Open the Door, a Captivating Houston Art Installation
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Collaborative Art Project
Open the Door was a collaborative art project between French artists and those from Texas. The painted doors were in a total of nineteen locations throughout Houston. Eagle-eyed readers of my articles might have spotted some of these doors in the post already written about the massive mural titled Preservons la Creation.
The day my husband and I visited this Houston area called Midtown, tents were still up from festivities the previous night. That was when celebrations for the inauguration of the public art exhibit Open the Door had taken place at that location. We happened upon it by chance.
Artist Romain Froquet
The doors were all fun to view on each side. Some had similar themes on both sides of the doors as some of these photographs taken by me illustrate. Romain Froquet, who executed the doors featured above, is one of the artists from France.
Artist Patrick Medrano
Patrick Medrano is a multi-talented artist. He creates sculptures along with many other types of art. We were first introduced to his work in a public art exhibit on Heights Boulevard in the “True North” exhibit. You can see his piece of work and learn much more about him by clicking here.
Many Locations in Houston
These doors were in different locations throughout the Houston area. People wishing to view all of the 60 doors would have traveled to places such as Hermann Park, Texas Children’s Cancer Center, Jamail Skate Park, Memorial City Mall, Houston Public Library Plaza, Lonestar College and the Hong Kong Market where the Vietnam War Memorial is located. To see the entire list of places these doors were on display, click here.
Anyone driving past Treebeards Restaurant in downtown Houston can hardly miss the commissioned eye-popping mural on the parking lot side of the building. The Aerosol Warfare Crew created it. Mario Enrique Figueroa, Jr. was one of the principal creators of this group. He signs his work Gonzo 247. Their graffiti type art is in numerous public places all across the Houston area.
Symbolic Meaning and Intent
Figuratively speaking every time we open a door, endless possibilities stretch out ahead of us. We can learn, experience, and grow. Did you notice the embryos painted on the doors by Gonzo 247? Embryonic ideas can change the world for good if put into positive actions.
Strengthening cultural awareness between Texas and France was one of the objectives of this public art project. France and the State of Texas are similar in size, with Texas being slightly larger. Twelve professional participating artists from each location took part in this art project. Professors and students were also involved. You can read more about this art project by clicking here.
A non-profit cultural organization called Texan-French Alliance for the Arts along with 9eme Concept, which is a Paris art collective organized this exhibit. The debut happened in the spring of 2013, and these doors were on display for a total of two weeks.
As often happens after a public art exhibit has ended, some of these exhibits are now in other locations. My husband and I spotted several of these doors in Oyster Creek Park in Sugar Land, Texas. It is fun to view them and learn about the reason they were conceived and learn more about the artists who created them.
There are still some painted fiberglass cows in evidence in some places around the Houston metro area from the Cow Parade that happened back in the year 2001. That was such a fun and successful fundraising event for Texas Children’s Hospital. Perhaps we will discover more of these painted doors in other locales as we continue exploring our beautiful city and outlying areas.
Tierney Malone is one of the artists living in Houston. His works of art have been exhibited in numerous places in the U.S. and are widely collected. Some of his work is in our Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
You can learn more about the ideas behind the painting of the octopus by Karla Morales here.
The graffiti art of Daniel Anguilu is in many areas around Houston. Mr. Anguilu painted an entire side of Cecil’s Pub, and we have also seen his stained glass-like graffiti work on Silver Street Studios among other places.
Rahul Mitra grew up in India and now lives and works in Houston. You can read much more about this enterprising artist by clicking here.
Open The Door
Flavien Demarigny is a French artist who goes by the name of Mambo. These doors are but a small sample of the type of art shown during this Open the Door exhibit.
Their written goal of “focusing on intercultural understanding” with the hopeful result of breaking down “social barriers and cultural stereotypes” was hopefully begun. Perhaps a few cultural doors were at least cracked opened.