The Houston Endowment (HEI), a place-based philanthropic organization, has installed its final exhibit of the year in its recently-built headquarters west of downtown. The exhibit, titled Where Is Home?, features the works of four Houston-area artists who, according to a press release from HEI, “explore the concept of ‘home’ and the complex relationship of culture, memory, and identity.” These artists are Nela Garzón, Lorena Molina, Sneha Bhavsar, and Marcos Hernández Chávez.
Nela Garzón’s Runners is, according to the press release, “a series playing on the word runner as both a refugee on the run and the carpeted material from which she constructs her art. These Runners are tufted, and each has decorative trim specific to the geographic location depicted.” Originally from Colombia, Ms. Garzón has lived in Houston since 2012. Another of her recent projects, Not One Of Us, was reviewed by Michelle Kraft for Glasstire this past summer.
Uno no es como el Otro is the title of Lorena Molina’s work in the exhibit. This piece “show[s] Lorena’s definition of a home in the margins” through “images of mismatched objects.” Ms. Molina is a Salvadoran artist and Assistant Professor of Photography and Digital Media in the School of Art at the University of Houston. According to HEI’s website, “her definition of home is deeply layered and grows more profound with every new location she lives in, creating, in her words, ‘a home full of slashes and semicolons and love in all the places.’”
Sneha Bhavsar is showing Stories Incarnate: The Refugee Journey. This piece is a collection of “interviews with six Houston-area refugees combin[ing] painting, animation, and audio to depict deeply personal, painful, and raw stories of strength and perseverance.” According to her bio on her website, Ms. Bhavsar began her career in public health and decided to pursue art professionally in 2014. A community-minded artist, she is an active member of the Culture and Arts Board in the City of Bellaire and an advocate for public arts projects around the city.
Finally, Marcos Hernández Chávez’s Los Dos Amigos I and II is a fiber-based diptych in which string is used to re-create a photograph of two men on horseback with fishing rods. According to the press release, “in these men, he saw himself attempting to recapture a sense of home through a pastime.” Through watercolor and fiber arts, says the HEI website, Mr. Hernández Chávez “reflects on his formative years spent on his grandparents’ rancho in North Central Mexico.”
HEI was established as a supporter of the arts in 1937 by Jesse H. and Mary Gibbs Jones. What Is Home? is the latest of a series of exhibitions in their new location’s lobby, partly centered on their recently-launched Jones Artist Award. On the occasion of this new exhibition, Ann B. Stern, president and CEO of HEI, said in a press release that “Houston’s greatest asset is its immense diversity, and this installation provides a window into the journeys many residents have taken to call Houston home.”
Although HEI’s building is not open to the public, the organization has made images of the installation, along with more information on the artists, available online here.
Disclosure: Glasstire is a grantee of the Houston Endowment.