Art Notes

Way Out West: At the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the lure of the fabled West is celebrated with canvases and bronzes %26nbsp;by Charles Russell (1864 %26#8211;1926), an image-maker who later inspired Huston and Ford%26#8217;s cinematic interpretations (through August 29). This exhibition is the first-ever museum retrospective mounted for the Montana great, who captured the frontier at a time when it was already vanishing. In Houston, the MFAH%26#8217;s Emily Neff organizes the show, which puts a flourish on the museum%26#8217;s American season. Watch for the many faces of Russell, from humorist to environmentalist, and his extensive and sensitive depiction of native Americans (through August 29).

Here Comes ArtHouston: More than 30 hometown gallerists continue a 30-year summer tradition: the citywide open house that is ArtHouston ( Here are our picks for shows we love. At G Gallery, emerging talent Maria Cristina Jadick asks if we are %26#8220;Ready to Rumble?%26#8221; %26#8212; an interactive exhibition with narrative and metaphor (from football to the kitchen) that calls on the gallery-goer to exercise political, military and economic power (July 3 %26#8211;%26nbsp;26) ... On Colquitt, painter/collagist Michael Miller at Moody Gallery and photog/installationist Rusty Scruby at McMurtrey Gallery show here for the first time in recent memory (both exhibitions July 10 %26#8211;%26nbsp;August 7) ... At Gallery Sonja Roesch, gallerist Volker Eisele curates part one of a topic that has consumed him for years: %26#8220;Quantum Dada,%26#8221; which investigates the intersection of the contemporary Dada movement with quantum science (July 3 %26#8211;%26nbsp;31). Stay tuned; part two arrives at newly branded Rudolph Blume Fine Art/ArtScan Gallery this October.

Bigger Than Ever/Crafts Crazy: It%26#8217;s %26#8220;Big Show%26#8221; time at Lawndale Art Center, rolling out our favorite juried show of the year. Portland- and Berlin-based Paul Middendorf does the curatorial honors (July 9 %26#8211; August 7).

Major Leaguers: At Art League Houston, hometown talent Marco Villegas takes inspiration from Japanese woodcut master Katushika Hokusai with an ambitious five-part suite of wall drawings entitled Long Way She Wave, which also offers an ode to our endangered Gulf of Mexico. In an adjoining ALH gallery, Houston painter Beth Secor curates the must-see %26#8220;Lonesome Travelers,%26#8221; a photo-based exhibition showcasing three Texas lensmen %26#8212; Mario Perez, Bryan Schutmaat and Robert Ziebell %26#8212; who celebrate the ordinary along the world%26#8217;s byways. Secor says of this grouping, %26#8220;Looking at them makes me want to have adventures and write stories, like %26#8230; Kerouac%26#8217;s, whose book the title of the exhibition is based. In my narratives, Ziebell%26#8217;s woman in a market who happens to be standing behind a plant is in reality Coatlicue, the mother of the gods;%26nbsp;Schutmaat%26#8217;s hotel telephone rings, and the caller announces mankind%26#8217;s destiny; and Perez%26#8217;s chihuahua Buster is an all seeing being, who with a single sniff, can read one%26#8217;s thoughts ...%26#8221; (both exhibitions, July 9 %26#8211; August 20).

Fountainhead: International conceptual artist/sculptor Dennis Oppenheim is putting the finishing touches on his three-element Radiant Fountains at the entranceway of George Bush Intercontinental Airport %26#8212; an innovative permanent, public site-specific creation spearheaded by Houston Arts Alliance. The stainless-steel structures resemble gigantic crowns, which pulsate with multi-hued LED lights that depict water cascading from a fountain. At press time, an unveiling this month is planned.

Above: Michael Miller%26#8217;s "Today I Am Thankful For All I Have," 2009, at Moody Gallery. Photo courtesy the artist and Moody Gallery

Below: Charles Russell%26#8217;s "In Without Knocking," 1909, at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Photo courtesy Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth.

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