“Movement Study III: Encircling a Falcon” by Elizabeth Bick | Courtesy of the Houston Center for Photography

Take one last look or take a first look at the opening and closing of the museum’s exhibits and facilities in Greater Houston in May 2021.

This month marks the end of 17 exhibitions and installations in Houston, including several exhibitions at the Lawndale Art Center, the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, the Houston Center for Photography, the Moody Center for the Arts, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. .

May also marks the opening of 6 new exhibitions, including an exploration of the brain at the Health Museum, an exhibition of teen artists at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, radical drawings from the 60s and 70s at the Menil Drawing Institute, and more.

Click here to see other installations and exhibits currently in the Greater Houston Museums.

“Detroit Red” by Jasmine Zelaya | Courtesy of the Moody Center for the Arts

Last chance: Houston exhibitions close

  • Carnage by Jennifer May Reiland at the Lawndale Art Center | Saturday May 1 | FREE – The Houston-born artist draws on medieval European imagery and the tradition of Mexican devotional painting to examine female guilt, martyrdom and violence against women by weaving together the stories of many women, historical and imaginary.
  • Mine the Gap: Artist Studio Program Exhibition 2019-21 at the Lawndale Art Center | Saturday May 1 | FREE – This exhibition presents new works by Jacquelyne Boe & David Janesko, Gerardo Rosales and Holly Veselka, created during their 2019/21 Artist Studio Program residencies at the Lawndale Art Center. The works are represented across diverse and disparate media and encourage nuance and close viewing to derive understandings.
  • Rabéa Ballin: By the way at the Lawndale Art Center | Saturday May 1 | FREE – The second iteration of The Sankofa project, curated by Tierney Malone, presents the works of Houston-based artist Rabéa Ballin, born in Germany and raised in Louisiana. His multidisciplinary works explore the uniqueness of self-identity, hair politics, and social commentary.
  • Legacy: the work of Anna Mayer at the Houston Contemporary Craft Center | Saturday May 8 | FREE – This exhibition of ceramic and bronze sculptures explores humanity’s calculation with mortality and demonstrates the fragility and ferocity of the natural world. In these works, Anna Mayer examines the impact of humanity through geological time, with an emphasis on the temporal relationship between humans and the earth beyond the lifespan of an individual.
  • Texas Master Series: James C. Watkins at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft | Saturday May 8 | FREE – This solo exhibition features the work of Lubbock-based ceramist and educator, James C. Watkins, who constructs double-walled vessels inspired by his memories of his childhood in the South, his encounters with nature and his work experience in Asia.
  • Pacifico Silano: Cowboys don’t shoot straight (like before) at the Houston Center for Photography | Sunday May 9 | FREE – This large-scale photographic installation by lens artist Pacifico Silano explores images from vintage gay porn magazines published after the Stonewall Riots of 1969, creating a layered image that serves as a memorial to those who have died and a reflection on our present moment.
  • Contemporary practice ’21 at the Houston Center for Photography | Sunday May 9 | FREE – The 2021 edition of the annual Contemporary practice exhibit features 14 artists from 8 universities and colleges across Texas. Coming from a diverse group of artists, the works all touch on common concepts of identity and place.
  • Meeting point: The Assembly of a Legacy at the Bryan Museum | Until Saturday May 15 – This exhibition explores the craftsmanship and works of art of Leo Naumann, Texas rancher, cowboy, saddler, artist and trader from the Rockies.
  • Rothko artists and chapel: 50 years of inspiration at the Moody Center for the Arts | Saturday May 15 | FREE – To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Rothko Chapel, this exhibition highlights the impact the chapel has had on artists and the public since its opening in 1971. Artists featured include Brice Marden, David Novros, Sam Gilliam, Sheila Hicks, Shirazeh Houshiary and Byron Kim.
  • Electrifying design: a century of lighting at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston | Sunday May 16 – Explore the evolution of lighting design over the past century, as it has evolved through major design movements to impact our daily lives. This exhibition features rare and limited production examples from designers such as Achille Castiglioni, Greta Magnusson Grossman, Ingo Maurer, Wilhelm Wagenfeld and more.
  • Country of detention & Hostile ground 94 at the Blaffer Art Museum | Sunday May 16 | FREE – These two artist-activist installations explore current and far-reaching questions on immigration and border issues. Undocumented migration project Hostile ground 94 consists of over 3,200 handwritten toe tags that depict migrants who died attempting to cross the Sonoran Desert in Arizona between the mid-1990s and 2019. The toe tags are geotagged on a desert map to show the exact places where their remains were found. Country of detention from the Sin Huellas Artist Collective is a multimedia work composed of videos, audio, letters from inmates, cyanotyped body prints and plaster casts huddled in emergency Mylar blankets, to reflect the prison complex of ‘American immigrants.
  • Wildlife: Elizabeth Murray and Jessi Reaves at the Houston Museum of Contemporary Art | Monday 17th May | FREE – This unique exhibition juxtaposes the paintings of Elizabeth Murray (born 1940) with the sculptural works of Jessi Reaves (born 1986) who, although from different generations, are each lyrical, playful and engage with the decorative, domestic and bodily.
  • Gear up: the science of bicycles at the Health Museum | wednesday 19 may – This interactive exhibit explores energy, forces and movement, engineering and materials science, while offering a diverse collection of historic, special and amazing bikes for you to discover.
  • Creative Interventions: Rice University External Structures at the Moody Center for the Arts | Friday May 21 | FREE – A new on-campus art initiative for the 2020-21 academic year includes murals and installations on the sides of new campus tents and outdoor structures, including Allison Hunter’s video projection work showing the bee movement, Jasmine Zelaya’s Detroit Red celebrating friendship and connectivity in the COVID-19 era, Gonzo247’s rice community mural, a barn from the Dutch collective We Make Carpets, and more Again.
  • Read the weather by Hong Hong at Art League Houston | Saturday May 22 | FREE – Houston-based artist Hong Hong created large-scale paperwork installed on the facade of the Art League Houston building adjacent to the Sculpture Garden. The artwork will interact and react with the environment while being visible for a month, visually highlighting changes in our environmental atmosphere and recording the passage of time.
  • Memory trips by Sandi Seltzer Bryant at Jung Center | Friday May 28 | FREE – The painting-collage works on display in this series of three distinct and unique works reflect the artist’s experiences in various environments that have played a role in the current stage of his life journey, including the geothermal baths of Iceland and the landscapes of the Wild West.
  • Fire / Works: The art of enamel through the centuries at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts | Sunday May 31 – The enamelling process has fascinated artists and collectors for 1000 years. This exhibition presents objects from the MFAH collections, presenting the use of enamel across time and continents.

Click here to see other installations and exhibits currently in the Greater Houston Museums.

“Ciné Tropical” & “Le Banquet” by Gerardo Rosales | Courtesy of the Lawndale Art Center

Save on day and multi-day passes to museums around Houston

First look: Exhibitions open in Houston

  • Explore painting by Shirl Riccetti and Donna E. Perkins at the Archway Gallery | Saturday May 1 | FREE – Reflecting both emotional and physical relationships with materials, this joint exhibition features pen and watercolor works by Shirl Riccetti in contrast to the abstract and multidimensional paintings of donna e perkins.
  • Turn on, connect, press at the Houston Museum of Contemporary Art | Thursday May 13 | FREE – This group exhibit features the painting, sculpture, video and photography work of more than 30 teenage Houston-area artists in response to the changing lifestyle during the pandemic. The works reflect on questions such as “How do you define ‘the screen’? “And” How does ‘The Screen’ protect or hold you back? “
  • Styling by the sea: 140 years of swimwear at the Bryan Museum | saturday 15 may – Launched in conjunction with the return of the Galveston Island Beach Revue, the summer exhibit consists of a unique selection of swimwear, sunglasses, beach bags, hats, tote bags, sandals and other accessories, exploring the history of beachwear and the origin of swimsuits.
  • Dream monuments: drawing in the 1960s and 1970s at the Menil Drawing Institute | Friday May 21 | FREE – Inspired by an original exhibition planned by Dominique and John de Menil, Dream monuments presents an era of drawing work grappling with the concept of monumentality and how to represent it through new approaches and radical transformations.
  • 2020 scholarship exhibition at the Houston Center for Photography | Friday May 21 | FREE – Each year, HCP grants scholarships to highlight the work of two artists and provide a platform to continue developing their projects. This year’s recipients are Elizabeth Bick, who brought her training as a dancer to the three-part photo series titled Movement studies, and Briana Vargas, who photographed communities around the feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe in a rural area of ​​the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi, in her work, Dicen.
  • Brain: The world in your head at the Health Museum | saturday 29 may – This exhibit for all ages uses innovative special effects, 3D reproductions, hands-on learning activities and interactive technology to explore the inner workings of the brain, including its processes, potentials and mysteries.

Click here to see other installations and exhibits currently in the Greater Houston Museums.

Courtesy of Bryan Museum

Save on multi-day passes to museums around Houston

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Longtime Houstonian Justin Jerkins oversees all manner of events in H-Town, including breweries, sports, concerts, must-see destinations and more while serving as the editor of 365 things to do in Houston.


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