The ACTX Top Ten: Summer 2018

Photo by Amitava Sarkar.

#1: Forklift Danceworks’ Dove Springs Swims/Nadamos Dove Springs

AUSTIN—Forklift Danceworks presents Dove Springs Swims/Nadamos Dove Springs, a dance for a city pool and its people, which features Aquatics staff and neighborhood residents, accompanied by live original music and underwater lighting design, July 12-15 at Dove Springs Neighborhood. Forklift Artistic Director Allison Orr states, “From kids doing cannonballs to elders synchronizing pool noodles to lifeguards executing rescue drills, Dove Springs Swims/Nadamos Dove Springs amplifies the energy of a neighborhood around its public pool.”

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#2: Hedda Sterne at Amon Carter

FORT WORTH—Hedda Sterne, who died in 2011 at the age of 100, defied stylistic categorization. Her art career began in the 1920s and continued over nine decades, including exhibiting with the Surrealists; she was later represented by beloved New York gallerist Betty Parsons. A self-described “well-working lens,” the artist’s process was one of exploration and discovery. The artist’s aesthetic experiments fluctuated between organic and geometric, figural and abstract, painterly and graphic, some of which can be seen in Hedda Sterne: Printed Variations is on view at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art July 28, 2018 through Jan. 27, 2019.

Hedda Sterne (1910–2011), Untitled (Metaphores and Metamorphoses VIII, Detail), 1967, lithograph.
© 2018 The Hedda Sterne Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
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#3:  Balcones Heights Jazz Festival

SAN ANTONIO—The City of Balcones Heights presents the Balcones Heights Jazz Festival, July 6-27 at Wonderland of the Americas Amphitheater, with a diverse line-up, headlining with a special National Anthem performance by saxophonist and Precinct 2 Bexar County Commissioner Paul Elizondo, he U.S. Air Force Band of the West’s “Horn Band” Warhawk, Peter White and Will Donato on July 6; Nick Colionne and Ruben V with Onel Jimenez on July 13; Eric Darius and Cindy Bradley on July 20; and closing with Slim Man and Joseph Vincelli. Balcones Heights Director of Economic Development & Public Affairs, Lorenzo Nastasi states, “We are thrilled to give our audience stellar performances from our talented and accomplished artists, making this year’s historic 25th Balcones Heights Jazz Festival one to remember.”

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#4: Minerva Cuevas Murals at Dallas Museum of Art

DALLAS—The temporary work, Fine Lands, is the latest in the Dallas Museum of Art’s annual mural project, painted in the Pop style of graphic novels by the Mexican conceptual artist Minerva Cuevas and an array of assistants. “Minerva is a very socially engaged artist,” says Anna Katherine Brodbeck, associate curator of contemporary art, who selected Cuevas to create the mural. “She’s making a lot of references, but what they have in common is the impact of late capitalism, of the global economy, on people and the environment. These were issues that are near and dear to my heart.”

Minerva Cuevas, Fine Lands (detail), 2018, acrylic paint on wall.
Courtesy of Dallas Museum of Art.
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#5:  Johnny Cash at Stages Repertory Theatre

HOUSTON—Stages Repertory Theatre offers some perfect summer theater with Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash, July 11-Sept. 2. Stages Artistic Director Kenn McLaughlin states, “Johnny Cash transcends so many labels and crosses so many boundaries that it’s almost impossible to sum him up. Great entertainer—yes; brilliant writer—yes; tortured artist—yes; American institution—yes. But beyond it all, he is a man who sang what was in his heart without reservation.”

Katie Barton and Ben Hope in Infinity Theatre Company’s production of Ring of Fire.
Photo by Nancy Anderson Cordell.
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#6:  Spencer Evans at Conduit Gallery

DALLAS—The CADD FUNd, which the Contemporary Art Dealers of Dallas describes as a “fun, fast-paced evening of sharing innovative ideas about potential artistic projects,” was born from the group’s brainstorming sessions focused on how to support artists in the Dallas area. As a result, current or former B.A, B.F.A., M.A. or M.F.A. graduates or candidates from institutions within 100 miles of Dallas can apply to the CADD FUNd with a project they want to pursue in the community; jurors then choose six finalists. The community joins in the festivities through paid tickets, the proceeds of which go towards the fund itself as well as ensuring that applicants don’t need to pay an entry fee. Spencer Evans, who was awarded the CADD FUNd in 2017, investigates through his artistic practice the similarities and differences between Black American and Nigerian identities as well as the social contexts in which they develop. Evans presents some of his most recent work, which builds from and reflects his research, at Conduit Gallery in his first solo exhibition I Am Because We Are on view through July 14.

Spencer Evans, The Conflict of Letting Em Slide, 2017, oil & acrylic on canvas, 48 x 48 inches.
Courtesy Conduit Gallery, Dallas, TX.
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#7:  The Revolutionists at Imprint Theatreworks

DALLAS—Imprint Theatreworks presents The Revolutionists by Lauren Gunderson, a dark history comedy about four women who lived during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror (1793-1794): playwright Olympe De Gouge, assassin Charlotte Corday, and Marie Antoinette, and Haitian rebel Marianne Angelle, July 20-Aug. 5 at the Margo Jones Theatre in the Magnolia Lounge. Co-Director Ashley H. White explains, “It was very important to us that our first season included a play featuring powerful women and written by a female playwright. When we found The Revolutionists, we were thrilled to find a piece that accomplished that goal in such an effective, captivating, and fun way. Gunderson’s unique voice is a perfect match for Imprint’s first season and we are so excited to be producing the regional premiere of this timely comedy.”

Dani Holway, Jennifer Kuenzer, Marianne Galloway, and Sky Williams in The Revolutionists.
Photo by Ashley H. White.
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#8:  Vincent Valdez at Blanton Museum of Art

AUSTIN—The City, a pair of monumental paintings by Vincent Valdez which debuted at Houston’s David Shelton Gallery, will have a wide public showing in the ongoing exhibition at the Blanton Museum of Art beginning July 17. “I am disturbed by the fact that this scene is still a reality in America today,” says Valdez. “As a Mexican-American, I am equally disturbed by some Americans’ unwillingness to comprehend that the brutality of racism and intolerance affects many more Americans than we tend to think of in more ways than one. It has, and still is, wreaking havoc on an entire nation and society. America remains trapped between the fantasy of past and the reality of our present. We stand on unsteady ground between the illusion of what we think we are and the reality of who we really are.”

Vincent Valdez, The City I, 2015–16 (detail), Oil on canvas, four panels, 74 x 360 in. Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Purchase through the generosity of Guillermo C. Nicolas and James C. Foster in Honor of Jeanne and Michael Klein, with additional support from Jeanne and Michael Klein and Ellen Susman in honor of Jeanne and Michael Klein, 2017 © Vincent Valdez.
Photo by Peter Molick, Courtesy of the artist and David Shelton Gallery, Houston.
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#9: Vortex at NobleMotion Dance

HOUSTON—NobleMotion Dance celebrates its 10th Anniversary with Vortex on Aug. 25-25 at The Hobby Center’s Zilkha Hall. Andy Noble explains, “I really want Vortex to showcase our choreographic range. We have some visual pow pieces, Unsinkable and Axiom, that feature large interactive sets designed by Jared Doster and Bryan Ealey. Both Drone and Fragment display our love of collaboration and incorporate technology designed by David Deveau. We also have straight dance that offers moments of humor, conflict, and mature love. And as always, dynamo dancers that can rip-roar through the space are a must.”

NobleMotion dancer Evelyn Toh in Fragment.
Photo by Lynn Lane.
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#10:  Delita Martin’s The Dinner Table at Art League Houston

HOUSTON—Art League Houston presents The Dinner Table, an installation by Houston-based artist Delita Martin, on view through July 21. The exhibition features 200 ceramic plates depicting hand-drawn portraits of black women, of which no two plates are identical. Martin was inspired by the idea of sitting in the company of powerful community builders, telling the story of women that have often been marginalized, and offering a different perspective of the lives of Black women. “Come, I have set a place at The Dinner Table for you,” she writes. “Against a backdrop void of color, The Dinner Table is a space to nourish the body, mind and soul. I invite you to sit at the table and share in a moment of reflection.”

Delita Martin, The Dinner Table (installation view), 2018, at Art League Houston, Houston, Texas.
Photo by Alex Barber.
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