3 new art galleries in Oak Cliff are worth a visit

Left to right/ Michael Savoie of Savoie Gallery, Mickie of the Misfit Gallery and Adam Spigel at Exhibit 3 Gallery: Photos by Danny Fulgencio
Left to right/ Michael Savoie of Savoie Gallery, Mickie of the Misfit Gallery and Adam Spigel at Exhibit 3 Gallery: Photos by Danny Fulgencio

Even though some people call our neighborhood hot spot the “Bishop Eats District” for its many culinary attractions, North Oak Cliff still has its feet planted in the arts, thanks to galleries such as Mighty Fine Arts, the Basement Gallery, Ginger Fox Gallery and the Oak Cliff Cultural Center, to name a few. Three new galleries have opened in the neighborhood in the past year or so. Here’s a look at what they have to offer.

Savoie Gallery

212 S. Tyler · 972.800.4787 · savoiegallery.com

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Artist Michael Savoie first pursued a career in fashion, attending a school in California before realizing he wanted to be an artist.

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So he returned to Texas and “taught myself to paint.” Eventually, he finished his art degree at Burlington College in Vermont, but he already had discovered his own style. Savoie describes it as “abstract realism.”

“It could never be abstract because I paint portraits,” he says. “But it has an abstract quality and feel to it based on the way I layer the paint. Layering the paint makes up the skin tone of the subjects.”

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Savoie quit his job in 2013 to paint full time, and he opened his namesake gallery a few months later.

Savoie was at Art Basel in Miami in December, and his work is receiving attention in Hollywood.

Director Lee Daniels of “The Butler” and “Precious” bought one of Savoie’s paintings and later asked him to provide artwork for his new TV series, “Empire,” which was picked up by Fox. Savoie’s work also has appeared on “Real Housewives of Atlanta.”

So far, Savoie Gallery has shown only the artist’s own work, but he is planning to invite other artists to show there soon.

“I don’t want to be a gallery entity as in representing other artists,” he says. “But I want other people to have an opportunity to show their work.”

Savoie Gallery is open by appointment.

The Misfit Gallery

443 W. Davis · 214.501.8189 · themisfitgallery.com

The photographer known as Mickie moved back to Dallas last year after a few years working in fashion photography in Los Angeles. In California, she had started a nonprofit for homeless artists and produced a few plays. Back in Texas, she wanted to do something to support the local arts. So a friend, Kathy Corbin of the Barefoot Hippies, told her to check out Oak Cliff.

Mickie found a space near the Bishop Arts District, and opened her gallery, which is “unlike any other,” she says. She possesses so much energy that she produces a new gallery show every month. In its first four months, the gallery showed the work of more than 100 artists.

“The space welcomes anyone and everyone,” she says. “We embrace the strange and the not-so-strange artists.”

So far, the shows have included photography, painting, sculpture and art glass. Mickie mixes high-brow art with off-beat work. She wants to provide a market for serious art collectors as well as “people who never thought they could afford to buy art.” The gallery also represents about 20 artists and offers occasional art classes.

“The gallery gives an opportunity for never-seen artists to blend with masters,” she says.

Exhibit 3 Gallery

1221 W. Davis · 972.861.0150

Adam Spigel started off in the art world promoting his mom. He actually obtained the domain name exhibit3.com for her in 1997.

He works a full-time job in IT, but he started taking photos with a camera his dad gave him when Spigel was 5 years old.

About 10 years ago, Spigel started doing panoramic landscapes, and over the past few years, they’ve started gaining attention from art collectors.

One night over drinks at Nova with his pals the Padilla brothers, Spigel up and decided to open his own gallery in a space across the street from the Kessler Theater, just down the block from where Daniel and Manuel Padilla have their gallery.

“It was a spur-of-the-moment thing,” he says.

He also decided to buy a house in Oak Cliff.

Exhibit 3 opened with a show of Spigel’s own photos on Day of the Dead weekend. Next, he plans to show his photos mounted in Plexiglas, and he also is working to bring in more artists, primarily painters and photographers.

“I want to change it up and keep it fresh,” he says.

The gallery is open noon-6 p.m. Saturdays and by appointment.

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