Houston has a fantastic and growing art scene that’s full of amazing talent. Here are some of my favorite art spots to visit. If you’re an art lover or looking to be a bit of a tourist in your hometown, put these art spots places on your Houston to-do list this summer!
MFAH Pixel Forrest. Okay this one might be a no-brainer if you live in Houston because the MFAH always does the coolest exhibits during the summer time. They’re always very immersive experiences where you become one with the art. First one I saw was the #SotoSummer exhibit in 2014 in which you ran around a gymnasium sized auditorium full of plastic tubing hanging from the ceiling. I fell in love with the #KusamaUniverse last summer (blog post here!), and am STOKED about the Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest and Worry Will Vanish. Be sure to get your tickets ahead of time to make sure you can go on the day you want! It’s very popular. Exhibit is here until September 17, 2017. PS if you’re looking for a particularly unique way to enjoy the MFAH check out their Thursday happy hours from 5pm to 8pm! General admission to the museum is free and they have food trucks and specialty cocktails.
The Buffalo Bayou Cistern. Having been open for just a year, this Houston gem nestled underground in the Buffalo Bayou Park is worth a visit (or a few!). The “Rain” exhibition by Magdalena Fernanda just ended and the Cistern reopens again to the public on July 20. Wandering around the bare space itself an amazing experience. For the artsy inclined, they also offer special Photography Tours on the last weekend of the month! Here’s some tips on when to go and how to get in. Pro tip: Cistern is free on Thursdays!
First Saturday Art Market. This art market takes place (as you might have guessed) on the first Saturday of each month in the Heights. You can #shopsmall and peruse booths of local artists and craftsman at the outdoor street market on 19th street. You can also count on live music and plenty of food trucks! PS Their biggest party of the year is at White Linen Nights in August–mark your calendars and show up early if you want to beat the crowds and actually buy something! You can also check out its sister Art Market on the second Saturday of the month at the Market at Sawyer Yards.
Second Saturday Open Studios. There’s nothing more authentically hipster than hanging out with local artists inside refurbished warehouses and grain silos in the First Ward. On the second Saturday of the month, artists of Sawyer Yards (The Silos, Silver Street, Spring Street, Summer Street, and Winter Street Studios) open their studios to the public from 12-5pm. Spring Street Studios has extended hours from 2pm-7pm. You’re encouraged to talk with artists and rub shoulders with some of the most creative sculptors, designers, dancers and so on in town! The event is free and parking is usually pretty easy to find. Bonus: There’s some great murals in the area that you can check out as well!
Art Blocks at Main Street Square. For me, any excuse to visit Downtown Houston is a good one–especially when there’s art involved. If you haven’t been, Art Blocks is a temporary art exhibit that sprung up in the middle of downtown in anticipation for the Super Bowl. If you have been, it might be time for you to head back because the art is constantly changing! Favorite installations of mine include the massive Color Jam Houston that explodes over the whole city block (paint creeping up buildings, stop lights and across intersections) and also the larger-than-life Main Street Marquee graphic prints that are regularly changing and always make you think.
Bonus: “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace by James Turrell. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times. But this installation on Rice University Campus is hands down the best place to take a date (more Houston date ideas!). Go at sunset to watch the piece of art come alive with the changing colors of the sky. Plus, once the sun sets you have a fantastic view of the Med Center skyline.