Striking A Nerv: This New Gallery Is On A Mission

"It reminds me of Bauhaus," gushed Natalie Vaughn while scampering around the newly created Nerv Gallery in preparation for Friday and Saturday night's grand opening. She's talking about the space's ability to unite varying artistic styles when referencing the famous German institution, which has been the cornerstone of this project since its inception.

Tonight and tomorrow, Dallas' artistically curious will get a chance to see what all the fuss is about as Nerv Gallery and Studios opens its doors for its launch show, Humano.

Vaughn hasn't always been a gallery headmaster; she moved to Dallas from New Orleans in 2008 after finishing school. She got a little homesick. "I found it was difficult to find the art scenes" said Vaughn, who had grown accustomed to New Orleans' abundant community of creatives. So, she gave herself an assignment: Find those people here who are also a bit displaced and bring them together under one roof, assist them with access to supplies and provide an environment where they can work creatively and collaboratively. It wasn't until she met her now business partner Mary Mecca that it became much more than a wistful dream. Together they hope to bridge the gap between up and coming artists and polished, more established institutions.

Mecca (a metalsmith artist) also wanted to start up a studio space, but needed help determining which artists to include. Vaughn knew a bunch of artists but needed a venue. The rest is history: "We left our jobs and went on this mission together," Vaughn said.

Soon the pair found a globally conscious pack of artists, "Many of them were concerned with or already working around the Juarez issue," Vaughn said, referencing the atrocities that accompany the region's cartel presence and its political involvement with the U.S. "We decided to make the theme of our first show 'The Human Condition' and base it around how each artist views the world around him or herself."

There will be visual and musical "surprises" throughout the studio space, but Vaughn predicts one of the night's biggest curiosities might just be the venue itself. "It's made out of 100 percent recycled items," said Vaughn, who's been laboring with her partner and artist friends in the effort. Together they've scavenged items for walls and interior niceties, built them up and created a vast, twisting space where Vaughn says "Visitors often get lost."

Join them this evening in their opening endeavor. There will be music by Denton's Birds of Night, media ranging from jewelry to 2D visual and loads of tah-dah moments that Vaughn refused to reveal in interview. "I want people to be surprised!" she gushed. The event is scheduled from 7 to 11 p.m. on Friday, May 11, and Saturday, May 12 at Nerv Studios (4819 Woodall St.). There is no cover and all are invited.

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