When Goldesberry Gallery closed a few years ago, local jewelry artist Ruth Brenton felt a gap open up in the local arts scene. "They were around for many years, and were a great supporter and resource," Brenton recalled. "After the owners retired, no one stepped into that niche." As time passed, Brenton felt that it was time for a personal transition, and the idea to start her own gallery took hold. Hoping to step into the void left by Goldesberry's exit, Ruth created Incendium Gallery and kicked it off with a premier at this year's White Linen Nights, showing the work at WhiteSpace Houston, where "Local Flare" will also be held.
"We had a focused show on Jan Arthur Harrel's work. She's a great enamellist, and very well-known in that segment of the art world," said Brenton. "She's taught enameling at Glassell for many years. Her work showed beautifully in the space, and it's kind of full steam ahead now."
The two-day event opens with a reception on the evening of Friday, September 12. "We'll throw open the doors, pour the wine, and have the work out so people can see it," said Brenton, who added there will also be music, and the opportunity to meet the artists. Friday night's reception will be held between 6 and 8 p.m.
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On Saturday, the exhibit will be available for viewing between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., and interacting with the pieces is a must. "Touching and interacting with the pieces is so important in art, especially wearable art," said Brenton. "That's one of the great things about [working with] WhiteSpace. After the show I have offices available, so if someone saw a piece but didn't act on it, they can meet me here and we'll have a private place for them to have that personal experience." Pieces will be available for viewing online from September 14 through November 30.
The show features nine artists including Brenton, who says she's the least experienced of the group in terms of showing her work. Several of the artists are well-established names you may recognize, like Nathan Dube and Edward Lane McCartney. The show will also feature work from Sandie Zilker, who was named a Texas Master this year by the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.
Jewelry is so personal a statement, it seems only natural to curate a show with a Houston heartbeat. "I called the show "Local Flare" because we have such a wealth of talent, so much interesting and varied work being done in our hometown," explained Brenton. "I really wanted, for our coming out party, to show Houston what we have and what that spectrum looks like. All the work is very distinctive."