Art for the Masses

Artisan’s Collective owner, Ted Matthews, offers a wide range of art for both the seasoned and novice art collector.

Ted Matthews is all about the art, and the artists of Oak Cliff. After years of watching frustrated artists give up on their passion and turn to more traditional careers, Matthews decided to pitch in and open the Artisan’s Collective in Oak Cliff. Bound and determined to encourage artists to keep at it, Matthews has become our local patron of the arts. His store, located on Davis Avenue, brings together over forty local artists, selling wares in all price ranges.

Matthews feels compelled to help artists survive in their element. “Life can be very difficult for creative people,” Matthews says, “They need to create in order to feel complete. It is something as necessary as taking a breath. . . Artisan’s Collective is dedicated to those artists that need support and encouragement.”

After spending his childhood traveling around the world and learning about art, Matthews credits his family for teaching him the art of art-appreciation. Matthews himself has dabbled in art in the past, and comes from a family of artists.

Before moving to Oak Cliff 10 years ago, Matthews lived in the popular Uptown area of Dallas. Working as a freelance commercial and graphic designer, his life bore little resemblance to his Oak Cliff existence. “I thought I would miss the hectic, fast-paced life of living on McKinney Ave.,” he says, but “it didn’t happen. I fell in love with Oak Cliff almost immediately; its people, landscape, architecture and its amazingly unique charm and diversity.”

After moving to Oak Cliff, Matthews opened Artisan’s Collective in December 2005, in a building across from popular Gloria’s restaurant. He makes a point of including all kinds of artists, and art, in his store, from the successful to the amateur and from expensive paintings to more reasonably-priced pieces of folk art. “I encourage the artists to expand their audience by creating works that are affordable to all,” Matthews comments, explaining, “Most people love and appreciate something that is created by an individual, but simply cannot afford it. By offering two or three price points, the artists are providing the opportunity for everyone to enjoy a one of a kind treasure.”

And art pieces are not the only items on Artisan’s Collective’s ticket. “Soon,” Matthews says, “[we] will be hosting workshops, classes and inspirational talks to help artists realize that it is possible to follow their dream and live the life they imagined.”

Matthews has dedicated his life to helping support Oak Cliff art. But he believes the larger community shares in that responsibility. “It is the communities in which artists live that inspire them,” he states. “It is vital that we support and encourage our local artists so that they can create and inspire generations to come.”

There are many ways to support Oak Cliff artists, Matthews claims. It’s as simple as thinking twice about your next birthday or house-warming present. “When it comes time to find that special gift,” he urges, “consider purchasing something handcrafted with love and care from a local artist that appreciates you, instead of something mass-produced in China.”

Visit Artisan’s Collective on the web at www.artisanscollective.net.



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