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Holder Dane Gallery & Art Studios celebrates its thriving community of artists and popular workshop series

by DANA W. TODD / photography by HOLGER OBENAUS

Julie Wende, Green Chair, oil on canvas, 48″ x 24″

Anchored by main street, grapevine’s historic district is a destination full of food, art, shopping and entertainment, and Holder Dane Gallery & Art Studios sits in the middle of it all. For 12 years, the gallery has introduced the community to a host of both nationally recognized and skilled local artists. “While we represent more than 30 talented artists from around the nation, about 85% of our artists are local,” says gallery owner Pat Bodnyk, who is also a practicing jewelry and pottery artist and oil painter. “It is wonderful to have such great artists close by.”

Bodnyk first came to Grapevine at the invitation of local organizations who needed her expertise in recruiting artists and developing the arts scene in the downtown corridor. She leaned on her previous experience running her Fort Worth gallery and developing a major art exhibition called Brushes to Bronze. In 2014, she established the Grapevine Art Dealers Association (GADA) to help fine art galleries work together.

Holder Dane’s staff and participating artists collectively have hundreds of years of experience designing in a variety of mediums. The gallery is known just as much for its artist-led workshops as it is for its expansive displays of fine art. Over the years, the development of an artists’ enclave morphed into a way for artists from all walks of life to practice, teach and learn together. The artists don’t keep it all to themselves; they turn into instructors on a regular basis. In conjunction with the gallery’s staff, artists lead hands-on workshops teaching those at all skill levels in the community the processes and techniques they use to create their special forms of art. “I enjoy learning from artists of all ages, and we have some very experienced people who collaborate here,” Bodnyk says.

Pamela Blaies, Fair, oil on linen, 14″ x 11″

One such artist-collaborator is Marie Maines, a retired schoolteacher and highly acclaimed pastel artist, who says: “Holder Dane Gallery is a phenomenal resource for the Grapevine community. Pat is such a wise and empathetic person, with the good of the arts, artists and the community ever in her creative mind.”

Julie Wende, who specializes in portraits and figure painting and works in oils, watercolor and gouache, will lead a June 10–11 workshop at Holder Dane called “A Day at the Beach.” Participants will learn how to use her impressionist method and hand-chosen materials to paint figurative light and shadows within a beach scene, getting a firsthand look at Wende’s technique of using dramatic brushstrokes against contrasting shadows.

Julie Wende, Family Time, oil on board, 14″ x 11″

“We have developed a rich texture in art over the years with great local talent who are willing to share. Why hide that?” Bodnyk says. She pulls out all the stops to create a productive workshop experience, providing food and all the supplies, down to the Bubble Wrap, so participants can take their finished products safely home. These workshops, exclusive to Holder Dane Gallery, usually fill up fast because of the close, collaborative nature and the overall enjoyable experience of learning and creating with others who have the same interests but varied skill levels. Being located at the mouth of the Dallas-Fort Worth airport makes it easy for travelers who wish to reserve a spot to participate in the workshops, something that even the gallery owner does. Bodnyk herself learned to paint and sculpt from other artists who regularly teach at the gallery, including nationally known Pamela Blaies and Philippe Faraut, who will be hosting upcoming workshops.

Ann Hardy, Cantaloupes and Spiders, oil on canvas, 48″ x 24″

Because artists are passionate about the collaborative nature of the art studios, they stay with Holder Dane for many years. “Most of our artists have been with us the entire 12 years, woven into the rich fabric of our gallery,” Bodnyk says. The gallery’s art selection encompasses paintings, jewelry, pottery and sculpture in contemporary, impressionist and representational styles. The range of artwork is large enough that gallery visitors consistently comment on its variety, according to Bodnyk. And while the inventory is top of mind for her, the collaboration resulting from workshops and classes between and among artists and the local community is what she is most proud of.

Donna Palmersheim, Snowy Egret, oil on canvas, 24″ x 18″

“It has always been my business plan to bring the vast knowledge of our artists into the community at large and to share that with those who seek out fine art,” she says. *

Dana W. Todd is a professional writer specializing in interior design, real estate, luxury homebuilding, landscape design, architecture and art.

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