Reception with the Artists: Saturday, September 3, 2022, from 6 to 8 PM, featuring live music by Dallas songwriter Stephen Houpt. These events are free and open to the public.
The new exhibition at the Bath House Cultural Center, Twin Blessings, features paintings and mixed media art by Texas artists Nancy Ferro and Billy Hassell.
Although at first glance the connections between the works produced by Nancy Ferro and Billy Hassell may not immediately be evident, the attentive viewer soon notices the correlations and parallels that begin to emerge after careful observation and interpretation of the visual language and themes that are prevalent in their pieces.
Nancy creates works of art that emphasize the textural and sculptural aspects of her materials. She builds up layers of paper, found objects, paint, drawings, and beeswax to construct her mixed media works. Although her subject matter is varied, in recent years the artist has created artwork that reflects her concern for the lack of preservation in the older parts of Dallas. In some of her pieces, she uses discarded materials from old homes with the hope that her work will spark meaningful conversations about the importance of preserving historical structures rather than destroying and replacing them with something new. In addition to her interest in honoring and protecting our living spaces, Nancy is also convinced, upon reflecting on the many disagreements that often separate our society these days, that we must work together if we want to go forward. Many of Nancy’s art pieces reflect that conviction.
Billy’s attraction to nature began when he was a child. The artist was captivated by nature, and he thought that he could explore that interest more deeply if he were to pursue a degree in biology or herpetology. In the end, he opted for a career in the arts that was just as rewarding and fruitful at observing, studying, and depicting the beauty and intricacy of our flora and fauna. Billy’s beautifully expressive artworks portray birds and indigenous plants and animals. In these works, the artist represents nature as a lively and animated scene by recreating the colors, patterns, complex structures, and interaction of his subjects—reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds, and other creatures— with their enchanting surroundings. Billy’s artwork has been exhibited in museums and galleries nationwide and are included in several permanent collections.
Nancy and Billy are cousins who were born to twin parents. But that family relationship is not the only thing that binds the artists together. They both agree that they share similar interests that are present in their work. The artists have been recognized and celebrated in their field and both are dedicated to making art that highlights the grace and relevance of the places where all living creatures coexist with each other. The art practice of the two cousins is, in many ways, a form of nature conservation through the arts that motivate us to view the world and nature with admiration and respect.