Comment of the Day: Feeding the West Oaks Mall JCPenney Arts Behemoth

COMMENT OF THE DAY: FEEDING THE WEST OAKS MALL JCPENNEY ARTS BEHEMOTH “At 100,000 square feet, it is more than twice as big as all the alternative/artist-run spaces currently in existence in Houston combined. If it can actually be filled with stuff and events in a compelling, convincing way, it moves the center of gravity for Houston art to the west purely by virtue of its size. The more I think about it, the challenge will be figuring out ways to effectively use that space. Usually the issue for an art exhibit is a lack of space — a show at, say, Labotanica can feel uncomfortably cramped. For a curator or artist, this space presents the precise opposite problem. A good model in this regard might be Mass MOCA, the enormous museum in North Adams, MA. Filling the cavernous old factory buildings required big, bold artworks. Are there Houston artists who could step up to this challenge? I’d say yes — for example, Sharon Engelstein’s inflatables.” [Robert Boyd, commenting on New Arts Complex Planned for Abandoned JCPenney at West Oaks Mall] Photo: Sharsten Plenge

2 Comment

  • I am just beside myself! North Adams, MA is my hometown. Growing up in a town so broke it wasn’t even blue collar, it was no collar, it is amazing to see it mentioned here for something it can offer my new home. MassMOCA is indeed a spectacular space and an amazing example of what an old building can become when someone has the vision.

  • I don’t think this moves the center of gravity for the arts out to West Houston. What it can do is provide more opportunities for arts organizations inside the loop. A decent performance space would give small theater, dance and music groups access to suburban audiences. That can be a real game changer for a small arts organization.