Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day

Alcy had family commitments so Debi and I did a Woodard tour. I just took the Olympus and was very pleased with how it performed.

Started out at Mount Rushour by David Addickies. This is four busts, Stephen F Austin, Sam Houston, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington along the line of Addickie's Presidential Heads. He installed them at a point where Interstate 10 backs up every weekday morning, thus the name, Mount Rushour, a take off, of course, on Borglum's four presidential heads on Mount Rushmore. I had shot the heads shortly after they were installed some years ago but Debi had never been there. After shooting the heads we walked back to shoot an abandoned chair I had seen as we approached.

Then we wandered over to Houston Avenue, shot some graffiti at the Station Theater. Somehow from there we got to Dowling Street and found a dead tree that had faces painted on it so we stopped to shoot it. While we were shooting I noticed a fellow down the block watching us. He was sitting up a table with some speakers. I walked down and asked if he was the artist that did the faces and he said that he was. Keny is a musician that has a guitar repair business across the street. While he was sitting up the speakers to play some jazz for the neighborhood, he filled us in on much of the area happenings including a group of row houses down the street built specifically to house artist, Cookie Love's Wash and Fold that is also an art gallery on one side, the energy efficient houses built by the architectural students from Rice Institute and the University of Houston and a now abandoned house that had belonged to the Art Man. After getting Keny to pose for a photograph with his painted tree we decided to check out the rest of the neighborhood. 

 Janet and I had photographed the Field of Vision several years ago when it was first installed. The Field is forty eye-shaped objects installed on forty columns of various designs. Like everything in the city it has been vandalized. Actually I am surprised any of it is still there intact.

Many years ago I wanted to photograph and interview the person that had created the folk art that surrounded the home of the Art Man. I hoped to get permission to document the art maybe for a book. Unfortunately I never did and Keny said that the Art Man had recently passed away. Just another of my procrastinations. Back then the entire side of the house was visible from the street and was covered in piece after piece of folk art. Through a hole in the front fence some of the side of the house was visible along with an art car covered in figurines. It seems Keny said some art program was planning on restoring the property but right now it is in deplorable condition, overgrown and trashed. We did a few photographs along the front fence.

In all it is a very interesting art oriented area that I need to get back and spend some time.

From there we wandered over to the University of Houston. There was no plan, just end up where we end up. We spent a couple of hours or more wandering around the practically empty campus shooting photographs of the outdoor art. I had no idea over ten years ago when Janet and started the outdoor art project by shooting Jim Love’s Portable Trojan Bear in Hermann Park that I would still be doing it this long. Actually it is a project that will never end. New art is always being added or discovered. Already photographed pieces are moved or replaced. I thought at first about doing a book but it was soon apparent that a book would be overwhelming so I decided just to do it for our own pleasure. It gave me an excuse to get Janet out of the house and involved in my photography. That was all that I needed to to make the project worthwhile. Now I am addicted. Most of the pieces we shot at UH today are not identified but I plan to do some research to see what I can find. Maybe next year on Christmas Day I will shoot the art on the Rice campus. Another procrastination that I need to rectify. 

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