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Birth announcement. How many people do
you know who became grandparents while
mid-between Tulsa, and Dallas on their way
to Austin? Sol and Thelma Meltzer are so
happy to announce the birth of Jacob Luken,
Oct. 2, 1980 in his home in Austin with his
parents, Melinda and John Sheafe, his aunt
Nancy Meltzer, asst. coach Marian Small and
a team of the Austin Lay Midwives in
attendance. Share our happiness!!!
The Houston Arts Calendar compiled by
Katherine Much and Melanie Young.
Two Houston women with considerable
experience in publishing and a strong
commitment to the arts have collaborated
on a project that is certain to fuel local
interest in the arts. The Houston Arts
Calendar, designed and compiled by
Kathleen Much and Melanie Young, not
only is a response to Houston's growing
involvement in and support of the arts
Aoelian Air oil on canvas by Kermit Oliver
appears in the new Houston Arts Calendar.
but is also the result of two years of work
from planning to printing.
The spiral-bound Houston Arts Calendar will include 55 photographs of works
by Houston artists, a listing of visual,
performing, and cultural arts organizations, and a directory of local art
galleries. The first run of 6,000 came
off the press last month and is available
Most of the photographs are in color
and each week's photograph of art work
faces the calendar page, where information on the artist appears.
From a list of over a hundred names,
garnered from gallery owners, and museum and university art people, 55 artists
doing "unique or unusual" work were
chosen. "We were not trying to establish
some snobbish 'Who's Who of Houston
Artists' and say that these are the only
good artists in Houston, but rather
wanted to get a representative selection
of artists," says Much.
They sought to achieve a balance
in the group, so that established as well
as lesser-known artists would gain exposure, and so that there would be a variety
of media and approaches included.
"We didn't want all of the people to
be minimalists, or representationalists, or
abstract expressionists. We wanted to
show what diversity there is, and how
much is going on creatively in Houston,"
The calendar contains the 1981 schedules of planned symphony, opera, ballet
Susan L. Clark is an associate professor of
German and Russian at Rice University.
BY SUSAN L.CLARK
and theatre productions. The directory
in the back of the Calendar, called
"Access/* provides telephone numbers of
organizations that have not yet determined exact schedules for the coming
year. Much and Young have also included
non-local cultural events within easy
driving distance of Houston, such as San
Antonio's Institute for Texan Cultures,
Winedale's Shakespeare Festival, and Galveston's Dickens on the Strand Festival.
Nearly 200 events are listed.
Much and Young met at the Rice
Publishing Program in the summer of
1978. Much holds undergraduate and
graduate degrees from Rice and freelanced extensively as an editor. She
currently edits Rice University Studies.
Young will receive her Ph.D. from Rice in
1981 and is under contract to a publisher for a study on Joseph Heller.
It was a freelance project of Young's
that partially inspired The Houston Arts
Calendar. She says, "I was working on a
children's book for a local press, and I
had to find an artist to illustrate it. I
interviewed at least a dozen artists and in
the process realized how many artists
were actively working in Houston."
The idea of a calendar evolved, inspired and reinforced in part by Breakthrough's own engagement calendar of
the International Women's Year, Woman:
Inner Reflection, that featured black-and-
white works by Texas photographers.
"We both had been art collectors in a
minor way, as well as big lookers!" Much
says. Nevertheless, both saw the need for
a market study to determine the feasibility of a project as large and as complex as
theirs, despite their own impression that
Houston art-goers would be receptive to
such a calendar. The two ultimately decided to finance the project themselves.
They point out the changing attitudes
towards the arts in recent years—attendance at museums, as well as numbers of
season-ticket subscribers to opera and
ballet, have doubled, tripled, and even
"Houston has been coming into its
own as a cultural center, and is looking
for its image—not as an imitation of New
York City—but is searching for its own
cultural identity," Young observes. "Only
three cities in the United States have a
professional opera, symphony, and ballet
season [New York, San Francisco,
and Houston]," Much points out.
The art being produced in Houston,
particularly in the area of the visual arts,
is healthily diverse: "There are so many
different kinds of things being done—all
different styles—all different media.
There doesn't seem to be a thread that
says, 'This is Houstonian.' And I think
that's good. It shows that people can
work here and support themselves as
artists in lots of different ways. You
don't have to be a New York School
artist to get shown here and you don't
have to paint bluebonnets and cowboys
and Indians either," states Much.
Paradoxically, the influence of newcomers, in combination with the native
Houstonians—both in the art they produce and in the demands for urban cultural richness—has produced an interest in
indigenous art. Much and Young chronicle the coming of age of Houston art—
"We want people to realize that we've got
something to sit up and be proud of."
The Houston Arts Calendar retails for
$15, and became available at the end of
September in local bookstores and
department stores, as well as by direct
mail from Wordworks, Inc., 5105 Beech,
Bellaire, TX 77401.
Kathleen Much and Melanie Young collaborated on the 1981 Houston Arts Calendar.