One of the mini works of art in the United States: TX Little Galleries installations that have been popping up around Houston
Photo: Morris Malakoff
As mothers of little boys, Amber Slaughter and Megan Olivia Ebel are still working their motherly magic — and not just for their flesh and blood.
This weekend, Working Moms will present MIND:FULL, an art exhibit and silent auction that will feature 35 artists in Houston and surrounding areas. Things will officially kick off on April 9, starting with two panels early in the day before the exhibit officially opens to the public. (There will also be a paid VIP performance showcase later that night.)
This will be the first event in more than two years for Artists for Artists, the non-profit organization (co-founded by Slaughter, an artist herself) that aims to create accessibility to health care for artists. “We have this huge problem when it comes to the creative workforce, or a lot of different and vulnerable workforce, don’t we?” Massacre said. “They just don’t have that access to health care, and we’re trying to change that.”
With MIND:FULL, mental health will be front and center. Not only will this be the theme of the exhibit, but a portion of the proceeds will go to the Artists for Artists Creative Wellness Program, which covers therapy, medical emergencies, artist funding, and more.
Slaughter and Ebel also want to give many artists in this town their props/flowers by presenting their work to a fresh eye that will hopefully take some of it home with them. “We just act as a point of connection – and then we also pay the artists we connect,” explains Ebel.
“It’s a huge core belief of our organization and as individuals,” adds Slaughter. “You pay artists — you don’t ask them to work for free. It’s pay equity. Since, creative labor has been undervalued for so long, it’s time to stop expecting them to give away their labor for free.
Another way Slaughter and Ebel have given artists time to shine is with US:TX Little Galleries, a project where miniature art installations have popped up in parts of town. Launched in the fall of last year, 10 mini-galleries have surfaced (mostly in the highlands), with more expected to appear in the next couple of months. The goal is to diversify across the country, primarily into underserved areas.
“It takes a while to, you know, order them, get them made, paint them,” says Slaughter. “Next, we commission an artist to create a miniature fine art installation. So it takes time too, you know. We propose a concept —“
“We have found a place,” continues the galleries’ curator, Ebel. “We consider the location of the box and the artist who will fill that space and, for example, the type of dialogue that also needs to take place in that community.”
The artists involved with MIND:FULL appreciate that Slaughter and Ebel have created a place that shines a light on Houston’s artistic community. “I want people to see that artists come together to help each other,” says Peter Healy, who will have a colorful abstract painting for the exhibition.
Erika Alonso, who will have a few pieces up for auction, would like attendees to do more than enjoy the art. “I also hope that participants will be inspired to support artists through programming that continues to compensate artists: things like exhibitions, public art, community outreach, emergency grants and other health resources,” she says. “TX:US Little Galleries does all of the above, which is why I’m so happy to help support their work.”
Slaughter and Ebel ultimately want to show more art out in the open, making sure people who don’t regularly go to museums and galleries know it’s for them too. “I worked at the CAM and at the Center d’Artisanat Contemporain,” explains Ebel. “I’ve worked in schools and all sorts of things, but it’s always been in the arts. And you are very able to quickly see the disparity between who has access to these institutions and programs and who does not. So why not just create something that levels the playing field and makes everything a little easier? »
Craig Lindsey is a Houston-based writer