Thursday, March 24, 2011

PAINTING AS PERFORMANCE opening this Friday!

Painting as Performance
March 25 - April 30, 2011
Opening Reception: Friday, March 25, 2011, 6-8pm

Painting as Performance is a group exhibition that frames non-traditional approaches to painting. Featuring artworks by Melanie Jamison, Ayanna Jolivet Mccloud, Erin Joyce, Rebecca Novak, and Damon Smith, artists use the trajectory of painting as a starting point and embed and extend the medium with performative, sculptural, and sonic... elements. The process of making these works often involves a performative aspect. The artworks jump off of the two-dimensional plane to demand more from the artist/ audience, challenging a typical static experience often experienced in painting and in this way become performative.

Melanie Jamison graduated with a BFA in Illustration from Parsons School of Design. During her years in New York, she became involved with the MELA Foundation Dream House, where she became a vocal raga student of La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela. Melanie continues to practice extended vocal techniques in the Houston girl band of rotating fruit names and rotating members. She participates in the multimedia, seemingly multidimensional prank project “Incoming Call” with Aisen Caro Chacin and Al Eckstue. Melanie has collaborated with Ayanna McCloud on exploring sound textures of the physical and visual realms. Her tactile aesthetics are carried over into recently formed noise band VRS with Mary Sharpe and Erika Thrasher. Melanie works in the warehouse district of Houston where industrial influences are prevalent in her work.

Ayanna Jolivet Mccloud is an artist and writer. Her arts practice which manifests itself in different forms draws attention to the unseen, imagined and forgotten. Born in Houston, Texas, she received a BA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has participated in exhibitions and residencies throughout the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America. She is founder of labotanica and is currently an Artist-in-Residence at Project Row Houses.

Erin Joyce is a painter, sculptor, performer, curator and Houston native. She has exhibited in local venues such as labotanica, DiverseWorks, Lawndale Art Center, New Gallery, and Café Brazil. In all her mediums, she creates intimate experiences in which viewers and subjects (and the artist) encounter hidden or suppressed emotions. To add to her self-taught drawing skills and personal sensibility she received a BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2008. Erin has also lived, worked, and exhibited in Providence, RI, St. Petersburg, Russia, New York City, and Santa Fe, NM.

Rebecca Novak is a sculptor and visual artist who began creative endeavors as a musician, and maintains an interest in cross-disciplinary practices. Her work explores natural phenomenon, ecology, and society’s tenuous relationship to nature, often addressing environment in a broader sense. Ongoing projects include contributing to the greenHouse collective, an artist-based gardening and permaculture project at Project Row Houses; co-curating the film series Science on Screen with 14 Pews micro cinema; and an upcoming debut of her composition Siren Song for the reflection pool at Rothko Chapel for the band currently known as Durian Durian. Rebecca has attended artist residencies at Project Row Houses (2009) and labotanica (School of Latitudes #1, 2010). Her work has been shown at Lawndale Art Center, MFAH Glassell School of Art, Project Row Houses, labotanica, Houston Community College, and the Houston Foundry.

Damon Smith's art practice includes sound, painting, video, graphic and traditional scores, photography, sculpture and drawing. His work had been shown Galleries in the San Francisco bay area, MassMOCA, Vienna, Munich and Denton, TX. An ongoing collaboration with artist Daniel Healey is an important project. He studied double bass with Lisle Ellis and Bertram Turezky. He has worked with dance, theater and film including soundtracks for Werner Herzog's "Grizzly Man" & "Encounters at the end of the World" and an early performance with the Merce Cunningham dance company. He has collaborated with a wide range of musicians including Cecil Taylor, Marshall Allen (of Sun Ra´s Arkestra), Henry Kaiser, Peter Brötzmann and Peter Kowald. He has toured Europe, Israel and North America and worked often in the San Francisco Bay Area Creative Music Community before relocating to Houston in 2010.

labotanica is a project space in Houston, Texas. key words: reciprocity, exploration, freedom, magical thinking, open-ended, flexibility, de-center, soulfulness. labotanica is part of Project Row Houses Residency and Incubation program.

Photo: artwork by Rebecca Novak

Thursday, March 3, 2011


So why didn't anyone tell me to get myself to the CAMH already??? I popped in a couple of days ago on a whim, and I left feeling that fabulous kind of INTENSE art jealousy.
You know that feeling: FUCK! I wish, wish, wish, wish I had made that art.

Dear Clifford Owens,

I am sending you vibes of gratefulness for bringing fabulous art out of the collective unconscious and into the physical realm.
I am sending you these vibes in hopes that they counteract all the major art jealous hate vibes I accidentally sent you when I saw how bad ass your art exhibit at the CAMH is.


Julia Wallace

Clifford Owens gets bunches of people in small rooms and convinces them to do interesting things together, and then he takes these pictures of them and makes you REALLY wish you hadn't missed it.

He also finds really awesome historically significant performance artists and does performance art pieces with them (kinda like Jack White making music with Loretta Lynn). In the show there are pieces that he created with Patty Chang, Joan Jonas, William Pope L., and Carolee Schneemann. Woops, I just sent out more jealousy hate vibes. Sorry, Cliff. (If you ever google yourself and find this, please consider making art an art piece with me, your jealous fan-

Another thing I was happy to see was the Fluxus Lick Piece.

Here is the original-
Here is the Clifford Owens version-

And here is a version that was created for ART LIES in 2005 by 'Participation Art' a class led by Andrea Grover at the University of Houston featuring local performance artists- Emily Sloan, Lindsay B., Patrick Doyle, Nancy Douthey, Sebastian Forray, and ME!!

I felt like this exhibit is very relevant to the performance that has been going on in Houston. I am kind of embarrassed about how positive I am being but, I am just going to say it-
Bill Arning makes cool shit happen in Houston. I like his shows. I am glad he is here.

( To be more specific- No Zoning RULED, and I was a big fan of the Chantal Akerman show that happened at the Blaffer.)

I really should shake my feelings of disbelief that art I like is being shown in big, huge, funded exhibitions and just accept that Houston is way cooler than I thought.

Get over there, the Clifford Owens show is up til April 3!
And I guess I should also mention that there is a pretty rad show upstairs too.


Facilitated by Julia Claire Wallace
March 15, 22, 29, April 5
Entire 4 Session Workshop, only $30
email to sign up

Performance art is pretty much the best discovery I have ever made. It has become one of the most valuable tools in my own self discovery. It is also one of the most intense/tangible/powerful means of self expression. It is a tool for personal change as well as social change. I want to encourage the use of performance art in Houston, and I would love to pass on its power to other people. If I can give people even a fraction of what the gift of performance art gave to me, I will be thrillleedddd. With my performance art workshops I plan to facilitate an encouraging and safe atmosphere for growing artists. It will be full of strange and inspiring experiences that should be very educational.

Visit for more information on workshops by Julia in Houston