HOUSTON, TX (January 4, 2016)—The Contemporary Arts Museum
Houston’s Teen Council is pleased to present Origins of the Self,
a group exhibition featuring work by Houston-area teen artists.
Focusing on themes surrounding personal identity, the exhibition
presents 86 artworks by 63 teens in a variety of media including photography,
painting, video, and sculpture. Origins of the Self is the 10th
biennial youth art exhibition organized by CAMH’s Teen Council.
Every other year, CAMH’s Teen Council organizes an exhibition
in the Zilkha Gallery featuring new work by young, Houston-area
artists. The Teen Council members work collaboratively to select the
theme, title, and artworks featured in the exhibition while assisting
with the design, installation, printed exhibition catalogue, and related
programming. Drawing from an open call, the Teen Council received
almost 400 submissions responding to the questions: What is the real
you? Where is the real you? How do you define the real you in a constantly
“Coming of age is often represented as a solitary process, but our
environments construct the self and often create a disconnect between
the self we present and our true self. The goal of this exhibition is to
recognize these contradictions and facilitate a reconciliation of these binaries: to create a space that embraces gray areas,” says Ife Omidiran,
CAMH Teen Council Member.
Living in a world overwhelmed by social media, teens are
navigating how to represent themselves while trying to locate genuine
connections and understand their peers through digital profiles, likes,
and comments. In search of how to define themselves—whether that
is online, in school, or at home—the young artists in this exhibition
explore their response to societal expectations. The artists also recognize
that adolescence is a time to explore, search, and learn about how
they choose to define themselves independently of their family and
“Throughout the selection process, the Teen Council members
listened to each other, spoke diplomatically, and were true collaborators.
The submissions informed the theme in surprising ways and helped the
Teen Council settle on the title for the show. These young artists have
reminded us that above all exploration leads to discovery,” says Michael
Simmonds, Teen Council and Public Programs Coordinator at CAMH.
Selected works include: Lost in Translation, a mixed media portrait
by Andy Liu that shows an incomplete drawing of a young woman
layered over a background of encyclopedia entries and sheet music.
Areas of the portrait allow the background to show through, asking
questions about influence, technology, and how we find information
in a fast-changing world. Briana Hernandez’s Broken Up fragments an
image of a teenager facing the audience with a solemn expression. The
physical fragmentation reflects the conflicts that teenagers face as they
attempt to find and define their identity. While many of the works in
the exhibition play with the idea of portraiture, other pieces veer from
the human face to explore ways that we identify ourselves, including
Claudia Garcia-Quinones’s wall-mounted sculpture Nucleus, composed
of delicately-sewn felt legs radiating from a center point and moving in
different directions. This piece evokes a feeling of chaos and confusion,
possibly revealing that these sentiments are at the heart of adolescence.
Origins of the Self is on view from January 28–May 7, 2017. The
exhibition is organized by CAMH’s Teen Council under the guidance
of Michael Simmonds, Teen Council and Public Programs Coordinator.
The Teen Council has organized a variety of complementary programming
to accompany the exhibition, including a Poetry Slam and
a Music Fest, in addition to leading art-making workshops at a Family
Day and Open Studio events in March and April respectively.
ABOUT CAMH’S TEEN COUNCIL
The Teen Council is a group of dedicated high school students who
are employed by the museum to create programming for their peers.
Teen Council members participate in a two year-long program wherethey receive in-depth, behind-the-scenes museum experience; learn
about pathways to creative careers; and develop leadership, collaboration,
and critical thinking skills while gaining real-world experience
planning exhibitions and events in a museum setting. Applications
to CAMH’s Teen Council are available online Spring 2017. The
2016-2017 members are: David Akinwande, Ilona Altman, Elizabeth
Hoskins, Sam Kenninton, Angela Liu, Lucas Martins, Connor Mizell,
Isabella Neblett, Ife Omidiran, Joyce Park, Gabriel Seyoum, Matthew
Watowich, Thor Westergaard, and Asia Youngs-Bailey.
Origins of the Self is accompanied by an illustrated color catalogue
that includes a foreword by Michael Simmonds, CAMH’s Teen
Council and Public Programs Coordinator, and an essay by Teen
Council member Isabella Neblett. The catalogue features images of
selected individual works, as well as of the exhibition installation, and
is designed by CAMH’s Graphic Designer Amanda Thomas.
The catalogue accompanying the exhibition is made possible by a grant
from The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston.
These events are free, open to the public, and take place at the
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Seating is limited. Please check
CAMH.ORG for the most current information.
Origins of the Self is supported in part by an award from Mid-America
Arts Alliance, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Texas
Commission on the Arts, and foundations, corporations, and individuals
throughout Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Teen Council is generously supported by Ms. Louisa Stude
This exhibition is made possible by the patrons, benefactors,
and donors to the Museum’s Friends of Steel Exhibitions: Director’s
Circle - Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Fayez Sarofim, and Ms.
Louisa Stude Sarofim; Curator’s Circle - Mr. and Mrs. I. H. Kempner
III, Dillon A. Kyle, and Robin and Andrew Schirrmeister; Major
Exhibition Circle - A Fare Extraordinaire, Bergner and Johnson
Design, Jereann Chaney, Marita and J.B. Fairbanks, Barbara and
Michael Gamson, Blakely and Trey Griggs, George and Mary
Josephine Hamman Foundation, Leslie and Mark Hull, Jackson and
Company, KPMG, LLP, Beverly and Howard Robinson, and MichaelZilkha; Perspectives Exhibition Circle - Ruth Dreessen and Thomas
Van Laan, Glen Gonzalez and Steve Summers, Louise D. Jamail,
Leigh and Reggie Smith, Mr. Wallace Wilson, and The Susan Vaughan
Funding for the Museum’s operations and programs is made possible
by generous grants from Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Jereann
Chaney, Marita and J.B. Fairbanks, Jo and Jim Furr, Barbara and
Michael Gamson, Brenda and William Goldberg, Leticia Loya, Fayez
Sarofim, Robin and Andrew Schirrmeister, and Marion and David
Young. The Museum receives partial operating support from The
Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston, the Houston Endowment, the
City of Houston through the Houston Museum District Association,
the Texas Commission on the Arts, The Wortham Foundation, Inc.,
and Art Market Productions.
CAMH also thanks its artist benefactors for their support,
including Chris Beckman, Michael Bise, Bruce High Quality
Foundation, Mel Chin, Jules de Balincourt, Julia Dault, Trenton Doyle
Hancock, James Drake, Keltie Ferris, Mark Flood, Barnaby Furnas,
Theaster Gates, Jeffrey Gibson, Camille Henrot, Jim Hodges, Joan
Jonas, Jennie C. Jones, Maya Lin, Julian Lorber, Robert Mangold,
Beatriz Milhazes, Melissa Miller, Marilyn Minter, Nic Nicosia,
Angel Otero, McKay Otto, Joyce Pensato, Enoc Perez, Gavin Perry,
Rob Pruitt, Matthew Richie, Dario Robleto, Ed Ruscha, Jacolby
Satterwhite, Cindy Sherman, Shinique Smith, Al Souza, John
Sparagana, James Surls, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Carrie Mae Weems,
William Wegman, Haegue Yang, and Brenna Youngblood.
United is the Official Airline of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.
The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston is a leading destination to
experience innovative art. CAMH actively encourages public engagement
with its exhibitions through its educational programs, publications,
and online presence.
ALWAYS FRESH, ALWAYS FREE
The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston is located at 5216 Montrose
Boulevard, at the corner of Montrose and Bissonnet, in the heart of
Houston’s Museum District. Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, and
Friday 10AM–7PM, Thursday 10AM–9PM, Saturday 10AM–6PM, and
Sunday 12PM–6PM. Admission is always free. For more information,
visit CAMH.ORG or call 713 284 8250.