PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston November 2023

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Page 103 of 115

XXXXXXXXXX (Continued on page 110) Studio Confidential: By Catherine D. Anspon. Photography Jay Tovar. H ouston's PAC Art Residency celebrated its first anniversary this spring as a promising, albeit off-the-radar new exhibition destination in Texas. Don't look in the Museum District, Colquitt Gallery Row, or Isabella Court for PAC (aka Project Art Creixell). You'll find the 5,000-square- foot studio complex-meets-alternative space tucked into an industrial site off the West Sam Houston Parkway. Eighteen-wheelers roll by en route to the adjoining buildings for paper, polymer, and welding businesses, while in a crisp, understated metal structure PAC holds court, billing itself as "a private contemporary arts organization working in the construction of dialogues between Houston and the international arts communities." PAC was founded in 2022 by collector Paola Creixell, who tapped Mexico-based art historian Alberto Ríos de la Rosa (curator of Fundación Casa Wabi) to shape and guide the fledgling residency program. Eighteen months and 10 residents later, PAC has become the place you'll find the museum and collector contingent at its open-house receptions. The vibe, loose and informal, allows art-goers to meet the artists, discover their studio practices, and engage in meaningful conversations while avoiding the often-superficial party atmosphere that pervades many art happenings. Visitors often buy works on the spot, with funds going directly to the artists, as PAC avoids taking any cut. On my first PAC event, I crossed paths with Rachel Mohl, then the MFAH's assistant curator for Latin American and Latino art (now heading up public art at the University of Houston System); and Blaffer Art Museum director and chief curator Steven Matijcio; I just missed seeing Houston Arts Alliance CEO John Abodeely and CAMH director Hesse McGraw. Power Latin American gallerist María Inés Sicardi also stopped by (and acquired a ceramic work by resident Ahra Cho), while top collector Lester Marks was deep in dialogue with resident Tyler Deauvea. Creixell has the clout to foster these connections: She serves on the HAA board and is an incoming board member for CAMH and a member of the MFAH collector group, Latin Maecenas. It was obvious from my first visit that the museum and gallery world respects her vision and supports the artists of the residency, who are either invited personally by Ríos de la Rosa and Creixell or juried by them from a twice- annual open call, which Residency Elena Vann Ernesto Leon Paola Creixell PAC Art Tyler Deauvea at PAC Art Residency Tyler Deauvea's That One Painting But The Couple Black Tho, 2023 102

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