There is no question that Houston has a huge presence of art and artists. Artist studio space is a booming business and as a result, artists seeking studio spaces have many options from which to choose.
With Houston’s 27th Annual ArtCrawl just a week away, I wanted to profile one of my favorite Houston studio spaces: Hardy & Nance Studios.
Hardy & Nance Studios (H&N) is one space I’ve mentioned in this column on many occasion. In fact, Brandi Untz, the digital artist I profiled in last week’s column, has a studio at H&N. H&N is located in Houston’s downtown Art Warehouse District at 902 Hardy St.
One of the many things that makes H&N unique is that it’s located in an old building in an area that has been home to artists for nearly 70 years. According to the studio website, that puts it among the oldest remaining urban art colonies in America.
The building is charming and has that lived-in feel. And it has been. Artists go there to create their art as much as offer it for sale at the many events hosted under its roof. Work by current artists adorns the walls outside the studios. Permanent gallery space has rotating solo and group exhibits year-round.
The artists at H&N are a community, too. On a recent visit, I spoke with Claire Richards, a studio artist and managing director, about availability at H&N. She told me they take leasing space very seriously. They want someone who will be a contributing artist in this community.
H&N has something not often found in the artist studio landscape of Houston, a residency program.
Those chosen for the Artist-In-Residence program get their own studio space to show, sell and create art for three months. In exchange, artists commit to opening their studio to the public for every Third Saturday Open Studios and encouraged to take part in other events. There is no fee and the artist keeps proceeds from personal sales.
The Artist-In-Residence application is still available for February-April. The deadline to apply is Dec. 15.
Earlier, I mentioned that H&N is participating in the 27th Annual ArtCrawl on Saturday, Nov. 23. This year, more than 50 resident artists will take part in the event. Rather than opening the gallery space to outside artists, H&N is again breaking the mold and invited one artist, Ronald Llewellyn Jones, to create a site-specific art installation. Jones is also a winner of the 2020 Six Month Zocalo Residency.
Third Saturday Open Studios is a great time to meet the resident artists in their studios (purchasing art is encouraged!). It’s a great time to spend quality time at just one space. You’ll find painters, illustrators, photographers, potters, jewelry designers, sculptors and more. Visit hardyandnancestudios.com for an artist roster, event calendar and the Artist-In-Residence application. H&N is a 7-minute drive from the Heights.
I must mention the founder of H&N, Donald Tucker, a longtime artist, friend and tremendous influence to many people, but especially other artists. Tucker specialized in a rare art form, Ferrocement Faux Bois. The simple definition is sculpted “false wood” out of concrete or cement.
After battling a long illness, Tucker died earlier this year, but not before insuring Hardy & Nance Studios would continue to serve the Houston arts community. He also left behind a comprehensive reference to his chosen art form, of which his own history is as fascinating as the secretive nature of all the masons before him for 200 years or more! Read more at thegardenartforum.com.
Cohen is an artist and founder of First Saturday Arts Market and the Market at Sawyer Yards. Find him at ArtValet.com.