Friday, August 8, 2014


The Packing Plant is pleased to present The Door Is Still Open To My Heart, paintings by Doug Cloninger.  
September 6, Opening Reception as part of First Saturday Art Crawl in Wedgewood/Houston, 6­-9pm.

In The Door Is Still Open To My Heart, painter Doug Cloninger, 26, shows recent work confronting the tension between structure and chance, belief and skepticism.  Cloninger’s paintings are varied, rhythmic and intuitive, focusing on the spiritual impulses embedded in culture.  These works are humorous yet somber and visually parallel with Dean Martin’s hopeful yet melancholic song, “The Door Is Still Open To My Heart”.

To view more of his work, please visit:

Blue Smile, oil on canvas, 18x24in, 2013

Black is the New White, ink acrylic dispersed in water on canvas, 12x16in, 2014

Untitled, industrial tape on canvas, 18x24in, 2014

Acid Free, oil on canvas, 12x12in, 2014

Peace Piece (for Cleme and Jonny), talbotype and acrylic dispersed in water on canvas, 16x20in, 2014

The Joker, acrylic and playing card on canvas, 16x20in, 2013

Sunday, August 3, 2014

(still from Michael Hampton’s Kiss)

The Packing Plant is pleased to present Bruised Anvil, a group show featuring work by David Anderson, Michael Hampton, Aaron Harper, Casey Payne and Zack Rafuls.
August 2, Opening Reception as part of First Saturday Art Crawl in Wedgewood/Houston, 6­-9pm.

Through painting, sculpture, and video, Bruised Anvil shows work by artists who use cartoons and animation as a point of reference through observation, manipulation, and appropriation.  The typical scenario of most cartoons is a sequence of bizarre situations, seemingly irrelevant or random in their relationship to each other. The work featured operates similarly, both singularly and collectively, calling upon current modes of organization and confusion. The artists reinterpret the characteristics of flatness and contrast inherent in many cartoons either by loosening crisp graphic lines, bringing physicality to two-dimensional work, or manipulating frames to reanimate a series of stills.Through melding high and low culture and making sexual content apparent, these works recontextualize the very nature of cartoons and animation.  

installation view 1
installation view 2

installation view 3

Kiss, Michael Hampton, projected manipulated video, duration 1:20

Flamer, Casey Payne, oil on paper, 44 x 30 in

Puffy Brisket (Politics Based on Physics), David Anderson, oil on canvas, 70 x 48 in

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Zack Rafuls, digital print on painted wood blocks, size variable

Painting, Aaron Harper, oil on panel, 48 x 48 in

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

work by Nathan Sulfaro


24 Hours in Starbucks waiting for Kobe Bryant (2014), ink on paper, 11x 8.5 in

Avoca,doe (2014), video, 55 second loop

Starbucks-Approved Gluten Mystification (2014), bread and car  

curatorial statement(s)

Nathan Sulfaro’s work engages with commodity culture, cultural and psychological obsessions and neurosis, while simultaneously disrupting hierarchical associations with symbols and icons.  He explores these aspects in relation to the internet, virtual mobility, and time.  

In 24 Hours in Starbucks waiting for Kobe Bryant, he created a situation where he sat and waited for Kobe Bryant to meet with him at a 24-hour Starbucks.  He documented his psychological and physical surroundings every hour to express the anticipation, the anxiety, the guessing, and the inevitable defeat in his obsessive and strange fictional desire to meet with the star Laker, who just so happens to also wear the number 24 jersey.  

In Starbucks-Approved Gluten Mystification, Nathan pushes together two signifiers, bread and automobiles, warping there significance in our culture and manipulates them in a way to bring about new meaning aesthetically, politically, and poetically. 

-Ann Catherine Carter

The icon, historically used in a religious context, reemerged in our time to communicate the power not of sacred entities, but of things more mundane: the brands we buy, the important people we know from TV. The power of the icon works in our time through our incorporation of iconic form in online communication –that is, through the internet meme. Generalizing here: it is through the meme we in the internet age construct worlds of our own, stitching together hand-me-down symbols and teleputer icons (Inherited? Yes, just not from our parents/cousins). The adolescent smirk of an Olympic gymnast made the expression of all skepticism, a squawking Admiral Akbar now the soothsayer in us all.

The Big Question: so, can we ever get outside our packaged language of our icons?

Artist Nathan Sulfaro is a sort of maze-maker of symbols. His installation work titled Starbucks-Approved Gluten Mystification, is at once vaguely OCD and irreverently funny. It consists of a green Corolla checkered in bread with a gun-drawn policeman as a hood ornament, taking stabs at both corporate perfidy and liberal paranoia. Why Starbucks? Why gluten? Why Kobe? Because they make headlines on HuffPost and BuzzFeed. And because these web-pages, among others, form ideological battlegrounds of online culture –where the sure-of-themselves fight for social (media) influence.  Sulfaro rehashes the trending thoughts in his work, but by jumbling the symbols and interacting with them in conflicted, committed ways he inverts the schizophrenic logic of top commenters into an artistic tension that questions that mode of discourse… but also kind-of winks drunkenly at it from across the bar.

In a series of drawings reporting in real-time the progressively more sleep-deprived artist’s 24-hour wait for Kobe Bryant to meet him at Starbucks, his commitment to the inane task seems to promise some transcendent meaning. With incredible energy for seemingly useless experiments, he coats his work in a candidness that signals purpose. But that purpose remains hidden wraith-like; the pursuits, at the end of the day, useless. In short, his work denies the meaning it promises. It seems a rebellion to the idea that today’s art must be important, or that it must reveal some truth buried deep in public consciousness, evading scientific inquiry and common sense. He creates a language within the language of icons. But it’s a Finnegan’s Wake sort of language, that in denying the communicative power of the icon elevates its aesthetic quality. In doing so, it seems he answers The Big Question.

Just kidding, lol.

-Harrison Luna 

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Packing Plant and Co-Curator Harrison Luna are pleased to present work by Nathan Sulfaro in GMOMG.
July 5, 2014, Opening and Reception as part of First Saturday Art Crawl in the Wedgewood/Houston area, 6-9pm.    

Nathan Sulfaro, 22 undergrad at UT Knoxville, shows drawings and sculpture in his exploration of the psyche and consumer culture through appropriation, icons, and obsessiveness.  
For the drawings, Nathan fictionally waited for Kobe Bryant to meet up with him in a 24-hour Starbucks for 24 hours and documented every hour of his psychological and physical state.
In BreadMobile/Starbucks Approved Gluten Mystification, he uses the symbol of the car and bread to show how vehicles and food can reflect the obsessions and the absurdity in consumer culture, as well as bringing together the iconic with the mundane and giving them equal weight.  
That being said, Nathan’s work embraces the audiences role in bringing meaning where the images or objects may have little relation to one another.     


To view his website, visit:

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Packing Plant presents 507 Hagan Street
new work by Jessica Clay

Jessica Clay shows new work consisting of paintings, video installation and book binding in 507 Hagan St
Jessica engages with the idea of place through information about the Packing Plant Building based off of information from the internet.  She furthers this exploration with formal play with the gallery space.  
Clay's work brings awareness to old spaces that are transformed through gentrification and reminds us of the history of the places that we inhabit and change; they become distilled traces of time overlapping.  
Formally, the work is sometimes indistinguishable from the space, confusing the idea between art and life.  This gesture reflects the new developments happening in the neighborhood between old and new.  
Through her discovery and understanding of the history of the building from information found from the internet, she questions concepts related to surveillance, information, fiction and truth in an attempt to engage with a forgotten history. 

Jessica Clay website: