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Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) is the local nonprofit arts and culture agency that enhances the city’s quality of life through advancing and investing in the arts and diverse cultural programming. The work of HAA encourages Houston’s development and shapes its global reputation by fostering tourism and supporting and promoting the city’s creative economy.

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Creating public spaces for civic and cultural use requires artists, designers, architects, and the community to collaborate. By actively fostering these partnerships, both public and private, HAA’s Civic Art + Design program initiates, manages, and maintains public artworks throughout Houston. It serves a vital role as catalyst for change that generates a culturally relevant and rich environment for residents and visitors alike.

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Houston Arts Alliance’s Folklife + Civic Engagement program identifies and honors the artistic and cultural traditions of the city’s tremendously diverse and various communities and works to address the needs of all residents through engagement, citizen-driven initiatives, and equitable community outcomes. The Folklife program has been in existence since 2010. The addition of Civic Engagement to its portfolio was enacted through an HAA bylaws change in 2016.

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Grants are a fundamental means of promoting excellence in the creative sector. On behalf of the City of Houston, HAA awards approximately 225 grants annually to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and individual artists through a competitive grant allocation process.

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What Time Is It?


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Photo: Alexander's Fine Portrait Design

Jo Ann Fleischhauer and Musiqa, What Time Is It?, 2013-2014. Louis and Annie Friedman Clock Tower, Market Square Park, 301 Milam.

Made possible by Houston Arts Alliance (HAA), Houston Downtown Management District, Blaffer Art Museum and Houston Parks and Recreation Department

Visual artist Jo Ann Fleischhauer and the contemporary music group Musiqa’s exciting public art collaboration What Time Is It? at the Louis and Annie Friedman Clock Tower (also known as the Market Square Clock Tower) was on view from September 28, 2013 – March 29, 2014. The unveiling of the installation was celebrated with a free public premiere Friday, November 8, 2013, with special remarks, the first “tolling” of the musical portion of the installation and a concert of modern chamber music by Musiqa called Time Travel.

Visual artist Jo Ann Fleischhauer and the contemporary music group Musiqa’s exciting public art collaboration What Time Is It? at the Louis and Annie Friedman Clock Tower (also known as the Market Square Clock Tower) was on view from September 28, 2013 – March 29, 2014. The unveiling of the installation was celebrated with a free public premiere Friday, November 8, 2013, with special remarks, the first “tolling” of the musical portion of the installation and a concert of modern chamber music by Musiqa called Time Travel.

The work explored the concept of time and the relevancy of its physical markers in a digital age by interrogating the place of a clock tower in our everyday lives. In What Time Is It?, applied mirror panels effectively dematerialized the physical structure of the clock tower to the point of disappearance. A spiral staircase wound its way up and into the tower leading to the clock hovering at the top. Together, mirrors and staircase deemphasized the architecture of the tower and instead put visual emphasis on the clock and bell — a clock, however, that did not toll time as expected. Backlit images of historical notes and calculations about space and time that appeared as constellations in the sky became the backdrop for the actual clock faces, their visibility and prominence shifting in intensity as the projected light circled through different shades of brightness and temperature.

Musiqa’s collaboration addressed the auditory nature of the clock tower by replacing the scheduled chimes of bells with original musical works inspired by the site. C O'Clock, composed by Anthony Brandt and Chapman Welch, ran through the entire duration of the exhibition by replacing the ringing of the bell with a progression of chords that rose and fell like the sun. Each chord was complemented by ringing sounds that were improvised by a computer and made each tolling unique and unpredictable. The sound source of both the underlying chords and the improvisations was Market Square itself, recorded street noise, which was filtered until it turned into pure tones. The computer-generated sounds were complemented by monthly live performances of compositions by students of the Rice University Shepherd School of Music and the University of Houston Moores School of Music.

As part of What Time Is It?, Musiqa presented a series of world premiere brass compositions during a series of monthly lunchtime concerts. These short concerts comprised The Market Square Brass Project, a six-month series in which each month a student composer presented a new brass premiere to be added to the program. The instrumentation of each performance increased through the series with the final performance featuring six new compositions and six performers. 

What Time Is It? was organized by HAA as an extension of Alliance Gallery and Blaffer Art Museum. Major support came from the Houston Downtown Management District and the City of Houston through HAA. Community partners included the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, Moores School of Music at the University of Houston and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. The exhibition was on view 24-hours a day (music component audible daily 7 a.m. to midnight) on the corner of Travis and Congress streets at Market Square.

 


ABOUT JO ANN FLEISCHHAUER

Jo Ann Fleischhauer was born in Brooklyn and raised in a small town outside of Buffalo, New York. She received her BA from Bates College and her BFA from San Francisco Art Institute. After completing her degrees, she lived and studied in New Zealand and France. In 1990, she moved to Houston where she did graduate work in sculpture at the University of Houston.

She is a recipient of two Individual Artist Fellowship Grants from the HAA, a Houston Endowment Grant, a City of Houston City Initiative Grant as well as grants from Connemara Conservancy, Stone Quarry Hill Art Park, Buffalo Bayou Artpark, Tacoma Contemporary, and Project Row Houses. From 2008-2010, she was the Artist-in-Residence in the Department of Nanomedicine and Biomedical Engineering (nBME), The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston.

ABOUT MUSIQA

Winner of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP 2013 Adventurous Programming Award, Musiqa takes a fresh look at the concert experience by blending modern classical music with cutting-edge dance, poetry, theatre, film and the visual arts. Musiqa presents an annual subscription series, free loft concerts at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and educational programs that serve 6,000 public school students per year—all at no cost to schools. Musiqa’s programs have been recognized with six consecutive grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.

July 16
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