This summer marked the opening of Winston Contemporary Art, a new art gallery located near Houston’s Upper Kirby District. Founded by Kevin Watson, a former personal trainer, the space has a community-minded feel about it — in addition to representing and exhibiting both established and up-and-coming artists, it will host regular performances, talks, and other public events. Drawing from his experiences befriending artists and becoming involved in the Houston art community over the past 20 years, Watson wanted to open a space that would allow others to have a personal connection to art.
And so, when a spot on Bartlett Street became available, Watson decided to go for it. He is situating Winston Contemporary Art near an small but very active arts compound: right around the corner from his space is Aurora Picture Show and Deborah Colton Gallery. Watson’s gallery’s most recent show was curated by Houston artist (and Glasstire contributor David Mcgee, and features works by S.G. Starr.
David McGee and S.G. Starr
Although Watson is fairly new to the gallery business, he says that Winston Contemporary Art already represents thirteen artists, and is in discussion with two more. Additionally, Watson’s venture has a non-profit component called Art For Good that’s focused on exposing kids to creativity, to make up for the fact that the arts have been cut in public schools.
When asked how he feels about coming into the art business, and what experience he wants to convey to his gallery’s patrons, Watson had this to say:
“There are a lot of great galleries in Houston like you said but I don’t want us to compare ourselves to anyone. When I’m in the gym, I tell my clients don’t compare yourself to other folks, just worry about you. And that’s what we’ll do, just do what we do. There is room for everyone.
I want [patrons] to feel welcomed. The same energy I feel when I visit an artist studio. We want people to come in, look around, stay, chat and enjoy themselves. We will have monthly public events like spoken word night, new artist night so we plan to make the gallery a place for everyone to feel at home.”