In the course of Cordelia Bailey's life, she has been many things—a waitress, a teacher, a PhD graduate, an author of books and articles, and even Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. Woven throughout, regardless of what she was doing to earn a living, there has been one consistent -her photography.
In 1963, Bailey was introduced to the art world through theater, at the age of 14. Her experiences with the Dallas Theater Center, taught her how to truly understand how an audience member visualizes a scene. This careful manipulation of space and and composition is evident in the photography of Bailey. Her ability to entice a viewer to want more and question what they are looking at puts Bailey in a unique category. A category that is a hybridization of both traditional photography practices, and a cutting edge approach to enhancing her images digitally, leaving the viewer wondering whether these are real or contrived images. This mystery and curiosity are the cornerstone of Bailey's works.
Bailey's photographic artwork falls into three categories. The first is traditional and reflects reality with minimal editing and darkroom changes. Second are fanciful images, designed to spark emotion or humor. Third are imaginative collages, utilizing digital enhancement and composed from photographs. These images have texture, ghostly imagery, and soft impressions, that makes you both desire to touch them and afraid at what you might feel.
Bailey's works have received numerous awards and have been exhibited in galleries in Dallas/Fort Worth, Minneapolis, Paducah, Portland, Seattle, Middleburg, and Lihue. Her works are in a number of private collections.
Her first book has recently been published and has an essay written by Andrea Karnes, Curator of the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth.
Lauren Childs began studying classical figure drawing by the age of twelve. She attended both Northwestern University, studying Theatre Arts, and The University of Texas at Arlington, receiving her B.A. in Art History, where she met and studied under artist and Gallery Director, Benito Huerta.
In 2002, she co-founded her first arts organization, The United Voice Collective. They produced multi-faceted pop up events for two years in the DFW area. In 2004, she shifted her career and had an acclaimed run as an instructor and owner of a high-end specialty finishing company. During this time she studied under many European Painting Masters around the country and in Fort Worth. Her work with the father-son artist team Grigor and Laert Aleksi allowed her to hone her technical skills as a painter.
A decade later, Childs shifted back to her early goals, albeit matured. She co-founded Fort Works Art, which began as an event based pop up organization. Within two years, the corporation grew and has now opened its’ first permanent gallery space in the Cultural District in Fort Worth.
Childs now spends the majority of her day in the gallery, her home studio or working with and exhibiting the many talented artists that continue to inspire her. She is an award-winning artist whose work has been published and shown throughout Texas and New York.
Childs' work explores a multitude of imagery. However diverse the imagery, several things remain consistent in her work. She pushes the boundaries of color and texture, and her application of the paint borders on the sculptural. Childs' work is both confrontational and skillfully executed. She explores haunting issues of the human condition in a non-agressive, vibrant and captivating style. While her work has a visually pleasant immediate aesthetic, upon closer introspection layers begin to unravel, and deeper more insightful viewpoints begin to present themselves.
The art of Marshall Harris is best described as autobiographic. Most of his works are larger than life, just like the artist, and each is infused with an obsessive attention to detail, technique, quantity and quality. Harris’s skill set is vast. He is an innovator, a spiritual and rich thinker, and most compelling of all, he makes things. All kinds of things. From his hyperrealistic drawings that are complex and detailed, conjured up with graphite on Mylar, to the completely vacant and quiet emptiness of his Stripped Naked and Numbered sculpture series, Harris’s work proves to be black, white and everything between.
Harris's drawings, at times, span beyond one hundred inches in width and present the most photographically impossible details. He offers works he has tediously drawn and colorized in the negative format, only to then digitize them, in order to reverse the negative to create a new positive image. And if his technical ability were not enough, he has content — truly deep, thought-provoking content. He is not afraid to be confrontational. He is not afraid to make a statement. He is not afraid to stand for something. But even in this confrontation, a softness still emerges.
Marshall Harris is an artist who looks closely at things for all of us. An artist who reminds us that we are often not looking at things at all. It is this reminder that carries the impact and the weight in Harris’s work. Regardless of subject matter, he invites and challenges you to see both what he sees and what you see for yourself. Harris's work is a reminder to stop, to breathe, to pay attention, and to notice the details right in front of you.
Born in Texas, Harris received his B.F.A from TCU in 1979 and his M.F.A in sculpture from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA in 2010. Following a career in the National Football League from 1980-86, Harris turned his attentions towards creative vocations including Museum Curator, Graphic Designer and Exhibit Designer for zoos and aquaria and finally fine artist in 2006. His work has been exhibited nationally and is held in corporate and private collections. Harris was the recipient of the 2013 Hunting Art Prize.
Hunting Prize finalist and figurative painter Riley Holloway, currently works out of Dallas, TX. Born in Los Angeles, Holloway relocated to Arlington at a young age. Growing up, he developed an early interest in art, learning from his mother, who is an artist herself. He attended The Art Institute of Dallas and the Florence Academy of Art, after which he was awarded an artist residency at The Fairmont Hotel in Dallas.
Following this residency, Holloway had his first solo exhibition at The Gallery located in the Fairmont in 2013. This body of work was based on the individuals he encountered during his residency and felt compelled to paint. Entitled “SHOOK!!!”, these ideas became more of a philosophy for Holloway than just a body of work. He began to see the importance in life of taking emotional experiences, often times difficult, and repurposing them so to speak. The idea for him was to create something useful, something beautiful and something SHOOK!!!
In 2014, Holloway joined forces with Fort Works Art and has been a featured artist in all of their exhibitions to date. Consistently creating new work during this time, Holloway has compiled a staggering body of material within the last two years.
Holloway is best known for his dynamic work and fresh look at figurative art. His images are often accompanied by text and other personal references embedded within the work. Holloway uses a bold painterly technique to create depth within the portraits. There is a softness he translates accompanied with his wild markings. This is seen with his utilization of charcoal and hand drawing, in conjunction with his ability to control and manipulate oils in a traditional process. There is also a wonderful counterbalance of roughness and masculinity seen in the works. This is accomplished with his utilization of the “unfinished” aspects of the image and the rawness and utilitarian nature of many of the panels, gessos and nails he works upon.
Holloway’s aesthetics create familiar spaces that are rich in storytelling, free from constraints, and true to his subjects. Holloway’s technique is undeniable and his content is rich in both drama, history and intimacy.
Made in America
On the Corner
Jackie (My Mother)
Uncle Babe (Don't Sweat the Small Stuff)
Jay Wilkinson became interested in art at a young age when a childhood dyslexia made reading difficult. So to bridge the divide he began examining images within the books he spent time with. This lead to extensive drawing from National Geographic, Audubahn, and comic books. The images he created moved from examination to creation; to simply recreate them was not enough anymore.
Wilkinson attended Pratt Institute in New York and upon returning to Texas, he began creating large scale installations and experiences within the local underground art and music scene. This lead to the founding and inaugural installation show of Bobby On Drums in 2015. Since then Wilkinson has co-founded The Art Tooth Gallery Project, been awarded the first Art South Residency and painted in The Bass Performance Hall, Casa Manana Theatre and The Kimbell Art Museum.
Wilkinson's work is an exploration of the assemblage of the human condition. He uses portraiture to construct expressive views of soft and emotional human characters. They have deeply rich classical truth to them, almost as if they were convoluted literary figures captured in a point of shift. He portrays this small narrative by twisting, pulling, adding or removing from the image to create implied lies between what you expect them to be and what they truly are. This is overtly true of his painting works and neatly hidden into his sculpture and larger installations which seem to push past the normal limits of what he is as an artist.
Ben Willis is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and studied art at Ohio's Miami University. He moved to Arizona in 2010 to pursue his master's in fine art, which he completed in 2013. Since then he has adapted to working full time at the Phoenix Art Museum and managing a studio practice in Tempe, Arizona.
Willis was largely interested in oil painting throughout graduate school, where he created a series or portraits that identified the community of artists who shaped his experience during his M.F.A. program. He then grew tired of trying to render form and wanted to explore more of what he had learned about color, relationships, layering, composition and texture.
The pattern paintings he makes now derive from concepts of optical art. In contrast his use of materials has allowed him to go beyond creating a visual depth, adding a third dimension of suspending paint, iridescent pigment and glitter in many layers of resin. Willis says, "My patterns do not just end in paint. Their repetitive nature has provided a fluid outlet for collage, digital, mixed media and installation in my work."