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Director's Letter

The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH) is THE gathering place for those who crave complex stimulation, require safe spaces to discuss dangerous ideas, and understand intellectual engagement as a sophisticated and profoundly fun experience. Being a museum devoted to current culture breathes new life into our work daily.

CAMH is artist-activated, curator-driven and audience responsive. We exist to take the vast field of contemporary art and frame it into clear stories to which our audiences can relate and respond.

And respond they do. For this city, we are the “first stop” for those wanting to engage “the contemporary” in all its forms. Contemporary artworks have no official verdict of history behind them. No previous generation of cultural authorities has declared them worthy of our time. CAMH’s version of our times is but one of many possible visions of our time in culture.

Even though the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston has a sixty-five year history of making good choices, of showing the epoch-changing artists early on before the larger art world has noticed them, we can never rest on our laurels.

The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston must never be scared of controversy; to do so would fail the art and the public. The “contemporary” is a discussion that matters.

All contemporary arts museums, including CAMH, will be adapting to new cultural and technological realities through trial and error. Some of our most audacious attempts at remaining ahead of the cultural curve will fall flat, while others will sprout wings and fly.

As CAMH continues its 65-year tradition of taking chances, it must remain the locus of the creative life of Houston, as the place where people gather to meet each other, engage ideas, and have a damn good time in the process.

Bill Arning, Director

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