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Mansfield Magazine

Arlington Museum of Art Presents Renowned Group Exhibition Ulterior Motifs no. 14

Oct 12, 2016 01:56PM ● By Melanie Heisinger

Jeff F. Wheeler, Lunch (All up on that Grass), acrylic and powdered graphite on paper, 28” x 36”, 2016.

Daniel Johnston and Jeff F.
Wheeler, Poster for
Mixed media collage on
vintage paper

The Arlington Museum of Art, Arlington Cultural Tourism Council, and Wheeler Bro’s Studios is proud to present the 14th installation of the renowned group exhibition known as Ulterior MotifsUlterior Motifs #14 is well-suited to the Arlington Museum of Art’s continuing vision to highlight both important traveling exhibitions and contemporary Texas art. 

Conceived in 1999 by Jeffrey and Bryan Wheeler (aka the “Wheeler Brothers”) as a celebratory exhibition of Lubbock art and music, this semi-regular show has gradually evolved into a wider presentation of prominent contemporary artists who live in or maintain strong ties to Texas. The artists represented in Ulterior Motifs #14 work in a variety of media and styles, but each contends with themes that address contemporary social, political, and ethical questions. Awaiting viewers is a high-energy art experience blending great live music with an irreverent and challenging visual feast that will appeal to the initiated and curious alike. 

Since its debut in Lubbock seventeen years ago, the show’s gritty and fresh appeal has attracted venues throughout the Lone Star state with future plans to travel across the country. Immediately after closing at the Arlington Museum of Art, the exhibition will be installed in mid-November to celebrate the grand re-opening and 40th year anniversary of the 12,000 square feet studio at James Surls’ historic Splendora Gardens in Splendora, Texas.

The group of artists comprising this fourteenth installment are: Franklin Ackerley, Maisie Marie Alford, B.C. Gilbert, Jim Johnson, Lucas Johnson, Luis Jimenez, Daniel Johnston, Sharon Kopriva, Charmaine Locke, Chris Sauter, Hills Snyder, Gary Sweeney, James Surls, Bryan Wheeler, and Jeff F. Wheeler. A number of the participants have been a part of Ulterior Motifs since its inception, while others have been added in subsequent shows. Most are familiar to the Texas (and beyond) art scene, and all continue to contribute a unique and vital perspective to the larger cultural scene of the Lone Star State. Several of the artists (e.g., Lucas Johnson, Luis Jimenez, Charmaine Locke, and James Surls) have built successful national and international careers and have been collected by some of the most prestigious art institutions in the world. Others (such as Sharon Kopriva, Daniel Johnston, Chris Sauter, Hills Snyder, and Gary Sweeney) are among the most accomplished and celebrated of contemporary Texas artists. Still others have been long-time friends and collaborators of the Wheeler Bro’s.

Live music has been a vital aspect of Ulterior Motifs since its inception. Lubbock legends such as Joe Ely, Jesse “Guitar” Taylor, Bukka Allen, Bale Creek Allen, Texas Bel-Airs, Thriftstore Cowboys, watermelonfastbass, and of course, Bryan Wheeler’s band Los Sonsabitches, to name a few, are all musical alumni. That said, Ulterior Motifs #14 offers an entirely unique and rare musical experience. Tim Wheeler will kick off the night with an acoustic set of his haunting, melodic original compositions. Cult hero Daniel Johnston, who has inspired a generation of songwriters including Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, will then perform a rare, long set of his favorites, backed by alt-country rockers Los Sonsabitches and Meat Purveyors’ guitarist, Bill Anderson. Los Sonsabitches will then perform a high-energy, crowd-pleasing set to finish the historic evening.

Ulterior Motifs # 14 is a must-see for those interested in contemporary Texas art. It offers a rare chance to witness a collection of established, internationally-recognized artists along-side up-and-comers. 


For more information please contact the Arlington Museum of Art at (817) 275-4600.

To schedule an interview call Jeff F. Wheeler at (806) 392-1915.

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