

For a local focus, native Houstonian and avid photographer, Suzanne Paul, documents the artists, patrons, and community leaders who have shaped Houston’s art scene from the 1970s until 2005.

“Immersive Frida Kahlo” at Lighthouse Art Space “February 17-mid-April)
The producers that brought Immersive Van Gogh to town last year now turn their brows to one of the most iconic Modern artist Frida Kahlo. “The exhibition will be a space where visitors can explore the world through the eyes of the Kahlo, a brilliant, uncompromising painter who created some of history’s most awe-inspiring artwork,” says CultureMap’s Alex Bentley on the original announcement of the show.

Like Lighthouse’s previous Van Gogh experience, animated projections of Kahlo’s paintings onto giant screens screen and music created specifically for this show will help views fall into Kahlo’s vivid, magical painted worlds while better understanding her life as an artist.

“In & Out” at Art League Houston (February 18-April 16)
Known for his colorful paintings of nature and flora, Houston artist Bradley Kerl, plays with concepts of painting being windows or portals, as they invite viewer into the image while also denying the “illusionary experience.”

“In & Out” has it both ways playing with these art ideas. Art League explains that “Kerl’s skillful application of paint and mark-making gives his work a visceral and exuberant confidence that becomes shattered by the familiar feeling of repidation as we look out from our homes, viewing a changed world.”

“Backbone” at Art League Houston (February 18-April 16)
For this exhibition, conceptual artist, Brian Ellison, has produced a series of video interviews, photographs and performances, as well as curated a collection of artifacts that celebrate black grandmothers.

In the artist’s words, it is an homage to “…the unsung heroine, the backbone of Black families everywhere that have come before and those that we are blessed to still have with us. The exhibition is dedicated to the women in our lives who hold many names, yet have all embodied the same role.”

“Spirit Epoch” at Lawndale Art Center (February 25-May 14)
Laredo artist Angelica Raquel uses folklore, family story and her life experiences to guide her creation of the needle felt sculptures, textiles, and watercolors of this epochal exhibition.

The show centering around Raquel’s rediscovery and exploration of the familial folklore of her childhood, as she turns images of her self and her loved ones into animal characters. She describes how the work is “a conduit to investigate tales of morality and the soul. Each story navigates its own path to realizing the importance of relationships and their continued hold, even after death.”

“Taking Care: Ryan Crowley, Loc Huynh, Jamire Williams” at Lawndale Art Center (February 25-May 14)
For nearly 15 years, Lawndale’s Artist Studio Program has offered annual residencies to three Texas-based artists working in diverse disciplines. Now comes the fruition of this year’s program with this exhibition celebrating the 2021/2022 artists.

This year especially, sculptor Ryan Crowley, painter Loc Huynh, and multidisciplinary artist Jamire Williams have taken care of their studio practice when care is needed most, a time for self care and care for community health.


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