April 18 started out as a stormy, tumultuous day but given afternoon hours turned into a beautiful, crisp spring evening perfect for enjoying a night out on the town. Given the option I decided to make the drive down to Deep Ellum to check out Jubilee – a Kettle Retro-Spectacle.
It doesn’t take a long walk through the iconic neighborhood of Deep Ellum to realize the Campagna family built a legacy of art and community: Frank Campagna, Kettle Art Gallery founder has a myriad of murals throughout the area adorning the crumbling brick walls of buildings that have housed cafes, bars, galleries and restaurants.
On approach, the Kettle Gallery, a small, inviting space which, minutes after opening their doors, already bubbled with activity.
The art featured in this show is a diverse mix brought to the walls by a group of Kettle veterans who throughout the years aided in building a supportive community within and around the gallery. All of the artists featured have shown in Kettle before, a handful of whom were present when Kettle opened it’s doors in 2005. The room was filled with somber gratitude: this is the last show Kettle will host at this location. The memories will remain but parting with a home is never easy.
Throughout the years Kettle has stayed true to its mission of inclusion with the help of volunteers who share their vision: helping artists of all levels grow. Doing so required love and respect: Kettle has one for-profit event each year which is balanced by a show that does just the opposite by strictly promoting the artists who help the gallery. Relegating the money making to one event allows a symbiosis between the gallery and the artists that feels like friendship rather than a business arrangement.
Many have graced the walls of Kettle and, through the community Kettle has fostered, seen their art reach audiences greater than they ever could have imagined. Like many of their past shows this Retro-Spectacle offers art for a range of budgets; it’s a great chance for seasoned collectors to add to their collections and for fledgling collectors to whet their palates.
This show will hang until May 4 at 10:00 pm. With a broad range of art available it’s a perfect opportunity for collectors to find a new piece they love to add to their own wall. It’s also an ideal time to stop by and witness a glimpse of local history as a Deep Ellum staple closes it’s doors.
I have loved my experiences with the Kettle Gallery and anxiously await their return to Dallas in a new venue.