Gallery Main Street Curator Ashley Foxx saw countless hours and talents finally come to fruition Thursday evening with the unveiling of the first, though not last, grassroots exhibit put on by the city.
“It's amazing to stand back and see all the canvasses,” Ms. Foxx said minutes before opening the doors to the public.
Prominent East Texas artists such as Dana Adams, A.C. Gentry and Tom Stringfellow, who donated pieces to be auctioned, worked alongside amateurs and rising stars in the city's art community to assemble the 508-piece exhibit.
While the exhibit also served as a fundraiser for the gallery, bringing artists and doodlers together was a key element of the show.
For Terry Miller, of “Good Morning with Terry Miller,” he said just the chance to make pieces of art for the exhibit, alongside those prominent names, was an unforgettable experience.
“They made it fun,” he said of the public workshop where the art was made. “It wasn't intimidating.”
“People that have been too intimidated by our jury process have been encouraged by this,” she said of the exhibit.
In the end, she said she hopes the exhibit and workshop accomplished two goals: encouraging people to be interested in buying original handmade art and appreciating the process by which it's made. Both are goals, she said she feels it's achieved.
Ms. Foxx said the exhibit is something that's opened even her eyes to the depth of Tyler's art community, which is something she wants gallery visitors to take away from the exhibit.
“It's a unifying experience for the community to see how much art there really is in their backyard,” she said. “It's something that brings people joy.”