Tucked inside the Houston Heights is a two-story steel structure where an avenue for contemporary artwork is brought to life. For Linda Darke Swaynos, the opening of the Darke Gallery will give local artists the opportunity to feature their work.
"I opened the gallery for two reasons. One is that I’m an artist and I wanted a place to have my own work available, but after moving to Houston in 2002, I just felt that there were so many wonderful artists that were underrepresented," Swaynos said.
Swaynos, who is originally from New York, is featuring 22 artists who work in all types of media. Her focal point for the gallery, however, is abstract artwork.
"I work in a midcentury, modern way. I’m an abstract girl, so that was the kind of artwork I grew up loving," Swaynos said. "The emphasis of the gallery is on abstract work, but it will feature other things as well."
The second-floor main showroom currently houses work by artist Stacy Hosrich, whose paintings will be exhibited through Oct 27.
Within the exhibition, two large canvases are sure to grab the attention of art enthusiasts as they make their way upstairs.
As bright and bold colors unite, new fusions of emotions are created through rapid strokes of paint on the canvases.
Hosrich, who describes his work as "abstract expressionism," receives his inspiration from everyday life.
"I get that from nature, just walking down the street, like seeing a magazine that’s been rained on. There are all kinds of things I draw from," he said.
Abstract expressionism first originated in the 1940s and became popular in the 1950s. The distinct style may appear accidental with its large brushstrokes and brilliantly splattered paint, but the work is typically highly planned.
"When I’m working on the (artwork), the work itself becomes the inspiration. I try to make sure that it looks a certain way. I get almost preoccupied with the work itself," Hosrich said.
Swaynos said she was delighted to open Darke Gallery with Hosrich as her first feature artist.
"This is Stacy’s first solo show in Houston. He paints himself more than anyone I know," Swaynos said. "We’re very, very happy to have him be the first show."
Hosrich usually does commissioned work but said he was pleased to showcase his pieces at a gallery.
"Anytime anything furthers the arts along, then I’m 100 percent for that," Hosrich said.
As a child, the Sam Houston State University graduate always had an interest in art.
"Since elementary school I’ve been into art and doing competitions. I didn’t major in studio art, I minored in art history. I’m more self-taught," Hosrich said.
Hosrich said studying art history has been an essential tool throughout his career as an artist.
"My minor, art history, at the college actually helped me more then anything to become a better painter," Hosrich said. "Art today is a derivative of the past."
Swaynos plans to exhibit a new art show on the first Saturday of every month to give local artists a chance to showcase their work to potential buyers.
"It will either be a solo show, like Stacy’s, and in December I will feature some fabulous women artists," Swaynos said. "I’m going to have May for my show, and I’m excited about that, too."
Swaynos plans to highlight the work of local artist John Mercado in November.
"Next month is John Mercado, who is another Houston native who was raised and born in Austin," Swaynos said.
Darke Gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and is located at 5321 Feagan St.
For more information, visit www.darkegallery.com.