Sunday, February 3, 2013
Kettle Art in Deep Ellum is closing
Frank Campagna’s labor of love will relocate, he says.
DEEP ELLUM The Deep Ellum gallery Kettle Art is closing after being in business since 2005. Run by Frank Campagna, a Deep Ellum artist and something of a patriarch of the neighborhood, the gallery will eventually relocate, but it may not plant its feet in Deep Ellum again.
“I prefer to be in Deep Ellum, for sure,” said Campagna, who has painted many murals in Deep Ellum. “But hell, I went to the Dominican Republic a few weeks ago, and I felt at home there.” The new gallery will be somewhere in the Dallas area, and it will still carry the Kettle name, Campagna said.
The Deep Ellum gallery’s last days will be in early May. Campagna plans to reopen at the undecided location in mid-September.
Campagna leases the Elm Street space from Westdale, a real estate company that owns more than 180 apartment complexes, according to its website. When Campagna originally leased the space in 2005 -- at that time under a different landlord -- he notes that Deep Ellum was struggling.
“We staked our claim, brought it back, and we were doing up to 600 people in a three-hour time period in our little tiny place,” he said. “Doesn’t mean we can’t do it anywhere else in the city, or in Deep Ellum.”
The gallery has 10 unpaid volunteers. The news of the move was “like losing a job or a loved one,” said artist and Kettle volunteer George Wallace. “My business has grown with the connections I have made and referrals from artists at the Kettle,” Wallace said. “It has been a labor of love, but rewarding.”
Fellow volunteer Erica Felicella called Kettle in Deep Ellum the site of “so many wonderful beginnings.”
“I look forward to where the Kettle Gang are headed and what lies ahead. Sometimes it takes a small break to come back and do something amazing all over again,” she said.Follow @sblaskovich
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