Day Trips: Color Factory, Houston

Interactive pop-up exhibit turns art into experience

Photos by Gerald E. McLeod

The Color Factory in Houston turns art into a full sensory experience. Beginning with tasty and colorful macarons that visitors pluck off a conveyor belt to the moonscape-like ball pit, the pop-up art exhibit is a journey in color and feelings.

This is the third Color Factory. The concept began in San Fran­cisco in 2017 and opened in New York City in 2018. It took more than a year to design and build the explosion of colors in a former furniture store on Kirby Drive. 

The creative team covered more than 450 miles and took 1,500 photos to select a palette of 30 colors unique to Houston. There are colors like Shipley Do-Nuts' frosting pink and mango margarita yellow. The palette gives visitors a subtle reminder of familiar surroundings. 

Yet nothing is familiar. In the 14 exhibits/rooms, the unexpected sends surges of excitement through the art patrons. In one room guests must literally connect with someone else in order to experience the light and sound show. Another exhibit reveals the smell of boot leather and money, among other scents. 

Appropriate for all ages, the exhibit brings back the excitement of Christmas morning. Each exhibit is an immersive art installation, innovative playground, and fun surprise. There is even a photo system so you can put down the selfie stick and play along with the art.

The Color Factory in Houston is at 3303 Kirby Dr. Timed admission tickets must be purchased online at The creative team has committed to staying in Houston at least through Nov. 26, but has at least a year's lease on the building. Don't wait; this is something you'll be telling your friends about. 

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