One night, at a glittering after-party for AFI Dallas, I spent a delightful evening mingling with the power-elite and a bevy of local artists at the HCG Art Gallery on Dragon Street.
The pricey champagne flowed as art-lovers chatted each other up to a fever pitch.
The seemingly endless trays of scrumptious hor d'oeuvres were wolfed down by the appreciative party-goers who jockeyed for position each time the smartly-attired servers made their rounds through the packed gallery.
When I asked if the art market in Dallas was healthy, Brandy - the curator - nodded in the affirmative.
"Sales have been strident," she noted with candor.
The exhibition of abstract expressionist paintings on display the eve of the soiree was a knock-out!
But, traces of a previous event at the gallery - Graffiti Daze - piqued my curiousity, too.
The elegant rep excitedly informed me that most of the work by the two young artists - Carlos D. Donjuan and Alejandro Diaz - were plucked up by savvy art collectors out in full force on opening night.
Both painters are part of an organization known as "Sour Grapes".
According to the press blurb, the eclectic group channel the negative influences of their Oak Cliff neighborhood into positive expressions in the form of graffiti, painting on traditional canvas, tattooing (body art), and sculpting.
"On the evening the stunning pieces were unveiled, the gallery was packed with street artists, high-society Dallas types, and down-to-earth folks from the hood. All were rubbing shoulders without any qualms," the gallery dealer beamed.
Artreach Dallas (a sponsor for the thought-provoking show) makes a bold-faced effort to ensure there is ample access to the arts and cultural events in the desert town, according to their press flyer.
There is a big focus on economically disadvantaged youths and adults, as well as the disabled and the elderly.
In fact, Artreach is the only outreach organization in the Dallas area that specifically targets these special populations in the community-at-large.
The promoters for the after-party came up with a novel idea to entertain the guests that night which I found quite amusing.
On a table near the front door, a table of props - sailor hats, toy guns, and boas in vivid hues - beckoned the curious.
"Take your picture?" one of the curvy hostesses queried as she tugged at my arm playfully.
I snapped up an Admiral's cap and posed in front of a colorful backdrop which was strung up to add a festive touch to the impromptu party game.
I left the HCG with a warm glow radiating deep within my heart.
In a couple of days I will be penning a post on the Dallas Museum of Art and two other outstanding Art Institutions - the Kimbell Art Museum and the Modern Art Museum - which are both located in Forth Worth (Texas).
I expect the experience will be a healing one.
John Updike said it best:
"What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit."