Gallery 19

This past weekend, I had the good fortune of attending Gallery 19‘s public show. Gallery 19 is a co-op art gallery located in the heights on 19th street, one and a half blocks off west of Yale (613 1/2 W. 19th Street, Suite A)..

I had the fortune of being invited by my friend, David Weaver, who was having the first showing of several of his pieces. I was quite impressed with the Gallery 19 space. While it is a smallish location (cramming 50+ people in, all milling around looking at works is interesting, to say the least), the quality and diversity of work in the gallery more than make up for the small space. Add to this the fact that this public show included activities on the back “patio” area (lot beside and behind the gallery). In this outside area were many photographers and artists, as well as a small stage that featured a jazz band, keyboardist, and guitarist, at varying times throughout the night. Additionally, four local graffiti artists were asked to “tag up” the long wall of the gallery. Although two of the four did not finish by the time I departed (around 10:30pm), I was quite impressed with the wall.

Gallery 19 has a history of “everybody” shows, inviting the public to attend and browse through their gallery. These events are informal attire (in fact, I felt extremely overdressed, having worn a tie), and welcome to all. The next “everybody” show is on October 1st, 2005. Seven days later, on Saturday and Sunday October 8th-9th, Gallery 19 is featuring a SmoothJazz Fest.

Gallery 19 features all local artists, and seems to be striving to obtain that community feel that the Houston art community seems to have lost over the yers. In fact, Gallery 19 is including artists who work not only in traditional techniques, but also those who show their talent in differing ways, including Polly Bynum (gemstones, jewelry, treasure boxes, “fairy” clay sculpture), and Christian Perkins (a personal favourite) who uses mixed media and “found objects” on wood. Gallery 19 is also the proud home of the Unicyle Artist, Mick McCorkle.

While you don’t, neccisarily, get that “down-home,” comfy feeling upon walking into the gallery; after spending only a couple of minutes speaking with the artists, I felt at ease, and in the “groove,” so to speak. I highly reccommend checking out Gallery 19 and some of its artists (including Michael-Ann Belin, Amos Garcia, and Jill Griffith).

(For more information on Gallery 19, visit its website, or call curator Marie Weichman at 713.869.2551.)

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