Owners Missy and Burt Finger are listening to Christmas music while relocating in lieu of having Christmas this year. Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery is leaving Dragon Street to go be near the Dallas Contemporary on Glass Street.
“I’m not having Christmas, I’m moving,” says Missy Finger. “I have to listen to the music to get into the spirit of things because it’s kind of crazy around here.”
After spending nine years on Dragon, PDNB has been plotting the move for the past six months. With construction on the space being completed, the opening date for the new location has yet to be determined.
She remembers moving to Dragon from the original location — which is now an apartment complex — they opened in 1995: “It seemed to be the location at the time. There were a few galleries that had moved out here already and the spaces were large. The rent was very reasonable.” But now there is movement to the other side of Riverfront Boulevard for the same reason.
The way Finger sees it, this is a natural process of galleries migrating to new parts of cities and enriching communities: “Galleries move into an area that’s not gentrified or anything and the rents are a little lower,” Finger says. “There are a lot of positive things galleries bring into a neighborhood. They make it more prestigious, the rents go up, there’s development. This has happened in many different cities.”
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Finger laments leaving a place that was designed almost from scratch by architect Thomas Krahenbühl. “It’s something we started from the ground up, so it’s kind of sad,” she says. “But we’re very flexible. It’s inevitable. The neighborhood changes, you move on. That’s the way it is.”
At 4,000 square feet, the new location is a little bit larger but mostly developed. Krahenbühl has been brought back for the additions needed. The space has two large galleries on two levels, with natural light coming in through several skylights. Finger is excited at the possibilities for a gallery with an entirely different design.
“We’ve been around for 20 years and we’re looking forward to a new chapter in the gallery,” Finger says. She considers the development downtown, the changes to the gallery and museum scenes, and the evolution of the Design District since 1995. “It’s been exciting being in the art world for the last two decades in Dallas and I see a brighter future,” she says.
But she absolutely doesn’t want to move books. Starting Saturday, there will be hundreds of photography books on sale and they are ready to slash prices. The last day for the current PDNB location will be December 30, the closing reception for the current Ghostland exhibition by Keith Carter.