Katy Contemporary Art Museum (KCAM) in Fort Bend County
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The Katy Contemporary Art Museum (KCAM) is the only art museum in all of Fort Bend County! The museum opened on September 8, 2013.
It was the dream of its founder, Ana Villaronga-Roman who invested hundreds of thousands of her own dollars into this venture.
Created as a not-for-profit entity almost all of its operating costs come from donations, memberships and the like. Only about 7% comes from governmental agencies. An example of that would be taxes paid on local hotel stays which are dedicated to being spent on the arts.
Ana Villaronga-Roman is a vivacious and energetic woman on a mission! She founded the Katy Culture & Arts Alliance and also the Fort Bend Arts Alliance. Not resting on her laurels she has insinuated herself into many local and outreach endeavors and earned the title of “One of Houston’s Creatives in 2013.”
Ana is indeed very creative! She saw the potential in leasing the “first poured concrete building built in Texas” to repurpose into an art gallery. The 1953 concrete building originally housed the Ray Woods Lumber & Supply Company. Other businesses followed in that location. The natural light which poured into this mid-century structure is what caught her eye as well as the 5,200 square feet of space.
This white concrete building at 805 Avenue B in the heart of Katy, Texas is situated across from the M-K-T Railroad Park. The park contains among other things an M-K-T red railroad caboose plus a small railroad museum. The museum also serves as the tourist information center for Katy.
Art from the 1950s moving forward to the current time is the focus of what Ana chooses to put on display. She is not only the founder of KCAM but also its director and curator.
Ana invites students who would like to learn about curating art and working in an art museum environment to spend 3-month internships with her. It is possible they might even earn some scholarship money!
In addition to rotating art exhibits, workshops of various types are offered at the Katy Contemporary Art Museum. Students can take different art classes as well as photography classes. Boy Scouts can earn badges.
KCAM is a great venue space. It can be rented for various functions ranging from meetings to wedding receptions and more. I read that at least 3 fashion design magazine covers have been shot in that artistic space.
Fundraising for a new building is underway. The land has been leased at Avenue A & George Bush Drive. The groundbreaking may take place by the beginning of 2017 if all goes as planned.
The current building is up for sale and if enough funding is raised KCAM would like to purchase it and keep it to hold classes plus offer it as a continuing venue space.
In front of the KCAM building are some Lee Groff sculptures.
The large one up on a pedestal is titled “That’s Right” and was donated to the museum by the artist. It is a repurposed railroad arm. “That’s Right” along with other sculptures by Lee Groff were created in this Brookshire resident’s airplane hangar. That is his work as well as living space.
The 18 by 80-foot fenced-in outdoor area on one side of the museum nearest the railroad tracks is called the “Union Pacific Sculpture Garden.” There are quite a few distinctive sculptures on display in that space. One includes a building from the former Forbidden Gardens in Katy, Texas.
Cuba Behind Open Doors
My husband and I have attended two shows thus far at KCAM. The first show was by Kevin Douglas West. The title of the show was Cuba Behind Open Doors.
Viewing the many photographs and other items on display was revealing. Since travel restrictions have now been lifted between the United States and Cuba, visitors seeing this exhibit get a sense of how people are living.
Many of those 1950s cars like I grew up seeing are still operational in Cuba today. Over here we see very few like those on the road today. Most of us now view them in car shows where old vehicle aficionados tenderly care for these collectibles.
Prices for the art in that show ranged from a low of $100 up to $2,500.
I Come From The Water
We enjoyed that exhibit along with the one that followed. I Come From The Water by local Houston artist Felipe Lopez was most interesting. His love of fishing was certainly evident.
In addition to artful fish hooks and a simulated boat, most of his paintings had what appeared to be fishnet over the top.
There were some paintings where a fish hook appeared to slash the canvas open.
3D glasses had to be worn to get the full impact of the Felipe Lopez paintings. Once worn…it was amazing how different the paintings looked. They had great depth and it appeared as if the different colors were separated with a distance between them. The effect was amazing!
Prices in the Felipe Lopez show ranged from a low of $200 up to $3,800.
A pretty gift shop is located within KCAM and all of the art is created by local artisans and artists.
The admission price at KCAM is an amazing deal! Children under 5 as well as all military personnel are admitted free of charge. Others pay only $2. Yes……that is not a misprint. Two single dollars gets a person into this contemporary art museum!
While the space is not large, the contemporary art is interesting and most of it is for sale. Unlike most other museums where a person can only gaze and admire…here a person can take the art home if purchased and enjoy it as long as one likes!
Most days if Ana is not busy trying to secure funding for her ongoing projects, she is there to interact with visitors and give them a personal insight into the art in the space and on the walls. That is reason enough to go and enjoy this special art museum in Katy.
KCAM hours are 10 AM to 6 PM Wednesday to Saturday and Noon to 6 PM on Sundays. The address is 805 Avenue B, Katy, Texas 77493.
Sadly, KCAM has closed its doors. Fundraising is still underway so that a new permanent structure will take its place. Ana Villaronga-Roman is currently at the Fort Bend Art Center located at 2012 Avenue G, Rosenberg, TX 77471. You can visit her there and aid in the fundraising efforts if you are interested.