During the pandemic, in the fall of 2020, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston created the CAMHLAB initiative, an artists’ residency based at the museum’s newly renovated upstairs Brown Foundation Gallery.
It was implemented in response to the impact of COVID on Houston artists – in particular, to offset the loss of performance and rehearsal space, and to provide a safe way to connect artists and audiences.
CAMH is now expanding that residency program through a partnership with real estate developer Radom Capital, which has offered to house it in a new gallery space at Montrose Collective – a shopping center that includes chefs, merchants, wellness services, and creative offices. Located adjacent to the Museum District, Montrose is considered by many to be among the city’s most creative, culturally rich, and inclusive areas.
“Walking though Montrose inspires curiosity, wonder, and discovery. In the spirit of our neighborhood, we are honored to announce our curatorial and programming partnership with CAMH,” said Steve Radom, managing principal of Radom Capital, in a press release.
“CAMHLAB x MC is a light-filled gallery providing neighbors and visitors with access to an exciting and eclectic lineup of local artists curated by CAMH,” Radom said.
Through this re-envisioned residency, local artists will have the opportunity to create new and timely works, while aiming to foster community interaction and connection following nearly two years of social distancing and isolation brought on by the pandemic.
“We are living through wild times and the world is a strange place these days. CAMHLAB is making space for artists to process and interpret,” said Eepi Chaad, artist-in-residence, in a statement. “Each residency is like a capsule of a moment during an extraordinary period of acceleration in the human timeline.”
According to reporting by Glasstire,“artists will receive an honorarium, opportunities to host programming, support for communications and marketing, and additional support as needed from CAMH.”
The gallery is family friendly and free.
“This is an opportunity for artists to move not just beyond the walls of the Museum, but to directly share their creative process with the public,” said Hesse McGraw, CAMH Executive Director, in a statement.
Four artists-in-residence have been selected and will rotate through the space (project descriptions and photos provided by CAMH):
December 15, 2021–January 30, 2022
Artist Eepi Chaad’s “Soft Space” is an installation that celebrates the soft surfaces we associate with our homes. Visitors are invited to learn about surface design, take part in the process of making, and engage with the transformed space created out of handkerchiefs, bandanas, scarfs, afghans, throws, and security blankets. “Soft Space” aims to provide a safe and welcoming space for visitors to create, heal, and connect with one another through a communal project.
February 2–March 27, 2022
Two Star Symphony will utilize the space to create new performance and sound works. The group is often inspired by the movement of dancers, silent film, and other visual mediums. The ensemble will offer regular open studio hours to connect with their audience and make their process visible.
March 30–May 25, 2022
Frame Dance will present “The Family Mantra,” an installation-based participatory performance that explores generational psychological shifts in the Houston community. The group aims to create an environment that will invite interaction with marbles, toy tops, pathways on the floor, pipe cleaner dolls to manipulate, and puppets. Frame Dance will host family dance parties with the goal of building bonding and creative expression.
June 1–30, 2022
Artist Dana Caldera’s project, “Paper to Fabric,” will explore the intersection of quilt and collage. An important component of this work is a community sewing circle event, which aims to offer a place for community, organizing for political or social causes, and education that is open to everyone. Caldera’s residency embraces the artist/caretaker role in order to model a family-friendly environment that welcomes children and ensures they are safely included in all events.