Inside the Art Nest of … Mel + Mick


He cooks and sews. She gardens and bikes. In tandem, they canoe, own a furniture company. And make art.

I’ll take a tall, skinny. In the drive, (v) + (jn) = blueprint2, Mick’s sound installation/sculpture, is a collaboration with neighbor Jim Nolan, constructed from the remains of the original 1937 garage.

She does dishes and gardens. Mel’s cactus garden in the kitchen window, above the original sink.

She paints: Mel’s studio including works in progress that translate everyday objects of female adornment —%26nbsp;an eyeglass holder, cosmetic case or powder puff — into art.

She irons: Mel demonstrates an original built-in.

Shopping list. Mel’s studio with works in process for “The Eula Project,” based on her grandmother’s life told from the perspective of a few surviving possessions (recently shown at O’Kane Gallery, University of Houston–Downtown).

Beauty Parlor. Mel’s After all these years, the contents remain, 2010, the title loosely based on the life of her late grandmother. Inspiration? Lipstick tubes, floral paper towels, pink hand soap.


She draws: Mel’s locker stores colored pencils and other art-making materials.


Sew beautiful: Embroidered window shade, the handiwork of Mick.


They paddle: Bob, the couple’s golden retriever, practices for a future ride along Buffalo Bayou. Canoe, Old Town.


She bikes: Mel’s Sunflower Cruiser by Nirve Sports, Ltd. Favorite stop in their Heights neighborhood? MAM’s House of Ice Snocones, 20th and Rutland. Antique painted iron bed, from R%26amp;F Antiques on Yale.


That takes the cake. Sarah Fitzsimons’ Untitled, 1999, a sculpture of a frosted slice that is actually “formed from plaster, a sofa cushion and wood shavings that resemble a nut topping,” Mel says. Jose Solis III’s Untitled, circa 2000, conflates baked goods with a trophy.


Hers: Mel’s wicker tote as briefcase, carried to her day job at The Menil Collection. His: Mick’s bench from the couple’s furniture company, SquareNotSquare. He designs and builds; she sells and markets.


Doily Parton. Mel’s oversized Coaster, 2007, hangs over Mick’s white oak credenza from their furniture company, SquareNotSquare.


She makes an entrance, he’s into suds: The couple reenact American Gothic, circa 2010, with Bob the canine.

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