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Thought-Provokers: Neartown

Houston has always had an artistic soul.  The culture and heritage of our city, like most great cities, owes a tremendous debt to the arts community.  Supporting local art is something we care deeply about and we’d like to do everything we can to help the local arts community thrive.  Unfortunately, too often media attention is monopolized by corporate interests and tabloid gossip – but culture doesn’t come from a focus on celebrity breakups it comes from a focus on the arts.

Below, you’ll find some incredible artists from in and around Neartown that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Kathryn Kingery-Benvegnu

“I taught school for many years. I consider myself a teacher first and an artist somewhere down the list. Teachers, at least the good ones, seek not to be recognized. They revel in seeing their students decorated. Read more>>

Thomas Helton

I became interested in composition as well as experimental music. I’ve releases several recordings of my solo playing as well as some of my compositions. Read more>>

Syd Moen

Like many creative people, I pursued a profession (Architecture) that I thought would satisfy my passion for art. In my heart I knew I was settling mostly out of fear of stepping out of my comfort zone and taking a risk. Read more>>

Arty Whittenberg

My musical influences are Gospel, R&B, Neo-Soul, Rock and Classical. My musical journey started in church singing gospel music with my grandmother Mildred Ballard who was a great gospel singer in the Fort Worth, Texas. Read more>>


I can’t remember a time growing up that I didn’t love to paint, draw and create. It’s strange to look back and think that I never considered art as a career path. I know now that I went to Texas A&M University and received a Business degree to fulfill my mother’s dream rather than my own. Read more>>

Lauren Maria Moffe

I have always had a serious passion for making films since I was very young. I have worked for international companies all over the globe, which led me to start my own production company at 23. Read more>>

Val and Mani

The practice of law can be pretty monotonous and dull, so we find it important to have some kind of creative outlet. Painting gives us that outlet, and we get to do it together. Read more>>

Jae Nichelle

Reading and writing became my escapes from reality; and writing became the best way I knew how express myself. I never expected to share my poems on a stage at all. Read more>>

Douglas Welsh

At a young age I felt uprooted. Painting and drawing became my internal GPS system, a way of placing myself somewhere, when my life was in constant transition. Read more>>

Nate Beavers

A battle with depression and substance abuse led me to the art of tattooing. It took so much concentration that every worry or problem I had faded away into the background. It has become my therapy ever since. Read more>>

Shang-Yi Hua

Though always a creative at heart, I never considered that it was possible to be an artist due to the barrier my conservative cultural background created. It wasn’t until I signed up for classes at the Glassell School of Art where I discovered the medium of sculpture, and I haven’t stopped creating since. Read more>>

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