Visual Arts

From an exhibition of British royal portraiture to a curated selection of quilts celebrating “The King,” Elvis Presley, the visual arts scene in Houston is as diverse as it is varied.

The year 2018 marks the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston’s 70th anniversary as the second-oldest arts institution of its kind in the United States. To coincide with the anniversary and celebrate the broad scope of the museum, which extends to music, dance, literary arts and design works, exhibitions manager and assistant curator Patricia Restrepo has created the exhibit “Stage Environment: You Didn’t Have to Be There,” a look back at the live arts that have come through CAMH.

After a long seven months of repair and renovation, The Menil Collection‘s main building will reopen to the public on September 22 with new installations from the museum’s 17,000-piece-strong permanent collection along with promised gifts. Then, on November 3, the much-anticipated Menil Drawing Institute opens with its inaugural exhibition, “The Condition of Being Here: Drawings by Jasper Johns.”

Holocaust Museum Houston expects its $33.8 million expansion to be complete in early 2019, but in the meantime will open “The Texas Liberator: Witness to the Holocaust” at its temporary location on Kirby Drive on September 7. The interactive exhibit tells the story of and the continuing effects on 24 U.S. soldiers who liberated concentration camps in Europe at the end of the Second World War.

In October the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston brings together approximately 150 masterworks from five centuries of British monarchy, many on loan from the National Portrait Gallery, London, in “Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits from Holbein to Warhol.” Up next is a survey of Venezuelan Informalism, followed by an exploration of photographer Sally Mann’s complex relationship with the South, and then “Vincent van Gogh: His Life in Art” from March 10 to July 7, 2019.

From September 21 to 23, Underground Planet Art Studio will bring more than 100 artists from around the world to graffiti the city during Meeting of Styles Houston. In October Sculpture Month Houston returns in the form of Peak Shift for a deep dive into the medium across 40 different Houston venues. And the Center for Hearing and Speech’s two-day art and music festival, Houston Via Colori Street Painting Festival, returns to downtown Houston on November 17 and 18.

The largest annual quilt show in the U.S. also returns when Quilt Festival Houston takes over the George R. Brown Convention Center in November. In addition to exhibitors, classes and lectures, this year’s special exhibits include glow-in-the-dark quilts, comic-book-style quilts, and quilts celebrating Elvis Presley.

They say art is everywhere, and in Houston that is certainly true.

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