LOCAL Houston | The City Guide November 2017 - Page 38

MUSEUM DISTRICT HIGHLIGHTS zone 2 HOUSTON CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY CRAFT For Hire: Contemporary Sign Painting in America 4848 Main St. | 713.529.4848 | www.crafthouston.org As recently as the 1980s, storefronts, murals, banners, barn signs, billboards and even street signs were all hand-lettered with brush and paint. But, like many skilled crafts and trades, the sign industry has been overrun by the techno-fueled promise of quicker and cheaper. This fall, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) explores the rich history and current renaissance of hand-lettered signs in For Hire: Contemporary Sign Painting in America. The exhibition show- cases a range of contemporary sign painters who use traditional methods to create banners, sandwich boards, paper signs, murals, fictional advertisements and more. Some pieces will be installed from the start of the show, while others will be created in the gallery, during public hours, over the course of the exhibition. This will allow visitors to witness, firsthand, a variety of sign-painting processes. 38 L O C A L | 11 . 2017 zone 1 THE MENIL COLLECTION Mona Hatoum: Terra Infirma 1533 Sul Ross | 713.525.9400 | www.menil.org zone 2 CZECH CENTER MUSEUM Vedem – The Secret Magazine of the Terrazin Ghetto 4920 San Jacinto St. | 713.528.2060 | www.czechcenter.org The work of London-based artist Mona Hatoum addresses the growing unease of an ever-ex- panding world, one that is as technologically networked as it is politically fractured by war and exile. Since the 1980s, Hatoum has investigated place, the body and a minimalist language of form through her sculptures, per- formances and installations. Her work explores how shifting geographic borders and institu- tional structures limit, if not violently define, how we comfortably find a home in the world. She powerfully creates a sense of precarious- ness through a remarkable variety of materials that are as beautiful as they are dangerous. The fragility of blown glass, strands of hair, woven thread and delicate beads are often juxtaposed with the menacing severity of steel plates, barbed wire and knife blades. Vedem, a multimedia art exhibition, decon- structs and reinterprets the literary work of a secret society of Jewish boys, who created the longest running magazine in any Nazi camp. The exhibit includes dynamic wall panels, vinyl art or custom vinyl wallpaper, a ceiling banner and four videos. Also included are 56 high-end facsimile of artifacts, ephemera, the 800 pages of the original Vedem’s magazine and four videos of never-before-seen footage. The exhibit is complemented by an innovative workshop that combines creative activism with a journalism lesson. The workshop is designed to teach middle-school through college stu- dents both the historic context of Vedem and the art of creating a ‘zine, or hand-made mag- azine, as a symbol of creative expression, and a way to explore one’s identity through socially engaged creativity.