Sunday, November 11, 2007

Something Old, Something New

Top two pictures: works by Grace Magnet at MSquared Gallery, Houston Heights

Houston Heights 19th Street has been one of my favorite haunts ever since I moved back to the big H. I love rumagging through the quasi antique and junk stores that line both sides of the street. Recently, besides junk and antiques, you can fine really good meals and art. The newest gallery addition is named 18 Hands Gallery representing artists who work in clay. Their enaugural reception was last evening and I stopped by. The crowd of visitors were excited and the buyers were participating as well. Folks were trying to hang on to their purchases while nibbling on the very tasty food treats and hold a glass of wine at the same time. (Top L-Gallery, R.- work by Betsy Evans. 2nd row L.- Loes Berendschot & Chris Silkwood...Mosaic, R.-Kathy Blossom)
I particularly enjoyed the work of both Betsy Evans and Loes Berendschot. (See photo) The sculptural and whimsical elements their works appealed to my senses. There was plenty of high quality work to go around from more utilitarian objects to the decorative. Congratulations to all the artists participating with 18 Hands gallery. I wish you much success.
Check out their web site

Another gallery on 19th, not as new to the steet as 18 Hands is MSquared at 325 W. 19th Street run by Max Harrison. WW-3 a three women exhibit by artists Grace Magnet, Joyce Harlow and Linda Huff just came down today. I was particularly taken with Magnet's lush works on paper. I love the way she saturates the images in color while maintaing that beautiful textural quality of the handmade paper. Other elements besides color...text, abstract shapes drawn in pastel make very poetic suggestions. These works are part of Magnet's “GeSchichten” series inspired by "wisdom and poetry of The Little Prince by St. Exupery." (See statement
They very much reflect a poetic and passionate vision in my mind. Check out the MSquared web site at The next featured artist at MSquared is Earl Staley.

Another new in the old is a newly opened gallery on 11th (also Houston Heights district) ... Dan Allison has hop-scotched across the (side) street from G Gallery, Red Bud Gallery and Texas Collaborative with Red Square at 223 E. 11th Street. His enaugural exhibition features works by artists Zoanna DeLuz Maney, Lydia Bodnar-Balahutrak, Heather Chase and new works from the TCA Studio. I love the old space made new again and the space is good for showing art. You can find Balahutrak's work at her web site in my links. Her work is poignant and edgy at the same time. Textural, earthy, yet strong in form. Maybe it is the grit of the dirt and charred elements played against the beautiful transluency of the wax that suggests suffering, the saintly and sacrifice. I think even unaware of her references (Chornobyl) one would still have this connection with her work. Check out Red Square Gallery information on line at

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