Unexpected Art Stops In Houston

Unexpected Art Stops In Houston
With over 20 museums, Houston is a hub for art, history, and culture. From huge museums filled with centuries of artifacts to small galleries featuring paintings from rising artists, there is culture filling every space. If you need your fill, don’t overlook these unexpected gems. There is music, theater, and public art waiting for you to discover it.
PRH Mosaic Bench © Melissa Semmler

Project Row Houses

Building, Shop
Project Row Houses aims to interject a sense of community into Houston by focusing on public art, education, social safety nets, sustainability, and architecture. Public art exhibits are open to the public, but some of the other projects are private and focus on building communities for people who need them most, like single mothers. Right now Project Row Houses is offering for public view Round 43: Small Business/Big Change: Economic Perspectives from Artists and Artrepreneurs, a group of installations that reflect the economic state of the community. Ella Russell (in collaboration with artist Anthony Suber) and Fredia Mitchell have a particularly beautiful installation with Fre’s Gallipot, featuring shrubs, oils, balms, and tonics. Dried herbs line the ceiling of the shop, while handmade soaps and candles are featured for sale. Even if you don’t have time to go inside, driving by Project Row Houses is worth the trip. Rice Building Workshop has focused on several building projects for small, sustainable living, including the XS House and the ZeRow house. The eclectic mix at Project Row Houses has something to interest everyone!
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The Art Car Museum

Did you know Houston is often considered the Art Car Capital? The Art Car Museum represents this unique Houston trademark. It hinges on the idea that an art car is an expression of the car owner’s non-conformity, and that these are the most unique cars you will ever see. W.T. Burge’s beautifully constructed art car, ‘Phantoms,’ looks like it is floating down the road, carried by ghosts. There are several other beautiful cars on display, and the display is constantly evolving. While viewers will see a mix of art cars at the museum, they will also see the museum’s current exhibit, Reincarnation, featuring a wide assortment of beautifully displayed contemporary art. Victor Fink’s ‘Stage 3 of 4: Hail King Pupa’ is exquisitely detailed, and Robert Phipps’s satirical painting of an advertisement that he calls ‘Relax’ evokes concerns about fossil fuels and sustainability. Even the museum’s scrap metal exterior is a work of art, created by car artist David Best. The Art Car Museum is a must-see in Houston!
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Lawndale Art Center

Lawndale Art Center is dedicated to contemporary art, but it develops Houston culture by focusing specifically on regional artists. The selection committee at Lawndale gives special consideration to work that would not be shown in other venues because of its scale, short-lived nature, or difficulty of installation, which means that visitors are likely to see work they could not see anywhere else. Lawndale has a new exhibit on view beginning November 20, including four new pieces focusing on inspiration within the home, urban spaces, and ideas within literature. An upcoming piece by artist Jason Urban focuses on a chapter from the 1950 novel The Martian Chronicles, ‘There Will Come Soft Rains,’ and the evolution of the printed word as a conveyor of information as the various pieces in the exhibit process the story ranging from high-tech to low-tech. Lawndale is a must-see for anyone interested in contemporary art and culture!

Lawndale Art Center, 4912 Main Street, Houston, TX, USA +1 713 528 5858

Catastrophic | © Melissa Semmler

Catastrophic | © Melissa Semmler

The Catastrophic Theatre

The Catastrophic has been racking up great reviews, so if you haven’t gone to one of its productions, you’re missing out. This theater’s goal is to challenge audiences to rethink the value of art in their lives, and their productions provoke emotional responses. The Catastrophic is Houston’s premier creator of new works for theater, and its productions have been winning grants and attracting international audiences. Its newest play, Everything Will Be Different: A Brief History of Helen of Troy, opens November thirteenth and is inspired by Euripides. It examines complacency culture and the politics of beauty in contemporary America. Don’t miss a chance to see an original theater production written in Houston, TX!
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Houston Chamber Choir

The Houston Area Chamber Choir is one of Houston’s heavy-hitting fine arts groups. This is the Chamber Choir’s 20th season, and it promises to deliver with a selection of audience favorites from the past twenty years. World-renowned conductor Anton Armstrong is visiting the Houston Chamber Choir for the first time in November as a guest conductor for a special concert. Four-time Grammy Award–winning jazz bassist Christian McBride and his trio will end the season with a climactic finish, playing an evening of jazz and choral music, with a piece commissioned especially by the Houston Chamber Choir. For the upcoming holiday season, the Houston Chamber Choir offers Christmas at the Villa, a joyful celebration of caroling. In March of 2016, the choir will offer Mexicantos. A portion of one of these works was rediscovered by the Choir’s Benjamin Grier. This will be the first time a piece of one of these rediscovered works has been heard in 250 years, so don’t miss it!

Houston Chamber Choir, 1117 Texas St., Houston, TX, USA +1 713 224 5566
By Melissa Semmler

Melissa Semmler, a Houston native, has a Master’s in English Literature from Texas Tech. She teaches English at Lone Star College while raising her daughter, exploring the city, and fantasizing about being friends with the characters in the newest book she’s reading.