What is your name and what is your position at the Gallery: Kevin Rubén Jacobs, owner and director.
Describe your Gallery space: Oliver Francis Gallery is an independent/artist run experimental art space intended to show current work/projects by local artists and thinkers. Situated minutes away from Deep Ellum, downtown Dallas, and Fair Park, Oliver Francis operates on 1000 square feet and will place a special focus on installation, new media along with performance. The ambition for the space is to provide Dallas with exciting, challenging and progressive art shows used to engage the community and students in the metroplex.
How long has the gallery been open: since July 2nd, 2011
What was the impetus to start the Gallery:I really look up to galleries like Reena Spaulings Fine Art in New York, W/ -, also in New York, and the Suburban in Oak Park, Ill… Reena Spaulings especially. I want to provide a space for artists to work through ideas, not necessarily just show “objects,” but allow for the artists to even work in the space leading up to the opening if need be or perform for a substantial amount of time. The gallery turns into a studio (and vice versa for myself) and a place for evolution. Showing at Oliver Francis relies on the pure ambition to engage with the public and present intellectual and engaging projects, installations, and/or performances. I also want to sponsor and support projects that happen outside of the gallery walls.
Do you have exhibits: yes
What type of work do you showcase: I want to show conceptually charged installations and performances. I want artists to really push themselves to create works and experiences that are rare to find in this region. I hope for Oliver Francis to be “the” art space for energetic and progressive work that fits into the “now and future” of contemporary art.
Do you work with local artists or artists from all over: As of right now, I am focused on showing the work of artists from the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Do you add new artists regularly and if so what is the process in which you select them: The artists I work with currently are good friends of mine whose work I respect and want to show for their ideas and direction. Eventually, I will approach other artists from the metroplex that I see fitting into the direction and ambition of the gallery and ask them to show at Oliver Francis.
As a gallery what do you look for when reviewing artists: Since I am running a non-commercial gallery, I am looking for artists that want to explore and experiment with ideas. I’d rather not put a bunch of paintings up on the walls, because there are other places for that. I like artists who are informed of the contemporary art world today and have a very individual way of addressing their interests and beliefs.
What is the most frustrating thing you have to deal with when it comes to artists: Let’s just say that I would rather work with a knowledgeable, ambitious, and motivated thinkers.
What is your personal favorite exhibition from the gallery, past or present, and why: Since only one show has successfully opened and closed so far, I should wait till more shows have been presented.
How many shows do you have each year: I hope to exhibit 12 shows a year or more. I like the idea of a quick turnaround, with a new show every 3-4 weeks with some special performances or one-night only events thrown in there. I am really open to fun and, more so, challenging ideas and events.
What is a typical event like: one that has to be experienced first-hand.
What new things do you have in store for this year: I would like to release a semi-annual publication that documents all of the shows and works that have been exhibited at Oliver Francis (Christmas gift for sure). There is also the idea of the portable and more accessible exhibition that can be carried out by publishing project-books. I love books.
Do you have any up coming exhibit that you would like to tell us about: Alan Siggers will be presenting an exciting installation regarding reused dwelling materials and history, that presents a foreboding effect on the American psyche. His installation opens on Saturday July 30th and will remain open till August 13th. I have a show myself entitled “SKIM MILK.” This exhibition will focus onsocial responsibility and current affairs (Aug 20 – Sept 3). Jesse Morgan Barnett, recently added to the roster at the Marty Walker Gallery, will also present an installation, which will run for 3 weeks (Sept 10 – Oct 1).
Gallery Name: Oliver Francis Gallery
Location: 209 S. Peak Street, Dallas, Texas 75226
Web address: www.oliverfrancisgallery.com
Phone: 817 879 8231
Contact Person: Kevin Rubén Jacobs