Starting September 9, 2021, Foltz Fine Art presents Texas Emerging: Volume II, an ongoing series of group exhibitions featuring emerging visual artist of all disciplines from the state of Texas.  In this second annual exhibition, six extraordinary Houston artists on the rise are being showcased: Erika Alonso (painting), Dylan Conner (sculpture), Laura Garwood (painting), Peter Healy (painting/mixed media), Matt Messinger (painting/mixed media), and Meribeth Privett (painting). 

Texas Emerging is co-curated by visual artist Jonathan Paul Jackson with videography by Marc Newsome.  In the corresponding videos, Jackson interviews the artists, and captures each artist’s process of creation in their studio through the final installation.  These behind-the-scenes peak gives viewers access, allowing for a unique opportunity to learn more about each artist and their work. Jackson will also act as virtual tour guide, walking online viewers through the gallery.


Texas Emerging: Volume II 

Artist Spotlights

Erika Alonso (b. 1987)

Erika Alonso is a Cuban-American painter, working and living in Houston, Texas. Her childhood was spent in Southern California, a place she often “escapes” to while painting.  Alonso is a self-taught artist and an unabashedly painterly painter. Her current makings involve experimenting in abstract expressionism through a series of whimsical, abstract-figurative-landscape paintings that are meant to capture a moment in all its fleetingness—the movement and rush and whirl of it.

The artist describes her work as an escape from reality:  “My paintings are just places I’d like to be, places where I’d like to spend my time. Places that are stimulating, enchanting, complex, and consistently inconsistent.” 

My recent paintings, made with acrylic and charcoal, mix perspective and pure chance. I begin a painting with no intended outcome, fully embracing the materials and their interactions with each other. While my method is not restrictive, it often begins with gestural mark-making in charcoal. From there, I unmask figures (or non-figures) through a series of additional layers. The unmasking itself is a practice of presence and structured wonder. Influenced by my immediate surroundings, what results finds comfort at the interstices between abstraction and figuration. This ambiguity is at the center of my creative process."                         -Erika Alonso

Dylan Conner (b. 1989)

Dylan DeBock Conner, born in Houston, TX in 1989, received his BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art, studied art history at the University of Houston Downtown, and is currently working towards his MFA at the University of Houston. Houston artists, Tim Glover and Ed Wilson, have been key in helping Conner hone his craft over the past decade. Conner builds sculpture primarily using mild steel, stainless steel, plaster, and concrete. A variety of other materials can be found in his work as well. He has been instrumental in the creation of a number of large-scale public works including Ed Wilson’s Soaring In The Clouds at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, TX. Conner recently completed his first major public commission entitled Firefly Field which is permanently installed as the gateway to Houston’s second oldest park, Woodland Park, in the Woodland Heights. Conner currently works in Houston among a tightly knit community of artists in a locally cherished studio space called El Rincón Social.

I create my sculptures with steel, plaster, and concrete, historically rich materials that carry inherent conceptual weight. I find new aesthetic value in the properties of these materials by pushing them to their limits. Force, pressure, bulging, compression, constraint, and vulnerability are recurring themes. In some pieces, I also incorporate found materials such as a cast iron lamp-post, a heavy wooden beam, delicate wallpaper, or a steel marine buoy. Site is always an important consideration in my work, but when I use found objects, rather than responding to the site they typically inhabit, the sculptures become self-reflective in nature and assume an introspective quality. Trial and error are fundamental to my process as I experiment with casting and fabricate intricate steel frameworks. Some of my works are successful because so many have failed. Investigating the entire process, from conception through execution to failure or success, is the driving force of my practice." -Dylan Conner

Laura Garwood (b. 1984)

Laura Garwood was born In Texas and spent her childhood in Houston, where she currently resides.  In conjunction with enrolling in the Religious Studies and Literature Program at Princeton University, Laura took several Studio art classes, notably influenced and encouraged by Artist/Professor, Eve Aschhiem.  Post College, Laura moved to New York City to resume studio art courses at Hunter College, completing a BA in studio arts, studying under Laura Sue King, Constance de Jong, and Drew Beattie.  The vibrancy and energy of New York City’s art life had a lasting impact on Laura’s understanding of contemporary Art.  Shortly thereafter, Laura moved back to Houston and began working from her studio at home; experimenting with strips of canvas and attaching these pieces repeatedly across a traditional stretched canvas; and later ripping them away to reveal the original canvas in a process of creative destruction through the repetition of adding and removal practice.  Art can be an obsessive playing around with materials and improving one’s mastery over these personally chosen materials.  In process art, Laura sees qualities of the sublime, a kind of beauty that juxtaposes rough edges, scrapes and/or paint marks along with the artist’s intention to harmonize a work of Art through color or texture. The art process can be an escape and healing from the chatter of the mind.  It is an entrance into the universal. If one finds the space and energy to experiment with chosen materials they will find the artist within. 

Looking at art can be meditative, you are meditating on an abstract or expressive image, representing the sublime.  My hope is that my work, with its indicators of process and human touch reflect the effort to continually re-define and evolve what is beautiful." -Laura Garwood

Peter Healy (Irish, b. 1973)

I am an Irish artist with a background in illustration. I now live full time in Houston Texas. These days I work in series and, also, individual paintings, drawings, and assemblage. My mediums are oil paint, acrylic, ink, pencil, collaged fabric, assembled wood/ various 3d objects and paper. I try to let ideas come to me and sometimes let the pieces speak to me through their creation using editing as part of the process. They are usually colorful and often try to illustrate the contrast of living in the sparsely populated Fermanagh countryside of my youth and living in the city with a diverse population. I have lived in Ireland, England, Amsterdam, and Los Angeles. I now call Houston, Texas home. Where I live with my wife and two daughters, two cats and a dog. These experiences and diverse populations have influenced my work. There are so many ways to represent population architecture and nature, that I am constantly going between mediums to describe these relationships.

A lot of the time the shapes in my paintings and drawings are like characters or individuals trying to coexist in a space on canvas or paper, just like we do in cities. In some series I am with the viewer looking through a window or down a tunnel at forms floating in space. Sometimes the shapes go off the edge; I want the viewer to think “What's around the corner?”, much like we all wonder what’s around the next corner in our everyday lives. I am interested in relationships between the objects I make, movement, landscapes or environments, composition, and space.

My assemblage work is all about collaging 2d/ 3d forms. A lot of the time it’s about reusing wood and material to give it a second life. It’s like making a jigsaw puzzle whilst inventing the pieces. When hurricanes happen there is so much material ruined. I wanted to find a way to reuse it and mix it with drawing or painting. It also gives me the opportunity to make unusual shapes.

In general, I always loved getting lost in paintings, so I want the viewer to do the same. I want to make work that takes people away. The landscapes I looked out across over the years always make me think of the road ahead, distance not yet covered and the possibilities for the future. So, I try to emulate that feeling in my work."  - Peter Healy

Matt Messinger (b. 1974) 

Matt Messinger is based in Houston, Texas. He is best known for paintings which incorporate matte surfaces with symbolic images, generally in black and white. Meticulous fabric collage - often layered from found household linens or flour sacks – creates a neutral ground which accentuates the flatness of the painting surface. Subtle patterns of drips and graffiti simultaneously create an illusion of spacial depth, contradicting this flatness. It is within this field that Messinger combines visual quotations from popular culture, scientific diagrams, or animals – real and imagined. Messinger's paintings mix serious ideas and icons with lighthearted techniques and imagery. Messinger enjoys symbolism and can be inspired by anything from logos, advertisements and animals, something simple as a number, or as subtle as a texture. Messinger scavenges pop detritus with an eye to nostalgia, humor, and subtle irony. 

     I like to find objects that inspire me, and usually disassemble them in a some way, or take a piece and multiply it, like button or army man, and stack them up; with paper or fabric, sometimes I like to collage it, rip it apart, and then built it back up into layers to use as a background…" -Matt Messinger

Meribeth Privett (b. 1982)

Meribeth Privett is an intuitive artist who fell in love with abstract expressionism in Houston, Texas. Her art is a collaboration of self and spirit. Although she is primarily self-taught, Meribeth has taken foundational classes in drawing, painting, design, and ceramics. She found she thrived in a more unconventional setting, such as studying with mentors and workshops.  Her color pallets are unique and surprising, and her paintings have an alluring, mysterious quality. She is ritualistic in her process. She sets an intention to become a hollow bone and let the creative energies flow through her. The painting takes on a life of its own. She listens to the guiding whispers to serve the process.

I believe the presence of art in our lives provides both healing and inspiration. When we choose to live with a piece of art, we form a relationship with the artwork and, by extension, with the artist. The energy we perceive in a work of art is a presence in our daily lives; tangible art speaks to us and gives meaning to our environments. 

In my painting, romance is not dead: There is love. There is ritual. There is courtship. There is the patience that I’ve known only in my deepest, most committed intimate relationships. I feel a sense of loyalty, fascination, and commitment to my art; it’s a beautiful love affair. My paintings represent bringing order to chaos – a unification of the masculine and the feminine. I hope to allow my collectors to transport themselves to the place of creativity when the piece was painted and remind them that they, too, can access this realm."  -Meribeth Privett 

ON VIEW April 2 - 24, 2021 

Foltz Fine Art is pleased to present our next exhibition Sea of Green: Jonathan Paul Jackson & DUAL, featuring recent works by this pair of dynamic emerging Houston artists! For the first time, these artists collaborated on two epic paintings, that blend and merge their respective styles into a whimsical world of hard-edge and expressive forms. This is a not to be missed show. Visit our website to schedule an appointment online!

texas emerging vol.1

exhibition tour with sarah foltz & co-curator jonathan paul jackson

INstallation week 

July 20-24, 2020

     This summer is unlike previous ones, as attending art shows has been made all but impossible with the current social distancing requirements amidst an atmosphere of uncertainty in our city.  However, art must go on. And it is the artist, as cultural barometers of our times with their unique ability to perceive and express the complexities and absurdities in our society, that we must support in this time.   

It is with this hybrid type of exhibition, which will likely become the norm soon enough, that we present Texas Emerging: Volume I, giving a physical space to the exhibition, but presented as virtual shows so that the audience is not limited by proximity, physical space, or time constraints.  

Here, the artist, after months of being resigned to their studios, are able to create installations for their work in a gallery space for public viewing.  With the presumed limited viewing times, the show will be made available virtually for wider audience access and enjoyment.   - Sarah Foltz 

Ronald L. Jones is a multidisciplinary artist based in Houston, Texas. His artistic practice incorporates photography and video, drawing and printmaking, as well as sculptural installations.  

Jones’ artwork explores barriers between artists and audiences, individuals and their communities and the perceived normalcy of everyday life.

We don't give ourselves time to think about anything anymore....and right now with covid-19, you can't isolate a thought, everything is beating you up, so it helps to have the opportunity to create something, where I can just stop and just be still and then try to figure out where I want to go, going forward. - Ronald L. Jones on creating his fiber sculpture for the Emerging Texas Vol. 1 group show

DUAL  (b. 1979)

DUAL stands for the conflict between “street art” and “fine” art, between freeway burners and gallery exhibitions, between mass recognition and total anonymity. His bold lines and fresh colors are a break from the everyday monotony of life in the city—a taste of urban subculture, whether you asked for it or not.

While one may not have a choice in where and when they encounter a DUAL piece, DUAL leaves it up to the observer to assign a meaning to his work. By operating under a pseudonym, he lets his audience write their own narrative for who he is and the message he is trying to get across.

Perhaps best known for his work with wheat paste, particularly since his feature in the 2011 wheat pasting documentary Stick ‘Em Up!, DUAL has never been one to confine himself to a particular medium, background, or context.

He has been recognized not only for his work with silkscreen and spray paint, but also for his work with lithography and acrylics. Though his obsession with “making marks” stems from his background in graffiti, he has translated that into a passion for creating art. His “art” includes everything from large-scale murals, to paintings on canvas, to meticulously made tape collages, to the forgotten art of sign painting. Dual’s work has evolved from gestural character studies, to more hard edge abstraction with an added exploration of color – creating quite the dichotomy between the “street” artist and the “fine” artist.

In addition to being a constant presence on the street and a fixture in the Houston art scene since 2005, DUAL has also pursued a formal arts education and his work has seen more than its fair share of gallery walls. DUAL has been featured in a number of exhibitions by some of the top names in the Houston art scene including M Squared Gallery, Pablo Cardoza Fine Art, Colton & Farb Gallery and Station Museum of Contemporary Art. 

Some of the paintings have references that I'm touching or looking upon, and then other ones are just complete creations from the mind, right there on the spot.....I'm constantly thinking of  how to camouflage it, how to abstract in a way where, yeah, I know what it is, but I want the viewer to have this brand new idea. - Dual

Matt Manalo (b. 1984)

Matt Manalo was born in the Philippines. He received his Bachelors of Fine Arts in Painting and a Minor in Art History from the University of Houston. He makes work and resides in Houston, Texas.

Manalo creates work which involves elements of painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and printmaking. He uses raw materials, found objects sometimes collected and often times donated... By doing this, he is making his practice environmentally conscious as well as understanding the idea of scarcity and abundance. He uses the grid as a foundation for most of his work to tackle geography, cartography, borders, and the idea of displacement while having a constant conversation of how “home” should be defined. 

Being a first generation immigrant, Manalo discusses his experiences navigating around the physical and social structures of society through his work. As he explores this, home becomes a two-part environment where the artist is split between the Philippines and Texas. The latter sits on the southern border of the US. It is also important to mention that colonization of the Philippines by Spain, Japan and the United States resulted in erasure, colorism and colonial mentality; a frequent topic in Manalo’s work. Manalo is the founder of Filipinix Artists of Houston, a collective of visual, performing, literary, culinary, and multidisciplinary artists. He also runs an alternative art space: Alief Art House. 

...There's a statement that I use all the time, which is "not your brown brother", it's basically a call to action for people like myself, that we can stand up, that we are not leaning towards a more racist mentality or practice.Matt Manalo 

Tom Bandage (b. 1992)

Tom Bandage is a budding sculptor who recently relocated to Houston, TX after being based out of Austin, TX. A student of computer science and studio arts, his work is informed by concepts of axioms and epistemology. Constructing perspective-challenging performances and works, he explores autopoesis, information flow, and the architecture of experience.

Inspired by the machinist's craft and the volumetric simplicity of the Bauhaus, Tom Bandage attempts to capture the shape of thought through geometric contortions of material.

Tom describes his sculpture work as conceptual - not in the sense that there is a concept to be gained or instructed, but rather that the work itself represents the structure of Concept as the object being studied. In this light, his geometries focus on the interaction between pure form and semiotic reference. By playing with form directly and intentionally avoiding reference to a signifier, his work creates novel viewing experiences that draw forth a sense of intuition through a meditative play on perspective, giving the viewer complete control over what is to be signified.

A lot of  my work is spent in that phase of negotiating between what I would like to see happen and externalities that force me to control my vision and really thoroughly plan out how it's going to be made. -Tom Bandage 

Theresa Escobedo is a multi-disciplinary artist, curator, and arts administrator currently living and working in Houston, Texas. She studied at the University of Houston and received a Bachelor Degree of Architecture in addition to a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design with a focus on community planning.  She manages Civic Art for the City of Houston through the Mayor’s Office of Cultural affairs and is a current Artist in Residence at the Zocalo Artist Residency through the year 2020.

 As an artist, her work intersects ancestry, history, and spiritualism, and most recently merges ideas on land, nature, and the act of pilgrimaging. This effort combines expressions of the artist’s cultural heritage with intellectual, emotional, and spiritual considerations to demonstrate and ultimately represent cosmopolitan influences and spiritual perspectives. 

 For this exhibition, the artist presents Journeying: Land, Memory, and the Realm of the Spirit, an ongoing series of photographic works which document pivotal moments in the artist’s spiritual evolution, her journey toward intergenerational healing, and the dawning of deep self-knowingness developed from the pursuit of ancestral connection. 

In the practice of making an altar....it's a spiritual practice and process that demands that you know yourself; and if you don't know yourself, it's gonna confront you until you're forced to look at the baseline of your emotional well being, your spiritual well being, your physical well being....- Theresa Escobedo 



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