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John Sparagana

John Sparagana: Splendid Isolation (Forces at Work), Installation view at Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino, 2022.

David Grubbs, ‘Soundwaves’ lead the list of fine-arts events this week

Here are the fine-arts events our critics are recommending this week.

Andrew Dansby, Cary Darling January 27, 2022Updated: January 28, 2022, 9:25 am


1. ‘Set the Woods on Fire’

Richard "Ricky" Armendariz has found an intriguing process for finding visual depth in his work. The El Paso native carves images into birch plywood before adding layers of oil paint to his works, which mix the intricate lines of wood carving with the radiant colors found on canvas. His chosen iconography is simple and deep, with images that resonate with an artist raised along the border between two nations and two cultures. “Set the Woods on Fire” puts several of his most recent works on display.

When: Open house noon-5 p.m. Jan. 29

Where: Nicole Longnecker Gallery, 440 Greengrass

Details: free; 346-800-2780,

Andrew Dansby

2. ‘My Father’s Desk’

The ominously muted colors of dusk permeate the work of Dan Sutherland, who populates his canvases with surprising figures comprising sharp angular exteriors that resemble some alien entity floating through space. His new collection is titled “My Father’s Desk,” and it opens this weekend.

When: Open house noon-5 p.m. Jan. 29; show runs10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Fri.; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays through March 12

Where: Moody Gallery, 2815 Colquitt

Details: free; 713-526-9911,

Andrew Dansby

3. David Grubbs

David Grubbs has made more than a dozen recordings of experimental music both under his own name and with Jim O’Rourke in the much-loved Gastr del Sol. He remains active as a musician, but has also written extensively and lectured about music. His new book is “Good night the pleasure was ours,” which compresses his 30-plus years of making music into a lengthy poem. He’ll read from the book and discuss his life in music this week.

When: 1 p.m. Jan. 28

Where: Moody Center, Room 205, Rice University

Details: free, RSVP at

Andrew Dansby

4. ‘Soundwaves: Experiments in Art + Music’

Moody Center for the Arts celebrates its fifth year with free, public reception for “Soundwaves: Experiments in Art + Music.” The exhibition incorporates sculpture, audio, video, painting and performances mixed with both visual and acoustic elements. The collective efforts of 12 artists aim to explore the intersection between sound and visual art by incorporating sculpture, audio, video, painting and performances.

When: Reception, 6-8 p.m on Jan. 28; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Sat. through May 14

Where: Moody Center for the Arts, Rice University 6100 Main Street

Details: free; 713-348-ARTS,

Amber Elliott

5. John Sparagana: Splendid Isolation (Forces at Work)

Contemporary artist John Sparagana’s second solo exhibition, “Splendid Isolation (Forces at Work)” at Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino was designed by Reto Geiser, Rice University School of Architecture associate professor and director of undergraduate studies and founding principal of design practice MG&Co. The 12-piece collection features several new works each constructed in the strategic cutting and mixing method, which has served as Sparagana’s foundation over the past 20 years.

When: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tuesday - Friday, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Saturdays through March 3

Where: Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino, 1506 W. Alabama

Details: free; 713-529-1313,

Amber Elliott


Andrew Dansby

Andrew Dansby covers culture and entertainment, both local and national, for the Houston Chronicle. He came to the Chronicle in 2004 from Rolling Stone, where he spent five years writing about music. He'd previously spent five years in book publishing, working with George R.R. Martin's editor on the first two books in the series that would become TV's "Game of Thrones. He misspent a year in the film industry, involved in three "major" motion pictures you've never seen. He's written for Rolling Stone, American Songwriter, Texas Music, Playboy and other publications. Andrew dislikes monkeys, dolphins and the outdoors.

Cary Darling

Cary Darling joined the Houston Chronicle in 2017 where he writes about arts, entertainment and pop culture, with an emphasis on film and media. Originally from Los Angeles and a graduate of Loyola Marymount University, he has been a features reporter or editor at the Orange County Register, Miami Herald, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. In addition, he has freelanced for a number of publications including the Los Angeles Times and Dallas Morning News.