10 live + eye-catching art events in December that no Houstonian should miss

We have a lot of art to unpack this month, from a pharaoh’s treasure to history documenting photography to light sculptures inspired by Houston’s shapes.

December offers a wealth of new visual art exhibitions and installations to explore. And if you’re still looking for the perfect gift for a special person, especially yourself, we’ve got your eyes open for the hottest art markets this month.

“Maryam Jafri: A Broad and Narrow Point” at the Blaffer Art Museum (now through January 9, 2022)
This exhibition by the acclaimed modern media artist will combine some of her past and recent series to give viewers a comprehensive perspective on Jafri’s film, photography and installation creations.

This “Point” will equate works from Jafri’s more recent series “Everyday Model” with previous works of art “Home Office” and “Hi Maryam” along with Jafri’s “Disappearance Online” and “Getty vs Ghana.”

Together, the artworks highlight her exploration of the alternative economies circulating in the branding of products and people.

“Mosaic of Light” at Discovery Green (now through February 27, 2022)
Downtown’s favorite and most eclectic park has always brought us something special to brighten up our holiday – and this year is no different with this commissioned large-scale installation of the California design studio, HYBYCOZO.

Consisting of 24 sculptures made of laser-cut metal, these giant ornamental styles hang within the oak trees on the Brown Promenade. During the day they hang like golden balls in the trees, but at night the luminous sculptures create light and dancing shadows throughout the park.

Two of the sculptures were even inspired by Houstonian’s answer to the question: What shapes does Houston evoke? Check out Discovery Green’s website for winter programming around this brilliant “Light”.

“Frame of Reference” at the Houston Museum of African American Culture (now through March 5, 2022)
This new installation focuses on the work of Houston’s own April M. Frazier, the acclaimed documentary and lifestyle photographer. Both personally and culturally, the photography in “Frame” focuses on victims and love, which is the basis of black families’ achievements and survival.

The installation includes portraits of “Black Chronicles” on loan from Autograph, the London-based photographic art institution. HMAAC describes that Frazier uses 16 portraits from “Black Chronicles” to correspond with images in the installation “to show the universal beauty, style and significance of AfriDescent people.”

“Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs” at the Houston Museum of Natural Science (now through June 19, 2022)
This monumental exhibition of art and artifacts premieres in Houston before embarking on a global tour. Focusing on the life and centuries later influence of one of the greatest Egyptian pharaohs, Ramses the Great.

The exhibition will be the ultimate gift for history buffs and amateur Egyptologists, but also showcases the revelations of art that fit a king who surrounded Ramses in life and then death.

Look for 181 rare Egyptian artifacts, including sarcophagi, jewelry, royal masks and amulets. “Ramses” even gives visitors a 3000-year-old insight into the artist’s process of beautiful ostraca pieces, limestone slate, which the craftsmen used to craft their designs.

From the most ancient art to groundbreaking, immersive animation, “Ramses” also offers a separate ticket VR experience, “Ramses & Nefertari: Journey to Osiris.” “Ramses” tickets also give patrons exclusive access to HMNS’s newly renovated Hall of Ancient Egypt.

“Wall Drawing Series: Marcia Kure” at the Menil Drawing Institute (now through August 2022)
This latest comprehensive commission for MDI’s ongoing series of volatile wall drawings brings the internationally acclaimed Nigerian artist to a wall stage for her interdisciplinary work.

The Menil notes that Kure is known for works with the curvilinear Uli line, an abstract design motif associated with Nigeria and best known for its use under temporary circumstances such as body painting and murals.

To his Menil Commission, Kure says: “Line, I have always understood, is not just a brand on paper, it is something that contains memory, purpose and thought. Line is something that we all engage in daily, our whole body helps to set the mark, and involves us all in a large interconnected and entangled network that continues beyond the wall. “

“Collection Close-up: Bruce Davidson’s Photographs” at Menil Collection (December 10-May 22, 2022)
The pioneering artist of documentary photography of the 20th century will focus on this new exhibition with 70 of Davidson’s photographs.

From circus performers to Welsh miners to neighborhoods in New York City to the civil rights movement, Menil director Rebecca Rabinow notes that “Davidson’s work focuses on the many challenges facing American and European multiracial, multiethnic communities that promise freedom, but yet fighting for racial equality and economic equality and justice. “

The “close-up” works come from an anonymous gift to the museum of approximately 350 of Davidson’s photographs, which have never before been seen on Menil, and will strengthen Menil’s already large collection of photographs from the civil rights era.

Holiday art sales and markets
The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft has reopened their gift shop as Asher Gallery Holiday Popup market (through December 24) for one of the best selections of craft-centered and handmade gifts in town.

Discovery Green’s Flea at night, the outdoor market with local artisans and small business owners selling vintage, handmade, recycled, recycled and local goods, hits the park on December 11th and 18th.

Sawyer Yards’ Second Saturday (December 11) open studio and outdoor market always enter the holiday and community art scene this month.

Although they took a COVID year off in 2020, one of our favorite shopping events to collect works by the freshest artists was MFAH Glassell School’s Student sale is back December 10-12.

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