Just blocks from Houston’s thriving museum district is Art Square Studios, 5301 Almeda Rd. The public and art lovers are invited to attend Summer Open Studios from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 26. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet 15 different artists and see their work in their studios.

Art Square Studios isn’t the type of anime studio I normally write about here, but it does have an art store! With 12 individual studios and 3-4 residential studios, Art Square Studios is a small space packed with lots of talent. Art Supply on Almeda on the ground floor is well known in the art community and is open 9am-6pm Monday-Friday and Saturday until 4pm. In fact, the owners of Art Supply on Almeda built the building.

I can’t talk about the studio without telling you about Art Supply on Almeda, which has been Art Supply on Main for many years. The studios were also above the old location and several artists moved to the new location with owners Ben Russell and Vikki Trammell. The move to the current location took place in August 2020.

I spoke to resident pastel artist Sunny McKinnon and she gave me the lean on the new location. She said that artistic mediums are very diverse. For example, there is a photographer, a fashion designer, and GLH Galleries, which focuses on emerging artists.

There is also resident celebrity, Earl Staley, well known to the Houston art scene. McKinnon told me that Staley completes one or two paintings every day. The famous artist I know is Ann Bell, maybe because I’ve known her since I was in the art world, but you’ll love her mixed media paintings with surreal and fantasy themes. I remember Bell also had a studio at the old location.

Some of the artists are just getting started, having recently graduated from art schools across the country. Several teach classes at art schools and colleges in the Houston area. Several are represented by Houston galleries.

The one thing that really stands out about this open studio event is that some of the studios also house the artists. It’s not something you see very often.

There is a connection with Heights, the multimedia artist Lucy Riggs. Riggs teaches in the heights at Art Studio on the Boulevard, whose founder Naomi Smulian Mendel, who died earlier this year at the age of 87, was his longtime mentor and friend.

“We are a small group of friendly artists who open our studios up to visitors to come and see the spaces where we work,” Riggs said in a press release. “The building is wheelchair accessible, so it’s easy for everyone to come and visit. Put June 26 on your calendar and we’ll see you then.

Art Square artists participating in Open Studios include Bell, McKinnon, Riggs, Staley, Heather Den Uijl, GLH Galleries, Justin Earl Grant, Alan Hurwitz, Riaz Kahn, Ruhee Maknojia, Pooneh Nik, Silvio Ortega, Donna E. Perkins , Helene Robinson and Bob Warren.

For more information, visit facebook.com/ArtSquareStudiosonAlmeda/ Where instagram.com/artsquarestudiosonalmeda

Cohen is an artist and founder of the First Saturday Arts Market and the Market at Sawyer Yards. Find it on ArtValet.com for additional highlights and artist stories.

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