Truthful Art Gallery came to fruition in October 2016 under the partnership of Dana Birnbaum and Nathan Horn. Dana has a bachelor of fine art from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and admittedly has a bit of a gypsy heart. She has lived all over the United States, and she chose this city because her 8 year old son lives here. Nathan was a long time friend and artist from Ohio, and he chose to come to Texas to be her partner in the gallery. “Nathan was truly the most brilliant artist I have ever known,” Dana said, “I would have never tried to open a gallery without an artist’s help.”
They found a great location for the gallery at 1920 10th Street, and moved toward opening the business. Nathan made a lot of paintings, including the distinctive “truthful girl” painted on the window of the gallery which turned out to be the design used for the business cards and website.”
While his talent helped start the business, he unfortunately died 7 days after they opened. It was unexpected by Dana, yet she was still able to keep the gallery open and make it a haven for unknown artists. “What Truthful is about is finding what’s new,” she said, “I want to give a platform to people who don’t really have a platform. I want to push boundaries.” One of the artists that she is featuring now is Siscily Gann, and is a perfect example of what the gallery is all about. Siscily was so shy that many of her friends didn’t know that she painted.
“It is kind of a soft shoe act,” Dana said. “I have a sensitivity to vulnerabilities that artists have. Artists are sensitive people and so am I, so promoting and selling their art has been a different role for me.” At Siscily’s first show, she sold 2 pieces and realized that she is a real artist. “Once you get a new artist to an opening and they sell a piece they become more confident in everything,” Dana explained.
“I try to make people realize that art isn’t doing any good stacked up in your garage. It isn’t doing anything for the artist or the community or the world. The point is giving it to the world. If it affects someone then that is a contribution and the world needs that,” she said. “I am good at seeing what is good. I just want to put good back in the world. It is a hard thing to define, but becoming a business owner and developing relationships with artists is part of my mission statement.” Another part of that mission statement is, “We want to create a space where an artist is free to redefine the boundaries, and push us to see the world differently.”
Dana is currently looking for a new building for her gallery, and is considering some downtown venues. She also sells jewelry and vintage items and accessories. She is on Facebook and has a website. www.truthfulartgallery.com