Returning after a successful first year, The Kitchen Sink is an opportunity event for photographers to come out, enrich, and diversify their portfolios.
(HOUSTON) – Everyone is a photographer in 2018. Right? Between Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, stories, filters, editing softwares, and high-resolution phone cameras, it seems like everyone has taken up photography as a hobby, and many as an amateur profession. And what do we get to see when we log into social media? Breathtaking landscapes, platters of food, fruity drinks, well-toned swimsuit models, and selfies made to look like a close-up shot taken by someone else. But photography is — and has always been — more than just these things; and as time generates new methods of snapping and editing photos, real, artistic, photography has taken a step back, somewhat cheapened by the 21st century amateur photographer.
But the Kitchen Sink is here to change that. After a successful freshman year in Houston, the event curated by Jeff Soderstrom is geared toward providing photographers a space and time to come in and create art for their portfolios is returning with that very same mission in mind. By bringing together dancers, singers, military members, clergy people , authors, seniors, children, male models, GLBT folks, plus-sized models, and all of the other beautiful outlier, the Kitchen Sink is pushing for photographers to have the opportunity to capture the beautiful and idiosyncratic parts of the world they may not get a chance to encompass in their day-to-day lives. Modeling at the event for Houston photographers include About Magazine’s own Gin Martini and her team of LGBTQ cosplayers, drag queen Cyn City, fire performer Desmund Iceucold Mitchell,Laura Siebert’s flamenco dancing group, magicians Rangel and Son, and so many more.
The event takes place this Saturday, August 18th. Photographers who are interested in participating can contact Jeff Soderstrom here.
Look through the photos below for some shots from last year’s event:
WATCH: Anthony Ramirez Appears on PBS’s ‘Arts InSight’
On the Nov. 2nd episode of 10-time Emmy Award-winner Ernie Manouse’s PBS program, Arts InSight, About Magazine editor-in-chief and The Anthony Project creator and star will be Manouse’s featured guest alongside co-executive producer Wendy Taylor.
(HOUSTON) — Ernie Manouse — the multi-Emmy Award winning television producer at Houston Public Media and Houston’s PBS — has been bringing artistic television stories to Houstonians and beyond for years. Most recently the first season of his book club series Cover to Cover came to a close. With 10 Emmys under his belt and innumerable productions both local and nationally-syndicated on television and radio, Manouse certainly knows a good story when he stumbles upon one. That’s why it stands to reason that after catching an upfront performance of The Anthony Project — the About Magazine-produced sitcom created by and starring About Magazine editor-in-chief Anthony Ramirez — Manouse asked Ramirez and Wendy Taylor, as well as the show’s writers and actors — to appear on his PBS show airing every Friday night at 8:30 PM, Arts InSight.
The Anthony Project is a series created by Ramirez based on the real life events he’s lived through over the last few years. The story follows a fictional Ramirez part in the past after the death of his grandmother, and part in the present after falling victim to rape. Over the course of the first season, we watch the titular character weave in and out of cartoonish and outlandish forays at a fictionalized About Magazine as he tries to handle these recently-suffered traumas, his many love interests, and odd and unlikely friendships in his every day life. The show — which Ramirez began writing in 2016 — now employees a large staff of writers, including Christian Peck, Rebekah Knight, Kimberly Dyan, Lea Alonso, Megan Prevost and Shaun Gray with Ramirez serving as head writer. Co-producing the series is actress Julitta Pourciau, who has been featured in such television shows as Claws and The Leftovers. Former American Idol contestant and Houston-based talent, Wendy Taylor, serves as co-executive producer, writer, and plays a fictionalized version of herself, while Dallas’s New Country KSCS 96.3 assistant programming director and afternoon radio host, Al Farb, serves as the series’ supervising producer.
The series recently held a live reading of four of the series’ episodes at Rich’s Houston on Sept. 29th — where Manouse first saw the series. The read, which was met with favorable reviews, albeit a small turnout, was hosted by Farb and co-starred Houston favorites such as Kara Dion, Ty Frazier, Teresa Zimmermann, Regina Blake-DuBois, Liz Davidson, Morena Roas, Cody Ray Strimple, Doug Atkins, and the aforementioned Gray, Pourciau, Taylor, and Ramirez.
Filmed on location at the Montrose Center, Manouse spoke to both Anthony Ramirez and Wendy Taylor about how the show came to be, what made the story worth telling, the process by which they work on creating a sitcom, and the importance of comedy in a story about such tragedy. Manouse and the Arts InSight crew also captured the producers working through scripts and sitting in on a table read with a few of the actors. Davidson, Blake-DuBois, Pourciau, Roas, Taylor, and Ramirez were present while filming, also joined by actress Sarah Wyckoff. Appearing in pre-taped scenes from the show will be Frazier, Dion, Pourciau, Roas, Taylor, and Ramirez.
The Anthony Project episode of Arts InSight airs on Friday, November 2nd at 8:30 PM on PBS Channel 8. You can find a link to the show’s website here. Check out the audio trailer from the upfront at Rich’s below:
Ernie Manouse Returns to TV in New Show “Cover to Cover”
Houston Public Media presents Cover to Cover, hosted by Houston’s own Emmy-winner, Ernie Manouse: Tuesdays on TV 8 on PBS.
(HOUSTON) – The Great American Read launched on May 22 with a two-hour TV broadcast and voting kick-off for America’s favorite book. The PBS special returns on September 11, 2018 with a weekly series on book themes from heroes and villains to love and other worlds, culminating with the naming of America’s favorite work of fiction on October 23rd.
As The Great American Read prepares to reveal America’s favorite novel in the fall, Houston Public Media is putting a local spin on the PBS special that celebrates reading through Cover to Cover: The Houston Public Media Book Club.
Cover to Cover follows the same themes as the Greater American Read with Emmy-winning host Ernie Manouse inviting a changing panel of Houston influencers each week to talk about their favorite books in a lively, insightful half-hour discussion.
With lots of laughs, self-reflection, and shared learning moments, the series explores books that help us understand and define our identities and our place in the world to books that discover the trials and tribulations of literature’s favorite heroes.
Panelists include KHOU-11’s Deborah Duncan, Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star’s Pierce Bush, and Former First Lady Andrea White. Books highlighted include the favorite “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, the timeless “Macbeth”, and new reads such as “The Handmaid’s Tale”.
Each feature will broadcast on TV 8 at 8:00 pm on Tuesdays, starting September 11. Watch the first episode of the much anticipated series here.
Click here for more information on Cover to Cover, including the show air dates, themes, panelists and books.
About Houston Public Media
Houston Public Media is a service of the University of Houston and supported with financial gifts from the community. Houston Public Media combines broadcast and digital assets to serve residents of Southeast Texas with trusted local news and entertainment and national programming from NPR and PBS. With a combined weekly audience of more than 1.5 million, Houston Public Media is committed to delivering content that expands minds and possibilities with trusted information.
Bayou City Art Festival Announces 2018 Beneficiaries
A portion of the proceeds from Houston’s Bayou City Art Festival Downtown — the weekend outdoor fine art festival — will benefit six local charities
(HOUSTON) – The 2018 Bayou City Art Festival Downtown, produced by the Art Colony Association, Inc. (ACA), has selected six local nonprofits that will benefit from a portion of the proceeds of the event. The weekend celebration will be held Saturday-Sunday, October 13-14, 2018, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and will spotlight 300 artists from around the country representing 19 different disciplines in Downtown Houston.
“We are so grateful to partner with local nonprofits that not only support our festival, but also support the community,” said Sara Eakens, Program and Volunteer Director of ACA. “With the help and support from our sponsors, patrons and volunteers, we are able to raise fund for worthy local charities.”
Each nonprofit supports the festival by providing volunteers and has the option to host a crafting station for all ages in the Children’s Creative Zone. The six nonprofit partners benefiting from the 2018 Bayou City Art Festival Downtown include:
- A Cause to Give Us Paws
- Fresh Arts
- Recipe for Success
- The Arc of Greater Houston
- The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
- University of Houston-Clear Lake Art Gallery
Bayou City Art Festival, a sophisticated gallery, will transform the streets of Downtown into artistic avenues bursting with colors and culture. As one of the top outdoor fine art festivals in the U.S., the weekend festival will provide guests with the opportunity to see and purchase unique, custom art under the iconic Houston skyline. Bayou City Art Festival Downtown will feature live music in front of City Hall and throughout the festival along with entertainment, beverage stations, food trucks and much more for patrons to enjoy.
This year’s featured artist, Chris Vance, is a Mixed Media 2D artist from Bondurant, IA. Fueled by daily experiences, emotions and ideas, Vance is able to transform a blank canvas into an interpretation of himself. Art is his medium of expression and Vance refers to art as his personal diary. Using acrylic charcoal, spray paint or graffiti markers, he allows his feelings to drive the piece on a subconscious level. Vance works on wood, paper and finishes each piece with a coat of lacquer.
Online tickets are on sale now until the day of the event at www.artcolonyassociation.org. Tickets online are $12 for adults and $5 for children 6 – 12; children five and under are free. Tickets at the gate are $15 for adults. Also available online are two-day passes for $20 and family passes (two adults, two children tickets) for $30. Discounted tickets for Veterans and Seniors will be available at the gate.
About Bayou City Art Festival:
Entering its 47th year in 2018, the Art Colony Association has raised $3.6 million for local nonprofit programs through the festivals. A percentage of the proceeds support local art organizations and nonprofits. The Festivals are funded in part by grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, corporate sponsorships, private contributions, in-kind support and volunteer assistance. Volunteer and sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, please visit www.artcolonyassociation.org.
EXCLUSIVE: The Kitchen Sink Returned
In its sophomore year, The Kitchen Sink — a day-long event for photographers and models to build their portfolios — returned to Houston’s East Downtown (EaDo) to bring some of the magic back to photography; and your very own LGBTQ magazine got an exclusive first look inside.
(HOUSTON) – Following a wildly-successful freshman year, the photography event The Kitchen Sink popped back up in EaDo last Saturday to provide photographers the opportunity to exit the realm of Instagram photos, bikini-clad models, foodie pictures, and snaps of downtown skylines to enter one of aberrant talent acts, plus-sized models, LGBTQIA performers, and much, much more. For a nominal fee, photographers, models, and performers were invited from all across the city (a list carefully curated by the event’s founder and coordinator, Jeff Soderstrom — a photographer himself) to use a massive studio space in EaDo where models and talents of all types spilled in-and-out throughout the day for the photographers to capture on film. The description doesn’t quite match up to the title of the event. Does it? We were interested to know how exactly the event took on the name “The Kitchen Sink”, and asked Soderstrom exactly how that come to be. He told us half-jokingly and half-seriously, “The ‘Everything but the Kitchen Sink Photo Shoot’ was too long.”
Walking the grounds of the giant studio space in EaDo, we ran into numerous photographers, performers, models, and their crews. When speaking to one participating photographer on his thoughts of the event, Laie Holloway said, “I’m a photographer. I’m mainly glam, but I shoot any and everything.” He continued, “[This opportunity] helps shoot diverse dancers, male and plus-sized models, [and] glam. So, it just gives you a chance to shoot a whole range of everything,” he told About Magazine at the event. “I’m loving it.”
“The LGBTQ community […] they don’t get photographed […]”
While Soderstrom hopes that the event will become larger in the future — at least large enough to accrue some sponsorship for next year — the event is private and is hosted at an undisclosed location. This is maintained so that the artists and models are protected, but also to keep the artistic and creative environment productive and free-flowing for the photographers who have spent money to be there. Soderstrom hand-selects photographers for the event himself, having added numerous newcomers to this year’s event as opposed to its inaugural year. Of the list and the event, Soderstrom, “We curate the list of as many interesting subjects that are getting short shrift and try to put them into one area where they can be shot by some amazing photographers […] [That means] the LGBTQ community, as well. Because they don’t get photographed either!”
Catching up with some of the models, we met Connor Riley (or, “the Butterfly”) of Modern Monarch in Pearland. Riley lives with a disease known as alopecia, which is known for leaving people with missing hair on certain parts of or their entire bodies. Riley could be seen against a black backdrop dressed as a superhero where he was being captured on camera. He told About Magazine, “I’m creating a superhero character that’s about creating insecurities into novelties.” When asked about his pseudonym, he explained that it ties into his art (especially the superhero shots) like so:
“When I was a kid, I loved butterflies. And my favorite after school activity was catching butterflies. I was ashamed of that because of how society portrays it […] And now me owning this brand, it’s almost like me making amends with my younger self. I’m getting peace within my heart.”
The joy and excitement of the artists and models in the room was palpable. Soderstrom — through what is clearly no small effort — has created a safe and comfortable environment for both models and photographers alike, not to mention one that is symbiotic to the careers and portfolios of both. Said Soderstrom of how the event originally came to be, “Photographers can do better. There are many other things that we can be pointing our cameras at other than naked, 24-year-old, white, thin women. Texas has a thriving performance community [and] a thriving plus-sized model contingent. We have male models who are getting short shrift because they aren’t getting the Instagram and Facebook likes. And photographers have shifted their priorities to Instagram and Facebook and, in turn, have left so many interesting and vibrant subjects to the wayside. That’s why we have these events here.”
For more information on his photography company, Emporium Photography, or to connect with Soderstrom about next year’s event, you can click here. Check out shots from the event below.
Contributions to this article were made by About Magazine Creative Director, Wendy Taylor.