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Above: Hank Willis Thomas' 15,093, 2018. Below: Stephanie Syjuco's Total Transparency Filter (Portrait of N), 2017. Both artworks at the Moody Center for the Arts, Rice University. Melting DeMocracy at Moody Center Walk like a cheetah alto at your Service A n icon of preppy and plucky slippers, Palm Beach-based Stubbs & Wo o t t o n h a s collaborated with The House of Scalamandré on a new embroidered Leaping Cheetah slipper for women and men. Offered in colors that coordinate with Scalamandré's Leaping Cheetah wallpaper, these fiercely fun slippers come in needlepoint and velvet or linen. $550, at stubbsandwootton. com. Rebecca Sherman G e t o u t y o u r i P h o n e : T h e elevated rideshare company Alto is f i n a l l y c o m i n g to Houston. The D a l l a s - b a s e d a l t e r n a t i v e t o rideshare giants Uber and Lyft, which launched in 2018, prioritized cleanliness and safety long before the pandemic. The dedicated fleet of gleaming luxury SUVs is stocked with branded bottled water and an accompanying app allows users to control music or choose a do-not- disturb option for more tranquil trips. With a mandatory mask rule, EPA-registered disinfectants, and fresh Plexiglas barriers in place, Alto also offers an optional membership program that includes exclusive promotions, free deliveries, and full access to their dedicated fleet. Caitlin Clark T he hallowed columns of justice are melting like the Wicked Witch of the West in Rodney McMillian's distended Untitled (The Supreme Court Painting) canvas, 2004-2006. More akin to sculpture than painting, the 18-by-18-foot artwork writhes as it cascades from wall to floor. Dating from the era when Gore lost the presidential election to Bush after a Supreme Court decision, McMillian's work is one among many searing pieces in Ylinka Barotto's curatorial debut at Rice University's Moody Center for the Arts. Barotto's inaugural exhibition, "States of Mind: Art and American Democracy," couldn't be more topical. Thirty-one Texas, national, and international artists, spanning divergent media and crossing generations, weigh in on ever-shifting meanings of democracy — and who gets to define it. There's much to give us pause here, from Chris Burden's menacing suite of oversized police garb, L.A.P.D. Uniforms, 1993 (created in response to the Los Angeles police force's beating of Rodney King), to Teresa Margolles' embroidered-velvet garments in the El Brillo series, 2019, which are encrusted with glass shards taken from gruesome shootings at the Texas-Mexico border. Stephanie Syjuco's enigmatic veiled woman, Total Transparency Filter (Portrait of N), 2017, speaks to this moment when immigrants, especially those from the Muslim world, struggle to be seen. One work that points to a brighter future is compelling ritualistic as well as ultimately uplifting: Screening for the first time in America, Yael Bartana's 2019 video The Undertaker — filmed on the streets of Philadelphia and in a historic cemetery — records what happens when a band of like- minded march to a graveyard to bury the weapons of today and centuries past, led by a wizened, white-haired female leader. Barotto tells PaperCity, "I hope that viewers will find 'States of Mind' as an impetus to consider this current political moment and perhaps engage in conversation. At the same time, I hope that they will appreciate the selection of works for both the powerful ideas they convey and the diverse forms they take." Through December 19; moody. Catherine D. Anspon Alto arrives in Houston Stubbs & Wootton Leaping Cheetah slipper From top: Alex And Kelly lAKAtos; © 2020 the Artist; photo courtesy the Artist And JAcK shAinmAn GAllery, nyc. courtesy the Artist; cAthArine clArK GAllery, sAn FrAncisco; And ryAn lee GAllery, nyc; © 2020 the Artist.

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