***Below is an excerpt of the full article regarding JR Mooney Galleries of Fine Art of Boerne, Texas.***
Excerpt from "When to Bring in New Art and What to Choose", by Sarah Seamark in the August 2014 edition of Art World News Magazine
….."For Gabriel Delgado, Director of the Boerne, TX, location of J.R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art that is also in San Antonio, the challenge was how to transition the gallery from the impressionistic landscape genre, with some Western art, for which J.R. Mooney has been known for 68 years. Originally, Joe Mooney, an artist himself, was a supporter of local artists who were getting their feet wet. When his son Robert took over, he wanted to go beyond the South Texas market to California, New York, and Europe, and bring back Impressionist artists to Texas. He felt this style would suit the old San Antonio families the gallery served, many in the oil business, and with traditional tastes. “Even now, San Antonio as an art community is three to five years behind Houston, and that is two to three years behind New York, as far as trending aesthetics are concerned. So there is a catch-up,” observes Mr. Delgado who has lived on both coasts, as well as in Houston. “Change comes slowly, and you have to educate people on a new look. “When I came into the gallery, appreciating the history and success of the Mooney family, I took a look at their client base and saw we were dealing with second and third generations of clients who had been buying from the gallery. The third generation grew up with Impressionism in their grandparents’ homes and that decor doesn’t match their decor. A lot of it has been going to Christie’s and Sotheby’s.
He decided to analyze what style of art would suit these budding collectors. “They already appreciated fine art (having grown up with it), but their tastes were different from the previous generations.” He came to understand that here is a client that needs educating, and that their tastes would not be on the cutting edge of contemporary art, but more in tune with the South Texas art scene. As a result, he began introducing the work of contemporary artists into the Boerne location of J.R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art, but nothing too far out. Among them is Russell Stephenson, a San Antonio artist who does abstracted landscapes of Texas in a style that is beyond impressionism and more about swatches of color and movement. In fact, his work has characteristics of abstract expressionism. “So here we have a ‘bridging’ artist going from Impressionism to Abstract Expressionism— and they are willing to add him to their collection as it is not a huge jump.” Another artist Mr. Delgado introduced is Louis Vega Trevino, also from San Antonio, and known as a minimalist, particularly for his stripe paintings. “All it is is various strata of stripes from a color theory application. So people who have traditional landscapes need to be educated on why it makes sense to pair it with a landscape—or bring it into a room dominated by traditional work. “Our market is very unique because we are tied to what our clients are familiar with and have had to help them understand new work.” However, the proof of the value of this exercise can be found in the numbers. Between April 2013 and April 2014, sales of fine art in the Boerne location of J.R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art increased by threefold. Much of this Mr. Delgado attributes to creating a buzz around contemporary work both from new artists and by artists already with the gallery who were encouraged to “push the boundaries.”