Houston’s Under-the-Radar Alternative Space Celebrates 30 Years: Showcasing Hometown Talents Who Deserve Notice
Co-founder Michelle Barnes at Community Artists’ Collective at the Bermac Arts Building
Bert Long Jr.'s “Ice” for Houston Aeros, in conjunction with The Community Artists' Collective’s “Athletes for Art,” Super Bowl XXXVIII, 2004.
Delita Pinchback Martin's limited-edition linocut, "The Seeker," 2017, is among the collecitble auction lots at the Birthday Bash Ungala benefit. Martin is also honored with The Collective's Arts in Action Award.
Happy three decades to one of of the country’s seminal — yet under recognized — nonprofits dedicated to showcasing the contributions of African-American artists. This alternative space deserves applause for its focus on hometown talents of importance, who back in the day, received little notice from museums and galleries, in an era when collectors mostly went for canvases by white male painters.
Collectors and supporters of Houston’s visual art history take note. Join and fund the mission, by nabbing a ticket to the Birthday Bash, a benefit fête celebrating Community Artists’ Collective’s 30 years exhibiting and empowering African-American artists in Houston (and beyond).
Some pretty celebrated talents have been presented by CAC throughout the years: Whitney Biennial-exhibited Annette Lawrence, Rome Prize-winner Bert Long Jr., The Menil Collection-collected David McGee, and Tierney Malone of Jazz Church Houston encompass some of the rich exhibition history of The Collective. Also, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston senior curator Valerie Cassel Oliver got her start in the art world decades ago as an intern to at the Community Artists’ Collective. (Check back this fall, as we explore more fully the history of The Collective.)
A diverse group of influencers are set to step up for this important and fun fund-raising evening at Deborah Colton Gallery, 2445 North Blvd., on Saturday, April 15, from 6 to 9 pm. Dr. Sarah Trotty (CAC co-founder), Beverly Harmon, and gallerist/host Deborah Colton serve as tri chairs, while the power couple of Dina Alsowayel and Tony Chase are honorary chairs. Billed as an Ungala, the lively awards and auction cocktail party promises “An Evening of Champagne and Art,” with a side of culinary and musical surprises.
Toasted are a trio of honorees: acclaimed Art Historian of the Year Dr. Alvia Wardlaw (a scholar of African-American art and Texas Southern University museum director); former City Council Member and mayoral candidate, architect, and urban planning advocate Peter Brown who receives the Lester Marks Patron of the Year Award; and Artist in Action honoree Delita Pinchback Martin who created the dramatic lino-cut print that will be offered as special collector-edition piece to commemorate the first 30 years of The Collective.
The lady front and center of the historical birthday gala is Collective co-founder and executive director Michelle Barnes who presides as emcee.
Tickets $150, at the door or thecollective.org; info Terry St. John, 713.201.2574.