PaperCity Magazine

May 2014 - Houston

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Evenings of Import for Art League and Aurora Picture Show BY CATHERINE D. ANSPON. PHOTOGRAPHY KATY ANDERSON, LOGAN BECK. MAY | PAGE 70 | 2014 HONORING THREE GREATS PAGING MR. VIOLA Aurora Picture Show's annual Award Dinner is de rigueur for rubbing shoulders with the pioneers of the film and video firmament. To date, bigwigs from Laurie Simmons to William Wegman have been honored. Aurora's recent shindig did not disappoint, bringing in one of the world's video masters, the mighty Bill Viola — a Venice Biennale and Whitney Biennial artist of renown who was in from L.A. with wife/studio director Kira Perov. An astute crowd of A listers stormed APS's Bartlett Street digs for the intimate dinner catered by City Kitchen, complemented by Viola's acceptance of a personalized award, a video piece created for him by Houston-based Allison Hunter. And, natch, the audience — including chairs Michael Landrum and Pepper Paratore; Aurora's Sarah Stauder, Mary Magsamen, and Rachel Blackney Tepper; Janet and Paul Hobby; CAMH man Bill Arning and Mark McCray; and Art Prince Lester Marks with physician wife Penelope (the couple's living room boasts its own Viola) — savored a montage of the honoree's greatest hits including the Texas premiere of the very haunting The Raft. PC MOMENT À LA ART LEAGUE The famously private honoree Monsieur Oliver made moving remarks about the power of art when accepting his award, while fierce bidding ensued for the 1976 painting Sphynx, which he donated to the silent auction (the lucky bidder was Beyoncé's mom, Tina Knowles). Meanwhile, the Smiths were busy acquiring their own auction loot — they went home with Hecker's Green Paint Chip painting. TOASTING A POP PRIESTESS, HONORING AN ASTOUNDING PAINTER Meanwhile, at Hotel ZaZa, Art League Houston was not to be outdone. Its rebranded gala was a wow thanks to a remarkable convergence. The deconstructed night, chaired by it couple Jennifer and Steve Dolman, celebrated 65 years while bestowing Texas Artist of the Year honors upon Pop painter/sculptor Rachel Hecker, toasting Lifetime Achievement honoree painter Kermit Oliver and giving kudos to Texas Patrons of the Year Leigh and Reggie Smith. Whew! Adding to the free-flowing festivities was a musical PA by the red-hot NYC-based duo The Dolls, who've also performed at Becca Cason Thrash's Louvre benefit. Chair Steve Dolman at Art League Don Owens at Art League Michael Rudelson at Art League Caitlin Moe at Art League Judy Nyquist at Art League Honoree Kermit Oliver at Art League Heidi Gerger at Art League Greg Shannon at Art League Selven O'Keef Jarmon at Art League Chair Jennifer Dolman Crystal Owens Brian Rudelson Sara Grace Lee Madeleine Ditto Mia Moretti Ariane Roesch Sarah Bray Catherine D. Anspon Salle Werner- Vaughn Carol Barden David Gerger Alyssa Shannon Honoree Rachel Hecker Honoree Reggie Smith Honoree Leigh Smith Lucy Anderson Ardis Bartle Emily Sloan at Aurora Marc Nguyen at Aurora Duyen Huynh Bill Arning at Aurora Marc McCray Chair Pepper Paratore Chair Michael Landrum Kira Perov Honoree Bill Viola at Aurora Jeff Shore at Aurora Allison Ayers at Aurora Paul Hobby at Aurora Janet Hobby Lester Marks at Aurora Penelope Marks PALETTE The evening slanted towards the jubilant — more wake than dirge, fueled by free- flowing wine and song, just as the late great would have wanted. It featured a musical tribute by Texas Johnny Boy and Milton Hopkins, while an admiring throng turned out to honor Long and view his epic Riding the Tiger, 2000, installed in a special viewing station arranged for the occasion. Riding the Tiger is also the book title of Long's forthcoming biopic authored by the brilliant and iconoclastic Dr. Thomas McEvilley of Rice University, the late art historian. THE CANVAS On the year to the date of the mythic talent Bert Long Jr.'s passing, collectors, curators, family, friends and fans came together to toast the remarkable artist's legacy, fund his foundation and benefit his book. The place: Deborah Colton Gallery, Long's Houston dealer. The exhibition, which spanned five decades, was aptly titled "Bert: Back and Beyond." SOCIAL SCULPTURE Long-time Long patron Marilyn Oshman; curatorial duo The Menil Collection's Toby Kamps and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's Alison de Lima Greene; fellow MFAH "Fresh Paint" artist Sharon Kopriva and gallerist husband Gus; Art Guy Jack Massing, leading the charge on the book fund-raising through the Houston Artists Fund; Long's widow, artist Joan Batson, son Bert Long III and sister Violet White; archivist Pete Gershon; Leigh and Reggie Smith; Jason Aigner; Cyndy Allard; Art Prince Lester Marks; Craig Massey, who uncovered a lost video of Long in studio, which was screened during the exhibition; Long's Dallas dealer, Kirk Hopper; and Minnette Boesel, who reigns over the cultural life of our town through her post at the Mayor's Office, with husband Peter. Bert Long Jr.'s Endangered Species (Offering), 1995 Raising Funds, Remembering Houston's own Rome Prize Fellow, Fifth Ward's Native Son, Artist Bert Long Jr. BY CATHERINE D. ANSPON PHOTOGRAPHY ROSWITHA VOGLER PAINTING THE TOWN PC PARTY MOMENT: THE ARRIVAL OF ANITA AND GERALD SMITH, WHO SHOWED UP TO LEND SUPPORT AND ACQUIRE ONE SIGNATURE TREASURE: A LANDMARK PAINTING EMBLAZONED WITH A PAINTBRUSH IMAGE, ARTERY, 1982. Bert Long Jr.'s Church and Death, 2010 Jack Massing Everett Taasevigen Christy Karll Carolyn Farb Joan Batson Bert Long III Sally Sprout Alison de Lima Greene Minnette Boesel Ina Honke Toby Kamps Jereann Chaney Janice Thomas Ken Mazzu Nancy Kienholz Deborah Colton Jason Aigner Meredith Loving Paul Horn Peter Boesel Bob Nowak Keith Hollingsworth

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