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HOUphoria Art Exhibit By JOSH HIGGINS – Friday, 6/5 @ 6:00PM

Hakeem_Carving

For Immediate Release May, 11th, 2015

“HOUphoria”
An exhibit of work by printmaker and artist, Josh Higgins
Opening June, 5th
at The Record Ranch Gallery
inside of Cactus Music

Houston artist to showcase screen-prints, woodblock prints and other artwork depicting prominent and iconic Houstonians past and present.

HOUSTON – The Bayou City’s pop culture icons and prominent citizens are celebrated with HOUphoria set to open at The Record Ranch Gallery, inside Cactus Music, 2110 Portsmouth, on June, 5th. The exhibit features legendary figures such as Hakeem Olajuwon, Earl Campbell, Nolan Ryan, Bill Hicks, Beyonce, DJ Screw and many more. Others such as Marvin Zindler, Roy Hofheinz and Juan Carlos (the Montrose roller-blader) might not be as well known outside of H-town but are fixtures of our pop culture. A piece honoring the recently departed comic, Harris Wittels, is also to be exhibited. All are depicted in striking iconic fashion in screen-prints or woodblock prints. The show is scheduled to coincide with the date of Houston’s incorporation as a city (June 5th, 1837).

About the Show
“The original idea for this show came from a conversation with Quinn after I created my original ‘Saint Marvin’ print to commemorate Houston newscaster Marvin Zindler. I had ideas for creating more Houston themed work, but hadn’t thought of making a full exhibition of it until Quinn approached me with the idea. Creating the work for this show, and a majority of my work in general, comes through play and then more serious focused exploration. The play phase is a very loose, impulsive, and childlike exploration of a range of ideas and concepts. This show in particular started with a play of Houston culture, people, places, and experiences. I tried to go outside my own personal experience in order to capture a wide cross-section of Houston culture and history. I started taking these loose concepts and exploring them more seriously to strengthen them into final works.”

“The overall goal of this show is to make work that people can connect with and enjoy. When someone points and smiles at a piece I made, tells me a story about Hakeem or Marvin, or explains to their friend who doesn’t quite get the reference, that is just as good as selling a piece to me. I think that connecting through the shared history and memory of culture can be just as effective as “more serious” emotionally driven artistic pieces.”

“Most of the pieces in this show were created through either screen-printing or woodblock printing. Screen-printing is one of the most common forms of printmaking. For screen-prints I make a detailed sketch from my rough sketches, then scan that into a computer to clean up. From there the image is applied to a screen which, much like a stencil, allows ink to pass through certain parts to apply the image to paper. Woodblock printing is the oldest form of printmaking which dates back to the 13th century. For this process I draw an image on to a piece of wood, then use carving tools to carve out the areas I don’t want to print. Ink is then applied to the block which, much like a giant rubber stamp, is pressed into paper applying the image. I generally enjoy making woodcuts more than screen-prints because it’s such a physical process that adds a human element to the final piece.” – Josh Higgins

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Recently deceased writer and comedian, Harris Wittels, is also honored with a series of prints.
“I was not fortunate enough to know Harris personally, but he had such an honest and personable nature that fans, like myself, felt such a strong personal connection to him. From his writing to his appearances on some of my favorite shows and podcasts, I knew that anytime Harris was involved I was in for something real and interesting. Upon hearing about his loss I was so heartbroken for the loss of such an original voice in this world. When I started putting together work for this show I knew I wanted to celebrate Harris and his humor for my own catharsis and so that his memory could live on. I knew instantly that I wanted any money from this work to go to a good cause and the Harris Wittels Fund at HSPVA will help preserve his memory and create future original voices like Harris’.” – Josh Higgins

All of the funds from the Harris Wittels print sales will directly benefit The Harris Wittels Fund at HSPVA Friends.

A reception with the artist, which is open to the public, will be held from 6 – 9 p.m. on Friday, June 5th.

Refreshments will be provided by The St. Arnold Brewing Company.

The reception will also feature a DJ session with Houston Hip-Hop artist, Fat Tony.

The exhibition is free and runs through July 2015.

Biography
Josh Higgins is an artist, designer, print maker, and handstand enthusiast born and raised in Houston, TX. His work draws influence from popular culture, anything that confuses his mother, or anything that makes children point and laugh.

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