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Dallas, Meet Houston: MAC Joins Forces with Museum of Fine Arts Houston
by Jerome Weeks 1 Jun 2011

When it comes to transforming a city’s visual arts landscape, North Texas doesn’t have a residency program quite on the scale of CORE – part of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Now the MAC has launched a three-year collaboration with CORE, bringing its annual show to town, the first time it’s ever left Houston. Plus, a film documenting it.


At the highly respected Glassell School of Art — the teaching wing of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston — eight artists per year are given studio space, a living stipend and visits from big-time arts professionals. It’s all part of what’s called the CORE Fellowship Program, a way of luring promising young artists (and later, curators and critics) to Houston.

In North Texas, there’s nothing quite as big and influential as CORE when it comes to visual arts residencies.

As the Houston Chronicle put it:

Now wrapping up a year of celebrations marking its 25th anniversary, the Core Program has helped transform the landscape of Houston’s contemporary art scene — and the city’s standing in the international art world — by excelling at the once-unlikely feat of seducing artists into seeing Houston as a good place to deepen their professional practices and launch their careers.

But now a bit of CORE is coming here. The CORE fellows put on an exhibition, and it’s this exhibition that the McKinney Avenue Contemporary will be bringing to town — the first time a CORE show has ever been seen outside of Houston.

The show, which opens June 18 at the MAC, marks the beginning of a three-year collaboration between the two organizations — documented in a new film by local filmmaker/broadcaster Quin Mathews.  The film will be screened at the Texas Theater on June 15.

One of the artists in the CORE show, by the way, is Nick Barbee (that’s his mixed media work, Marvelous, up above). You may recall him from The Gun and Knife Show at CentralTrak (one of our local artist residency programs). He’s the one who makes casts from the bullet holes left in FBI ballistic tests.

The full release follows:



The MAC is proud to announce a three year collaborative program with the CORE Fellowship Program of The Museum of Fine Arts Houston to bring CORE exhibitions to Dallas. A CORE exhibition has never been seen outside of Houston and we are very excited to give the residents an opportunity to exhibit their work to a new audience. Material Traces: Selections from CORE 2011 will be in all galleries and will incorporate Nick Barbee, Lourdes Correa-Carlo, Fatima Haider, Steffani Jemison, Gabriel Martinez, Julie Ann Nagle, Kelly Sears and Clarissa Tossin of the visual arts program and Massa Lemu, Melissa Ragain, Julie Thomson and Wendy Vogel of the art critic program.

Opening reception with the artists will be Saturday, June 18 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm and will be on view through July 9th.

In conjunction with the collaboration between the MAC and the Glassell, local filmmaker, broadcaster and journalist Quin Mathews of Quin Mathews Films will be completing a film about the newly formed collaboration between the MAC and the CORE artist residency program. The film will be screened at the historic Texas Theater in Oak Cliff on Wednesday, June 15 at 7:00pm.

For over two decades, Matthews reported and anchored the news, then formed Quin Mathews Films to make programs regarding business, culture and the arts. Quin has shot documentaries around the world on subjects from folk churches in Mexico to emerging artists in China. In 1988
with radio partner Sharon Benge, he co-founded the radio program “Art Matters.” The show on WRR has broadcast over 2,000 interviews with the arts community. For his work in Texas arts, Quin received the 2008 Legends Award from the Dallas Contemporary.

The MAC has a long history of supporting contemporary Texas art and artist
residency programs. The collaboration with the CORE Program is a pivotal mile stone for continuing that same mission. Some of our most beloved Dallas artists have completed a residency at The Museum of Fine Arts Houston such as Annette Lawrence and Trenton Doyle Hancock. CORE Program Director, Joseph Havel, has work collected by the Dallas Museum of Art, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and is represented by Dallas’ Dunn and Brown Contemporary.

We are proud to provide a space in Dallas for the CORE artists to exhibit together outside of Houston for the first time. We hope that you will join us in our excitement for the important role they currently play and their
future as Texas artists.