Photography by Carl Fehres • www.instagram.com/carlfehres • Instagram: @911ducktail
Lovers of art as well as Porsche automobiles got to enjoy both of these subjects on November 19th, 2016 when the first annual TejasTreffen event was held in Houston, Texas. TejasTreffen was an eclectic gathering of about 125 Porsches of a variety of vintages- from 356s to the 918 Spyder- displayed alongside original artwork by more than 50 Houston area artists. This year was the inaugural event and judging by the turnout and enthusiastic reception it received, it looks the organizers are onto something big. Similar in spirit to the Luftgekühlt gathering that was held in Los Angeles this year but unique in its execution, TejasTreffen is yet another standout Porsche event that will likely become a must-see.
The gathering was organized by Porsche owner and enthusiast Antonio Kawage and a band of fellow car nuts that includes Michael Meldrum, Rudy Mancinas and Niels Meissner. There were also 18 sponsors involved, many of them local Porsche-related businesses. So how did the event come to be? We spoke with Kawage to find out. “I attend a lot of Porsche and car events,” he explains. “One day I was at an art show with my wife at Spring Street Studios –an art gallery and studio in Houston- and while there I had a vision of seeing the Porsches displayed as art alongside the art on the walls.” After he and his wife left the show, Kawage contacted his closest friends who were into Porsches. “We met a few days later for dinner, where we formed a group and went for the vision.”
That vision would evolve into TejasTreffen, which Kawage describes as “a laid back Porsche event, held on a cool fall afternoon to bring the art and car communities together.” Art and Porsches are a natural fit, after all. Most Porsche enthusiasts would consider the cars they love actual art. Add in local food, craft beer and an art auction to benefit a local charity and it was apparent that Kawage and his friends had created a hit.
Naturally, the event was held at Spring Street Studios, the same place that had inspired TejasTreffen in the first place. Kawage describes Houston as “a vibrant and thriving community of artists from all walks of life, from graffiti artists to sculptors to everything you can imagine. It is a very cultural city." The city also has a very active Porsche community, he says: “It’s a group of fine people that overcome the 100-plus days of very hot weather and not very good roads to drive, get together and keep these beautiful cars alive and well while having a lot of fun.” Kawage himself owns a modified early 911, an impact bumper (or G-series) 911 Targa, a 964 and two 993s.
“The event went by like a daze,” he admits. “Six hours felt like 30 minutes. We were so immersed in the logistics that we only saw how the event went after a few days had passed and we had time to look at the pictures and see the comments on social media.” People traveled to the event from all over the U.S. and as far away as Canada, Mexico City, Paraguay and even Poland. All told there were about 1300 attendees taking in the art and Porsches on display. They also had the chance to bid on original works of art painted on genuine Porsche 911 hoods, the proceeds of which went to charity. “We wanted something original to auction,” says Kawage of the hood art. “A car was a bit ambitious for our inaugural year, so what better canvas then the hood of a vintage 911?” With this year's TejasTreffen a resounding success, you can bet the organizers are already looking towards the 2017 event, which Kawage says will be bigger and better. Hopefully we’ll be there too with our Porsche 911.
You can find Antonio Kawage on Instagram as @r_elfer, Michael Meldrum as a @p911R, Rudy Mancinas as @mr_993 and Niels Meissner as @nizzyniels