HOW DID YOU come together as a team? This fall, we are celebrating the introduction of an exciting real estate collaboration between Clare Leppert, longtime Houston Realtor®, and daughter Leigh Leppert. Clare shared a 20+ year real estate partnership with her mother, Bette Carpenter, until Bette’s death in 2016. Having worked solo for several years, Clare in 2021 was awarded Houston Business Journal’s No. 2 Luxury Realtor® in Houston. Leigh, who has been working in marketing for the past decade, has always shared a passion for real estate and watched Clare successfully balance family and career. We are excited to re-create the next generation of a mother-daughter duo at Compass!
Tell us about your business. What’s unique about your partnership and how does the relationship benefit the business? Clare’s experience in the luxury market for the last 20+ years is enhanced by Leigh’s fresh take on marketing and insight on the ever-evolving Houston neighborhoods. We recognize that real estate is so much more than just “the house.” Exceeding client expectations, marketing, negotiating, hand-holding, and successfully maneuvering in changing markets are what we do best.
What is the Leppert Ladies’ secret to success? We take a family approach to real estate. Clare and Leigh provide a combination of grit and grace, constantly striving to protect and honor clients’ privacy and to prioritize clients’ best interests.
What makes your partnership effective? Clients benefit from the expertise of not one but two Realtors! Clare is a top-producing, seasoned agent in the luxury market who grew up in River Oaks and knows the tried and true Houston neighborhoods. Leigh offers knowledge about current marketing and advertising strategies and is a connoisseur of Houston hotspots and happenings.
What can Houston expect from this duo? We specialize in assisting clients in all seasons of life. From leasing or purchasing for the first time to empty-nesting and beyond, Clare and Leigh will be there! Our goal is to be your real estate partner for generations to come.
MFAH Installs Two Provocative Paintings in its Foyer, Presenting Them Together as a 'Portrait of Courage'
THE ENERGY IN the foyer of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s Caroline Wiess Law Building is quite lively, thanks to the installation of two provocative paintings, painted 400 years apart — one by Artemisia Gentileschi, an Italian 17th-century female artist, the other by Kehinde Wiley, a contemporary, Nigerian-born queer Black artist. Each depicts the grisly climax in the Old Testament Book of Judith, in which the widow Judith decapitates the Assyrian general Holofernes, thus saving her besieged Jewish city of Betulia.
Presented together as Portrait of Courage and installed on opposite walls, each painting is a masterpiece in its depiction of violence made all the more shocking perhaps because the subject with the sword is a strong, beautiful woman. Portrait of Courage opened Jan. 26 and is on view through April 16.
MFAH associate curator of European Art, James Anno, and associate curator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, Anita Bateman, were tasked with the installation of the paintings, both titled "Judith and Holofernes." “There are many layers and narratives that any particular object proposes,” says Anno of his and Bateman’s roles as curators. “We get to choose what aspect we want to put our finger on and say, ‘Let’s follow this story.’ This is a case where we’re doing that. We’re selecting aspects of the work that dialogue with each other in a sense that’s relevant to us right now.”
Wiley, whose portrait of President Barack Obama along with Amy Sherald’s portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama exhibited at MFAH in Spring 2022, is well known for his heroic portraits of Black men and women, who are not professional models, posed in historical settings and exhibiting gestures appropriated from Old Master paintings.
In Wiley’s "Judith and Holofernes," Judith is modeled by Treisha Lowe, dressed in a blue gown, its color close to that of the dress worn by Judith in Gentileschi’s painting, her left arm at a downward diagonal clutching not the head of a marauding general, but that of Wiley’s studio assistant, who is female and white. Including his assistant may be another allusion to the complex role of an artist assistant during the Baroque era of painting, but Lowe’s dramatic hairstyle, carefully applied makeup, and tattoo are thoroughly contemporary. She stands with just a hint of onstage theatricality, the colors of her ensemble and fingernails complemented by an opulent backdrop of flowers and traces of blood on a sheathed sword.
'Judith and Holofernes' by Gentileschi, left, and Wiley
Meanwhile, there’s nothing understated about Gentileschi’s Judith; this is a woman who is not afraid to get her hands bloody. With a little help from her maidservant, Judith holds the struggling Holofernes firmly by his hair with her left arm while using a sword in her right to calmly saw off his head. Gentileschi’s Judith may be a self-portrait; Gentileschi painted this after she had been raped by a family friend, who was brought to a trial in which Gentileschi was tortured with thumb screws to ensure she was telling the truth.
It is heartening to see museums stepping up via their curatorial decisions to challenge the male, Euro-centric narrative of the history of art and societal definitions of whose bodies are “beautiful” and worthy of being painted. But Anno, Bateman, and MFAH director Gary Tinterow all point out that this is something artists throughout the ages have always done.
“You have these artists who have always been at the vanguard of what they’ve been doing, whether they be African American contemporary artists or a 17th-century woman painter, then you have these people who may not understand what they’re doing in the moment,” says Bateman. “But culture catches up to what they’re doing,”
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READY TO SPEND some Christmas cash and gift cards, or eager to get Rodeo-ready?! Houston boutiques are boot-scooting up for 2023 with new collections, pop-ups and more.
A look from Ralph Lauren's SS23 collection
Shop the Ralph Lauren spring/summer 2023 collection at Elizabeth Anthony today until Friday, Jan. 27, 10am-5pm. This collection finds iconic designer Ralph Lauren moving past East Coast constraints to present his take on West Coast-casual. “California has always been a land of dreams and contradictions — rugged coasts and red carpets,” Lauren said in a statement. “For the first time ever, I bring my dream of living here, sharing my worlds in an experience that celebrates a way of life I have always believed in — a mix of grit and glamour, energy and inspiration.”
Join La Vie Style House in River Oaks District (4444 Westheimer Road, F130) for La Vie en Rodeo Thursday, Jan. 26. Get rodeo ready with new offerings from Miron Crosby and Kate Swail Designs.
Hemline Woodway is hosting Margarita Mercantile on Friday, Jan. 27, at 1391 S. Voss Road. The brand is only sold at a small number of boutiques, and Houstonians will be able to shop the timeless, handcrafted tops, frocks and nursing-friendly clothing. Expect new styles and discounted sample pieces!
Ann + Reeves' Valentine's Day dress (photo by Paige Beitler)
Ann + Reeves Kids launched its spring collection with four different lines: Valentine’s Day, Flowers, Boots and Easter. The adorable pieces in custom made fabrics are perfect for the warm and sunny Spring days to come.
Earlier this month, LoveShackFancy debuted its first activewear collection in all of its boutiques, including the River Oaks District outpost, online, and at retailers such as Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. Merging its feminine signature floral prints with high-quality activewear, this line consists of nine styles for girls on the go. The collection features three dreamy prints; a pretty pink floral, a vibrant blue hibiscus, and a cream, neutral bouquet, all printed on athleisure-wear like sports bras, leggings, biker shorts, tanks, athletic dresses, skirts and more. The line also includes cozy waffle-knit henleys and joggers.
A look from MIRTH's Resort 2023 line
MIRTH launched its Resort 2023 collection full of flowy frocks and blouses, cardigans, shorts and pants. The feminine florals and breezy silhouettes are beckoning for you to take a warm-weather vacay, stat.