PaperCity Magazine

October 2014 - Houston

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C ount it as one of our most charming discoveries of 2014. The mysterious, under-the-radar Cherryhurst House is part salon meets artist residency, part showcase for photographic and culinary arts, and an homage to the vanishing concept of community. If you're very lucky, you'll encounter its two current artists in residence — Barbara Levine and Paige Ramey, who collaborate under the hermetic name Project B — or meet the owner/founder, the intensely private philanthropic photographer/patroness Dallas McNamara, and be invited in. We did, and here's how it went down. This past spring, I heeded the recommendations of two unerring friends and found myself one Saturday morning at the doorstep of a beckoning Montrose bungalow, its spic-and- span, newly revamped exterior enveloped by a garden and old- fashioned screened-in porch. I strolled through the gate and was met by a burst of energy — the above-mentioned Levine and Ramey. The Project B creatives — whose home base is in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico — landed in Houston via a circuitous, albeit organic route that began with a Thanksgiving meeting at the parental casa of the Glosserman twins, Kim and Lisa, two years ago. Searching for a spark to ignite her recently remodeled bungalow, Houston-reared Dallas McNamara sensed kismet when she shared that holiday meal with Levine and Ramey. The pair's photo-based collaboration, Project B, is internationally known and has produced a series of acclaimed volumes from Princeton Architectural Press, including the controversial lightning rod Finding Frida, inspired by a discovery of trunks in a San Miguel VIVIDVERNACULAR antiquarian shop that may or may not have belonged to Frida Kahlo. Before relocating to San Miguel, the pair were part of San Francisco's scene. Ramey, a restorer of vintage videos, founded a nonprofit to do so; a videographer herself, she recorded experimental dance in NYC in the 1980s. Levine was the exhibition director at SFMOMA. But Project B, begun in 2000, is their greatest legacy. This artistic/curatorial duo seeks lost, forgotten or abandoned troves of photographs, ranging from Victorian-era family albums and mid-century takes on classic American childhood often informed by a sense of oddity, to Japanese film noir stills and portraits of carnival queens and sideshow attractions. In Project B's hand, these source images are enlarged, rephotographed and reprinted; early tintype, carte de visite or Kodachrome gives way to a recontextualized view that offers an ode to history — in particular, a paean to the vividness of vernacular snapshots. The resulting limited editions are psychological temperature of everyday people who were anything but mundane: a black man dressed as a cowboy in chaps, circa 1940s, ready to heard cattle or play in a western; a boudoir portrait of a lady vamping in a burlesque-worthy pose; a child walking down the street with a doll that's just as tall and as animated as she is; a long-ago tyke sporting an elephant mask, her identity lost to the ages; the surreal, séance-like blowing out of birthday candles from a '50s-era family celebration. These are some of the images that Project B has rescued from the sands of time by trawling garage sales, flea markets, junk shops and obscure leads in search of a resonating find that makes it into Project B's portfolio. For a look at Levine and Ramey in action, see our pics from their Heights field trip. To take in a Project B show or attend Cherryhurst's first cocktail class and fried chicken dinner (October 16, $125), email cherryhursthouse@ or click to cherryhurst C A T H E R I N E D . A N S P O N D I S C O V E R S T H E W O N D E R S O F C H E R R Y H U R S T H O U S E A N D E N C O U N T E R S I T S F I R S T A R T I S T S I N R E S I D E N C E . P H O T O G R A P H Y J E N N Y A N T I L L . Kitchen table as gallery back room. The pair pores over part of their trove of thousands of reclaimed images. One of the finds from Replay: World War II-era prints of Naval comrades Deciphering clues on the back of a vintage print The duo on a photographic safari to Replay on 19th in the Heights Gallerist/salon organizer/artist Dallas McNamara welcomes visitors to her reborn bungalow art space, Cherryhurst House. 3637 West Alabama, Suite 120 713.877.1810 | Miniature Diver, 2013, bronze and 24ct gold leaf, 24 x 8 x 6 inches Presents October 30th- December 5th Philip Alter | 713.818.9538 | Inwood Manor Highrise | SOLD W W W . T H E B E L L T O W E R O N 3 4 T H . C O M isit 901 WEST 34TH STREET . HOUSTON TEXAS 77018 . 713.868.BELL(2355) The Bell Tower on 34 th is Houston's premier event venue; featuring magnifi cent architecture, multiple ballrooms and stunning outdoor spaces, including a 30 foot water wall. The Bell Tower o• ers onsite catering, valet, AV, top-rated event planners and much more! A destination-style experience, we are ideal for 75-1,200 guests. Located in the heart of Houston, The Bell Tower on 34 th will exceed your expectations! Excellent Events... Now Booking Holiday Events! Conferences, Banquets, Company Meetings

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