Bill and Pam Campbell get a little misty when they talk about their upcoming 30th anniversary in business, the artists they've loved and lost at William Campbell Contemporary Art and the new talents they've nurtured to become nationally recognized art stars. And they're planning a big party to celebrate. "This exhibition will be an overview of our artists and a celebration of the fact that we are all still doing what we started out doing, however many years ago," Bill Campbell says. Some of the artists on the roster of 45 whose new works will be revealed for the party have been represented by him for 20 years.
Indulge me in a personal moment, will ya? I've written about Dallas/Fort Worth/Denton art for seven years now, and I find myself a little teary, too, as I read these names. I've interviewed and looked at art with nearly every one of these people. I liked some but didn't like their art. I liked some art but hated the artist's reluctance to talk. I saw some of their work when it was very new, and now their names--Steven Price, Val Hunnicutt, Jake Gilson, Carol Benson, Pat Kelly--are commonly known and respected in art circles. I love J.T. Grant's breathtaking--his art really deserves this word--paintings, and it tickles me to remember when he tried to teach me to paint on Saturday afternoons at the Modern Art Museum. I tear up seeing Tre Arenz's name. She was easy to know, easy to interview, and she died suddenly, too young and for no good reason, three years ago. Campbell represents her estate and will show some of her quirky mixed media sculpture in the anniversary exhibition.
This party will be too cool for many tears, I think, but you'll have a memory or two over the long career of Bill and Pam Campbell. A dedicated duo, they've earmarked part of any art sold in this show to benefit the Emergency Artists Support League (EASL). Take a hankie and stop by to see spectacular art, meet some unusual artists, including crowd-pleaser Bob Daddy-o Wade, slap the Campbells on the back and remember Tre. Wish them all many more years.
William Campbell Contemporary Art celebrates 30 years with a reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. October 30 at 4935 Byers off Camp Bowie Boulevard in west Fort Worth. Call 817-737-9566 or visit www.williamcampbellcontemporaryart.com.
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