Style Pick: The Room Gallery
The Room Gallery
An intimate art space invites visitors to feel right at home
by Leigh Patterson
Photographs by Leah Muse
Art is whatever you want it to be. Sometimes it’s wherever you want it to be. In the case of Luis Herrera’s Room Gallery, it’s in your own living room. And your backyard. In his East Austin home gallery, Herrera has created a space that’s adaptable to any type of artistic endeavor, a blank palette that can be built up, torn down, imagined and reimagined.
Born in Mexico, Herrera grew up in an art-loving family, who collected and chased after art from all over the world; Herrera spends his time similarly, traveling to meet artists and represent those whose work and passion for their craft speaks to him. This month, he’ll be participating in East with an eight-artist show, a mix of international and locally made work. His Room Gallery is comprised of four spaces: one room inside Herrera’s house — a 1940s former bait shop — and then three separate structures in his backyard, an organic evolution that just “happened” when his personal collection outgrew the available wall space in his house and extended outside. After people started to express interest, he began to host shows, opening up his wooden gate for guests to walk through the house and into the back, where he’s transformed a carport and former tackle shed into permanent mini-galleries. Walking around the backyard, with twinkling string lights overhead, it feels like you’re at a friend’s backyard hangout… except instead of a cooler full of tall boys, the garage is full of fine art and outfitted with proper gallery lights. Guests sometimes request to take their shoes off (which he welcomes); art has no rules, he says, and part of the fun is in the high-low balance he curates. As he explains, “Good artwork looks good wherever you put it.