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Moving in: Aurora Picture Show shows off chic new digs, Astroturf courtyard & naughty sculptures

Moving in: Aurora Picture Show shows off chic new digs, Astroturf courtyard & naughty sculptures

Aurora Picture Show, Victoria Lightman, Ardis Bartle, Haden Garret, Michelle White, June 2012
Victoria Lightman , Ardis Bartle , Haden Garret , Michelle White Courtesy of Aurora Picture Show
Aurora Picture Show, Mark Wozny, Norma Perkins, Margo Stutts Looms, Mandy Graessle, June 2012
Mark Wozny , Norma Perkins , Margo Stutts Looms , Mandy Graessle Courtesy of Aurora Picture Show
Aurora Picture Show Moving
Courtesy of Aurora Picture Show
Aurora Picture Show, Carlos Fernandez, Sara Fernandez, Ana Maria Alvarez, June 2012
Carlos Fernandez , Sara Fernandez , Ana Maria Alvarez Courtesy of Aurora Picture Show
Aurora Picture Show, Group Shot, June 2012
Courtesy of Aurora Picture Show
Aurora Picture Show, Victoria Lightman, Ardis Bartle, Haden Garret, Michelle White, June 2012
Aurora Picture Show, Mark Wozny, Norma Perkins, Margo Stutts Looms, Mandy Graessle, June 2012
Aurora Picture Show Moving
Aurora Picture Show, Carlos Fernandez, Sara Fernandez, Ana Maria Alvarez, June 2012
Aurora Picture Show, Group Shot, June 2012

Orange trees, fragrant rosemary bushes and tall grasses fringe a large Astroturf courtyard sprinkled with impish sculptures. One particular tall, white skinny tablet with a round orifice questions the many holes "fingers" could find themselves in. Two glass doors access an air-conditional barn-like galvanized metal structure divided into one large two-story partition, cool, minimalist offices outfitted with IKEA goods and a raised loft with a new kitchen and comfy lounge. 

Welcome to Aurora Picture Show's chic new digs located in Upper Kirby in what was previously Molly Gochman's studio. 

The move has been a longtime coming for the alternative media presenter. Aurora had been in the market for new offices and screening facilities since in 2008 it left a converted church on Aurora Street, also the former home of founder Andrea Grover, in anticipation of her retirement and move to the Hamptons, N.Y. Aurora's most recent location, an adorable sun-lit bungalow on the Menil Campus, may have had the right offbeat feel, but lacked needed square footage.

When Gochman, who had previously served as a board member and hosted Aurora events, no longer needed the space, she offered it to this cutting-edge nonprofit. 

Expect more events, more workshops, more education programs, like a stop-motion animation class with graffiti in collaboration with GONZO274 and Carolyn Casey suitable for adults.

After a successful Kirkstarter campaign that exceeded its fundraising goal of $5,000 by more than 20 percent, Aurora made some interior improvements to render the building suitable for film screenings and installed a sleek catering area for receptions and special events.

All of that was fully operational at a gathering last week.

An invitation-only amicable meet-and-greet received curious supporters, donors and friends dying to get a peek at an accomplishment that, for too long, was the biggest obstacle hindering Aurora's growth. Sure, the staff had become accustomed to a nomadic modus operandi, hosting screenings in alternative spaces all over the city. Now Aurora has the option of screening media in-house.

Expect more events, more workshops, more education programs, like a stop-motion animation class with graffiti in collaboration with GONZO274 and Carolyn Casey suitable for adults.

The expression on the faces of Aurora employees, including executive director Delicia Harvey, curator Mary Magsamen, associate director Rachel Blackney Tepper and media arts instruction Camilo Gonzalez, was priceless. Life would be easier. They can do more, offer more, and work smarter.

Taking a tour of the Aurora's new pad were Diane Barber, David Lake, Mandy Graessle, Candance Kizer, Rainey Knudson, Leo Boucher and Carol Laufer, Nancy and Mark Wozny, Victoria Lightman, Ardis Bartle, Haden Garret, Michelle Wright, Sara and Carlos Fernandez, Ana Maria Alvarez, Norma Perkins and Margo Stutts Looms.