Felipe Lopez awarded a 2019 Individual Artist Grant by the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance
HOUSTON - The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) announced today the next milestone in the fulfillment of its Arts & Cultural Plan with grants totaling $1,631,698 to 109 artists and 32 arts and cultural nonprofits for public exhibitions, performances and festivals in 2019.
The grants, awarded through the Houston Arts Alliance, are funded through a portion of the city's Hotel Occupancy Tax that is dedicated to the arts as part of the city’s cultural priorities guided by MOCA.
“The strength of Houston’s creative economy includes artisans, artists, creative workers and festivals of every kind that uplift and invite the sharing of cultural traditions,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Our artists and festivals showcase Houston’s cultural diversity, and it is no surprise that Houston is recognized in numerous national rankings as a premier destination to visit.”
The grants are awarded via three new grant programs: Support for Artist and Creative Individuals, Let Creativity Happen and Festival. These new programs followed a year-long redesign of grants offered through Houston Arts Alliance. The grant programs are meant to:
Selection panelists were Nic Allen, Rabéa Ballin, Jonathan Beitler, Byron Canady, Leslie Contreras Schwartz, Eric Dano, Laura Gutierrez, Harrison Guy, Emilie Harris, Vinod Hopson, Felicia Johnson, Mariam Khalili, Marian Luntz, Lavanya Rajagopalan, Emily Robinson, Grace Rodriguez, Kaneem Smith, Benito Vasquez, Christopher Vu and Jessica Wiggins. The City thanks each for their role in the grant process.
Houstonians and visitors can find a multitude of offerings produced by the grantees on the Cultural Events Calender, which provides programs details and more. Several activities are discounted or free.
Congratulations to all award recipients! Thank you for your dedication and contributions to the expansive arts and cultural landscape of Houston.
2019 Support for Artists and Creative Individuals
November 2018 Let Creativity Happen!
2019 Festival Grant
To learn more about the City’s cultural programs visit https://www.houstontx.gov/culturalaffairs/index.html and follow the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs on Facebook @HoustonMOCA.
Felipe Lopez: From Harvey to Heartfelt, An Artist’s Relationship With Water
The Liquidity of a Right Opens February 8th at Forma 110
Houston, TX, January 11, 2018/PR Newswire/ -- Despite the waves caused by two major disasters including Hurricane Harvey, contemporary visual artist Felipe Lopez has managed to climb the ranks of well known emerging artist working in Houston and beyond over the past 5 years. This February, Lopez opens his new year with the exhibition Felipe Lopez: The Liquidity of a Right at Forma 110 (1824 Spring Street Houston, TX) with the opening slated for Friday, February 8th from 6-9pm. Exhibition runs through March 13th, 2019. The exhibition is open on Saturdays from 11am - 2pm and by appointment.
Carrying with him his heritage as a first generation Cuban American, his work has always centered around nature and man’s relationship with the natural. Using water, fishing, and landscapes as the base, Lopez has transformed traditional and non-traditional materials into microcosms of the majestic along with large scale landings of landscapes that carry heavy conceptual weight.
In 2016 in the Memorial Day floods, Lopez lost a rather larger portion of his early works and materials. Pivotal pieces were destroyed along with many paints, books, and brushes. Looking to avoid a similar tragedy, the artist moved his studio and materials. Bring along Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and another major blow happened. Most of the remaining work, including pivotal pieces from his early career, along with materials were waterlogged and lost.
At this point many artists would take a hiatus or give up completely. Not Lopez. He knew that his relationship with water and the use of water in his work was only being transformed for the better. The forces of nature would now be omnipresent in each of his pieces, with a sense of awe and reverence of the power water holds. With a myriad of colors, configuration, and concept, his work since then has been a balance of mediums tied together with the remarkable strength of fishing net.
Towards the end of 2017, Lopez returned to the start of his art studies by renting a studio within the historic building of MECA (Multicultural Education and Counseling Through the Arts). This 40 plus year old non-profit, through the hands of art mentor Diana Muniz, helped shape Lopez’s eye and graciously offered a new safe haven for his art. Carrying the ripples of new collectors including Lester Marks, Jereann Cheney, and others, Lopez embarked on making his most formidable years as an emerging artist count. Shortly after moving into his new space, he embarked on making his most formidable years as an emerging artist count including a major 4 month solo entitled Ambiente Amore that included 5 series and a review by acclaimed art critic Raphael Rubinstein.
In his new creative workshop, Felipe Lopez created a visceral dialogue that lures a viewer into each piece within the Space Is Only Noise That You Can See series while also elevating the color gradation of those works with luminous neon in sculpture. His iconic Light Bulb series which display his hand-tied fishing flies in resin speak to the microcosms of these natural landscapes while also taking a sculptural life in the Ambiente Chandelier works.
Towards the end of 2018, Lopez decided to take his concepts of the natural a step further with the ever revered artistic concepts of light and water being elevated in a contemporary sculpture format. Taking the form of the light bulb, but this time in Edison Bulb form, and marrying it with a common place bath faucet has brought forth some of Lopez’s strongest work to date, both conceptually and visually.
These works speak to the necessity of water in our daily life and also to the fragility of our water supply. Regardless of social status or culture, clean water is what ties us together along with nature depending on the same resource. The hand tied fishing flies coming from the faucet signify how one must consider important our ecosystem is to our own daily lives. These works are truly a contemporary catharsis for Lopez who has risen from the flood waters to produce pieces of contemplation and connection.
Catching the attention of art powerhouses Mariana Valdes and Paola Creixell, Lopez swiftly signed with their gallery Forma 110 in Houston for another major exhibition to open 2019 entitled Felipe Lopez: The Liquidity of a Right. Located within Spring Street Studios in Sawyer Yards, Forma 110 will host a bevy of these faucet pieces with the opening happening Friday, February 8th from 6-9pm. In addition to this exhibition, Lopez starts the year with another major accomplishment: Mayor Sylvester Turner and the City of Houston approved Houston Arts Alliance recommendation to award Lopez a Support for Artists and Creative Individuals grant which will help fund his multi-location public art project entitled Nature Illuminated.
“We are allowing old tech to effect the future of our health in an age when we know how precious life’s greatest asset is which makes up 60% of our physical state…”, says Lopez. “Regardless of people thoughts towards climate change, politics, or manufacturing practices, water is as precious as life itself.”
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