PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston November 2023

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Page 13 of 115

T he newest addition to Houston's gallery scene comes via former McClain Gallery director Erin Dorn, who has struck out on her own. This month, she launches her greatly anticipated art space Seven Sisters around the corner from Bludorn restaurant and blocks from the Residences at The Allen. Dorn's gallery will showcase fine art, craft, design, and special projects. The distinctive name was conceptualized with the star cluster Pleiades in mind. "Seven Sisters is something that's mythological, but it's also astronomical," Dorn says. "It embodies an ethos of collaboration, creation, pathfinding, and storytelling. I want it to be a tight program, but I also Seeing {Art} Stars: It's the Mambo Taxi Seven Sisters Rises BEEP, BEEP! F inally, the Dallas-born Tex-Mex haunt with a cult following returns to Houston. Mi Cocina opens this month at 4410 Westheimer Road, in the former stead of Seasons 52. For decades, M Crowd Restaurant Group has opened Mi Cocina locations throughout Texas and Oklahoma, including two locations in Houston that closed in 2004 and 2017. The concept is back, driving its proverbial Mambo Taxi to the River Oaks area, along with the addictive chile con queso, brisket tacos, sizzling fajitas, and signature Rico salad. Designed by Dallas architectural firm Droese Raney, Mi Cocina Houston will have a contemporary feel with a custom painting commission by artist Luis Sottil. Sip a spirited Mambo Taxi — a frozen margarita finished with a swirl of sangria — or sneak away to the Monkey Bar, an adults-only speakeasy- style bar inside the expansive space. Mi Cocina, 4410 Westheimer, Laurann Claridge want to have room for evolution." With a moniker both personal and metaphysical, its aesthetic mirrors Dorn's interest in alchemy and mystic thought, as well as her lineage as the daughter of a mother who was one of seven sibling sisters. One corner of a mid-century warehouse building that was once home to cold storage for Antone's Import Co. has been transformed into a handsome 3,500-square-foot nexus for Dorn's thoughtful curation of art and design discoveries. (Conveniently, Artists' Framing Resource is a neighbor in the center by Kaldis Development.) Seven Sisters' lineup features a few artists with whom Dorn had previously worked, including textile pioneer Elaine Reichek, provocateur Seth Cameron of Bruce High Quality Foundation, ceramicist Julia Kunin, and painter Kent Dorn, the dealer's husband. Among the fresh talent pool and Seven Sisters' opening act is Brie Ruais, who combines work in clay with feminist, performative land-art components. The gallerist, who's savvy about the marketplace after 15 years with blue-chip McClain Gallery, seeks to dig deeper into artist relationships with her new endeavor and take a chance on some newcomers. Case in point is Yale-trained octogenarian painter Janet Alling, a student of Alex Katz and Philip Pearlstein who has never received her due. Dorn hopes to remedy that by showing Alling's animistic blossom canvases in March 2024. With a program mindful of gender inclusivity, Seven Sisters is also fluent in design. "I've always been interested in domesticity," Dorn says. "I worked at Kuhl-Linscomb for a bit and at a beautiful design store during college called Gardens in Austin. I'm a design freak; I love furniture, pottery, craft … so I'm marrying all those things here." On view in the gallery is the furniture prowess of former Houston Center for Contemporary Craft resident Miles Lawton Gracey, whom Dorn will carry. His intricate ebony- and-Bubinga cabinet in a gallery alcove could be mistaken for a 1900-era work by the museum-collected Wiener Werkstätte. Plans also call for a shop within the gallery, Vessel, stocked with collectible artworks and objects crafted from talents in Seven Sisters' stable. Joining Dorn's art-and-design enterprise are Tom Raith — a veteran of Sunset Settings and McClain Gallery — who shares the gallerist's eye and commitment to artists. Opening exhibition for "Brie Ruais: Penumbra," Saturday, November 4, noon to 4 pm, through December 23; 805 Rhode Place,, Catherine D. Anspon OBSESSIONS. DECORATION. SALIENT FACTS. Mi Cocina Mambo Taxi Seven Sisters' Erin Dorn and Tom Raith with a furniture piece by Miles Lawton Gracey and artwork by Jane Allensworth JENNY ANTILL CLIFTON Mi Cocina Rico salad 12

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