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David Minton

Space for art

Oxide gets breathing room in new gallery location

It’s the second time in a year that Denton business owner Warren Hooper has relocated his art gallery and flower shop. Oxide Gallery celebrates opening its doors on Eagle Drive with an anniversary party and opening reception on Saturday night.

The florist-turned-art dealer said he knew another move was in the cards as soon as his relocated from Hickory Street at Carroll Boulevard to a small storefront on Cedar Street.

“It was just too small, in every respect,” Hooper said, thinking about the snug Cedar Street shop. “It was 700 square feet. It was a shoe box. For a flower shop and a gallery, it just wasn’t enough space. It was never meant to be long term.”

Hooper had to move Linwood-Alford Florist and Oxide Gallery when the Hickory Street building was sold by its owner. Verus Real Estate bought the building and leased part of it to Smiling Moose Deli, which opened recently.

Hooper said he wanted to stay in the footprint of downtown Denton, so he spent much of his spare time driving around the streets off the downtown Square.

Hooper started the gallery from the historic local floral shop in 2008. As an art lover, he saw a vacuum in Denton’s visual arts scene. With local galleries displaying art from the universities and mostly professional works, Denton was short on space for emerging and amateur artists.

Linwood-Alford Florist was using about 1,200 square feet of the flower shop as storage, and Hooper wanted to make the space profitable. Oxide was born, and its mission was to exhibit and sell work by artists in North Texas. A jury panel assembled to select work for monthly exhibits, and the business eventually began organizing a revolving exhibit at Banter Bistro, a downtown cafe and bar.

Oxide’s new home is at 115 Eagle Drive, where Peter Collora Pianos used to be. Collora’s inventory is being moved to the company’s Dallas piano store, leaving plenty of space for “the beast,” the large refrigerator where Hooper keeps his fresh flowers.

Along with the new space is a new name — Oxide Fine Art and Floral Gallery — and a new business structure, Hooper said.

Shoppers looking for the typical gift shop and florist will be surprised by the gallery. Display arrangements are set out sparingly, and there are no teddy bears or mylar balloon arrangements to speak of.

“We did tweak the name,” he said. “I wanted this to be more of a traditional flower shop, with flowers and plants that I design, and then most of the space belonging to the art.”

— Lucinda Breeding


What: Gallery Night, grand reopening and fifth anniversary party

When: 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday

Where: 115 Eagle Drive, Suite A

Details: Admission is free. For more information, call 940-483-8900.

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