First Look: DRAWL Southern Contemporary Art Gallery

Back in April Guy Bell and I were standing waist deep in the Arkansas river for a photo shoot for his profile story we ran.  Somewhere between deciding if he had a snake under his foot or a turtle he says “I am not ready to tell anyone this publically, but I think I am going to start a southern art gallery. And yeah, it was a turtle, so no worries.”

The thing about the south, it takes someone whose first thought is to get out in the river to truly get the culture. Six months later that passion for things southern is paying off as Bell is ready to launch his vision this week.

DRAWL is tucked away on the second floor of an office building at 5208 Kavanaugh in the Heights. The giant tree in the parking lot ensures all you see is the liquor store that occupies the bottom floor. It is easy to miss, I drove past it twice and I have lived here all my life.

What is not easy to miss is what Bell is doing once you make your way up the staircase and into the gallery.

“I feel like art should be affordable and approachable,” Bell describes. “Almost everything in here is under $5,000. That is almost unheard of for a gallery with as many respected artists that we have attracted.”

Bell is a firm believer that art should be available to everyone. The art is not skimping on quality or size either, most everything is a respectable sized piece.

The gallery currently features the work of 16 artists including Bell, who has carved out a strong name for himself as well in the southern art scene. Some of our personal favorite works are the color field pieces by Melanie Rolfes, the “Past is not the Future” door by Carl Joe Williams, and the Dixie Totem work by Andrew Blanchard.

DRAWL opens tonight with an opening bash from 6-9pm, after that regular hours are Tues-Friday: 1-5 pm; Saturday 11 – 4



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