LOVE AND APPRECIATION

BY HEATHER KING

An appreciation for all styles of art easily describes the Art on the Boulevard gallery. Located on historical Camp Bowie Boulevard, Art on the Boulevard first opened in June 2001 when an artists’ cooperative that had been housed there was faced with closing due to the owner’s health issue.

“I am an artist and have always loved and appreciated all styles of art,” says Jennifer Stufflebeam, the current owner of Art on the Boulevard. “My interest piqued upon the announcement of the closing of the cooperative, and I rented the existing space and developed the gallery over the next year.”

Stufflebeam still operates the space as a cooperative. “The artists make the decisions about the shows and create their art without a middleman. The artists can work directly with clients to create a closer relationship and understanding of their work,” she says.

The true appreciation for art takes place when you step into this treasure chest of a gallery. You find yourself surrounded by art of all mediums and styles. Oils, acrylics, watercolors, mixed media, monotypes, monoprints, pastels and photography are just a handful of beautiful mediums that the artists at Art on the Boulevard use. The works come in all shapes and sizes as well, and whether your tastes run to abstract expressionism, impressionism, realism, photorealism or photography, there is something for everyone.

The gallery changes the art on offer every two months, and the artists constantly bring in new pieces. What makes this gallery so special is that each artist involved is local to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and they maintain their own private studios, which can be visited by clients as well. So, in actuality, what you see in the gallery is only a small percentage of the works available.

“Our artists can work with clients to create commissioned pieces,” explains Stufflebeam. “Designers have clients who are looking at a particular artist’s work but may be constrained by size limitations or some other factors. The artist can meet with the client at the gallery or the client’s home and talk about what can be achieved.”

Not only does Art on the Boulevard support and encourage local artists to show their work, but it also encourages people to pursue their own art. Every year Art on the Boulevard is involved in multiple events to get people involved in art, including Art and Words, an open show that features the work of 12 artists and the written works of 12 writers. Each artist selects one written piece to illustrate and each writer selects one visual piece to write about in a story or poem. Ultimately, 24 pieces of art and 24 written works are created. A reception is held and 10 of the written selections are read aloud during the event.

The gallery also hosts many other events and shows throughout the year, including the Summer Art show and reception in late July.

It was one woman’s passion and appreciation for art that led to the creation of a gallery where countless artworks have been exhibited. Stufflebeam’s dedication to the cooperative vision of that space and to showcasing art is a continuing inspiration for artists all over the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex to create their art and know there is a forum to share it with art lovers from all over.

Heather King is a freelance writer based in McKinney, Texas.