Artist Nancy Lamb is downright giddy talking about wrapping paper, purses, and beach towels. In fact, she's as excited about the launch of Artspace111's Nancy Lamb Shop — a new collection of fashion accessories and home decor bearing her designs — as she is about any big gallery opening.
"I've wanted to do this since I was in junior high school," Lamb says. "I've always been interested in design."
The shop launches officially on Fall Gallery Night, September 7. Then pieces will be available onsite and through Artspace111's website as long as they last.
The line includes acrylic trays, phone cases, place mats, scarves, and custom Vans sneakers designed by Artspace111's in-house designer, Cinthya Duran. There are also clutches, kimonos, poofs, and more by Fort Worth designer Brooke Wright. All feature elements from Lamb's past artworks, including two-dimensional works and ceramics.
And they're colorful, whimsical, and Instagrammy to boot.
The collaboration is a first for both Lamb and the Fort Worth gallery that has shown her works and represented her since the 1980s. The line is launching in tandem with "Refired POW!," a new solo exhibition by Lamb that reinterprets her past ceramic works.
"We had talked for a long time about reimagining some of Nancy's pieces for product," says Margery Gossett, director of Artspace111. "When she approached us about this show, where she was reimagining her ceramic pieces, we thought it was a good time to do this part of it, too."
Lamb gave the gallery "carte blanche" to choose from thousands of her images, which included water colors, oils, drawing, and other kind of prints, she says. She's elated about every item she's seen.
"I have my Vans on right now," she says enthusiastically. "I hope I get a kimono for Gallery Night."
Lamb — a beloved Fort Worth artist who often is seen snapping photos and painting vignettes from big society parties — says her decision to lend her designs to commercial products is likely to raise eyebrows from people who think she's "not serious."
But she considers the Nancy Lamb Shop another fun way to present art to the world. After all, she insists, graphic art is art.
"I admire advertising illustrations as much as fine art," she says. "I think it's an amazing talent, and it has to be produced under great duress, and it also has to have an immediate effect on people."
Some of the new pieces are extremely limited — just 100 scarves and trays and 30 pairs of Vans are being made — and Gossett expects about 1,500 people to come through the door on Gallery Night (which actually lasts all day, from noon to 9 pm). Festivities will include a snow cone truck and cocktails featuring Fort Worth-made Blk Eye Vodka, for which Lamb designed a custom label.
"We have so much going on that night, but obviously [the Nancy Lamb Shop] is going to be a really fun part of it," Gossett says.
For her part, Lamb has big visions for the little collection.
"It's my dream to be one of Oprah's Favorite Things," she says with a giggle.
They'd better start cranking out more kimonos.