Your Show of Shows

Dallas-Fort Worth galleries have the goods to gift your artsy friends

Dallas-Fort Worth galleries have the goods to gift your artsy friends

The Public Trust
Holiday Mystery Box from Public Trust makes a great gift. Photo courtesy of the Public Trust
Carol Benson
Carol Benson, Parts of a Bird II, 2015, at William Campbell Contemporary Art, Fort Worth. Courtesy of William Campbell Contemporary Art, Inc.
Sydney Williams
Sydney Williams, Untitled (I), 2016, at Cydonia. Photo courtesy of the artist and Cydonia
Ollie Gee
Ollie Gee's Laundering Money For Dummies, at "Ro2ooth Gift Grab!" at Ro2 Art gallery. Courtesy of Ro2 Art
The Public Trust
Carol Benson
Sydney Williams
Ollie Gee

Intimate, personal, and completely unique, art is the ideal gift for the person who has everything. Luckily, Dallas gallerists make it easy to find present-able solutions for every taste and budget.

The Public Trust owner Brian Gibb is offering the penultimate art and design aficionado gift in the form of the “Mystery Box,” a collection of an artist T-shirt; an editioned screenprint; one small original work; plus an assortment of zines, books, and other treasures — like collectible issues of his magazine Art Prostitute. Each box is completely unique and curated from Gibb’s gallery’s inventory, along with some personal favorites.

Although Erin Cluley is taking a break from her annual Mercado pop-up (it’ll return in 2017 bigger and better than ever), she is offering a curated collection from her gallery stable, including screenprints by Zeke Williams, Rob Wilson, and Faile, and original works by Rachel Livedalen.

And, finally, Frank Campagna’s Kettle Art Gallery is showing its annual “Holiday Presence" exhibition of small canvases and artisan-crafted gifts, all priced under $200. Open through December 24, it’s an ideal stop for last-minute shoppers.

If your artistically inclined friends prefer experiences to possessions, these must-see gallery exhibitions also make the season bright — from a talented Dallas-Fort Worth partnership, thought-provoking sculpture, and naturally inspired works from a seasoned talent.

“Outside/In,” Carol Benson at William Campbell Contemporary Art, Fort Worth
Opening reception: December 8, 6-8 pm
​Exhibition dates: December 8-January 8

Fort Worth has an intimate but healthy gallery scene, one anchored by the city’s oldest existing contemporary gallery, William Campbell. Founded in 1974, the space’s owners spearhead the Fort Worth Art Dealer Association’s biannual gallery night each fall and spring, but their holiday show also merits a trip west.

Exploring the natural world in both two dimensions and three, local artist Carol Benson’s layered paintings and wire sculpture became “less defined and more of an idea,” as she melds shapes and colors. Eschewing realism for a more emotionally resonant approach, her pieces nonetheless have the same soothing effect one would receive when gazing at their real-life inspirations.  

“There is such surprising beauty in nature; the colors, shapes, textures, and compositions never ceases to amaze me,” muses the artist. “ The rejuvenation, energy, movement, and adaptability of the natural world are reassuring.

“Perhaps the viewer will connect with my ideas, or they may see the work in a completely different way.” 

Sydney Williams at Cydonia Gallery
Opening reception:
December 10, 6-8 pm
Exhibition dates: December 10-30

Cydonia Gallery is closing out a year of all female artists with the first solo exhibition from ceramicist and sculptor Sydney Williams, who also hails from Fort Worth. Her concrete sculptures may have their foundation in the vocabulary of pottery (the “neck,” the “belly,” the “feet,” etc.) but instead of becoming specific, their meanings remain oblique, with a subtle reference to children’s toys. 

“Sydney is not interested in the 'crafts' designation that ceramics has historically held,” says gallery director Hanh Ho. “She was drawn to ceramics because she learns most naturally through her sense of touch. Instead of understanding the world primarily though virtual or technological advances, she values what is most innate to her: working and learning with her hands.”

The 12 substantial works spill from the inside to the outside of the gallery, referencing Donald Judd and Claes Oldenburg with a specific Texan, female perspective.   

“Ro2ooth Gift Grab,” various artists at Ro2 Art 
Opening reception:
December 23, 7-10 pm
​Exhibition dates: December 17-31

When Dallas and Fort Worth get together, the result could never be anything less than eye-popping. Drawing on the talent of the latter city’s curatorial collective Art Tooth, Ro2 Art is presenting Ro2ooth Gift Grab, a gift-driven show that pairs the best of the gallery’s stable with pieces from the six-month-old group of art entrepreneurs. The exhibit’s roster includes sculpture, photography, painting, and prints from 57 participating artists.

Says gallery co-owner Jordan Roth, “It’s Dallas-Fort Worth’s most talked about talent combined with emerging artists. It’s going to be rock solid. We’re thrilled for the opportunity to bring the two cities together to celebrate North Texas art for the holidays.”