An Artist Is Hiking Around Houston Painting the Canvases Strapped to Her Back


For her 2013 Texas Biennial project, Lubbock-based artist Christie Blizard is taking her art into the streets: Part of her practice involves walking around with a canvas strapped to her back, using cans of spray-paint to make compositions more or less at random and on the go. Some of the resulting compositions, documentation of the process, and the impressive rig she employs are included in “Texas Biennial Invitational” at Houston’s Lawndale Art Center, and as part of the exhibition she will be hiking the city’s streets all day on September 15 beginning at 9:30am.


When we caught up with her mid-walk during her first Texas Biennial walk on Sunday, Blizard was marching through an industrial area, drenched from a recent downpour, her in-progress painting streaked with paint. Though she had plotted a route around the city’s downtown district, she had deviated from it slightly in order to get more water.


Back at the Lawndale, Blizard’s installation includes not only a trio of bold-hued abstract canvases strapped together, but also a large banner featuring an image of her performance, hundreds of photographs from her walks (see video below), and her paint-covered CamelBak backpack, and more. Her incorporation of endurance-based performance and on-the-go action painting marks a welcome addition to a strong show that otherwise deals primarily in strong if formally subdued abstract sculpture and painting.

Watch a montage of one of Blizard’s walks:

Christie Blizard‘s second and final walking performance in the context of the Texas Biennial begins at 9:30am on September 15. Click here for a map of her planned route. “Texas Biennial Invitational” continues at the Lawndale Art Center through September 28.

— Benjamin Sutton

(Photos by the author.)