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Curated by Mary Ross Taylor

Notions of time play are explored through the work of 16 notable artists from Houston in Thrive, an exhibition organized in conjunction with a conference at the University of Houston: “Gender, Creativity and the New Longevity.” The exhibition, catalog, and accompanying programs were a co-production of DiverseWorks and the Women’s Studies program at the University of Houston.

Artists: Elia Arce, Laura Bennett, Ellen Berman, Suzanne Bloom, Joanne Brigham, Kathy Hall, Roberta Harris, Rachel Hecker, Mary Jenewein, Lauren Kelley, Charles Mary Kubricht, Lynn Randolph, Debra Rueb, Toby Topek, Kelli Vance and Dee Wolff.

Click HERE to see more photos from the opening reception.


Thrive is both a celebration and an investigation of the fruitful passing of time. As the curator, I sought to address through this exhibition a question posed by “Gender, Creativity, and the New Longevity,” the symposium sponsored by the University of Houston’s Women’s Studies Program. As we live longer, how shall women see themselves and be engaged over a long life span for which most of us have no role models?  The symposium suggests that creativity can suggest strategies to shape the new arc of women’s lives.

Visiting with artists, I discovered that in the studio they aren’t conscious of their age any more than they are of their eye color. These artists share an interest in time – the raw material by which aging is measured. They investigate many dimensions of time: political, historical, autobiographical, familial, biological, environmental, spiritual, and quotidian, as well as the fluidity of identity, memory, and ephemerality. Their work springs from, incorporates, and transcends the personal.

Thrive is a reunion for some of the artists, who were part of the flourishing art activism of the Houston Women’s Caucus for Art, Houston Gorilla Girls, and Women’s Drum Corps.  At a time when the art market sees only those under thirty, Thrive honors the ongoing artistic contribution of those over thirty. And in an unprecedented celebration, the exhibition brings together both emerging and enduring Houston feminist artists representing three generations.

 — Mary Ross Taylor

Mary Ross Taylor holds a B.A. from Vanderbilt University, M.A. from University of Tennessee, and M.A. in Museum Studies from John F. Kennedy University.  She founded a feminist bookstore in Houston in 1973 and was active in the arts community. Beginning in 1983 she worked at artist Judy Chicago’s nonprofit art organization, Through the Flower, as Project Administrator of The Birth Project and then as Executive Director until 1990.  She is currently president of that nonprofit board. She was Executive Director of Lawndale Art Center in Houston from 1991 – 1997, has curated and juried exhibitions, and was a founder of Art Women, a volunteer-run website. She serves on Texas artist Michael Tracy’s River Pierce Foundation board, and on the National Advisory Board of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.

On View:

November 14 – December 20, 2008

Opening Reception:

Friday, November 14, 6 – 8 pm


1117 E Freeway
Houston, TX  77002


Supported by the Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation