By Christina Autry
Landauer Art has been a Spring Branch artistic institution since mother-daughter duo Caryn and Ruth Landauer established their business twenty-one years ago. Specializing in abstract art, the Landauer artists create expressive pieces in acrylic, watercolor, ink, pastel, wood, mixed media and more, according to the needs of their customers. “I love creating custom pieces, individualizing artwork for each person, and getting them involved in the process,” says Caryn.
Laudauer Art’s physical location off Bingle, open by appointment only, serves as a hub of inspiration for both artists and potential customers. Paintings and photographs of every size, shape, color, and material hang on the walls gallery-style, showing onlookers the unique styles of Caryn, Ruth, and artists of many talents that have portfolio pieces in the showroom.
Art-seekers who visit the gallery and take a tour of the many art pieces displayed may be drawn to a particular style or subject, but want to make adjustments to make the artwork suit their needs. “We paint and create until our customers are happy,” says Caryn proudly. They go as far as to allow buyers to try out the art within their home or office for a short period of time before committing to purchasing. “If it just doesn’t work, they can return it, and we can reevaluate,” she notes.
The Landauers are not limited to traditional canvas, but instead have a range of digital tools that allow them to place images onto a huge variety of medium. Visitors can peruse a wide variety of artwork for sale, or examples of additional services that Landauer Art can provide, such as photo restoration, framing, high quality printing, business cards, and more.
Just recently, Caryn was able to compose an intricately carved design that was etched into glass to meet the specific requirements a buyer was seeking. An iconic offshore drilling rig design that the Landauers developed with their digital design team has been printed onto items such as pendants, mouse pads, keychains, and t-shirts. “When people see me wearing my oil rig pendant, I get a lot of questions, and interest in my art,” says Caryn.
“I like creating original pieces that you won’t see elsewhere,” says Caryn. Originality is a core value that the Landauers have always held. Even in her own experiences as a student, Caryn recalls, “I wasn’t good at following instructions on how exactly to produce my art,” she laughs. “I wanted to do it my own creative way, and let what’s inside me come out. I wanted it to be my own interpretation,” she explains. This is a sentiment that she has passed on to her own abstract art students throughout the years, as she encourages them to leave perfectionism at the door.
Not only will you see Caryn and Ruth’s art taking many shapes and forms, but also in many locations around Houston and Galveston. From office buildings, to restaurants, to hospitals, to home staging, and much more, Landauer Art can oftentimes be seen featured. This art around town becomes a referral for Landauer Art in itself, for impressed observers.
Due to a high level of collaboration between the artists who contribute to Landauer Art, the range of possibilities seems to be only limited by the imagination. Sculptors specializing in porcelain, bronze, stainless steel and other metals may collaborate with other artists to invent products that incorporates both elements. Caryn partakes in the process by lending design ideas during these multi-artist efforts. A piece on the gallery wall depicting a sculpted pelican fastened onto a painted beachscape canvas illustrates an example of how this can be done.
Caryn and Ruth come from a family that is highly dedicated to the arts. “My mother and her identical twin were both artists, my brother and sister-in-law are sculptors, and my cousin is a nature photographer,” mentions Caryn. Originally from New York, Caryn bounced back and forth between Houston and the East Coast before moving permanently to the Spring Branch area in 1994. Her post-college travels to fourteen different countries fueled her passion for photography and expression as she experienced the beauty of the world.
After working for an art consulting company for years, “I decided that I could do it on my own, on a smaller scale. I wanted to work for myself,” she explains. Caryn transformed what was part-time, after-work time in the studio to a full-time endeavor alongside her mother. “At first, we used our space as a studio, but over time it became more of a showroom,” she says.
Since then, the reputation of Landauer Art has expanded through a great deal of networking, referrals, and repeat customers. “If someone has an artistic need that we do not provide ourselves, I connect them with the people who do,” states Caryn. “People call me for everything; appraisals, restorations, installations – whatever it is, I help them figure it out. I love being able to help people no matter what the need,” she says.
“I’ve been so lucky to take part in many artistic opportunities around the Houston area over the years,” remembers Caryn. “It makes me so happy when I see my work being used and appreciated around town.” As she reflects on the day-to-day undertaking of running a small business, she says, “I enjoy the people the most. I love meeting new people all the time, and the feeling of delivering them a completed project that was exactly what they wanted,” she smiles. “Come to Caryn for all of your art needs and problems – and I’ll make sure to help solve them!”
1511 Bingle Rd, Bldg. C1
Houston, TX 77055