Saddle up and strap down your hunting boots because we are about to round up the top underground art destinations in Houston that most people don’t even know exist. Yes, H-Town is big and vast so you kind of have to be in the know to hunt down these locations. Don’t stress, we are here to share the treasures of our local artists and you’ll be glad you stuck around. Without further ado, here is the list of Houston’s prime art adventures and locations.
Photo by Shelley Vi
Have you ever imagined how it feels like to be an alien? Don’t wonder anymore because one of the newest additions to our ever-growing art scene in Houston is the permanent immersive experience, Seismique! A technological art museum with over 40 rooms and galleries, Seismique will make you feel like an astronomical creature being transported to different galaxies through unique portals and spaceships. Aimed to support local artists, the museum has reserved a good chunk of the space for the local arts community to build and create their own unique visions, including outdoor murals by locally famed street artists, such as Nicky Davis and Royal. The rest of the museum will dazzle you with lights, colors, sounds, projection mapping, and concealed universe to stimulate your imagination and curiosities. Seismique also offers educational workshops to students and schools who are looking for more tech-driven opportunities related to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math). What a great way to introduce your family for both entertainment and education, so reserve some time to visit this establishment!
Location: 2306 Highway 6 S, Houston, TX 77077
Courtesy of @ShowClix on Instagram
Just what you would predict from this place, the Color Factory is another mesmerizing experience designed to stimulate your color palette. Think of it as being an Oompa Loompa factory worker but instead of candies and chocolates, rooms built with colors, patterns, and textures surround you. Launched in San Francisco in 2017 by a team of artists and creatives, Color Factory visualized meaningful and immersive experiences for all. In August 2018, they opened an NYC location in SoHo’s Hudson Square. Then in October 2019, they finally expanded into the south with a location in Houston’s Upper Kirby. This neighborhood pop-up is a great way to escape reality. A total sensory experience for both adults and children, expect to see rooms full of confetti, walls layered with giant coloring book pages, glowing light rods on pegboards to be arranged to your liking, and a NASA-themed ball pit that will give you a sensation of being in space, and much more that I won’t reveal. Experience it yourself and get your sensory ready for the overload of color explosions inside the Color Factory!
Location: 3303 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX 77098
Courtesy of @Rage_Monster_Pole on Instagram
Houston Graffiti Park
Curated by the community and dubbed as the graffiti park of Houston, this urban setting in EaDo just across the freeway from George R. Brown convention center has grown into a natural outdoors gallery. It has been a setting to many photoshoots, music videos, and a part of a handful of mural festivals, making this city block a very attractive place to host events. One of my favorite happenings there is the Hip Hop Vintage Flea Market, a monthly gathering of throwback resale shops, breakdancing contests, hip hop DJs on vinyl, and classic car shows and dubs. There, you could score some sick 90’s t-shirts and other gears from cassette tapes and VHS, to classic denim jackets and hats. During mural festivals, you will run into world-famous graffiti artists alongside locally know street muralists painting side by side. The graffiti park is an ever-changing environment and you’ll never know when the next masterpiece will grace one of the walls. But I can guarantee that if you love street art and murals, this is the one place you need to take your camera.
Location: 2102 Leeland St, Houston, TX 77003
Courtesy of @visibleinlight on Instagram
The Hardy & Nance Studios
There are so many things I love about this creative space, and we can start with one: There is always life there. Founded by Donald Tucker, Hardy & Nance is an artist-owned and operated event space & studios catering to the visual and performing arts within Houston's historic warehouse district, a big shout out to Claire Richards who mans (womans) this building and has been hosting an amazing line up of artists in the studios including Kelley Devine, RobinWood, Patrick Medrano, and Matt Messinger just to name a few. Never a dull moment, H&N curates art events on a monthly, sometimes weekly basis in their gallery space with a very keen eye for details. Always expect something top-notch from the artwork they showcase and the world-class cocktails the bartenders whip out from scratch. But you’ll want to take your time and visit each studio and see how working artists are surviving and creating, even during pandemic times. So please, I urge all of you art lovers to visit this amazing building that is tucked away under the freeway and lend support to our local arts community that has been devastated due to the pandemic, and you will not be disappointed once attended one of their exhibitions.
Location: 902 Hardy St, Houston, TX 77020
Courtesy of @deejon_art on Instagram
Saint Arnold’s Brewery
You would never guess that a beer brewing company would be an art hub, but here we are. It started out as part of the Hue Mural Festival curated by Gonzo247 with both international and local artists participating. The mural festival naturally grew throughout the city and appropriately landing in one of the unique places in downtown at Saint Arnold’s Brewery. Due to the brewery’s generous offering of their ready available walls, it was an easy decision to bring in talented muralists to beautify the block. Across the brewery’s parking lot are two huge buildings covered with colossal-sized painted walls. Unique characters and fantasy-like settings with wild animals and creatures, the array of different styles will bless your phone screens and selfie shots. It’s a good way to burn some calories walking around the buildings and admiring the deviating colorful works of these talented artists. If the sun is beating you too hard, what a great way to quench your thirst with locally made brewskies. Just hop across the railroad tracks and enjoy the patio settings that Saint Arnold’s is known for, overlooking the beautiful Houston downtown skyline. Food and drinks are readily available and their root beer for the kiddos is a must-try.
Location: 2000 Lyons Ave, Houston, TX 77020