Tucked away in Oak Cliff, nestled in between automotive shops, iron and metal warehouses and a tow yard, is an aboslutely divine little gallery. The directors at Haley-Henman Gallery are pioneers. They’ve taken the usual artist/collector Q&A to a warm’n’fuzzy, comfortable, intimate place. Last weekend, they invited Art&Seek to join in on their ongoing series, “Artist Conversations.”
The guest artist for the evening was Sussan Afrasiabian, a true Iranian beauty, very similar to the women she paints– graceful, petite, strong and beautiful. Sussan is both a painter and a sculptor, taking much of her inspiration from her work with runaway girls.
I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I arrived at the Haley-Henman Gallery on Saturday evening. However, I felt welcome the moment I entered the door. Co-director John Marccuci was quick to welcome me (and all of his guests) with warmth and enthusiasm. There was a table laden with delicous treats such as fresh fruit, cheeses, greek olives and more, which is where the 20+ guests gathered around to chat with Sussan Afrasiabian.
Mr. Marcucci encourages his guests to engage in conversation with the artists, rather than just the standard Q&A. It was fascinating, and indeed engaging. By the end of the hour, I had a whole new sense of the paintings and sculptures. Listening to each guest relate to the way the artwork made them feel and think, led you down their path, seeing and feeling things you may not have, otherwise. Plus, it was exciting to hear from the artist on such a personal and intimate level.
Here’s what they have to say:
Haley-Henman supports the dialogue between artists and collectors. We do this by casual conversations around a table or seating area. We encourage the participation of each individual as equally important in the experience of art. We celebrate the presenting artists and enjoy sharing the context of their experiences. These conversations are moderated as a dialogue, in the sense of a flow of ideas and comments, not as a one-sided lecture, nor as a critique. The point of these dialogues is to gain a better understanding of the art, an appreciation of the individual’s creative process, and a broader acknowledgment of art being part of our cultural environment.
Participation in these conversations is complimentary, but requires a reservation. Conversations are open to the public and gallery patrons however they are limited to twenty-four participants. Usually, the conversation will begin a half hour from the starting time and end a half hour to finishing time, thus the conversation time lasts approximately one hour.
We appreciate participants arriving promptly for the conversation because everyone’s contribution is important to the dialogue.
The “Conversations” continues tonight at 7 p.m., with two other artists featured on The Naturalists exhibit, Shari Hornish and Brenda McKinney. This is a wonderful series, one in which everyone should experience at least once.
Music in the above video provided by MOM aka Sleep Whale.