September 2021


COMMUNITY UNDER CONSTRUCTION BY CAROL INE PURTLE PHOTOS BY MATT CORNEL IUS T exarkana’s growth continues to broaden the community, encouraging new opportunities and innovation, but its towering

freely and buy any of the artwork seen. Trade Days are on the second Saturday of each month and are a fun event featuring artists and crafts, connecting artists with the community.” “Ms. [Georgia] Hubnik had the art gallery up the street. I brought her down here and said, ‘Look at this place. What do you think?’” Her vision, alongside Peavy’s, brought about the current gallery design. A column in the center of the entrance spawned one of the most iconic features of 1894’s innovative interior design. It is a rigged display connecting floor to ceiling with canvases trickling down, giving the illusion of walls and utilizing the full space in a unique and beautiful way. “Of course, you should have art in your interior design,” said Peavy. “Some mass produced art is beautiful and just fabulous, but to have something that was created by hand and is uniqurely yours, that’s a little bit more special.” The building is massive. The 1894 Gallery is found on the first floor and looks like a small museum. The original building, being decades old and once dilapidated, has undergone extensive renovation, but the improvements continue, and the building’s metamorphosis has only just begun. “I suppose what drove me to this building were the beautiful arches and how

history casts a large shadow on the twenty- first century. This is not to say heritage is unimportant or that “old” is bad. Texarkana’s past is the character, and in many ways the literal foundation that waits to usher in a future where each may coexist. Nestled alongside the railroad tracks on an overlooked block of downtown is the 1894 Gallery. The building, formerly home to Ritchie Grocery, is now owned by David Peavy. The art gallery opened in 2018 and today it is the largest gallery in the area, representing approximately 100 artists from the region with original pieces that range from canvas to fragile glass, all available for purchase. “There’s no other place in town, or anywhere, that does more for local artists than we do,” said Peavy. “We give people an outlet for their art, and when you want to see the art of the Southwest Arkansas, Northeast Texas area, this is the place to go. The 1894 Gallery and building gives a place of pride for people that are from Texarkana. We work really hard to make it that.” The gallery is free to enter, and guided tours can be provided, but it is an operating art gallery so visitors may walk around


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