Arts / Galleries

Emerging Houston Artists Spotlighted at Foltz Fine Art — Go Behind the Exhibit Scenes

These Artists Give Back

BY Jonathan Paul Jackson // 09.01.20

In this ongoing series, PaperCity asks artists and curators to pull back the curtain on the making of an art show. This time, co-curator/artist Jonathan Paul Jackson weighs in on the exhibition “Texas Emerging: Volume I” at Houston’s Foltz Fine Art.  

I am pleased to present “Texas Emerging: Volume I” the first installment of an ongoing series of group exhibitions featuring emerging visual artists of all disciplines from the state of Texas, co-curated with and held at Foltz Fine Art in Houston. In this debut exhibition, referred to as “Volume I,” we have selected extraordinary Houston artists on the rise: Houston painter DUAL, Austin/Houston sculptor Tom Bandage, Houston photographer/interdisciplinary artist Theresa Escobedo, and Houston interdisciplinary artists Ronald L. Jones, and Matt Manalo.

It was important to me that for this first volume, we spotlight artists who both excel at their craft and have given back to the art community and supported other artists and projects in the state.

While varying greatly in aesthetic and approach, these artists are linked by their active participation and support of the arts in their communities, whether by curating exhibitions for fellow artists, organizing art shows to raise funds for charitable causes, running studio space for other artists, or having produced public art projects.

Their individual efforts and dedication to the arts in Texas are impressive. In return we wanted to celebrate them, just as they have inspired so many others.

Needless to say, this summer is unlike any other, and attending art shows has been made all but impossible with the current social distancing requirements. However, art must go on. As an artist, I have been represented by Foltz Fine Art for more than two years and have had many discussions with Sarah Foltz and the gallery team about bringing more contemporary and emerging Texas artists into their programming.

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In light of everything that has taken place over the past few months, this felt like the right time to start the “Texas Emerging” series and support fellow artists. Here, these artists — after months of being resigned to their studios — created inspiring works and installations and were given free creative rein within the gallery walls. Our idea was to use the gallery as a physical space for the exhibition but to present them as virtual shows for wider audience access and enjoyment.  

Street talent-turned-fine artist DUAL’s “She Moves,” 2018, at Foltz Fine Art. (Photo courtesy the artist and Foltz Fine Art)
Street talent-turned-fine artist DUAL’s “She Moves,” 2018, at Foltz Fine Art. (Photo courtesy the artist and Foltz Fine Art)

Selecting the artists to kick off this series was difficult, but the grouping came together just as we hoped. Once the works were installed, something incredible happened: A dynamic visual dialogue between artists and specific works emerged throughout the gallery. The colors and forms of Tom Bandage’s Framed sculptures echoed the colors and shapes found in DUAL’s vibrant paintings, which both connected with Ronald L. Jones’ monumental, yet fragile installation A Room with A View.

The varied perspectives and diverse artists’ backgrounds were front and center throughout all the works. From Ronald L. Jones’ healing journey on view, evoking the sense of being inside the caves of the artist’s mind, to Theresa Escobedo’s spiritual journey looking deeper into her ancestry and heritage through a photographic pilgrimage accompanied by a personal altar, titled An Ofrenda for Our Wounded Hearts. From Matt Manalo’s deeply rooted, bicultural investigations of his own experiences and challenges as a first-generation Filipino American, often incorporating found objects tied to his cultural heritage, to DUAL’s dynamic, abstracted paintings using aerosol and other materials found in the graffiti and street art of his youth, now turned and elevated into the realm of “Fine Art” on these displayed canvases.

Each artist presented here has something unique to say and contributes to the diverse, emerging art scene in Texas.

While we cannot replicate the immersive experience of attending an art exhibition in person, we hope to leave the viewer with a sense of connection, having witnessed and participated through this additional content. For those in need of art and inspiration, we hope this will quench your thirst.

Set up a time to go by Foltz Fine Art to see this incredible show by emailing info@foltzgallery.com for an appointment. 

Tour the exhibit virtually here

“Texas Emerging: Volume I,” extended through this Wednesday, September 2 at Foltz Fine Art, 2143 Westheimer Road, Houston, 713-521-7500, foltzgallery.com. 

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