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Between art & craft

An iconic Houston art gallery prepares to close its doors: Unlikely spot lasted decades

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Goldesberry Gallery, retirement, Sandra ZIlker
Pieces by Sandra Zilker Photo by Tyler Rudick
Goldesberry Gallery retirement, Nancy Goldesberry, Oliver Goldesberry
Oliver and Nancy Golderberry Photo by Tyler Rudick
Goldesberry Gallery, Body Parts exhibit, jewelry, November 2012, Daffodil Necklace artist Olga Starostina
Olga Starostina, Daffodil Necklace Photo courtesy of the artist and Goldesberry Gallery
Goldesberry Gallery, jewelry exhibit, retirement show, December 2012, earrings
A selection of sterling silver earings by Houston jewelry artist Marcela McLean Photo by Tyler Rudick
Goldesberry Gallery, retirement, Kristi Rae Wilson
Work by Kristi Rae Wilson Photo by Tyler Rudick
Goldesberry Gallery, Body Parts exhibit, jewelry, November 2012, scales bracelet artist Olga Starostina
Olga Starostina, Scales Bracelet Photo courtesy of the artist and Goldesberry Gallery
Goldesberry Gallery, Body Parts exhibit, jewelry, November 2012, rangoon creeper necklace artist Edward Lane McCartney
Edward Lane McCartney, Rangoon Creeper Necklace Photo courtesy of the artist and Goldesberry Gallery
Goldesberry Gallery, Body Parts exhibit, jewelry, November 2012, dora necklace artist Kristi Rae Wilson
Kristi Rae Wilson, Dora Necklace Photo courtesy of the artist and Goldesberry Gallery
Goldesberry Gallery, retirement, Sandra ZIlker
Goldesberry Gallery retirement, Nancy Goldesberry, Oliver Goldesberry
Goldesberry Gallery, Body Parts exhibit, jewelry, November 2012, Daffodil Necklace artist Olga Starostina
Goldesberry Gallery, jewelry exhibit, retirement show, December 2012, earrings
Goldesberry Gallery, retirement, Kristi Rae Wilson
Goldesberry Gallery, Body Parts exhibit, jewelry, November 2012, scales bracelet artist Olga Starostina
Goldesberry Gallery, Body Parts exhibit, jewelry, November 2012, rangoon creeper necklace artist Edward Lane McCartney
Goldesberry Gallery, Body Parts exhibit, jewelry, November 2012, dora necklace artist Kristi Rae Wilson

After announcing their retirement this past August, gallerists Nancy and Oliver Goldesberry have been in the throes of a three-part finale celebrating their two-decade career as some of Houston's strongest supporters of contemporary crafts.

With the trio of exhibition's last installment — a group show titled Body Parts that highlights the work of 15 jewelry artists  — the Goldesberry Gallery is singing its swan song as it approaches its last day on Christmas Eve.

“In the last 20 years, it's been great to see how much more aware Houstonians have become of modern craft,” Oliver noted. 

"We've had a wonderful run and we're going to miss it, but it's time to do something else," Oliver Goldesberry tells CultureMap.

"This has really been a second career for us," Nancy says at the couple's eponymous Colquitt Street space. "We've always collected artwork, but when we opened in the early 1990s, I was actually still working for a banking organization."

The Goldesberrys burst onto the gallery scene almost by happenstance, Oliver remembers.

"I was doing a lot of commercial design work at the time and guess I was looking for a change," he says. "There was a little gallery next to the Betty Moody Gallery called Craftworks that had closed. When I told Betty how sorry I was to see one of the city's few craft galleries go, she suggested I think about taking the space . . . In the end, we did."

The couple made the leap with Artables, a gallery dedicated to fine art in glass, metal, fiber and wood.

Body Parts presents a collection of challenging — yet, wearable — pieces that encapsulates the gallery’s commitment to that intriguing line between art and craft. 

After a successful year and a half next to the Moody Gallery, they felt confident enough to move to a larger space down the street at the “Zephyr,” a shopping center revamped in 1985 with a slanted postmodern facade by Miami designers Arquitectonica. By the late 1990s, the couple changed the name to the Goldesberry Gallery as their stable of artists continued to expand and diversify.

“In the last 20 years, it's been great to see how much more aware Houstonians have become of modern craft,” Oliver says.

“As that line between art and craft has become blurrier and blurrier, places like the Center for Contemporary Craft and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston have done a wonderful job in educating the public.”

Organized by Houston jewelry artists Sandra Zilker, Debbie Wetmore and Edward Lane McCartney, Body Parts presents a collection of challenging — yet, completely wearable — pieces that encapsulates the gallery’s longstanding commitment to that intriguing line between art and craft. Plus, as a nice bonus for the holiday season, prices are affordable.

Stop by the Zephyr before Dec. 24 to catch the Goldesberry Gallery's final show. Click here for hours.

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