Art museum, developer partner on new artist-in-residency program at Montrose Collective

The Houston Museum of Contemporary Art and developer Radom Capital are teaming up with a new residency program that officials say will bring together 25 merchants, chefs and wellness concepts at the Montrose Collective’s development in Houston. (Courtesy of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston)

The Houston Museum of Contemporary Art and developer Radom Capital are teaming up with a new residency program that officials say will bring together 25 merchants, chefs and wellness concepts at the Montrose Collective’s development in Houston.

The program, which was announced in a January 3 press release but started in mid-December, is designed to support artists by allowing the museum to expand its existing artist-in-residence program known as from CAMHLAB, which supports artists in a variety of formats in their quest to bring new projects to the public.

“This is an opportunity for artists to not only go beyond the walls of the museum, but also to directly share their creative process with the public,” CAMH Managing Director Hesse McGraw said in a statement.

Four artists have been selected for the first iteration of the program, according to the Jan.3 press release.

  • Eepi Chaad: Chaad’s project, Soft Space, was the first to be presented in mid-December. The installation celebrates the soft surfaces associated with homes, according to a description provided by CAMH. Visitors can engage and also participate in the process of creating a space transformed from the squares of textile, such as handkerchiefs, bandanas, scarves, afghans, plaids and security blankets.
  • Two Star Symphony: The artist collective Two Star Symphony will take over the space in February and March, creating new performances and sound works. The group will offer regular studio hours of operation to make the process more visible, according to CAMH. Plans include a collaboration with puppeteer Afsaneh Aayani and composing new scores for short films from the avant-garde film collection “Unseen Cinema”.
  • Frame dance: Frame Dance will present a project called “The Family Mantra” from March 30 to May 15, described as “a performance that explores generational psychological changes in the Houston community”. The group will host family dance parties in an effort to bond and create creative expression, according to CAMH. The Frame Dance MultiGen Ensemble, a group of all ages and abilities, will also use the space as well as their professional dance company.
  • Dana caldera: Caldera’s project, titled ‘From Paper to Tissue’, will develop the artist’s layered, collage-based artwork by removing the constraints of a traditional stretched canvas and exploring the intersection of the quilting and gluing, according to CAMH. The residency will include a community sewing circle event, which aims to provide a place for the community as well as organize for political or social causes. Caldera will occupy the space in June.

Montrose Collective is developed by Radom Capital. In addition to the 25 artists, the site will also house office tenants and the library of the Freed-Montrose district. The CAMHLAB gallery is free to the public, Steve Radom, Managing Director of Radom Capital, said in a statement.

CAMHLAB was launched in fall 2020 to help Houston artists stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic by finding ways to safely connect them with audiences.

“We live in wild times and the world is a strange place these days,” Chaad said in a statement. “CAMHLAB makes room for artists to process and perform. Each residency is like a capsule of a moment during an extraordinary period of acceleration in human chronology.

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