Arts / Galleries

Houston’s Only Black Female Owned Gallery is Showing Diverse Art Power — Bisong Makes an Impact

For the Love of Art

BY // 08.17.21

Bisong Art Gallery, located in Houston’s historic Warehouse District, is all about featuring a diverse lineup. Expect a balance of new and established Houston artists showcasing abstract, figurative, and realist works, with something for everyone.

Owner Carla Bisong opened her namesake gallery in 2013 after working 13 years in investment banking. Bisong’s first love has always been art — a passion she developed at a young age. In her childhood home, she became intrigued by how calm her mother’s seascapes made her feel. 

Growing up, she made frequent visits to The Menil Collection, Houston Museum of African American Culture, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. 

Now, Bisong has her own Houston art space. The works currently on display at Bisong’s gallery include Zahra Ali’s colorful abstracts and Craig Carter’s graffiti-inspired pieces, as well as additional artwork from Houston art icons Dominic Clay and David Adickes.

Craig Carter’s “Humanity Maelstrom” is inspired by the shapes and colors seen in graffiti art.
Craig Carter’s “Humanity Maelstrom,” 2021 is inspired by the shapes and colors seen in graffiti art.

“One thing we love about our portfolio of artists’ works is the manner in which history is documented via the process – both artistically and curatorially,” Bisong tells PaperCity. “Dominic Clay’s sculpture work conjures the rich history of tribal masks and shares textural stories that make the viewer take a deeper dive.”

In June, Adickes and Marthann Masterson showcased a dual exhibit called “Rooted Renewal,” featuring works created from the 1960s to the present. This show was curated by Tammy Dowe of SpotOn Public Relations of Houston. 

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The gallery included Adickes’ works from his time spent in France, Tahiti, Texas and beyond. Bisong studied the artist’s art and had many conversations with him in order to understand the international art history behind his pieces. 

Masterson’s drip series includes several brightly colored linear works that align beautifully with Adickes’ still-life. 

Over the past couple of years, Bisong Art Gallery has overcome many obstacles, including COVID-19, the historic Texas freeze and Hurricane Harvey. Carla Bisong stayed positive and  flexible during these times, offering a virtual gallery when her space flooded. 

Bisong’s hard work has been honored by Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, who presented her with an official document recognizing her as Houston’s only Black female commercial gallery owner. 

“It’s deeply gratifying to get to do what I love as a human, female, wife, mother, entrepreneur and arts lover,” Bisong says. 

She aims to continue making art easily accessible to all via free community events and engagement. Bisong also wants to give back to the art world via her new role as president of the Houston Gallery Association. 

She recently completed a three-floor commercial art collection and is now focused on curating her next set of permanent corporate collections.

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