Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH) turns 70 this year and there is much to celebrate. The Museum has a rich history of achievements and firsts—the first live arts performance involving a satellite by Douglas Davis; the first museum exhibition of numerous emerging artists including Julian Schnabel, Cindy Sherman, and LaToya Ruby Frazier; and the first museum retrospective of artists just achieving international success such as Trenton Doyle Hancock, Barbara Kruger, and Robert Rauschenberg. But in the true spirit of a non-collecting kunsthalle, CAMH cherishes its past but does not hold on to it. Instead, the focus is on the present and the future in order to engage with that which is truly contemporary.
With the future in mind, the Museum is in the midst of a strategic plan that reconsiders the role CAMH should play in Houston and further afield. The Board and Staff accept and relish the challenge set forth in the plan—to further diversify our programs and outreach and to advance the dialogue of what defines the contemporary social and cultural environment. CAMH will welcome new Curator Rebecca Matalon to the team in January and know that a new perspective will yield shows that will probe the boundaries of contemporary art. Curator Dean Daderko and Exhibitions Manager and Assistant Curator Patricia Restrepo are in the process of planning exhibitions unlike those seen before at CAMH. The Museum may be turning 70, but CAMH is focused on 71 and beyond.
Imperative to CAMH’s mission is the public that it serves. Felice Cleveland, Director of Education and Public Programs, continues to expand the Museum’s accessibility initiatives with bilingual didactics, Family Guides, and Art Guides. In addition to tours and workshops, dance, poetry, comedy, and meditation are a sampling of the diverse access points the Education and Public Programs Department utilizes to facilitate engagement with contemporary art. The Communications and Marketing Department headed by Kent Michael Smith strives to make CAMH accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to all through the website and social media. By following the Museum on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, our supporters get behind-the-scenes access to our exhibition installations, programs, curator-led walkthroughs, artist talks, and more allowing them to see art history being made.
Free to the public, CAMH strives to be available and accessible to all—from long-term supporters to first-time visitors. We look forward to seeing you soon.
-Christina Brungardt, Interim Director