Wildscapes Workshop

The Glassell School of Art: What You Need to Know

Haley Kurisky
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Glassell School of Art

Glassell School of Art offers studio-art courses, art-history instruction, workshops for adults, classes for students ages 3 to 18, and the Core Residency Program for postgraduate artists and critics. It's also a beautiful place to visit. 

By now, you've probably at least heard of Houston's newest public art piece, the Cloud Column, otherwise known as the bean. The bean was first installed a few months ago, instigating excitement from some and jealousy from others (we're looking at you, Chicago). Despite the bean's popularity, not many people know about the building surrounding the bean. The Glassell School of Art, in partnership with MFAH, is an extremely cool-looking building that all Houstonians should be proud of, so here's what you need to know. 

1. The school is already in use.

Junior classes at the Glassell School started on June 4, while studio school classes begin in August. Core program residents are also housed in the Glassell School building, making it the first time that all these programs are housed under one roof. 

2. There's more to the surrounding plaza than meets the eye. 

Outside the Glassell School is the Brown Foundation, Inc. Plaza, which houses the bean, among other things. Open from 9 a.m.-10 p.m., the plaza has another outdoor sculpture (called Song of Strength) as well as a fountain, and access to the Cullen Sculpture Garden.

Jake Nyquist

Jake Nyquist visits the lobby of the Glassell School


3. The school has a Spotify playlist to enhance your visit

As a music lover myself, this is an absolutely genius move: creators and designers of the school and surrounding spaces specially created a Spotify playlist meant to be listened to as you move through the school and its spaces. 

4. Houston, we have a roof garden!

In addition to the school and plaza, the Glassell space includes a roof garden, called the BBVA Compass Roof Garden. It is a "green" roof that features Asian jasmine and serves as a place to relax or enjoy a special event hosted by the school. There is amphitheater-style seating, a pergola, and a skylight. 

5. Parking is surprisingly easy

We've all ditched ideas based on the major con that is "Where would we park...?" Luckily, the Glassell School doesn't have that problem. The new MFAH parking garage is right past the Glassell School on the right driving down Montrose (away from the traffic circle). You can use your credit card or get a token for parking (machines located near the elevators in the garage). 

Art piece

An art piece located in the lobby of the Glassell School of Art.


6. There's more to come

The Glassell School is part of a major renovation and building project by MFAH to make up the Sarofim Campus. Still to come are the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building as well as the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation Center for Conservation. Look for these in late 2020 and 2018, respectively. 

7. You can get in on the action!

Whether you want to simply grab a coffee at the new coffee shop located at the Glassell School or you want to take an art class, there is room for you. Adult workshops will be conducted at the school as well as classes for ages 3-18. Studio art and art history classes are both offered. 

8. The art doesn't have to stop there

If you're already paying for parking to see the Glassell School and the plaza, you might as well stick around to see the cool art nearby. MFAH has two awesome exhibits that I recently saw: Bambu (which involves a 2-story bamboo walkway - wear closed-toed, rubber-soled shoes) and Peacock in the Desert (which showcases artifacts and art from years of royalty in Jodhpur, India). I would recommend both of these exhibits to anyone - so cool. Across from the bean is Houston's small but mighty Contemporary Arts Museum, too. This museum is FREE and has a cool exhibit by artist Cary Leibowitz happening right now. The exhibit runs until August and probably isn't suitable for younger children. 

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