An Interview with Art League Houston Executive Director Glenn Weiss

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Glenn Weiss is just a few hours into his new gig as Art League Houston's executive director, and he already has somebody breathing down his neck.

Specifically, Art Attack.

"I'm excited to be in Houston," says Weiss at 11 in the morning on his first day on the job. "I'm looking forward to teaching people how to make art separate from their Facebook pages."

Weiss, a trained architect who "didn't really do much with that trade," replaces Vanessa Perez McCalla, who spent more than two years as the nonprofit's executive director.

Weiss brings heaps of arts administration experience to the circa-1948 organization that specializes in making contemporary art accessible to the public via classes and exhibitions. He's worked as an independent curator, an art consultant and a director for a contemporary arts center in Seattle.

His most recent enterprise was founding the Times Square Alliance, a public-art program that brought a more indie and experimental vibe to New York City's central gathering spot.

"I see New York as a unique thing that happened in a parallel life," says Weiss about his tenure with the Times Square Alliance that included programming sculpture installations, dance and performance art events. "Although it was a fabulous three years, my heart wasn't in it."

"I personally wanted to return to art making as a primary activity, and get back to that direct link between the artists and the community," he says.

Until October 27, when he and his visual artist wife Maria Foladori Weiss drove their Honda Element from New York to Texas, the only other time Weiss set foot in Houston was a few years ago.

During that visit, Rick Lowe, who Weiss calls "an ambassador for Houston arts," drove him around town and showed him the various happenings of the area scene, including the Lowe-founded Project Row Houses. Weiss admits Lowe was a huge influence in his decision to take the Art League job.

Welcome to Houston, Glenn. And thanks for allowing the curious/nosy media to occupy an item on your first day's to-do list.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.