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

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Galveston Arts Center
Previous Exhibits

June 14–August 19, 2012
Galveston Artist Residency: The First Year

Nick Barbee
Selection s3, 2012
Watercolor on steel

GALVESTON, Texas, May 15, 2012: Galveston Arts Center is pleased to present an exhibition of work in celebration of the inaugural year of the Galveston Artist Residency. The exhibition will feature work by residents Nick Barbee, Nsenga Knight and Kelly Sears, and will open during the July 14th ArtWalk. It will remain on view through August 19, 2012. Curator Clint Willour will lead a gallery talk with the artists beginning at 6:30 pm during ArtWalk. The event is free and open to the public.

Nsenga Knight
A Guide to the Last Rite (detail), 2012

Opened during the summer of 2011, the Galveston Artist Residency (GAR) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the arts by granting to three artists annually the gift of time and space for the development of their work. Residents are chosen from a pool of nominated artists, both emerging and established, and are provided studio space, living accommodations and a monthly stipend. Special consideration is given to those who are involved in non-commercial endeavors, and environmental or sustainable living projects that increase community involvement or social awareness. This exhibition will feature work created by the first three residents during the past year.

Nick Barbee works in a variety of media exploring formal concerns of presentation, the history of abstraction and historic narrative. Trained as a painter, Barbee had focused on creating three-dimensional objects prior to coming to Galveston. While he has continued to create small sculptures, often arranged in odd juxtapositions or strange tableaux, he will exhibit both the objects and his painted and drawn “portraits” of these items. Barbee received a BFA from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York, in 2003, and an MFA from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia in 2009. He was a 2009–11 Core Fellow at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s Glassell School of Art and has exhibited with Inman Gallery, Houston; McKinney Avenue Contemporary and CentralTrak, Dallas; and Doran Gallery, Boston.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Nsenga Knight is an interdisciplinary artist and filmmaker. For the exhibition, Knight will create a site-specific drawing directly on GAC’s wall. In addition, photographs installed in a grid format will invite viewers to investigate subtle shifts which place emphasis on the camera as an archive machine and the artist as performer/intervener. She has an MFA degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Film Production from Howard University, Washington, D.C. Her work has been exhibited at Project Row Houses, Houston; the New Museum for Contemporary Art, PS1 MoMA, and the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art.

An animator and filmmaker, Kelly Sears creates short collages culled from discarded periodicals, books, archives and orphaned films. Her films draw on experimental, documentary and narrative practices and feature both analog and digital animation techniques. “I like working with things that are outdated or cast off as a way of reinvigorating the material and making it resonate in today’s cultural climate,” says Sears. One of her new works will be on view at GAC, while the second will be shown at GAR. She received a BA from Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts, and MFA from the University of California, San Diego. She was also a 2009–11 Core Fellow at the Glassell School of Art. Her work has been shown at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, MoMA, and the Sundance Film Festival.

GAR is located in a pair of radically redesigned and rebuilt industrial structures located in downtown Galveston at 2521 Ships Mechanic Row, approximately 1 block from the current Galveston Arts Center location. In addition to the residency program, the GAR Gallery and Courtyards will host various public programs; additional works by Barbee and Sears will be on view there during ArtWalk from 6 to 10 pm.

Galveston Arts Center is operating in a temporary downtown location on the corner of Market and 25th Streets. The exhibition gallery and selections from GAC’s retail gallery, ArtWorks, are open to the public Monday through Saturday, from 11 am to 5 pm, and Sunday from noon to 5 pm. Admission is free at all times. A flyer listing all ArtWalk participants with times and locations can be downloaded

Support and Sponsorship
Funding for the Galveston Arts Center is provided by the Houston Endowment, Inc., The Brown Foundation Inc., The City of Galveston Park Board of Trustees through the Hotel Occupancy Tax Fund, The Meyer Levy Charitable Foundation of The Dallas Foundation, Texas Commission on the Arts, Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund, Jack and Annis Bowen Foundation, and the generous support of the community, an active membership and many volunteers. GAC’s Art for All Education Program is supported in part by the Alice Taylor Gray Foundation, Harry S. and Isabel C. Cameron Foundation, Galveston Rotary Foundation, Inc., and VSS.