What are we creating for you?

You are reading this message because you’ve invented something in Houston. Maybe it was a project, a business, a work of art, or a new technology. You solved a problem that made things better. Were people surprised you did it in Houston?

Houston doesn’t get much credit as an engine of ingenuity. The world doesn’t look here for great ideas. When creative people say they like living in Houston, outsiders are surprised.

Creative Houston was founded to expose our creativity to the world, including ourselves. We keep track of the creative people, places and projects, and we try to introduce them around. We post short stories about them on our web site, CreativeHouston.org. We hope you’ll share what you’ve done and seen with us so we can build the web site into a valuable resource. You can use it to explore Houston’s creativity, and when you meet a skeptical outsider, you can send them to see.

You may remember that we had a fancy online directory, but we were unable to raise funds to keep it going. So we are grabbing our bootstraps, building a simpler site, and starting a newsletter. We hope you will read it, or better yet, buy a subscription so that you can comment and contribute.

Our web site is puny now, so we could use your support. Our ambition is to support a big community of creative professionals in Houston. (Creative professionals are people who work to make a living from their ideas.) We’d like to have events and, one day, a store where you could buy things made in Houston. Another of our ideas is to have a subscription-box service for things made in Houston. Being in Houston, we have lots of ideas. We hope you’ll help us sort them out.

Morningstar

Morningstar is one of the most carefully designed cafes in Houston, developed by coffee-shop innovator David Buehrer, with the help of a major Houston architect, John Zemanek. Zemanek, who passed away in 2016, helped David adapt the Japanese tearoom aesthetic to Houston’s affection for neighborhood coffee shops. At Morningstar, it’s easy to pick up a to-go order, to sit with a friend, or to quietly consider your morning plans. The menu of donuts and light bites is constantly changing.

WordPress

Our Creative Houston web site is built on the WordPress platform, which was developed into a major web technology by Houston native Matt Mullenweg. Legally, the WordPress parent company, Automattic, is headquartered in San Francisco, but its 1,000+ employees are scattered around the world, and Mullenweg is often found in Houston.

See what Matt Mullenweg thinks about being creative in Houston:

“Some of the first money I made was building websites for musicians around [Houston],” he said…. Now, millions of musicians all over the world use WordPress to publish their own websites.

Houston Chronicle: WordPress founder finds inspiration in his hometown of Houston, 2016-Sep-28 by Anita Hassan

“When you think of what open source is, it’s a community coming together to create something and then giving it away to the rest of the community,” he said. “Growing up, I saw so much of that in Houston.”

Ibid.

“I think that power and creativity comes from diversity,” he said. “So having friends from all different walks of life who were at HSPVA, being surrounded by people who were passionate about things, all of that combined. The melting pot or the gumbo of Houston, I couldn’t imagine growing up in a better place, and that’s one of the things I love returning to.”

Ibid.

Lancaster Hotel

Houston’s oldest operating hotel, built in 1926 and designed by Houston architect Joseph Finger. Jay Shinn is the principal owner, himself an artist and collector. Works from more than 100 internationally known artists are on view in its halls and public areas.

Glassell School of Art

The Glassell School of Art is the teaching institute of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Anyone can take art courses at its Studio School or Junior School for children. Its highly competitive Core Residency Program has educated 224 post-graduate art professionals since 1982.

The Core Program awards residencies to exceptional, highly motivated visual artists and critical writers who have completed their undergraduate or graduate training and are working to develop a sustainable practice. Artist residencies encourage intensive and innovative studio practice, and critical-studies residences enable writers to pursue independent curatorial and writing projects. The term runs September to May and is renewable for a second year—much longer than most residencies. It allows them to really settle in and become part of the community.

Pete Gershon, program coordinator, in A Sneak Peek Inside the Core Residency Program

Well-known artists who’ve enjoyed a Core Residency include

  • Robert Mangold
  • Barbara Kruger
  • Edward Kienholz
  • Vito Acconci
  • Duane Michals
  • Richard Tuttle
  • Lynda Benglis
  • Dennis Oppenheim
  • James Surls
  • James Turrell
  • Jennifer Bartlett
  • Vernon Fisher
  • Brice Marden
  • Rick Lowe
  • Mel Chin
  • Alice Aycock
  • John Baldessari
  • Eric Fischl