Art and history abound in Downtown Dallas for the Texas Sculpture Association’s 2010 Membership Show at the Aloft Dallas Downtown hotel. And for some Dallas history, the hotel is the former Santa Fe Terminal Building #4 built in the early 1920s. Trail Drive, by sculptor Robert Temple Summers II, looms over the hill at the same intersection. Created in 1983, the Texas Sculpture Association (TSA) provides sculptors a chance to learn more about their art and dedicates itself to the promotion of sculpture in Texas. Deana Hinchcliff, an artist and TSA Board Secretary, spoke with me about the upcoming event in the lobby of the hotel.
Tina Aguilar: Tell me about this location and how it came together.
Deana Hinchcliff: Stephen Potter, fellow TSA member and Board Treasurer, took a while to find this location. Key issues for this event were concerns for security and traffic. In the beginning, Stephen and I took suggestions and a list was created to figure out a place for this event. We were able to research and seek out what we needed. After much consideration of several places and a visit with Aloft management, things clicked. Through conversations with one of the hotel owners, Ajay Kothari, and Aloft General Manager Scooter Yates, we were able to secure the right fit. Stephen found a person in the community who wants to promote emerging artists and was generous enough to donate the space, help with catering the reception, and promote the development of art ideas. For many arts organizations, it is important to find the right fit – visually see if it’s a good choice, and who can meet your needs. Here at the Aloft Dallas Downtown, we have started a partnership. Our artists get more exposure, and the feel here is what adds value.
T.A: How did you come to the Texas Sculpture Association?
D.H.: I was drawn to it by another artist, [former TSA Board President] Nan Phillips. I had done some shows with her in the past. She was really enthusiastic about the organization, and I decided to join. Most artists are drawn to a group or event they know of or hear about. This organization has great history. As an artist, the more contacts you can make in the art industry or with vendors and other creators makes a difference. It helps sustain your work and inspires your understanding of the medium. Everybody has a different set of contacts, and knowing and finding the most ways to get your art out there is how we can survive.
T.A.: You have experience with other venues and ways of showing your art. How does this differ?
D.H.: Yes, I have participated in weekend-long events, where I drove an hour to two just to get there. The festival atmosphere was the biggest change for me as I thought about my art. I noticed the climate of buyers was lower in some of those places. You have to have people around you that want to help and believe in what they are doing. There is a desire to grow and want other creative people around who want to expand their knowledge and presence in the community. The Texas Sculpture Association is an atmosphere where you can develop.
T.A.: There are different mediums in this show: galvanized pipe, glass, metal arts, mixed-media, leather and paper. How many artists are there?
D.H.: We have about 56 artists from across the area and about 85 pieces of art. This member show has a range of studios represented … some folks have stand alone studios and can create in a larger space, and other artists have a kitchen table, where they don’t have much space or time. There is such a variety of work and a large group of artists who want to participate. All of us bring a lot to the mix, and there is a tremendous amount of inspiration to see other artists along with your own work. If all goes well, I hope it could become a long-term partnership.
T.A.: Where does the creative web stretch for this show?
D.H.: We have folks who have driven a few hours and longer to participate. There are artists represented from Dallas, Plano, Colleyville, Throckmorton, Farmers Branch, McKinney, Richardson, Gilmer, Bedford, Carrollton, Athens, Terrell, Ft. Worth, Winnsboro, Kyle, Midlothian, Tyler, Arlington, Pottsboro, Southlake, Allen, Grand Prairie, Center and Houston. We also drew in a lot of members with the Henderson Art Project, and a number of those folks are participating in this event. It makes it bigger and stronger. This means a better base and more diversity. I even met a new neighbor, who I did not know participated in [Henderson Art Project] and is now part of TSA because of it. If you participated in that project, you became a member with the Texas Sculpture Association. I am so pleased and excited for the new connections. This show will help generate a buzz for everyone involved and for other artists interested in sharing their work.
T.A.: What are some other events coming up?
D.H.: We have different events that we put on throughout the year. Next month, we will have “Collaborage,” to be held at the Eisemann Center, where groups of two or more will collaborate on a piece together. For some participants, each artist will do their own work and then pass it on to the next artist who will add to it. We may have another event in the fall, and we try to do about three to four a year. We hope to carry the momentum and see what can happen next.
The Texas Sculpture Association’s 2010 Membership Show runs through Aug. 27. An artist reception will be held Friday at the Aloft Dallas Downtown from 6-9 p.m.