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‘Inner Voice’ Art Exhibit at the Fort Work Gallery at Alto 211, Q&A with Curator Nile Tuzun


A patron, in Istanbul, admiring the work of Berna N. Arpaci

After the successful first exhibit '10 Under 30' what was the motivation behind this show?

Our first exhibition "10 Under 30" was a huge success. We achieved our goal of bringing 10 emerging local Dallas artists under the age of 30 under under one roof and it was received very well. Our goal with the Fort Work Gallery is to give emerging artists a space to expose their art. Next up, we wanted to do a solo show with an international artist. During one of my travels to Istanbul, I had the pleasure of meeting the artist Berna N. Arpaci who is an emerging artist based in Turkey. I fell in love with her paintings and the message she conveys through her art. I decided to bring her work to Dallas as her first U.S. exhibition. Her exhibition "Inner Voice" will be on view starting April 8th at the Fort Work Gallery.

What should people expect to see with the exhibition "Inner Voice"?

The viewers should expect to see some great art. The 'Inner Voice' refers to the communication one has with himself. In life people interact with many other beings and has relations with many others. However the main relationship is the one with the inner voice. If you are not in conflict with each other, that voice is always there to guide you. One has to treat that voice like a fragile friend and listen to it with great attention.  and we also have another surprise for the opening reception

Having an art gallery in an office building in Downtown Dallas is an interesting choice. What was the reason behind this?

Alto 211 is a unique creative office building in the heart of Downtown Dallas where art meets technology. The tenants of Alto 211 consists of a unique blend of entrepreneurs, startups, designers and technology companies. We have many creative people who like to work differently and they are also inspired by other creative outlets. We wanted to give the tenants as well as the residents of Downtown Dallas a place to get away from their busy lives, to slow down, to get inspired and to take a breather. What better place to do that at than an art gallery to pause and to ponder and be inspired.

What makes an artist attractive to a gallery?

Showing me a concise yet appropriate body of quality artwork makes me take notice. Something new and different is always intriguing.


Nile Tuzun, Curator of 'Inner Voice'

Describe your perfect artist. How many pieces, what sort of style, what sort of behavior they exhibit – what does this perfect artist do to make your life as a gallery owner easier?

My "ideal" artist would have a style with broad appeal (does anyone really know what that might be?), and should be eager to provide us with new, updated work when necessary. The artist should also be open to suggestions from the gallery and its clientele. An artist who can speak with clients and promote their own artwork in a gallery show setting is always a plus. Buyers like to meet the artist and learn more about the artwork and the methods. An artist who provides marketing materials is also extremely helpful to the gallery by providing information for their collectors and prospective buyers.

What is on the horizon for the Fort Work Gallery at Alto 211?

Fort Work Gallery will continue to curate interesting works of art from local and international artists. We like all mediums of art with great messages. We would like to collaborate with other galleries and bring exposure to local artists. The art work that the gallery curates aims to be thoughtful and its message to be meaningful. Galleries are very public activities. My goal with Fort Work Gallery is to bring the community together. Art is for everyone and everyone should be involved in the education and understanding of art. We are a young gallery but we aspirations to do meaningful exhibitions for our community.

What is your relationship with art?

I come from a line of artists, designers and architects in my family. I am an architect by education and art has always been an enjoyable and inspirational outlet for me. I enjoy visiting galleries, museums and my personal favorite is contemporary photography which I collect.

For me, to be an artist is to be curious, to be inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, and having fun. I think, everyone should try it.


Inner Voice kicks off on April 8th at 6pm. Need a ride? Our friends at 2pointb are sponsoring this event! Just enter code 'StartUpMecca' and receive your first ride FREE! Make sure to RSVP for this one, it's going to be good!