Third Thursday Gallery Night
It's such a joy to see the surge of activity, commerce and life that's happening in our lovely little downtown. There's so much going on we have to cover it by category. Let's start with the new galleries.
218 Studioworks, Dahlia Woods Gallery and Rio Claro Studio all popped up within the past year and have quickly become downtown hot spots. Each owner has manifested successful business featuring a range of local and regional artists. They've also each managed to create inviting spaces that are establishing themselves as wonderful, community-oriented venues.
Not content with all that, they have teamed up to initiate monthly Third Thursday Gallery Nights. I stopped by Rio Claro first to find owners Gigi Mederos and Stevie Black playing host to a packed crowd checking out Earlene Graham's newest art dolls, Castle Wynd's lovely fused glass pendants as well many of their own hand crafted items and artwork. Gigi and Stevie moved to town after years of living and running a gallery in coastal Massachusetts. They reportedly checked out several central Texas locations, but knew immediately upon their first visit to San Marcos. Texas (SMTX) that this was the spot. Their naturally inviting and gregarious natures have made them Hopkins Street hubs of creativity, connection and general good cheer. After enjoying a bit of that, some mingling, a little nip of neighbor-made apple wine and some amazing smoked gouda pimento cheese dip, it was on to 218 Studioworks.
Image courtesy of 218 Studioworks
Owner Kevin Huffaker has also created a working studio/gallery. The studio is open as a photo and film rental space and the gallery has already featured a range of work. During June's Gallery Night event Buddy Pajak had a solo show and was live painting in the gallery for the Third Thursday event. It's really fascinating to watch an artist work and hear a bit about the thought behind the image and techniques. Personally, I hope Kevin is able to convince other artist do this in the future. It's an approach that really grabbed people's attention and got them asking interesting questions.
My final stop for the evening was Dahlia Woods Gallery, in the heart of downtown on LBJ. Dahlia and her husband moved to town after a long stint of gallery ownership in Dallas and then a shorter one in Key West. Her current space has a classic, white walled gallery feel with a nod to a bit of creative DIY that folks in San Marcos can really appreciate. The space is large, but feels warm and inviting. Dahlia's walls are filled with everything from paintings to clay sculpture to found object assemblage by neighbors as well as artists she has worked with in other locations. It's a nice mix of styles, materials and approaches. June's show featured lovely new collage and scratchboard work from Linda Sheets. Tracy Weinberg provided the musical backdrop for the evening and the place was hopping.
If you haven't yet made it out to these spaces, now is a great time. Each gallery offers a range of art and artful wares to fit every taste and budget. After a short summer hiatus, Third Thursdays are back in session starting September 15th from 6 - 9pm, so be sure to mark your calendars. Third Thursdays are a fabulous way to see new art, taste some creatively delicious refreshments, hear some live music and connect with a little slice of what San Marvelous has to offer.
PS: Be sure to like the Arts-San Marcos Facebook page to get reminders about a wide range of creative happenings in SMTX.
Christine is a graphic designer by training, but has spent the last dozen years as adaptive reuse making jewelry out of upcycled tins. She regularly blogged about the process as well as other art and material things she found interesting. Her move to San Marcos sparked a deep curiosity about her new home, so lately her free time has been focused on getting to to know the people and places that make it so San Marvelous.