Arts / Galleries

New Houston Art Mecca Embraces Rodeo Season — Inside Christopher Martin Gallery’s Rodeo Gallop

And a Major Round Top Moment Too

BY // 02.28.22

It’s no secret that Rodeo Season in Houston is unlike any other. From the Western fashion to the carnival food to the big name concerts, Houstonians know how to get wild when the Rodeo comes to town. And after both the 2020 and 2021 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeos were canceled due to COVID, the 2022 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is sure to be one for the books. 

To celebrate all things Rodeo, Christopher Martin Gallery (which recently opened a new Houston gallery in a sophisticated, 2,000-square-foot space at 2625 Colquitt Street along Upper Kirby District’s acclaimed Gallery Row), is going big. This means the launch of a new “Let’s Ride” exhibition, showcasing Western-themed pieces from Dallas based photographer Steve Wrubel, alongside a selection of works from gallery founder Christopher Martin’s flag collection. The exhibition will also showcase a prized saddle sculpture cast in bronze from David Middlebrook, as well as sculptures from the renowned Brandon Reese.

Steve Wrubel’s works will be on display at Christopher Martin Gallery in Houston.

“The Rodeo has always been such a big part of Houston and you can just feel the excitement around this season,” Christopher Martin Gallery director Ally Ondarza says. “Through this exhibition, we’re excited to share in this spirit, bring people together and introduce Houston to works from both Chris and Steve during this time.”

Christopher Martin Gallery will kickoff the “Let’s Ride” exhibition with an artist reception gallery this Thursday, March 3 from 6 to 9 pm. Expect a true Rodeo worthy night. That means live country music, light bites and the chance to mingle with both artists. You can also snag a taste of Ride Wine, a joint wine label created by Steve Wrubel and David Green with Royal Prince.

Steve Wrubel’s works will be on display at Christopher Martin Gallery.

“The artist reception to kick off the “Let’s Ride” exhibition will be a very special event,” Ondarza says. “It’s completely catered to one of Houston’s biggest, most special months. It’s all born out of the love we feel for both Houston and the Rodeo.”

The “Let’s Ride” exhibition will be on view at Christopher Martin Gallery through March 31. The show will dive heavily into Wrubel’s Wild West series. These works highlight the spirit of adventure and the American experience through his abstracts of riders on broncos and bulls that have been removed from their rodeo backdrops and placed in natural settings photographed during Wrubel’s travels.

This is an art exhibition that absolutely should not be missed.

At the Rodeo and On the Road in Round Top

If enjoying fine food while admiring art is more up your alley, Wrubel’s works will also be on loan through the Christopher Martin Gallery on-site at the Houston Rodeo at The Ranch Saloon + Steakhouse. This Rodeo restaurant is the newest offering from prolific Houston restaurant tycoon Ben Berg. Wrubel’s art will be on display at the restaurant from February 28 through March 20, the entire run of the Rodeo.

In true Texas fashion, The Ranch Saloon + Steakhouse will be housed under an expansive, decked-out tent right on the grounds of NRG Park. The curated selection of pieces from Wrubel’s Wild West and his earlier Rodeo series are sure to add authentic Western flavor to the richly outfitted space. This offsite exhibition will bring breathtaking art to the largest livestock show and rodeo on the planet.

Steve Wrubel New Mexico Rain Photograph at Christopher Martin Gallery Houston
Steve Wrubel’s “New Mexico Rain” photograph illustrates the beauty of riding against a dramatic landscape.

But these stunning Western works aren’t just staying in Houston. Christopher Martin Gallery is also hosting an art pop-up in Round Top at The Halles events venue from March 19th through April 2nd. The Halles brings 20,000 square feet of event space with designers, dealers, food vendors and public artists showcased during the Round Top Antiques Shows. A selection of framed, limited edition pieces from Wrubel’s Wild West series and a collection of Texas flags paintings from Christopher Martin will be on display and available for purchase at the Spring Show.

Now, that’s embracing the Rodeo spirit.

The Christopher Martin Gallery Houston is open from 10 am to 6 pm Mondays through Saturdays. In addition to Houston, Christopher Martin Gallery boasts galleries in Dallas, Vail and Aspen. To learn more about the Christopher Martin Gallery and explore everything it has to offer, check out its full website.