Fort Worth’s art galleries serve the role of connecting customers with painters, photographers and sculptors. And representation by an art dealer is the dream of many local and regional artists. The connection means access to patrons and an elevated public profile.The story behind these businesses and the artists they represent reflects cultural trends in our city.

For more than 24 years, Milan Gallery has worked with professional artists from here and abroad. At any time, there are around 200 pieces adorning the gallery’s walls from 40 artists. Store proprietor Tal Milan keeps the downtown store active with shows and events, including The Secret Art of Dr Seuss, which runs through August. Milan is proud to be one of the oldest tenants in Sundance Square.

Milan Gallery via Facebook
PC: Milan Art Gallery via Facebook

Swing by to see works by Gabe Leonard and others. Leonard invokes Fort Worth’s folklore images in his paintings, Milan said. Henrietta Milan’s works are sold coast to coast and are rendered using only a palette knife. Vino lovers have a champion in Thomas Arvid, who paints images of wine glasses, corks, bottles and other wine accoutrements. Texas landscape artist Cynthia Bryant has worked with Milan for 24 years.

Don't Get Up Empty Handed by Gabe Leonard
PC: Don't Get Up Empty Handed by Gabe Leonard

Since opening just over a year ago, Fort Works Art has become synonymous with lavish opening night events, unconventional artists and community engagement through educational programs and free lectures. Painter and Fort Works Art proprietor Lauren Childs describes her vision as “ambitious.” Her long-term goal is to raise the profile of Fort Worth artists. To that end, she pairs local and nationally-recognized artists in many of her shows.

Among the artists Fort Works Art represents is Dallas-based Dan Lam, whose amorphous “drip” artworks are now sold around the world. Childs said her trajectory has been “amazing to watch.” Fort Worth native and self-taught painter Jay Wilkinson currently has works on display at Fort Works Art. Childs said Wilkinson is benefiting from meeting seasoned, national artists who can challenge how Wilkinson sees his works, something important for a young painter.

Drawing by Marshall Harris.
PC: Drawing by Marshall Harris at Fort Works Art

Marshall Harris is best known for his incredibly detailed hand drawings. Many of his subjects (bones/revolvers/saddles) fit Cowtown’s historic image. Childs said the new Multipurpose Arena Fort Worth will give him “opportunities to place some of his works” in areas of high visibility. Riley Holloway recently gave painting demonstrations at SMU and is studying under acclaimed artist Sedrick Huckaby at UTA. Both are endeavors the young artist wasn’t doing last year, Childs said.

“Every year, it seems there are a lot of things happening for these artists,” Childs said.

Artspace 111 has evolved over the past 35 years. But at its core, the gallery has always served local artists by connecting them with fans and patrons. Since taking ownership of the artspace in 2007, Margery Gossett has introduced juried art competitions, expanded the number of artists represented by the gallery, and, more recently, created a consulting business to sell art to new businesses and developments.

Artspace 111 via Facebook
PC: Artspace 111 via Facebook

Two artists represented by Artspace 111 were also its co-founders. Brothers Daniel and Dennis Blagg are familiar names to art collectors. Daniel is known for his urban realist renderings of vintage signs and urban dwellings while Dennis is famous for his paintings of landscapes, mostly of Big Bend National Park. John Hartley paints vintage lead toys, but he goes beyond that, Gossett said, by imbuing political undertones through his works. Finally, Carly Allen-Martin is a TCU alumni whose abstract paintings are as soothing as they are beautiful.