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sing the latest in state-of-the-art technology and medical protocols, the doctors and staff at Fairbanks Animal Clinic provide quality care to family pets, but with a common-sense approach. The clinic team knows that routine exams and consultations are the most important aspects in pet health, at any age. That is why 713-937-7274 they perform routine analysis of blood, stool and urine that often find hidden disease and parasites in pets. Having a single Primary Dr., is the most cost effective pet care, so clients will know where to find their pets records. While offering the latest in advanced technology, Fairbanks Animal Clinic is also cognizant of customers’ pocketbooks and thus tries to control health costs. The clinic features a complete in-house lab, ultrasound, digital x-rays, EKG and other technical equipment to diagnose illness or monitor pets’ health. Using the safest anesthetics and electronic monitoring, the doctors and surgical assistants perform both routine and involved surgeries where pet safety and comfort are foremost in our minds. We now offer Value Vaccine and Parasite Packages for pets that need Basic Healthcare only and have no medical issues. The clinic also operates Northwest Pet Lodge and Health Resort at 8627 Bart Lane, 713-937-1982. For an appointment at the Fairbanks Animal call 713-937-7274 or come by 7151 Fairbanks North Houston (a mile north of Hwy. 290). You can also visit them online at for more information.

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The Guide • November 9, 2019 • Page 19

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Contributed photos Kindergarten students dress up at Field Elementary, which had a banner year. The Houston ISD school at 703 E. 17th St. received an A+ grade from Texas nonprofit Children at Risk and was named a National Blue Ribbon School.

Area covers academic bases By Betsy Denson

With so many young families moving to area neighborhoods, interest in local schools is at an all-time high. Although Houston ISD is still a district that has school choice, meaning children can attend a school outside their zoned area, there are a growing number of families who are sending their children to a school a walk or bike ride away. Area schools offer a wide range of academic programs, including dual language at elementary schools and the International Baccalaureate program at the elementary, middle and high school levels to give students the opportunity to think both critically and globally. There also are specialty STEM programs in high schools, allowing students to get hands on training for a future career. There are a number of magnet programs focusing on everything from engineering to communications. In the academic realm, there’s a lot to be proud of, too. Field Elementary, an HISD campus at 703 E. 17th St., was named a National Blue Ribbon School in September by the U.S. Department of Education. Field, which was nomi-

nated as an Exemplary High Performing School, was one of three Houston campuses to be named a National Blue Ribbon School this year. A total of 27 Texas schools made the list, which includes public and private institutions at the elementary, middle and high school levels, and there were only 362 nationwide. Below is a rundown of area schools and key facts about them. If you want more indepth information about a particular school – including summary information regarding student performance and outcomes, demographics and enrollment, and school programs for each HISD school – visit http://www.houstonisd. org/Page/38525. The HISD schools are organized by zip code. The private schools listed are in the area or were submitted by area residents. 77007 Crockett Elementary Magnet for Performing and Visual Arts, Vanguard Neighborhood, ESL, Transitional Bilingual, Structured Learning Class (SLC) – Standard/TREK (Special Ed) 2112 Crockett St. 713-802-4780 Principal: Priscilla Rivas Harvard Elementary

Int’l. Baccalaureate – PYP, Vanguard Neighborhood, STEM, ESL, Preschoolers Achieving Learning Skills (PALS) 810 Harvard St. 713-867-5210 Principal: Laura Alaniz Memorial Elementary Dual Language, Vanguard Neighborhood, ESL, Transitional Bilingual, Preparing Students for Independence Classes (PSI) and Structured Learning Class (SLC) –Alternate Curriculum 6401 Arnot 713-867-5150 Principal: Maria Teresa Garcia 77008 Field Elementary Vanguard Neighborhood, ESL, Transitional Bilingual, Preschoolers Achieving Learning Skills (PALS), Skills for Learning and Living Class (SLL) 703 East 17th St. 713-867-5190 Principal: John Hendrickson Helms Elementary PK -5 Dual Language, Vanguard Neighborhood, ESL, Preschoolers Achieving Learning Skills (PALS), Struc-

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tured Learning Class (SLC) – Alternate Curriculum 503 West 21st St. 713-867-5130 Principal: Lola Perejón Love Elementary Dual Language, Vanguard Neighborhood, ESL, Transitional Bilingual, Preschoolers Achieving Learning Skills (PALS), Skills for Learning and Living Class (SLL) 1120 West 13th St. 713-867-0840 Principal: Melba Heredia Johnson. Sinclair Elementary Vanguard Neighborhood, STEM, ESL, Preschoolers Achieving Learning Skills (PALS), Structured Learning Class (SLC) –Alternate Curriculum, Structured Learning Class (SLC) –Standard/TREK 6410 Grovewood Ln. 713-867-5161 Principal: Lee Mashburn Hamilton Middle School Vanguard Magnet, Pre-AP, Dual Language, ESL, Behavior Support Class (BSC), Skills for Learning and Living Class (SLL), Structured Learning Class (SLC)–Standard/TREK 139 East 20th St. 713-802-4725 Principal: Robert R. Michaels-Johnson Heights High School Int’l. Baccalaureate - Diploma Programme, Vanguard Neighborhood, Computer Technology, Pre-AP/AP, Dual Language, ESL, Career & Technical Education, Behavior Support Class (BSC), Skills for Learning and Living Class (SLL), Structured Learning Class (SLC) – Standard/TREK 413 East 13th St. 713-865-4400 Principal: Wendy Hampton 77009 Browning Elementary Vanguard Neighborhood, Dual Language, ESL, Behavior Support Class (BSC) 607 Northwood St. 713-867-5140 Principal: Eva Campos

Travis Elementary Vanguard Magnet, ESL, Structured Learning Class (SLC) –Standard/TREK 3311 Beauchamp St. 713-802-4790 Principal: Thomas Day Hogg Middle School Int.’l. Baccalaureate – MYP, Vanguard Neighborhood, STEM, Pre-AP/AP, ESL, Behavior Support Class (BSC), Preparing Students for Independence Classes (PSI), Skills for Learning and Living Class (SLL) 1100 Merrill St. 713-802-4700 Principal: Vanessa Saldaña 77018 Durham Elementary Int’l. Baccalaureate – PYP, Vanguard Neighborhood, Dual Language, ESL, Transitional Bilingual 4803 Brinkman St. 713-613-2527 Principal: Carrie Flores Oak Forest Elementary Vanguard Magnet, ESL, Structured Learning Class (SLC) –Standard/TREK 1401 West 43rd St. 713-613-2536 Principal: Andrew Casler Stevens Elementary STEAM, Vanguard Neighborhood, ESL, Transitional Bilingual, Behavior Support Class (BSC), Preschoolers Achieving Learning Skills (PALS) 1910 La Monte Ln. 713-613-2546 Principal: Erin Trent Garden Oaks Montessori Magnet PK-8 Montessori, Vanguard Neighborhood, ESL, Transitional Bilingual, Preschoolers Achieving Learning Skills (PALS) 901 Sue Barnett Dr. 713-696-2930 Principal: Lindsey Pollock Black Middle School Vanguard Magnet, Pre-AP, ESL, Skills for Learning and Living Class (SLL), Structured Learning Class (SLC) –Standard/TREK

1575 Chantilly Ln. 713-613-2505 Principal: Rhonda Honore Waltrip High School Vanguard Neighborhood, Research & Technology, PreAP/AP, ESL, Career & Technical, Behavior Support Class (BSC), Skills for Learning and Living Class (SLL), Structured Learning Class (SLC) –Alternate Curriculum, Structured Learning Class (SLC) –Standard/TREK 1900 West 34th St. 713-688-1361 Principal: Michael Niggli

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Booker T. Washington High School Vanguard Neighborhood, Pre-AP/AP, Engineering Professions, ESL, Career & Technical, Behavior Support Class (BSC), Preparing Students for Independence Classes (PSI), Skills for Learning and Living Class (SLL) 119 East 39th St. 713-696-6600 Principal: Carlos Phillips Crossroads/Frances Harper HISD Alternative Program 4425 N. Shepherd Dr. 713-802-4760 Principal: Raymond Glass 77091 Highland Heights Elementary Vanguard Neighborhood, ESL, Transitional Bilingual, Behavior Support Class (BSC), Skills for Learning and Living Class (SLL) 865 Paul Quinn St. 713-696-2920 Principal: John Flowers High School Ahead Academy (Middle) Vanguard Neighborhood, ESL 5320 Yale St. 713-696-2643 Principal: Ericka Austin Williams Middle School Vanguard Neighborhood, STEM, Pre-AP, ESL, Behavior Support Class (BSC), Skills

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Urban Jungle Self Defense is the finest school in the area, dedicated to making your martial arts experience enjoyable, safe and satisfying. Our instructors are the best. They have studied and trained for years to qualify as part of the Urban Jungle team, and their primary goal is to assist you in being the best you can be. Our carefully structured programs go far beyond punching, blocking, and kicking. We will help you acquire effective self-defense skills and provide you with a comprehensive, personal development program. It is our goal to raise the quality of life for all of our students in every way possible. Although we honor martial arts traditions that go back centuries, we are dynamic and are constantly seeking new and innovative ways to enthuse and excite our students. We pledge to make each student’s journey as fun, exciting and educating as possible. We monitor progress closely and walk with students every step pf the way. We believe that being a martial artist is not just learning to kick and punch, it is about becoming the best that you can be in every way.

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The Guide • November 9, 2019 • Page 21

Learn, from P. 20 for Learning and Living Class (SLL), Structured Learning Class (SLC) – Alternate Curriculum 6100 Knox St. 713-696-2600 Principal: Roshanda Griffin 77092 Smith Elementary Vanguard Neighborhood, ESL, Transitional Bilingual 4802 Chrystell Ln. 713-613-2542 Principal: Melinda Daugherty Wainwright Elementary Vanguard Neighborhood, Math and Science Magnet, Dual Language, ESL, Transitional Bilingual 5330 Milwee St. 713-613-2550 Principal: Christina Aguirre Oliva Clifton Middle School Vanguard Neighborhood, Pre-AP, STEM Magnet, ESL, Skills for Learning and Living Class (SLL), Successfully Aiming for Excellence (SAFE) 6001 Golden Forest Dr. 713-613-2516 Principal: Georgina Castilleja Scarborough High School Vanguard Neighborhood, Pre-AP/AP, Network & Computer Administration, ESL, Career & Technical, Preparing Students for Independence Classes (PSI), Skills for Learning and Living Class (SLL), Structured Learning Class (SLC) –Alternate Curriculum 4141 Costa Rica Rd. 713-613-2200 Principal: Diego Linares

Photo by Adam Zuvanich Nearly 20 students at Waltrip High School on West 34th Street remotely piloted a rover in Canada as part of a NASA-sponsored program simulating the rover on Mars. Clay Road Baptist School PreK-8th Grade 9151 Clay Rd., 77080 713-939-1023 Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart PreK-12th Grade 10202 Memorial Dr., 77024 713-468-8211 First Baptist Academy Houston PreK-8th Grade 7450 Memorial Woods Dr., 77024 713-290-2500 http://www.fbahouston. org/


Houston Christian High School 9th-12th Grade 2700 West Sam Houston Pkwy N, 77043 713-580-6000

Awty International School PreK 3-12th grade 7455 Awty School Ln., 77055 713-686-4850

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Assumption Catholic School PreK 3-8th grade 801 Roselane St., 77037 281-447-2132

Lutheran High North 9th-12th Grade 1130 W 34th St., 77018 713-880-3131 http://www.lutheranhigh- Our Savior Lutheran Pre-School through 8th grade 5000 W Tidwell Rd., 77091 713-290-8277 Saint Ambrose Catholic School Pre-K-8th 4213 Mangum Rd., 77092 713-686-6990 http://www.sashornets. org/ School of The Woods Pre-K-12th 1321 Wirt Rd., 77055 713-686-8811 St. Mark Lutheran Pre-K-8th 1515 Hillendahl 77055 713-468-2623


Pre-K-8th 6623 Rodrigo St., 77007 713-864-4536 St. Thomas High School 9th-12th 4500 Memorial Dr., 77007 713-864-6348 The Kipling School Pre-K-8th 620 Shepherd Dr., 77007 713-861-6743 The Regis School of the Sacred Heart Pre-K-8th 7330 Westview Dr., 77055 713-682-8383 http://www.theregisschool. org/

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The Guide • November 9, 2019 • Page 22

Local hospital utilizing robots in surgeries By Adam Zuvanich

The future is now for the area’s largest hospital, which is utilizing technology to provide top-of-the-line care to its patients. The first robotic surgery at Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital, located at 1635 N Loop W, was performed in 2017. The practice has become more and more prevalent during the last year, according to Dr. Ronnie Adams. Adams, a general surgeon who focuses on the organs in the abdomen, said he now uses a robot to perform about 20 percent of his surgeries. He also said he uses the da Vinci robot made by California-based company

Dr. Jaclyn Harrison 2019 Reader’s Choice Best Physician Contributed photo Robot-assisted surgeries are performed at Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital.

Intuitive Surgical in about 20 operations per month. “We have state-of-the-art technology right here in the community at the local hospital,” Adams said. “Sometimes that tends to get lost in Houston with arguably the world’s greatest medical center right down the way. The community doesn’t have to go far to receive the same level of detailed care.” The robot used at Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital includes a base with four arms that is remotely controlled, with the machine responding to movements

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As a Heights resident, Dr. Harrison decided to open her own practice close to home. “This is my neighborhood, my stomping grounds and this is where my family is; I want to stay here and keep the medical landscape something that’s good and healthy around here.” Dr. Harrison is focused on local health as an adult primary care and internal medicine doctor. “My goals are to keep people healthy, but also to be here for them when they are sick. We try to make it as convenient as possible for patients.” Dr. Harrison’s motto of being friendly, convenient and compassionate is integrated into every aspect of her practice, including who she decides to hire onto her staff.

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The Guide • November 9, 2019 • Page 23

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gynecology. Adams said he plans to start using the robot for colon, gall bladder and stomach operations as well. He said it wouldn’t be beneficial for all operations related to the abdominal area, namely appendectomies. “But for the most part, my goal is to do everything on the robot,” Adams said. Adams said robot-assisted surgeries come with a greater up-front cost to patients, but the doctor they are more economical over time because they tend to be more efficient and allow for faster healing. The fewer incisions necessary

a doctor makes inside a console. So it essentially operates like a puppet. It also has a viewfinder with magnification capabilities that far exceed the human eye. Adams said it also makes more precise incisions than the human hand. “It allows for better dissection, which leads to less trauma to tissues, which ultimately leads to less pain for the patients,” he said. Adams said he often uses the robot to repair hernias in the groin area, in the abdominal wall and in the esophagus. It also is used for operations related to urology and

Dr. Ronnie Adams

and the more precise they are, the faster a patient can heal and return their lives to normalcy. For that reason, and because of

the experience he’s had so far, Adams said he’s lobbying the hospital to expand its robotics programs. “It’s kind of the way surgery is moving, to become more minimally invasive,” he said. A spokesperson for Memorial Hermann Greater Heights said the hospital also has started a program for heartburn and acid reflux treatments within the last year or so. It also has a cancer center and delivers more than 1,000 babies each year, with its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit receiving a special care nursery designation from the Texas Department of State Health Ser-

vices. Paul O’Sullivan, senior vice president and CEO for Memorial Hermann Greater Heights, said earlier this year that the hospital also wants to focus on virtual care, which utilizes technology to allow patients to be examined by physicians without leaving home. It works through phone calls and video chats. While that type of care comes with inherent limitations, the benefits include shorter wait times, faster diagnoses and smaller crowds at the hospital.


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The Guide • November 9, 2019 • Page 25

By Landan Kuhlmann

Those looking for fun, friends and fitness don’t have very far to look in the area as there are a wide range of recreational opportunities for those young and old and every age in between. T.C. Jester Park along White Oak Bayou is an Oak Forest staple, with trails for biking and hiking, a community pool, dog park and disc golf course. Cycling enthusiasts zip up, down and all around the Heights Hike and Bike Trail, and the Greater Heights also is home to several parks that include trails, playgrounds, splash pads, sport courts and ball fieldds. Among the options are Donovan Park, Jaycee Park, Lawrence Park, Milroy Park, Montie Beach Park, Stude Park and West 11th Street Park. Several other places to play emerged, or re-emerged, throughout the area in recent months, giving residents and visitors new-and-improved options to exercise and explore the outdoors. Ride with Houston BCycle Since being created by the City of Houston in 2012, the

Bustling recreation scene helps area stay in shape

Houston BCycle bike-sharing program has expanded to nearly 100 stations and 75,000 unique riders. Seven stations have been added in the Heights area since 2017, including two earlier this year at Heights Central Station at 1051 Heights Blvd. and the Heights Mercantile at 703 Yale St. Houston BCycle gives cyclists the opportunity to rent bikes for transportation or just for fun, and they can be dropped off at any station in the city. “We’re definitely excited about it being here,” said Mark Sumell, a property manager at the Heights Mercantile. “I think Houston BCycle is going to be great going forward.”

Retooling Memorial Park Golfers who missed playing at Memorial Park during most of 2019 can finally do so once again. The popular Memorial Park Golf Course reopened Nov. 6 after being closed since early January for a major renovation project that included upgrades to the historic 18-hole layout as well as the lighted practice range. The Astros Golf Foundation, which has underwrit-

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ten the PGA Tour’s Houston Open since Shell dropped its longtime sponsorship in 2017, pitched a plan to renovate the city-owned course and bring the tournament back inside the city limits for the first time in nearly 40 years. The Houston City Council approved the plan in early January, and construction began shortly thereafter with world-renowned golf course architect Tom

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Doak leading the redesign. An overhaul that typically would take about a year-anda-half was finished in about half that time in order for the course to be ready for the Houston Open by the fall of 2020. Some holes have been lengthened, some have been shortened, and the course now has more distinguished See Play, P. 26

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The Guide • November 9, 2019 • Page 26

Play, from P. 25 ravines and better drainage. There’s also a two-story driving range, which is open to the public along with the course. “We couldn’t be happier about the work that Tom Doak did in designing this golf course,” said Giles Kibbe, a senior vice president and general counsel for the Astros. “We’re very proud that we were able to complete this project in such a short period of time so that Memorial Park can host the 2020 Houston Open.” Additional parts of Memorial Park’s Master Plan over the last year included the conceptualization of a land bridge project, approved by the city council in 2015 and slated for completion in 2022, that features the construction of two earthen land bridges over Memorial Drive connecting the northern and southern parts of the park. Another part of the project involves moving baseball fields on the south side of the park to the north – where there are softball fields, tennis courts and a golf course – to make the south side even more of a natural area for wetlands and wildlife. The land bridge project is being funded by a grant from

the Kinder Foundation. Playground For All Abilities coming to fruition In the fall of 2018, the community came together to unveil a plan for the Festival of Abilities at Oak Forest Park, with the goal of raising more funds for the vision of an allaccessible and inclusive playground in the area. Backed by donations from area businesses and families as well as funding from Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Cohen, the Houston City Council member for District C, and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department (HPARD), the project is coming to fruition. Following approval of donations from District C ($120,000) and HPARD ($150,000), construction has begun. City funds will be funneled toward purchasing equipment for the playground, while the $500,000 raised by Friends of Oak Forest Park over the last several years will go toward design, construction, equipment and many new park amenities such as tennis court repairs, new wind screens and the re-striping of the basketball court. SPARK Park has new digs




Photo by Adam Zuvanich The public golf course and driving range at Memorial Park were renovated to host the Houston Open.

Hogg Middle School in the Heights has been showing off some of its new amenities in recent months, courtesy of a community-based partnership and donations from the neighborhood. Phase 1 of the school’s new SPARK park, unveiled this past April, includes new sod and irrigation for the soccer field as well as a renovated track, resurfaced basketball courts and new batting cages. Further, more improvements are on the way thanks to the overarching “Hogg Outdoors” project, a collaboration between Hogg, SPARK and Heights-based community nonprofit Learn

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Local. Both community and inschool fundraisers accounted for raising more than $200,000 toward Phase 1. Phase 2 will include installing a playground for neighborhood children ages 5-12 in the field’s northwest corner. According to project chairperson Adrienne Schwartz, Phase 2 will cost about $100,000. She said there is a tentative plan to have the funds raised by next April, with construction possibly commencing in 2020.

tion of Ella Boulevard and White Oak Bayou, Little Thicket Park has been a place where visitors can enjoy the walking trail or have a picnic at a shady table since 1957. But over time, its border slope along neighboring Little Thicket Bayou eroded and began eating into the park space. The Little Thicket Park Slope Stabilization Project aims to restore and beautify

the park while making it safer for visitors. It is a joint undertaking by the Houston Parks and Recreation Department and the Memorial Heights Redevelopment Authority (TIRZ 5), with each entity kicking in half of the roughly $800,000 necessary to complete the work. Jones and Carter is overseeing construction management on the endeavor, which began this summer and was expected to take 6-8 months. Starting from the water’s edge, the plan entails installing a brick wrap to help stabilize the portion of the slope that would be most influenced by the water’s movement. From there, gabion baskets (wire cages filled with rocks) and gabion mattresses – which will allow dislodged sediment to spread along the water’s edge without eroding it – will follow to help stabilize. Gabions are rectangular, compartmented baskets made of galvanized wire mesh typically used for erosion control.

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Places of worship offer prayer, new beginnings By Landan Kuhlmann Whether they’re longtime residents or new transplants, everyone looks for a place to call home. The community is brimming with places that residents can consider spiritual homes. In the Heights, Garden Oaks and Oak Forest areas, there is no shortage of places of worship that welcome visitors with open arms. Some have renovated, rebuilded or rebranded during the last year, some are under new leadership, and others are longstanding staples that continue to serve their congregations and build senses of community. A New Day In Oak Forest, a church is using new beginning to spread love and build up the community it serves. New Day Church, formerly called White Oak Baptist Church, re-opened Sept. 15 at 3615 Mangum Rd. White Oak Baptist Church was on the brink of closing before a revival led by pastor John Wethington, which included a rebranding of the congrega-

The Guide • November 9, 2019 • Page 27

Since 1937 “Let our family serve your family”

tion. New Day Church include the same regular attendees and teaches the same doctrine, but the direction of the church and how it reaches out to the community has changed. It has added contemporaryonly music to worship sessions and begun a preschool as well as in-home community groups. Legacy of inclusion in Heights For congregation members at the nondenominational First Church Heights, the month of May brought mourning, but also a celebration of life and a pledge to continue pastor David Harrison’s legacy of inclusion and open arms. He died from a heart attack. In July 2015, former pastor Larry Young, suffering from his own illness, installed Harrison as lead pastor, and since that day, the former First Baptist Heights membership has grown almost 600 percent as a mixture of all races and backgrounds now call the church home. That’s Harrison’s legacy, and his church’s members want it to

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1200 W. 34th Street • Houston 77018 713.869.6261 Contributed photo White Oak Baptist Church at 3615 Mangum Rd. was rebranded as New Day Church earlier this year.

The Guide • November 9, 2019 • Page 28

Photo by Thejas Rajaram Thousands celebrated Krishna Janmashtami at ISKCON of Houston, a Hindu temple at 1320 W. 34th St.

Pray, from P. 27 live on. “He wanted our church to be inclusive,” associate pastor Ed Murrell said, “and he didn’t exclude a single person.” ISKON temple drawing large crowds ISKCON of Houston, the Hindu temple located at 1320 W. 34th St., hosted Krishna Janmashtami, a celebration of the birth of Lord Krishna, on Aug. 23. An estimated 6,000 people attended the festival, which featured religious ceremonies and prayers, feasting and musical and cultural performances. Then on Oct. 27-28, thousands more gathered for two Hindu festivals where residents and visitors came together for two days to worship, sing, eat and enjoy each other’s company. Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, was celebrated Oct. 27, when festival goers watch the candle light arati, which is when light is offered to their deity. On Oct. 28, people at the temple celebrated Govardhan Puja, or the Festival of Food. It is in remembrance of Lord Krishna’s protection of Govardhan hill, a sacred Hindu site. St. Mark’s rising from ashes A longtime Heights staple, St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, was struck by tragedy in September, when a two-alarm fire significantly damaged much of the property at 600 Pecore St. No injuries were reported as a result of the blaze. The church campus, which has since begun rebuilding efforts, includes a preschool and serves as a meeting place for area Boys Scouts and Girls Scouts troops. St. Mark’s also holds a popular pumpkin patch event every October and has a live nativity scene around Christmastime. Hope Episcopal construction project underway Hope Episcopal Church is moving forward and taking its place in the neighborhood with a project that will provide the church a new vestibule and two bathrooms. Ground broke in September, and work is expected to be complete by the first quarter of 2020, according to Brayton Construction President Terry Smith. Parishioners hope the facelift will showcase the improvements the church has made since St. Michael’s and Incarnation Episcopal Church merged to become Hope Episcopal in 2005. While Hope is a traditional liturgical church, parishioner Dorothy Miller said it is open and accommodating at the same time.

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ack in the day, folks in the Heights tossed around the phrase, “The Heights is home to more artists per capita than anywhere else in Texas.” The neighborhood may have had its artists, but lacked in gallery space. Everything is different today, including the number of galleries and spaces to view art. Where do I fit in here? As an artist, I followed my artist friends here in the 1990s. In 2004, noticing a lack of spaces for artists to sell art, I founded the First Saturday Arts Market. The outdoor event was the first of its kind in Houston and has grown from a mix of crafts and some art to almost all fine art. As an artist and lover of the arts, I sought out both opportunities for artists to sell as well as to participate in the ever-revolving art scene that has made the Heights famous. There is art around every corner in these neighborhoods and has been for many years. Today, there are opportunities for the collector, the artist and aspiring student to fully immerse in the arts, all within the comfort of a few minute’s walk, bike ride or drive.

Mitch Cohen Art Columnist

For the uninitiated, listed below are three types of art venues: art only with rotating exhibits, art studios and retail with art. Though the hours are listed, visit the websites for the most immersive experience and to find out when openings and receptions take place. Unless noted, most art openings are free to the public. It’s an exciting time to live in the Heights for both artists and patrons. Gone are the days where one must travel outside this quaint neighborhood to see what our neighbors are creating. Redbud Fine Arts: 303 E. 11th St., redbudgallery. com, noon-5 p.m. ThursdaySaturday and by appointment. The artists range from masters to first-timers. The gallery expanded recently from 400 square feet to 4,000 square feet. Founded in 1999, Redbud is the granddaddy of fine art spaces in the Heights. Redbud offers other services that will benefit artists and

collectors that include professional structural engineering (sculpture installation), collection archiving, insurance appraisals, art transportation and installation, graphic design projects such as invitations, brochures, catalogs, ads and other marketing materials and website creation and maintenance. Proprietor Gus Kopriva and gallery director Tanja Peterson are friendly and knowledgeable about the artists and their work. Approximately eight exhibits a year. G Spot Gallery: 310 E. 9th St.,, noon-5 p.m. Friday-Sunday and by appointment. Showcases eclectic and often provocative work by outsider, emerging and established artists from all parts of the globe and features artists unafraid to challenge convention. The gallery features a new artist each month. Confession: I’ve yet to visit this space owned by an artist, Wayne Gilbert. ThingZ: 1137 E. 11th St.,, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday and by appointment. ThingZ features Texas artists, fabricators and designers whose focus is creating works of art that involve a thoughtful process of making. A recent addition to the

Heights. Artíque: 1024 Studewood St.,, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Featuring established European and Latin American art as well as emerging local artists. Proprietor Yvonamor Palix, an art historian, has extensive experience curating international exhibitions. Services include art consulting, management of art collections, museum guided tours, art studio visits, premiere art events, providing

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Contributed photo Jodi Grogan celebrates the opening of Jack Rabbit Gallery earlier this year at 228 E. 27th St. It is one of several places in the area where residents can enjoy original artwork created both locally and across the world.

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Create, from P. 29 services in English, French, Spanish and German. Jack Rabbit Gallery: 228 E. 27th St.,, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. “We saw a need for a different kind of art gallery, a gallery that appeals to buyers with diverse tastes and budgets,� said Hali Grogan, Jack Rabbit Gallery’s managing director. “With more than 2,000 square feet of indoor gallery space, an outdoor garden and natural light throughout the gallery, we have a unique space to showcase the finest artwork.� Art Car Museum: 140 Heights Blvd.,, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. As the name implies, many of Houston’s famous art cars are display both inside and out. Art openings and events can bring big crowds and amazing people watching is a bonus. I’d credit the large community of art car artists. Even a space that thrives on the nonconformity of its patrons has an official statement: “The Art Car Museum is a private institution dedicated to contemporary art. It is an exhibition forum for local, national and international artists with an emphasis on art cars, other fine arts and artists that are rarely, if ever, acknowledged by other cultural institutions. The museum’s goal is to

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encourage the public’s awareness of the cultural, political, economic and personal dimensions of art.� John Palmer Art Gallery & Studio: 1218 Heights Blvd.,, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday and by appointment. Featuring the art of John Ross Palmer. In my Feb 8, 2018, column

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for The Leader, I wrote this about Palmer: “Artist John Ross Palmer has been in my peripheral vision for many years. Why? Because he is a successful artist, he follows no rules but his own and has made branding his name an art form. When you See Create, P. 31

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The Guide • November 9, 2019 • Page 31

Create, from P. 30 reach the pinnacle of success, what do you do? Give back, of course.” In 2009, Palmer and husband Ryan Lindsay founded the Escapist Mentorship Program, which pairs emerging artists with an established artist (Palmer) who coaches on all aspects of the business of art. Art Launch is the formal entity that operates the Escapist Mentorship Program. The “escapists” have working studios in their own building next door called The Chrysalis, where art receptions are held. Serenity Studios: 1331 Yale St., serenityartstudiostx. com, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. MondaySaturday. This studio has something for everyone from studio space with no commitment to classes, workshops, markets and artist receptions. There’s even pottery studio time available for the experienced or the novice (lessons available). Visionary Heights: 1331 Nicholson St.,, WednesdaySunday, hours fluctuate with events, first call 713-505-1998. Visionary Heights is a nonprofit, private listening room and art gallery that promotes conversation and collaboration. If you are not familiar, a listening room hosts musician’s performances in a smaller, generally private space. Founder Jeannette Waldie always felt visual art had to be part of the equation and hosts


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art receptions alongside music performances. Two for one. What can be better than that? Casa Ramirez Folkart Gallery: 241 W. 19th St. Open daily. Conversations about Dia de los Muertos always have a mention of Casa Rameriez Folkart Gallery, the official Houston headquarters for everything related to the Mexican holiday. Proprietors Macario Ramirez and his wife Chrissie have been celebrating and educating people about the holiday for many years. Folk art, art by local artists, Dia de los Muertos events, books, unique gifts y mas cosas. Truly a Heights treasure. Find them on Facebook. Bill’s Junk Art: 1125 E. 11th St., @billsjunk on Facebook, noon-5 p.m. Saturday. I can’t describe this unassum-

ing space better than Bill: “Art can be disappointing, but junk always exceeds your expectations,” reads the description on Facebook. “A store where high art, low craft, nature and salvage are reconciled under the umbrella of commerce.” Ever wonder what happens to art from that one class you

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