The Galveston Arts Center will present three new exhibitions in conjunction with Galveston ArtWalk from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, with artist talks beginning at 6:30 p.m.
In the first-floor gallery, Kaneem Smith’s exhibition, “Captive Sojourn and the Indefinite,” explores the tumultuous relationship between trade, consumption, and commodities in port cities like Galveston through fiber and found object sculptures and installations.
Referencing Galveston’s location on a natural port in the Gulf of Mexico and its historical and contemporary ties to the exchange of goods and labor, her installation contemplates the trade of natural materials, specifically cotton and coffee through textiles, such as burlap used for import/export purposes. As a mixed media artist and sculptor with a background in fibers, these concepts run a complex thread throughout her body of work.
In the second floor 1878 Gallery, Renata Lucia uses local and national newspapers manipulated into topographical works on paper to reflect on the widening social divides that unfold in the current news cycle for the exhibition “News vs. Nature (Gulf).”
Lucia’s paintings reflect on the widening social divides that unfold in the current news cycle. Her works incorporate national and local newspapers, including works created specifically for this exhibition that use pages from The Galveston County Daily News. Acrylic paint and drawing media are applied to crumpled newspaper pages that are selected for composition and content, resulting in a textured topographical illusion. The intimacy of reading a physical newspaper is contrasted with a detached aerial view.
In the Brown Foundation Gallery, the interactive video work, “Threshold,” by Lina Dib places visitors at the border between land and sea in an effort to explore the dueling forces of humans and the natural world.
The interactive video incorporates video of waves breaking on the Galveston shore just before sunset. The shore’s infinite poetic qualities, constant ebb and flow, and collision of bodies (land and sea) features largely in Dib’s work. “Threshold” is a kind of homage to Thierry Kuntzel’s “The Waves” and to Andy Warhol’s “Sunset.” It’s a tribute and meditation on the specificities of place and our relationship to natural systems.
Post Hurricane Harvey, this piece is part of a larger series of toxic and luring landscapes. Activating 3D space, the video slows down, the audio slows to a deep rumble, and the color desaturates as viewers get closer to the screen. When the video is at a near standstill, viewers can “liquify” the image with their bodies. In a sense, the piece gestures to our clumsy attempts to push back nature and to presume we can control things so large they border on the unfathomable.
These exhibitions will remain on view through Jan. 13, 2019. Admission is free.
For information and a downloadable brochure for ArtWalk, visit www.galvestonartscenter.org.