Houston, TX - Houston Center for Photography moves into the summer season with three kid friendly exhibitions! Join us to celebrate the opening receptions of The Kid Collection, Forced Fields and PictureThis! on Friday, June 13 from 6-8pm. Friends and family of the late John Cleary (1937-2008); Catherine Couturier, the new owner and longtime gallery Manager of the John Cleary Gallery; and HCP’s Carol Crow Memorial Fellowship Recipients Mary Magsamen and Stephan Hillerbrand will be in attendance. The three exhibitions will continue through July 13, 2008 and are in partnership with related programming including HCP’s John Cleary Library naming ceremony and HCP’s First Annual Family Fun Day.
In conjunction with these three exhibitions involving child’s play, HCP is hosting a Family Fun Day on June 21st from 2-5pm. Activities include sun prints, a projected drawing project, collage making, and a digital project in the Learning Center’s digital darkroom. This event is free and open to the public. Bring the kids and explore the world of old and new photography while creating projects to take home and enjoy!
The John Cleary exhibition will coincide with a “John Cleary Library” naming ceremony at HCP and brunch on
Saturday, June 28 from 11am – 1pm.
HCP celebrates the life of our friend, Advisory Council member, photography collector and dealer John Cleary with a special exhibition showcasing some of the treasures in Cleary’s The Kid Collection. On view at HCP will be 30 of John’s celebrated vintage images by world-renowned photographers including Bill Brandt, Brassai, Robert Doisneau, Sally Mann, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Ansel Adams, Lewis Hine, George Krause, Helen Levitt, Weegee, O. Winston Link, Danny Lyon, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Duane Michals, Irving Penn, Jan Sudek, W. Eugene Smith, George Tice, Edward Weston, Garry Winogrand, Marion Post Wolcott and André Kertész. “I didn’t realize at first that I was drawn to kids,” John Cleary once said in response to his collection of photographs of children. “My Kid Collection is going to be my legacy. It’s very powerful. It’s very rare. And I’m very proud.”
Discovering photography in his early 30’s, Cleary set out on a life long passion that led to a career as an internationally renowned dealer in rare books and photographs. First dealing privately, he then opened the John Cleary Gallery on Colquitt Street 12 years ago, helping to foster photographic connoisseurship in the Houston area while providing a venue to educate artists, students, admirers and collectors. Houston-based artists Mary Magsamen and Stephan Hillerbrand are this year’s recipients of the Carol Crow Memorial Fellowship, an award comprising a solo exhibition at HCP and $2,000 to assist the artists in executing their exhibition. Their work was selected from approximately 100 submissions by this year’s jurors Anjali Gupta, editor of ArtLies, and artist/curator Rachel Cook. As a husband and wife collaborative team, Magsamen and Hillerbrand present a new work titled Forced Fields, an experimental video installation that explores ideas about the pressures of daily life through playful use of the children’s toy, an inflatable balloon.
Using balloons as an alternative material to project into, onto and around, the image transforms into mesmerizing spheres of personal and psychological interaction. The balloon, filled with the artists’ own air, becomes a thin, transparent membrane that is simultaneously delicate, mutable and explosive. It is a lens that examines not only the role of the photographic image but our lives as well.
For the sixth year in a row, HCP is proud to present PictureThis!, a collaborative venture with the Children’s Hospital at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Clinic in Houston. Resulting in an exhibition of the students’ work in HCP’s Learning Center gallery, PictureThis! successfully integrates photography into the Children’s Hospital’s art curriculum. Initiated in 2002 by HCP, the PictureThis! program is 12-weeks in length. This year’s projects include a Polaroid alphabet scavenger hunt and a Photogram project.
“Through PictureThis!, patients were given the chance to express what they find worthwhile and meaningful, allowing them to look at their surroundings through a different perspective. The children developed a boost of self-esteem, which not only made them want to create and work more, but benefited them in terms of their treatment, leaving them in a cheerful, happy mood. Speaking for my child, PictureThis! was in incredibly wonderful experience.” – Parent of a 2007 PictureThis! patient.
Special thanks to the following exhibition sponsors:
Texas Commission on the Arts for their 2007-8 support of HCP’s PictureThis! program
Friends and Family of Carol Crow and an anonymous donor for their support of the 2008 Carol Crow Fellowship
HCP Board of Directors and the John Cleary Gallery for their support of John Cleary Kid Collection exhibition