Perhaps because it doesn’t happen very often, it is a true pleasure to meet someone who is thoroughly, unabashedly passionate about her work. Elizabeth Harris, owner of InSight Gallery in Fredericksburg, Texas, is just that kind of person. In Harris’s eyes, witnessing someone connect with a work of art on an emotional level is one of the most moving and memorable experiences a person can have, and it’s a privilege she enjoys nearly every day.
That probably explains why Harris is so excited about Interpretations, the upcoming solo exhibition of works by Nancy Bush, opening on October 18. “If you watch people stand in front of Nancy’s work,” says Harris, “you will see them visibly relax.” Bush is a tonalist landscape painter, which means she applies layer after layer of thin oil paint to build up a soft, subtle pallette that invites the viewer to connect with the spiritual qualities found in nature. “Everything around us is so chaotic and our lives are so busy,” Harris continues, “but looking at her work is a full body exhale.” As in previous solo shows, Bush has created some special, larger works to complement the smaller pieces that the gallery always has on site.
Bush is one of the few local artists represented at InSight Gallery. Of the 60 or so traditional, representational artists found here, only six are from the Texas Hill Country in and around Fredericksburg. Nearly all are nationally recognized artists, such as master oil painters Daniel Gerhartz, Mian Situ, and Sherrie McGraw, as well as two of the top wildlife artists in the country, Lindsay Scott and Jim Morgan. A fair number of Western artists make their home here as well, including veterans Roy Anderson, Robert Pummill, and about eight members of the Cowboy Artists of America. Harris is quick to point out, however, that the gallery also features nationally emerging artists like cityscape artist Mark Lague and figurative artist Gladys Roldan-de-Moras.
InSight is located in Fredericksburg, a fairly small Texas town that has become quite a tourist destination in recent years. Visitors love the excellent dining options, abundant wineries, and, of course, the amazing galleries. Yet InSight stands out, not only because of the quality of the art but because the gallery space itself is exceptional. A historic limestone building built in 1907, the space was completely renovated in 2010 to become InSight’s 8,000-square-foot home. But Harris and her husband insist on creating a welcoming, approachable atmosphere, giving people the opportunity to make an emotional connection with the artwork that speaks to them. With this in mind, Insight participates in the monthly First Friday Art Walk and holds occasional lectures and demos, so that visitors can simply enjoy the art and learn more about it in a low-key environment.
Nancy Bush’s exhibition runs through November 8, and there will be a reception with the artist on Friday, November 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. To learn more about InSight Gallery and to take the “virtual tour,” visit www.insightgallery.com.