By Abena Boateng
While bringing the community together in a blend of hip hop culture, urban streetwear and unique artistry, PLAYHAUS HTX is the new hotspot in Houston, Texas. Whether you are an art enthusiast or simply looking for a place to take really cool Instagram photos, PLAYHAUS HTX is not your ordinary pop-art gallery. With over 10 installations filled with exclusive artwork and murals, the exhibit showcases fashion, hip hop and art from local artists in Houston. Who is the mastermind behind this new interactive and modern gallery? Mom-boss, Visual Artist & Creative Director Julie Gray.
After creating her self-portrait when she was in second grade, Gray knew art was her passion. Being a first-generation immigrant from Vietnam, Gray wanted to make a change and decided to pursue a career in the art and entertainment business. She wanted to create an innovative company where art could be highlighted in a cultured way and showcase many other artists and their work. “I wanted to help other people and companies expand their portfolios with curated events, spaces, and bringing ideas to life,” Gray said. As a common museum goer with a “clear mind and free spirit,” it wasn’t long before Gray was able to open up her very own art gallery. She chose to reside and establish her business in Houston because of its influence and culture. Gray enjoyed the planning process of the gallery and pre-organized a lot of its design with the help of mood boards. Her interpersonal skills made it easy for her to network and create tight-knit bonds with local artists, whose pieces have been displayed in the gallery. After its opening, the entire city showed lots of love and support. PLAYHAUS HTX has been one of the main attractions in downtown Houston ever since. With the success of the gallery, Gray has been featured in the Houston Chronicle where she describes PLAYHAUS HTX as her “Project baby; my first project for the public to experience.” Gray was also able to create friendships with well-known artists in the music industry who’ve shown support for the gallery including Fabolous, Houston native Slim Thug and more.
I wanted to help other people and companies expand their portfolios with curated events, spaces, and bringing ideas to life.
Gray described how art comes to her naturally, which benefited how she chose to organize the space. Inside, she picked specific art pieces to go into themed rooms such as The Barbie Room, and The Rainbow Room. “The concepts came about through inspiration and creativity with the assistance of other talent,” she said. Each room has pieces that are geared to different artwork, whether it is popular fashion brands or famous music artists. Where some guests may have a favorite, Gray admits to loving all the pieces. “They all hold such a unique place in my heart, I can’t pick a favorite,” she said. Gray goes into the gallery daily, waits for guests to arrive and enjoys hearing their feedback and experiences. When Gray is not on artist and boss duties, she is home being a wonderful mom to her two kids. She enjoys reading and listening to soulful artists including Jhené Aiko, SIR, Khalid, and Summer Walker.
Gray is currently planning to expand with PLAYHAUS HTX part 2 in Houston. A city bursting with culture, art and music, PLAYHAUS HTX fits right in. Look out world, “H Town is coming down,” with your pop art dream and artist fantasy.
To learn more about PLAYHAUS HTX visit:
District One HTX:
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