The University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts continues exploring the intersection of creativity and sustainability with world-renowned visiting artists and citywide partnerships. The center will take Houston's evolving urban landscape as the subject of its upcoming long-term projects, which include festivals, major public artworks and community greening initiatives.
Included in this fall's events is the kick-off of the Houston rendition of "Life is Living," a national campaign focused on the value of life and diverse forms of environmental justice led by spoken word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph; "Inbound: Houston," an ad-altering project by artist Karyn Olivier that takes over multiple billboards along Houston's freeways; and "Damaged Romanticism: Recovered," a music festival with composer Joan Tower and pianist Melvin Chen. The center also will participate in the first UH Arts Open House, a festival showcasing the arts offerings on campus.
"This season exhibits our continued commitment to art that engages in social action,' said Karen
Farber, director of the Mitchell Center. "We cannot wait to get started on these sweeping projects
that will transform our surrounding city."
The center's fall 2009 events are as follows:
- Oct. 1 - 3
"Damaged Romanticism: Recovered"
Music Festival with Joan Tower and Melvin Chen - $10 general admission; $5 students and seniors
Moores Opera House
The Mitchell Center joins with the UH Moores School of Music to present a three-day music festival featuring the work of Joan Tower, one of our nation's most original composers of modern music. Tower joins UH in residence, along with acclaimed piano soloist and chamber musician Melvin Chen. Originally programmed for Fall 2008's "Damaged Romanticism" events but rescheduled due to Hurricane Ike.
Thursday, Oct. 1
Recital: Pianist Melvin Chen
Melvin Chen, noted piano soloist and chamber musician, performs a selection of composer Joan Tower's solo piano works. Selections will include György Sándor Ligeti's "Etudes Book I" and Johannes Brahms' "Piano Sonata No.3."
Friday Oct. 2
Aura Contemporary Music Ensemble performs the music of Joan Tower.
Saturday Oct. 3
The Moores School of Music Symphony Orchestra performs three of Joan Tower's works: "Second Piano Concerto" with Melvin Chen; "Percussion Concerto" with Blake Wilkins; and "Made in America."
- Oct. 1
4 - 7 p.m.
UH Arts Open House - FREE
Arts Quadrangle at Entrance 16 (off of Cullen Boulevard)
The Open House features on-site screen printing with the School of Art, dynamic readings from creative writers, live music, dance performances, theatre and more. This evening coincides with Blaffer Gallery's Red Block Bash, and all events offer a sneak peek at the UH arts fall season. Parking and food at this event are free.
- Nov. 7
11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
"Life is Living" Houston launch event - FREE
The Mitchell Center reunites with explosive spoken word poet/choreographer Marc Bamuthi Joseph for the Houston launch of "Life is Living," a national campaign exploring the changing perspectives on environmental justice. The event features hip hop performances, competitions and activities presented by Houston organizations Aerosol Warfare, CKCStart Street and Urban Arts & Graffiti Research Lab, Last Organic Outpost, Workshop Houston, Project Row Houses, the UH College of Architecture and youth slam poetry group Meta-Four Houston. Previous "Life is Living" festivals have been held in Chicago, Harlem and Oakland. Future festivals are planned for Los Angeles and San Francisco. The event launches a two-year residency engaging Bamuthi with Houston's Third and Fifth Ward neighborhoods and UH students. The residency will culminate with a presentation of "red, black and GREEN, a blues," a performance incorporating hip hop, poetry, dance, film, visual art and music created from "Life is Living" festivals across the country.
- Oct. 26 - Nov. 22
This fall, the Mitchell Center presents a bold new project by artist-in-residence Karyn Olivier. Using 10-15 billboards along the city's downtown freeways, Olivier will replace the usual advertisements with images of the urban landscape that would be visible if the billboard did not exist - the sky, trees, and buildings obstructed by the ads will now be "revealed." Additionally, the Mitchell Center presents related projects and performances including a commissioned billboard "audio tour" score from UH composers and a concert from UH AURA. Olivier is also working with UH students in the course "Mitchell Center Mentorships." The project is offered in collaboration with the Moores School of Music, DiverseWorks, and CBS Outdoor.
- Oct. 26
6 - 8 p.m.
Inbound: Houston launch party - FREE
An evening to launch "Inbound: Houston," a public art billboard project with Mitchell Center artist-in-residence Karyn Olivier. The evening includes live music, billboard viewing, an artist talk with Olivier and additional surprise happenings.
- Nov. 16
"Inbound: Houston" Concert: AURA Contemporary Ensemble, composers Joel Love and Paul Wadle - $10 general admission; $5 students and seniors
Moores Opera House
The AURA contemporary music ensemble's fall concert includes a special presentation of the commissioned score from UH composers Joel Love and Paul Wadle which features video and images from Karyn Olivier's billboard project "Inbound: Houston." Music from this performance will also be available via podcast for Houston commuters to experience along with the billboards.