The Road So Far: Jesse Lott & Travis Whitfield
Exhibition curated by Ann Harithas
On Wednesday, December 9th, Station Museum of Contemporary Art is pleased to announce the continuation of The Road So Far exhibition by Houston artist Jesse Lott and Louisiana artist Travis Whitfield. The Road So Far is at once recollective and visionary, featuring tightly focused selections of each artist’s work that examine their use of various media, techniques and each artist’s relationship with their physical environment.
Lott and Whitfield both have deep roots in Texas and Louisiana. They also have diverse perspectives shaped by their paths in life. The exhibition will feature an installation by Whitfield that includes a full-size “Shotgun House” containing artifacts and photographs from Northern Louisiana, where Whitfield lives and has a studio. Throughout the museum, the exhibition will also feature a new series of drawings by Lott, in addition to several works of his sculpture in wood, metal and paper. Lott’s work, often referred to as Urban Frontier Art, explores many styles, including abstract and figurative, and often includes found objects and materials from the urban landscape and his neighborhood in Houston’s Fifth Ward.
This exhibition surveys a wide gamut of scale, thought, intuition and community as reflected by each artist. From the small figurines to the life-size shotgun house, Lott and Whitfield provide social, historical and political commentary via the lens of their respective observations of the world around them. The exhibit will also feature multimedia works that open visitors to the cultural and fundamental backgrounds that led each artist to their current place.
Jesse Lott was born in Simmesport, Louisiana. He grew up in Houston’s Fifth Ward, and attended The Hampton Institute in Virginia and Los Angeles, where he attended the Otis Art Institute before coming back to Houston. Lott quickly established himself as a prodigious force in Houston’s art scene through his sculpture and painting.
In the beginning was the dot. A series of connected dots became the line. And the line, when it meandered back around upon itself and crossed itself, it became a shape. And lines side by side became a shadow.
Lines, shapes and shadows combine to create the illusion of form. When that form is recognized as a symbol, it is the basis of graphic communication.
“This presentation consists of linear representation, both two-dimensionally and three-dimensionally. The resulting configurations we call art, the expression of human emotion.”
– Jesse Lott
Travis Whitfield was born and raised in rural east Texas, near the small town of Linden. He grew up in a more “Folk-type” atmosphere with very primitive living conditions. As a child, Travis started drawing from nature, scenes that usually included farm animals in a pastoral or woodsy setting.
Travis was a “country boy” but was able to attend the University of Houston, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1968. In the early 1970’s he was an Artist in Residence at Tamarind Institute (a lithography workshop) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After a brief stint teaching watercolor at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston in 1977, Travis moved to Keachi, Louisiana where he had previously worked. There he established his studio and began chronicling the lives of the older African American residents through his painting, photography and audio recordings.
Whitfield’s multimedia work, Further On Down The Road, has been exhibited in smaller formats throughout Texas and Louisiana. This new and significantly expanded installation features a full-size “Shotgun House” made from materials and artifacts from the people and environment featured in his photography, painting and video.
This exhibition is curated by Ann Harithas, the museum’s founder and executive director of Five Points Museum of Contemporary Art, Victoria, TX.
Station Museum of Contemporary Art is located at 1502 Alabama in Houston, TX and is open to the public 11am-6pm Wednesday through Sunday. Admission at the museum is always free.