New Artist-Run Gallery Rises and Hits the Ground Running with Diverse Group Show

New Artist-Run Gallery Rises and Hits the Ground Running with Diverse Group Show

Sarah Sudhoff (photo by Katy Anderson)

SINCE THE 1970s, Houston’s cultural scene has only grown richer and more diverse thanks to the DIY spirit of its visual artists. As an alternative to the city’s major museums (which are awesome) and commercial galleries (again, awesome), they show their work and the work of their peers in ad-hoc, cooperative, artist-run spaces — spaces that range from the traditional white cube interiors, to private bungalows, to repurposed shipping containers.

Given the wildcat-meets-punk-rock work ethic of Houston’s creative community, not to mention the lack of zoning laws, keeping up with these unique spaces is a challenge. But we’ve tried, covering exhibits at FLATS, Archway Gallery, and G Spot Contemporary Arts Space, to name just a few. On Jan. 12, Midtown’s new artist-run gallery Throughline, which opened its doors to the public last November, presents its second group exhibition Volume 2: RUN. A reception follows the following Friday, Jan. 19.

Co-founded by Houston artist Sarah Sudhoff and Jonas Criscoe, Throughline went from ideation to reality very quickly, and is enjoying a huge momentum as we head into a new year. “The support, and the empowerment, and the community is already building,” says Sudhoff, “and it’s only been three months!”

Throughline came into being last summer when Criscoe, who had just relocated to Houston and is a founding member of the Austin-based artist-run space ICOSA, asked Sudhoff if she would like to create a communal, artist-run gallery in Houston similar to ICOSA. “I was missing that community aspect of my practice,” says Sudhoff, who had shown her work at ICOSA and loved the idea. She reached out to a diverse network of Houston-based artists, ranging in age from twenty-something to 65, and organized a series of meetings at Brasil to discuss this new venture. By October, a space was leased at 3909 Main Street, coincidentally, the location of Sudhoff’s former commercial gallery venture Capsule. In November, Throughline unveiled its first group show, Volume 1: Rise, featuring works by 10 of Throughline’s founding artist members (18 total plus Sudhoff and Criscoe); Volume 2: Run includes works by the second half.

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In addition to being an in-demand photography, performance, and installation artist, whose provocative, multi-disciplinary work explores motherhood, mortality, intimacy, and illness, Sudhoff is a single working mom with two kids. She has two shows opening in March, one at Houston’s Andrew Durham Gallery, and the other at grayDUCK in Austin, both commercial galleries. “As an artist, you can operate and live in both worlds,” says Sudhoff.

Sudhoff hopes Throughline will eventually become a non-profit with 501(c)3 status, but in the meantime the gallery has the option of working with Fractured Atlas as a fiscal sponsor when applying for grants for community-oriented projects. Future plans include a juried exhibition to be held in conjunction with FotoFest Houston, educational programming, and cooperative partnerships with other organizations.

“We’re looking for ways to support one another,” says Sudhoff of her Throughline community.

“It’s interesting to see all these connections or through lines that are starting to happen in different ways that support us as artists.”

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