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Busy Bees

By guruscottyJune 27, 2019No Comments

By Babs Rodriguez
Photos by Ralph Lauer

A family’s good eye for art gives them the best sort of hang-ups.

t’s a family affair. The sunlit and art-filled space that quietly opened a block off Vickery Boulevard in Fort Worth last November is the second
Bee Street Gallery incarnation for mother Delaney Campbell and daughters Ann Catherine Easterling and Delaney Masterson. Both sisters now live in Cowtown but grew up in Dallas, where Easterling fired up the original stand-alone art gallery with her mom soon after graduating from Ole Miss with a fine arts degree. Campbell had been curating art for annual pop-up sales in Dallas for years; her established relationships with interior designers merged with Easterling’s post-graduation experience to launch the Big D brick-and-mortar in 2015 (there is a Midland collaboration in a retail spot there).

“After college I managed a gallery in Charleston, South Carolina,” Easterling says. “I found there were many talented Southeastern artists, both emerging and established, who were not represented in Texas.” She determined to sell their works as well as develop more relationships with local artists when she and her mother opened Bee Street Gallery near Love Field (the name alludes to one of the oldest streets in Charleston as well as a family name).

The lively comic book-inspired works are by Dallas artist Ruben Nieto. The posing woman and koi paintings are oil on tar paper by Carylon Killebrew of Chattanooga.

Monotypes by Rosemary Goodell of Baton Rouge hang above NOLA painter Marianne Angeli Rodriguez’s watercolors influenced by her time in West Africa.

The mission to show work by a broad range of contemporary artists in all media remains the same at the new gallery. Fort Worth was the home of choice for the sisters’ growing families. And three nearby businesses — LOCAL, Brooke Wright and Beckley design studios — convinced Easterling that the cinderblock building was the right location. A remodel blew open the former office duplex by removing much of an interior wall, raising the ceiling and adding a long stretch of windows. Walls were painted white and carpet removed to expose cement floors. Natural light flows into what Easterling characterizes as a “warehouse-style” gallery where art hangs floor to ceiling.

It is a chic space equally welcoming to retail buyers and the interior designers who make frequent visits. Masterson, webmaster and numbers minder, says the gallery you visit today is not the one you’ll find tomorrow. The constantly changing inventory of both shops currently includes 1,174 pieces from 97 artists. “There are daily change outs. We bring something back and forth from Dallas every day,” says Masterson, who recently launched the side hustle Cheese & Honey FW, delivering cheese boards and orchid arrangements. Her elegant florals grace Bee Street, and look for her to cater the monthly shows scheduled to begin in September.

Newest on the artist roster are Fort Worth names Sarah Gentry, known for florals in both oils and mixed media, landscape painter Elizabeth Sage and modern oils/palette knife artist Donna Walker. Well-known Dallas artists include Melissa Auberty, whose iconic big blue horse paintings are inspired by her Glen Rose rescue. Other works arrive from studios coast to coast.

Despite the diversity of styles in the gallery, the art feels cohesive. “We have access to all of our artists’ studios and personally select every piece we bring in, so what you see on display represents our eye,” Easterling says. Those who don’t find what they are looking for should know the galleries accept commission requests. “We strive to accommodate client wishes.” Open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and by appointment. Framing services are available, too. 3000 Landers St., Fort Worth, 214-668-2200, beestreetgallery.com.

Former cowboy and self-taught artist Larry Martin Locke was born in the Texas Panhandle; flowers are acrylic on canvas.