Houston-based Throughline Collective to Open an Exhibition Space in Isabella Court Building

by Jessica Fuentes October 22, 2023

Throughline Collective, a new artist collective in Houston, is opening an artist-run exhibition space in November.

Founded by Sarah Sudhoff and Jonas Criscoe, Throughline is a network of artists who are utilizing the model of ICOSA Collective in Austin to build a supportive artist community while also showcasing a diverse range of contemporary art and programming. ICOSA was founded in 2015 and is established as a 501(c)6 organization, which, unlike a 501(c)3 charitable nonprofit, functions like a trade league that serves its members. While Throughline is following the general model of ICOSA, decisions have not yet been made regarding if it will be established as a 501(c)6, a 501(c)3, or another type of corporation.

Ms. Sudhoff explained that though she had been familiar with ICOSA for a number of years, beginning in February 2022 she developed a deeper relationship with the organization and its member artists when she showcased a performance and installation at the space. Through several projects Ms. Sudhoff had in Austin, she continued to develop her relationships with ICOSA artists, including Mr. Criscoe, who was a member. In August, upon relocating to Houston, Mr. Criscoe was interested in creating a space similar to ICOSA, and Ms. Sudhoff was on board. 

Ms. Sudhoff told Glasstire, “Because I already had this knowledge of what ICOSA was… and the opportunities that it presented not only to the members, but also to the community… Having run nonprofits, run my own gallery, I’d been really looking for something like [the ICOSA model].”

A photograph of the exterior of a building.

3909 Main St. Houston (under the second awning from left), in the Isabella Court building

Mr. Criscoe and Ms. Sudhoff recently signed a lease for the space, located at at 3909 Main St, which is in the former home of Devin Borden Gallery, and prior to that, Capsule Gallery, a for-profit commercial art gallery Ms. Sudhoff owned and directed from 2016 to 2017. Ms. Sudhoff noted that as the sole owner of Capsule she faced a lot of challenges. These past experiences made her initially hesitant to return to the space, but ultimately she saw the benefits of location, including the proximity to other galleries (Inman Gallery’s longtime home is the northern corner of the building). 

The 3909 Main St gallery space had also been the initial Houston location for David Shelton Gallery, prior to his gallery’s move to the 4411 Montrose building. The opening of Throughline marks a possible rejuvenation of Isabella Court, the block-long Spanish Colonial Revival building which used to be a hub for art galleries and a mainstay for Friday night opening receptions. For the past few years, only Inman Gallery has been regularly hosting exhibitions in the building. 

A photograph of the interior of a gallery.

The interior of 3909 Main St. Houston, Throughline’s new gallery space.

For his part, Mr. Criscoe noted that when ICOSA formed, they had artists but did not initially have a physical space. So, identifying a location early on for Throughline was an exciting prospect. With a space lined up, the collective is still finalizing a roster of artists. Currently, they have 14 artists and are seeking to have a total of 20. Once the artist roster is finalized, the group will meet to discuss and decide on important details of the exhibition and programming calendar, as well as make decisions about the formation of the organization.

Member artists are expected to pay dues of $125 each month, volunteer 10 hours a month, and attend collective meetings. As members, artists will have the opportunity to produce a 4-week exhibition with another member artist, receive professional support, and be a part of an artist community, and also sell merchandise, prints, and small works commission-free in the gallery shop. Houston-area artists who are interested in joining the collective can apply via the organization’s website.

Throughline Collective will open with its inaugural exhibition on Friday, November 10. The first show will be a group exhibition that will introduce the members to the public.

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