An elementary school girl paints next to her father. A tattoo artist sits across from a senior citizen, both hard at work swiping, dragging and dotting their paintbrushes across their small canvas. An actress sits one table over from a talk radio host, one filling the canvas with a swirl of color, the other painting red eyes onto a black and white background.
Ms. Abell said 6x6 has attracted not only experienced artists, but artists who wouldn't otherwise put brush to canvas.
“This project has really encouraged a lot of artists. There have been some people who have been intimidated by the word 'gallery' and the juried art process,” she said. “We've had a lot of first-time artists who have participated in 6x6 and now want to participate in some other stuff.”
It's also garnered the attention of first-time buyers, as well.
“Conversely we've also had people who have never bought original art before in their lives who have said, 'I'm going to buy from that show.' So now we have an opportunity for them to support local artists and original artists. We'll raise money, sure, but it also helps us meet our mission while we fundraise,” Ms. Abell said.
Ms. Foxx said she was most impressed by the diversity of work that has poured in.
“I've had a blast looking at everything from kids' artwork to professional artists who all they do is paint all day. We've gotten three-dimensional artwork. We've had some canvases brought in where the artist put wax paper over them and they had hand-stitched over this wax paper that had been melted. It's been some very unusual, very creative things,” she said.
“People we've never seen in the gallery before, people from New York and California and as far away as Nepal (have submitted canvases),” Ms. Foxx said. “To see that in Tyler, Texas, is encouraging.”
Ms. Foxx said they will very likely bring the 6x6 Project back next year due to the overwhelming response.
“I can definitely see us doing this again next year. The response has been overwhelming and it's been positive, and for the first year of doing something like this, it's been amazing,” she said.
The exhibition of submitted canvases with “6x6@110” will begin Thursday at Gallery Main Street in downtown Tyler.
For more information, contact Gallery Main Street at 903-593-6905.