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Color Factory Brings Total Sensory Experience to Houston

Pooja Salhotra
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Mila Jenson

Three-year-old Mila Jenson plays in the confetti room. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra)  

We all know Houston has characteristic foods – fried Oreos and queso to name a couple – plus iconic spots like NASA Space Center and the Williams Tower. But a new art installation has created seminal Houston colors, too. 

The Color Factory, a pop-up art exhibit that opened its doors at 3303 Kirby Drive last month, has designed a Houston-inspired color palette that informs the 20,000 square-foot space, containing 14 different installations. Colors range from a dark blue hue taken from the NASA Space Center logo to a bright yellow that matches the color of the Houston Astrodome seats to – my personal favorite – a princess pink inspired by the color of the icing on Shipley’s sprinkled donuts. 

The Color Factory team explored Houston’s iconic locations and culture to create a unique, Houston-inspired color palette for the factory. (Photo: Jordan Magaziner Steinfeld)

"Houston is the perfect fit for Color Factory," said Color Factory CMO Alison Piepmeyer. "It is vibrant, philosophical, artistic and quirky, a food-lovers haven, and shares the same values about bringing new creative experiences to the city for anybody and everybody to enjoy. From the Menil to the Art Car Parade, there are countless exhibitions and installations that have already primed the city to be curious, playful, and ready to experience new representations of art and the world around them."

The Color Factory joins a host of other interactive pop-ups that have entered Houston’s entertainment scene over the past few months. There was the FOMO Factory that took over The Galleria this summer and Candytopia that opened shortly after in CityCentre plus UPOP created by Univision and, currently through Jan. 26, 2020, Movietopia.

Like these other installations, the Color Factory is arranged as a series of rooms each with a different theme. And there are plenty of opportunities to feed your Instagram story with Boomerangs or artsy photographs. In fact, as soon as you enter the exhibit, you’re prompted to pick up a poker chip that you can scan to connect to your email address. Then, in Instagram-worthy spots throughout the Factory, you can scan that poker chip to prompt a camera to take a photo of you. Once the photo snaps, it’s immediately sent to you via email.  

Buzz team members Jordan Magaziner Steinfeld (left) and Pooja Salhotra explore the “Your Magic Is Real” installation at the Color Factory.

But even though photos are taken care of, visiting the Color Factory is not a passive experience. You’re invited, and encouraged, to engage in each of the rooms. In the confetti room, for example, you can release your inner child by playing in piles of confetti that fall from the ceiling. In the room called “To The Moon” – a collaboration with NASA Space Center in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Lunar Landing – you can enter a ball pit inspired by the moon and the galaxy around it (yes, you can have your photo taken in the ball pit). And there’s even a compliment room, where you’re tasked with complimenting a partner by noticing the colors they are wearing. 

In addition to the visual and tactile moments, the Color Factory offers some colorful treats for guests to enjoy. First, there’s a conveyor belt with macarons, then there’s colorful popcorn, candy and even a soft-serve treat at the end. 

This installation, made entirely of yarn, greets visitors at the entrance of the Color Factory. The installation features 30 colors of yarn selected from the Houston color palette. (Photo: Jordan Magaziner Steinfeld) 

By the time you leave the Color Factory, you’re sure to have had a total sensory experience, and maybe a couple Boomerangs to show off as well. 

The Color Factory is currently selling tickets through February 2020. Tickets to the Color Factory are $35 for adults and $28 for kids 12 and under. The exhibition is open Monday, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. 

  • Unwoven Light

    This installation, called “Unwoven Light” was created by artist Soo Sunny Park and utilizes a light trick known as iridescence to create unique colors, shadow and reflections. (Photo: Jordan Magaziner Steinfeld)

  • Unwoven Light

Unwoven Light

This installation, called “Unwoven Light” was created by artist Soo Sunny Park and utilizes a light trick known as iridescence to create unique colors, shadow and reflections. (Photo: Jordan Magaziner Steinfeld)

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