Out of the fire sale

The grande dame of Dallas commercial gallery owners, Edith Baker, took exception to her year-end holiday exhibition's being lumped together with Angstrom Gallery's "fire sale" in the January 6 Blink. Her Masquerade show, featuring works that were smaller than typical Baker fare by 50 gallery artists (making it a way-more-than-typical Baker show), certainly seemed like a similar year-end closeout effort common to most, if not all, commercial galleries. Turns out, not so.

Baker said Masquerade artists began calling her to complain and asked her point-blank whether she'd reduced the prices of their art. "We created Masquerade as a theme show," Baker says, "and the prices are the same now as they were at the beginning of the exhibition." Baker says the Blink mention didn't generate any more gallery-going Christmas shoppers, just irate artists. (Hey, that's not news.) Masquerade continues through January 31, with works priced as high as $6,000. Which could be a bargain, depending on your wallet's point of view.

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Baker may have been particularly sensitive to handling her artists since she had to do it all by herself. She recently lost right-hand assistant Cidnee Patrick, who left the gallery to take a new job as program coordinator at the Arlington Museum of Art. Patrick's not the only new staffer at the AMA: Director Joan Davidow received the board's OK to add a new position or two to her staff and to start paying at least one loyal volunteer. Dallas artist Keitha Lowrance, who has volunteered for a couple of years to support the museum's educational programming, now has an official gig as education coordinator.

Artist Monte Martin, who recently moved to Dallas from Iowa, is serving part time as AMA museum manager, in addition to making art. Davidow also hired the museum's first development officer, Lisa Mosier, who formerly worked for Fort Worth-based Pier 1 in its corporate marketing department. Mosier's excited about the change and says she is working to build support "in making this museum the jewel in the crown of Arlington." Another priority is securing a steady revenue stream for the AMA, building on the museum's existing community support. "The groundwork has been laid," she says, "and we're seeing positive results."

Annabelle Massey Helber

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