The gallery space is a ‘dream come true’ for the Pearland Arts League

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For 20 years, the Pearland Arts League (PAL) has strived to support the local arts community and create a home where artists can show their work.

In early September, representatives from Pearland Town Center contacted the league regarding an opportunity to regain an available spot in the retail center.

“They contacted us to see if there would be any interest in opening a gallery in their mall,” said PAL president Naomi Stevens. “My answer was ‘Absolutely’ – the space is where all the action is (on Texas 288.”

It was a milestone in the league’s continued efforts to find its own space, and at 5 p.m. on September 24, the Pearland Arts League Gallery will officially open in a public groundbreaking ceremony and be a place where the artist from the Pearland area can sell their work.

“We put this in place in three weeks,” Stevens said. “It has been exciting, invigorating, exhausting and so rewarding. I haven’t slept much, but it’s okay.

The league commits to the downtown space for at least one year without rent.

Or: 11200 Broadway Street, Pearland, Texas, Suite 1380.

Hours: 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday. The ribbon cutting for the gallery will take place at 5 p.m. on Friday, September 24, to which the public is invited.

Website:https://bit.ly/3CHbSOh

Contact: 713-304-0672

Masks will be compulsory inside the gallery.


Twenty-five artists are committed to showing their work at the gallery, and PAL expects that number to increase as people discover the local art community.

“You’ll see everything, it’s completely general,” Stevens said of the art that will be on display at the gallery. “And I think when you walk in it’s a space that no one has seen at Pearland before and representative of the talent that we have in this city.”

The gallery is in Suite 1380 near the downtown pavilion, Stevens said.

“It’s not a big place – it’s less than 900 square feet – but the beauty of this space is that it has five rooms and big walls,” she said.

Over the past two decades, local businesses and other supporters have donated the league wall space to host events, but these have always been temporary showcases. The group operated from all available spaces during this time. The city had also given the group the use of a space in its natatorium where they could hold art exhibitions.

“These were our galleries: hotels, a chain of beauty salons, furniture stores and tea rooms. All the banks have hosted our events, ”Stevens said. “There is no lack of desire for art to be here. “

“The league’s ‘office’ was basically my dining room,” Stevens said.

Community support has always been there, she said, and there has never been a shortage of local artists creating quality artwork, but efforts to create a place of brick and of mortar to display and sell this work have always been blocked by external circumstances.

Former town mayor Tom Reid, a strong supporter of the arts at Pearland, asked Stevens to help form PAL’s core in 2001. Stevens had served on several arts boards, including the Theater Under the Stars and the Texas Arts Council in Austin.

PAL was formed through a cultural arts grant from Pearland with additional support from the Pearland Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Reid wanted to model the city on communities like Woodlands which cultivated an entertainment culture centered on the arts.

“We (the league) have become an umbrella for organizations to promote all the arts,” Stevens said.

Establishing an arts community was also part of an ongoing project to make Pearland a tourist destination.

“It was Mayor Reid’s goal to give Pearland the opportunity to be a shining star in the Houston area where people would want to come and see Pearland,” Stevens said. “The mayor was determined to make Pearland a place to live and raise children and to make it a tourist attraction – and that has always been the same goal for the arts at Pearland.

But over the past two decades, the city has seen a marked growth spurt and attention has shifted to other projects, such as expanding transport and infrastructure and efforts to attract more businesses. in the city as residential neighborhoods multiplied.

“There hasn’t been a constant focus on getting a facility for the arts due to our growth so rapid,” Stevens said. “So many other things took precedence over a new art gallery, but people would come to Pearland and buy houses and want to buy art for those houses, and so a lot of artists were able to sell their work. . “

Stevens, a 40-year-old resident, had come to Pearland because of the space available and its proximity to Houston. Families come to Pearland for many reasons, she said.

“Several years ago at one of our meetings a woman spoke up and said she moved here so her daughter could play a part in the Dawson High School play, and I was so excited to hear this, ”Stevens said. “This is what we are trying to do – we are trying to promote the city for its artistic culture.”

There were already dance studios, gymnastic facilities and musical theater halls in Pearland, and what was missing was a place for painters, sculptors and other visual artists.

Representatives from downtown recognized this need, Stevens said.

The gallery also brings two essential things to Pearland after a year in which the pandemic has closed opportunities for local businesses and the arts community in general, according to current mayor Kevin Cole.

“From an economic standpoint, it is tied to downtown Pearland, so it will bring foot traffic to the area whenever there is a show or exhibit,” he said. “From an arts perspective, we have some very talented people in our community. COVID has really hurt the arts community as a whole, and coming out of it and having a place where the arts community can all feel a little bit at home is creating excitement for more to come. “

Cole also sees the gallery as a continuation of Reid’s efforts.

“He was so integrated and supported the arts and I would love to take that mantle and give it new energy,” he said. “With the shutdown and the pandemic behind us, this gives us the opportunity to reset things and I want to help complete some of (Reid’s) legacy.”

The gallery will be open on Saturdays from noon to 8 p.m. and will be used for art exhibitions and for featured artist exhibitions or small events.

One of the requirements for the city grant was that PAL use the funds to support artists not only at Pearland, but in the area, including Houston, Alvin and Galveston.

“We’ve got everything we need for our own place now, we can do anything an art gallery and organization does,” Stevens said. “To actually see our name on a building is the encouragement we needed right now and it’s just a dream come true for us. It came before a building, but it’s the beginning. It’s time.”

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