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Somewhere off of I-35 in north central Austin, Adreon Henry has a room. Spiral notebooks and graphic novels fill bookshelves topped with vintage figurines and discarded trophies. Jazz music clicks and pops from an old record player. Taken together it makes for a pretty eclectic installation. And while it might be tempting to view such a curated space as art itself (and maybe it is), this is his studio.
“ I am a collector of a lot of things and always have been”, says Henry. “As a kid I collected everything from locust shells (at one point I had 100+) to Swatch watches.”
When asked about the motivation behind his collection, he points simply to a desire to remember things, things that are relevant to him personally and things that reveal the thought and fashion of the past.
“I think one of the main reasons I collect things is to commemorate an experience or specific time. For me, advertisements and productions of the past work the same way; they commemorate a general mind-set of a society or public that has shifted and changed into what it is today”.
Adreon’s upcoming exhibition at the SEAD Gallery pays homage to a “shift” with particular personal significance to his own past. For years, Henry’s father worked in the basement of the Federal Building (now the location of Advent GX’s Innovation Underground and SEAD Gallery). Often, Adreon was brought along to help out. The title of his exhibition, The Future of The Room Upstairs is a nod to his time spent in and around a room that would go on to play its own humble role in the artistic and cultural development of a community. That the two should meet again under such circumstances is wonderfully poetic.
Adreon credits his time in downtown Bryan with being responsible for the birth of many of the ideas he has fostered throughout his career as an artist – ideas that he continues to draw inspiration from today. Though Henry remembers the Bryan of his teens and early 20s as being very different, he offers that the changes in recent years showcase a unique community, especially in downtown where the arts and culture community continues to flourish.
The Future of the Room Upstairs is Henry’s self-proclaimed “love letter” to a place and a past from which he continues to draw significance. SEAD Gallery is proud to showcase Adreon’s work which is, in and of itself, a legacy to the very space in which it is displayed.
Join us Thursday, September 4th at 6:30PM for the opening of Adreon’s show, where you can meet Adreon and hear him speak about his art!
Please take a moment to RSVP below if you plan to attend.
[rsvpmaker_upcoming type=”Gallery Exhibit Opening”]