We find art everywhere, and we are lucky that so much of it is within a day's drive from the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex where we live. As a bonus, spring wildflowers have popped up alongside the highways, so we took a nice Sunday drive to explore the art and nature show around us.
Our first stop was Waxahachie, an approximately 30 minute drive down I-35. It's known as the "Gingerbread City" for its distinctive and prevalent Victorian architectural style. While we enjoyed seeing the charming and colorful homes around Downtown Waxahachie, we were there to stop in at the Webb Gallery a primarily folk and outsider art gallery and antique store that had long been on our radar.
The gallery's current exhibit, "Wayward Walking Songs" featured work by artists Aaron Michalovic of Michalovic Wood Art, Adam Young, and Michael Hall. Downstairs was spacious, and a narrow staircase led to a loft filled with more exhibition pieces alongside a jumble of kitsch and vintage ephemera.
Hall's work was abstract, gouache and acrylic, and provided a nice contrast to the more detailed pieces by Michalovic and Young.
Michalovic's work was impressive to see on both small and large-scale pieces. Deceptively simple, the artist's color choices and textile-inspired craftsmanship drew in the viewer and made for some really engaging, tactile work.
According to the exhibition press release, Michalovic uses an ancient "Mortise and Tenon" wooden architecture style and method.
From Wikipedia: " Woodworkers around the world have used it for thousands of years to join pieces of wood, mainly when the adjoining pieces connect at right angles. In its most basic form, a mortise and tenon joint is both simple and strong."
Louisiana woodworker Adam Young's work was the most narrative of the group, and each painting seemed to represent its own story in addition to being part of his exhibition selections' larger narrative arc. These are paintings that I wanted to spend time with, not only to analyze the story, meaning and artist's intent, but to catch all the details. Young incorporates words and phrases in nearly every piece, placing them all over the canvas so that the viewer's eye must travel to take it all in.
Young's work also had a Western frontier, homespun theme that I really enjoyed.
These artists are on view until April 28. Visit Webb Gallery's upcoming exhibition page to see what's next.
On a Sunday afternoon, our choices were a bit limited in exploring small-town Texas. Luckily, when we arrived in Corsicana, we found many architectural gems and colorful facades to see outdoors. These buildings and a mural caught our eye with their bright colors and details, and we are eager to return on a business day to see more of the town's creative offerings.
For this trip, we left Dallas and hit Waxahachie for lunch, then drove back roads to Corsicana, then back home. In total, the trip was around five hours, including lunch and several stops to take photos. It was a fun and educational day that didn't take a lot of planning , time or budget. It's always nice to discover interesting new things so close to home.