Issue #192
The Shoe Fits! June 15, 2012

Kevin Cooley
Skyward (video still)
2012
9 min 45 sec HD Video Installation
Copyright Kevin Cooley
Courtesy of Marty Walker Gallery, Dallas, TX

From the Editor

Another critical piece to the Austin art community’s rebuilding puzzle was put firmly in place yesterday with AMOA-Arthouse announcing it had hired Louis Grachos to fill its vacant E.D. position. Effective January 1, Grachos comes to Austin after a productive decade at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y. where he oversaw the expansion of its permanent collection, the controversial selling off of a number of the collection’s antiquities in 2007, and countless internationally recognized exhibitions. On paper Grachos appears to be the ideal candidate to lead AMOA-Arthouse out of its post-merger blues and into what will optimistically be a new and dynamic chapter in the organizations future. While we can only peer into the crystal ball at this point, Grachos past endeavors should give Austinites something to be excited about starting this November in addition to all of the positive things we mentioned last issue. Welcome to Austin, Louis!

From the PR department Grachos says, “I am excited and energized by this unique opportunity to create a new model that will integrate contemporary art into the Austin community. By utilizing the smart and flexible Jones Center, and the wonderful grounds and facilities at Laguna Gloria, we will find many incredible opportunities for commissions, exhibitions, and public programs. In addition, I envision AMOA-Arthouse as a museum without walls, and in that respect the city and the parks present another great programming opportunity. Austin is a thriving and creative city that makes it a very attractive place to engage contemporary artists in all artistic disciplines. ” This sentiment dovetails nicely with some of The Jumex Foundation/Collection’s director Patrick Charpenel’s ideas for his organizations future which can be read in Mexico City-based writer and curator Leslie Moody Castro’s engaging interview with him. How museums grapple with diverse and complex audiences is an increasingly critical idea, but not one without a long history. LACMA Chief Curator of Contemporary Art Franklin Sirmans reviews U.C. Irvine Associate Professor Bridget R. Cooks' book, Exhibiting Blackness, and finds a book that delves head-long into the rich and complex exhibition history surrounding African American artists and viewers. A book, and review, that are welcome additions to the otherwise thin scholarship on the topic.

Artists and institutions branching out into multiple disciplines and encompassing wider territories is an exciting idea, and our Project Space this issue is a stellar example of such expansion and collaboration. Fringe-based artist Margaret Meehan and Andy Campbell, a Texas State Senior Lecturer and writer, have put together a wonderful collection of images, sound and text for your consideration. Those of you lucky enough to have seen Meehan’s exhibition, Histrionics and the Forgotten Arm, at Women & Their Work in Austin and Conduit Gallery in Dallas, will have a head start on those of us not fortunate enough to be Texas residents. From Austin, writer and Tiny Park co-founder Thao Votang has written about All_Over, Ben Brandt’s immersive Co-Lab project. Dallas is hard at work lately and we have two reviews from Big D to whet your art-going appetite. The first comes from University of Dallas Assistant Professor Catherine Caeser who writes thoughtfully about Kevin Cooley’s Skyward in the video room at Marty Walker Gallery. U.T. Arlington Assistant Professor Benjamin Lima provides our second Dallas review, lending his insight to Jacob El Hanani’s intricate drawings currently on view at Holly Johnson Gallery.

Does our shoe fit? What’s your take on AMOA-Arthouse’s new hire? Email us your thoughts at askus@fluentcollab.org.

Eric Zimmerman is an artist and Editor of ...might be good.

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