Houston continues to emerge as an all-star on the national arts scene. The city has become a major player in a league that can be notoriously hard to break into.
Size, affordability and collaboration are some reasons why an increasing number of artists argue there’s no need to live and work anywhere else.
For three current and former University of Houston students, home is where the heart and ART is.
Darcy Rosenberger speaks the language of creation. The UH alumna and North Houston native is invariably looking for new methods and techniques to develop her art. And she finds that Houston is the perfect place to evolve her creative spirit.
“People have the freedom and space to be creative here, and I believe they are hungry to connect with each other,” said Rosenberger.
As an interdisciplinary artist, Rosenberger shows her versatility through sculptures and drawings. She is a master of the laser cutter with wood and plexiglass. One can easily get lost in the intricate lines of her drawings.
Rosenberger was handpicked to display her work with four other artists from around the world in an exhibition at Winter Street Studios (2101 Winter St.), in Houston’s Washington Arts District.
“I love the fact that I can collaborate with artists of all backgrounds and specialties,” she added.
When she is not in the studio, Rosenberger teaches children how to integrate art and technology.
Tyler Kay likes to go big. Give her a brush, some paint and a large wall, and she will turn a concrete canvas into a work of art.
The graduate candidate in the Master of Arts in Arts Leadership program is the archetype of the working artist. During the day, she is the art director of Bisong Art Gallery in downtown Houston and oversees Tyler Kay Designs, a company she founded when she was just 20 years old. After dusk, you might find Kay using the illumination from the headlights of her father’s truck to complete a project.
“I don’t take a day for granted. I utilize every hour to better myself and my business,” said Kay, a native of Katy, Texas.
Kay’s work can be found in homes, galleries, businesses and various public entities from Houston to Austin and beyond Texas. Her public art projects include beautifying Swiney Park in Houston’s Greater Fifth Ward through a partnership with the city, a mural in the city of Bryan’s downtown district and a community mural project in Greece.
Houston’s second oldest park, Woodland Park, will soon have a magical new glow thanks to Dylan Conner, a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture candidate at UH.
Conner grew up down the street from the park in Woodland Heights. So, when the nonprofit group Friends of Woodland Park asked him to create a permanent installation as part of revitalization efforts, he took it to heart.
“My great-grandmother used to be the park director, and my family has been in the neighborhood for four generations. It’s just a really special place,” said Conner.
“Firefly Field” features three stainless steel, hand-blown glass sculptures. Each is 18 feet tall and features a pair of fireflies. When the sun goes down, the “Firefly Field” lights up and mimics the synchronic dimming patterns that fireflies use to communicate.
A combination of funds from the Houston Parks and Recreation Department and generous donations from community members made it possible for Conner to complete his biggest project to date.
“They are the closest things to magic that I can think of,” noted Conner. “I remember chasing them, catching them and letting them go as a kid.”