Very Artsy News: Kanye at the Menil, Murals and more

A weekly brief on what’s happening in Houston’s arts and culture scene.

By Amarie Gipson November 9, 2021

One of the rap world's problematic faves stopped by the Menil Collection last week. 

While the city recovers from the unprecedented tragedy at Travis Scott’s Astroworld, another weekend of fall festivals awaits. The Houston Cinema Arts Festival kicks off this Thursday, Nov. 11 followed by Zine Fest Houston all day on Saturday, Nov 13. This week’s news brief includes newly announced institutional appointments, one famous rapper’s visit to the Menil and more. Here’s news for your week. 

Rapper Kanye West Visits the Menil Collection 

Last Wednesday, the Menil Collection posted an image of Kanye West posing next to Chicago artist Theaster Gate’s Hose for Fire and Other Tragic Encounters (2014). In acknowledgment of its “no photography” policy, the Menil also made sure to note that the picture was taken outside the galleries. (During the same trip, Ye also linked up with Rap-A-Lot Records CEO J. Prince at the Rothko Chapel to settle his beef with Drake.) 

The Houston Center for Photography Seeking Fellowship Applications for 2022

The Houston Center for Photography Fellowship and the Carol Crow Fellowship Awards teamed up to highlight the work of two artists. Each artist, one from Houston and the other from anywhere in the world, will receive $3,000, a solo presentation at HCP and a magazine feature. The application submission is November 30, 2021, and the fellowship is open to all photo, film, video and installation work. Houston-based artist Yue Nakayama and Arkansa’s Aaron Turner were recently announced as the 2021 fellowship awardees. Check out more opportunities here

For more information on the fellowship program at the HCP, visit here.  

MFAH’s New Associate Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art 

Dr. Anita Bateman was recently appointed the Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Formerly an independent curator, she holds a B.A. from Williams College and a Ph.D. from Duke University with a specialty in contemporary African art and art of the African diaspora. Bateman will work alongside longtime curator Alison de Lima.

To learn more about Dr. Anita Bateman, visit here

New Mural Honors Mexican War Hero, Macario Garcia 

Local war hero Macario Garcia was the first Mexican immigrant to be awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest reward US Military award for his service in World War II. The mural, created by local artist Mez Data, was developed by civic art firm UP Art Studio and is located on the exterior of Houston Fire department #20 in the East End. 

To learn more about UP Art Studio, visit here

Houston Symphony Names Yue Bao Assistant Conductor 

Last week, Shanghai-born conductor Yue Bao was named the Houston Symphony’s Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Foundation Assistant Conductor. She has been integral to ushering the Symphony into a new era and has conducted a number of productions including portions of the finale to Ruslan and Lyudmila, Rachmaninoff’s “The Bells,” and Treemonisha. 

For more information on the Houston Symphony’s upcoming programs, visit here

Inprint Houston Welcomes Nigerian Literary Giant Wole Soyinka for a Public Appearance

Inprint is hosting a reading by Wole Soyinka, the first African writer to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, in celebration of his first novel in 48 years, Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth. The distinguished poet, essayist, playwright, and activist has authored a number of memoirs, novels and collections of shorter works. The virtual event will also feature a conversation with the Houston Museum of African American Culture’s Chief Executive Officer. John Guess. 

To register for the reading, visit here

Dance/Electronic Artist Kaytranada Takes The Lawn at White Oak Music Hall this Friday 

Two-time Grammy award-winning producer Kaytranada is coming to Houston on his fall tour. The Haitian-Canadian artist is one of contemporary dance music’s foremost figures. The show will open with a performance by DJ and producer, Sango and is sure to provide the city with a much-needed energy boost after last weekend’s mayhem.   

For tickets and more information, visit here.

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