Mary McCleary’s "Portrait of Clint Willour," 2000, at Galveston Arts Center.
4,000 + 40 + 469 + 25 at 75: Galveston is calling — and not just the sand and sea. Galveston Arts Center’s restored 1878 First National Bank Building on the Strand — a paradoxical venue for showing au courant contemporary Texas art — is toasting one of the state’s most stalwart art energies.
The two-part exhibition “Twenty Five” celebrates the great Clint Willour as he turns 75 and prepares to retire. The beloved, eagle-eyed curator, who resiliently bounced back from heart surgery, is an activist, patron and, for the past quarter of a century, curator of the GAC. Willour and the Galveston Arts Center launched the careers of many Texas talents and organized seminal surveys for artists including David Bates, David Aylsworth, Mary McCleary, Luis Jimenez, Ann Stautberg, and David McGee, whose works are included in the exhibition.
Here are Willour’s stats: 40-plus years in the art biz, 25 years at GAC, 469 exhibitions curated for 4,000 artists, 22 of whom are on view in this grand Galveston finale (second installment opens on Saturday, July 16, through August 21).
Saudi Arabia Calling to a Feminist Stance: This summer’s ambitious “Parallel Kingdom” examines contemporary Saudi Arabian creatives. Twelve talents spanning generations — including those working in film and comedy — are showcased at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art, which begins the American tour, devised by Culturunners in partnership with the Riyadh-based Gharem Studio. The endeavor is spearheaded by the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia (through October 2) …
Women rule and collage is king at Kelly Moran’s studio, at the Redbud Gallery complex (303 E. 11th) in the Heights. Moran is one of the city’s most brilliant practitioners of collage and a printing-arts innovator. She opens up her space for a night packed with finds for every budget. Laced with wit, retro subjects and antique ephemera, this packs a feminist punch.
Shop the Art: We’re enamored of all the little art treasures that abound around town, from Hello Lucky and Bill’s Junk (both in the Heights) to the Menil Bookstore. The latter culls small-scale outsider painting and sculpture concurrently with the Smither Collection exhibition at The Menil Collection. Bookstore director Paul Forsythe and independent curator Jay Wehnert select the finds, from yarn balls to works by Reverend Howard Finster and more, all for sale (through October 16).
The Jury Has Spoken: Must-sees that both open on Friday, July 22: the fabled “Big Show” at Lawndale Art Center (through August 27) and Houston Center for Photography’s “34th Annual Juried Exhibition (through September 4). “Big Show” features guest jurors Apsara DiQuinzio, Berkeley Art Museum curator, and Tina Kukielski, executive director of the PBS series Art21, while HCP taps Yasufumi Nakamori as juror.
Summer Quenchers: Two exhibitions that define the season: Christy Lee Rogers paired with Michael Laube at Laura Rathe Fine Art with respective media underwater photography and pigment upon transparent acrylic (July 9 – August 20) … and “Thirst,” all about craft and drinking vessels at Capsule Gallery (through September 10).