March 6—April 11, 2010
Dixie Friend Gay: Mural Studies 1998–2009
Benthic Zone (detail), 2010
Mosaic Mural Ocean and
Coastal Studies Building,
Texas A&M University at Galveston
Dixie Friend Gay: Mural Studies 1998–2009 features studies for public and private art projects by the Houston artist. Exploring the mystery and power of nature, Friend Gay has focused on public art projects since 1998. This exhibition is presented as a celebration of the completion of the artist’s most recent project, a series of three mosaics installed in the lobby of the new Ocean and Coastal Studies Building at Texas A&M University at Galveston. Composed of tumbled Smalti glass mosaic tile, the murals depict undersea life. Benthic Zone, 2010, features enlarged ceramic reliefs of micro-fossil creatures—plankton, diatoms, and invertebrates—encouraging viewers to see and touch. Preparatory paintings and drawings, as well as samples of glass, and photographs of the A&M project will be on view at the Arts Center.
Study for Syncopation Sea I, 2009
44 x 27 ¾ inches
Courtesy the artist
Named “Artist of the Year” in 2003 by the Texas Commission on the Arts, and the Houston Art League in 2007, Friend Gay has completed numerous public art commissions, including a 73-foot long mural at George Bush Intercontinental Airport’s Terminal B depicting the flora and fauna found along Houston’s bayous. Containing an estimated 1.5 million pieces of glass, most less than a half-inch square, the artist’s mosaics incorporate “a blend of colors, which become a different color when you step back,” notes Friend Gay. “It’s an infinite number of colors, really.” The study for Houston Bayou is a 15-foot long painting. Other mosaic murals are located in The Woodlands, the Houston Medical Center, the Port of Miami, and Chevron headquarters in Covington, Louisiana. Preparatory sketches and paintings from these and other projects will be included in the exhibition.
Study for Syncopation
Sea II, 2009
36 x 36 inches
Courtesy the artist
Dixie Friend Gay was raised on a cattle ranch in western Oklahoma. She earned a Master’s Degree in Studio Arts from New York University. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at the Bronx Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis. She currently lives and works in Houston.