Friday, October 30, 2009

What's Not to Love at Second Seating?

Images of Second Seating - a few things you may have missed the first time around. The Clorox bottle chandelier with its table of vintage linens surrounded by bags of laundry was hard to overlook, but we find it's always best to wander through this space a second time. Enjoy. Return. Peruse the painting you may have passed by, yet now find irresistible. Find the chandelier you cannot live without. Light your way forward. Fly with feral parrots. Allow yourself enchantment. It's all here at Second Seating. We love it and it'll be on view one more week. See gallery hours and special gathering events in the column to the right.Jose Solis created this delicate coffee can chandelier. Victor Rodriguez crafted a flock of feral parrots that fly over our space just as they fly throughout Houston's East End.
Gonzo247 used cans of aerosol paint to cover this exquisite table and four chairs with his 'Exotic Fruit Salad' motif. Imagine eating dinner at the table. Hold your breath and dive in.
All the comforts of home when seated on this chair, one of a pair that'll light any room. And you thought they were simply part of the decor. No, they're 'haveable.' These two chairs rest on either side of the 'Bayou, Bay, Beach' table and chandelier which does not mince words about what 'we, the people' do with plastic, never thinking of harm to our waterways and sea creatures. Read the text on this elaborate table and weep and never improperly throw away a Styrofoam cup again. Ever.
Ted Estrada's ode to grandmothers draws quiet attention and reflection. One remembers the days, the past, the times, the warmth of a family table.
Ah, pinto beans. We could not live without beans, cooked many ways and very often.
Jesse Sifuentes giant ceramic coffee cup yearns for a new home. Take it with you, along with roasted coffee beans from Maximus Coffee.
Catarina Williams created a fantasy collage, a plethora of foods we love set in an enchanted place.
Mercedes Fernandez paints with passion and love about the village in which she lives. She works with women in her village in Mexico with women whose men have gone 'north' and never returned. Nor do they send money home, so the women are embroidering, weaving and when Mercedes sells a painting, half the proceeds go to the women in her village.
Oil drilling pipes transformed into lighting fixtures. Heavy, durable, gorgeous. Wired in duos and trios with transparent wire. We love them on a buffet table or on the floor and then there's the patio.... Lights work anywhere.
Another view of the Gonzo247's painted chair back against Mercedes paintings. Funny how they all work together in this special space.
And here's a bit of weirdness. A tableau on the banquet table. Looks like unrequited love, don't you think? Or maybe, a simply invitation to love. It is what it is. And so close to that vintage meat grinder.
A chandelier abandoned, repainted and then reworked with provocative little phrases in gold on each piece of beveled glass. It'll all light up your night.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

10 More Days of Second Seating

That's it. Folks have ten more days to spend some time at Second Seating. We have a gathering this Thursday evening from 6:00 - 8:00. Then we send out an e-blast with next week's schedule of special events. And each gathering is an opportunity to buy art from one of nine artists.
Today, Jeff, Jesse and I hosted students from TSU and other assorted visitors. Sun was out today after really vicious rains yesterday. We simply closed the door and left the place to itself. I doubt that we disappointed anyone. We expected no one to make there in that rush of water.
Here's a link to the Houston Press review of Second Seating. They ran the review for two weeks and for that I am happy. It's a fair assessment of the show and Kelly Klaasmeyer certainly recognized its baroque quality.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Second Seating Updates

Yes, there are many other things happening in my life besides Second Seating, but you wouldn't know it. Since the opening on September 24, Second Seating has turned into yet another kind of job. My experience of Second Seating is now about caring for a gallery/retail store. Regular hours to keep six days each week, folks coming and going, sales to be made, tours to be given, docents on hand, a series of quite wonderful 'gatherings' on selected evenings each week. Every morning, we look for fruit flies and exchange new mangos and pears for those beginning to rot. We turn on the music which by now, is getting very, very familiar. I may never feel the same way about these particular CDs ever again. We carry out the garbage and when it rains, we worry when water flows into the space from the parking lot, finding it way here and there between the concrete slab and the exterior wall. And until a few days ago it was also tremendously muggy and quite warm in the space. Now, the temperatures day and evenings are just about perfect.
Second Seating doesn't go away on Sunday. Today, I updated the database with all the new email addresses we've collected in our guest book. They'll be ready for an eblast we'll send within a week.
I knew all of this would happen, but before September 24, we were so busy installing the exhibition, planning for the reception and counting the money raised, that I didn't focus on keeping 'the store open' and what exactly that would entail. Plenty as it turns out. None of it bad, just constant.
Last Thursday, we hit a record for visitors. Jeff Brown, Second Seating's docent extraordinaire, counted 70. Two tours and about 40 other folks who just walked in. Here's Jesse talking about coffee, his murals, batiks and ceramics to the St. Luke's Methodist Church seniors group.At our gathering last Wednesday evening, another 40 people showed up, some with wine in hand. Here's Irma Galvan with Joe Cooper who brought friends for a return visit. Jennifer Flores came back and visited with Jesse Sifuentes. My brother stopped by and so did Kathie Easterly. Kathie wrote an article in the latest issue of Change Magazine (free at places like Kroger and Randall's or on-line) called "One Woman's Renaissance". That would be about me. Kathie got the story exactly right. Should you want to know about MMH, it's a great and accurate read.
My sister Kate was in town from Seattle for three days . We had a terrific time and had to have a sibling photo in the Second Seating space. Hey, we also made it out to Harwin Drive for a shopping spree and ate Vietnamese, Turkish, Mexican and homecooked Indonesian while she was here.Kate and I also had the Second Seating Lunch Plate Special which is a combination of my two favorite dishes at Irma's: a fresh spinach enchilada and a one chicken mole enchilada . Note the Second Seating Lunch Special signage on the table. It's called cross marketing.And here's number one docent Jeff Brown, unmatched by any standards. He's in this photo with long time friend Kimble Gaebler, Director of Sales for Warehouse Live over on St. Emanual, a place we should all know more about.
Mary Vargo visited with Cheryl Beckett at the gathering. We just all had a lot of fun that evening and someone bought the blue wine bottle chandelier too.
We really must sell in earnest now with eblasts, more gatherings and suggestions for early holiday shopping. This group of artists made work to sell and I'm thinking a few more signs to that effect throughout the space is in order. Think about owning one of Mercedes Fernadez paintings with its elaborate emboridery, its story of the women she works with in Michoacan. Many visitors are truly surprised when I tell them things are for sale. Second Seating is a charming store as well as an intriguing space to experience.Actually, it is a terrific space in which to spend time. Evocative, funky, nostalgic, informative, fanciful and downright wonderful. Great to wander about with a glass of wine, a cold beer. I wouldn't mind having a barista during the day either. That would be fun.
OK, I began this post in order to talk about all the other things that are happening in my life simultaneously with Second Seating, but as you can immediately see, my mind continues to be centered on one track.
Next gathering is on Thursday, October 29. See you then.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

New Paint on Wall of Plates

So, Saturday, today, was a fine day at Second Seating. Plenty of visitors and lots of fun with Moises and Alexandra. Sold a few painted plates. And we actually repainted a portion of the Wall of Plates a bright turquoise blue. For several days I've been looking at that wall, which I like very much, but which needed ever more color to separate it from the background wall. More color it got today and I'm liking it.Here we are - Alexandra and I are comparing boots - with paint brush and cans still in hand. And we had Kim Som Vietnamese takeout for lunch too.

Finally, It's Fall in Houston

Weather today is bright, blue, clear and breezy. And what does this have to do with Second Seating? Everything. Second Seating is open to the elements in that warehouse space of ours and as many of you know, it's been more than muggy. Walk through Second Seating and sweat.There is no air conditioning and when it's hot, it's very hot. Heck, there is no glass in the windows. When it rains, water runs over parts of the floor, seeping in from the parking lot on to the concrete slab.
It rained all last weekend and when there wasn't a downpour, it is misting. On Monday morning, we walked into the Second Seating space and found the four spun sugar cathedrals on the banquet table melting. Yes, melting away. Pretty awful. Just glistening with wet, liquid, caramelizing sugar.So, we've removed them from the banquet table and they're back home in a climate controlled air conditioned atmosphere. I am happy to say that the cathedrals are dry and solid again. Not as white as they used to be, but they've held together and I may bring them back to Second Seating.
Now with fall weather, a walk and a ponder through Second Seating should be a joyful, comfortable experience. Come visit us today. We're open from 11:00 - 5:00 and again next Monday - Friday, 9:30 - 4:00.
We're also planning several more evening 'gatherings', plus an LED 'throwies' party. Dates for all to be announced in a day or two.
Hey, and check out our listing on HAA's Arts Hound.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Second Seating Makes It On the Air Again

More coverage of Second Seating. Many thanks to you, Alton LaDay for showcasing Second Seating on The A! List last week. We loved the visit.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Second Seating Artists

A few words about some of the artists contributing to Second Seating. First of all, the installation wouldn't be what it is without the skills and talents of these seven artists. Second Seating has been a real collaboration. Each artist's work gives adds a dimension to the exhibition, gives it more depth. So happy that they all agreed to participate.
Jesse Sifuentes teaches over at TSU, has painted several East End murals, does ceramics and batik. You can see it all on display at Second Seating.
Gonzo247 is a talented aerosol art painter and the chandelier, table and chairs he painted are beyond gorgeous. And he certainly added a dimension to the Bayou, Bay, Beach chandelier. He teaches aerosol painting classes at Aerosol Warfare on Jefferson St. I'm signing up in 2010.
Victor Rodriguez has given us a flock of feral parrots, just like those that fly over the East End these days. Each parrot is beautifully crafted. I wish someone would buy them so they can fly in another space when Second Seating packs up and leaves in November. And what about a new home in a restaurant or bar? Those big birds are beautiful.
Catarina Williams is a student at HSPVA and I saw her work earlier this summer at the Jung Center and asked her to make a special piece for Second Seating. Her collage for Second Seating is intricate and quirky. I love it.
Mercedes Fernandez' paintings are true collaborations. She lived in the Heights for years, but recently moved back to Michoacan. She paints on blue agave cloth after she and women in the village where she lives cover the cloth with embroidered flowers and birds. Her paintings are pinned on our yellow wall and the little dolls and shoes and soldiers she affixes on the bottom of her painting cast strange shadows and move in the breezes that move through the space. Buy one of Mercedes' paintings and she shares the money with the women who work with her. The villages in Michoacan are hurting right now. Men have moved north for work and women are left to fend for themselves. Mercedes tells me that even Day of the Dead will not be the same this year as tourists are shunning the region in fear of drug problems. So the women who make the pottery and baskets have far fewer customers and a much harder time of it. Buying one of Mercedes paintings could indeed support a village.
Agnes Welsh Eyster hails from San Antonio, yet her artistic sensibilities work beautifully with things East End. She etches metal for stunningly elegant table tops, cuts metal cans into intricate pieces that become parts of chandeliers and wall pieces.
I written about Jose Solis before. His work is enchanting and takes unexpected turns. Who doesn't love his bottle and coffee can chandeliers? And his crockery totems stacked with carefully selected bowls and plates and vases are marvelous. What's not to like?
Ted Estrada created the huge painting hanging over the ceiling in the Second Seating space. The painting was first shown at a wedding anniversary party for his parents. Two hearts swimming along together on the river of life. Ted's landscape is sublime. You can see another of Ted's landscapes on the community mural on Harrisburg at Macario Garcia on the Firestone Tire building. Ted's Second Seating table is an ode to grandmothers and the wise old women of the families. They know the stories, the secrets, the power of narrative. His table reflects their afternoon 'gatherings'.
Then there is MMH who pulled these artists together and asked ever more dozens of people to give of their time and talents to make Second Seating real. I've got collages and tables and chandeliers in the installation too. Perhaps, it really is time to make a visit to Second Seating. We're having a 'gathering' in the space this evening. Join us between 6 and 8. The space gets ever more lovely at night. And it's a good thing to remember that everything in Second Seating is for sale. The plates, the batik, the totems, the tables, the lights can all be yours. The artists would love to put red dots on every single thing in the space.

Friday, October 9, 2009

More Photos

Here are some more Laurie Perez photos from the opening reception of Second Seating. Every time I look through the images, I see more and more that need to go into that 'soon to be' Facebook album. How did the days get so busy that I haven't gotten that album on line yet? Here's Modelle Brudner. Second Seating wouldn't have happened without her. The opening reception wouldn't have happened without her. This woman lets nothing slip by. Melissa Welborn is another friend that kept Second Seating on track for months and then on track opening night. And where in heaven's name is a photo of Melissa, she who talked about DNA which led to the epiphany on the freeway when I knew I'd dedicate this exhibition to my mom? I am still searching for a photo of Melissa.
I love this photo of Victor Rodriguez and his family. Victor's parrots are absolutely wonderful and they sway high up toward the ceiling and look especially terrific in the morning when that morning sun from the east back lights them.Here's Yolanda Navarro Black. Wish we had another shot of her looking right at the camera. Just for the record - how long has it been since you've eaten some of her really, really good tacos at Villa Arcos on Navigation? If you've not tasted one lately, get thee to Villa Arcos.

June Woest came with her husband. June made the Clorox chandelier possible. Dozens of her students filegreed all those Clorox bottles last spring semester at Houston Community College Southeast. We spent three weeks on the project and that chandelier has perhaps become the signature of the show.Here's Maria Modelska. And those flowers on the reception table are from my good friend Virginia Avery. Sure wish she were among the folks here.HISD school board member and East Ender Manuel Rodriguez came with his family. He wrote some wonderful copy for the gallery guide about his brother Victor's parrots. Here's Sophya Tabarovskaya and Sally Lehr. And Kathryn McNiel expresses surprise at what? Chris and Judy Berno. I really need to get these pix on Facebook. When?