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Teresa Watson. YIPPEE!

Waxahachie’s Webb Gallery Hits The Groove With These Three Folk Artists


by Gila Espinoza 4 Jan 2021 6:00 AM

Julie and Bruce Webb keep adding to their collection of wonders to their Webb Gallery.  With their focus on folk art, outsider art from trained and untrained artists the gallery has developed quite the following over the last three decades.

Hit the Groove. Through Jan. 31. 209-211 West Franklin, Waxahachie. Details.

The couple was used to folks just walking into their  Waxahachie gallery any time they were open. But with COVID, they’ve shifted to appointments for in-person viewing and ramped up their online presentation of works and exhibitions. They’ve done a pretty good job of representing their works digitally and giving their website that funky vibe they have at the brick and mortar space but nothing beats seeing the works up close and personal.

Valton Tyler. Untitled ink on illustration board, 30 x 40″ 2002.

Limiting the number of guests has one advantage: co-owner Julie Webb said she really enjoys that she can take her time and really talk with visitors about each piece and the artist.

“Hit the Groove” is the current show at the gallery. Webb describes “Hit the Groove” as a transition exhibit, a kind of segue for their exhibition opening in February. This show features three gallery artists.

jewelry pin of a cat with "shut it" written on it

Margaret Sullivan. Shut it Pin. Hand Crafted Sterling Silver and Gold
1 X 1” 2020.

Artist Margaret Sullivan is a jeweler in New Mexico. Webb said she has a very folksy design way of working with silver and gold. You’ll see a lot of images of cats in her collection.

“She’s got lots of barn cats, so she’s inspired by right now with barn cats so it’s very animal-based. It’s a beautiful exhibit of pieces.”

red and yellow abstract figure

Rich Cali. Untitled 6. Gouache on Paper. 15” X 11”
2020.

Rich Cali now lives in Kingston, NY but the Webbs meet him when he lived in Austin. Webb said his paintings are somewhat figural, fractionalized figures on paper.

“During the quarantine, COVID times . . . and out of work a little bit, he said this was teaching himself to slow down and how to get out of his own way. And I love that, and I love these pieces.”

I'M GOING TO HAVE TO ASK YOU TO LEAVE SIR is written in yellow and pink painting

Teresa Watson. I’M GOING TO HAVE TO ASK YOU TO LEAVE SIR. Acrylic on Wood Panel
24” X 36”
2020.

Originally from Texas, Teresa Watson lives in Joshua Tree, CA. Like her sister to Esther Pearl Watson, her paintings are bright and quirky.

“It’s like she sits and watches television and everything goes in her head and scrambles up and then throws out on these paintings and they are hilarious and quaint and they just make me laugh and smile.” And you know right now is the time where we could all use a lot more of that.”

Although all three artists are different in their styles and approach, Webb still sees are similarities in their work.

Margaret Sullivan. WTF NOW, Hand Crafted Sterling Silver and Gold Pendant: 1.5” x 1”. Chain: 18” 2020.
Teresa Watson. PUNCH THE SYSTEM IN THE FACE, Acrylic on Wood Panel, 10” X 10” 2020.
Rich Cali. UNTITLED – 14, Gouache on Paper, 15” X 11” 2020.

“They are working within their vein trying to do something a little different – to keep themselves going and stay positive and keep their own humor going about life and in particular especially right at this time.”

“Hit the Groove” can be seen in person by appointment Saturday and Sunday from 12-5 p.m. and virtually through January 31.

Just in time for a Valentine’s-Day getaway, Webb Gallery’s next show will open the weekend of February 13 and 14.

Esther Pearl Watson. Comfort Tree. Graphite on box. 2020.

Esther Pearl Watson returns with new works. Also showing will be earlier works from Powell St. John.

St. John has been around a long time and is probably best known as a singer, songwriter, and musician more than an artist. The Texan wrote “Bye, Bye Baby” for Janis Joplin and many songs for the 13th Floor Elevators rock band. Webb said St. John is 80 now and they will be showing pieces he did in the ’60s and ’70s.

Powell St. John. Alien Landscape.

“[They’re] very dreamlike psychedelic and it’s definitely art from the mind. They’re beautiful little paintings and they’re on a small scale because he did them as he traveled, you know, as a musician and songwriter.

“So we’re really excited about all the things we’re showing now and into the next year, which is a great way to start 2021.”

Got a tip? Email Gila Espinoza at [email protected]. You can follow her on Twitter @espinoza_kera.

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