Advocates of a Latino Museum of Cultural and Visual Arts & Archive Complex in Houston, Harris County (ALMAAHH) and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) have announced a call for proposals for the temporary exhibition Dream With Alebrijes. Works selected for the show will be displayed in the Cullen Sculpture Garden at the MFAH during the museum’s Fall Festival in early November.
Though the Fall Festival has been an annual tradition for a handful of years, last year was the first time the MFAH commissioned artists to create alebrije sculptures. For the show, the museum invited artists Carolina Borja; Mariela Dominguez, who is known as XZZX; Nela Garzón; Mario Enrique Figueroa, Jr., who is known as GONZO247; Ibraim Nascimento; and Lizbeth Ortiz.
GONZO247 told Glassitre, “I was honored to be a part of the inaugural Dream with Alebrijes Fall festival. I loved the theme and think it helped open the museum’s door to a whole new audience. This was a memorable experience and I look forward to seeing this festival grow.”
The year marks the first time MFAH and ALMAAHH have partnered for the initiative. Rather than inviting specific artists, the organizations have launched an open call for Latinx artists living and working in Houston. The ALMAAHH website states the large-scale temporary artworks should be visible from the street and be inspired by the Mexican folk art tradition of alebrijes. ALMAAHH defines alebrijes as “brightly colored Mexican folk art sculptures of spirit animals or fantasy, otherworldly creatures.”
Six artists will be selected to create sculptures for the installation. Each artist will receive a stipend of $5,000, which is intended to cover all related expenses, including labor, materials, and transportation. Additionally, artists must be available to attend a workshop during the second week of August, participate in studio visits during the third week of September, and to present an artist talk on November 5, 2023.
The deadline to apply for this opportunity is Sunday, July 16, and artists will be notified on July 31. Selected artists will have from August 1 through October 29 to construct their sculpture, with delivery and installation taking place between October 30 and November 4. Artworks will be on view throughout the MFAH Fall Festival, from November 5 to November 12.