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Arts / Museums

Going Underground

Edgy Alternative Gallery Shakes Up Houston’s Art Scene

BY Catherine D. Anspon // 07.14.15

This is the first installment of ArtCity, our series on incubator spaces, artists’ lairs, odd finds and other discoveries of merit.

We begin at Paul Middendorf‘s nonprofit project galleryHomeland, an incubator space — designed by Garrett Hunter, who co-curates the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston’s big design show opening in August — that presents some of the most conceptually charged exhibitions in town.

Middendorf was lured to Houston in 2010 to juror Lawndale Art Center’s Big Show. He started galleryHomeland in Portland, a concurrent space he recently shuttered; he’s now celebrating 10 years in the art biz as proprietor/director/chief curator of this edgy alternative.

Here’s a peek at his current view, “Typically Esoteric,” a showcase of two artists of significant promise, Iva Kinnaird and Bret Shirley (on view through August 9). The former posits a sense of narrative and hints at witty disaster waiting to happen, while the latter is known for cooking up alum crystals in a chemical lab, which later appear in alluring canvases.

Scroll through the slide show for scenes from the exhibition, which takes place in Middendorf’s historic 1920s downtown warehouse space at 2327 Commerce Street, within steps of the celebrated Commerce Street Artists Warehouse. Surely CSAW’s spirit and sense of smart art adventure lives on in this new-generation ringleader.

Proprietor Paul Middendorf celebrates a decade of galleryHomeland, coinciding with mascot Ike the Feline's 15th birthday.
Proprietor Paul Middendorf celebrates a decade of galleryHomeland, coinciding with mascot Ike the Feline’s 15th birthday. Video by Catherine D. Anspon.

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