Events / Exhibitions / Public Art
How could an artist transform 10,000 sq ft? That was the question when the owner of the West Oaks Mall in Houston approached us to build a campaign inviting ideas from the community. Through surveying ideas with the city’s civic spaces and conducting an open-call for proposals, we searched for a local arts entity that could reinvigorate a former JC Penney left untouched for eight years into a canvas enabling a new project to come to life.
Award-winning dance troupe Suchu Dance was selected to activate the sprawling vacancy with the site-specific performance Afternono. Performed over a period of three weeks, Afternono premiered to coincide with the 10th Annual Big Range Dance Festival. Suchu Dance choreographed the piece activating nearly the entire lower level of the 100,000 sq. ft former department store— previously left untouched for eight years. The immersive piece invited the audience to roam as the action traversed the sprawling space. Removing the separation between performer and spectator, the viewer was as integral to Afternono as the free-flowing movements of the 16 dancers.
The platform for Afternono bridged a synergy of opportunity for Houston satellite arts programs. Garnering city-wide media attention, Such Dance’s performance led to the creation of an ongoing pilot arts program serving creators and the community to be hosted at the center. Creators were offered available spaces within the center at low or no cost in exchange for operating their services, exhibitions or workshops on-site.