Lookin' Fine!Jan 02, 2018 ● By Rachael Beaird
While the gallery has gotten off to a whirlwind start, it is only due to the hard work of its three owners: Mr. Jimmy Smith, a previous art seller from Richardson with extensive knowledge of art history; Mr. Randy Jacobs, an artist from Plano who has been working within the art community for more than 30 years; and, Mr. David Call, a Dallas interior designer and previous art agent. These three gentlemen noticed a gap in the fine art community of North Texas, so they came together, each bringing their area of expertise, under one unique vision: to bring a new, higher level of art to the people of Frisco.
“Historically, most of the art available to Frisco and the surrounding areas has been from studios in strip malls which consist mostly of print, with maybe a sprinkling of original pieces,” explains Mr. Call, the lead curator and creative director for the gallery. “We wanted to open a place that was uniquely different that offered a really broad spectrum of artwork.”
Mr. Call joined the project about six months ago and brought in about 75 percent of the artwork in the gallery through his extensive network of interior designers and artists. “As the lead curator, I handle all the submissions we receive. I would say I get about four emails a day from new potential artists,” Mr. Call says. “It is really fun for me to get to filter through those to find the hidden gems I think not only the people of Frisco will appreciate, but will also sell.”
The space itself is very large, at 4,500 square feet, and is also available to rent out for events. Mr. Call is excited to bring David Call Interiors Frisco to the gallery to expand his business into the Frisco community and create a sort of boutique studio within the space. “Finding our perfect space was not easy,” Mr. Call says. “Randy looked at places with realtors for months, but it was one afternoon when he was out to lunch that he finally found our spot in the downtown Frisco Rail District.”
The gallery’s clientele is a 50/50 split between interior designers and private collectors, though the style of artists varies much more. The gallery is home to artists from across the Southwest region of the U.S., including Calif. “We have emerging, local artists, established artists, as well as acclaimed artists,” Mr. Call says. “But, one type of client we are really trying to embrace in 2018 are the commercial businesses of Frisco. We have some really wonderful lines of prints that, honestly, rival originals and I have used them with my own interior design clients.”
The gallery boasts a large collection of “story” or “poetic” art that is more thought-provoking. Next to each canvas, there is a plaque that tells and explains the story behind each work to help the viewer understand the piece as a whole. There is also a section of abstract-traditional, which offers modern takes on traditional works. “One of the fun parts about working in art is that all artists have their own technique. A lot of what we are finding that has become very popular is modern art where it looks like molecules are exploding or canvases that are just filled with rays of effervescent light,” Mr. Call explains. “This is where our careful selection process for artists comes into place. We never want to be overrun with one particular artist or certain style of art.”
Mr. Call himself is very well-versed in modern art techniques, while Mr. Smith is a lover of the old masters and more traditional oil pieces. The varying backgrounds of each owner play a role in how diverse the collection of art is at the gallery.
“We are really excited because, coming up, we have an artist from Amarillo who is going to be featured in the Dallas Museum of Art and will allow us to be his North Texas-exclusive gallery,” Mr. Call says. “That is one thing we really strive for — to build relationships with artists and get exclusives so we can become their go-to gallery and really support them and be their home.”
Occasionally, the gallery has people come to them with pieces from estates that are highly-collectible originals. That is where Mr. Smith can really show off his expertise in art history. There is also a section on the website devoted to commissioned pieces, which make up about 25 percent of their revenue. “We have noticed commission requests have become very popular and we strive to be able to accommodate all requests,” Mr. Call adds. “We have one artist who does great work with sports images, one who specializes in paintings of newborns and their mothers, and we even had one artist paint a wedding.”
In addition to selling canvas art, the gallery also sells steel sculpture, pottery and hand-blown glass pieces, all of which are available at very competitive price points. Classes for children and adults are available to sign up for at friscofineart.com, whether you are a beginner or advanced.
“We have a particular local artist who leads most of our classes and the classes tend to be fairly small, so she can really devote time to help each student individually,” Mr. Call says. “We are also looking forward to beginning some themed classes in 2018.”
The gallery is always looking to showcase new, undiscovered artists and encourages any aspiring artists to send their submissions for consideration!