Houston, Year One // Keeping Our Heads Above Water

Our first year in Houston introduced my family to the worst of the weather and the best of our community, an unprecedented lesson in non-attachment and kindness in action. Oh, yes, and there was some art. Somehow, three exhibitions emerged from the physical and psychological space that was Hurricane Harvey: Suburban Labyrinth; Right Here, Right Now: San Antonio; and Regional Fictions.

Suburban Labyrinth was a commission for San Antonio’s Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival in November 2017, an enormous project that took all of my physical strength to assemble and helped turn the disaster into something that approaches healing. I hope to show this piece in Houston sometime so that I can invite all of the neighbors whose home debris was used to construct it. Holing up with a bunch of other families during a massive flood event is a bonding experience like no other.

In April 2018, I was honored to have prints and performances featured in Right Here, Right Now: San Antonio at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, curated by Dean Daderko. I have one more performance on July 28th, and the show is up until August 5th. This is a well-conceived and diverse show that highlights my underrated native city and checks a box on my personal bucket list. Thanks, CAMH!

The third exhibition was a chance to reconnect with two fellow UPenn MFA alums, Jamal Cyrus and Ted Carey, to put on Regional Fictions at MASS Gallery in Austin. The show was accompanied by a panel discussion about decolonizing the classroom and the Austin Chronicle ran a glowing review of our work.

And what’s next? After a year of shuffling between the mosquito-filled garage and the dining room (with a 6-week stint at BOX13 to build the labyrinth), I will finally have a studio. I was selected by Lawndale Art Center as a 2018-2019 Studio Program resident, with an exhibition to follow in the summer of next year. I look forward to working alongside fellow residents Robert Hodge and John Pluecker.

Whew. Lo logramos. Pues, adelante.

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