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Wednesday, October 4, 2023


Westheimer gallery brings the stars

When the first painting purchased is one of John Wayne, you know you are at a real Western Art sale.

Houston writer and wife of UH grad Bob “Phantom” Roberts, Warner Roberts, television personality and one of Stanley Marcus’ favorite models, produced the premiere of Dallas Hill’s western art collection last week. The celebrity-studded event was hosted by Dovey McLeod at her new gallery at 2813 Westheimer, adjacent to Beau Theriot’s Brownstone Gallery.

Dr. Bud Taegel, an orthopedic surgeon, saw the portrait of John Wayne and had to have it. He accompanied Beaumont beauty and philanthropist Joelle Rogers, daughter of Texas State Optical founder Saul Rogers, the eldest of the four Rogers brothers.

“Bud bought the portrait for Charlotte and Gail Crawford, some friends of ours who have a John Wayne room in their home in Colorado Springs,” said Joelle Rogers, who drove in from her ranch in Cat Spring , Texas for the art opening.

Rogers is donating the heavy bronze plaque from the front of the original TSO headquarters to the new University of Houston College of Optometry Vision Institute.

“My favorite was the portrait of a Dallas Hill with the caption, ‘Don’t Mess with Texas,’ in the gallery’s foyer,” Rogers said. “Another stand-out was the painting of my Uncle Ben Rogers — it caught my attention the moment I walked in the room.”

Walter Sheffield bought The Lone Ranger. West University mother of twins, Angie Roberts, owner of Soul for Soul T-shirts, favored the portrait of Jesus.

“It’s hard to part with any of my paintings,” said Dallas Hill, a mother of five. “They are all my babies. I don’t want them to go to college.”

Hill worked as the house model for Saks Fifth Avenue and later, Isabel Gerhart for many years and starred in Victor Costa’s St. Thomas High School fashion show for more than a decade.

She often shared the runway with UH treasure Elsa Rosborough and now lives in a cabin near New Ulm, Texas and paints.

Anna Mae Fertitta, one of Dallas’ high school classmates, was drawn to a fun portrait of Dallas in a kitchen, a place her close friends know she rarely frequents.

Guests included pianist Lee LaForge, Walter Sheffield, Chris Kase, Joann and Bill Crassas, Dawn Gillespie, Bruce and Shirley Stein, Sharon Graham, Mary Ann and Jody Hoffer, Charity Yarborough and Molly Hill. Dallas’ children, educator Filomena Martin, attorney Marc Hill, Gifford Hill and Thad Hill brought friends to celebrate their flamboyant mom’s success.

The collection will be on display in the gallery through July 1.

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