Downtown Houston is looking mighty hip with the newest Main Street Marquee, Sam Houston Style, installed at Main Street Square. The temporary art project, which is part of Art Blocks Houston helmed by the Downtown District and curated by the art consultants of Weingarten Art Group, continues a series of creative projects that aim to revitalize a significant area of the city by encouraging activity and visitors to enjoy the surroundings.
James Glassman, founder of Houstorian, offers a unique juxtaposition of history and modernity with a fun Photoshop technique. Here, he adds sunglasses to an iconic image of Sam Houston. The American soldier and politician who was an important leader of the Texas Revolution and also served as the first and third president of the Republic of Texas serves to inspire many Houstonians, including Glassman.
Through Houstorian, Glassman strives to tell the story of Houston. Sam Houston Style does just that.
Q: Where does your interest in Houston history come from?
James Glassman: I’ve always been interested in history. I majored in it in college and took courses in historic preservation in architecture school. It was Stephen Fox’s Houston Architectural Guide that made me fall in love with Houston history.
Q: Do you have a favorite story about Sam Houston?
James Glassman: There are so many. I always tell people he was the only person to be governor of two US states.
Q: How do you describe Houston to someone who’s never been to the city before?
James Glassman: I warn them that it’s flat, but what we lack in geography, we make up for in stunning and audacious architecture.
Q: What do you hope people react to your work on view at the Main Street Marquee?
James Glassman: I hope “Sam Houston Style” reminds Houstonians about his legacy of leadership, courage, service and, most importantly, grace. He was also a pretty stylish fellow, who was not shy to rock a leopard or jaguar skin vest on special occasions.
Q: What one thing about Houston that you think most people misunderstand?
James Glassman: Most don’t know we have so much history in this forward-looking city. It’s literally lurking around every corner.
Q: With sunglasses, you somewhat look like Sam Houston in your work. Agree?
James Glassman: HA! We’re both tall Texans! General Sam was about the same height as I am — all other similarities are purely coincidental.