Where the artists paint – open studios and art crawls, bigger in Houston

Right on the tracks, across from a huge silo is one of Houston’s art spaces. Jubilant, slightly inebriated artists shared their art, their wine, and some crackers and hummus. Their paintings were big, even huge, and fun. We went with Rick and Therese from studio to studio on that hot day in April, imagining other lives as artists (except Therese who is one), or as buyers of much art. We were about to move, and so did not buy anything, though I was tempted more than once. Partly I just wanted to live in a huge, art-filled rough space. That will have to wait. At least we get to visit.

Last Sunday we went on an art crawl here in St. Louis. We had the day north of I 40 – Saturday was south of I 40, and maybe it was different. The spaces are great, some lived in, some not. Historic, high ceilings, wooden walls, old fireplaces, massive scales invited. When can I come back and poke in your living and working spaces again? I somehow felt more inhibited about photographing this time. I always like art, but this time my overall experience was of inhibition, not something usually associated with artists. The paintings were small, generally, and felt cramped, as if there was too little of everything, space, time, room, money. Snacks were more limited too, a few fig newtons, some thin mints, a little embarrassed wine. We do what we can on these little canvases, they said to me. I missed the freedom of Houston art.

As we left one downtown building on Washington Ave., a smoker outside asked if we liked it, and he was obviously an artist. I commented on the smallness of the canvases. He then took us to his studio upstairs where, sure enough, he had some huge canvases, nice, 1950s people in outline and pattern. I liked it but would want something more abstract for home. By the way, he said he went to Houston often, even had a tennis partner there.

So, Houston, go on your art crawls; visit your open studios; enjoy your huge uninhibited spaces.

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Winter Street Studios is one of the best.

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Like my arty photo of art, and children?

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Friend and founder of Winter Street, Sandi Bryant.

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Dave, Rick and Therese, when will the latter two visit?

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Artists have to pay for electricity too. This is St. Louis.

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This studio has a view over the St. Louis City Museum, and reminds me I need plants!

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Maybe we’ll buy something from this St. Louis guy.

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About Joan E. Strassmann

Evolutionary biologist, studies social behavior in insects & microbes, interested in education, travel, birds, tropics, nature, food; biology professor at Washington University in St. Louis
This entry was posted in Art and Music, Houston and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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