LA Artist Reopens Derelict JC Penney As Art Complex

An LA based artist is about reopen a 100,000 square foot disused JC Penney as an arts complex in West Houston. The former West Oaks Mall anchor had been vacant for two years before becoming the focus of the new rehab concept.

December 13, 2011, 6:00 AM PST

By George Haugh


Artist Sharsten Plenge is looking for potential collaborators for visual, sonic, multimedia and other productions. Her approach to creating what she calls "a laboratory," is varied and places a high value on participation. She is also seeking to include a cafe or bar alongside a high resolution screening venue and green alternative to augment the space's air conditioning.

Her plan is to create a "multi-disciplinary, multi-use arts complex" at the intersection of Westheimer and Hwy. 6 intended to bring "some art and culture to the starving suburbs of West Houston."

Property owners Pacific Retail Capital Partners have agreed to allow the space at West Oaks Mall to be used rent free for a minimum of two years, and are hoping the project will lead to long term value increase, while providing a source of immediate cultural capital to the surrounding area.

Friday, November 11, 2011 in Swamplot.com

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