“True South” Sculpture Exhibition on Heights Boulevard in Houston
Second Annual Sculpture Exhibition in the Houston Heights
“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 is a broad esplanade running north to south in the Heights for many blocks. It seems to be the perfect setting for temporary shows like this lasting nine months in duration. Eight sculptures created by recognized artists were placed between the 400 blocks of Heights Boulevard up to the 1800 block.
“True South” was seen in person by countless people during the time 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 it.
The “Heart of the Heights” sculpture created in 2015 by Eisenhut/Ramos was so colorful and eye-catching. Looking through 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 also has 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.
Artist Tim Glover
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 at 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 seven 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 of 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.
Artist Emily Sloan
“In Broad Daylight” by Emily Sloan was created in 2015. It simulates a standing lamp with a fringed lampshade at the top. An owl is sitting atop the lampshade.
Emily Sloan has an undergraduate degree in social work. She got her Master’s Degree in Sculpture at the University of Houston. New York, Vermont, California, and Texas have had her doing residencies in those states.
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 the 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 close to one another. They cuddled with one another while she read aloud a short story to them for 10 minutes.
Emily Sloan has also created an art car for the Houston Art Car Parade.
Artist Joe Barrington
Joe Barrington created “Sock Monkey” in 2015. Mr. Barrington is a Texan who learned to weld 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” is on view 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 called the Bone Yard Art Park. Throckmorton is a tiny town about halfway between the cities of Dallas and Lubbock in northern Texas.
Artist Hans Molzberger
Hans Molzberger created the “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 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 time. In 2010 an exhibition of his art was held at the Houston Holocaust Museum.
Artist Mark Bradford
“Constant Gardener” by Mark Bradford was created in 2014. It reminds me of many of the Star Trek characters created through the years.
1961 was the year of Mark Bradford’s birth. He lives in Los Angeles and creates abstractions in both paint and collage. It is impressive to see all of the various metal pieces he used in creating his “Constant Gardener” piece.
Exhibitions of Mr. Bradford’s work have been seen in Italy, Spain, Mexico, and the U.S. states of Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, and California.
Artist Tara Conley
“Bunny” by Tara Conley was created in 2015. This organically shaped creature 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 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, such as cotton when creating her sculptural art. Exhibitions of her art have been in many states all across the U.S.
Artist Sharon Kopriva
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 are used.
In the back of this part human, part bird form sculpture is a straw broom simulating what I suppose is tail feathers. At 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 essential 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 her beloved pets.
Notice all the paintbrushes used on the wings of this bird-like creation? Many of them appear to be well worn. I want 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 able to view this artist’s creative work.
Which of these sculptures did you like the best?
Kermit Eisenhut: https://kermitart.com/
Tim Glover: https://www.timgloverart.com/about
Emily Sloan: https://www.houstonpress.com/arts/100-creatives-2012-emily-sloan-6397825
Joe Barrington: https://www.texassculpturegarden.org/new-page
Hans Molzberger: https://hbu.edu/contact/hans-molzberger/
Mark Bradford: https://art21.org/artist/mark-bradford/
Tara Conley: http://taraconleyart.com/about/
Sharon Kopriva: https://www.sharonkopriva.com/
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© 2020 Peggy Woods