The latest “house” addition to Sam Houston Park is not like the others; although it’s a historic, reclaimed structure, it’s also an interactive work of art. Open House is the latest handiwork of local artists Dan Havel and Dean Ruck, who transformed a small house into a temporary public sculpture that pays tribute to Houston’s past and present. It’s on view in the park through February 2019.
“Since the Downtown District first launched Art Blocks in Main Street Square in February 2016, we have envisioned extending the temporary public art initiative to other areas of Downtown,” said Bob Eury, the Downtown District’s executive director. “We’re thrilled about the opportunity to showcase work by Dan Havel and Dean Ruck, whose Open House is a playful addition to The Heritage Society’s 10 historic buildings at Sam Houston Park.”
Sourced from Cherry House Moving Company, the 1940s-era house was originally located in Santa Fe, Texas. After moving the home to Sam Houston Park in April, Havel and Ruck started the artistic transformation by stripping the structure’s interior and exterior. Using drill saws and other tools, they cut circular holes into the walls and filled them with PVC pipe to create a “Swiss cheese” or “lace” appearance, then collaged the interior walls with vintage images sourced from family, friends and local resale shops representing the city’s people, places and past.
Visitors will be able to walk through Open House, viewing both the modern skyscrapers of Downtown Houston and the landscape of Sam Houston Park through the holes that have been carved out of the house. At night, the house will be lit from within, creating a lantern effect.
Come by in the early morning when it’s still cool (it is, trust me) under the majestic oaks and take a peek at this artistic duo’s latest inspired creation.