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Visual Art

Art Exhibit Makes A Statement About Preserving Houston’s Historical Buildings

A new exhibit at HCC says its purpose is to challenge Houston’s famous disregard for its own history.

  • Havel Ruck Projects’ Trespass features extracted wood house sections. Each piece is approximately 60”x30”x10”. Photo credit: Benedikte Flores Ansell (Photo Credit: Benedikte Flores Ansell)
    Havel Ruck Projects’ Trespass features extracted wood house sections. Each piece is approximately 60”x30”x10”. Photo credit: Benedikte Flores Ansell (Photo Credit: Benedikte Flores Ansell)
  • Alex Larsen’s Extrusion Study: untitled is composed of lathe, cement, nails, and steel wire. Photo credit: Benedikte Flores Ansell (Photo Credit: Benedikte Flores Ansell)
    Alex Larsen’s Extrusion Study: untitled is composed of lathe, cement, nails, and steel wire. Photo credit: Benedikte Flores Ansell (Photo Credit: Benedikte Flores Ansell)
  • Edward Lane McCartney’s Restoration #1, 2015 includes reclaimed building materials such as wood, steel, and glass. Photo credit: Benedikte Flores Ansell (Photo Credit: Benedikte Flores Ansell)
    Edward Lane McCartney’s Restoration #1, 2015 includes reclaimed building materials such as wood, steel, and glass. Photo credit: Benedikte Flores Ansell (Photo Credit: Benedikte Flores Ansell)

 

A new exhibit at HCC touches on a sensitive subject: Does Houston disregard its history through demolition?

Co-Curator Bennie Flores Ansell says the idea came to her after an earlier show, where one artist used wood from reclaimed houses in The Heights to create jewelry.

"And I thought to myself, ‘You know, a lot of artists have been doing this and have been working with reclaimed materials... especially in Houston, because a lot of historic buildings and old houses and cottages are being torn down,'" she says.

One piece by Dan Havel and Dean Ruck features large wedges from the inside of a house that was about to be torn down.

The exhibit's description says its purpose is to challenge Houston's famous disregard for its own history. It's been a hot topic of conversation in recent years.

"To really appreciate a city's history and its heritage, you need those old buildings," says Preservation Houston's Acting Executive Director David Bush. "You need that atmosphere to really get a feel for where the city came from."

Bush adds that most of the major cities in Texas had preservation ordinances for decades before Houston got its own in 1995 – But it's gradually catching up.

With the Grain runs August 25th through September 23rd at Houston Community College-Central's art gallery.

 

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