Things To Do: The Space Between, Mid Main Gallery, November 3, 2022
Sometimes when you’re on the road, the journey seems endless, but so do the possibilities. This idea is a kind of catalyst for Houston artist Leslie DeHaven. She’s mapped out her journey in the art world, she’s driving the vehicle, and there’s nothing but wide open spaces for others to consider and capture.
DeHaven’s work will be on display at the Mid Main Gallery on Thursday, November 3, as part of Mid Main Houston’s First Thursday Block Party Series. The First Thursday series benefits local charities, but also shines a spotlight on city creatives, musicians and artists like DeHaven, who began painting two years ago during the pandemic lockdown. Using acrylic on canvas and working with different textures like crackle paste, her mixed media work is gaining a growing following.
“I’m really, really excited about this show because it’s my first solo exhibition that I’ve done of my work and I’ve been working on a more cohesive body of work to show,” she said. said and noted that she would. previously shown at the Mid Main Gallery last fall.
“I’m really excited to have my own vision displayed and a more cohesive sort of work. The last time I was there was kind of last minute, so I kind of had all these pieces that didn’t necessarily go together. It was kind of what I had on hand. So this one is a little more intentional.
The title of the show is “The Space Between”, which DeHaven says is a nod to the size of the pieces she will show, larger works that allow for greater contemplation of what they are. do and do not reveal.
“A lot of my work is sort of based on seascapes and landscapes. I find beauty in old and decaying architecture,” she said. “There are a lot of missing parts or things that are slightly rough or whitewashed and things are exposed from below. So the space between me is about the work itself.
It could also reflect point-to-point space, anything that fills a mind’s eye when traveling from place to place. DeHaven is not originally from Houston, she is still a newcomer who grew up in South Puget Sound and has traveled extensively as a musician and tour manager. She said she moved to Houston from New Orleans “for love,” settling in the town of Bayou to be near her boyfriend, Eric C. Hughes, a drummer who has worked with everyone , from Mike Stinson to Archie Bell, Jerry Jeff Walker to Jello Biafra. He is the full-time drummer of the Allen Oldies Band, a mainstay of the Mid Main.
The move gives DeHaven a place to develop roots, including these new artistic roots, but she remembers a life abroad to create some of her work.
“I certainly didn’t live like the standard life, I guess,” she laughs. “I definitely moved and had unique experiences. With tour management, it took me all over 46 US states, usually in a van, so lots of roads, lots of open space, lots of mountains. I’ve lived in all kinds of areas. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest. I lived in northern California on the coast for about 20 years, then New Orleans and then Houston.
“Journey through tour management has taken me to these really rural areas across the country. When you look at my work, a lot of it is definitely inspired by seascapes or landscapes. Obviously they’re abstract so it’s my interpretation of these things.
“Same with architecture,” she added. “I find old, dilapidated buildings and ancient architecture very fascinating. I love this kind of worn look. So when I was living in New Orleans I used to see all these buildings that had all this huge history but there was mold on them, paint peeling off, you know, that’s a beauty in itself. So I get a lot of inspiration from that.
“I’ve been around France, I’ve been through Europe, I’ve been to Germany. Same kind of thing. I always use the environment around me and develop the sense of composition. What’s interesting about doing summaries is not really having a topic, but you have a topic, so it draws a person in and draws the eye to a specific place where it’s always going to be interesting.
DeHaven’s work for sale can be found on her website and a Facebook event page notifies fans of her upcoming shows.
“I have works on display in The Silos at Sawyer Yards in Studio 215, which is a real art gallery. There are 15 artists exhibiting there so it’s very broad, different types of work. There are fluid artists and there are mixed media artists and there are jewelers and there are sculptors. There’s all kinds of art represented there, so it’s a pretty cool place to display your work.
As for her solo show, she said it would be kid-friendly since the street party is kid-friendly. DJ Count Chocula will spin some tunes on honest vinyl. There will be a raffle for one on DeHaven parts, no purchase necessary, with the winner drawn at the end of the reception.
“We’re going to have snacks and drinks and just hope to get people to look at art and hopefully buy art and have a good time,” she said.
DeHaven’s Instagram page has a wonderful quote – “I just wanna do things and then think about them.” It succinctly encapsulates the desire to be creative and allows DeHaven to consider how her perspective has broadened through all that she has seen on her way to Houston. Sometimes when you’re on the road, the journey seems endless, but so do the possibilities.
“It’s constantly evolving and continues as it goes. If you dig into my Instagram page, you’ll definitely see that I’m easily influenced by different things, especially because right now I’m so new to the art world, but it’s something I’ve a natural talent and ability with it,” she said. “I think because I come from a place where I’m not traditionally taught that everything seems endless, the possibilities seem endless, everything is on the table.”
“The Space Between,” the first solo exhibition of artwork by Houston artist Leslie DeHaven, on November 3 at Mid Main Gallery, 3550 Main. 6-10 p.m. as part of Mid Main Houston’s First Thursday Series.