A Farewell to Art

Two months shy of its second anniversary, OneTen Gallery will bid adieu to Houston's alternative art scene. The gallery's founder and owner, Michael Andrews, who was prevented from renewing his month-to-month lease, says the space never felt permanent.

"There was always a sense of urgency in getting the most of the space," he says. "Perhaps that can be considered as both a positive and negative element to the arrangement."

That urgency did work in his favor, resulting in a vital atmosphere where local artists could create. The OneTen walls have shown not only Andrews's work but pieces by such artists as Rachel Hecker, Eric Pearce, Mindy Kober and Dandridge Reed. Houstonians interested in the grittier, spunkier side of our art community have gathered at the gallery for group art shows and poetry slams. And OneTen's "Happenings," with their innovative films and live music, have attracted diverse crowds.

As Andrews prepares his move to the studio that was formerly R.A.W. Space in the Gribble Stamp & Stencil Co. building, he acknowledges his good fortune. "I had hoped that by the time I was 30 years old, I would be able to set up some sort of art space in which I could live, work and host shows," he says.

While established galleries in Houston struggle to stay afloat, Andrews continues to cultivate unlikely studio and gallery spaces. Plans for small shows in his new place are already in the works, and he'll participate in the upcoming Art Crawl in November.

The last days of OneTen Gallery have been packed with silent auctions, clearance sales and a strong sense of purpose. This weekend's "Happening Double Oh Something" has the potential for merry mayhem, with a performance by NTX, a showcase from deedsfilms (Robert Deeds's spliced-together collection of old 16-millimeter movies), break-dancers and barbecue. As Andrews says on the gallery Web site, "Ken [Wiatrek] is going to bbq and try not to get a camping citation from the police, and we will be spinning records and pouring ice cold beer all day long." -- Amanda Mahmoudi 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday, September 27. OneTen Gallery, 110 Jackson. For information, call 713-224-0988 or visit www.oneten.org. Free.

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Amanda Mahmoudi