Museum of Fine Arts Houston
MFA Contemporary @ Heights Mercantile is a partnership between the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and Heights Mercantile. MFA Contemporary features a Museum-curated gallery space with a planned rotation of works from the Museum’s permanent collection, as well as monthly free art-making activities through “Mix It Up with the MFAH,” an on-site pop-up studio.
MFA Contemporary @ Heights Mercantile opened with City Glow, an inaugural video installation from the Museum’s permanent collection by Japanese artist Chiho Aoshima. The seven-minute work is spread across five video monitors within the gallery space. City Glow has been hailed by The Los Angeles Times’ Christopher Knight as a “post-modern Japanese screen painting” and it became a local favorite when featured at the MFAH in conjunction with the exhibition RED HOT: Contemporary Asian Art from the Chaney Family Collection in 2007. Using the phantasmagoric imagery and bright colors of Japanese anime, Aoshima confronts the specter of climate change, but at the same time, celebrates the evolution of the modern city. Aoshima has stated, “City Glow was born from the sensation of release that I felt gazing upon the Hong Kong Bay Area. A spirit lives in the buildings, as they sway gently under the starry sky. Buildings bear the wind and play with the birds that fly around them. Of all of human creations, they exist closest to nature. Programming within MFA Contemporary will rotate on a recurring basis.
“Mix It Up with the MFAH” offers a free art-making program for ages five and up to be held outdoors at the Heights Mercantile on the last Saturday of every month beginning this December. Participants can drop in at any time during the two hour pop-up studio to create their own art. The studio will be located off of the public bike trail, which runs through the heart of the market district, providing accessible cultural activities for the Heights neighborhood and beyond.