Incorporated in 1986, the Galveston Arts Center (GAC) is an independent nonprofit organization that showcases innovative contemporary art.

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Tues - Sat: 11am – 5pm
Sunday: 12 – 5pm
Closed Monday

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Conversations @ the Center

Conversations @ the Center is an informal lecture series that provides insight into the artistic process and engages audiences in dialogue about visual art. The series features artists and other arts professionals who speak about their work and discuss timely issues in contemporary art.


Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 | 6:30PM
Anne Tucker

Art and the Digital Age: Another Tool, a Diversion, Who Decides?

Anne Wilkes Tucker is Curator Emerita of Photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH). She became the museum’s first curator of photography in 1976, establishing the museum’s nascent photography department; she was later named the Gus and Lyndall Wortham Curator of Photography. During the course of her long tenure at the MFAH, Tucker curated over 40 exhibitions and wrote countless books, catalog essays and scholarly articles. She increased the museum’s photography holdings to more than 30,000 photographs representing 4000 artists on 7 continents, and built the collection into one of the finest in the world. Today Anne Wilkes Tucker is recognized as a leader in the photography field, well known for her passion and groundbreaking exhibitions and publications. Among her many awards and honors, was the 2001 Time magazine designation as America’s Best Curator as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Getty Center.

Join us April 26th for Ms. Tucker’s insightful presentation and a discussion on the role that changing technology has had on contemporary art and photography.

Saturday, March 25th, 2017 | 2:00PM
Robert Proctor, Art Conservator

Robert Proctor is a conservator and co-owner of Whitten and Proctor Fine Art Conservation company in Houston. Proctor and his wife, Jill Whitten, started their company in 1998 when they came to Houston to restore the Museum of Fine Art-Houston’s collection of Fredric Remington paintings. Over the years they have maintained close ties with the Museum of Fine Arts Houston¸ The Houston Museum of Natural Science, and a host of local galleries, private collectors and other institutions. Robert and Jill have also worked on several WPA-era murals by Thomas Hart Benton and Peter Hurd, and have a long relationship with the scientific department at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. Robert Proctor specializes in reweaving tears, varnishes, and the investigation of adhesives. He holds a BA in Art History from Tulane University and an MFA in Conservation from Buffalo State College.

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 6:30PM
{exurb} - Eric Todd

A Conversation with the artist collective {exurb}’s co-founder Eric Todd about their art practice which relies heavily on elements of engineering and viewer participation. Co-founded by Johnny DiBlasi, Patrick Renner, Eric Todd, Stephen Kraig, & Sam Singh, theHouston-based interdisciplinary collective known as {exurb} is interested in the confluence of art and technology, the rapidly increasing space that technology occupies in our everyday experience, and its effect on our relationships and understanding of one another. In many instances, the group’s work aims to contrast classic and current technology, as well as investigate how the current landscape involves interplay between technology and locality.  {exurb} creates work within the context of astonishment at the progress of technology. The group is constantly engaged in an inquiry into the magic of technology or the technology of magic. The group’s multimedia practice involves electronics, construction, mechanics, video, sound, and other media. Through these techniques, {exurb} strives to make works that are immersive,site-specific, and interactive. The co-founders of the collective include an electrical engineer, a writer and musician, a sculptor and a digital media artist.

Thursday, January 26th, 2017 6:30PM
Alex Goss and J Hill

Alex Goss
Drawing with Computers: The Digital Zen Garden
Taking on the instructional nature of a "How-To" video found on YouTube, Goss will walk the audience through a technical explanation of Computer-Aided-Design and its connection to the physical world, while he considers technology's potential value as a democratizing tool in art and education.
Houston artist and arts educator, Alex Goss, utilizes modern industrial materials and technology such as laser cutting, CNC routing and 3-D printing in his work. Goss’s studio efforts -- under the pseudonym “YOUSCREW,” render the ability to intervene in public environments. Within spaces such as train stations and restrooms, the installations highlight the power that institutional infrastructure holds upon a public, while reminding visitors of these spaces -- the public, that they too can wield power.
Goss studied urban space while living in New York where he earned a BFA from The Cooper Union. After a residency at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, he returned to Texas to better understand the manufacturing industries Houston hosts. Goss is an instructor of a variety of subjects at TX/RX, Houston's hacker space, and also teaches at HSPVA (High School for Performing and Visual Arts in Houston).

J Hill
Technology in the Middle
While digital technology may be relatively new, technology has, in one form or another, always been a part of art making. Hill will discuss the use of technology as part of the workflow of producing artwork and examine how technology can facilitate art making without becoming the point of art making.
J Hill is a multidisciplinary Houston artist and arts educator whose work is rooted in history, community and the underlying stories of people he encounters. Hill’s artistic production ranges from sculptural objects to art focused on social projects. He employs a variety of materials and techniques including traditional sculptural materials and processes, digital fabrication technology, and new media such as audio,video and Internet radio. Venues for exhibiting his work have included public parks and community settings, museums, galleries and non-profit spaces.
J Hill has participated in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally; he has received multiple grants and awards such as the Artadia Houston Award, The Idea Fund Grant and the Houston Art Alliance Artist Fellowship Award. His work has been exhibited at venues such as the Discovery Green Park Conservancy, Project Row Houses and Aurora Picture Show, and is included in collections such as the Chaney Collection. Hill received his BA and MFA from Stephen F. Austin State University. He is a faculty member at the Glassell School of Art where he is the area coordinator for the sculpture department.

Conversations @ the Center
Wednesday, May 4th, 2016 6:30PM
Dan Havel and Dean Ruck

May’s Conversations will feature Houston-based artist collective Havel Ruck Projects, with artists Dan Havel and Dean Ruck. The program will be held on Wednesday, May 4th beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the downstairs gallery.

Ruck and Havel have been working together since 1994, though the Havel Ruck Project was officially formed in 2009. From the beginning, these two Houston-based sculptors have held to their mission of creating public art installations and projects in alternative settings. The predominate focus of their work is on the purpose and repurposing of sites and materials, with architecture and creative design as a prominent and prevailing theme, which has garnered them attention both locally and abroad and served to endear them to art lovers in Houston and throughout Texas. Well known for their works Inversion in 2005, Give and Take as part of CAMH’s No Zoning – Artists Engage Houston, and Torrent their permanent public art sculpture for the city of Houston, Havel Ruck Projects were not only awarded 2014’s Texas Artists of the Year by Art League Houston, but also have received awards and grants from the American Institute of Architects, Houston Arts Alliance, and the Texas Society of Architects.

Conversations @ the Center
Tuesday, April 5, 2016 6:30PM
Sara Kellner and Dixie Friend Gay

From their two different perspectives, a veteran arts administrator and a practicing artist will discuss the use of public art in urban contexts and review the process of public art commissions. Dixie Friend Gay is a nationally acclaimed artist whose work is fueled by an awareness of the natural world.  Her artistic production encompasses public art, sculpture, painting and drawing. She is perhaps best known for her numerous public art commissions, including those at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, the Port of Miami, and Indianapolis International Airport.  In Galveston, three of Friend Gay’s large-scale murals can be seen at Texas A&M University’s Mitchell campus in the Ocean and Coastal Studies building. Sara Kellner is the Director of Civic Art + Design at Houston Arts Alliance.  In her role at HAA, Kellner supervises the department’s administration of the City of Houston’s civic art program -- including permanent commissions, temporary art projects, and the conservation of the City’s Art Collection. An art professional with over 20 years of experience, Kellner is a former Executive Director of DiverseWorks Artspace, and from 2006 to 2015 was the Arts in Transit manager for METRO’s Houston Light Rail Expansion.

Conversations @ the Center
Tuesday, March 22, 2016 6:30PM
Judy Nyquist | Lea Weingarten | Caroline Walker

Discover what these civic-minded individuals, passionate art advocates, and art historians have recently undertaken to accomplish big things on the Houston public art scene. Focusing on Rice University’s public art collection, including James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” skyspace installation and other public artworks, the speakers will share their experiences of working on some of Houston’s most notable public art projects. Please join us for an evening of intriguing anecdotes and images of thought-provoking art in Houston.

Civic arts activist Judy Nyquist believes that art has the ability to expand understanding, communication, expression and tolerance between generations, ethnic groups and socioeconomic divides. Through longstanding philanthropic support and advocacy, she has strengthened more than two-dozen arts organizations in Houston. Ms. Nyquist’s activities often focus on emerging artists, arts education and public art, particularly in green spaces. She has served on the Boards and committees of the Contemporary Arts Museum, the Menil Collection, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Glassell School of Art, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Rice University Public Art Program, Blaffer Gallery, Glasstire, Houston Arts Alliance, Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Hermann Park Conservancy, and Discovery Green. An art historian and curator, Judy received a B.A. in art history at the University of Michigan and a M.A. at Northwestern University.

In her role as principal in the Weingarten Art Group, Lea Weingarten has been advising public and private clients on their art collections for the past 17 years. Notable public art clients have included the City of Houston’s Main Street Square, the Hermann Park Conservancy and Discovery Green. The Weingarten Art Group has received accolades for bringing internationally acclaimed, often-monumental artworks to these public venues. She co-founded The Menil Collection’s popular Contemporaries collecting group, is a founding board member of Holocaust Museum Houston and of its Art Circle, and chairs the Jewish Community Center’s Visual Arts Committee. She also serves on the Glassell School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s Core Committee, the Menil Society Committee, and on the Civic Arts Committee of the Houston Arts Alliance.

Caroline Walker is Associate Director of Rice Public Art at Rice University. An art historian and arts administrator, Walker has a strong interest in activating collections in the public realm through programming that reflects contemporary art practices. Most recently, she held the positions of James Turrell Skyspace Manager, and Registrar of Rice Public Art. Previously, as a project manager with Weingarten Art Group, she managed the public art program and Art in the Park for the Hermann Park Conservancy's Centennial celebration. She has worked as Interpretive Technology Manager and Education & Public Programs Coordinator at the Seattle Art Museum, and has taught undergraduate art history courses at Indiana University. She holds a B.A. in Art History from Smith College and an MA in Art History, Theory & Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Conversations @ the Center

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Dr. Laura Wellen and Daniel Anguilu

Painter Daniel Anguilu and curator Laura Wellen will discuss graffiti and mural painting in the Houston area, touching on the local and international history of political murals, and the ways in which this kind of painting can define and describe the city. Looking closely at Anguilu's Houston murals, Wellen and Anguilu will consider the ways mural painting can challenge the social policies and exclusions that underpin the city's image of itself.

Laura Wellen is a writer and curator based in Houston. She is the co-founder of Barometry Projects, an itinerant curatorial platform that creates exhibitions and publications about contemporary art and the natural world. In 2016, she is opening the multidisciplinary, artist-run space Francine, with artist Eric Zimmerman. Her writing has been published in Art Forum, Artishock, Pastelegram, and Art Lies, among other publications. Her recent work has been focused around Guatemala City's dynamic artist-run spaces and residencies: she writes most often about community, collaboration, and social practice. She earned her PhD in Art History from The University of Texas at Austin.
Daniel Anguilu is a Houston artist known for his large-scale, colorful and abstract murals often inspired by his Mexican heritage. His past local work has included projects for Houston METRO, Texas Art Asylum, The Station Museum, The Glassell School of Art, Lawndale Art Center and the Houston Bahá'í Center. Anguilu has traveled to many cities in the US, Mexico, Peru, Spain, and Italy to paint and to participate in graffiti art exhibits.

Conversations @ the Center
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Cindi Strauss and Anna Walker

Curators Cindi Strauss and Anna Walker will discuss the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s collection of decorative arts and design, highlighting the studio-craft holdings exemplified by the museum’s two world-renowned collections: The Helen Williams Drutt Collection of Jewelry, acquired by the museum in 2002; and The Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio Collection of Modern and Contemporary Ceramics, acquired by the museum in 2007. They will also touch on plans for expanding the museum's craft collections, highlighting strategy and recent acquisitions by emerging artists.

Cindi Strauss is Curator of Modern and Contemporary Decorative Arts and Design at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from Hamilton College and a master’s degree in the history of decorative arts from Cooper-Hewitt/Parsons School of Design. She has been with MFAH since 1994. Strauss is author of Ornament as Art: Avant-Garde Jewelry from the Helen Williams Drutt Collection and co-author of Shifting Paradigms in Contemporary Ceramics: The Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio Collection, both extensive, illustrated catalogs of these landmark MFAH collections.

Anna Walker is the Windgate Foundation Curatorial Fellow for Contemporary Craft at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston where she is responsible for researching and writing on the collection as well as proposing acquisitions and developing a long-term collection strategy for craft. She was formerly the curator at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. She holds a master’s degree in arts administration from Indiana University, Bloomington and a Bachelor of Arts from Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. _____________________________________________________________________________________________
Support for GAC comes from: The Brown Foundation, The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, Fondren Foundation, The Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund, Houston Endowment, The Marlene Nathan Meyerson Family Foundation, The Robert W. and Pearl Wallis Knox Foundation, Save America's Treasures, The Moody Foundation, The Susan Vaugn Foundation, The John P. McGovern Foundation, The Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation, The Texas Historical Commission, and numerous individuals