After Couple's Art Show Was Shut Down by Fire Marshal, Belmont Hotel Steps Up to Host Redo

Matthew Brinston and Marie Boone put together an exhibit of their paintings and sculptures last month, but the fire marshal shut it down almost immediately for lack of a proper certificate of occupancy.
Matthew Brinston and Marie Boone put together an exhibit of their paintings and sculptures last month, but the fire marshal shut it down almost immediately for lack of a proper certificate of occupancy.
Cary Fagan

“Oh my gosh, it has been so crazy! An emotional roller coaster for me,” says painter Matthew Brinston over the phone at 10 on Tuesday night.

Over the past whirlwind week, he’s been putting together a redo of his joint art show with his wife, Marie Boone, after their original show was canceled last month. Just hours before this phone call, the location for Thursday evening was picked: the Belmont Hotel in Oak Cliff.

Brinston and Boone’s first-ever show together was scheduled for April 14 at the 7,500-square-foot space they’re using free-of-charge in Expo Park, called Vacation Studios. But while it was supposed to be the perfect reception for the couple’s first joint art endeavor, their opening that night was anything but paradise. The clock struck 6 p.m., and guests started arriving. But 45 minutes into the reception, the fire marshal paid a visit to shut down the event.

“I had a massive body of work that was shown for 45 minutes [before] I was kicked in the balls by the fire marshal. That’s unacceptable,” says Brinston. “I cannot just not have an art show when I have so much to be seen. It would probably kill me to not do this.”

Brinston has been working for the past month with the city of Dallas and fire marshal’s office to get the right paperwork to hold the redo reception at Vacation Studios. Yet his efforts hit a dead end.

“Paying the money is impossible, and without waiting six weeks, it’s also impossible to get a place like this legal,” says Brinston.

That’s where a bit of luck and being well-connected came in handy. Brinston was introduced to the owner of the Belmont, Jordan Ford, at a show the hotel was hosting for Medicine Man last week.

“He knew about my art and loved it. He wanted to do something [together] in the future,” says Brinston. “I bet he didn’t expect me to call him the week after and say, ‘Can we do this in two days?’”

The urgency for the show couldn’t be avoided; the couple chose 

the date of the redo to coincide with their first wedding anniversary. (Technically, it’s the day after their anniversary but will still serve as their celebration.)

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“We’re making it our wedding reception that never happened,” he says, since they had an impromptu ceremony in Las Vegas with only a handful of family members present.

Once arriving at the hotel, guests will enter Room 59 inside the front entrance. From there, the show will lead viewers down a circuitous route of hallways and rooms filled with Brinston’s paintings and Boone’s sculptures. The walkthrough is open from 7 to 10 p.m. with an after-party at the hotel bar from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.

“I never imagined this coming together the way it did. I can’t explain to you enough how taken aback I am,” Brinston says, reflecting on his good fortune after a terrible end to the couple’s first attempt. “I was super torn up that night. I was definitely in the pits; so was Marie. We couldn’t believe it happened, but we knew it happened for a reason because it’s going to be better than it was before.“

Vacation Studios, 7-10 p.m. Thursday, May 25, The Belmont Hotel, 901 Fort Worth Ave., free. After-party to follow in the hotel bar from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.
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