The Cinema Social

The Cinema Social is a Houston, Tx based organization dedicated to arts education, developing new and established Houston based artists, in all mediums, but especially and specifically filmmakers. We are dedicated to bolstering the blossoming film/arts community, evolving Houston, Tx today. Our Support comes in the form of at least four major quarterly events, annually, which are installation shows or gallery parties. These events host the talents of many varied artists, from all mediums, and especially in film, whether they are student artists, aspiring artists, working artists, or established artists.

Fresh Art fiscal sponsorship program helps artists and arts organizations raise money from charitable sources.

2016 Sell Local WKSHP


**Online registration has ended. Registration will be possible at the door** 

Selling Local: A new workshop about winning at fine art + craft fairs 
in collaboration with Pop Shop America founder, Brittany Bly

Price: $20.00

Sculpture Month Houston

“Rather than having one stamped style I would say that there’s no Houston style, the Houston style would be the variety of things.” –Joe Havel

Sculpture Month Houston is a citywide event that celebrates and showcases sculpture throughout Houston. The campaign is hosted in numerous galleries and venues throughout the city from October 15 through November 19, 2016. It will direct attention to the sculptural work, creative energies and diverse expressions of Houston sculptors. It will join a succession of existing art celebrations such as FotoFest, PrintMatters Houston and Houston Art Fair, adding to Houston’s reputation as an art friendly city.

The last sculpture event was 16 years ago at Sculpture 2000 and with this project we hope to bring a current survey of the sculptural medium to the greater Houston area. We will be showcasing the emergence of a talented generation of young sculptors alongside our important established sculptors in a wide variation of styles, reflecting the diversity of the city of Houston. The first-class collection of public sculpture has encouraged Houston sculptors to create works of great distinction and sophistication.

Fresh Art fiscal sponsorship program helps artists and arts organizations raise money from charitable sources.


Writespace is Houston's newest literary arts organization. Located north of downtown and south of the Heights, Writespace offers writing workshops, readings, open mics, write-ins, manuscript consultations, editing services, and classes and private lessons for young writers. Powered by some of Houston's top writers, Writespace supports writers of all genres, including literary fiction, poetry, mainstream fiction, young adult and picture book, sci-fi-, fantasy, and mystery genres.

Fresh Art fiscal sponsorship program helps artists and arts organizations raise money from charitable sources.

Submitted by FreshArts on Wed, Jul 13th at 4:14 pm

Well Houstonians, it looks like its that time of the year again.  The heat and humidity has introduced an indoor-only bias to our summer schedule.  The staff here at Fresh Arts feels the same way - so we've decided to compile a mid-summer reading list for artists to help you hone your professional development skills while minimizing sweat stains.  So turn up the A/C, grab a nice cold glass of sweet tea, and curl up with one of these favorites.  

Marci's Pick
Executive Director

This monograph by Boulder, Colorado native Jim Collins discusses leadership and performance ideology that create successful organizations in the social sector.  This text accompanies the original Good to Great and extends by challenging the idea that ingredients to excellence such as discipline, quantitative analysis, and strong leadership are "business skills."  This book is perfect for non-profit administrators, especially those who are looking to improve the performance of their organization without abandoning their primary goal of community service.  

  • "We must reject the idea—well-intentioned, but dead wrong—that the primary path to greatness in the social sectors is to become "more like a business." Most businesses—like most of anything else in life—fall somewhere between mediocre and good. Few are great. When you compare great companies with good ones, many widely practiced business norms turn out to correlate with mediocrity, not greatness. So, then, why would we want to import the practices of mediocrity into the social sectors? . . .That's when it dawned on me: we need a new language. The critical distinction is not between business and social, but between great and good. We need to reject the naive imposition of the "language of business" on the social sectors, and instead jointly embrace a language of greatness."  
  •                             Buy on Amazon

Angela's Pick
Program Manager

Author, sociologist, and avid contemporary art publication contributor Sarah Thornton details the complicated, sophisticated, lucrative subculture that is the contemporary art world.  Thornton uses a day-to-day format to recount observations of wealth, taste, and popularity with a light-hearted and gossipy tone.  Seven Days in the Art World will be a favorite of alternative gallerists and artists who crave the hustle. 

  • "Although the art world reveres the unconventional, it is rife with conformity. Artists make work that "looks like art" and behave in ways that enhance stereotypes. Curators pander to the expectations of their peers and their museum boards. Collectors run in herds to buy work by a handful of fashionable painters. Critics stick their finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing so as to "get it right". Originality is not always rewarded, but some people take real risks and innovate, which gives a raison d'être to the rest.” 
  • Buy on Amazon

Ariel's Pick
Membership and Marketing Manager

Malcolm Gladwell offers some big-picture insight with regards to marketing concepts.  The Tipping Point is a motif that refers to the moment where a simple but carefully constructed campaign catches momentum and causes public action - whether commercial or societal.  By using the concept of an epidemic as a metaphor for the spread of ideas, Gladwell dissects the success of case studies ranging from the NYC crime rate to the effectiveness of Paul Revere.  Calling all Marketers: move this book to the #1 position on your reading list!

  • "To look closely at complex behaviors like smoking or suicide or crime is to appreciate how suggestible we are in the face of what we see and hear, and how acutely sensitive we are to even the smallest details of everyday life. That's why social change is so volatile and so often inexplicable, because it is the nature of all of us to be volatile and inexplicable.”

Sarah's Pick
Operations and Administration Assistant

If you've ever gawked at the auction price of a Damien Hurst piece, The $12 Million Stuffed Shark by Don Thompson is the chance to get your sneak peek into the economics of the art world.  Thompson interviews collectors, auction house executives, and artists to consider multiple perspectives of those involved with the production and consumption of contemporary art.  Though from the perspective of an economist and marketing expert, Thompson knows it is not just about the money.  He shows well-rounded knowledge about conceptual art, trends, social status and other subjective contributing factors that determine a piece's market value.  We recommend this book to artists, art patrons, and anyone striving to be a participant in the high-end art market - time to learn what you're getting yourself into...

  • "What do you hope to acquire when you bid at a prestigious evening auction at Sotheby’s? A bundle of things: a painting of course, but hopefully also a new dimension to how people see you. As Robert Lacey described it in his book about Sotheby’s, you are bidding for class, for a validation of your taste.” 

Madison's Pick
Resource Coordinator

Subtitled The Ultimate Business Manual for Every Practicing Artist, this text from Karen Atkinson and GYST-Ink is more of a textbook and instructional manual hybrid.  GYST includes interactive worksheets and sample forms for common fundamentals of a successful professional art practice.  For example, these worksheets  include theoretical exercises such as personal assessments and goal setting as well as logistical resources such as sample budgets and collector documentation.  To really get the most of this book, the reader has to commit to participating and engaging as much as possible.  Therefore, we suggest this book to students, scholars, and those familiar with the library grind.  

  • "Far too often artists find themselves having to compromise their art and their life because they were not taught accurate up-to-date methods for dealing with business situations. Because of this lack of preparedness artists miss out on valuable opportunities, financial rewards, and access to receptive audiences. This book aims to help all artists everywhere avoid these pitfalls and get on the track to success on their own terms. Whether you are a gallery- bound artist, a public artist, an emerging artist, a hobbyist, a crafts-person, a student, or a seasoned artist in need of a tune up, this manual is meant for you."

So here's our list, but we'd love to hear from you! What art book are you reading this summer? Any favorites? Any disappointments? Leave your thoughts in the comments, and best of all… get reading! 

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2016 Basic Fundraising Principles


Understanding What Donors Want:  
Basic Principles of Fundraising
Led by Marcia Hovious, Co-Founder of Hovious Consultants
Price: $20.00


2018 WHAM ARTIST CALL: Frequently Asked Questions

WHAM Artist Call

Submitted by sarah_stevens on Tue, Jun 14th at 5:03 pm

If you've been down Heights Boulevard lately, you may have noticed something a little different along the esplanade from the 400 block to the 1800 block. I am, of course, talking about the eight wonderful sculptures that make up Trail of Art, a curated sculpture exhibit masterminded by local artist Chris Silkwood and Gus Kopriva, owner and Director of Redbud Gallery.  This is the third exhibition of its kind curated by the dynamic duo following the success of their previous projects True North in 2014, and True South in 2015.  Silkwood and Kopriva had long dreamed of putting together a large-scale public art exhibit when in 2014, a City's Initiative Grant and fiscal sponsorship under Fresh Arts finally allowed this dream to become a reality - and they have been unstoppable ever since. 

This year's offering Trail of Art, also a fiscally sponsored project of Fresh Arts, features Texas-based artists Robbie Barber, Keith Crane, Chris Silkwood, Kelley Devine, David Graeve, Alex Larsen, Patrick Renner, Ariane Roesch and Kaneem Smith.  The exhibits have been incredibly popular with residents and businesses within the Historic Heights, as well as visitors from all over the U.S. The exhibit's opening was even attended by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner (as pictured above with the lovely Fresh Arts gals), so it's safe to say that this year's project has so far been a success. Trail of Art will be in place through December 15, 2016 - we definitely recommend going to see it while you can! 

Interested in putting together your own public art exhibit? Sign up here to join Chris Silkwood and representatives from Weingarten Art Group and HAA Civic Art Department for a moderated panel discussion with Houston artists who've successfully navigated the public realm to organize cultural performances and projects.
Click to view the Fresh Arts Blog
Submitted by FreshArts on Thu, Jun 2nd at 4:43 pm
It's often said that art is a way of life -- but it's much more than that if you want your art to pay the bills.  Developing a professional art practice is no easy task.  However, it is totally possible as long as you're willing to dedicate lots of time, energy, and yes, some money to get yourself started.  Here's a list of essentials for those of you who are even just thinking about taking the leap to professionalizing your hobby. Of course, there's many more items on the to-do list to sustain your career, but these 7 points will help kickstart your professional practice. 

1. Schedule time to "clock-in" to your new second job
Unfortunately, financial expectations of today's society doesn't allow most people to just quit their day job to pursue their dream.  This is why it's essential to schedule a set amount of time per day (or per-week if it's easier at first) to dedicate to your practice.  

For instance if you work a normal 9-5, maybe your art-time is 7-8PM. This gives you enough time to get home, heat up some leftovers, and hit the studio.  Afterwards, you'd even have time to wind down with a book or a "Friends" rerun before you hit the hay. 

If you've run out of ideas for how to use your art-time, or aren't feeling inspired to make actual artwork, check out this list by Sylvia White that goes over some logistical tasks for beginning artists. 

Finally, it's easy to let this time commitment slide to the back burner as life gets hectic.  That's what makes being a professional artist so difficult -- you don't have a boss looking over your shoulder, checking up on your productivity.  Try to hold yourself accountable for this time and soon you'll find it easier to dedicate even more of your day to your art practice.

2. Big or small, find a space - and get organized
If you want to make the most of your dedicated art-time, it's important to avoid spending a chunk of it setting out and cleaning up your supplies.  Many times, this remedy can be as simple as obtaining a desk that's strictly a surface for working on your drawings, and organizing your supplies in an accessible way.  Try decorating your space with aesthetics that inspire you, and refrain from letting your art-area get cluttered with non-creative work. A desk covered with laundry and bills can inhibit your creative flow and just leave you feeling stressed about housework instead of motivated to create something beautiful.  

If you're fortunate enough, it might be feasible to eventually rent a space outside of your home.  A good place to start could be TXRX Labs.  They offer electronics and prototyping lab space, workshops, and collective wisdom, in addition to their incredibly comprehensive equipment facilities for wood and metal workers, machinists, ceramicists and more.  Obtaining a monthly membership is a great way for beginning (and experienced) artists to gain access to spaces and resources for a fraction of the cost it would be to purchase them yourself.  

Eventually, you could outgrow your home studio and find a space away from home in studio communities such as the growing Sawyer Yards.  But for now, just being mindful about committing a space to your creative practice puts you on the right track to take your work more seriously. 

3. Construct an Artist Statement
An artist statement, a concise declaration of an artists' practice, ideas, intent, materials, and methods, is one of the most important aspects of your practice.  When applying for grants, shows, residencies, or gallery representation, you will be asked to provide an artist statement to accompany work examples.  Therefore,  it is important to be sure that you are constantly updating your statement as your work changes and develops.  If you've never written a statement before or could use some advice on how to improve yours, check out this article from Agora Gallery that explains some tips about the writing process 

Many artists find it difficult to construct an artist statement, but it can also be used as a tool help develop your artwork through reflection and critical thinking.  If you have a few projects that are very different from one another, its a good idea to write statements for each of them.  It is also common to prepare multiple versions of the same statement to fit occasional length restrictions.  To start, you should prepare a one-sentence statement (sometimes called an elevator pitch), a one-paragraph statement commonly included in publications for group shows (about 100 words), and a one-page statement to include in grant applications for a more in-depth look into your practice (about 250 words).  Here is a great article from Columbia College of Chicago that distinguishes the significance of different versions.  Most importantly, revisit your statement frequently to ensure its always in tip-top shape. 

4. Create an Artist Website
The internet continues to be a growing space for sharing information and your artwork should be a part of that space.  An artist website is an efficient way to represent your artwork in an organized, thoughtful, and self-controlled format that is accessible from nearly anywhere in the world. It is also becoming more common for grant applications offer the option to submit your website as an additional resource to be considered.  Having an artist website might seem unessential for a beginning artist, but it can be a great way to organize your artwork and the simplest way to show your work to others while on the go.  Also, creating a website is easier now more than ever -- so the real question is, why NOT?

Many artist websites include work samples with citation information, an artist statement and biography, a resume, and information about how to contact the artist.  Here's a thorough article from that outlines all the do's and don'ts for successful artist websites. Their biggest piece of advice? "Keep it fast, simple, easy, and organized."  Use your website to curate your online portfolio of only the best examples of your artwork.  With the goal of efficiently exemplifying your art practice to the common public, the importance lies in quality - not quantity.  

In its simplest form, there are two parts needed to lock down your artist website: a domain name, and a web hosting service. This article from Website Builder Expert outlines the basic components for first-time website builders. 

Finally, there are many simple services that offer website creation and hosting - starting at ZERO dollars!  If you've never made a website before, Weebly is a great place to start.  It uses a simple drag-and-drop interface that allows you to easily add content and organize the pages of your site.  If you're pretty tech-savvy and a little nit-picky with design, you might find the usability of to offer a little more freedom in exchange for simplicity.  Whichever platform you choose, start with a free account as a way to experiment with different strategies to promote yourself.  Once you've got your work out in to the digital world, adding an online shop or blog can be a great way to attract visitors to your site and hopefully new collectors of your artwork! 

5.  Create a Basic Business Strategy
If you're used to painting or sculpting in your free time as a leisurely hobby, developing a business strategy for your practice might seem like an uncomfortable transition.  However, if you want your artwork to provide at least a supplementary source of income, its important to structure and predict the ways your work can earn you money.  Do you want to sell your artwork directly to the consumer? Do you want to be represented by a gallery, or sell your work yourself at events such as art festivals and open studios? Do you want to produce installation or socially engaged art and receive your artist income through granted artist fees or stipends? Do you want to work as a commissioned photographer or portrait artist and be paid on an hourly basis? 

Having an idea about the logistics of your business will allow you to start making goals to move yourself forward.  It might seem strange to think about your artistic practice as a business, but if you have the intention of making some money from your work, then the slight shift to an entrepreneurial mindset is necessary.  Here is an article from Creatives and Business that breaks down the basics of a business plan and some crucial questions to ask yourself when writing one.

6. Get out there!
Artists need fuel to create their work, and that fuel often comes in the form of inspiration from other art.  Try to go to as many exhibitions, screenings, openings, and fundraisers in your local art community as you can.  Taking the time to absorb and contemplate artwork that is similar and art that is widely contrasted from your work will allow you to think more critically about the concept, quality, and progression of your art.  To stay informed about art events happening in Houston, subscribe to Fresh Arts' weekly Art on Tap newsletter for event suggestions sent right to your inbox or check out

Not only is it beneficial to be able to see the interests of other artists, but going to events is also a great way to meet people in the community.  Networking is a great way to gain collectors, meet collaborators, and learn about current opportunities and resources. Although it might seem intimidating at first, the more you talk about your work, the better you become at talking about it AND the more you start to understand how the community engages with your artistic interests.  Pro tip: networking is a fantastic time to whip out your elevator speech that you've conveniently already prepared. 

Finally, by being actively engaged with events around you, you'll start to get a gauge for how and even specifically where your artwork will best  fit into your local arts community.  Submitting your work to small exhibition spaces is a simple way to add to your resume and get your art seen by the public.  Places like East End Studio Gallery and Hardy & Nance Street Studios regularly post open calls for artwork, so be sure to keep an eye out for shows to which your work might be applicable.  (Pictured right: Lawndale Art Center's BIG Show)

7. Set Goals and Have fun!
Setting realistic goals to improve your new professional practice is a never-ending component of your development strategy.  But that doesn't mean it has feel like drudge work.  Your goals can be as simple and objective or as abstract and visionary as necessary.  Karen Atkinson and GYST-Ink, the authors of "Getting Your Sh*t Together: The Ultimate Business Manual for Every Practicing Artist" suggest creating a set of one-month, one-year, five-years, 20-years, and even lifetime goals.  This can be a great way to visualize how your new professional art practice, your personal, and your financial lives will be connected.  This strategy will also help to break down seemingly impossible accomplishments.  

As a hypothetical example, if your 20-year goal is to have a solo exhibition at The Contemporary Art Museum Houston, setting a 10 year goal of being represented by a competitive gallery or receiving HAA's Individual Artist Grant for a large public-art piece is a good way to place yourself on track.  Furthermore, breaking down that ambitious goal further means a five year goal of getting into Lawndale's BIG Show and a one-year goal of documenting all of your artwork for your artist website makes the CAMH seem much more obtainable.  

Best of all, these goals can and should change!  Our lives, priorities, and interests are always shifting and our goals can adapt to those changes. The whole point of developing a professional art practice is to embrace the privilege of being able to do what we love for a living.  Therefore, as artists we better be extra certain that we're having fun with our work -- no matter how tedious the essentials might seem. 

To view more resources including the ones featured in this blog post, check out our Resource Library! 

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