Optimus primAtive: Research Lab Open Friday Aprill 11th, 2014


“Optimus primAtive: Research Lab,” an exhibition created by artist Michael K. Taylor, opens Friday, April 11, with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Community Artists’ Collective. The exhibition runs through May 31st, 2014.

Taylor has created a speculative fiction based auto-biographical exhibition using games, maps, found objects, sculpture and poetry. Taylor began creating the “Optimus primAtive” narrative as an art practice platform to continue creating work during a severe injury that inhibited his ability to differentiate memories, experiences, and imagined possibilities. The exhibition represents a studio or laboratory of a character researching his belief in the possibility of existing during various time and space experiences. Themes includes messages left in falling stars, searches underwater and conversation with Houstonians about themselves and the city which may lead to clues.

The artwork in the exhibition began creation over the year through residencies and workshops at Atlantic Center for the Arts (Florida), Woodstock-Byrdcliffe (New York), Ox-Bow School (Michigan), Goldsmith University (London) and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts where Taylor has been developing ideas and gathering material.

The exhibition was supported through the City of Houston and Houston Arts Alliance (HAATX) with an Established Artist Grant.

For more info on Michael K Taylor please visit mktartist.com.

The Collective, located in the Midtown Art Center Tea Room Gallery, 1413 Holman at LaBranch, is open Thursday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and by appointment.
For more gallery information contact The Collective at 713-523-1616 or visit www.thecollective.org.

The Community Artists’ Collective programs are supported in part by grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, the Texas Commission on the Arts, H-E-B and through collaborations with community organizations. The Collective is a member of Fresh Arts.

“In Order of Life” by Michael K Taylor and Monica Villareal featured front page of Houston Chronicle Zest with curator Robert Pruitt

Robert Pruitt Michael K Taylor Coming Through the GapRobert Pruitt Michael K Taylor Coming Through the Gap

Artists journey forward at TSU exhibit
Robert Pruitt and a few of his friends take control of their futures with exhibit
By Molly Glentzer & photos by James Nielsen

Article Quotes

“Taylor and Villarreal devised a new language. The big sun piece, “In Order of Life,” is one of the symbols they created for it.

“That’s what I like about this show. They probably knew each other, but during the meetings they started operating together,” Pruitt said.

For the opening a few weeks ago, Knight staged a performance beside “In Order of Life” in which three black men practiced yoga to music by a DJ. It was about presenting something that is not seen every day – “a new image of the black male body,” Pruitt said.”

“Taylor brought work from a residency last year in Maine. It’s also inspired by yearning for a journey; in this case, time travel. In the center is “Texter’s La Bor A Tory,” a table set up with an archaic computer, cameras and wires all painted gold. This transport machine seems to have exploded; its speaker lies on the floor.

At right hangs one of Taylor’s signature carved discs, rigged with electric light. To the left is the gold-covered “Treemonisha James – New Dream A.G.E. (All Gold Everything),” a curious grid supporting three bicycle tire frames along a vertical rod – a backbone, perhaps.”

“Coming Through the Fear of Impossibility on a Myth” – performance w/poetry by Michael K Taylor and co-choreography with dancer Abijan Johnson

Museum of Fine Arts Houston 5a Citywide 2013 exhibition curated by Michael K Taylor opens to 500 visitors

MFAH Citywide Houston 2013

The 17th annual Citywide African American Artists Exhibition offers visual artists in the greater Houston area the opportunity to show their work to a broader public and to the collecting community. Each year, all artists of the African Diaspora, over the age of 18, are invited to submit up to six works for possible inclusion in the exhibition. Applicants whose artwork was accepted were notified on July 16. This year, some 80 artists submitted artworks of all media and 47 artists were selected to have their work on view at the MFAH Glassell School of Art. Past venues have included museums, office buildings and schools around Houston, such as the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, the Houston Urban League, the Museum of Culture Houston, the JPMorgan Chase Building and Rice University.

To kick off the exhibition and recognize the finalists, the Glassell School of Art will host an opening reception on Friday, July 26, from 6 to 8 p.m. On August 23, the first, second and third prize winners will be announced. The opening celebration and prize ceremony are free and open to the public.

This year’s Citywide exhibition is curated by Michael K. Taylor, artist and curator. The awarded prizes will be juried by Danielle Burns, curator; Sally Frater, curator and former MFAH Core Program artist; and Alison de Lima Greene, curator of contemporary art and special projects at the MFAH.

MFAH Citywide Houston African American Artistmfah citywide opening reception


Atlantic Center for the Arts presents INsideOUT Residency #150

INsideOUT – Closing reception and informal studio visits with Artists-in-Residence

Event Date:
Friday, July 12, 2013 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Atlantic Center for the Arts presents INsideOUT, a presentation of works-in-progress by artists participating in its 150th artists-in-residence program.  The program will be held in the Joan James Harris Theater at Atlantic Center for the Arts, on Friday, July 12 at 7:30 PM. A cash bar and light refreshments will be served. The program is free and open to the public.  ACA members receive VIP seating.  Atlantic Center for the Arts is located at 1414 Art Center Avenue, New Smyrna Beach.

free/public invited. For more information visit http://www.atlanticcenterforthearts.org/atlantic-center-arts-residency-150 or call 386-427-6975

(post performance stills from the residency)

atlantic center for the arts inside out 150 atlantic center for the arts inside out 150

Awarded artist residency at Ox-Bow (SAIC) and awarded a scholarship funded by the Joan Mitchell Foundation

Ox-Bow School of Art

Taylor has been awarded a 2013 artist in residency at the Ox-Bow School of Art.  Founded by Frederick Fursman and Walter Marshall Clute, artists from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Ox-Bow was to serve as a respite for artists from the industrializing havoc of Chicago. Today, Ox-Bow’s longevity is due to the strength of this mission and the artists who have held true to it. Ox-Bow offers a wide range of opportunities for artists at all stages in their career. With year-round programs that cater to degree-seeking students, professional artists and those new to the field, Ox-Bow is a protected place where creative processes break-down, reform, and mature. Fall Artists in Residence at Ox-Bow are given the time, solitude, and focus often unavailable to so many working artists. Ox-Bow is pleased to be the recipient of a grant award from the Joan Mitchell Foundation which are awarded to ten selected individual painters and sculptors.


Ox-Bow School of Art, Artist in Residence, Saugatuck, MI

Awarded artist residency at the Wodstock Byrdcliff Guild

Woodstock Byrdcliff AIR

Taylor has been awarded a 2013 artist in residency at the Wodstock Byrdcliff Guild. The Byrdcliffe Artist in Residence program provides visual artists (including ceramic artists), writers and composers of exceptional talent with uninterrupted time and creative space within the serene natural setting of the Byrdcliffe Art Colony. Lasting between three and six weeks, Byrdcliffe’s residencies provide artists with uninterrupted private studio time within a community of peers. Artists are invited to participate in open studios, work-shares, communal dinners and field trips, or may spend their residency working in the creative solitude of a private studio. Byrdcliffe’s residencies are particularly beneficial to those who find it restorative to live in a simple, communal environment in close proximity to natural beauty.

Wodstock Byrdcliff Guild A.I.R., Visual Artist in Residence, Woodstock, NY

Awarded dance and choreography residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts

Taylor has been awarded a 2013 artist in residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts with Choreographer Victoria Marks. Victoria Marks’ creative work migrates between choreo-portraits for individuals who don’t identify as dancers– made for stage and film, and dances for and with dancers that fuel Marks’ inquiries into movement. Atlantic Center for the Arts is an innovative nonprofit artists-in-residence program that provides artists with an opportunity to work and collaborate with some of the world’s masters in the visual, literary, and performing arts. Since the program began in 1982, over 3500 artists have been served from the US and around the world.

Atlantic Center for the Arts, Dance & Choreography Associate Artist in Residence, New Smyrna Beach, FL

Awarded Established Artist Grant by the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance


Taylor has been awarded a 2013 Established Artist Grant by the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance. Houston Arts Alliance recognizes that a city’s excellence in the arts is enhanced through the encouragement and support of local artists and their engagement in creative endeavors. The Individual Artist Grant (IAG) Programseeks to support the development and presentation of new artistic works by local Houston artists to help advance Houston’s reputation as a vibrant creative hub and a destination for cultural tourism. IAG provides New Works Fellowship opportunities through a competitive application and review process. Applications for these grants are reviewed by external peer review panels composed of inclusive groups of artists, arts professionals and community volunteers selected for their expertise and objectivity.

Awarded artist residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture

skowhegan school 2012

Taylor has been awarded a 2012 artist in residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Skowhegan, an intensive nine-week summer residency program for emerging visual artists established in 1946, seeks each year to bring together a gifted and diverse group of individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to art-making and inquiry to create the most stimulating and rigorous environment possible for a concentrated period of artistic creation, interaction and growth.

Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Artist in Residence, Skowhegan, ME

Communograph Sidewalk Talk – Life Archived Through Art @ Project Row Houses

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2011 (Communograph Sidewalk Talk)
Sidewalk Talk: Life Archived through Art
Time: 6 pm – 8 pm
Place: 2521 Holman Street
Houston, TX 77004
(713) 526-7662

Michael K. Taylor will use art as functional interactive objects while reading and performing poems written from interviews and research in 3rd Ward Houston, Texas. Some of the interviews were conducted at S.H.A.P.E. Community Center’s Elders Circle of Wisdom and will feature members in attendance and dialogue.

The Sidewalk Talks series extends the exhibition out of itself and onto the sidewalk in front. This opens the project’s discourse to the voices and concerns of the surrounding neighborhood, taking up its pressing issues and inviting neighbors directly into the project’s dialogue.

Communograph is a multi-platform art project, conceived and initiated by Ashley Hunt and organized in collaboration with residents of Houston’s Third Ward community, Project Row Houses, the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts,
and students and faculty of the University of Houston’s School of Art.

Copyright © 2013 Michael K Taylor – artist, poet, educator – mktartist - All Rights Reserved