African with a Side of Contemporary

Gallery Jatad

Catherine D. Anspon  |  Photos by Gallery Jatad’s Lisa Qualls and Matt Scheiner with Bamana Chi Wara pair of headdresses from Mali. Photo by Shau Lin Hon.
December 16, 2013

One of the most nuanced art spaces in town promulgates the Menil-established mission of exhibiting African sculpture not in an anthropological context, but by placing it side-by-side with work by Western creatives. We’re enchanted by the newly minted Gallery Jatad, which revives a 1930s-era neighborhood micro shopping center near the Museum District, reinventing it into a storefront gallery. Weeks after our photo shoot, however, it shuttered
due to fire in a nearby retail space. Now the owners are back like a phoenix and have reopened — Houston artist Lisa Qualls, known for her exquisite realist drawings, and husband, Matt Scheiner, a collector/curator with four decades of expertise whose day job is as an energy executive. Together they curate a powerful, ever-changing collection of sub-Saharan African artworks (dating from the 1700s to the 20th century, including works by Senufo, Bamana, Yoruba and Dogon tribes) exhibited alongside cutting-edge contemporary. Upcoming: Jimmy Pena’s haunting drawings on found wood panels, imbued with quiet beauty (reception Saturday, December 7, 3 to 6 pm, through January 18). 1517 Blodgett St., 832.657.4328;