Several of the stops are at real working art studios, including Sharon Kopriva's artist's haven in the Heights, where visitors will find skulls, bones, a desiccated cat and even a mummy once sent to the coroner in error. It ended up with a toe tag before it was realized the mummy was actually art. Alix Dunn's working studio also is on the tour, with wall-to-wall art, unpainted busts and plenty of odd angles.
Shefman has hippos embedded throughout her home, and the collection has overflowed to the garden. Also on the tour is Selia Qynn's "Secret Garden," which takes outdoor living and elevates it to the luxurious.
David Neff, co-founder and CEO of the multi-city Weird Homes Tour™, tells us that Lowe has been working on these odd landscapes. "She built a Stay-Puft car; the best way to describe it is it's made out of marshmallows. She has a Stay-Puft mailbox, also made out of marshmallows," says Neff. "Weird, odd and bizarre stuff."
Some heavy-duty art collectors are on the tour, including Dirk and Susie Stronck, whose home has been dubbed The Journey Through Time House. "It's more about art through the ages. They've got Egyptian, mid-century, stuff from The Crusades," says Neff.
Lester Marks, one of Houston's most formidable collectors, also is on the tour, but his home is viewable only for those who pony up for the VIP tickets. Marks has some truly amazing pieces, from a cryogenic Fidel Castro to floating eyeballs to tree people, and this stop offers a chance to view pieces taken off the market before they ever made their way into museums or gallery spaces.
VIP perks also include an exclusive after party at Last Concert Cafe, and last year's weird homes host Dawn Fudge is expected to attend. It's all for a good cause, too, as the tour is a social impact business with a community-minded mission.
"We take 10 percent to donate to affordable housing options," says Neff about their initiative to give a percentage of the proceeds to New Hope Housing. "That's our cause because so many of our homeowners are struggling to stay in their own homes." He says it's become more expensive for artists to live and work in some of the great cities such as Austin, Houston and New Orleans.
The 2017 Houston Weird Homes tour runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. October 7, with a VIP afterparty from 6 to 9 p.m. Children up to age 13 can attend for free; $30 to $50 for adults. See weirdhomestour.com for more information.