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Arts / Museums

1920s-Era Restaurant Space Reborn

Midtown Gets a New Arts Roost

BY // 11.11.15

Zoya Tommy is sitting in the catbird seat at her new Midtown roost — a prime corner in a studio complex adjoining DiverseWorks, a block from Isabella Court’s dealers. Months in the making, Tommy’s new digs represent at least the fifth iteration of the Rhode Island School of Design grad’s career as a gallerist, including pop-ups in borrowed spaces, a pair of previous Midtown locales and, most recently, a spot at 4411 Montrose. Moving up to 2,500 square feet, Tommy again returns to a building brushed with history: the former 1920s-era Cleburne Cafeteria, which later was HQ for Frankel’s Costumes.

Tapping Dutch architect Piet Kemp — whose brother is her husband, painter Guus Kemp, also one of the staples in her stable — Tommy’s new home features beautiful windows with original architectural flourishes intact, a new loft for office duties, abundant storage and movable walls for a variety of exhibition configurations. At the inaugural show this September, painter Earl Staley held court — a Rome Prize winner who’s one of the patriarchs of our scene. Not content to rest on past laurels, Staley crafted wildly exuberant abstractions that channel some of the language and syntax of Aboriginal artists.

There now, Houston painter Marco Villegas’ newest conceptual geometric series paired with mid-career abstract painter Lindsey Nobel, known for her scientific/ planetary focus. Zoya Tommy, 4102 Fannin St., 832.649.5814

Zoya Tommy in her eponymous space pre-build-out
Zoya Tommy in her eponymous space pre-build-out

Home, chic home.

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