In the (relative) calm before the fall season kicks in, there are still some notable exhibits worth exploring during summer’s last month. August must-sees include a sunny show of summer-inspired work, abstract explorations by an Austin-based talent and the best of a local artist collective.
Summer Cut, various artists at Valley House Gallery & Sculpture Garden
Reception: August 7, 6-8:30 pm
Exhibition dates: Through August 30
Turns out the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer are just as inspirational to painters as they are to the rest of us. What better reason for the iconic Valley House Gallery to stage a celebratory “Summer Cut” show?
Pool toys, pink trailers, beachscapes and empty city streets all get their representative due in a series of works from 38 of the gallery’s established artists, plus eight new talents who hail from such disparate destinations as Burleson, Brooklyn and Milan.
Says co-owner Cheryl Vogel, “We chose playful work, happy sunny work that reflects summer themes. Sometimes it’s a color, sometimes studio interiors and renovation projects. This is a show where we’re really thinking of a thematic approach.”
Although it is a perfect time to wander through the gallery’s lush gardens, those who prefer to check out Valley House’s environs in a slightly cooler season should mark their calendars for October 4, when the space celebrates its 60th anniversary. The work of more than 40 talents will be on display, and most of them will be in attendance to mark this most significant of birthdays.
Stratum, Ashe Laughlin at Mighty Fine Arts
Reception: August 9, 6-9 pm
Exhibition dates: August 9–September 14
With a day job teaching advanced painting and drawing at Texas State University, Laughlin knows from textural canvases. His current pieces range from formative images made of medical Q-tips dipped in paint to highly layered abstracts that are a world unto themselves.
Represented by Austin’s Gay Faye Kelly Gallery, this is a unique opportunity to view the artist’s work without spending four hours stuck on I-35.
Private Practice, Homecoming at Artspace111
Reception: August 16, 6-9 pm
Exhibition dates: August 16–30
If there’s an artist collective that captures that anticipatory back-to-school feeling, it’s most definitely Homecoming. Launched in 2011, the experimental group, which comprises 12 Fort Worth-, Dallas- and Houston-based artists, typically shows by committee, collaborating on one-night or short-duration projects of an epic scope.
They have shown at the Dallas Museum of Art and the Modern Art Museum of Forth Worth, but their upcoming show at Artspace111 is a unique opportunity for each artist to contribute his own, more personal pieces created with the supportive input of their peers.
Says group member Devon Nowlin, “It’s not our typical way, but we saw that one of the goals we had for ourselves is to help support each other in our individual practices, and this seemed the right time to do that. We thought we’d select a handful of members, then we realized we all wanted to do it!”
The approximately 24 works include paintings, drawings, sculptures, sound work and video. And, yes, works will be available for purchase if you want to take home a little Homecoming school spirit.