Arts / Museums

Houston’s Creepy, Cool Silos Find New Life: Hulking Honeycomb Becomes a Surprising New Arts Enclave

BY // 10.15.16

Talk about agrarian ruins and a creepy, cool, and unexpected arts venue. The Silos at Sawyers Yards (1502 Sawyer) and the second ever Sculpture Month Houston — aptly billed as “From Space to Field” — converge for a month-long exhibition that is among the highlights of the fall (it runs through November 19). The big reveal is tonight (Saturday, October 15) from 6 to 9 pm in a big art party at the newly branded SITE Gallery Houston within the Silos complex.

If you miss it, you may have to wait another 16 years — the last Sculpture Month Houston was in 2000. Check out the website for the complete list of nearly 40 venues, but the best of all of them has to be at the historic The Silos at Sawyer Yards.

An aside: PaperCity first broke the story in December 2014 of Jon Deal and partners’ acquisition of the Success Rice silos. The hulking structures of concrete resembling a giant honeycomb date to 1960, but the entire area has been a transportation hub, with railroads in the area dating back to 1858. Riviana, through its predecessors, previously owned the tract of land from 1906 onward. The acquisition by Deal and crew was a coup, and a win for the newly minted Washington Avenue Arts District involving complex negotiations with Union Pacific and Riviana extending over a multi-year period.

Now in its second exhibition to date at the Silos, 22 sculptors take on the heroic agro-industrial site. We’ve been getting texted pics of some of the results all week (check them out in the slideshow above). Kudos to the quadrant of curators — Rudolph Blume Fine Art / ArtScan Gallery’s Volker Eisele, Sean Rudolph, and Antarctica Black — who are joined by Tommy Gregory, who oversees public art for the Houston Airport System.

The aesthetics and activation of the space provide moments of contemplation and also a startling vibe in keeping with the monumentality of the setting, and its sense of a beautiful brooding decay. Important artists based in Houston such as Joe Mancuso and Weihong are paired with those breaking through (place Dylan Conner and Jessica Kreutter on your radar) to make this exhibition a good bet for some new discoveries, too.

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Curated Collection