GROUP EFFORT IN GRAPEVINE

BY ALAENA HOSTETTER


The six galleries on South Main Street that comprise the Grapevine Art Dealers Association (GADA) run the gamut in style and content but their variety is what makes them work so well as a group.

The group formed GADA five years ago to put Historic Downtown Grapevine’s fine art galleries on the map of the more well-known arts destinations of North Texas. Patricia Dane Bodnyk of Holder Dane Gallery spearheads the association, and she says it’s working.

“We’ve noticed we are getting more attention from Dallas and a growing interest from the cities to our north,” says Bodnyk. “Visitors from Fort Worth who made the trip to Grapevine in the past, did not think of Grapevine as an art [destination], but we’re changing that. We now have an enthusiastic following from throughout the metroplex for our gallery night events with more than 300 people visiting each gallery.”

GADA’s twice yearly “gallery nights” take place on the first Saturdays of May and October. This spring they’re experimenting with a new format—a ticketed event that includes wine and food pairings at each of the six gallery stops. The “A Taste of Art” tickets are available for purchase online for $20.

Holder Dane Gallery is housed in a historical building located at the train depot area. The inviting gallery space is filled with a variety of paintings, sculpture and photography from North Texas artists in addition to having a studio and workshop space on site. Bodnyk is passionate about supporting and representing the nationally acclaimed, locally based artists in her gallery.

Sharing the train depot area is Vetro Glassblowing Studio & Gallery next door. The gallery and working studio handles everything from chandeliers to ornamentation to large-scale installations in businesses and public buildings. Bleachers inside the studio give visitors a front-row seat to the glassblowing artists in action. The proprietor, David Gappa, and his team are currently working on a massive installation for the Center for Brain Health, which is comprised of hundreds of iridescent glass spires and over a thousand glass orbs.

Across Main Street the Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau operates the Grand and Tower Galleries, which host an ever-changing range of content, from national traveling exhibitions to community-focused shows. Welcoming volunteers, high ceilings and wall-to-wall windows create an inviting and airy space to absorb the art on offer.

Traveling north on Main Street, the next stop is Giddens Gallery of Fine Art. Cherie Giddens, a watercolor painter and former art educator, offers paintings, sculpture and furnishings from regional artists. Styles range from representational watercolors to abstract oil paintings, collages and landscapes, many of which are imbued with cheerful, vibrant colors.

A short walk up Main Street leads to the Great American West Gallery, which features nationally award-winning, illustrious artists from the Western genre, according to gallery director Richard B. Hunter. Price points range from several thousand dollars to $50,000 and beyond. One of the paintings on display came from the estate of William Randolph Hearst’s eldest granddaughter. According to Hunter, this gallery is the only one of its caliber in the DFW area and is also one of the best in the country.

The final stop in the GADA gallery tour is A Touch of Paris Gallery, located in a historical 1920’s home. It showcases the oil paintings of gallery owner Dominique Galleron, which are mainly created with a palette knife. The gallery includes a working studio, and it also sells artisan-made jewelry and sculptures. Galleron, an international artist, is originally from Paris and says she brought a “touch of Paris” to Grapevine over a decade ago.

Gallery owners point to a symbiotic relationship among the GADA group. Because of their variety, they’re able to collaborate and refer clients among them, since they’re not competing directly with one another. Bodnyk adds that GADA has been integral to developing the arts scene in Grapevine. “Forming GADA was very important,” says Bodnyk. “We’re giving back to the city while we’re establishing our art presence here.”

Alaena Hostetter is a Dallas-based journalist who writes about all of her favorite things: art, fashion, culture, music, entertainment and food.