09/21/11 12:07pm

The owner of the year-and-a-third-old Purple Elephant Gallery tells Cypress Creek Mirror reporter Rebecca Bennett of her plans to turn her stretch of McSwain St. off Kluge Rd. into an artsy “Old Town Cypress.” Already up: her backyard Iron Butterfly Studio and the thatched-roof Street of Dreams Palapa at 12802 McSwain, where hoopdancers attend Houston Spin Stars classes (above). Next, Debra Reese wants to turn a home she owns down the street into a restaurant.

“This has always been my dream, and that’s why I named it the Street of Dreams. You can make your dreams come true. You can even have a pig,” she said.


06/29/11 1:35pm

After a 3-year delay, construction is ready to begin on the new Sicardi Gallery at 1506 West Alabama, catty-corner from the Houston Center for Photography at Mulberry St. and across the street from the Menil parking lot. A groundbreaking ceremony was held yesterday. There’s been at least one design change from Brave Architecture’s earlier versions of the project: The latest rendering (above) shows a large window in the building’s formerly blank south-facing forehead, looking onto the parking lot in front.

Rendering: Brave Architecture

04/20/11 2:37pm

Included in the upgrades to the University of Houston’s Blaffer Art Museum, scheduled to be complete by the start of next year: an actual bathroom for visitors. Plus: a better elevator. If you’d rather take the stairs, you’ll have this new proboscis to pass through, on the building’s north face, wrapped in vertical bands of clear and textured channel glass. That sorta-Cullen Sculpture Garden-looking slanted wall-column thing supporting it, which architect Dan Wood of New York’s WORKac calls the “wallumn,” should help block the view of the loading dock. And it’ll frame a brand new entrance on that side, facing the unnamed street and parking lot in front of it that parallels Elgin. The $2 million renovation (Blaffer spokesperson Jeffrey Bowen says $1.75 million worth of pledges have already been raised) won’t increase the amount of gallery space, but it should make the institution more visible on campus and allow for more activity in the back courtyard it shares with the rest of the university’s fine-arts building:


10/29/10 5:59pm

FOR SALE: EARLY MODEL ASTROWORLD Sure, AstroWorld shut down 5 years ago tomorrow — and the site still lies vacant. But Ed Henderson, builder of the original model of the amusement park (shown at left with his creation 43 years ago), is looking for a buyer who’ll preserve and restore it. The recently recovered 8-ft.-by-10-ft. construction goes on display for 6 weeks beginning this Saturday night at Bill Davenport’s Optical Project gallery on 11th St. near the Heights. The model was originally displayed in September 1967 at Foley’s Department Store Downtown. “After the park’s opening, the model resided in [Judge Roy] Hofheinz’s private model room on the Astrodome’s 9th level. When Astroworld was being dismantled in 2006, the model was found in a warehouse, sawn into six irregular pieces and covered in dirt.” Davenport, who’s already spent a while cleaning up the model, tells Swamplot he can’t decide if the $3,000 asking price is “expensive for a big project in need of restoration or unbelievably cheap as a unique piece of Houston history, or both.” [Optical Project; previously on Swamplot] Photos: Bill Davenport

08/11/10 12:05pm

That’s 4,000-sq.-ft. of art-gallery space on the second floor of M Fifty-Nine, a new 13-story office building Midway Companies is planning for the northeast corner of Montrose Blvd. and the Southwest Freeway. This view is from the southwest, looking toward Downtown (in the lower left, you can see the ghostly image of a portion of the Montrose Blvd. bridge that would actually be in the foreground). The design, by local architects Muñoz + Albin, includes 64,000 sq. ft. of office space and 7,000 sq. ft. of “restaurant ready” retail on the ground floor facing Montrose. Behind the gallery space: an enclosed parking garage for more than 200 cars. Midway Companies, the developers of CityCentre, hopes to begin construction on the project early next year.

What’s on the site now?


01/15/10 3:33pm

ISABELLA COURT’S ART PALACE MAKEOVER As of tonight’s grand opening opening, the ground-floor retail space of the Isabella Court Apartments will now be home to four functioning spaces for contemporary art: Inman Gallery, the new Inman Annex space, CTRL Gallery, and the just-moved-here-from-Austin Art Palace, run by the conveniently named Art Palacios. Art Palace has taken over the long-vacant space at 3913 Main St. last occupied by Finesilver Gallery. [Arts in Houston; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Art Palace

11/23/09 5:44pm

ART PALACE GETS OFF THE POT Austin gallery owner Arturo Palacios, on why he’s moving his gallery, Art Palace, to the Midtown space formerly occupied by the Finesilver Gallery at 3913 S. Main St. this coming January: “I went to a fundraiser at the Menil Collection and a friend asked me how many people I thought I would know there. And I thought maybe five or six. The event was for the Menil ‘Contemporaries,’ a group that’s under the age of forty who support the Menil on an annual basis. There were four hundred people there! And the whole time, people kept coming up and asking when I was moving the gallery to Houston. Over and over and over again. We were taken aback. I was talking to a collector and he said, ‘looks like it’s time for you to shit or get off the pot.’ And that’s when I decided it was time. That was a month and a half ago. I knew the space [in the Isabella Courts building] had been empty for some time.” [Glasstire; photo]

03/06/09 7:47pm

Construction on the new 2-story, 5,200-sq.-ft. Sicardi Gallery was supposed to start last year, but architect Fernando Brave says the project was delayed after the owner decided she wanted the new building to be LEED-certified. New target for construction to begin: this summer.

That’ll be charcoal-colored zinc and masonry on the exterior. Inside, there’ll be three connected gallery spaces, and a library upstairs. Two large light wells included in the design were recently axed in favor of more display space. The parking lot will be in front.


05/02/08 11:53am

Box 13 ArtSpace, 6700 Harrisburg Blvd., Houston

Tonight’s art opening at the new Box 13 ArtSpace will serve as a grand opening for the new East End art venue as well.

The space is a 2-story former furniture store on the corner of Harrisburg and Cesar Chavez (or — as the organization’s website uh, “artfully”(?) calls the street — “Cesar Chivas”). It features 13 studio spaces for artists in residence, three interior galleries, a storefront-window display space, and an “outdoor performance exhibition space,” known more conventionally as a parking lot.

The artist-run nonprofit intends to acquire a second building, at 6701 Capitol (directly behind the 6700 Harrisburg building), within a few months. “The Capitol building lends itself toward sculptors and installation artists,” declares the website.

After the jump: A quick tour of the new facilities!


03/19/08 5:06pm

Deborah Colton Gallery, on the Third Floor at 2500 Summer St.A reader who doesn’t sound too happy about the situation sends word that David Adickes has sold his artist-studio building at 2500 Summer St.:

Artists who lease space there have been told they need to leave in less than 6 months. Deborah Colton Gallery resides on his 3rd floor.

Yes, that’s David Adickes, sculptor of large presidential heads.

06/07/07 9:36am

Shipping Container

Here’s a building method that seems well-suited for Houston: It’s fast, it’s temporary, and it involves both shipping containers and fine art. Remember the demolition permit for the site on 11th Street in the Heights we mentioned a few days back? By Friday, it’ll have a completed building on it, according to ‘stina, who wrote in her LiveJournal Wednesday:

Today, the shipping containers will be delivered and installed to the new site of the 1400 square foot gallery, and you can see for yourself what this form of construction looks like. They started this morning with merely a few spread footings and grade beams and they’ll finish this evening with all the containers set and a good portion (if not all) of the roof in place.

It’s the new Apama Mackey Gallery, pieced together out of three shipping containers by Numen Development. The gallery will occupy the site for a few years, until the landowner is ready for a more permanent development in that location. Then Mackey will be able to move the gallery to a new lot she hopes to find in the meantime.

Some of the project’s green features, according to ‘stina’s report:

Photo: Flickr user Ross Dunn