WHEN SAN ANTONIO artist Vincent Valdez began work on his latest painting, “The City,” in November of last year, the 38-year-old painter had no idea that the real-life counterparts to the whitehooded apparitions that are depicted in his new piece would find many of their racist ideas being floated around in the loaded rhetoric of this year’s presidential campaign. The Ku Klux Klan may still be universally reviled, but this election cycle has proven that white supremacy is still alive in America, and Valdez suspects it may have a familiar face.


The massive, 43-foot-long piece that the artist has spent nearly a year meticulously painting debuted in early September at the David Shelton Gallery, and hangs through Oct. 8. The way that Valdez has painted the Klan members in his piece — holding cellphones, a baby, a beer — humanizes them, bringing home the idea that these insidious figures are everyday Americans. And as he painted each hooded character, the artist says he found himself wondering who was lurking underneath the cartoonish masks. Could they be teachers, doctors, neighbors or councilmen?

“[We] have had an ongoing staring contest in the studio every day for the last 10 months,” he says. “I am as curious about them as they are about me. I fear them as much as they do me. Perhaps this is where we find ourselves in 21st-century America, endlessly drawing lines over histories, territories and differences.”

Art+Culture

SOUTH FLORIDA-BASED Italian shoe line Concetto Limone will make its Texas debut at a cocktail reception at Valobra Master Jewelers (2150 Westheimer Rd.) on Thursday, April 29 from 5-7pm. The evening of "All Things Italian" will transport guests immediately to the coast of southern Italian as they sip on Italian wines, Aperol Spritzes, Negronis and Limoncellos while feasting on an assortment of Italian hors d'oeuvres from Houston's beloved Tony's. Invited guests will have the first glance in Texas on the Concetto Limone line and the opportunity to purchase unisex styles on Thursday evening and all day Friday at a trunk show at Valobra.

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A MASSIVE NEW exhibition up now at Foltz Fine Art (2143 Westheimer Rd.) showcases the vibrant works of two Houston artists whose art, although created through opposite means and levels of meticulousness, fuse together in a perfectly disparate union. A Sea of Green, on display through April 25, features nearly 90 works by Houston-based artists Jonathan Paul Jackson and DUAL that can be seen as opposite and apposing halves of the same boldly colored and exuberant vein of energy.

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Common Bond

THIS FRIDAY, RESTAURANTS all over Houston are celebrating National Picnic Day, which made its timely debut last year while the city was shut down and eateries were forced to pivot to takeout-only operations.

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