Jay Wilkinson Opens New Studio/Gallery, DANG GOOD CANDY, in Sundance Square
See full Fort Worth Magazine article by Jillian Verzwyvelt here..
A prominent figure in the Fort Worth art scene, Jay Wilkinson, has expanded his professional portfolio with the opening of his new studio/gallery in Sundance Square.
Aptly named after a goofy clip of his late friend and artist Jeremy Joel popping up behind a random wooden road sign that reads, “DANG GOOD CANDY,” the space, located at 402 Houston St., is intended to offer a fun, informal setting for emerging artists to showcase their work.
“There’s something important about the idea of doing your first solo where there’s a narrative involved,” Wilkinson says. “My plan is to work with artists who have a lot of work but have yet to put it together into the same album.”
Currently an artist in residency with the Bass family, Wilkinson was recruited by the family to support an ongoing artistic and cultural renaissance in downtown Fort Worth. Wilkinson was given the downtown space as a temporary studio during his residency, but he saw the opportunity to convert the front section into a gallery.
DANG GOOD CANDY has been open to guests for about a month, but Wilkinson opted for a soft opening instead of a big push in light of the pandemic. Fort Worth artist Charles Gray secured the first solo show with “Tell Me, I’m Listening.” Gray’s show closed Sunday with a free painting demonstration and will be replaced with works by Colton Batts.
While an accomplished exhibition and studio artist, Wilkinson is not new to what it takes to open a business. After graduating from the prestigious Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and University of North Texas in Denton, his art career came after he embraced his entrepreneurial side, opening a comic store, a music-booking business, and a food truck.
“One of the big things I try to impart to these young artists is that it’s all entrepreneurial,” Wilkinson says. “In the entrepreneurial world, you have to pivot and move in different spaces, and that’s kind of what I’m doing with this.”
Wilkinson says that he sees the gallery as more of an experimental space where artists can showcase pieces that wouldn’t normally be seen in a formal setting, such as installations and new media.
“If there was anything that I would want the gallery to be known as, it’s as an opportunity for work that wouldn’t normally exist in a regular setting,” he says.
More information can be found on DANG GOOD CANDY’s Instagram.