Art for the People
House of L creates immersive pop-up experiences for the everyday art aficionado
by Lauren Jones
Lana Carlson, curator and founder of POP Austin, and Leslie Gossett, a broker associate with Kuper Sotheby’s International, are tracing a new path in the art world with their latest collaboration, House of L. Utilizing their expertise, the duo will be hosting weekend-long pop-up events in Sotheby’s homes that blend art, music, craft food and cocktail pairings for an all-encompassing experience.
For each event, they believe that it’s as much about the art as it is the venue, music and the feeling when guests enter the space. “It’s a culmination of all of those things so people leave excited and wanting more,” Gossett says.
While House of L will officially launch this March during SXSW, Gossett and Carlson have already given Austinites a peek into all that is to come, with an event during last year’s SXSW Festival.
“I helped [Lana] put on the SXSW event at a private downtown penthouse and right after I thought why not do these pop-up events and use the Sotheby’s network around the world?” Gossett recalls. “A type of open house that will bring like-minded people together. It resonated with us right away.”
In November, the House of L duo kicked off Austin Art Month, at high-rise residence The Catherine, featuring works from Austin-based visual artist Ysabel LeMay, sculptor Brandon Mike and French artist Ugo Nonis.
For the first official House of L showcase, Gossett and Carlson are currently working hard to curate the space, selecting pieces from their core group of artists (with plans to add even more to the mix) and booking speakers for the education portion of the weekend.
“We are very passionate about [art] education,” Carlson says. “For one of the day’s programming, we will have artists speak about current art world trends and their personal inspirations. In all of these events we are trying to support female artists.”
For those looking to dip their toe into collecting or add a new work to their personal collection, Gossett and Carlson are also developing an online marketplace, an idea that first appealed to Carlson back in 2013 while she was still at the helm of POP Austin.
“The old way of buying art in galleries can be intimidating,” Gossett believes. “People are looking to connect and they are looking for experiences. We want to revolutionize the way people buy and experience art.”
They are also exploring a membership model which will include perks such a priority access to events and artwork sales. While Carlson feels the events are essential for discovery, as well as exploring exciting new styles of art, she hopes to achieve the same curated feel with the emerging e-commerce platform.
So, what lie ahead for House of L? After SXSW, the pair will be hitting the road to host pop-ups in select cities such as Aspen and Dallas. And while there are still many months of planning ahead, they couldn’t be more thrilled for the future and this opportunity to share their passion for art.