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Life & Arts

'It's Just A Mix Of Feelings': The Davis Gallery's Holiday Group Show 'Together Apart'

Charles Heppner's 'connectedness in toto'
Charles Heppner
connectedness in toto, 2020

When planning Davis Gallery’s holiday group show this year, gallery director Fallon Bartos started, as usual, with a title. “Davis Gallery has a tradition of coming up with a title and then asking artists to bring in or make something that fits the theme,” she says. “And I could not get out of my mind the two words together apart because of what we’re going through right now.”

Bartos says the sentiment seemed even more appropriate for a holiday show. “Especially with Christmas coming, we’re all going to have to be apart even more so we don’t spread this virus,” she says, adding that the title ‘Together Apart’ seemed to resonate with her artists. More than thirty artists are represented in the show, including painters, photographers, sculptors, and multimedia artists.

“It’s just a mix of feelings about what we’re going through, the loneliness,” Bartos says. “[And] the togetherness – some of us are together with people that we’ve created a pod with so that we have someone to be with over the holidays. And this is kind of a way for all of us to be together during the holidays, here in this beautiful little space.”

Bartos says the inspiration for the title and the theme ‘Together Apart’ came from one of the pieces on display, Charles Heppner’s connectedness in toto. “I was thrilled that she connected with my work so completely,” Heppner says. “And the feeling is mutual – I love her work too.”

The work connectedness in toto is part of a larger series that Heppner has created over the years. “[I’ve made] over a hundred of these small box constructions that I call ‘sanctum boxes,’” he says. “I’ve been making them for over a decade. They’re small personal meditation spaces. In this case, connectedness in toto is… asking ourselves how we’re connecting with each other through a commonality, in this case the moon.”

“It moved me,” Bartos says of connectedness in toto. “I saw this on his Instagram,” she says, holding the small piece up to her zoom camera to give me a better look at it. “And I was like, ‘this inspires me. May I have this for our holiday group show?’”

There are dozens of other works on display as a part of ‘Together Apart,” and all are viewable on the Davis Gallery website or, by appointment for small groups only, at the gallery space itself. Patrons can book a thirty minute viewing window to visit the gallery and see the art in person. “We don’t want more than a couple or four people at a time viewing the show,” Bartos says. “Bring your pod.”

Still pretty new to running a gallery, Bartos and is looking forward to being able to open the doors for a proper gallery party with conversation and wine, welcoming in art fans, and hosting chats with the artists, though she knows that’s probably still a ways away. “I’m hoping that [in] the future, we’ll have our masks off and we’ll get back together and have a good talk,” she says.

'Together Apart' is viewable at DavisGalleryAustin.com and by appointment at the gallery itself through January 16.

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