The 5-year-old Holder Dane Gallery & Art Studios in Grapevine, Texas, is more than just a retail space where proprietor Patricia Dane Bodnyk represents the fine art of a select group of talented artists.
“My galleries and art endeavors have always been based on the concept that the artists are the center, the heart that drives the curiosity and magic that draws people in and fuels their interest in the creative process and the creative people,” Bodnyk says. “I like to share the expertise and professionalism, the wealth of knowledge our artists hold, and bring that into the community as a resource for all ages.”
The gallerist and artist also has a neighboring studio where she conducts workshops and classes, tapping into her vast artist network for instructors. This is a key component to her art business concept; it’s not just a retail storefront but an experience in the arts.
Recent workshops include oil painting with Pamela Blaies, where she teaches her style and technique of “loose economical” strokes against oil-primed linen canvas. Blaies shares her palette and has inspired many experienced and emerging painters to use her soft-edge style.
In pottery/clay, one of Bodnyk’s special areas of interest, artist instructor Pam Stern delights with her “Face Vase Soft Slab” workshop, offering up caricatures in clay that are embellished with her highly sought after underglaze painting style.
Bodnyk is one of the biggest proponents of the local art scene, filling her gallery with homegrown talent and helping to develop her artists’ careers by connecting them with galleries outside of Texas. It might be counterintuitive, but it makes the North Texas art scene richer when local artists are shown in other states and countries, which increases their notoriety and cachet.
An excellent example of this is L. Mark Hyde. “Mark is one of the most unique sculptors I’ve ever come across—his craftsmanship is unparalleled,” says Bodnyk. “His sculptures are new and fresh—something you’ve never seen before, and that’s hard to find in the art world. He is finishing up one called Rolling Sun II, a large golden disk with 23-karat gold leaf applied over his signature chipped carving that reflects the changing surface light as day passes into night. It is exquisite.” His first in this series was just shipped to a collector in Germany.
Bodnyk’s effusive support of her artists makes her the best sort of art dealer, and it drives her work in the gallery. “I’m all about making it possible for my artists to be successful. That’s the main vision for the gallery: to bring their wonderful work into the public eye so we can all enjoy it,” she says.
Bodnyk is not only a cheerleader, but also a matriarch in the North Texas art scene, having done art consulting and the “Brushes to Bronze” show for the city of Keller. She also developed a weekend pop-up gallery at the Gaylord Texan Resort.
After setting up shop in the historic south end of Main Street amongst the other working artists’ studios—a bronze foundry, a blacksmith’s shop, and highly acclaimed Vetro glassblowing studio—Bodnyk quickly gathered six fine art galleries located along Main Street and formed the Grapevine Art Dealers Association (GADA).
Four years ago, GADA started holding Gallery Nights semiannually in May and October. This is when Holder Dane typically rotates work in the gallery. Promising some exciting changes for next year, Bodnyk says: “We try to keep it fresh and keep people interested by offering a variety of art. We like to attract people who are passionate about art and artists.”
Next up, Holder Dane Gallery anticipates expanding to a larger location in Dallas, a sign of how successful Bodnyk has been in Grapevine.
“My artists are so prolific, we need more room,” she says. “They provide me with a vast amount of inventory, and I look forward to the search for new markets, both nationally and internationally.”
Alaena Hostetter is a Dallas-based journalist who writes about all of her favorite things: art, fashion, culture, music, entertainment and food.