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Inside the Artist’s Studio: Dana Cargile

dana6 copyBy A. C. Slaughter

Alright ladies hike up your skirts and show some ankle ‘cause this month’s artist is all femme! A southern belle who paints like a lady, markets herself like a pro and smiles all the way to the bank. Red headed and full of sweetness, Ms. Dana Cargile is making moves and making history right here in lil’ ol’ Tyler, Texas.

Dana and her family moved here five years ago from Jackson, Mississippi and she dove right in. Helping to grow the art scene in East Texas, Dana has been on the board of the Heart of Tyler for five years. She immediately started showing with Gallery Main Street when they first opened and since then has shown at 8th Street Boutique, Larry Lotts Interiors, Regions Bank downtown, Gold Leaf Gallery, Salon Verve, and has participated in the downtown ArtWalk every year it has been put on. For the last six years she and her dear friend, Cherie, share a booth at a show called “Handworks” in Jackson, Mississippi where they have built quite a following. This past holiday season Dana participated in Mistletoe and Magic, one of Tyler’s best known holiday extravaganzas. Dana says she intends to do the show again this year. “It’s a labor of love,” she says about her painting. Doing all these shows takes time. “When do you have time to paint?” I ask, and Dana laughs. “I am out here [in her studio] all day Tuesday and Thursday and Monday, Wednesday, Friday afternoons.” With three boys and a husband it is amazing that she is able to do what she does. “Sometimes I forget to do the wash,” she says but I think that is a small sacrifice for such a successful body of work.

So let’s talk about the work …..

dana7 copyDana’s loose, fun, child-like style has roots in realism. Her bright colors and bold brush work is a treat for your inner happy place. You can see her background in realism in her genre pieces. “I started painting when I was little. My grandmother always painted.” Much like many artists, Dana’s parents did not encourage her painting. They wanted her to pursue a career in business or something that she could support herself with. So Dana got her degree in fashion merchandising. It was a compromise between business and art. Not ever really doing anything with her degree and having a strong desire to do what she pleased regardless of who or who didn’t support her, Dana continued to paint for her own sake.

Twelve years ago she and her family moved to Jackson, Mississippi where, for the first time, Dana found her support. She joined an art guild. Hosted by some of the elders in town, she met Cherie, who sits in a rocker in the corner of Dana’s studio chiming in while we do the interview. They both had children the same age and because they were younger than most of the other members, the two belles quickly became friends. “You had to be tough as nails,” Dana recalls. The group met once a week and held critiques. “You could paint whatever you wanted and sometimes we would watch videos and have a discussion. They [group members] were very helpful.” Much like a classroom environment Dana found a place where she could paint what was on her heart and then have it drug through the dirt by many discerning eyes. This builds character. If you have ever been in a critique situation, you know. It hurts when you first hear that someone doesn’t like your piece, or aspects of your piece, but you get over that soon enough and if you don’t, you quit. But when they DO like your work, you may find yourself on cloud nine for days to come.

After having been through tough critiques, Dana and Cherie felt it was time to start doing art shows, sharing booth rentals and finding their niche in the Jackson art scene. Their success was quick to come and continues to build to this day. Even distance can’t tear these two apart. In 2009 Dana and her family moved to East Texas just in time to get in on the ground floor of all the new art happenings in Tyler. Dana immediately started having success here in Tyler. She started receiving commissions from shows, then shows from commissions. People see her work, like her style and ask her to paint something for them. Starting out in realism Dana painted, “A lot of landscapes. The more you paint the more your style changes. My style kept getting looser and looser.” Then Dana took a portrait class. “Once you can do people you can do animals. People love cows and pigs here in Tyler!” In addition to Dana’s local success she has been asked to paint images for a website that sells images to churches for church bulletins. Additionally, she was asked to paint the poster image for the 26th annual Festival on the Square and she has also illustrated a children’s book titled “Pet Fairy” written by Christie Joy.

dana1All of Dana’s success can be directly attributed to hard work and a good attitude. People love to buy art from people they love and Dana is a lovable Southern gal. Did I mention her studio is called the “Doll House” and rightly named? While interviewing Dana at the “Doll House” we had tea service in porcelain tea cups served alongside dainty tea cookies. The southern charm just does not stop and neither does the femininity. There are dolls all around the studio as well as paints, brushes, rocking chairs and lots of windows bringing in all the good ol’ East Texas light. There’s even a fireplace. Dana’s studio is inviting, comfortable, eclectic and beautiful. It’s in her own backyard, separate from all her boys, a special place just for her and the gals.

Dana is what all artists aspire to be and few ever accomplish – she is a true working artist. How does one become such a thing you ask? “You learn from every painting. You keep learning, and you keep learning, no matter how old you are.”

For more info, go to Facebook.

So there you have it. To all of you who are struggling, deep in the throws of being an artist, take a lesson from an angel of wisdom and work hard, keep at it, market your work and believe in yourself. Because believing in yourself in the key. If you don’t believe in yourself no one else will and you must believe that what you are doing is unique and special and that it is the right thing to do.

There is no substitute for good mojo.

Dana’s work can be found online at “MyBackPorch” on Facebook, danacargile.blogsot.com, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and now on Etsy. It has only been in the past five years that Dana has promoted herself online. “It works,” she says. “It’s the modern world. I had a lady in Austin who I’ve never met see a piece she liked and wanted one similar, so now I am painting one for her.”

Well that’s it for September’s issue of Inside the Artist’s Studio. Remember to send us artists that you like and would like to see featured in Inside the Artist’s Studio to eguidemagazine@gmail.com.

Now it’s back to my studio to work…’cause art just doesn’t come out of the blue, you have to work for it, and work hard. Stay classy East Texas and until next month, MAKE ART!

Art

Art Events Warming Up For Summer

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Events & Classes

First Saturday of every Month (10am-2pm) – Eastside Fiber ARTist Meeting – The monthly meeting will be held at the Tyler Public Library, 301 S. College Ave, Downtown Tyler. Please join the monthly meetings and participate in a variety of fiber arts from quilting, weaving, embroidery, knitting, crocheting, jewelry making, and mixed media and tons more. Guests and visitors are always welcomed. For more info go to facebook.com/Eastside.Fiber.ARTists. It is free to attend.

May 20th and June 3rd (10am-2pm) – Beginning Stained Glass Class – This beginner’s class will be held at Hobby Lobby, 1909 ESE Loop 323, Tyler. Learn all the skills necessary to create a beautiful stained glass piece with the copper foil technique. This is a beginning class and participants will learn how to work with patterns, cut glass, grind glass, copper foil, solder and much more. By the end of the class participants will take home their own art glass. No prior experience is required. All tools are provided for students use during class time. Tools and equipment are shared amongst students. Register at email pdonathan@ymail.com. Cost is $65 per person.

June 6th (6-8pm) – 6×6@110 Exhibit – The 6×6@110 is an annual art fundraising project to benefit Gallery Main Street in Downtown Tyler. The gallery is a City of Tyler facility operated with cooperation of the Downtown Tyler Arts Coalition, an all-volunteer group of artists who schedule and jury fine arts exhibits and organize projects. All of the net proceeds of 6×6@110 will go to support those activities. The name “6×6@110” reflects the fact that all artwork sold in the show will be 6”x6”, and will be shown at Gallery Main Street, located at 110 W. Erwin. You can pick up canvases at the gallery through May 30th.

June 16th (11am-11:30pm) June 17th (11am-4pm) – Junebug Art and Music Festival – Calling all artists! Junebug is an annual community Art and Music festival with an afternoon farmers market. This event encompasses art in its many forms. There will be teachers of weaving and soap making, along with hands on pottery wheel demonstrations. Attendees senses will be engulfed by the sights, sound, smell and feel of all that is to be offered at this very unique art event in a very quaint little artsy community. The show will offer up a stage filled with eclectic musicians, bands, and songwriters. Saturday there will be a community Farmers market where locals can sell their organic and/or locally sourced products. Vendor and artist applications are available at theforgebenwheeler.com. The family-friendly festival, which is located in the tiny art enclave of Ben Wheeler,TX, highlights the work of artists, musicians, and artisans from the Lone Star state. Headquartered on the three-acre park-like property surrounding the FORGE (a local restaurant, bar, and music venue), the festival will give attendees an opportunity to witness the creative process through “live art” displays as well as the chance to actively join in the process. For more information email junebugsummerfair@gmail.com

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14th Annual High School Art Exhibition at TMA

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This Month at Tyler Museum of Art:

14th Annual High School Art Exhibition on Exhibit

The Tyler Museum of Art (TMA) is located at 1300 S. Mahon Ave. on the Tyler Junior College main campus. Regular TMA hours are 10am-5pm Tuesday-Saturday, and 1-5pm Sunday. The Museum is closed Mondays and most major holidays. The Museum is supported by its members, Tyler Junior College, and the City of Tyler. For more info call the museum at (903)595-1001, tylermuseum.org, or email info@tylermuseum.org.

TMA’s 14th Annual High School Art Exhibition on Exhibit Through May 6th

An unprecedented number of aspiring artists from local schools will have their first opportunity for a full museum exhibition with the Tyler Museum of Art’s “14th Annual High School Art Exhibition,” continuing through May 6th at the Museum. The museum is located Tyler Junior main Campus is located at 1300 S. Mahon Ave. Admission is free.

What began in 2005 as a small showcase for 23 students from four area high schools has blossomed into a major exhibition and community event. This year’s juried competition tops the previous record of 2016, spotlighting for the first time the work of more than 100 students from a best-ever 14 high-school campuses in Tyler and nearby cities.

The community is invited to meet the participating artists, enjoy light refreshments – and cast their votes for the annual Viewers’ Choice Award to be presented at the exhibition’s conclusion. Ballots are available at the Visitor Services desk in the TMA lobby.

Participating schools in the “14th Annual High School Art Exhibition” include All-Saints Episcopal School, Bishop T.K. Gorman Regional Catholic School, Cumberland Academy, Grace Community School, John Tyler High School and Robert E. Lee High School, all of Tyler; The Brook Hill School, Brownsboro High School, Bullard High School, Chapel Hill High School, Elkhart High School, Frankston High School, Whitehouse High School and Winona High School.

Support for the exhibition is provided by Collectors’ Circle-Platinum Sponsor The Rogers Foundation; and Collectors’ Circle-Gold Sponsors Martha and Randy Key, McElfatrick Charitable Foundation and Myrtis D. Smith.

“Sticks and Stones: Works by Helen Altman”

Tyler Museum of Art celebrates the arrival of springtime with a quarter-century survey in the career of one of the most diverse and prolific contemporary Texas artists. “Sticks and Stones: Works by Helen Altman” continues through June 3rd in the museum’s Bell Gallery. Admission is free.

The exhibition, organized by the TMA and curated by Caleb Bell, features more than 40 pieces spanning a dynamic body of work by Altman, a Fort Worth-based artist noted for her ability to move between various series across an eclectic array of media.

“Sticks and Stones” focuses on her fascination with flora and fauna, which “have been a much-appreciated constant in my life,” the artist said. “They have been a constant source of joy and also a source of coping.”

Altman’s specific choices of media throughout her career – blankets, wire birds, egg editions, and torch drawings, to name just a few – also reflect a pronounced emphasis on exploring the unique in the everyday.

“Many of my works use commonplace materials and objects. I respond to ready-made objects that are often discards or flawed in some obvious way,” she said. “Alterations in these familiar things elevate them and draw parallels to our own human predicament.”

Altman received both her bachelor of fine arts and master of arts degrees from the University of Alabama, as well as her master of fine arts from the University of North Texas. Her work has been widely exhibited and is featured in numerous public collections, including the Art Museum of South East Texas, The Grace Museum, and Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego.

Support for “Sticks and Stones” is provided by Collectors’ Circle Platinum Sponsor The Byars Foundation.

Special events in connection with the exhibition include: Free First Friday tours at 11am May 4th and June 1st; and Family Days from 2-4pm Saturday, May 12th.

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Art

14th Annual High School Art Exhibit at Tyler Art Museum

This Month at Tyler Museum of Art:

14th Annual High School Art Exhibition and “Sticks & Stones: Works by Helen Altman” on Exhibit

The Tyler Museum of Art (TMA) is located at 1300 S. Mahon Ave. on the Tyler Junior College main campus. Regular TMA hours are 10am-5pm Tuesday-Saturday, and 1-5pm Sunday. The Museum is closed Mondays and most major holidays. The Museum is supported by its members, Tyler Junior College, and the City of Tyler. For more info call the museum at (903)595-1001, tylermuseum.org, or email info@tylermuseum.org.

TMA’s 14th Annual High School Art Exhibition on Exhibit April 8th-May 6th

An unprecedented number of aspiring artists from local schools will have their first opportunity for a full museum exhibition with the Tyler Museum of Art’s “14th Annual High School Art Exhibition,” opening Sunday, April 8th and continuing through May 6th at the Museum. The museum is located Tyler Junior main Campus is located at 1300 S. Mahon Ave. Admission is free.

What began in 2005 as a small showcase for 23 students from four area high schools has blossomed into a major exhibition and community event. This year’s juried competition, tops the previous record of 2016, spotlighting for the first time the work of more than 100 students from a best-ever 14 high-school campuses in Tyler and nearby cities.

Five outstanding works as selected by the jurors will be presented with “Merit of Honor” awards during the Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony from 2:30-4pm, Sunday, April 8th at the Museum.

The community is invited to meet the participating artists, enjoy light refreshments – and cast their votes for the annual Viewers’ Choice Award to be presented at the exhibition’s conclusion. Ballots are available at the Visitor Services desk in the TMA lobby.

“Merit of Honor” winners will receive gift certificates from Dick Blick Art Materials. All participating artists will receive Certificates of Participation and one-year student memberships to the TMA. To RSVP for the April 8th opening reception, call (903)595-1001.

Participating schools in the “14th Annual High School Art Exhibition” include All-Saints Episcopal School, Bishop T.K. Gorman Regional Catholic School, Cumberland Academy, Grace Community School, John Tyler High School and Robert E. Lee High School, all of Tyler; The Brook Hill School, Brownsboro High School, Bullard High School, Chapel Hill High School, Elkhart High School, Frankston High School, Whitehouse High School and Winona High School.

Support for the exhibition is provided by Collectors’ Circle-Platinum Sponsor The Rogers Foundation; and Collectors’ Circle-Gold Sponsors Martha and Randy Key, McElfatrick Charitable Foundation and Myrtis D. Smith.

“Sticks and Stones: Works by Helen Altman”

Tyler Museum of Art celebrates the arrival of springtime with a quarter-century survey in the career of one of the most diverse and prolific contemporary Texas artists. “Sticks and Stones: Works by Helen Altman” continues through June 3rd in the museum’s Bell Gallery. Admission is free.

The exhibition, organized by the TMA and curated by Caleb Bell, features more than 40 pieces spanning a dynamic body of work by Altman, a Fort Worth-based artist noted for her ability to move between various series across an eclectic array of media.

“Sticks and Stones” focuses on her fascination with flora and fauna, which “have been a much-appreciated constant in my life,” the artist said. “They have been a constant source of joy and also a source of coping.”

Altman’s specific choices of media throughout her career – blankets, wire birds, egg editions, and torch drawings, to name just a few – also reflect a pronounced emphasis on exploring the unique in the everyday.

“Many of my works use commonplace materials and objects. I respond to ready-made objects that are often discards or flawed in some obvious way,” she said. “Alterations in these familiar things elevate them and draw parallels to our own human predicament.”

Altman received both her bachelor of fine arts and master of arts degrees from the University of Alabama, as well as her master of fine arts from the University of North Texas. Her work has been widely exhibited and is featured in numerous public collections, including the Art Museum of South East Texas, The Grace Museum, and Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego.

Support for “Sticks and Stones” is provided by Collectors’ Circle Platinum Sponsor The Byars Foundation.

Special events in connection with the exhibition include: Free First Friday tours at 11am April 6th, May 4th and June 1st; and Family Days from 2-4pm Saturday, April 14th and May 12th.

 

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