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Early Dallas Fine Art Photography Gallery Experiences Growth Of Art Culture Over 25 Years

By Kelly Church

Missy Finger and her husband Burt started as private art dealers in 1992. Three years later they opened up a public gallery. Their gallery, PDNB Gallery, was only the second in the Dallas, TX area to display photography. The gallery was originally dubbed Photographs Do Not Bend, was drawn from the Stamp imprint you find on packages containing photographs. Over the years, the name became shortened, and is now simply known as PDNB Gallery and displays 25 artists on rotation every eight weeks, approximately.

"Since we have been in this business over 25 years, our artist selection process has become more refined," Finger said. "Various assets are required, including a strong exhibition history, notable museum collections and book publications. And the most important value an artist can add to our gallery is that they produce work that is innovative to the medium."

Keith Carter, Conversation with a Coyote, 2013

Keith Carter is one of PDNB Gallery's longest-standing artists. The Beaumont photographer is well-known and featured in many museum gallery collections. Carter specializes in black-and-white photography, often featuring animals. Finger described his style as surreal and often poetic. He also has work displayed internationally.

There were three exhibits showing at PDNB Gallery through mid-February. Brazilian photographer Fabio Del Rey had his own show at PDNB Gallery which featured still life images that are inspired by Italian painter Giorgio Morandi. Another exhibit featured work by Japanese photographer Kazz Morishita called Moonlight Serenade. This exhibit displayed luscious landscapes highlighted with ominous moon coverage.

The third exhibit was called Odds and Ends and showed work by artists that have subjects considered odd or images with a form of an end. Finger, however, said she was particularly excited about the newest exhibit, called Through Darkness to Light: Seeking Freedom on the Underground Railroad by Jeanine Michna-Bales.

Elliott Erwitt, New York City, 1946

"The timing of this show is perfect, in many ways," Finger said. "The show consists of landscapes taken in the dark, illustrating a particular pathway possibly chosen by a slave from Louisiana to Canada. It is a dark and meaningful set of images that transports you through the night into territories that were mostly life threatening, but simultaneously promised freedom."

Finger believes that the purpose of art is to provide a platform for dialogue. Although she admitted it can be intimidating to collect art, she said she's seen a huge increase in fine art photography collection throughout Dallas since her gallery opened in 1995.

"It is exciting to see all the change that has happened in the last 25 years in the local art scene," Finger said. "Dallas-Ft. Worth has become an international art destination."

For more visit http://pdnbgallery.com/SITE/

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