Art and Food - Houston

Over the 25 years that my parents have been living as Jersey transplants in the Houston area, I have been exploring and grown familiar with the museums, galleries and food scene there. I've also been fortunate to make a few artist friends there along the way. I thought, what better way to write my debut blog post (albeit the longest) about my art and food travels in Houston.

Many would be surprised to learn that Houston is one of the richest cultural and arts hubs in all of Texas. It's also the fourth largest city in the U.S. and is rapidly growing.

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Thanksgiving 2016 was the perfect time to go and my trip was multi-faceted. My father turned 90 and I got to celebrate with my family on his special and momentous birthday.

 

Houston's Museum District is in the heart of the Montrose neighborhood with the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and The Contemporary Arts Museum located across the street from one another.


Tunnel, by light artist James Turrell connects MFAH's old and new buildings beneath Main Street.

Tunnel, by light artist James Turrell connects MFAH's old and new buildings beneath Main Street.

The MFAH has an incredible collection that includes a few ancient Fayum encaustic portraits from 150 A.D. 


Meeting Gremillion in person

After long searching for a gallery in Houston, I met the owner and staff at Gremillion Fine Art & Co.  in person for the first time where I am now represented. 

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Part of the crew at Gremillion from left: Gage, Brian, owner: Ron Gremillion and Harwood.

Part of the crew at Gremillion from left: Gage, Brian, owner: Ron Gremillion and Harwood.

Coincidences abound...

I got in touch with my friend, Ken Goldsmith, a violin Professor at Rice University who has long admired my work. As it turned out, I learned that he is a past client at Gremillion! It was wonderful he could make it into the gallery to visit and see my work in person.

Gremillion Fine Art & Co. has been in business for over 36 years. They are dedicated to the support and sustaining of artists locally, nationally and internationally. I am honored to work with them look forward to a promising future there. There was talk about my debut solo show next November, so, stay tuned.

Ken told me about another light piece - The James Turrell SkySpace on the Rice campus just outside the Shepherd School of Music.  

Best seen at dusk, reservations are required. There are also concerts there too which is definitely on the list for my next visit.  


Houston Galleries

Gwen at Ed Wilson's Soar, Moody Gallery.

Gwen at Ed Wilson's Soar, Moody Gallery.

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Michael Kessler at Dean Day

Michael Kessler at Dean Day

Grace Phillips at Nicole Longnecker Gallery

Grace Phillips at Nicole Longnecker Gallery

I spent two days hitting the Houston art pavement with my pal Gwen. Many of the popular galleries are on Colquitt Street in the Upper Kirby neighborhood. We started at Hooks-Epstein then happened upon a show of Michael Kessler at Dean Day Gallery who also shows where I show at Butters Gallery in Portland. We saw a wonderful show of Gwen's friend Grace Phillips gorgeous starched paper pieces at Nicole Longnecker.

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My Airbnb was down the street from 4011 Montrose (left), a newer gallery building that housed Guerrero-Projects, Barbara Davis, Anya Tish, David Shelton and Cindy Lisica Galleries.


The Silos at Sawyer Yards

On a previous trip, I visited Spring Street Studios that, along with Winter Street and Silver Street studios are all part of Sawyer Yards. The studio buildings were so nicely done, each with their own heater/ac unit and many of the building's exterior walls lined with colorful murals.

Gwen also took me to see her studio at The Silos on Sawyer Yards, an old grain silo made into creative spaces located in the Washington Area Arts District. 

The actual Silos at Sawyer Yards are reserved for site specific juried shows that feature sculpture, installation and performance art. 

The actual Silos at Sawyer Yards are reserved for site specific juried shows that feature sculpture, installation and performance art. 

There was also a photography exhibition that documented the construction and transformation of the Silos at Sawyer Yards.  

There was also a photography exhibition that documented the construction and transformation of the Silos at Sawyer Yards.  

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The large creative community at Sawyer Yards regularly has events, open houses and special juried exhibitions on the hallway walls. I was very impressed and it was incredibly energizing to see all that is going on inside the art, photography and design studio facilities of Houston! 

 


Picasso, Rothko & Twombley 

The final leg of my Houston tour was another visit to Renzo Piano's masterfully day lit Menil Collection and Cy Twombly Gallery. Piano is one of my favorites!

My Austin friends John and Andrea met up with me once again for art and food. We went to the Picasso Line show at the Menil and visited the Cy Twombley gallery next door, that houses his ginormous paintings and sculptures.

The late Cy Twombley in Houston

The late Cy Twombley in Houston

The next day, we stopped into the Rothko Chapel for a meditation break.

The next day, we stopped into the Rothko Chapel for a meditation break.


Foodies Reunited

Getting ready to enjoy the meal of our year at Pax Americana with Austin friends, musician John Orr Franklin and the very talented painter Andrea Pramuk.

Getting ready to enjoy the meal of our year at Pax Americana with Austin friends, musician John Orr Franklin and the very talented painter Andrea Pramuk.

As luck would have it, we all found Airbnb's down the street from Pax Americana, rated the #3 best Houston restaurant. Who knew? This was one of the most memorable meals we'd all had in a while! 

If you are looking for an art and food destination that is not L.A. or New York, I would definitely put Houston on your list.
The best time of year to go is October-May. When I was there in November, the average temp was 75 and sunny.


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Here are a few links to great restaurants in Houston:

The charming Airbnb I found in the Montrose neighborhood, was perfect, an apartment that sleeps five. Kerri the host is terrific, I was greeted by a bottle of wine upon arrival! 

This turned out to be a business and pleasure win win of a trip and I hope you enjoyed this sharing of my journey!  Until next time, I'd love to hear from you so, feel free to subscribe or leave a comment below.