Every emerging artist dreams of having their work on display in a gallery: The long awaited break into the industry and the moment of sheer excitement when they feel they have made it. For most artists this takes place locally. A gallery owner is presented with the opportunity to showcase someone from their own community and they take the chance. This is the foundation on which William Campbell Contemporary Art (WCCA) is built. Having been in business for 42 years, Pam and William Campbell have established lasting relationships with award-winning artists from around the world, yet they always have a place for the budding local.
“We started long ago with local artists, and now we feature two from Germany and a few others from places like the Netherlands and Australia, and we continue to represent regional artists,” says Bill, as he likes to be called.
Located among large museums that draw crowds of both tourists and city residents alike, it’s not surprising that the Campbells chose the heart of Fort Worth back in 1972 as the perfect place to plant roots. Bill, a Texas Christian University (TCU) graduate, is no stranger to the area. Having earned a degree in sculpture, he has an eye for a variety of media and the gallery carries a vast array of paintings, prints, ceramics, and what has to be assumed are his personal favorite, sculptures. The focus is contemporary art, which is always evolving, and the Campbells have witnessed many shifts in trends over 40 years.
Pam plays a major role in the business as an art appraiser. Value is a key factor when it comes to such unique, individual pieces and WCCA offers appraisal service on-site.
Additionally, it boasts a commercial frame shop. Custom frames add a special touch to a print or painting, and customers can bring their vision for a piece of art together without having to leave the gallery.
Being in business as long as they have, the Campbells have become an integral part of the art scene in Texas. They both take great pride in merging artists and collectors of all generations together. Whether this takes place within the gallery or on an international level, the Campbells share the feeling of accomplishment as they watch careers blossom and relationships form. The greatest joy is experienced when the unknown artist with no accolades or following becomes a nationally recognized name. To play even the smallest role in that scenario is something Bill and Pam strive to accomplish.
Some galleries last a few years and others stay around for a decade, possibly two or three. WCCA has withstood the test of time, and the Campbells have run the business with integrity and uplifting encouragement for those willing to try in an industry where success isn’t easy. This is likely the reason the couple has also lived a life they never imagined possible.
Community is priority to WCCA. The small, family-like staff all work together to provide top-notch service not only to the gallery’s customers, but also to the artists. Quite often they work with other local galleries to be the location of an artists’ showcase to display a traveling show. The staff can also be seen playing a role in Bill’s alma mater by assisting with projects or shows hosted by TCU.
Art is everywhere. When a person decides to become educated and begin collecting original works of fine art, it’s important to learn from a trusted source. William Campbell Contemporary Art excels in both knowledge and trustworthiness. This gallery and its owners are a beautiful blend of business professionalism and heartfelt love for what they do and provide to the world around them.
Courtney Jackson is a journalist, blogger and short story author. She is also a volunteer with the Miss America Organization.