Arts & Culture

Finally, A Commercial Exhibition Of A Noted Houston Muralist

Maybe you’ve seen this artist’s murals in Houston. But do you know his name? It’s John Biggers.

Gus Kopriva standing in studio
Redbud Gallery’s owner and director, Gus Kopriva, a long-time advocate of John Biggers’ work.

 

Gus Kopriva hanging a painting
Gus Kopriva began hanging the 35 works in the Biggers exhibition on Tuesday.

Stepping into Redbud Gallery from the sidewalk on West 11th Street in The Heights is like stepping into the home of an old friend. On this day, the gallery’s Gus Kopriva has music by Joanie Sommers cranked up while he hangs works for an upcoming exhibit. It’s the art of John Biggers, an artist who’s not exactly a household name in Houston anymore. Kopriva says this showing is long overdue. 

“It’s a crying shame,” he says. “But in Houston, to my knowledge, he hasn’t had a solo showing in a commercial gallery in over thirty years.”

Maybe you’ve seen one of the dozens of murals that the African American artist has painted on buildings across the Houston area. He’s played a significant role in the local arts community for decades, even after his death in 2001. Part of the reason is that he was also the founding chairman of Texas Southern University’s art department.

“And after 35 years, and teaching hundreds of students, he established quite a program and affected Texas and Houston art, and American art,” Kopriva said.

The John Biggers exhibit opens Saturday at Redbud Gallery in The Heights and runs through April 29th.

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