Visual Art

Art Events, June 17-19: An Overlooked Houston Artist and Photographs That Investigate Beauty

Gomela/To Return: Movement of Our Mother Tongue at South Dallas Cultural Center
3400 S. Fitzhugh Ave.
7 p.m. Friday

Gomela/To Return: Movement of Our Mother Tongue is a multi-disciplinary performance piece featuring award-winning poet Sunni Patterson. Vibrant and percussive movements and stories breathe life into African dance and drumming, as well as spoken word, hip-hop and jazz. Connections are made between Africa, Haiti and New Orleans. At its core, this performance illuminates how place matters — to New Orleanians displaced after Katrina, for example. From New Orleans herself, Sunni Patterson combines the heritage and tradition of her native town with a modern worldview to create timeless music and poetry. This event takes place at 7 p.m. Friday.

Otis Huband: Recent Paintings
at Valley House Gallery

6616 Spring Valley Road
5:30 p.m. Saturday

Otis Huband does not need to show his work. Operating out of Houston since 1965, he painted every single day while devoted art collectors made regular visits to his studio. By the time he decided to show his work again a few years ago in his late 70s, few were familiar with it. Huband has color schemes every bit as gorgeous as his hero, abstract expressionist Willem de Kooning. But Huband’s imagery is figurative, although he paints from his imagination with no expectations. It still leaves plenty to the imagination. Huband paints other worlds. A figure could be an enormous creature made mainly of arms and legs or perhaps a bunch of people on the floor in a bedroom. This exhibit features mainly oil paintings from the last few years, but also mixed-media collages comparable to the paper cut-outs Henri Matisse made in his final years. An artist talk and opening reception takes place at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. More info at

JM Rizzi: The Sanest Days Are Mad at Erin Cluley Gallery
414 Fabrication St.
6 p.m. Saturday

JM Rizzi began doing graffiti as a teen living in Brooklyn, but eventually he gave up on beefing with rival crews and started studying art formally. He now has murals commissioned, like his 150-foot work inside Josey Records. Rizzi also started magnifying particularly juicy tags and using them to produce works for gallery shows. Abstract expressionists and members of the pop art movement both appreciated graffiti when Rizzi was a kid, and he offers a contemporary take on both ideas. This exhibition of large paintings and works on paper shows its roots of urban expressionism. Rizzi’s paintings have a multitude of layers, creating a seemingly aged surface that gives the appearance of painted city walls. JM Rizzi: The Sanest Days are Made opens at 6 p.m. Saturday. More info at

The Thirteen Most Beautiful at Cydonia
167 Payne St.
6 p.m. Saturday 

Through 13 individual works of art, five artists unmask diverse attitudes about pleasure for the eyes. The Thirteen Most Beautiful wanders down alternative paths where beauty is exploited as a tool. Beauty is not the message here, but the medium in a show dominated by photography and sculpture.
A large-scale photo installation of flowers by Jayce Salloum investigates our notions of what is natural and beautiful by creating an imitation of life. Poetic, painted images of photographic snapshots by Monica Tap generate soft observation. Sun You's sculptures composed of meaningless materials found in junk shops and hardware stores charm by also riffing on beauty tropes. Frances Bagley’s bronze "Cleopatra’s Collar" commands a presence without ever directly representing female anatomy. This exhibition opens at 6 p.m. Saturday. More info at

NAKED, the minimalist at Ash Studios
3203 Ash Lane
8 p.m. Saturday

This is a new music/art series highlighting performance art, new media and creative music programming. This first installment features the neo-soul of Keite Young, vintage pop songwriter Mattie Michelle, experimental art pop from Lily Taylor, and rapper Evan Bornes, who is known for socially conscious lyrics that are often improvised. There will also be visual art from Sean Miller and Eric Trich. NAKED, the minimalist takes place at 8 p.m. Saturday. More info at
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