1. How long have you been in Texarkana and what drew you to downtown as a place to open your business?
The gallery has been open here on Broad Street for close to 3 years. I've been in Texarkana for almost 70 years. I retired as an art teacher and have always tried to stay involved with the community, through TRAHC and other ways. Being an artist has always come secondary to teaching. I knew I wasn't ready to just sit in a rocking chair, so when this building came available it was just a dream, and I partnered with four other people and we opened the space.
The history down here and the connection that you feel to that history and to the people, that's what I love about being downtown.
2. Do you have a favorite downtown moment or memory?
As a teenager, I remember coming downtown to have cream horns at City Bakery, then we would go for cherry Cokes at Simmons Drugstore and go see a movie, that was our entertainment and it was so much fun, walking around.
3. Can you tell us something interesting about your building?
From what I understand, the original brick here was handmade and layed out to dry on Broad Street. It's amazing to think of the labor that went into these buildings, everything done manually - carried and moved without the machinery we have today. The fact that these buildings are still standing, all the people who have walked through them, I love that connection to history.
4. What do you want people to know about your business?
In addition to displaying and selling art from local artists, we also offer classes & workshops. We have hosted private parties and we can do small group classes, like a ladies night out. We're very community-minded, we work with local nonprofits, we want to give back to the community as much as we can.
5. What would you like to see downtown in the future?
I would like it to really become a hub for artists of all kinds, we are in the Arts & Historic District. Also to see more specialty shops come back and just see all of the empty buildings utilized.
All of our neighbor shops - Knock on Wood, Verona Italian Restaurant, the Phelps' at Logan Electric, are just great - we are a community down here. It's a great place to be.
Thank you, Ms. Hubnik! Downtown Gallery and Studio 218 sells original artwork from local artists and also offers classes and workshops at 218 E. Broad St, phone # 903.826.3219. You can keep up with them online through Facebook @Studio218-DowntownGallery.