Urging Viewers to Seek 'Grace,' Curator Alise Unveils Envelope-Pushing Group Show

Urging Viewers to Seek 'Grace,' Curator Alise Unveils Envelope-Pushing Group Show

Moriah Alise (photo by Troy Monte) and a detail of 'Watch from Afar' by Demetrius Wilson

FOR THOSE OF us on the outside, the art world can appear to be an unregulated mess, full of greedy players, dubious dealers, and criminal collectors ready to spend millions on a masterpiece only to lock it up and hide it from the world in a climate-controlled cage. While all of that is more or less true, at some point, a budding artist will need to figure out how to navigate the business of making art while maintaining a practice and creating work to share with the world. Meanwhile, first-time collectors with the best of intentions often need straightforward, honest advice when purchasing a work of art.

Enter artist manager, curator and art-business educator, Moriah Alise. In addition to managing, mentoring, and advocating for artists under the umbrella of the Alise Art Group, Alise uses her popular YouTube Channel “Dear Glory” to highlight living painters, explore art history, and unpack the sometimes uncomfortable connections between creativity and art market indices, as in her most recent video “Art Market Secrets.” “It’s all based on education, advocacy and support,” says Alise of her multi-hyphenated endeavors.

Alise’s latest project is conceptualizing and curating In Tender Peaks, Grace Unfolds, a deeply personal group show opening Feb. 16 at Mitochondria Gallery. The exhibit explores the nature of vulnerability and resilience, and features an international cast of eleven artists, including Houstonians Colby Deal, LaMonté French and Ryan Williams, alongside artists from Ghana, Rwanda, and Nigeria. (Deal and French, along with Erika Alonso, are managed by Alise Art Group.) Alise credits Mitochondria for encouraging her to explore the range of contemporary African artists. “They’re such a dynamic gallery,” says Alise. “They are pushing limits in a way that will put Houston within the ecosystem it deserves to be in.”

Born and raised in Beaumont, Alise attended the University of Houston, where she earned a bachelor’s in Public Relations, with a focus on fashion PR. She was working at Apple when an intern position at Stella McCartney opened up and to her surprise, Apple transferred her job to New York and left her position in Houston open should she decide to return. “It was a really exciting time,” says Alise. “But I realized how crazy people are in the fashion industry!”

After a successful but stressful five months, she returned to Houston and began teaching art to high school students. In the wake of an ill-timed attempt to open and co-run a gallery, Alise Art Group was born in 2021, with French as her first artist/client. Something clicked, and their first show together at Sanman Studios sold out in 24 hours. “We took a risk on each other, and it worked!” says Alise of her collaboration with French.

With In Tender Peaks, Grace Unfolds just days away from opening, Alise is taking the show’s title to heart, and making time when she can for self-care and moments of grace. “I’m getting ready for it,” says Alise of the show. “I can’t wait to see it all, and how people respond to it.”

Colby Deal's 'Reclamation'

Moriah Alise (photo by @kenin3d)

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