Art that honors the eleventh – four exhibitions you should see in Houston that will make you think

A a quartet of art exhibitions in Houston honor the meaning and message of the Juneteenth when addressing the African diaspora.

Coup for CAMH

The long-awaited “Amoako Boafo: Soul of Black Folks” arrives at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Houston, co-organized by the Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, where the show was presented last October.

The exhibition marks the artist’s debut at CAMH with a site-specific mural designed just for the Houston audience.

Amoako Helper’s Reflection And (detail), 2018, at the Houston Museum of Contemporary Art (Image and courtesy of Roberts Projects, Los Angeles and private collection; photo by Robert Wedemeyer)

Amoaco Boafo, who lives between his hometown of Accra (Ghana’s capital) and Vienna, is one of the most discerning contemporary artists, as well as a prodigy in the art market, well represented by Houston’s best collector Lester Marx.

The artist’s figurative paintings glorify the dignity and joy of his black subjects and are regularly sold for seven figures at world auctions.

Ghanaian-American cultural critic Larry Osey-Mensa, co-founder of the NGO ArtNoir, is a guest curator of this new exhibition. Continues until October 2 at CAMH.

Identity in the lens

At the Museum of African American Culture in Houston, guest curator / writer Liz Rugbyber organized an exhibition for Dallas photographer Hakim Adeumi, who balances his mother’s black American culture with his father’s Nigerian heritage. (See Hakeem Adewumi’s 2021 Juneteenth House project here.)

On Hakim Adevumi The next kingdom belongs to the Us, 2022, at the Houston Museum of African-American Culture (courtesy of the artist and HMAAC)

In this solo exhibition, Bastard of the Diaspora, the portraits of Adevumi examine variable iterations of identity. In particular, his lens focuses on black strangeness, for the first time the works of a queen artist have adorned the walls of the Museum of African American Culture in Houston, said the museum’s chief executive John Gues Jr. It runs through June 25 at the Museum of African American Culture in Houston.

A quilling bee

Coinciding with its own 20th anniversary, the Houston Center for Contemporary Crafts celebrates the 35th anniversary of a non-profit colleague: the Community Artists Collective, co-founded by Michelle Barnes and Dr. Sarah Trotti.

A view of the Craft Center, curated by Catherine Hall and Sidney Elaine Pickens, is a jubilant look at The Collective’s Quilt Circle Jubilee Circle and the rich heritage of African-American quilling.

Hastle Dean Murray's
Dean Murray’s Hastle The Eleventh (details), 2019, at the Houston Center for Contemporary Crafts (courtesy of HCCC)

Michelle Barnes’ own is included hope quilt. This quilt has been made for 30 years, which its creator sees as a metaphor for seams of creativity, connection and community. This exhibition runs until September 10 at the Houston Center for Contemporary Crafts.

Social conscience

You can also find Hugh Hayden’s multi-layered, often nature-based work at the Blaffer Art Museum. Trained as an architect, the city of Columbia and Cornell returned to Texas (Hayden was born in Dallas in 1983) to comment on the American dream in “Boogey Man”, which travels to the University of Houston campus since its debut last November in ICA Miami.

Hugh Hayden: Boogey Men, as installed at the Miami Institute of Contemporary Art.  The exhibition comes to the Blaffer Museum of Art this month.  (Courtesy of Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; photo by Zachary Balber)
Hugh Hayden: Boogey Men, as installed at the Miami Institute of Contemporary Art. The exhibition can now be seen at the Bluffer Museum of Art, University of Houston. (Courtesy of Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; photo by Zachary Balber)

Tyler Blackwell of Bluffer gave a presentation here that addressed so many different issues as police brutality, family trees, ancestral championships and jazz and soul food on the shores of Louisiana Bay, where the Hayden family’s home country comes from. Continues until August 21 at The Blaffer.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.