Art, Theater, Museums and Buffalo Bayou Park
Who knew that Montrose would become one of the most eclectic artsy enclaves in Houston? Chock full of indie shops, thrift stores and ethnic eateries, it’s also the place to find a cutting-edge art scene defined by next-gen eccentricities.
Stages Repertory Theater
It should come as no surprise that Stages Rep ended up in Montrose after four decades of churning out innovative theatrics and twisty interpretations of classic plays. Live bands accompany the performances, which take place in a cozy intimate environment.
If you’re a fan of abstract impressionism (or just love huge murals), spend some time at Rothko Chapel, named after the renowned Russian-Jewish-American painter Mark Rothko. Part of the Menil Collection complex, the chapel showcases 14 of his masterpiece murals that encourage meditation by members of all faiths.
The Printing Museum
In an homage to the old-fashioned printed page, The Printing Museum rustles with an air of superiority and prestige. Its permanent collection includes antique printing presses, pre-war newspapers and rare collectors-edition books. You’ll also find ancient clay tablets and modern presses, as well as rotating exhibits of Deco-style art prints, letterpress posters and ink-stamped silk scarves. Sign up in the summer for studio sessions in the art of bookmaking.
Buffalo Bayou Park
You know Buffalo Bayou for its 160 acres of play areas, bike trails and dog-friendly runs, but did you know that it also features performance spaces and significant and thought-provoking public art installations? If that’s not reason enough to go, then let’s just say: bats. Lots of them. Members of the Waugh Bridge Bat Colony take flight every night from the bridge, like a scene from a horror film.
Note: Though Buffalo Bayou received extensive flooding from Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Houston-ites have joined together in a massive effort to restore the park. Many sections are open and thriving once again, as of December 2017. Check out the park’s website to see how you can help!
Rudyard’s British Pub
It’s tempting to call Rudyard’s a dive bar, but it harbors a secret inclination toward performance art and spoken-word events. Drop by for open mics, karaoke, the monthly “Level up” comedy event and the Gulf Coast Reading Series. By all means, don’t miss Bootown’s Grown-up Storytime. Of course, there’s also music, darts, billiards and British-style beer.
Art League Houston
If you’re constantly running across public art displays scattered around Montrose, it’s highly likely they came from Art League Houston. Art devotees at the league are like nimble little art nymphs that sprinkle awesomeness when nobody’s looking. The quirkiest of them all is the Inversion House on Montrose Boulevard. it’s better if you don’t know what to expect ahead of time. ALH spreads the joy as well, offering at least 100 classes throughout the year, featuring workshops in art forms ranging from mixed media to painting, textile arts and jewelry-making.
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