2020 ushers in a new decade and marks the 40th Anniversary of Artspace111. The artists and staff of Artspace111 could not be more excited to prepare and present a year’s worth of shows celebrating this great milestone in the gallery’s history. It is fitting to start the year off with a studio history exhibition looking back to the creative foundational beginnings of the gallery. Artspace111 is proud to present Studio111: Collective Inspiration.
The exhibition will feature select artists who had studio space at Artspace111 since 1980, when it was known simply as Studio111. This distinguished group includes Daniel Blagg, Dennis Blagg, Doug Blagg, Woodrow Blagg, Cindi Holt, Nancy Lamb, Al Souza, Bill Haveron, Susan Harrington, John Hartley, Jim Malone, Carol Benson, Matt Clark, Leslie Lanzotti, Joachim Kersten, and Jo Ann Mulroy. Alongside current work by each artist, the show will dive into the artists’ archives of memorabilia, photography, and stories from the studio days at ArtspaceIII. A special one-night interactive installation will be available only during the opening reception.
Looking Back to the Beginnings of Artspace111 & An Interview with Art This Week
Over the past months, participating artists have been telling their stories of how they came to be at Artspace111. Then called Studio111, the space was established by twin brothers Daniel and Dennis Blagg in 1980 as artist studios. Ten years later, the studio was home to a group of artists and a small gallery space. The creative atmosphere within the brick walls of an old furniture warehouse continued to grow as more artists took up their practice in the studios at Artspace111. One short story by Cindi Holt describes the gallery’s growth from artist studios to the creative space we know today as Artspace111 with an anecdote from the first Spring Gallery Night.
“In the year 1989, Dennis Blagg invited me to have studio space in what is now known as Artspace111. Dan Blagg, Jim Malone, Susan Harrington, and Dennis were working there. After one year of painting, Malone said to me, “What are you going to do with all of these paintings?” Because I wasn’t showing with a gallery, I said, “Maybe I’ll hang them and invite all my friends to a party here.” Malone responded by saying that they’d never done anything like that and I’d better ask Dennis and Dan. When I asked, they both said “Sure!” All of us cleaned our studios, brought some appetizers and hung our art. One hundred and fifty of my friends came and we all sold a painting or two. When the next year rolled around, we all invited our friends and 300 people came and we all sold work. Five hundred people came the third year and 700 came the fourth year.” Studio111: Collective Inspiration shares more artists stories and artists’ keepsakes from the renegade studio party days.
The originators of the space, twin brothers Daniel and Dennis Blagg, sat down with Art This Week to talk about the very beginnings, including how Artspace111 almost became a boxing club, instead of the Fort Worth art destination it is today. You may watch the interview online or at Artspace111 during the exhibition starting February 20, 2020.