Public Program

Sounds to Live By

Bring your picnic blankets and join the Menil for outdoor music on the Menil’s east lawn. The annual Sounds to Live By listening event is organized by independent curator Peter Lucas and will feature music selections by Lucas, visual artists Tierney Malone, Jamal Cyrus, and Alexis Pye, and DJ and music historian Flash Gordon Parks. Each will be spinning vinyl records from their personal collections, selected for communal, outdoor experience.

Attending the program

The event takes place on the east lawn of the main museum building, located at 1533 Sul Ross Street. Please bring your own picnic blankets or lawn chairs; seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Further information regarding accessibility and parking can be found here.

As always, Menil programs are free and open to all.

In the case of inclement weather, the event will take place the following Sunday, October 22, 3-6 p.m.

About the performers

Peter Lucas
Peter Lucas is an independent curator and arts organizer. He is curator of the annual Jazz On Film program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and has organized exhibitions, film series’, and public programs in association with Aurora Picture Show, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, The Menil Collection, Northwest Film Forum, and the Seattle International Film Festival. Lucas is also an active multidisciplinary artist and has shown work in exhibitions and screening at the Lawndale Art Center, Art League Houston, Rice Media Center, and elsewhere.

Flash Gordon Parks
Jason Woods, aka DJ Flash Gordon Parks, is one of Houston’s leading DJs as well as an ethnomusicologist focusing on regional music histories. He has maintained several DJ residencies for over a decade, and provided the soundtrack for countless cultural events in the city. He has also produced music-related oral histories and documentaries, and has been a speaker at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Blaffer Art Museum, Rice University, and Art League Houston.

Tierney Malone
Tierney Malone is a visual artist and storyteller who uses elements of African American history and pop culture to create mixed media works that challenge contemporary culture and politics. Malone has exhibited his art widely and has works in major collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. He has also created album covers, posters, and public murals. Malone is also creator of The Jazz Church of Houston and host of “Houston Jazz Spotlight” on KPFT, both of which recognize and preserve Houston’s tremendous contributions to Jazz.

Jamal Cyrus
Jamal Cyrus is a visual artist known for his conceptual, interdisciplinary practice exploring historical gaps, trajectories of Black political movements, and creative flow within the African diaspora. He has participated in numerous national and international exhibitions and has won several prestigious awards, including most recently a Guggenheim Fellowship. His mid-career survey The End of My Beginning opened at the Blaffer Museum of Art in 2021 before continuing on to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the Mississippi Museum of Art.

Alexis Pye
Alexis Pye is a visual artist whose practice of painting and mixed media explores the tradition of portraiture to express the Black body outside of its social constructs. Her works evoke playfulness, wonder, and Blackness, as well as joys amidst adversity. Pye’s work has been exhibited at Lawndale Art Center, Project Row Houses, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Inman Gallery, David Shelton Gallery, Community Artists Collective, Texas Southern University, and elsewhere.