Lest you think that Deep Ellum will only be about brewpubs and barbecue joints, the neighborhood will be home to a new art gallery dedicated to new and emerging artists. The Rachel Nash Gallery will occupy the space at 2646 Main St., adjacent to Life of Riley. The grand opening is set for February 8.
Founder Rachel Nash is a local artist who wants to make art more accessible and helpful, whether by using it as a therapy device or by cultivating new artists. She gained experience in the art therapy world at the Art Station, a nonprofit clinic in Fort Worth that combined art with counseling.
"Deep Ellum is a good fit for a gallery focused on emerging artists," says founder Rachel Nash.
A graduate of SMU, she has a master's degree in art therapy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Nash is a licensed counselor and registered art therapist.
With an eye toward continuing that kind of work, her gallery will have an art therapy studio in the back. She describes her space next door to Life of Riley as "industrial but clean." It incorporates original features, including one exposed brick wall, with cool rolling movable walls that connect together to become an instant display.
For gallery shows, she'll lean toward new artists.
"The gallery is going to be more of an emerging artist space," she says. "I'm hoping to spotlight new and emerging artists — and new collectors too. That's part of why Deep Ellum makes more sense than the Design District. I'm not going after mid-level or more established artists. Deep Ellum is a good fit for a gallery focused on emerging artists."
For her opening, she'll exhibit a series of her own abstract paintings, but she's already recruiting painters, sculptors and photographers for future shows that capture the neighborhood's youthful and underground spirit.
"There's so much energy in Deep Ellum right now," she says. "It's exciting, and that's contagious."