In the latest installment of our occasional conversations with Fort Worth newsmakers, Shea Patterson Young, executive director of the Fort Worth Art Dealers Association and campus curator at the The University of North Texas Health Science Center, spoke with arts and culture editor Marcheta Fornoff about Fall Gallery Night.
This conversation has been edited for length and clarity. For the unabridged version, please listen to the audio file attached to this article.
Shea Patterson Young: My name is Shea Patterson Young, and I am the executive director of the Fort Worth Art Dealers Association. I am also the campus curator here at the Health Science Center at UNT, and I have worked with the Gallery Association now for about 11 years, and I manage a university gallery here. The Art Dealers Association is something I feel really strongly about. I think that it does great work to help support local art in Fort Worth, and I think it’s part of what makes us special.
Fall Gallery Night
Time: Noon – 9 p.m. Check individual venues for specifics.
Date: Sept. 10
Location: There are multiple sites across Tarrant County. Check the embedded map below for a full listing.
Marcheta Fornoff: We’ve talked about Gallery Night before, but for people who haven’t heard of it or are just hearing of it now, what is this event?
Patterson Young: Gallery Night is a semiannual event organized by the Fort Worth Art Dealers Association. I think it’s a really unique collaboration because it’s between museums, art dealers, university galleries and Fort Worth businesses. It really helps to showcase and support Fort Worth’s thriving art community. One of the fun things about Gallery Night is that many of the featured artists are local, and they will be at the galleries. It’s really a unique opportunity to be able to have a dialogue between artists and patrons. I think it’s something that, you know, that is absolutely worth attending this year. It’s Sept. 10. Our tentative hours are noon to 9 p.m., but I definitely suggest you look at the guide online at the Art Dealers Association website. That’s FWADA.com. It’ll tell you specifics for each of the galleries.
Fornoff: How many galleries do you have participating?
Patterson Young: We have about 40 participants this year — that’s galleries, museums (and) a few pop-ups. I think it’s a really good community spread.
I recommend people maybe look at the map that’s part of the guide and think about what makes sense for a neighborhood: What’s in the cultural district you’d like to see or down Camp Bowie or downtown? I feel like that’s the best way to really be able to hit many of those spots. And the guide helps you to see what’s featured that day. So you’ll really be able to tailor it to your interests.
Fornoff: It’s called Fort Worth Fall Gallery Night, but there are some galleries participating outside of the city limits.
Patterson Young: There are. Tarrant County is kind of where our cutoff is, so we appreciate you bringing it up. UTA (The University of Texas at Arlington) is one of our participants. We have a couple of other spots in Arlington.
It is the Fort Worth Art Dealers Association, but, really, we expand a little bit beyond that. And we hope, again, you’ll make some of those destinations spots on your tour.
Fornoff: Do you have a favorite memory or a favorite piece that you’ve maybe found on Gallery Night (over the years)?
Patterson Young: Gosh, that’s a hard question. It’s sort of like (picking) a favorite child. I will tell you that there’s actually a little metal snail up on my shelf that stays here in my office with me that’s made of a different kind of iron and metal components. And that came from Rebecca Low Sculpture Gallery several years ago. It’s just a really whimsical piece and very affordable and it just sort of makes me laugh and smile. I think it’s a fun one I live with every day.
Fornoff: Since you mentioned affordable, who is this night accessible to?
Patterson Young: I appreciate you asking. We really want it to be all artists, art enthusiasts, collectors, artists, students, art lovers, you know, even those who just want to do something new. You don’t have to be an expert.
We’d love for you to find a piece that speaks to you that you want to take home, but that is not something that you should feel like you have to buy something to participate (in) — that’s not what we want it to be.
Fornoff: Is there anything else about the event or about its history that you want to mention or you think is important for people to know?
Patterson Young: Well, a couple of things: We’re actually (celebrating) over 40 years for Fall Gallery Night. It’s the longest-running event that the Art Dealers Association has sponsored. I’m proud to be able to kind of carry the torch for that, and I think it’s a wonderful thing to have that kind of history.
One of the things just in general, I feel like the creative process brings out the best in us and people. For me, art is very subjective, but I think we have an individual experience with the work, but viewing it in a group also is an experience we can share. One of the things we’ve missed with COVID was gathering. I know that I have, and I feel like art sparks an exchange of ideas. It evokes feelings and can change your environment. Whether you take home a work of art or just a memory, please come together with us for Fall Gallery Night.
Fornoff: Wonderful. Thank you so much.
Patterson Young: Thank you so much for having me.
Marcheta Fornoff covers the arts for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at email@example.com or on Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.