PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas May 2023

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Ro2 Unveils in Trinity Groves Game Changer: I t's always a pleasure to cover the next iteration of an art space, especially when the gallerist is a dealer we know and admire, and whose program promotes Texas talents. Ro2 Art — home to notables such as Akirash, Daniel Johnston, James Isaac Zamora, and Brian K. Jones and Brian K. Scott of Chuck & George renown — has staked a bold claim to Trinity Groves. (Its previous Cedars space at 1501 S. Ervay Street remains open, utilized for special projects including Ro2's signature summertime small-works invitational, "Chaos," and exhibitions introducing emerging artists and experimental work.) The space takes its name from the mother-son duo who founded it in 2010, creative director Susan Roth Romans and director Jordan Roth, the de facto face of Ro2, who heads up daily operations. The gallery boasts 250 exhibitions to date, a 50-artist roster, and an innovative history including pop-ups, satellite spaces, and even establishing a satellite art fair, all before their latest move to the Tin District in the heart of Trinity Groves. The new Ro2 Art is "absolutely the most important gallery space we've had to date," says Jordan Roth, describing the 4,000-square-foot main gallery that occupies a former commercial structure, with an 1,800-square-foot adjoining building for viewing room and art storage. Their hunt for new digs was prompted by the need to mount two exhibitions simultaneously, larger walls, and more room for sculpture. "In March 2022, we were contacted by [developer] Butch McGregor to look at Tin District," he says. The attraction was instant: "When touring around, we encountered so many artists we knew who were operating studios in the area. The vibe felt absolutely right; it felt like home. Also, the close proximity to downtown and the Design District was ideal for us." Then he saw 2606 Bataan, a circa-'70s site that had previously housed a drywall company's warehouse and offices. "The facade is completely unique and has an almost institutional feel. The amount of space was exactly what we needed, and potential outdoor events and a great parking lot were bonuses." While it took a year, the developer committed to extensive renovation to make the new gallery possible. "My mom designed the interior of the space; the exterior just needed a fresh coat of paint and a truly striking entrance, which was designed by architect Corky Cunningham." Voilà — Ro2 Art, Tin District edition, opened this spring. Its inaugural show featured film noirish painter Sophia Anthony (whose "Interior Motives" will have a second stop at Ro2's site in the Cedars, May 13 – June 3), followed by Chance Dunlap's "Friends, #noncactus" featuring 100 sculptures of cacti perched on a handmade table (through May 20). Upcoming is a birthday solo for nonagenarian Gillian Bradshaw-Smith, who's exhibited alongside Noguchi and Romare Bearden, paired with intricate, postcard-sized drawings by Brad Ford Smith, inspired by sculpture that exists in Dallas and imaginary works in the artist's mind (May 6 – June 10). While Tin District is new terrain for Ro2, the gallery's community-and-activist purpose remains the same. "The mission has always been to show emerging, mid-career, and established artists, as well as to give artists their first shows," Jordan says. "Ro2 Art strives to highlight women artists, new talent, and artists who have been overlooked." Ro2 Art, 2606 Bataan, By Catherine D. Anspon. Photography Jacob Carroll. The new Ro2 Art, Trinity Groves Jordan Roth with a work by Terry Hays Sophia Anthony with her canvas Understood Incomprehensibly, 2023 80

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