Michael Smith presents Excuse me!?!...I’m looking for the “Fountain of Youth,” a solo exhibition at Greene Naftali Gallery
Thu. June 25, 2015
Michael Smith presents Excuse me!?!...I’m looking for the “Fountain of Youth,” a solo exhibition at Greene Naftali Gallery in New York. In a new project centered on a timeworn theme, Smith’s iconic performance personae Mike and Baby Ikki embark together on the quest for youth, chronicled in a hand-woven tapestry, six-channel video installation, sculpture, photo series, drawings, and a ballet choreographed by Stephen Mills of Ballet Austin with music by Mayo Thompson. The exhibition will be on view June 25 – August 14, 2015.
Thu. June 25, 2015
“I studied at UT Austin at a very interesting time,” said Alex Freeman (MA in Art Education, 2009). “I saw the rapid advancement of certain mobile and social technologies.”
Originally trained as a painter, Freeman worked as a framer and then as a gallery assistant in Houston before entering the Art Education graduate program.
“After a bit of soul searching, I realized that my favorite part of the position at the gallery was talking to people about the art,” described Freeman.
His thesis focused on the historical importance of art critic Charles Caffin (1854–1918). Freeman explains, “it was the technology and the communication channels Caffin used that were of most interest to me—an idea that still plays out today with artwork via websites, blogs, and social media.”
While a graduate student, Freeman used Pachyderm, a microsite builder which used Flash, to create sites for the collections at Mexic-Arte Museum and The New York Graphic Workshop: 1964–1970 exhibition at the Blanton Museum of Art.
“I thought I had found my marketable niche as a Flash-based museum interpretive designer,” remarked Freeman. “Then the iPhone came out and smashed my dreams because Flash was all but dead when that happened.”
During his time creating Pachyderms and obtaining grants for digital projects, Freeman worked with Rachel Varon (BA in Art History/MA in Art Education, 2002/2007), who worked for the New Media Consortium (NMC). The connection would later result in Freeman’s recruitment into a position with the NMC.
“My work at Mexic-Arte and the Blanton provided me with the opportunity to experiment on digital projects that directly connected my coursework with actual museum practice,” said Freeman. “I don’t think I would have been into creating digital interpretives or using social media as much, had I not had an avenue to see how it worked in the real world.”
With Pachyderm out the door, Freeman was forced to apply his interests and knowledge in a different way to his work at NMC.
“Writing, lecturing, and creating digital assets—skills I gained in grad school—are key to the work that I do now at the NMC on the Horizon Project,” said Freeman. “The NMC Horizon Report > 2015 Museum Edition is a longitudinal study on the trends, challenges, and technology poised to impact teaching and learning over the next year to five years. It has generated a lot of buzz within museums circles.”
Freeman’s NMC report was released at the Smith Symposium at Balboa Park and again at the American Alliance of Museums annual meeting. In addition to releasing the report, Freeman was recently awarded an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant to pursue an online continuing professional development course for librarians and was also awarded a national leadership grant valued at $500,000 for a similar project for museums.
Later, Freeman was invited to present the NMC report to the IMLS board of directors. While in Washington D.C. for the IMLS presentation, Freeman was invited to attend an award ceremony at the White House, where Michelle Obama was in attendance.
“She [Mrs. Obama] said we could take the cocktail napkins but needed to leave the silverware,” laughed Freeman.
Thu. June 25, 2015
Fri. June 19, 2015
Teresa Hubbard, professor of photography, and Alexander Birchler present Sound Speed Marker at the Blaffer Art Museum. The exhibition will be on view May 29 – September 5, 2015. The exhibition was reviewed in Arts+Culture.
Hubbard / Birchler discussed the exhibition as part of an interview in BOMB Magazine. The exhibition was reviewed in Art Forum, Art in America, Houston Chronicle (paywall), and Daily Serving. Hubbard / Birchler speak with Tyler Green for an interview on Modern Art Notes Podcast.
Sound Speed Marker was previously on view at:
Ballroom Marfa: February 14 – October 26, 2014
Irish Museum of Modern Art: November 28, 2014 – May 3, 2015