In A Perfect World, Everybody Is An Artist

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Chris Van Riet help a group of ladies to take a photograph with an art piece at 2017 Contemporary Arts Museum Houston Art Auction Gala Friday, April 7, 2017, in Houston.

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Raana Arjomand, from left, Holly Alvis and Whitney Lawson pose for a photo.


Post-dinner service – which included a caviar amuse bouche, and for those in the know, generous Casa Dragones tequila pours – Christie’s Auction House’s own Steve Zick got down to the business. Live auction items by Susie Rosmarin, Mark Floor, Scooter LaForge, and Oliver Herring fetched impressive bids, as did a Casa Dragones experience in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. The total, $481,000, benefits CAMH’s exhibitions and public programming.

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Karl Stern and Aliyya Stude have a small toast during a conversation with Marita Fairbanks, back left, and Ann Stern.

The Contemporary Arts Museum – Houston is a not-for-profit institution in the Museum District, Houston, Texas, dedicated to presenting the contemporary art of our time to the public.

Upcoming Exhibitions


On View: May 20 – September 3, 2017

Opening Reception: Friday, May 19, 2017 | 6:30-9PM

“Forgiveness means giving up all hope of a better past” is a truism today, originally from the lips of our great, philosophically-minded comedienne and actress Lily Tomlin. It means simply that we need to radically accept that whatever traumas we have lived through are part of the life experience that created us, and we must build from there. The past is a neutral building block that should engender no emotion from us other than gratitude for who we are today. Still, creative people cannot help but muse over alternate realities that might have been and, through the telling, make sense of the actual narratives. And while such musings can veer toward the pathological in the cases of Jack Early, JooYoung Choi, and Lily van der Stokker, these artists remake aspects of their pasts with glee. A Better Yesterday presents three personal histories and stories that are remade as ambiguously fictional situations.


JooYoung Choi will create a complete alternative universe in which every visitor will need to play a part. Adults will remember when the characters on children’s television needed their help to be saved—whether that help involved drawing, dreaming, or singing along.

Jack Early will present Jack Early’s Life Story in Just Under 20 Minutes (2015), a multimedia installation with the artist’s ups and downs recounted with a Garrison-Keillor-like simplicity and playing from a customized yellow Victrola. The show will also feature his family recreated as life-size pillow sculptures.

Lily van der Stokker is a Dutch artist whose medium is large-scale wall paintings that might resemble childlike illustrations but always speak of the complexities of adult lives and the weight of our pasts. Many of her subjects deal with nostalgic reverie, remembering the past fondly and creating a rosy colored picture that hints at melancholia and loss.  The artist intends to create a new work specifically for this exhibition.

In the era of reality TV and near constant, multifarious forms of therapy, it’s refreshing to celebrate the aspect of artistic creation that makes cold, grey facts of past events into a mutable material for joy.

Learn More About Contemporary Art & the young artists behind it.

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