Major Show Transforms Former Forever 21 into an Art Gallery

OPENING THIS FRIDAY, Collect It For The Culture III isn't just a museum-quality group show featuring works by 40 stellar Houston artists working in the fields of painting, sculpture, photography, video, and installation; it is also a bold initiative to educate first-time collectors on how to buy a piece of art and support the city's art-making community for the long-term.

Since its launch in 2018 by Black Buddha Creative Agency founding director India Lovejoy and artist Robert Hodge, Collect It For The Culture has grown, as Lovejoy puts it, "like a small, cute puppy that's turned into a big Great Dane." This year, to accommodate the large number of works on display, Lovejoy and Hodge have procured a majestic, two-story space (actually, a former Forever 21) in the heart of Downtown. It's the perfect venue for the show's inclusive, curatorial vision, where artists relatively new to the game share wall and floor space with such established masters as George Smith, Jamal Cyrus and Project Row Houses founder Rick Lowe. "We really want to honor these artists with a space that feels like a museum," says Hodge, who is relentless in his search for and support of homegrown talent. "We have to cultivate the artists we have here in Houston, or they're going to leave."

Robert and his wife Nikita Hodge

One of the show's first-time exhibitors is photographer Joanna Booth, whose family portraits elevate her everyday subjects to a "Vogue-level" of high fashion and, for Hodge, speak to the importance of self-care and positive body-image in the throes of the ongoing pandemic. Not surprisingly, many works in the show directly or obliquely reference life in the time of Covid-19. Rabéa Ballin's latest body of work, "Quarantine Portraits," is a survey of hair styles created and worn by its subjects as many salons and barber shops remained shuttered for the foreseeable future. A complete list of the participating artists can be found at

"This isn't a show where you can do a quick walkthrough, have a cheap glass of wine, and then disappear," says Lovejoy, who is delighted with both the venue and the artists on display. It's a show that spans generations, mediums, and experiences, but the last thing Lovejoy and Hodge want is for visitors to feel overwhelmed or uninformed when looking at and considering purchasing a work of art. "We do our best to make everyone feel welcome," says Lovejoy, "and open their eyes to the fact that buying art isn't what some people have made it out to be."

Collect It For The Culture III is on view Jan. 29 through Feb. 28, at 1201 Main St., Houston, 77002. Limited tickets are available. Masks required.

Art + Entertainment

SOUTH FLORIDA-BASED Italian shoe line Concetto Limone will make its Texas debut at a cocktail reception at Valobra Master Jewelers (2150 Westheimer Rd.) on Thursday, April 29 from 5-7pm. The evening of "All Things Italian" will transport guests immediately to the coast of southern Italian as they sip on Italian wines, Aperol Spritzes, Negronis and Limoncellos while feasting on an assortment of Italian hors d'oeuvres from Houston's beloved Tony's. Invited guests will have the first glance in Texas on the Concetto Limone line and the opportunity to purchase unisex styles on Thursday evening and all day Friday at a trunk show at Valobra.

Keep Reading Show less

6 Glendenning Lane

THE BOOM CONTINUES. Some 11,348 homes changed hands in the Houston area in April, totaling just under $4 billion in sales — up 86 percent from Covid-struck April of 2020, says the Houston Association of Realtors. "Low interest rates inspired consumers to snap up high-end homes in April at a pace never before seen," says HAR in a statement, "sending prices to new highs while keeping home inventory at historic lows." Single-family home sales were up more than 47 percent, to 9,107, the biggest one-month year-over-year surge ever. And, keeping with the recent trend, the priciest homes — those priced $750,000 or more — are setting the curve; sales in that category were up "a staggering 164.3 percent." Here are the 10 multimillion-dollar manses that led the way.

Keep Reading Show less
Home + Real Estate

Bask Pastries' Marie Yeo and Ube Co.'s Lawrence Indefenso

AFTER 2020'S FAD of sourdough starters and parking-lot pastry swaps subsided, many continued to bake. Some even turned their newfound talent into a business.

Keep Reading Show less