Current and Upcoming Events:

 2018.11.01 Collision author Pete Gershon is the guest on Living Art, KPFT, 90.1 FM, at 6pm.


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Exhibition: Contemporary Artists in Houston from the Collections of William J. Hill and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Leslie and Brad Bucher Gallery, the Glassell School of Art

On view: August 3 – November 11, 2018

Featuring sculptures, paintings, photographs prints, and works on paper by John Alexander, The Art Guys, Bob Camblin, Charlotte Cosgrove and Helen Orman, Ibsen Espada, Ezekiel Gibbs, Joseph Glasco, Allan Hacklin, Roberta Harris, Joseph Havel, Rachel Hecker, Dorothy Hood, Terrell James, Ken Jewesson, Luis Jimenez, Sharon Kopriva, Jesse Lott, Jim Love, Suzanne Manns, Jesus Moroles, Kermit Oliver, Basilios Poulous, Forrest Prince, Philip Renteria, Bertram Samples, Don Shaw, Gael Stack, Earl Staley, Richard Stout, James Surls, Michael Tracy, Arthur Turner, Ben Woitena, Dick Wray, Sandie Zilker. Organized by Pete Gershon. Friday, September 7: Reception

Sunday, September 23, 1pm: Collision book launch event, Favrot Auditorium, Glassell School of Art. Program: 1:00 – 1:45 pm: Collision presentation by Pete Gershon / 2:00 – 3:00 pm: Panel discussion: Pete Gershon, Alison de Lima Greene, Bert Samples, Earl Staley / 3:15 – 3:20 pm:  Group photo of ‘70s/’80s HTX artists on atrium steps by George Hixson / 3:30 – 4:30 pm:    Book signing with writer and participating artists

Sunday, September 30, 1pm: Contemporary Houston Artists film festival, Favrot Auditorium. Program: 1:00 – 1:30 pm:    Dorothy Hood: The Color of Life (1985, 30 min., Pamela Peabody, dir.) / 1:30 – 2:00 pm:  Jesse Lott: Art & Activism (2017, 30 min, Cressandra Thibodeux, dir.) / 2:00 – 3:00 pm:  vintage Super8 home movies with live narration by artist Earl Staley / 3:00 – 4:00 pm: Jackelope (1975, 60min., Ken Harrison, director)

reviews:

2018.08.08 Houston Chronicle - Art Daybook: Molly Glentzer on 'Landscape With Skull'

2018.09.21 Glasstire - ‘A Conversation With Pete Gershon About His New Book On Houston’s Art History’ by Christina Rees

2018.09.22 Houston Chronicle - ‘Pete Gershon’s New Book Chronicles Houston’s Art Collision’ by Molly Glentzer

2018.09.30 Glasstire - ‘Art Dirt: Pete Gershon and Houston’s Wild Art History’ [podcast]

2018.10.10 Houston Press - ‘Fire, Wild Parties and Rule-Bending Art Museums Shaped Houston’s Art Scene’ by Susie Tommaney

2018.10.13 Glasstire - ‘Artists: Historians Really Are Your Friends’ by Ariane Roesch

2018.10.17 Houston Chronicle - ‘Veteran Houston artists reconsidered in a spate of shows’ by Molly Glentzer


Creating Collision: The Contemporary Art Scene in Houston, 1972-1985

Hirsch Library, Museum of Fine Arts Houston

On view: August 28 – December 15, 2018

Featuring rare and unusual ephemera from the collection of the Hirsch Library including materials published by the B&E Holding Firm, H.J. Bott, Lawndale Annex, Louisiana Gallery, Midtown Art Center, Moody Gallery, Robinson Galleries, Studio One Alternative Space, and Texas Gallery.


Wednesday, November 7, 12 - 1 pm - Pete leads a Tour of The Public Art of the University of Houston System, including works by Salvatore Scarpitta, James Surls, Dorothy Hood, and Gael Stack. It's free, but you need to register here.


BOOK TOUR: ‘Collision’ hits the road!

Saturday, September 29, 2018, 6 p.m.: Book People, Austin, TX  (conversation w/ former Blanton curator Annette DiMeo Carlozzi)

Thursday, November 15, 2018, 6 p.m.:  The Wild Detectives, Dallas, TX

Monday, November 19, 2018, 5 - 7 p.m.: The Twig, San Antonio, TX

Sunday, December 30, 2018, 6 p.m.:  Crowley Theater, Marfa, TX (presented by Marfa Book Co.)

Brief presentations / readings at each stop. Please come thru!


Past Events:


2018.10.02 - 2018.10.30 Sharon Kopriva: Early Works, The Jung Center, Houston

This exhibition presents paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by Houston-based artist Sharon Kopriva, all relating to her life changing visit to the Nazca Desert in southern Peru in 1982. Kopriva is internationally known for her spiritual and darkly mysterious sculptural work--mummy-like figures which deliver a biting and frequently macabre critique of Catholic righteousness. Information supplied by the natural landscapes of Peru, Australia, and Hope, Idaho has also been central to her practice. This selection of rarely-seen, foundational early work is supplemented by archival materials that help to tell the story of Kopriva’s Peruvian epiphany. Organized by Pete Gershon.

2018.10.06, 5-7pm: Opening reception. Peruvian Pisco will be provided by Hacienda La Caravedo, In 2010, the Kallop Family of Houston purchased the oldest continuously operating distillery in the Americas, established in 1684. The Caravedo brand is the most award-winning Pisco and is considered the finest expression of estate produced, hand-crafted Pisco coming out of Peru.

2018.10.09, 7pm: Discussion with exhibition organizer Pete Gershon and artist Sharon Kopriva about the work in the show.



2018.09.04  'Collision: The Contemporary Art Scene in Houston, 1972-1985': Sneak peek and gallery tour at the Glassell School of Art, Houston, TX. Presented by Visual Arts Alliance.

Get a sneak peek of the new book, ‘Collision: the Contemporary Art Scene in Houston, 1972-1985.’ Author Pete Gershon gives an overview of the project and leads a tour through the related exhibition ‘Contemporary Artists in Houston from the Collections of William J. Hill and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.’


2018.04.09  'Collision: The Contemporary Art Scene in Houston, 1972-1985' at University of Houston, Fine Arts Building Room 110, Houston, TX

Overview of the research behind 'Collision: the Contemporary Art Scene in Houston, 1972-1985.' Free and open to the public. This talk is sponsored by the University of Houston Program in Art History. 


2018.01.07 Conversation with Butch Jack and Pete Gershon at Lawndale Art Center, Houston, TX

Join Lawndale along with artist Meredith "Butch" Jack and Pete Gershon, Lawndale programming committee chair, in conversation about sculpture, Houston's art scene, and communication in all its forms. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Meredith Jack: Playing in the Sandbox, Too, on view November 13, 2017 - January 7, 2018. This event is free and open to the public. Beverages provided by Saint Arnold Brewing Company.

Brochure for Playing in the Sandbox, Too with Pete Gershon's essay.


2017.09.30 “Collision: The Contemporary Art Scene in Houston, 1972-1985” at Deborah Colton Gallery, Houston, TX

Pete Gershon discusses his forthcoming book in conjunction with the exhibition Focus on the 70s and 80s: Houston Foundations II, on view August 26 - November 4, 2017

 photo: Deborah Colton

photo: Deborah Colton


2017.05.11 Reading from Collision at Linda Clarke & Associates, Houston, TX

Reading and ‘friend-raiser’ for Collision project presented in conjunction with James Surls’ Thought Wave - Drawings from Matter and Mind, on view March 25 - September 3, 2017.


2017.03.03 “Panel Discussion: SPEAKEASY featuring Mydolls” Lawndale Art Center, Houston, TX

Discussion organized in conjunction with Mydolls record-release performance at the third installment of SPEAKEASY, a new program featuring music, performance, and discussions of contemporary art that takes its cue from the eponymously titled series presented at Lawndale from 1993-2002. 

Speakers: Pete Gershon, SPEAKEASY co-curator and Lawndale Art Center programming committee chair [moderator]; Mary Ross Taylor, former director of Lawndale Art Center; and Mydolls: Trish Herrera, Linda Younger, Dianna Ray, George Reyes. Video by Cressandra Thibodeaux.


2017.02.02 “Gallery Talk: Bert L. Long, Jr.: Looking for the Right Time” Deborah Colton Gallery, Houston, TX.

This gallery walk-through with exhibition curator Pete Gershon places the work of Houston artist Bert L. Long, Jr. in a historical context. Deborah Colton Gallery artist Jonathan Paul Jackson also shares his perspective as an artist influenced by Long’s artwork and legacy.


2016.11.19 - 2017.01.28 - Bert L. Long, Jr.: Looking for the Right Time, Deborah Colton Gallery, Houston, TX

Deborah Colton Gallery presents Looking for the Right Time, a solo exhibition of the works of Bert L. Long, Jr. (1940-2013), one of the most talented, versatile, and prolific artists ever to hail from the state of Texas. With his paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, and photographs, he sought above all else to communicate with the viewer. Curated by Pete Gershon.

Glasstire review by Michael Bise

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2016.10.02 “Reviving Houston’s Lost Art History” Houston Art Fair Lecture Hall, Silver Street Event Space, Houston TX

Four projects in the works aim to rescue Houston’s significant art history from the sands of time. Panelists Theresa Escobedo, Director, Houston Foundations’ Focus: Suzanne Paul project; Pete Gershon, Core Residency Program Coordinator at Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Patricia Hernandez, Founding Director, Studio One Archive Resource, Patricia Johnson, independent scholar, author, and Pulitzer-nominated former Houston Chronicle art critic, and Chelby King, independent scholar and past Lawndale Art Center Director, speak about archives and volumes in the works respectively on photographer Suzanne Paul, “Collision: Contemporary Artists in Houston 1972-1985,” the Studio One Archive Resource initiative, and the CAMH’s seminal museum director and mentor to the de Menils, Jermayne MacAgy. Moderated by Catherine D. Anspon, Executive Editor, PaperCity.


2016.09.09 ArtFiction: Ten Fictional Modernists from Texas. Curated by Rino Pizzi. John M. O’Quinn Gallery, Lawndale Art Center, Houston

Participating writers: Janis Bergman-Carton , Edward Carey, Annette DiMeo Carlozzi, Robert Faires, Pete Gershon, Saundra Goldman, Steve Harrigan, Kurt Heinzelman, Kirk Lynn, Mary Mikel Stump and Katie Robinson Edwards

Participating artists: Leon Alesi, Stella Alesi, Brett Brookshire, Jules Buck Jones, Rick Mansfield, Amy Morrow, Jana Swec, Liz Ward, Steve Wiman, Caroline Wright and Sydney Yeager

Participating actors: Jennifer Balkan, Florinda Bryant, Cami Calys, Teresa Elliott, Van Harrison, William Hoover, Jeff Mills, Amy Morrow, Nadine Mozon, Jason Phelps and William Tucker

"ArtFiction is a collaborative project I developed over the last two years and involves exchanges between writers, visual artists and actors/performers. This project addresses a broad range of cultural perspectives on the relations between art production and critical narratives and the effect of artists’ biographies on the public perception of their work. Ten writers were invited to write about ten fictional Texas artists supposed to be living and working any time between the 1940’s and the early 1980’s. Ten actual artists responded by creating work that could be attributed to the imagined artists, and ten actors sat for photographic portraits of the fictional personas. Ten actors studied the biographies and impersonated the artists for photo sessions in photographic styles current with their time and consistent with their personas. There are two distinct contexts for ArtFiction. One relates to the historical experience of art--its institutions, its established professional and intellectual cultures, its modes of production and circulation, and the conflicting claims in terms of value, authorship and historical relevance. The second is specific to the cultural landscape and the communities where the project will be presented. In the broad landscape of Texas modern art history, the narratives of the various fictional artists are meant to create a symbolic counterpart to the actual historical experience, which to date is still far from being fully researched and assessed." Rino Pizzi, curator

Artist Caroline Wright writes about channeling the fictional Morris Blodgett.

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2016.09.10 Artist Talk led by Rino Pizzi with artists and writers from the exhibition ArtFiction: Ten Fictional Modernists from Texas, Lawndale Art Center, Houston.


2016.08.24 “Self-Taught Art in the Community,” The Menil Collection, Houston TX

Susanne Theis, programming director of Discovery Green, moderates a panel on the intersections of art and community with Smither Park designer Dan Phillips, author Pete Gershon, and curator William Fagaly. Co-presented with the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art.


2016.03.24 "Film screening: Jackelope," Brown Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Independent filmmaker Ken Harrison provides a look into the contemporary Texas art world of the mid-1970s. Jackelope is loosely divided into three segments focusing on three young artists: James Surls, George Green, and Bob Wade. This fascinating time capsule captures each artist in casual moments, sharing ideas about art, the artistic process, and life in Texas. Jackelope also includes appearances by fellow Texas artists John Alexander, Mel Casas, Letitia Eldredge, and Mike McNamara. Unseen for many years, Jackelope is presented in a new digital restoration.

Post-film discussion with artist James Surls, moderated by Pete Gershon, coordinator, Core Residency Program, Glassell School of Art


2016.02.12 “Gallery Talk: Texas Originals - Six Bayou City Expressionists” William Reaves | Sarah Foltz Fine Art, Houston, TX

Pete Gershon discusses the work and lives of painters Jack Boynton (1928-2010), Dorothy Hood (1919-2000), Leila McConnell (b. 1927), Charles Schorre (1925-1996), Richard Stout (b. 1934) and Dick Wray (1933-2011)


2015.12.03  "Film screening: Jackelope," Brown Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Independent filmmaker Ken Harrison provides a look into the contemporary Texas art world of the mid-1970s. Jackelope is loosely divided into three segments focusing on three young artists: James Surls, George Green, and Bob Wade. This fascinating time capsule captures each artist in casual moments, sharing ideas about art, the artistic process, and life in Texas. Jackelope also includes appearances by fellow Texas artists John Alexander, Mel Casas, Letitia Eldredge, and Mike McNamara. Unseen for many years, Jackelope is presented in a new digital restoration.

Post-film discussion with filmmaker Ken Harrison and artists Bob Wade and Letitia Eldredge, moderated by Pete Gershon, coordinator, Core Residency Program, Glassell School of Art


2015.10.08 “Readings from Pow Wow: Contemporary Artists Working in Houston, 1972-1985” Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston TX

Author Pete Gershon reads excerpts from his [since retitled] work-in-progress.


2015.10.01 “Rino Pizzi Introduces Art Fiction: 10 Fictional Modernists From Texas” Jones Center Roof Deck, The Contemporary Austin, Austin TX

ArtFiction is a new project by Rino Pizzi, in collaboration with ten writers, ten visual artists, and ten actors/performers. The group is developing ten fictional modernist visual artists and performers working in Texas between the 1940s and the 1980s. This event will be the first announcement of the upcoming exhibition, and will present previews of articles, biographies, and reviews created by the writers, as well as images of artwork and photographs. The exhibition will be accompanied by a book/catalogue designed by DJ Stout/Pentagram.

Participants include writers Stephen Harrigan, Robert Faires, Kurt Heinzelman, Janis Bergman-Carton, Kirk Lynn, Mary Mikel Stump, Katie Robinson Edwards, Edward Carey, Saundra Goldman, and Pete Gershon; visual artists Liz Ward, Jana Swec, Sydney Yeager, Jules Buck Jones, Caroline Wright, Rick Mansfield, Stella Alesi, and Steve Wiman; performance artist Amy Diane Morrow; actors Jason Phelps, Nadine Mozon, Jeff Mills, Cami Alys, W. Tucker, Florinda Bryant, Billy Ray Mangham, Jennifer Balkan, and Teresa Elliott; and photographers Bret Brookshire, Leon Alesi, and Rino Pizzi. Most participants will be in attendance.


2015.07.19 Collective Solid: Panel Discussion with Pete Gershon and Christine Jelson West, Deborah Colton Gallery, Houston TX

Presented in conjunction with Collective Solid, (on view July 18 through August 22, 2015) this panel discussion, co-moderated by Pete Gershon and Christine Jelson West, highlights the artists' perspective on their work, their creative spaces, and their role in the Houston Art community.
Participating Artists: Darwin Arevalo, Dylan Conner, Jonathan Paul Jackson, Alex Larsen, Patrick Renner, David Salinas.


2015.06.03 “In Dreams, Visions: Eight Visionary Artists from Houston” C.G. Jung Educational Center, Houston, TX. 

This discussion is presented in conjunction with In Dreams, Visions, an exhibition showcasing the work of eight visionary artists from Houston and the Texas gulf coast, a few of them conventionally trained, but most entirely self-taught. What they have in common is that they have used images from their dreams and visions as source material for their paintings, drawings, and sculpture. From spiritual rapture to existential torment, from wonder to despair, these artists have revealed their inner psychological landscapes in a way that may help us all to better contemplate and understand our own humanity. 

Speakers: Pete Gershon, curator of the exhibition and author of Painting the Town Orange: The Stories Behind Houston’s Visionary Art Environments [moderator]; Kate Burns, Jungian analyst; Alison de Lima Greene, Curator of Contemporary Art and Special Projects at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.


2015.05.05 - 2015.06.09 In Dreams, Visions: Eight Visionary Artists From Houston, C. G. Jung Educational Center, Houston

“The creative process,” wrote Carl Jung, “so far as we are able to follow it at all, consists in the unconscious activation of an archetypal image and elaborating and shaping the image into the finished work. By giving it shape, the artist translates it into the language of the present and so makes it possible for us to find our way back to the deepest springs of life.”

This exhibition showcases the work of eight visionary artists from Houston and the Texas gulf coast, some conventionally trained, others entirely self-taught. What they have in common is their use of images from their dreams and visions as source material for their paintings, drawings, and sculpture. From spiritual rapture to existential torment, from wonder to despair, these artists have revealed their inner psychological landscapes in a way that may help us all to better contemplate and understand our own humanity. Featuring the work of John Atlas, Henry Ray Clark, Frank Jones, Bert L. Long, Jr., Jesse Lott, James Reaben, Earl Staley, Dee Wolff. Organized by Pete Gershon with assistance from Jay Wehnert, Jack Massing, Dee Wolff, Jesse Lott, John Atlas, Earl Staley, Gail Reaben, Manny Sanchez, and the estate of Bert L. Long, Jr.

Installation view (with Jesse Lott's "Firebird" in foreground) by Pete Gershon


2015.05.17 “Pow Wow: Contemporary Artists Working in Houston, 1972-1985” The Frank and Eleanor Freed Auditorium at the Glassell School of Art, Houston, TX. 

Pete Gershon, author of Painting the Town Orange: The Stories Behind Houston’s Visionary Art Environments (History Press, 2014) hosts this presentation and panel discussion based upon his work-in-progress Pow Wow: Contemporary Artists Working in Houston, 1972-1985. In it, he draws upon primary archival materials, contemporary newspaper and magazine accounts, and extensive interviews with dozens of significant figures to present a creative non-fiction narrative that preserves and interweaves the stories and insights of the artists, collectors, patrons, and administrators who transformed the city’s art scene. What were the highlights, the detours, the noble failures? How did the city influence these local artists, and how did they in turn influence life in the city? How did contemporary art activity in Houston reflect, oppose, or presage trends in the regional and national arts community? Was there really any such thing as a "Houston School," and if so, what was it? This project is funded in part by a grant from the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance. 

Speakers: Pete Gershon [moderator]; arts patron Marilyn Oshman and artists Richard Stout, Lynn Randolph, Earl Staley, and Kelly Alison.


2015.03.21 “Telling Stories: Regional Artists and Their Art”. ARLIS/NA 43rd Annual Conference, Omni Hotel, Fort Worth, TX. 

“Life is short, but art endures,” wrote Hippocrates. Indeed, art objects are likely to survive across generations, but the life stories of their makers, especially those of obscure regional artists, are far more ephemeral and too often lost to time. Fortunately, there are intrepid art historians, journalists, and researchers who seek to capture this information and preserve it for posterity. How do they organize their projects? How do they choose their subjects? What facts are gathered, and how is this information recorded, stored, and disseminated? This panel of three researchers will answer these questions as they discuss their experiences in documenting the work of regional artists. 

Speakers: Pete Gershon, Program Coordinator, Core Residency Program, Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and author of Painting the Town Orange: The Stories Behind Houston’s Visionary Art Environments [moderator]; Craig Bunch, Assistant Librarian, McNay Art Museum and author of Collage and Assemblage in Texas: The Interviews; Jennifer Shaykett, Librarian, American Craft Council.


2014.12.14 Reading from Painting the Town Orange, Alabama Song, Houston, TX

Pete Gershon will read from his book 'Painting the Town Orange: The Stories Behind Houston's Visionary Art Environments,' an exploration of the biographies, techniques, and motivations of the creators of our city's handmade cultural landmarks, including the Orange Show, the Beer Can House, and the Flower Man's House. This event focuses on the incredible story of Cleveland Turner, the Third Ward's ubiquitous "Flower Man."


2014.06.05 Book Reading & Film Screening: Painting the Town Orange, Frank and Eleanor Freed Auditorium, Glassell School of Art, Houston, TX

Join author and Core Program coordinator Pete Gershon for a reading from his new book, Painting the Town Orange: The Stories behind Houston's Visionary Art Environments. The reading is followed by a screening of Laurie McDonald's 2000 documentary Eyeopeners, an exploration of seven visionary-art environments around Houston. Free & open to the public!


2014.05.10 27th Annual Houston Art Car Parade, Houston, TX

Judges: Bill Arning, director of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; Pete Gershon, author of Painting the Town Orange: the Stories Behind Houston's Visionary Art Environments; Raphael Rubinstein, Professor of Critical Studies at the University of Houston; with Ann Harithas, Will Robinson, and Marilyn Oshman. Presented by the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art.

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2014.03.13 Book Reading: Painting the Town Orange, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX

Houston’s sprawl has come with controversy, but it has created a blank canvas for the public art community. It all started in the Telephone Road Place subdivision, where retired mail carrier Jefferson Davis McKissack built the Orange Show, an extraordinary and eccentric monument to self-reliance, hard work and, yes, the fruit itself. McKissack’s installation spawned more of its kind in the Bayou City, like the Beer Can House, the Flower Man’s House, Pigdom—one woman’s “shrine to swine”—and a flourishing art scene committed to preserving Houston’s art environments. Author Pete Gershon tells the stories of these sites, their creators and the members of Houston’s unique art community, all
set against the backdrop of the city’s quirky history.


2008.01.21 - 03.14 "The Art of Noise", Steve R. Gregg Gallery, Art Institute of Houston, Houston, TX

The Art of Noise presents poster art, album cover art, and small works on paper from the collection of SIgnal to Noise editor Pete Gershon, including works by Peter Brotzmann, John Burpee, Gerritt Gollner, Frank Kozik, Chubby Jackson, Olivia Tremor Control, David Wang, Wes Wilson, and others. 

Houston Press review by Chris Gray

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2001.06.07 "Jazz and the Independent Spirits," Flynn Space, Burlington VT

Trumpeter Raphe Malik, journalist Bob Blumenthal, Signal to Noise publisher Pete Gershon, poet David Budbill, and Boxholder Records' Lew Kannenstine talk about the state of creative jazz in conjunction with the Discover Jazz Festival.