“True South” Sculpture Exhibition on Heights Boulevard
“True South” was the name of the second annual sculpture exhibition in the Houston Heights. It followed the first exhibit called “True North” which was a monumental success. “Houston Chronicle named it one of Houston’s most popular public art exhibits.”
Heights Boulevard which is a wide esplanade running north to south in the Heights for many blocks seems to be the perfect setting for temporary shows like this lasting 9 months in duration. Eight sculptures created by recognized artists were placed between the 400 block of Heights Boulevard up to the 1800 block.
“True South” was seen in person by countless people during the time period of March 15, 2015 up until December 15, 2015.
Some merely admired the sculptures as they drove by in their cars or rode by on bicycles. Others jogged or strolled by and admired each of them up close.
Many people were seen photographing them and while this particular show is now a part of the past…photographs of these sculptures will live indefinitely in the wide open spaces of the Internet.
Those of us who got to see this fantastic sculpture exhibition can thank Gus Kopriva, the owner of Redbud Gallery, and artist Chris Silkwood who orchestrated this “True South” public display of art.
The “Heart of the Heights” sculpture created in 2015 by Eisenhut/Ramos was so colorful and eye catching. Looking though the open heart perfectly framed the greenery which is a part of Heights Boulevard.
Kermit Eisenhut is well known in Houston for his CowParade fiberglass cow entries. Six foot tall fiberglass painted boots were iconic emblems for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo of which he is a participant in the Western Heritage Committee. He has also in years past created artistic mustang horses for the rodeo.
Mr. Eisenhut executes many of his art creations gratis for various charities. He teaches at the Art League of Houston. In addition to fun public art pieces he also creates murals, portraits and furniture.
The sculpture titled “Whirlwind” by Tim Glover was created in 1999. His medium of choice is steel. He and his wife Mary live in Houston.
Mr. Glover came from Ohio and received his Bachelor in Fine Arts degree in the Memphis College of Art. He went on to pursue and receive his Master’s Degree in Sculpture from the University of South Florida.
For 7 years he taught sculpture at the High School for Performing & Visual Arts in Houston.
Exhibitions of Tim Glover’s art have taken him to numerous U.S. states as well as Mexico and China.
Whirlwind is a perfect description for this piece of his with the rusted and twisted steel. Although it is a static piece it reminds me of those dust devils one sees out west particularly in desert surroundings. Notice the bird at the top amidst the leaves and the little lizard creation along the side.
“In Broad Daylight” by Emily Stone was created in 2015. It simulates a standing lamp with a fringed lampshade at the top.
An owl is sitting atop the lampshade.
Emily Stone has an undergraduate degree in social work. Her Masters Degree in Sculpture was acquired at the University of Houston.
Residencies have taken her to the following states: New York, Vermont, California and Texas.
Reading about her makes me think that she is quite a colorful and entertaining individual with a sense of humor. She has instigated gatherings such as “Recharge: A Nap Around the Table” and “Funeral Party for the Living.”
As founder of the “Southern Naptist Convention” napping appears to be a part of performance art that she enjoys. Participants are everyday folks who come from all walks of life.
At one such performance called “Cuddle Puddle” fully clothed people were lying down in close proximity to one another and cuddled with one another while she read aloud a short story to them for a period of 10 minutes.
Emily Sloan has also created an art car for the Houston Art Car Parade.
Joe Barrington created “Sock Monkey” in 2015. He is a Texan who learned welding at an early age by watching his father.
He has his Bachelors of Fine Arts from Midwestern State University with a major in sculpture and minor in printmaking.
Joe Barrington creates large scale sculptures as well as small scale ones of toy trucks. He likes to recycle found objects and make them new again in sculptural forms.
Exhibits of his art have taken him to California, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Alaska…as well as his home state of Texas. His “Texas Horned Toad” can be viewed at the Wildlife Museum of Art in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
A recurring theme concerning the art by Joe Barrington is that of ravens. Those birds were thought of as special messengers by Native Americans and they show up in quite a few art creations of Mr. Barrington.
He founded a non-profit outdoor sculpture park in Throckmorton, Texas called the Bone Yard Art Park. Throckmorton is a tiny town about halfway between the cities of Dallas and Lubbock in northern Texas.
Hans Molzberger created “Retired Cowboy Clown” sculpture in 2015. He is a self taught artist who grew up in Germany post World War II. Mr. Molzberger is an Assistant Professor of Art at Houston Baptist University. He lives in both Germany and our fine city of Houston.
There was a concentration camp for women in the small German town of Salzwedel near where he lived. While he was born after WWII in 1953, his art has been greatly influenced by what he learned regarding the atrocities during that period of time.
In 2010 an exhibition of his art was held at the Houston Holocaust Museum.
“Constant Gardener” by Mark Bradford was created in 2014.
It reminds me of many of the Star Trek characters which have been created through the years.
Mark Bradford at one time worked as a hair stylist. Knowing that bit regarding his background makes me think of the 1990 film Edward Scissorhands when looking at the claw like metal hands of this surrealistic looking creature.
1961 was the year of Mark Bradford’s birth. He lives in Los Angeles and creates abstractions in both paint and collage. It is amazing to see all of the various metal pieces he used in creating his “Constant Gardener” piece.
“Bunny” by Tara Conley was created in 2015. This organic shaped creature simply makes me smile. It is colorful and whimsical.
This talented sculptor has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School for American Crafts. That school is located within the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York.
She lives and works in Houston. Tara Conley uses many materials including fiberglass, bronze, steel and fiber like cotton when creating her sculptural art. Exhibitions of her art have been seen in many states all across the U.S.
The sculpture titled “Marcella” by Sharon Kopriva was created in 2015. This artist has her home and studio in the Houston Heights. She also has a cabin in Idaho where she spends summers.
Sharon Kopriva uses many different materials when she creates her sculptures. Everything from bones to paper mache and more can be found.
In the back of this part human…part bird form sculpture is a straw broom simulating what I suppose is tail feathers.
In the front of this assemblage sculpture the chest wall appears to be open exposing a rib cage. Many of her figures appear to be mummy-like in form.
Sharon came from a Catholic background and it has influenced much of her artwork. In the Menil Collection a couple of her sculptures can be found. One of them is Joan of Arc created in 1988. I attended St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church and school when I was a youngster living in Wisconsin.
In reading about her, two important elements in her life she says are religion and dogs. She fell in love with a certain kind of dog when visiting Peru and she now has them as beloved pets.
Notice all the paint brushes used on the wings of this bird-like creation? Many of them appear to be well worn. I would like to think that most of these objects were recycled.
Sharon Kopriva’s exhibitions of art have taken her to places around the globe including China, Peru, Germany, Mexico and India. Texas and our neighboring State of Louisiana have also been privileged to have been exposed to this artist’s creative work.
If you enjoyed this look at the 2nd annual sculpture exhibit on Heights Boulevard and get a chance to visit the 3rd one titled Trail of Art…be sure and hurry. It ends December 15th, 2016. If you cannot get there…just click on the highlighted link above to see photographs of it.
Location of the “True South” sculpture exhibit: