Just one year after moving into a 5,000-square-foot downtown Fort Worth space, Bale Creek Allen is relocating his gallery to the city’s Near Southside neighborhood. Mr. Allen told Glasstire that when he first started looking for gallery spaces last year, he wanted to buy rather than lease. Those plans changed when he met Sasha Bass, wife of Fort Worth businessman and philanthropist Ed Bass.
Mrs. Bass showed Mr. Allen several available rental spaces downtown and offered to base the lease on a percentage of the gallery’s sales. Mr. Allen told Glasstire, “It was just a win-win, and we both agreed we would just reassess at the end. I had intentions of staying and my rent went up a little, but not much. They gave me an incredible deal, but it was still just a little bit more than I was comfortable spending to rent a place.”
Additionally, though his downtown location was large, Mr. Allen didn’t have a clear and designated studio space to focus on his own art practice; this was an important component of his gallery space in Austin, which was located in the Canopy complex, adjacent to other galleries and studio spaces. So, after six successful exhibitions, Mr. Allen has now purchased his new gallery/studio, the former location of Cufflink Art.
Cufflink closed quietly following their exhibition Endless Summer. Though there hasn’t been an official announcement, Joey Luong, the co-owner and Creative Director of Cufflink told Glasstire: “Earlier this year, Doug [Gault] and I had a plan to see where we would picture the gallery in three to five years. Our space was great for what we wanted to do and was very manageable. This summer we bought a bigger property in the Arlington Heights neighborhood (of Fort Worth) with two structures — one main house (where we live now) and a separate big guest house in the back.”
Mr. Luong stated that he and his partner were inspired by other on-premises art spaces like Hiram Butler in Houston and Henry Miller in London. With Mr. Allen looking for a new space to purchase, Cufflink’s co-owners had the opportunity to sell their space and begin the process of converting their back house into a gallery.
Mr. Luong added, “For this next iteration, we’ll be changing our business from Cufflink to Gault | Luong and we’ll continue to champion local artists and also focus on secondary works and providing consulting and appraisal services.”
As Mr. Allen gets settled into his new location, he plans to build a wall to divide the 1,000-square-foot space, with 40% of it as an exhibition area and the remaining 60% as his personal studio space. BCA Gallery has yet to officially announce its exhibition schedule, but Mr. Allen told Glasstire that upcoming shows will feature Austin-based Karen Hawkins’ The Pink Bow Project; works native Texan, New York-based Nathan Randall Green; Fort Worth-based Jay Wilkinson; Mr. Allen’s father, Terry Allen; and New York photographer Sandy Skoglund.