This fall, Janice Bond opened ART IS BOND, a new contemporary gallery located at 4411 Montrose Boulevard in Houston.
A Houston native, Ms. Bond spent a decade in Chicago where she graduated from Columbia College Chicago (2008) with a degree in Integrated Marketing/Communication Design. During her time in Chicago she worked at the Bronzeville Institute of Technology, the arts and cultural organization IMAN, and The Kimpton Gray Hotel. Ms. Bond returned to Texas in 2018 to take the position of Director of Music and Social Programming at The Kimpton Gray Hotel in Austin.
She then relocated to her hometown in 2019, where she has held the positions of Events & Programming Manager for STORY – NYC and Deputy Director at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. In the summer of 2021, she stepped down from her full-time position at CAMH to pursue independent projects. Since 2009, she has worked as curator and art advisor for her company, Bond Creative Advisors.
Ms. Bond told Glasstire that her career has “focused on developing, sustaining, and expanding hyperlocal creative economies and creating spaces of equity in art, not just on the acquisition side but on administration as well as education.” She continued, “And so, partnerships, engagement, and information sharing is extremely important to me and that is what really led me to having a gallery.”
Though ART IS BOND is a commercial gallery, Ms. Bond also sees it as a project space that looks to seed and nurture collaborations and partnerships. One such partnership is with Kindred Stories, a Black woman-owned bookstore in Houston’s Third Ward. The bookstore curates a selection of artbooks that are displayed and offered for purchase in the gallery. Additionally, the gallery will partner with nonprofit organizations to host educational programming for collectors and artists. In the future, Ms. Bond plans to work with collector groups like Chicago-based Diasporal Rhythms, whose mission is to collect, promote, and preserve art from the African Diaspora.
The gallery will be intentional about showcasing work by Diasporic, BIPOC, and Texas-based artists, but it will not exclusively focus on them. Ms. Bond told Glasstire “there are many people from many cultural backgrounds that have narratives that have been minimized, suppressed, undersupported, etc. So I want to make sure that I’m leaving room to really equitize my space and make sure those narratives can shine through.”
ART IS BOND has opened at 4411 Montrose Boulevard, in a building which is home to many galleries, including Assembly Gallery, Barbara Davis Gallery, David Shelton Gallery, Anya Tish Gallery, and Foto Relevance. The space, on the street-facing side of the building’s first floor, was last occupied by a cafe and has been vacant for more than seven years. With the opening of ART IS BOND, this marks the first time in years that 4411’s building has been fully occupied.
Ms. Bond told Glasstire it was imperative that her gallery open “in a space that has been long associated with successful tenured galleries.” And though the gallery is situated in a traditional space, Ms. Bond aims to make the gallery more accessible and comfortable through providing learning opportunities that will support emerging artists, new collectors, and the general public.
On September 9, 2022, the gallery debuted its inaugural exhibition …and then there was (always), featuring works by Adama Delphine Fawundu, Anthony Suber, Austin Uzor, Colby Deal, Greg Noire, Lanecia Rouse Tinsley, and Robert Hodge. The exhibition was originally set to close on November 6, 2022, but has been extended for an additional week.