Empty Store Fronts Filled With New Art Experience Downtown

Empty Store Fronts Filled With New Art Experience Downtown

PALESTINE- Art is popping up all over downtown in a new collaboration between the Palestine Main Street Department and local Anderson County artists. Window Galleries: An Art Experience started March 15 and is a free, strolling art installation.

“We have a number of ready to rent empty buildings downtown, with great display windows just crying out for use, so we decided to do Pop-up Galleries,” said Main Street Manager Laura Westgate.

Window Galleries: An Art Experience creates partnerships between artists and property owners to feature our cultural heritage of art and architecture. The space, which is available for rent or lease, is used by the artist for a free, temporary display space as a pop-up gallery. A pop-up gallery is an emerging trend for non-permanent fine art galleries, which appears for a short length of time before being replaced or changed. This rotation of galleries allows fresh art to be continually on display and highlights the building resources in the Main Street District.

Featuring eight artists in three locations, this wave of pop-up galleries will remain on display for 3-4 months depending on the space. Each artist curates and installs the exhibit in the space they were assigned.

“We have all kinds of art going in,” said Ms. Westgate, “Pastel work, oil paintings, mixed media, and even found art. Each gallery is unique to the artist and really reflects their abilities. Palestine is innovative in their marriage of art and empty spaces. This type of project is usually seen in larger cities, and to great effect.”

Pop-up Galleries locations and artists:

  • 347 N. Sycamore – Patsy Irons work is in private and public collections from Seattle to Moscow. She is the 2013 First Overall winner of the Stars of Texas Juried Art Exhibit. Stars Texas Juried Art Exhibit is a premier competition featuring only Texas artists. The artist is a former operator of two art galleries, and a workshop leader in Longview, Palestine, Teague and Kilgore.
  • 347 N. Sycamore – Ruth Freeman is a former New Yorker now Texan who works with pastels to create realistic landscapes, still-life’s and portraits.
  • 347 N. Sycamore – Shirley Hiser is an accomplished portraitist who specializes in silhouette and sculpture. She has exhibited in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
  • 347 N. Sycamore – Vanessa Goodwyn is a Buffalo, Texas artist that works in various mediums. A teacher at heart, Goodwyn enjoys helping others discover his or her own artistic ability.
  • 112 W. Oak – Beck Rowntree started in the arts with photography. Inspired by artist friends, she was encouraged to paint and explore new mediums. Combining her photography with other mediums has resulted in innovative techniques.
  • 112 W. Oak – Diane Masters-Hare uses oils and acrylics, and occasionally watercolors for the particular qualities they offer. Her current series focuses on women and the female form.
  • 111 W. Main – Martha Reed is a local artist that teaches art at the Palestine Senior Citizen Center. Martha has been painting for more than 35 years and teaching for nearly 15 years. Originally an oil painter, she switched to acrylics about 10 years ago as a new way to express her artistic vision.
  • 213 W. Main – John deBessonette is a retired park planner and long-time artist. A recent replant to Anderson County, John has exhibited at The Museum for East Texas and Gallery Main Street in Tyler. His woodland creatures are found-object art and unique to his display.

Organizers hope to build and expand the exhibit to include 3D and audio-visual elements. Complete information on the artist is posted in their window along with contact information, as most pieces are for sell.

For more information on the local Main Street program visit, or call (903) 723-3014.


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