City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More
From the "Invented Landscape" series

Featured Article

Feeling the Art Connection in our Homes

Why and how do we buy art?

As we’ve adapted to the challenges of the last couple of years, our homes have become sanctuaries and safe havens. We’ve had to rethink and reinvent our living spaces turned working environments, and if you’re like me, you’ve wondered how best to merge a sense of productivity and rest in the same habitat. 

Art is a powerful tool, creating peace, sparking energy, stirring emotions, and evoking thought. It helps us process the tasks at hand, visually stimulating as a conversation piece or something that motivates.  

Case in point — I recently visited the Archway Gallery, Houston’s oldest artist-owned and operated gallery at 2305 Dunlavy Street in Houston. A collective of 34 artists share space and create monthly art exhibitions and events.

Harold Joiner, a visual artist and a member/owner, was influenced by the sights of Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he grew up. The wide, horizontal works in his “Invented Landscape” series of oil paintings reveal nuanced layers that unfolded before my eyes, revealing the character of landforms and mesas in the southwest terrain. 

A former architect, he uses color, line, and shape, suggesting a view of the world as an abstract experience inspired by specific places or memories. Research suggests that a connection with nature — such as artwork of clay, stone, cloth, and oil mediums — resonates deeply. Harold’s palette includes soft, contemplative colors punctuated by brights, reminiscent of native American culture. 

These atmospheric earth tones have proved popular in commercial and residential spaces. In a memorable commissioned work, he recreated four large paintings in the style of a smaller gallery piece. This linear painting in blues, golds, and ivory tones achieved the desired result in a sizeable commercial conference space.

Harold is preparing for a solo show at Archway in late 2024, and I have marked my calendar.

The Woodlands resident Kristine Schneider paints to highlight the beauty in the moments we treasure in our daily lives. The simple pleasures, being together, honesty, humility, truth, hope, love, and spontaneity — Kristine’s narrative paintings connect us as people. Her brushstrokes and compositions bring magic to the everyday.

Kristine’s latest “&” series is a collection of faith-inspired oil paintings. The ampersand symbolizes inclusion, equality, and acceptance, and Kristine encourages us to be our “own messy selves” through her work, a further development of her “Wilderness Series.” Kristine is known for exploring solitary time spent in different environments and considers relationships and friendships as a way forward.

During the pandemic, Kristine painted large works of encouragement and hope displayed outside her home. These paintings captured family life and forever memories in familiar surroundings and lifted spirits in the neighborhood. It resulted in a few commissions. 

She recently donated two original large works to Family Promise, a shelter in Conroe, to share hope, joy, and inspiration. An exhibitor at Conroe Art League, Kristine has a full schedule of festivals and fairs planned for fall, including The Bayou Art Festival in Houston and Artoberfest in Galveston.

Both Harold and Kristine agree that finding the most suitable art can be achieved through buying with our hearts, finding meaning and emotion, or simply finding a piece that works within our home and work environments. 

It’s a rewarding experience to talk to artists, learn their stories, and visit open studios, exhibitions, fairs, and festivals in person. Online gallery shopping, too, is an option. Art elevates the human experience and is as varied as its audience. Find yours and enjoy.

Pull out quote for Page 3 - The character of landforms and mesas in the southwest terrain are revealed in Joiner's "Invented Landscape" series.  

  • Harold Joiner is a visual artist and member/owner of Archway Gallery.
  • From the "Invented Landscape" series
  • The "&" series symbolizes inclusion, equality and acceptance.
  • Kristine Schneider, Local Artist, highlights the beauty in simple pleasures.
  • Joiner's artwork is inspired by the southwest terrain.