New Gallery Opens at Historic Eldorado Ballroom in Houston

by Jessica Fuentes July 25, 2023

Earlier this month, Hogan Brown Gallery, a new arts venue, opened within the historic Eldorado Ballroom, which is operated by Project Row Houses (PRH) in Houston’s Third Ward.

A photograph of a crowd of people at a ribbon cutting for the grand reopening of the historic Eldorado Ballroom.

Project Row Houses, Eldorado Ballroom Grand Reopening. Photo: THE 3NGINE.

This spring, PRH opened the renovated Eldorado Ballroom complex, which includes a market and cafe serving fresh food and a community meeting space. The gallery space was created during the renovation, and recently opened to the public with its inaugural exhibition Six Degrees of Separation, curated by Robert Hodge.

Though Houston-area artist Mr. Hodge is the Art Director and Curator of the gallery, it was founded by Chris Williams, a chef and the founder/owner of Lucille’s Hospitality Group, which oversees a handful of projects. In 2012, Mr. Williams and his brother Ben co-founded the Museum District restaurant Lucille’s as a tribute to their great-grandmother, Lucille B. Smith. 

In 2020, Mr. Williams opened Lucille’s 1913, a nonprofit organization that began by providing meals for frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the organization serves underserved communities in Houston’s Sunnyside, Acres Homes, Fifth Ward, and Third Ward neighborhoods. In 2021, Mr. Williams launched Lucille’s Hospitality Group (LHG) which oversees the restaurant and nonprofit, The Rado Market and Hogan Brown Gallery (which are both inside the Eldorado), and Emile’s Black Point Bistro, a restaurant in Nova Scotia, Canada.  

According to the LHG website, “The gallery’s inception serves as an art-focused extension of the nonprofit’s mission to empower communities to discover a self-sustainable livelihood through cultural and culinary arts.” In addition to hosting exhibitions, Hogan Brown Gallery will provide business-focused education and resources to artists, as well as educational arts programs to the neighborhood. 

In a video interview with Porshae’ Brown, Mr. Williams said, “…[The gallery] truly is an anchor for all the talent that’s all around. This is meant to be that homecoming spot that finally gives these artists a dignity at home.”

Mr. Hodge added, “This space is about collaboration over competition. We can embrace each other, we all have a unique space here.”

A photograph of the interior of a gallery.

Hogan Brown Gallery at the Eldorado Ballroom.

The current exhibition, Six Degrees of Separation, will be on view through August 31; the show features works by Dawolu Jabari Anderson, Jerin “Jerk” Beasley, Wayne J. Bell Jr., Derrell Boson, Tay Butler, JJosh Allenn c/o Richard and Grace, Crystal Coulter, Tyler Deauvea, Lance Flowers, Tierney L. Malone, Kaima Marie, Christine Miller, Floyd Newsum, Lovie Olivia, Stephon Senegal, and David “Odiwams” Wright.

Learn more about Hogan Brown Gallery via its Instagram account.

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