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Houston artist Shelbi Nicole is inviting us to experience her new color crazed art exhibit, The Whimsy World, with funhouse-esque vibes, frenzied patterns and a Yayoi Kusama feel.
Houston artist Shelbi Nicole is inviting us to experience her new color crazed art exhibit, The Whimsy World, with funhouse-esque vibes, frenzied patterns and a Yayoi Kusama feel.
Photo by Sara Gregory

February Gallery Openings: Queer Art, Amor Eterno and The Whimsy World

This month in Houston art introduces a few unconventional gallery spaces, including a grocery store, an outdoor park and a psychedelic trip down the rabbit hole. We've also got explorations of love with hearts and bold colors, a new name for an established venue, and a "Qollective" of queer artistry. Keep reading because all but one of these showings are free to attend. Now that's amore.

Find milagro hearts, Mexican handicrafts made from tin and wood, at Casa Ramirez FOLKART Gallery.
Find milagro hearts, Mexican handicrafts made from tin and wood, at Casa Ramirez FOLKART Gallery.
Photo by Patricia Sepulveda

Hear the words "yo te amo" from the right person and the heart will surely melt. Casa Ramirez FOLKART Gallery celebrates love and lovers with its annual "Amor Eterno: The Heart Show Exhibit," featuring milagro (miracle) hearts handcrafted in Mexico, as well as corazones (small heart paintings on wood) by local artist Lizbeth Ortiz. Mark your calendars now for the chocolate and champagne reception with Ortiz this Sunday, February 10 from 2 to 4 p.m.

"Amor Eterno: The Heart Show" is scheduled for February 2 through February 16 at 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays at Casa Ramirez FOLKART Gallery, 241 West 19th. For information, call 713-880-2420 or visit facebook.com/Casa-Ramirez-FOLKART-Gallery-76060185584. Free.

The color red evokes so much symbolism. Sure, the store shelves are full of beribboned hearts containing mystery-filled chocolates, but the color also brings about feelings of power, passion, fire, danger and seduction. Explore all of those emotions this spring in the group show, "Simply Red," at Gallery Sonja Roesch. View works by Chul-Hyun Ahn, Jonathan Leach, Erin Miller, August Muth, Donald Martiny, Ruth Pastine, Ariane Roesch, Mario Reis, Dirk Rathke, Alma Tischler and Myke Venable, then return for guided meditation with Maria Henning on Tuesday, February 12 from 6-7 p.m.

"Simply Red" is scheduled for January 26 through March 30 at 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays at Gallery Sonja Roesch, 2309 Caroline. For information, call 713-659-5424 or visit gallerysonjaroesch.com. Free.

Marfa Plateau (triptych), a new work by E. Dan Klepper, is on view at Foltz Fine Art in "The New Show."
Marfa Plateau (triptych), a new work by E. Dan Klepper, is on view at Foltz Fine Art in "The New Show."
Photo by E. Dan Klepper

Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold. William Reaves | Sarah Foltz Fine art, winner of Best Art Gallery in 2019's Best of Houston®, manages to preserve both with nary a tarnish. "The New Show" brings a new name — Foltz Fine Art — along with new works and a fresh vision for the Texas-centric gallery. View pieces by contemporary Texas regionalists Mary Baxter, David Caton and Fidencio Duran, contemporaries E. Dan Klepper and William Young, plus many others who celebrate the Lone Star State through oil, sculpture and watercolor. Join local art historian, curator and Houston Press contributor Randy Tibbits for a coffee talk this Saturday, February 9, from 1-3 p.m.; he'll be dishing on the early Houston art scene as well as the concurrent exhibit by Robert Preusser.

"The New Show" and "Robert Preusser: Linear Improvisations" are scheduled for January 26 through March 9 at 11 a.m. through 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays at Foltz Fine Art, 2143 Westheimer. For information, call 713-521-7500 or visit foltzgallery.com. Free.

It's another group show over at G Spot Contemporary Art Gallery, this time co-presented with Red Publication. Bill Arning already kicked it off with a queer artist discussion on opening weekend; stop by to see what the buzz is all about with works by Aveda Adara (Postmodern Sleaze), Larry Johnson, Hugo Perez, Philip Karjeker, Jesse Treviño, Sebastian Gomez de la Torre and Frank Hernandez (Barbara Coa) in "Qollective Self Exploration."

"Qollective Self Exploration" will continue through February 24 at noon to 5 p.m. Fridays through Sundays at G Spot Contemporary Art Gallery, 310 East 9th. For information, call 832-807-6988 or visit gspotgallery.com. Free.

Elaine Bradford, in conceiving the idea behind the H-E-B installation, references the 1930s when the store gave away tagged chickens. Yarn colors are inspired by the brand's That Green Sauce and Spicy Whataburger Ketchup.
Elaine Bradford, in conceiving the idea behind the H-E-B installation, references the 1930s when the store gave away tagged chickens. Yarn colors are inspired by the brand's That Green Sauce and Spicy Whataburger Ketchup.
Photo by Dave Rossman

An unconventional gallery space, maybe, but indubitably practical. The ribbon has officially been cut at H-E-B's brand spanking new multi-level store in the Heights, bringing with it the brand's second custom public art installation in the area. This time around H-E-B and Weingarten Art Group have called on Houston-based sculptor Elaine Bradford, one of the co-founders of BOX 13 Art Space, to create the site-specific installation titled Who says that chickens can’t fly, or that money can’t fall from the sky? It's sort of a funky flock of chickens wearing crocheted sweaters and surrounded by coins. While shopping be sure to boost your social media feed with a new pic; just stand in for the missing letter on the walkway where it spells HE_GHTS.

The installations can be viewed 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily at Heights H-E-B, 2300 North Shepherd. For information, call 713-802-8100 or visit heb.com. Free.

Playful, wacky and infinitely cool, the mixed media dogs and nesting birds by outsider artist Steven Sachs in "Packs and Flocks" are sure to make any day a sunny one. What this urban archaeologist does with twigs, bone, wire and found objects (we've seen inner tubes and dominoes) is sure to amaze. If you've been longing for a dog but work long hours or your landlord just won't allow pets, these animal kingdom sculptures are (almost) better and will never, ever soil the carpet.

"Packs and Flocks" is scheduled for February 2 through February 24 at noon to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays at Redbud Gallery, 303 East 11th. For information, call 713-862-2532 or visit redbudgallery.com. Free.

There's nothing like the majestic natural beauty found in the Ozark Mountains, though with last week's Polar Vortex we don't mind waiting 'til summertime for a return visit. Artist Harold Joiner captures the natural beauty of the region — sans snow — in "Woodland Waters: Allures of the Ozarks," featuring new paintings at Archway Gallery.

"Woodland Waters: Allures of the Ozarks" is scheduled for February 2 through February 28 at 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays at Archway Gallery, 2305 Dunlavy. For information, call 713-522-2409 or visit archwaygallery.com. Free.

At 2017's Houston Press Artopia, everybody was clamoring to have their pics taken in front of Shelbi Nicole's massive wall mural.EXPAND
At 2017's Houston Press Artopia, everybody was clamoring to have their pics taken in front of Shelbi Nicole's massive wall mural.
Photo by Doogie Roux

Instagram-darling and Artopia fave Shelbi Nicole is breaking out of the confines of 2D art, transforming her polka-dotted, smile-bringing, colorful designs into a whole new color crazed art exhibit with The Whimsy World. Think of this limited time immersive experience as similar to the work of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, but with a more pastel, candy-colored palette. Expect funhouse-esque vibes, frenzied patterns and a chance to upgrade your experience to a pricey private tour or an even pricier (but so worth it) Pink Whimsy party. Be one of the first to experience it, and take tons of selfies, at the Pink Carpet Grand Opening this Saturday, February 9, from 7 to 11 p.m.

"The Whimsy World" is scheduled for February 9 through February 28 with multiple tour times (closed Mondays) at District Art Gallery, 810 Richey. For information, visit thewhimsyworld.com. $28 to $18,000.

For anybody who has not yet checked out the new Menil Drawing Institute, at the intersection of zen and cool, here's another chance. "Roni Horn: When I Breathe, I Draw" will be the second installation for the newest building on the Menil campus and will include drawings from the early 1980s as well as recent works. A preview reception is scheduled for Thursday, February 14 from 7 to 9 p.m.

"Roni Horn: When I Breathe, I Draw" is scheduled for February 15 through May 5 at 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays at The Menil Drawing Institute, 1412 West Main. For information, call 713-525-9400 or visit menil.org. Free.

Untitled, by Garland Fielder, shows the artist's passion for both architecture and symmetry.
Untitled, by Garland Fielder, shows the artist's passion for both architecture and symmetry.
Photo by Garland Fielder

Houston-based architect, writer, artist and lover of palindromes Garland Fielder is returning to Anya Tish Gallery for his third solo exhibition in "NEVERODDOREVEN." The artist transforms his fascination with symmetry, psychology and astrology to create sculptural installations and large diptychs full of mystery and wonder. Those attending the artist reception on Friday, February 15 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. will enjoy a live performance by composer and performance artist Gerritt Wittmer (7:30 to 8:30 p.m.).

"NEVERODDOREVEN" is scheduled for February 15 through March 16 at 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays at Anya Tish Gallery, 4411 Montrose. For information, call 713-524-2299 or visit anyatishgallery.com. Free.

Houston's Buffalo Bayou Park is the first stop in a five-city initiative by High Line Network. Titled "New Monuments for New Cities," our version will include posters, video projections and art by Jamal Cyrus, Sin Huellas (Delilah Montoya and Jimmy Castillo), the team of Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin, Regina Agu, and Phillip Pyle II. Sin Huellas borrowed from headline news for its poster concept; [A] part depicts a migrant who has just been reunited with her four-year-old son.

"New Monuments for New Cities" is scheduled for February 19 through April 30 at 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily at Buffalo Bayou Park, Shepherd to Sabine between Allen Parkway and Memorial. For information, call 713-752-0314 or visit buffalobayou.org. Free.

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