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Tamarie Cooper

Associate Director, Catastrophic Theatre Tamarie Cooper might've been born in a Chicago hospital, but the ‘born-again Texan' has long considered Houston home. The co-founder and artistic director of Catastrophic Theatre lived several places growing up, but settled in H-Town longer than anywhere else. Here, she attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, where she met best friend and Catastrophic Theatre co-founder Jason Nodler. The duo launched the fringe group in 2007, which…

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Barbara Davis

Owner, Barbara Davis Gallery West Coast transplant Barbara Davis has helped shape Houston's contemporary art scene since the early '80s, when she opened her internationally-recognized Barbara Davis Gallery. In addition to helping launch the careers of talents like Julie Mehretu and Mie Olise, Davis has challenged a generation of art collectors-both seasoned and aspiring-to see the beauty and value in works by rising-star artists. She has helped draw cutting-edge exhibitions such as Leipzig…

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Todd Waite

Company Artist, Alley Theatre With more than a decade under his belt at the Alley Theatre, Canada-born actor Todd Waite has appeared in more than 60 productions including four Christmas seasons of the one-man show: The Santaland Diaries . Previously, he spent six seasons with the renowned Shaw Festival, played Enjolras in the Canadian premiere of Les Miserables , and guest-starred on all major U.S. and Canadian networks. Some of his awards include the Critic's Choice Award for Intimate Exchanges…

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GONZO247

Graffiti Artist Graffiti artist GONZO247 started imparting his spray paint-based street art on the Houston scene more than 25 years ago. Since then, the self-taught artist has owned and operated Aerosol Warfare Gallery/Studio, established a Houston Wall Of Fame (the city's first art production of its kind), worked with top brands like Red Bull, Converse, Scion and Hennessy on urban-inspired advertising campaigns, and produced videos documenting street art. In addition to his mural, studio and…

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Janet Hobby

Partner, MKG Art Management It was marriage that brought Janet Hobby to Houston. Here the Fort Worth-native and University of Texas graduate quickly fell in love with a city that embraced her. Entrepreneurial minded, she launched the video fashion website Virtual Runway and sold it to a Los Angeles company in 2003. Hobby and her husband began collecting art early in their marriage and that prompted her to focus on the arts in her nonprofit work with organizations such as the Menil and theHobby…

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Mari Carmen Ramirez

Director, International Center for the Arts of the Americas at MFAH Time magazine has called her one of the most influential Hispanics in America. To be certain, Mari Carmen Ramirez is setting the tone for how the world sees Latin American art. Ramirez began her rise in Puerto Rico where she served as director of the Museum of Anthropology, History and Art at the University of Puerto Rico. After that she spent 12 years in Austin establishing the Latin American program at the Blanton Art Museum…

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Toby Kamps

Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Menil Collection In recent years, Toby Kamps has curated one of the most acclaimed exhibitions in Houston. The Old, Weird America , a 2008 Contemporary Arts Museum show he organized, won a national award for thematic presentation from the U.S. chapter of the International Association of Art Critics while several other exhibitions he's curated have gone on to other museums and won critical praise. Kamps earned a master's degree in art history from Williams…

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Trenton Doyle Hancock

Artist Contemporary artist Trenton Doyle Hancock plays it cool in his thrift store fashion and vibrant, oversized glasses, but the rising star creative continues to earn serious respect in the national arts arena. From his studio, based in Houston's Acres Homes neighborhood, Hancock turns out a mix of prints, drawings and collaged felt paintings that tell stories of a fantastical nature. His work has been featured in PBS' Art:21 - Art in the Twenty-First Century, Philadelphia's Institute of…

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Valerie Cassel Oliver

Senior Curator, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston As a child growing up in Houston, Valerie Cassel Oliver immersed herself in places like the Museum of Fine Arts and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. The bohemian streets of Montrose were her playground-the sort of place one could go to be exposed to different people and experiences. After college, Cassel Oliver went to work with the National Endowment for the Arts and later the Art Institute of Chicago before returning to Houston and joining…

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Lucinda Loya

Interior Designer Trendsetting interior designer Lucinda Loya brings eclectic, high-end style to her Houston-based firm, Lucinda Loya Interiors. From Los Angeles to Houston to Manhattan, the Art Institute grad is known for her residential and commercial work that's been touted in national magazines and, recently, on an episode of HGTV's Selling New York. In addition to her professional acumen, Loya is also known for her forward-thinking fashion sense and philanthropic efforts in Houston. In…

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