The Euclid Art House

3601 Euclid in Highland Park is the temporary site for Ro2 Gallery's
latest show,which opens with a reception on October 14, from 5 - 8 pm

Text and Photos by Rebecca Sherman

Moveable Feast... these are tough times for anyone in the art business. Longtime Dallas art consultants and curators Susan Roth Romans and Jordan Roth are tackling the lack of affordable gallery space by mounting shows in empty, interesting spaces around town under the umbrella of Ro2 Gallery.

Transient galleries are not a new concept -- New York and other east coast cities have been doing them for years, and they're catching on here. An innovative answer to a down economy, these moving venues help out Ro2's growing portfolio of regional artists who otherwise might not have an opportunity to show their work.

Go here for more information on the show.

Jordan Roth, co-founder of Ro2 Gallery

Jordan and his mother Susan launched Ro2 Gallery in February and have held shows in various spaces including the Art Deco designed DP&L building downtown, and ThirdSpace, an events venue next door to Neiman Marcus downtown. They are collaborating with The MAC on experimental shows that will run each month in the lobby of Starwood's Aloft Dallas Hotel starting in November.

Trio of flowers photographed under water
by Mexico City-born artist Sibylle Bauer

The Euclid house, designed in 1967 by architect Roland G. Roessner, was redesigned and rebuilt in 2008 by Brown Architects and is silver LEED certified. On the market through Briggs Freeman, the house is a blank canvas for showing contemporary art.

"We look for a space that's interesting architecturally and that shows art well. The Euclid House is built to look like a museum in many aspects, with large white walls, good light, and courtyards for sculpture, " says Jordan, 36.

Mike Kury's Buni sculpture in resin with acrylic

A floating staircase leads to a glass-walled bridge (pictured below), which crosses from the main house to the second floor of the garage and guest suite.

Ron Criswell's Live Oak sculpture (in the window), and view of the glass walkway above

"It's certainly an interesting way to build attention for our artists because we're bringing people to new locations every month. Our crowds get bigger each time, and we get to experiment a little with space," says Jordan. "Each space creates different needs. When we're doing a show in a 7,000 square foot contemporary house with outdoor courtyards, we're able to do some things we can't do at other spaces," such as with larger scale paintings and sculptures, says Jordan.

Ryder Richard's 8' x 26' wall sculpture, Westward Expansion, was inspired by an old F-111 fighter jet that was turned into a welcome billboard for Portales, New Mexico. It's made from graphite, paper, and wood. The burned patina was created with gunpowder.

The front entry

On the residential locations, Ro2 works with Gafa Blanc, a staging company made up of filmmaker Francisco Rizo and artist Sibylle Bauer (who has five works of art in the house). Gafa Blanc, which doesn't have a website yet but can be contacted through Sibylle, use furniture that doesn't distract from the art or the architecture. In this house, an all-white palette blends in.

Daniel Birdsong's mixed media artwork, "Dem Monkeys".

Gafa Blanc found a pair of antique wing chairs, and painted and reupholstered them in white. "Developers and real estate people noticed that their houses were being staged in a way that really detracted from the architecture," says Jordan, who found dual purpose in mounting a show in an empty house. "Our art draws a crowd of potential buyers, which sellers like. We're not pretending that anyone lives here. Gafa Blanc's staging creates a mood."

Ryder Richard's Go(a)l(d) Antelope is acrylic, graphite, and gold leaf on wood.

Marian de Lefeld's abstract landscapes depict the concrete houses of her native Caracas (2 paintings at far right). At left is Fannie Brito's large scale work in pigment and acrylic. A medical doctor born in Carmel, Brito grew up in Caracas like de Lefeld.

Elizabeth Akamatsu's bronze sculpture, "Sysiphusian Lunch".
She was born in Japan and now lives in Nacodoches.

Letitia Eldredge's guache on paper (at right). The artist, who lives in the Texas hill country, had her first touring show at the DMAin 1967 and has shown world-wide including a performance piece in New York at the MOMA.

Elizabeth Akamatsu's "Needle's Eye" sculpture is made from wood, encaustic, and metal. She also has a show opening on Friday, October 15 at the University of Dallas' Haggerty Gallery.

The recession's been brutal on the art world, but collectors are beginning to buy again, says Jordan. He hasn't exactly been sitting back and waiting for it to rebound. "One reason we work with so many artists is to have a range of works that appeal to a lot of different buyers. We're discovering with having so many multiple shows and getting feedback, collectors are telling us what they want." What they want are less expensive works and smaller pieces. In response, Ro2 works with many of the artists in their portfolio to produce smaller works, that while not less significant, have gentler price tags and get collectors used to buying again, says Jordan.

Fort Worth artist Linda Guy's "Systems" series painting

The Euclid house's large scale required larger scale art, Jordan notes, while other venues such the DP&L building downtown dictate smaller pieces and even how art will be shown. "At the DP&L, we made use of racks from the previous tenant, a clothing store. In this case, much of the wallspace was divided into narrow 70" alcoves," he says.

Detail from Linda Guy's "Systems" series

Over the bed, J.D. Durham's acrylic on canvas.

Mike Kury's clear resin torso (left) and
copper-toned "Birdwoman" in resin (right)

"People's walls are full of art already, so we're doing a lot more sculpture. We're working with sculptors to produce innovative and interesting forms in multiple sizes. It encourages people to jump back into buying with a tabletop piece that's affordable," says Jordan. Mike Kury's small pieces above fetch less than $600.

Another of J.D. Durham's large scale paintings hangs in
the sitting area of the master bedroom.

In the backyard, Jesus Moroles's granite water sculpture (right)
and another view of Ron Criswell's Live Oak

Side courtyard: Michael Christopher, who is finishing
his last year of study at SMU, is a master neon
glassblower and sculptor. His laser cut sheet metal sculptures are
lit from within with neon, and inspired by Myan ruins.

Mobility has its advantages. Says Jordan: "By having shows at more than one place at once, we are able to work with a tremendous number of artists in a relatively short window of time. July and August, we were able to do four openings, which was significant. It also gives the artists opportunities to interact with each other."