Dragos Tapu opened the sophisticated Glade Gallery in December to bring the work of established contemporary artists to The Woodlands. The modern gallery on The Woodlands Waterway caters to collectors but also provides art enthusiasts a space to enjoy universal art.
The art world is not new to Tapu: His father is an artist and he attended art school before entering into the business side of the industry. Through his travels, Tapu found himself drawn to art galleries, which he missed when he returned home to The Woodlands.
“The biggest reaction we get—and it’s almost unanimous—is, ‘I can’t believe we have a gallery here,’” Tapu said. “That’s very heartwarming for us.”
Glade Gallery celebrates the figurative art genre—every show will fall under that umbrella—which is the kind of art humans relate to the most, Tapu said.
“Figurative art is representational, so it could be a landscape, a human form, animal or still life, as opposed to abstract work or paintings that may inspire a feeling, but aren’t necessarily a recognizable image,” curatorial assistant Julia Fisher said.
The first exhibit, “The H’art of Doru Nuta,” consists of more than 20 pieces by Nuta, a European artist Tapu has known since childhood.
“We grew up together up until the point where he continued to be an artist and I became a businessman,” Tapu said. “We reunited a few years ago in Monaco where he had an exhibit, and that’s where we started this project.”
Every piece on display was specifically created by Nuta for the exhibit over the past two years and has never been shown at another gallery. All of the artwork is available for purchase and ranges in cost from $18,000-$55,000 apiece.
“Fine art, universal timeless art, generates a response from people,” Fisher said. “It’s not just, ‘Oh it’s pretty,’ but people have a visceral response and a connection to it. The conversations that then ensue from people’s response to the art is interesting and happens over and over in this space.”
Nuta is well-versed in a variety of mediums, which can be seen in his exhibit at Glade Gallery, which includes paintings and sculptures.
“If you ask the artist how long it takes to create any one piece, [Nuta] will say 25 years,” Tapu said. “After I heard him say that a few times, I had to ask what he meant by that. He said it took him that long to learn the craft.”
The exhibit will be on display until April, at which time another artist will be featured. Tapu plans to host about three shows annually at the gallery, and he is nearly booked until 2018.
“The arts is just exploding in The Woodlands, and it’s been exciting to plug into that and interact with local artists and people traveling who are so excited to see this explosion of the arts scene here,” Fisher said.