Buda natives plan gallery opening at Mill & Grain development

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Jacqueline Martinez and Theresa Jones will open Assemblage Contemporary Craftsmen Gallery at the Buda Mill & Grain, 306 S. Main St., Ste. 106, Buda, in May or June, they said.

The fine art gallery will showcase primarily living American artists working with oil paintings, sculptures, ceramics, tooled leather and other mediums. All of the work shown at the gallery will be for sale.

“We’ll have quite an extensive collection,” Martinez said. “It’s a true variety of mediums and artists from all over the country, and of course some being local.”

Assemblage interior

Portions of the building housing Assemblage Contemporary Craftsman Gallery date back to 1914, property owner Dodi Ellis said. (via Courtesy Buda Mill & Grain)

Martinez and Jones grew up in the Buda area and attended Jack C. Hays High School before leaving Central Texas to pursue degrees and careers in art.

The pair have known they would both be living in Central Texas again, and they have been trying to figure out a venture on which to collaborate, they said.

“We’ve been bouncing back and forth between, ‘Maybe we should do this,’ and ‘Maybe we should do that,’” Jones said. “I think it just kind of clicked one day: ‘Hey, we both have these art degrees and art backgrounds, and we’ve both done gallery sales. We both do our own artwork. What are we doing? We need to open a gallery.’ It just kind of started growing exponentially from there.”

Jones and Martinez said the Buda Mill & Grain, a yearslong redevelopment project that has transformed a once-dilapidated structure into a retail hub in downtown Buda, provides the perfect space for their gallery.

The 1,350-square-foot space the duo have leased includes high ceilings and was once a feed store.The pair said they remember visiting the site as teenagers to buy feed for the animals at their respective childhood homes. Dodi Ellis, who is leading the redevelopment effort along with her son, Saenger, said portions of the building that will house Assemblage date back to 1914.

“I watched all that was happening at the Buda Mill & Grain for a good six months before I had this inclination that, that might be a space there that would facilitate exactly what we are kind of dreaming of,” Jones said. “It really had to do with the Buda Mill & Grain, the vision they had of the old meets the new and revitalizing something. It really is a homecoming for us being able to come back to a place we all remember.”

The gallery joins other businesses at the Mill & Grain, including a coffee shop, bike store, clothing store, salon, yoga studio and bakery.

“Everything just fit like a fine leather glove, like a lock and key,” Jones said.

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Brett Thorne reported on education, business, economic development and city government in San Marcos, Kyle and Buda from 2012 to 2017. Thorne attended Texas State University in San Marcos, where he graduated in 2010. He joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in 2012 and was promoted to editor in 2013.
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