We had the good fortune of connecting with Eepi Chaad and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Eepi, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
Let’s do this!
10. Listicles – Because everyone loves a good countdown!
9. Train travel – Just feels nostalgic and makes you have to slow down.
8. Hammocks – There is something so calming about just hanging in space.
7. Fermented Vegetables – pickled foods lead to good health.
6. Still water – I love a good paddle on open water on a sunny day.
5. Mountains – I’m pretty afraid of heights, so no better place to work out those demons!
4. Road Trips – I love a good wander and meandering off path is even better.
3. People – Being a story collector is a life’s work.
2. Textures – They feed my brain and make life interesting!
1. My senses – Because I couldn’t experience all the things above without them.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art practice is multi-disciplinary and I am really invested in process. The best part of making for me is the experimentation. While I don’t limit my self on mediums, I currently primarily create work in fibers as well as being a metalsmith. I love the problem solving aspect of constructing work. I enjoy translating information into objects that tell stories. My appreciation for these two material families definitely came from absorbing my mother’s innate sense of style as I grew up. My mom had the most amazing collections of saris. The patterns and weaves fascinated me. Cloth is an integral part of the Indian culture and I am excited to continue these traditions in my own native Texan way. My mother also has a keen eye for amazing jewelry, which includes everything from traditional Indian gold pieces to vintage silver enamel from her time in Holland to thrifted finds that would blow your mind. When I was just out of college, she gifted me a vintage squash blossom necklace that she had found in a thrift shop. It is a prized part of my collection and the craftsmanship of that price was part of the impetus to begin designing jewelry myself. Gratitude is ever present in my practice. I choose to do what I love. I believe that is translated into the art of making and that joy lives inside the objects that I create. There is only so much time in life. We should all spend that precious time doing the things that we love. Once you find your “thing”, the pieces tend to start falling into place.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Houston is a big city full of amazing things to eat and experience. Let’s start in the city. Tacos at Tierra Caliente on West Alabama are a must, but warning that the sauces at this taco truck are not for the faint of heart. While in Montrose, a stroll over to the Menil is a must. The bayous are the heart of Houston. Visiting green spaces around Allen Parkway are a great way to spend a day. Grab a bite at the Dunlavy and then trek the park all the way into Downtown. There is an awesome art installation at the Preston Street bridge across Buffalo Bayou. Seeing the Big Bubble is so worth the trip…just find the red button! Meander over to the East End next at settle in for patio time at Bohemeo’s. This friendly neighborhood haunt has great snacks and an amazing drink selection. A note for all the naturalists: the Greater Houston-Galveston area is part of the Central Flyway and there are migratory birds galore! A trip to the coast is a must when in the area. Start early at Anahuac Wildlife Refuge and work your way down to Bolivar Peninsula to take the ferry across to Galveston Island. Have some lunch at Gypsy Joint and then grab a drink and check out the historic Strand District. Next, pop over to the Seawall and take a scenic drive down the coast. If you keep going past the Seawall, you will eventually hit Galveston Island State Park. This park has a beach side and a bay side. Each is worth a good investigation. Finish off the day by driving back into Galveston proper for dinner. Nick’s is great for an ocean view dine and Shrimp ‘n Stuff is an institution! Another must see for visitor’s to the area….is gators! Pack a picnic and head out to Brazos Bend State Park. Gators are all over the park, but 40 Acre lake is a good bet. Bring bug spray. On your way back to the city, make a stop in the southwest side and visit Bombay Sweets for an awesome veggie buffet and some killer sweets. This is the just a tiny sampling of Houston.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This is my ode to Houston! This city is full of warm, open, and welcoming people and tons of opportunity. The diversity here has spoiled me for so many other places. Houston has taken good care of me in both my artistic practice and my professional career. The art community is accessible and supportive. The food is out of this world. The beach is less than an hour away. I couldn’t ask for a better community or a place that feels more like home. This city made me exactly who I am today. Thanks, Htown!