Soda Fountain to Art Cars: Some of the most exciting action comes from the streets, beginning with the Art Car Museum, which gets our vote for upholding the voice of the proletariat. Up now are three solos for Texas talents who deserve wider recognition, all of whom are informed by subjects from the material world — fur, facades or the environment, created from reclaimed materials, oils on canvas or ceramics — by, respectively, Carter Ernst, Ken Mazzu and Pat Johnson (through August 25) … Another grass-roots project with the same spirit is the redux of a long-shuttered soda fountain, Huston’s Drug’s, at 2119 Washington Avenue. After stopping for a coffee at Catalina, I wandered next door to the crumbling drugstore and discovered two creatives at work, owner/photographer Chris Bramel and printmaker Evan Rottet; both are recent TCU art school grads. Bramel revealed that the old soda fountain has been sent to a shop in Chicago for repairs. Our ears perked up upon learning that artist studios and an exhibition space are planned. Stay tuned for the unfolding Sixth Ward preservation story.
An American Town: At the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, one of the most important activists of our time, 2012 Whitney Biennial talent LaToya Ruby Frazier, documents her hometown, Braddock, Pennsylvania — a place of industrial decay in the shadow of Pittsburgh that once was the envy of the nation, also known as the site of Andrew Carnegie’s first mill, the Edgar Thomson Steel Works. Dean Daderko curates Frazier’s “Witness,” told via photography, video and photolithographs in the documentary tradition of Lewis Hine and Walker Evans (through October 13).
On a Mission: Significant buzz centers around The Mission, a smart Chicago gallery showcasing diversity that’s owned by Sebastian Campos, son of Dr. Luis Campos (MFAH board trustee, a member of the museum’s collecting group the Latin Maecenas and past chair of the Latin American Experience Gala). Campos the younger has been scouting locations in town and just confirmed 4411 Montrose is The Mission’s new Houston digs.