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Houston, Texas

Studio we stumbled upon in our travels.

The sun setting in Giddings Texas on our bus trip to Houston from Austin, Texas.

This week’s post is not about Pittsburgh, but rather Houston, Texas. The week of November 11th to the 17th my partner David and I traveled to Texas for a vacation and visited Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. While in Houston, my former college roommate, Lisa Augustyniak showed us the side of “H-town” that many might not get to see. There isn’t enough time for us to chat about everything that we thought and all we experienced as the city is overwhelming in size and scope. It’s easy to pick up though that with energy being the basis of the economy the art scene is tucked away in pockets of endless concrete. 

We were mostly in Montrouse and spent a whirlwind twenty-four hours seeing as many brilliant spots as Lisa could show us. First off, we meditated in the Rothko Chapel and then toured through the Menil Collection just around the corner. Both spots are a must for any art lover when visiting Houston.

A five minute drive from there we toured the Sonja Roesch Gallery and met Ariane Roesch, daughter of Sonja and owner/creator of the Unit Store. Her goal with Unit is to work with artists creating small batch print works on paper and connecting them with collectors. She is hoping to cultivate the collecting of art by the young professionals of Houston to who are interested but might not know how or where to begin.

After a chat with Ariane we were off to Settlement Goods where we met Gene, who co-owns the business with his wife. Settlement’s focus is on American made products including clothing, accessories, and home decor for both men and women. He is a seventh generation Houstonite who graciously chatted about his business before we even had time to look around and purchase something. It’s there that I found Field Notes for the first time.

Finally, Alex Tu - a local artist who has been practicing in Houston for many years, sat down with us at The Black Hole cafe to talk about the art scene.

Our trip to Houston yielded a lot of new perspective. Learning about the art scene in another part of the world brings new thought and perspective to my own little corner and energizes my own practice. While I enjoyed my time in Houston, it wasn’t the city but the people that I met that made the experience so memorable. It also makes me thankful that comparatively the city of Pittsburgh encourages and embraces its creatives.