Jeff River Law A Time Journey through Houston
I have come full circle...
I’m leaving the Heights after 30 years of driving “Home” to her...Even openings at October Gallery (my 4th business) ranged from drag queens to fashion shows, queen of Egypt pulled by a chariot, to bodybuilders and retirees at Human Body Show. We had lutes and flutes, harps and troupe players, fertilizing Angel or Altar shows, handmade ornaments, soaps, candles and clothing by locals to fine art and sculpture...imports from Bali and Czechoslovakia, India and Bolivia...My last creation here, my 12th actual rehab, was Indian Summer Lodge, a formerly condemned barren property and buildings where the homeless built fires on cold nights in what is now my Aspen like living room, Playboy did tropicalshoots here. TV and magazines have featured it. It is Bali meets Austin meets Santa Fe, all nesting nicely in the only hood it could survive...I thank the 1,000 artists and ½ million customers, including those who hired KaBloom Landscaping the past 5 years. I thank fabulous staffs, especially Shannon and Nancy, whounderstood that everyone through our doors are my Heights guests...I miss you all.
Greater Houston Weekly – All the best
Archway Gallery presents its annual juried exhibition in July, “Second Chances,” which will benefit the Houston Humane Society...Jeff Law, the director and owner of the influential Houston Heights art space, October Gallery, is the exhibition juror. For more than 20 years, Law presented the work of fine and folk artists with a global perspective at his gallery and was instrumental in the development of the 19th Street Business District in the Heights. After closing October Gallery several years ago, Law expanded his artistic research to create a living work of art, the Indian Summer Lodge. Home to his thriving landscaping business, KaBloom, this vibrant Heights environment captures Law’s passion for “beauty in all forms.”
“Second Chance” Announcement
Juror, Jeff Law
The impact of October Gallery on the Houston art scene from 1983 until the mid-2000’s cannot be underestimated. Jeff Law enabled hundreds of local, regional, and national artists and craftspeople to reach an appreciative audience in his eclectic, ever-evolving space.
Invitation: Second Chances Exhbition
Law studied art at Mt. St Clare College in Iowa, the University of the Americas in Puebla, Mexico, and Houston Baptist University. After graduating with BA’s in Fine Arts and Art Education form HBU, Law taught middle and high school art classes for seven years before turning to his own work. The success of creating his own highly collectible pieces was eventually superseded by the opening of his first gallery, which featured hundreds of local artists along with others from the rest of the U.S., Europe, Mexico, and Australia. One-of-a-kind fine, folk, and functional artists were showcased in a casual and accessible environment, a model that became widely copied. Law was instrumental in the redevelopment of the 19th Street business district in the Heights, and he personally revamped approximately one dozen dilapidated commercial and residential properties. His most recent acquisition and re-do is Indian Summer Lodge, transformed from a rat-infested vacancy to a beautifully finished and landscaped property. The Lodge is headquarters to his current interest in landscaping environments with tropical choices such as timber bamboo. Law was and continues to be one of the Heights’ greatest enthusiasts, with the goal of letting the public know the area as a viable artistic and creative community. In his words, he “prefers being astonished at beauty in all its forms.”
Check a Pro
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Artist Loves but leaves the Heights
...Now [Jeff] Law is preparing to begin a new chapter of his life in a new neighborhood. He plans to spend the next year in Sharpstown, which was his first home in Houston, and then relocate to Austin.
Law is making the move for financial reasons. The troubled economy has made his current life in the Heights too expensive.
“The Heights had energy. It wasn’t off limits to anyone. It was funky and fun and friendly, and I think it still is. We haven’t lost that, we just lost the ability to afford to live here.”
...”When I moved to the Heights it was like finding home. Now it’s time to find a new one.
...”I hope I contributed somehow.”
Jeff Law: Unique Living Space 605 Columbia
Jeff Law is a visionary, an artist and a risk taker. He has changed his Indian Summer Lodge retail space into his own living quarters. The 70-year-old Quonset hut that was built during World War II to house soldiers has been transformed into a home unique by any standards. Recycled materials abound as do flourishing plants. He is, after all, “The Plant Whisperer” of his landscape business, KaBloom.
Heights landscaper helps HCDE create a calming ‘Oasis Garden’
A peaceful oasis awaits special needs students this school year who attend Harris County’s Department of Education’s Academic and Behavior Center West, 7800 Westglen. Through community gifts and the creative expertise of Heights visionary landscaper and businessman, Jeff Law, a calming garden called the Oasis blooms in the outdoor atrium at ABC West in Southwest Houston.
Jeff’s Laws of Gardening: KaBloom’s Jeff Law Tells All About Tropical Xeriscaping
With summer’s horrific heat, gardeners may be tempted to shower their blooms and blossoms with attention, particularly when it comes to watering. But that can be a bad thing for both your garden and your water bill.
“If you cater to them,” says Jeff Law of KaBloom Landscaping, in the Heights, “you get a co-dependent relationship, like those kids on drugs who won’t leave home. “Not that you really want your foliage to leave, you just want it to leaf, but that’s where tropical xeriscaping comes in.”
The term Xeriscape, a registered trademark, was coined in 1978 by the Denver, Colorado water department, by combining the Greek word for dry, xeros, with landscape. Like that other great idea that starts with X, the practice caught on, it entered the vernacular as a verb. Xeriscaping is about planning what works in your environment in order to conserve water and energy while still keeping a lush, beautiful garden. And Law is an expert at it.
“We do easy,” he says...Law shares his home with partner Warren, two dogs, three cats, and “thousands and thousands of plants.” ...When it comes to grass, Law uses zoysia. “There are five kinds of it that grow in Houston,” he explains. “It’s like a golf course – it grows real slow and I weed-eat it about once a month. I’ve never even owned a mower.”
Law explains that new plants need water for about a month, then they can be left to fend for themselves. He also warns that too much watering leads to lazy plants, whose roots hang around the topsoil where you’ve dumped all that water. If left alone, the roots grow deep, seeking water and nutrients from below, resulting in healthier plants and less maintenance.
“Disconnect the irrigation system,” Law says adamantly. “Take it off the timer. If there’s mold or fungus in your beds, you’ve over-watered. If there’s a drought you may have to water them. Otherwise, leave them alone; they’ll adjust to the real world.”
As for feeding, Law uses organic fertilizer but cautions that feeding also leads to feeding the weeds. “If you spray for weeds and bugs, you’re messing with the natural cycle,” he warns. “Besides, all those chemicals just end up in the Gulf killing the shrimp.” Law adds that the bugs were here long before us, and as for the weeds, he uses the advice he got from a gardener he describes as an “ol’ coot.”
When he asked about an organic way to get rid of weeds, he says the man looked at him and replied, “Bend over and pull them.”
Other tips Law has used on projects, from ranches to backyard beds, include gravel instead of asphalt, use of boulders, and juxtaposing recycled items with new, such as using an old sink as a fountain. The environment and easy care are always top priorities. Which explains his fondness for bamboo.
“I’ve been growing it for 12 years,” Law says, “long before people knew it made beautiful privacy fence. And you can also harvest it for flooring, fabric, and fiber. It’s a miracle plant.”
Law may be a lazy gardener, but he’s also a very smart and environmentally friendly one. And, judging by his own lush landscapes, he’s pretty darn good at it.
Gardening for kids
“KaBloom” It was done. An empty atrium was turned into a living lesson for special needs students at Harris County’s Academic and Behavior Center West.
“I like to create something beautiful from something ugly,” said landscape artist of 30 years and KaBloom owner, Jeff Law. The Heights resident volunteered to work with the students to spruce up their school for spring.
“It was fun for me to see the kid’s enthusiasm and teamwork and see their efforts result in a beautiful flower garden. So, I thought other kids might be interested in learning something different this summer...”
...Jeff Law designs homes from recycled materials and gardens that take little care. He plants flowers that don’t even need watering!
Heights Urban Forestry Meetings – Great Garden Tours
Tuesday, May 6th, Jeff Law from “KaBloom” speaks; “Plant Whisperer”
Xeriscaping in Houston?
That headline may be an oxymoron. While we enjoy many benefits of living in this city, being in the forefront of anything particularly “green” is not one of them...many green cities employ millions of people. Their leaders understand that quality-of-life is a huge attraction for today’s business...What is now common in landscaping in most other areas of the country is not so common here. We are greened by Nature far more than most, but Houstonians still love their lawns and their azaleas and their annuals. BORING, and NOT ecofriendly...So what is xeriscaping? Landscaping using a variety of water- conserving indigenous and drought-tolerant trees, plants, shrubs, and groundcover that love being left alone. For the most part, you use no pesticides and fertilizers either...With Houston’s humidity and heat, it often feels like Bali. Houston can LOOK like Bali – or Cozumel...Consider turning much of your lawn into beds. Plant heat loving, blooming plants, bushes, vines and be done with it. Enjoy the butterflies, bees, birds and blossoms you can have for months on end. Add a hammock, you’re done...Think zoysia grass – gorgeous, soft and you only need to trim it six times a year...Bamboo love Houston. It grows in sun, shade, caliches, and wet areas...Begin to transform your yard into a lush garden. Enjoy the luxurious bounty, sip some mint julep or a margarita to remind yourself: yes, Dorothy, you are still in Houston ...
...KaBloom owner, Jeff River Law, is currently seeking nominations for June of a person to help as well as volunteers who would like to lend a hand to the neighborly project. KaBloom recently won two local yards-of-the-month awards, so Law (who closed his October Gallery art and gift store last year) and his staff obviously know what they’re doing.
Home in the Heights: October Gallery is closing its doors, again
Indian summer Lodge, gardening business still going...Law had shuttered the gallery once before, in 2003, when it was in its 19th Street location. He reopened it again as part of the vast Indian Summer Lodge in 2004. Now Law has decided to focus on Indian Summer Lodge as a party and craft venue as well as the home of his tropical xeriscaping business, which he calls “KaBloom!”...October Gallery was one of the first art galleries in the Heights to feature the work of Heights artists.
Monkey Tree Business
Several years ago I was searching around for a new site for Indian Summer Lodge/October Gallery, mostly moseying around the Heights. A location that I had investigated was on the west side of the Heights...co-owned by an old bowling buddy of mine and his mother...While chatting about the property, my friend showed me a particular “special” tree his mama had planted that she would like saved. To my amazement, it was a Monkey Puzzle tree, found only in the southern mountains of South America...These strangely exotic trees grow as large as redwoods and are as endangered there as our redwoods are here...They are sacred to some of the indigenous people of South America...But as fate would have it, our deal for the properties didn’t work out... my friend sold the land to a builder...he chopped down every tree on all the lots in order to make room for his 6 McVicmansions where 2 cottages had stood. And the sacred Monkey Puzzle tree never knew what hit it when one fine fall morning, a steel blade sliced it down...But if anyplace becomes everyplace with no sense of connection to the past is left, what becomes of our community...I’m told it’s all about jobs and progress. Tell that to the Europeans, Latin Americans, and Asians who often save their buildings, their homes, their history, and find alternative ways to let progress proceed at its own pace...They keep some continuity going so their people know something about themselves in ways we are often clueless. It’s valuable to them as a resource, which can’t be mined or drilled....
The Gallery: October Gallery
Since the beginning of the year, I’ve received emails and voicemails about an “inspiring, unbelievable and beautiful place.” Subtle persuasions to visit October Gallery and Indian Summer Lodge. They settled in the back of my mind for months. One of those “I need to see this place for myself” thoughts...” The “compound” includes a now 14,000 Sq. Ft. lush tropical oasis, previously a condemned weed infested lot. [Jeff]Law found inspiration...and turned it into an eclectic gallery, a beautiful organic garden, a warm environment fit for any party, and there is even a lodge where yoga and tai chi are taught, children’s art classes are offered on Saturdays, and massages are given on the rooftop deck. Law has created his own haven complete with an astonishing view of the city.
[Law says] “I see the Heights as a beautiful woman, somewhere in her newfound prime of life. One with style, grace, class, and authentic character. One old enough to know who she is, young enough to change if she chooses. She isn’t about flattery, nor is she about fads, fetishes, and costuming. She doesn’t shop at fancy department stores, she gardens. She glows without a ton of spa treatments. She has a porch swing. She doesn’t care what the neighbors think.”
They Sure Know Their Bleep!
The evening began at Onion Creek. The crowd was friendly, chill, and humble. The wine was full flavored and the uniquely presented pizza, fresh and tasty. Next our adventures led us to The October Gallery – one of Houston’s premiere shopping galleries. Featured was a splash of crafts, jewelry. And fine art for all to experience. The night was topped off at the Indian Summer Lodge where an outdoor screening of “What the Bleep Do We know!?” was being presented. This film was filled with dazzling visuals conveyed with humor and precision, definitely a head-trip not to be missed.
Jeff Law: Community Visionary
Jeff Law has been a longtime member and supporter of the White Oak Bayou Association, with special interest in the development of green spaces and trails across our watershed. Jeff’s vision of the community goes beyond these interests to the promotion of local art and the development of human interactive spaces offering color, history, and spiritual warmth. “I have been trying for twenty plus years to provide spaces with a human touch and to design livable gathering places within a city that was built with plastic, glass, concrete, and four-lane freeways. It is my passion to create unusual commercial spaces using recycled and reclaimed materials so that brick, wood, doors, windows, and other building items that would otherwise go to the landfill are salvaged and restored.”
Guilt-free shopping for around $50 and Less featured several unique items from October Gallery
“A Wizard, perhaps? Or a guru. Or a prophet”
Jeff Law has creatively transformed the Heights more than once over. Law is the man who almost single-handedly was responsible for the renaissance of the tony 19th Street in the Heights in the 1990s. When he first arrived there in the early 1980s, there were “only a few shops on the street,” he recalls. They weren’t even nice enough to be called antiques stores, really.”
Off the Beaten Path is the Indian Summer Lodge Art Garden and October Gallery
This complex is a dream a secret that needs to be told. Wander the beautifully landscaped grounds...All set within expansive decks and winding paths that lead to a grownup tree house and a 35-foot observation tower so you can see the nearby skyline. You can also rent this adult playground for events.
The April 23 catered dinner and trunk show will feature works by dozens of artists as well as music by The Lost Boys. Indian Summer Lodge houses October Gallery, [Jeff] Law’s popular emporium previously located on 19th Street in the Heights.
Houston’s Most Creative Artful Arena an Instant Destination!
Feel transported to a faraway place and time at Houston’s new retail art and event center compound, Indian Summer Lodge, created by Heights artist, resident visionary, Jeff River Law.
Many who mourned the 2002 shuttering of Jeff Law’s October Gallery after 20 years cheered with its recent incarnation in a charming neighborhood off White Oak and blocks from Heights Boulevard... Indian Summer Lodge offers an events space for performances, live theatre, weddings, indoor/outdoor fetes, or any soirees in need of an enchanting, idiosyncratic inner-city sanctuary.
Getting Back to Business: Indian Summer Lodge New Home of October Gallery
Old Heights favorite, October Gallery, has been reborn in the 600 block of Columbia at what owner Jeff Law is calling the Indian Summer Lodge. “We have 14,000 square feet landscaped with a giant treehouse, a balcony overlooking the skyline, dozens of square feet in decks.”
Stores to Adore
October Gallery – This funky shop boasts being voted “best gift shopping in Houston,” and any patron can see why. From folk art to jewelry to original gifts to bath products, this whimsical store is the perfect place to get that special something. Handmade art decorates every wall while fun collectibles and unusual gifts fill the floor. There’s a great section for unique and very comical cards.
This well-known 19th Street art gallery will close after the holidays. It has long been a popular display point for a wide variety of works from various famous and less known artists.
Owner/artist Jeff Law said, “After nineteen years on 19th Street it is simply time to do something new.”
When asked what lies in the future for him, Jeff replied, “Who knows?”
Past customers and those wishing a last chance to view and purchase from this eclectic collection are invited to make a farewell visit to the store located at 244 W. 19th...
Heights gallery closing its doors after 19 years
After 19 years on 19th Street, Heights artist and community activist Jeff Law is closing shop.
“There’s going to be a very big hole in the street,” said 15-year friend and Heights businesswoman Debbie Markey of his departure.
Thought the years, the gallery has become a renowned outlet for Houston and national artists to show off unusual art gifts.
As his shop October Gallery has evolved since 1982, Law has battled dilapidating conditions. Gun shops, secondhand stores and empty storefronts were status quo as he initially set up a working studio here.
Today he fights more formidable opponents – corporate America and a sluggish economy.
Law acknowledges that his unique findings can’t and won’t compete with $39.95 mass produced reproductions common to every mega-store in the country...Indigenous crafts made in faraway countries like the hand-carved boxes from Poland and Guatemalan woven belts are chosen carefully as to not imitate American-made crafts.
“We pretty much try every product,” he said.
...Law personally shops for the greeting cards which line one wall.
“We have ladies that come in and spend 40 minutes in here reading and laughing at them,” he said while straightening the latest card stock.
Law has fought retail boredom by continually re-facing and rehabbing the building he once leased and finally purchased at 244 W. 19th. It underwent a metamorphosis from October Studio, The Pavilion and the National Art Park.
This funky shop boasts being voted “best gift shopping in Houston, “ and any patron can see why. From folk art to jewelry to original gifts to bath products, this whimsical store is the perfect place to get that special something. Handmade art decorates every wall while fun collectibles and unusual gifts fill the floor. There’s a great section for unique and very comical cards...
One Man’s Quest to Restore Houston
Artist Jeff River Law is one Houstonian fighting to preserve our city’s architectural past.
Artist-Inspired Cottages Ready in the Heights
At 1024 and 1026 Herkimer, off 11th Street in the heart of the Heights, The hand-crafted cottages have front-yards, white picket fences, palm trees, stone pathways, and front porches that are large enough for a table, chairs, and porch swings. At every turn in the homes, there is something new and artistic to discover. Jeff Law has an artistic eye for detail
50 Gifts Yule Love
After shopping through Houston’s renowned shopping districts, I’d almost despaired of finding any local crafts in Pottery Barn-Gap Land. Then I revisited the Heights neighborhood. (The last time I was \there, in 1959, I was busy being born at the Heights Hospital and had no time to shop.) At the October Gallery, an eclectic store full of Texas-made stuff from furniture to fountains, one of Kathy Wheatly’s vases bejeweled with frosty blue and amber beach glass caught my fancy ($30). I love the fact that the Texas shore where she collects the translucent nuggets is her closely guarded secret.
Community: Working in Concert
After 15 years in business on west 19th Street, October Gallery owner Jeff Law decided it was time for something new.
In conjunction with the Historic Heights Home and Garden Tour, October Gallery Pavilion and National Art Park will host Art and Fashion, a fashion show spotlighting the spring and summer lines of three Houston clothes designers.
The show will be held 7:30-8:30p.m. April 8 at October Gallery, 244 W. 19th St., between Yale and Rutland.
The event is part of the 19th Street Shopping District’s weekend celebration of the Home Tour, called the Spring Fever Flamingo Fling.
...[said October Gallery owner, Jeff Law] We like to show a lot of different things here at October Gallery, and we’ve never done anything like this before.
October Gallery Pavilion National Art Park – Best Craft Gallery
The Line between crafts and fine arts has blurred to the point of indistinction and nowhere is that more evident than at the October Gallery Pavilion. Its spacious Heights interior itself a creation, the gallery indiscriminately mixes pricey paintings and sculpture with more typical clay, glass and metal objects in a dazzling hodgepodge of high-and lowbrow. Like Isabella Stewart Gardner of the craft world, owner Jeff Law travels the hinterlands to find his stock. He must take a few left turns, because much of the art leans heavily toward the whimsical; giant head lamps, oddball clocks, weirdo lunch boxes. The straight stuff holds its own, especially the affordable-but-classy jewelry. Wandering though the shop, one encounters various incongruous spaces: a candle zone, a soap niche, a greeting card nook, a trinket cranny. Holiday and seasonal items find their way into the mix as well, making October Gallery Pavilion an ideal place to cross a bunch of names off the gift list simultaneously.
“The Heights” of Fashion
Jeff Law, owner of October Gallery in the Heights, enjoys a laid back attitude which is reflected not only in his clothing but also in his home. It invites peace and a back to nature atmosphere. Harmony is a key element in his life, and being an artist himself, this influences each room with their own personality.
Wools, stripes, leathers, and plaids – normally reserved for the reserved - are mixing with crisp metal hardware, silk details, and rich wood accents. The minimalist look is the antithesis of our hectic world, taking its cue from the earth and elements. From the clothing on our backs to the carpets on our floors, our need to simplify our lives and become more in touch with nature has spurred this trend. Emphasis has been placed more on rich texture and soothing colors than patterned pi9eces. Think Tranquil, sensual, and sleek!...
Angels Flock to October Gallery for the Holidays
Don’t be surprised if you hear the sound of fluttering of wings on 19th Street in downtown Houston Heights this holiday season. October Gallery national Art Park (244 W. 19th Street) will sound the trumpets on Friday, December 3, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at a special reception for its newest exhibit, “Soaring Sprits,” an exploration of mankind’s ongoing fascination with the nature of angels.
The October Gallery is aflutter with the wings of angels---angels running, angels standing in flowers, angels with their arms extended or their wings tucked demurely behind their backs.
There are pig angels, penguin angels, ethereal creatures ranging from divine to playful, serene to avenging, exalted to fallen. Together they form Soaring Spirits, an exhibit of angels for sale (ranging from $2 to $2,000) at the October Gallery National Artpark, 244 W. 19th.
“The gallery sells one-of-a-kind pieces from local artists, especially the little guy,” says owner Jeff Law, and its offerings are a delightful array of furniture, framed art, knickknacks and artful décor.
The October Gallery Pavilion National Art Park will open its latest exhibit with a reception Friday, Sept. 24, from 6 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. at the gallery located at 244 w. 19th Street. The exhibit titled “Above and Beyond” will feature a mixture of mystical and whimsical multimedia works by a variety of artists. The exhibit runs through Oct. 31...
The October Gallery Pavilion National Art Park will welcome the arrival of its new collection of home furnishings, called Viva Shiva!, 6-9:30 p.m. Friday, May 14, at its location at 244 West 19th Street.
The collection, designed by October Gallery owner/artist Jeff Law, is inspired by an amalgam of cultural influences and constructed in the East Indies from teakwood. The collection includes tables, armoires, chairs, and picture frames.
The evening’s entertainment will include live sitar music and Indian dance performances. East Indian foods will be offered, and guest wearing India-aspired attire will receive a special discount off any purchase..
Ready for the Holidays: Businesses offer treats for guests
"Lots of stores will have music, food and drink," said Jeff Law, owner of October Gallery and unofficial “mouthpiece” for the 19th Street business community.
It’s an old-fashioned, kind of like a miniature Strand kind of deal. People walk the streets and look in the windows. We used to do, once upon a time, horse drawn carriages and food booths, but it takes too much organization and there are so many people.”
...October Gallery, 244 W. 19th St., will open “Adeste Fideles,” its special holiday exhibit of American hand-made ornaments 6-9:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the White Oak Bayou Association’s initiative to add sculpture to the city’s bike path...
Awakenings of the Human Shrine, featuring an eclectic mix of multimedia interpretations of the human physical form, opens 6-9:30 p.m. Friday, October 2. Artists include David Thibodeaux, Yu Cha Pak, Phyllis Hand, Liz Allen, Wade, Tom Kilty, Wilson, Todd, Bud Bearce, Bernice Strawn, Alan Gerson, Jason Campbell, Mike Quinn, Janet Trotter, Dan Allison, Eleazar and Joe Holton. Exhibit ends October 31.
Community Improvement Awards
Congratulations! Your construction project at 723 West 12th Street has been selected for a special award of merit in the 1997 Community Improvement Awards competition sponsored annually by the Houston Heights Association.
Your award will be announced at approximately 6:30 p.m. at the Houston Heights Volunteer Appreciation Banquet which will be held on Sunday, November 2, from 4 until 8 p.m. at the Old Heights Fire Station at 12th and Yale...”
Explore the sumbology of the Autumnal Eqinox. Metals, ceramics, paintings, paper mache, glass...the moon, the sun, the cosmos. 25 artists – all one of a kinds, mystical and whimsical.
Friday September 19, 6-9p.m., October Gallery and Heights Pavilion, 244 W. 19th (Heights)
Shopping 19th Street in the Houston Heights
...Stepping inside [Heights Pavilion], you find the air a calming mixture of subtle scents. The tranquil, burbling sounds of many fountains paly across your ears, and from the wall speakers come the chirps of crickets and woodland birds. Here, you’ll find a colorful conglomeration of art pieces, crafts and just plain doo-dads you haven’t seen anywhere else. There are funky and practical pieces such as colorful, ceramic platters and bowls, large mirrors with decorative frames, religious objects and jewelry. On the flip side, you can find fantastically cartoonish, molded fish-heads (for wall-mounting) and a wide selection of ink stamps for signature letter-writing or decorating sheets of wrapping paper...
Those madcaps over at the Heights Pavilion Marketplace are about to unveil “Fantasy Folk Art: Fun and Magical Mayhem,” a celebration of original Texas folk art. The month-long event, which begins Friday, focuses on the whimsical in works that range from ceramics and wood carvings to watercolors and paper mache.
A free opening-night party (6-9 p.m.) offers a great excuse to check out this art space. At 244 W. 19th St. the Pavilion features 5,000 square feet filled with all sorts of artistic stuff, from the sublime to the kitschy.
Fantasy Folk Art: Fun & Magical Mayhem
This show of rowdy folk art made by fun-loving Texans includes useful objects, like lamps, as well as paintings and sculptures. Sometimes it’s hard to tell where usefulness leaves off and art begins; for instance, Alan Gerson’s lamp has a big-mouthed matron as its base. The show opens with a reception tonight, and continues thought October 20. Heights Pavilion Art Marketplace, 244 W. 19th Street...
‘Homage’ paid to religious, spiritual beliefs
...the current exhibit at the Heights Pavilion/October Gallery, features a multi-ethnic display of traditional and contemporary sculptures and paintings that employ various medias to signify man’s spiritual connection to God...”The exhibit recognizes man’s belief and need for God going back to the beginning of time,” said Laurie Liesnby, co-owner, Heights Pavilion/October Gallery...Paintings in the exhibit include oils and acrylic depictions of Jesus Christ, St. Francis of Assisi and Madonna and Child. Sculptures in the exhibit represent a variety of religious and spiritual beliefs of different ethnic groups. The sculptures were crafted from a variety of materials, including wood, metals, ceramics, and glass...Works in the exhibit cost between $30 and $3,000. The exhibit will run through May 15... The gallery displays various forms of contemporary and traditional artwork by artists from numerous ethnic backgrounds on an ongoing basis.
Miracle on 19th Street
...Approximately 20 merchants along 19th Street will decorate their shops for the Christmas season, Carolers from local schools and churches will be roaming up and down 19th Street, spreading holiday cheer. And Santa Claus will be checking on children, to see who has been naughty and who has been nice.
Jeff Law and Michael Wiesenthal are coordinating the celebration...”Hopefully, Don Nelson will be our celebrity judge who will award the prize to the business that has the best decorations,” said Law. “Also, the Windows exhibit will open at the Heights Pavilion (244 W. 19th St.) on Dec. 2.”
Windows take on new forms in a show highlighting the frameworks of 30 artists with a different view. Sculpture, reliefs, paintings and jewelry are all part of the “Windows” show, including this 5-foot homage to openings by Jeff Law ($1,200). Artist reception will be from 6-9 p.m. Friday at Heights Pavilion on 19th Street in the Heights. The show lasts through December.
Heights artist community one of areas best kept secrets
...Both this weekend’s Height’s Festival and an upcoming exhibition are designed to broaden public awareness of the cultural riches that exist in the Heights...[The Heights] is a compost pile,” [Jeff] Law says. “Not to disparage the area,” he says...Law sees the various elements of the community as thrown together, without much structure imposed upon them. “[The artists] are not really sure why they’re here.”
However, like fertilizer that nourishes the soil, Law believes that Heights artists, after fermenting in their diverse stew, ultimately benefit the community. This diversity is what makes the Heights scene, in Law’s words, so “robust, eclectic and energetic.”
Jeff law should know. A longtime Heights resident, he’s been operating October Studios for over 10 years now. His store carries “affordable art, from folk to fine,” and offers the works of over 100 artists. He estimates at least 20 of them are Heights residents.
The large boutique on 244 W.19th St. certainly seems to live up to Law’s claims that it is “the only space of its kind in Texas.”...
The Art of the Cross
A simple but powerful image, the Christian cross has challenged the creativity and imagination of artists throughout the centuries.
Challenging Houston-area artists to create a new, imaginative interpretation of the cross is the basis of Cruciform, an exhibition of crosses underway until May 31 at Heights Pavilion, 244 W. 19th. The pavilion is an art and crafts marketplace which houses several galleries.
“The cross is the one symbol that means something to all of us in this country and in this hemisphere,” said Jeff Law, an artist and the owner of Heights Pavilion. “Whether people react for it or against it, it is a very powerful symbol.”
Law asked more than 30 artists – who exhibit at his October Galleries – to create crosses.
“Customers are interested in items related to spiritual themes,” he said.
The cross exhibit is the first show he has assembled with a religious symbol as its theme. Partly by coincidence and partly by design, Law timed it to open during Holy Week. Holy week is a commemoration by Christians of the events leading to the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ culminating with the celebration of His resurrection on Easter Sunday... Law created his own large cross that he titled Reliquary: Descending Home. Law has been designing furniture lately, so he incorporated niches and a small stained-glass door into the cross. That allows a person to create his or her personal relationship to the cross by placing familiar items with personal meaning in the niches.
He drew the Southern Hemisphere upside down on the top portion of the cross. “That represents the effect Christ had on the world – turning it upside down.” Law said.
Visions of Angels
...When the show Cherubim and Seraphim: Angels Incarnating at Heights Pavilion opened earlier this month at the arts-and-crafts marketplace at 244 W. 19th St., the angel population ranged from painted tin ornaments to hang on a Christmas tree for a few dollars to striking sculpture...Two of the more unusual angelic works at Heights Pavilion came from Fernanda Matos and Jeff Law. Matos’ intriguing angel box is indeed a box-shaped, 26-inch-tall painted angel, complete with boxy head and two shelves inside the cabinet doors. And Law made and painted a 35-inch-wide shelf from which four carved angels hang. He named his creation Four Winds...
Wild ‘n’ Wonderful
...a collection of dealers specializing in art and arty objects and furniture has set up shop in a place called Heights Pavilion Marketplace at 244 W. 19th. Approximately 200 artisans are represented in the pavilion, and about half of them are local talent. Artist Jeff Law is the force behind the grouping. In his retail area, October Gallery, he shows the work of other artists along with his own artwork and furniture designs... Law embellishes his own furniture designs with parts found mainly in Europe. His 45-inch-tall cabinet, or tabernacle, as he calls it, has an old key used as a door pull. He named the tower-like piece “Key to the Kingdom.” It has an open area on top that could hold a pot plant, and there’s a lower drawer...
October Gallery spotlights works of local artists
The October Gallery, 244 W. 19th St., affords visitors the opportunity to browse through thousands of art exhibits, ranging from fine art paintings to functional avant garde sculptures, pieces of furniture, and household accessories....The gallery focuses on spotlighting innovative works, primarily by local artists... All of the artwork on display at the October Gallery is hand crafted, consequently, each piece is unique... Interesting pieces of furniture for sale at the gallery include metal tables with marble and glass tops, painted wooden tables, and all glass tables with etched and painted designs. ..The October Gallery also helps people custom design handmade furniture to individual specifications...
Ordinary turns into art
...Michael Dickson enjoys spending his free time in the garage applying intricate geometric patterns to simple furniture and birdhouses.
He covers each piece seven times with non-toxic satin polyurethane. His furniture sells at Heights Pavilion, 244 W. 19th...
A lot to meet the wallet at Heights Pavilion
The Heights area has always been known for its antique stores along 19th Street, where one can pass an idle weekend day looking for treasures. But Heights Pavilion is proof that there’s much, much more... Started by Houston artist Jeff Law, the Pavilion houses his October Studios as well as many other specialty companies including Arte Americas, featuring Hispanic artwork.
Retail Life Outside the Mall
As Heights Pavilion approaches its second anniversary, customers continue to comment on the exciting transformation of a great idea into reality that has occurred on 19th Street in the Heights...October Gallery is the largest tenant in this eclectic montage of shops and it was the starting point for making Jeff Law’s dream come true. For years he had taught art and when Houston’s economy soured, like any other risk-loving artist, he decided to give up his secure job to devote time to his own art...He found an available space for the right price (cheap) in the dark, hot bowels of the local Jazzercise Studio on 19th Street. He stayed there four years, building a career largely based outside the Texas economy...Jeff moved down the block into a small (this time air conditioned), light-filled storefront and began October Studios. He stayed for two years, selling his work in the retail section of the store while continuing to show his work nationally...As more shops opened, Jeff decided to expand and moved into a fifty year old 7,000 square foot building a block away. His vision was to enlarge October Studios into October Gallery and show works by many of the artists he had met in Houston and around the country...Today the gallery has grown tremendously and focuses on artists whose work is whimsical, playful and perhaps a bit mystical.
The Height of Heights: Showcasing the craft of art at The Heights Pavilion
...the thoroughfare of 19th Street and the Heights is a mecca for art and antiques nestled in what appears to be a quiet, small-town atmosphere.
Jeff Law has developed The Heights Pavilion and within it the October Studios. It’s a huge bazaar with objects and arts from cultures all over the world...The windows of The Heights Pavilion are filled with African fertility figures, Russian icons, Latin American sculpture, leather saddles, Chinese ceramics, South American textiles, Eastern European jewelry and the gamut of art, furniture and accessories created by emerging local, regional, and national artists...
Born in Iowa in 1952, Jeff Law is a painter and cast-paper artist who never fit into a mold. “I never belonged to a group or movement because I had to follow my own path.”...Law began October Studios to show his own work and that of his friends. The idea grew to highlight objects of art from across the globe, and the Heights Pavilion was born...
Intriguing People: Jeff Law
“I prefer to think of the artist as a Shaman. You create because it’s what you do, the power is there and you can’t stop it,” espouses Jeff Law, a Houston-based artist and entrepreneur, and owner of the Heights Pavilion and October Studios at 244 West 19th in Houston’s historic Heights...Born in Clinton, Iowa, Law moved to Houston at age 19, but neither city could claim to have imprinted the eclectic artist with his cosmopolitan persona...”Last spring, I began to feel the tremors of change and I became anxious. I knew it was time for a shift. I went on a trip to the desert close to Santa Fe and got centered. When I came back, everything fell into place like automatic writing. I wanted to create a place that was both fun and interesting. We call the Pavilion a place for fun and fine art, antiques, collectables, jewelry, and gifts, but you could just as easily place a ‘d’ after that ‘fin’ as you could an ‘e’. A find like this could only be birthed (as well as berthed) in the Heights, according to Law... “It’s sort of an eclectic stew, with everything from European crystal to Mexican imports for the seasoning.”
Even the music resonates to the proverbial beat of a different drummer, as any given moment could find the strains of boogie woogie to Cajun, classical to new age, winding itself through the many nooks and crannies of the Pavilion.
...”I want to be counted on for the unexpected and unusual. Every couple of months, we try to hold some kind of special event that fosters the spirit of creativity...”
...If panache were a measure of success, Law and The Heights Pavilion may well rank on that scale. “I like to consider myself a test ground for the philosophy: ‘do what you love and money will follow.’ I’m happy when I achieve what I want. My studio is like a sanctuary for me where I go to do what I do because I can’t do anything else. Although other people label it art, to me it’s not really about art; it just happens to fit into the realm.”
Heights Pavilion is the eclectic marketplace for Houstonians
...while Houston eagerly greets its tomorrows it doesn’t totally turn its back on the good sense, grounded values, and rich textures that are the ingredients of its past.
There is a place in Houston that truly mirrors these two facets of Houston. It’s a store, no more than a marketplace, as dedicated to the lustre of proven past as it is to the creative leap into the future. Located in the charming historic Heights, Heights Pavilion is an eclectic cornucopia of antiques and collectibles from primitive Mexican and European Deco to regal porcelain Chinese.
Heights Pavilion is where you’ll find a wooden style desk beside an old English riding saddle. Side by side, next to all of these treasures of the past, are contemporary tables of metal and marble, sleek lamps of blown glass, candelabras that resemble centerpieces from 2001. ....mirrors and furnishings the defy all tradition in their playful search for functional requirements...this shop, like Houston itself, is the stuff that legends are made of...
Heights Pavilion & October Studios Gallery “In the Romantic Downtown Heights”
WARNING: this is not another boring strip center! This is a place to indulge yourself in lots of color and character in Houston’s revitalized old Heights.
That’s how Jeff Law, a local artist and entrepreneur, advertises his Heights Pavilion and October Studios Gallery located at 244 West 19th.
...The large space has been arranged into small and interesting nooks filled with almost anything you can imagine. And then some.
...”The whole space is a melrosy kind of place. Houston needs a walking district. The Heights could fill that need for Houston,” said Jeff.
The fine line between art and craft
Jeff Law’s cotton fiber sculptures stand out in a sea of sameness. They are both two-dimensional and three-dimensional. He begins with clay either from a sketch or a concept and casts the clay in Indonesian rubber. His colors and symbols come from an interest in primitive cultures and a fascination for history, geography and anthropology.
New Art Gallery Opens in Heights
October Studios, an art gallery specializing in handmade cast papers, is now open in the Heights.
Jeff Law, artist/owner, describes his work as, “low key and sensual while maintaining a sense of lightness and simplicity. Each work speaks uniquely from a silent past, yet they are expressions in contemporary handmade paper.”
...An open house for the gallery is scheduled for Thursday, July 14 from 6 to 9 p.m. October Studio is located at 1906 Ashland in the historic Houston Heights, an area in the midst of economic redevelopment program...