CAMHLAB is an ongoing artist-in-residence initiative that offers critical and early-stage direct support for local artists. Launched in 2020 in response to the ongoing effects of COVID-19 on artists in Houston, particularly the loss of performance and rehearsal space. Through both short-term and long-term collaborations with artists, CAMHLAB aims to safely connect artists and audiences, and to support the realization of new and timely works. These projects come at a time when artists are looking to connect, to gather safely, and share their work with the public.
In 2022, CAMH partnered with Radom Capital to expand the artist-in-residence program beyond the Museum’s galleries and into Montrose Collective. A project of Radom Capital, Montrose Collective brings together 25 unique merchants, chefs, and wellness concepts to Houston in addition to multiple creative office tenants and the future home of the Freed-Montrose Neighborhood Library. As part of the creative vision for Montrose Collective, the partnership seeks to celebrate the energy and dynamism of Montrose as an artistic neighborhood, and provides a unique platform for artist-driven experiences within a civic-scale development.
Eepi Chaad | Soft Space
Artist Eepi Chaad’s project, Soft Space, is an installation that celebrates the soft surfaces we associate with our homes. Much like a home, the space changes with each visitor’s energy. Visitors are invited to learn about surface design, take part in the process of making, and engage with the transformed space created out of the textile squares we are all familiar with—handkerchiefs, bandanas, scarfs, afghans, throws, and security blankets.
Two Star Symphony | Writing Sessions: Afterlife
The artist collective, Two Star Symphony, will utilize the space at Montrose Collective to create new performance and sound works. Named one of the 15 Reasons to Visit Houston by the Houston Visitors and Convention Bureau, Two Star Symphony will offer regular open studio hours to genuinely connect with their audience and make their process visible. Future plans include a collaboration with puppeteer Afsaneh Aayani and composing new scores to short films from the seminal box set of early avant-garde American film, Unseen Cinema (1894–1941).
Frame Dance | The Family Mantra
Frame Dance will present a project titled, The Family Mantra, an installation-based participatory performance that explores generational psychological shifts in the Houston community. The group aims to create an environment that will invite interaction with marbles, toy tops, pathways on the floor, pipe cleaner dolls to manipulate, and puppets. Frame Dance will host family dance parties with the goal of building bonding and creative expression. The Frame Dance MultiGen Ensemble—an all ages/all abilities group—will activate the space as well as their professional dance company.
Dana Caldera | From Paper to Fabric
Artist Dana Caldera will expand on her layered, collage-based artwork by removing the constraints of a traditional stretched canvas, wooden board, or paper backing to explore the intersection of quilt and collage. An important component of From Paper to Fabric is a community sewing circle event, which aims to offer a place for community, organizing for political or social causes, and education that is open to everyone. Caldera’s residency aims to embrace the artist/caretaker role in order to model a family-friendly environment that welcomes children and ensures they are safely included in all events.
Preston Gaines and Mich Stevenson | NURTURE
Preston Gaines and Mich Stevenson collaborate to bring CAMH visitors an immersive installation titled NURTURE, offering a respite of reflection and contemplation where guests can allow themselves to be nurtured by their proximity to nature.
Julia Sinelnikova brings CAMH visitors an immersive installation titled Crystal Veil, featuring hand-cut crystalline resin sculptures and sprawling silver hanging elements.
Tobe Nwigwe | Mintxibition
Houston-based hip hop artist, Tobe Nwigwe, and his collective transform the Museum into a visual wonderland as the set design of his soon-to-be-released music video filmed entirely within the Museum.
Hope Stone Dance
The renowned Houston-based collective, Hope Stone Dance, use the Museum as a safe space for rehearsals as they continue to shift their focus from their usual in-person performances to those in the virtual realm.
Frewuhn | SoundLab
The multidisciplinary artist, Frewuhn, facilitates a series of SoundLab performance installations and experiments with collaborators, cultural producers, and thinkers tinkering with the notion of Protest.
Marlon Hall | Community Amnesia Therapy
Artist Marlon Hall, along with a host of collaborators, presents a series of separate healing experiences thoughtfully orchestrated and delivered through the multisensory use of film, music, art installations, salon dinner parties, and yoga to—as Hall states—“unearth beauty from brokenness.”