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Katy Contemporary Art Museum

Posted: August 3, 2016 at 1:57 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

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Katy Contemporary Art Museum

The Katy Contemporary Art Museum (KCAM) is the only art museum in all of Fort Bend County! This museum opened on September 8, 2013. It was the dream of its founder, Ana Villaronga-Roman, who invested hundreds of thousands of her 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 to support the arts.

The Founder

Ana Villaronga-Roman is a bubbly 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 immersed 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 formerly 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, plus the 5,200 square feet of space.

This white concrete building at 805 Avenue B in the heart of Katy, Texas, is 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.

Exhibits, Workshops, and Venue

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.  They might even earn some scholarship money!

In addition to rotating art exhibits, workshops of various types take place at the Katy Contemporary Art Museum.  Students can choose to take different art classes as well as photography classes.  Boy Scouts can earn badges.

KCAM is a great venue space. Reservations for various functions ranging from meetings to wedding receptions and more are available. I read that at least three fashion design magazine covers have originated in that artistic space.

More Lee Benner Art inside KCAM

More Lee Benner Art inside KCAM

New Horizons

Fundraising for a new building is underway. The land at Avenue A & George Bush Drive is reserved. 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 occurs, KCAM would like to purchase it and keep it to hold classes plus offer it as a continuing venue space.

Outdoor Sculptures and Garden

In front of the KCAM building are some Lee Groff sculptures. Upon a pedestal is a large one titled “That’s Right.” The artist donated it to the museum.  A repurposed railroad arm is a part of that sculpture. “That’s Right,” along with other sculptures by Lee Groff, were created in this Brookshire resident’s airplane hangar. His work, as well as living space, is combined in that location.

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. Art by Kevin Douglas West was in the first show.  The title of the show was Cuba Behind Open Doors.

Viewing the many photographs and other items on display was revealing.  Since travel restrictions are no longer in place 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.

Ana Villaronga Roman at the Katy Contemporary Art Museum during Cuba Behind Open Doors Exhibit

Ana Villaronga Roman at the Katy Contemporary Art Museum during Cuba Behind Open Doors Exhibit

Cuba Behind Open Doors Exhibit

Cuba Behind Open Doors Exhibit

Cuba Behind Open Doors Exhibit

Cuba Behind Open Doors Exhibit

Old cars in Cuba Behind Open Doors exhibit

Old cars in Cuba Behind Open Doors exhibit

 

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 enjoyable.  His love of fishing was evident.

Many of his paintings had what appeared to be fishnet over the top. There were some paintings where a fishhook appeared to slash the canvas open.

Wearing 3D glasses was necessary to get the full impact of the Felipe Lopez paintings. When wearing the lenses, it was amazing how different the art looked. They had great depth, and it appeared as if the different colors had a distance between them. The effect was amazing!

Prices in the Felipe Lopez show ranged from a low of $200 up to $3,800.

"Swimming Steel Boat" by Felipe Lopez in I Come From The Water exhibit at KCAM

“Swimming Steel Boat” by Felipe Lopez in I Come From The Water exhibit at KCAM.

A pretty gift shop is within KCAM, and all of the art comes from local artisans and artists.

Location and Prices at the Katy Contemporary Art Museum

The admission price at KCAM is a fantastic deal! Children under five, 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 immense, the art is impressive, 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 ongoing projects, she is there to interact with visitors. She gives them a personal insight into the art in the space and on the walls. That is reason enough to go and enjoy this particular 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.

Katy Contemporary Art Museum School of Art

Katy Contemporary Art Museum School of Art

Update

Sadly, the Katy Contemporary Art Museum 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.

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