1 / BIG FINISH
Some 35 years ago, Allen Kerr began experimenting with various paint finishes for furniture. He also spent the last 20 years offering fine furnishings to the people of Dallas at his eponymous Kerr Collection. He passed his passions for fine finishes and furniture to his five children. Eldest son Scott began his career painting walls of residential and commercial spaces and now creates art using a Venetian plaster method. Second-oldest Shawn now owns the family business (as well as Shawn Austin Furnishings). Kerr Collection’s new location in the Design District boasts a variety of furniture, lighting, accessories, and Scott’s artwork.
2 / MAGIC CARPET
Some people we like from Houston: Beyoncé, Wes Anderson, and Alexis Bledel. (We’re total suckers for those Gilmores.) Now we can add the good people from HOKANSON to the list. The Houston-based fine-rug purveyors have opened an outpost in our very own Design District. The showroom is home to an array of designs and styles from various collections. The friendly staff is ready to step in to customize projects in a timely manner, saving you the trouble of a trip down I-45.
3 / MASTER CLASS
Glass artist Carlyn Ray, who recently launched Carlyn Ray Designs, has had a singular focus on glass-blowing ever since her mother, the owner of Dallas’ Carlyn Galerie, took her to watch a glass artist work when Carlyn was just 8. A personal invitation from Dale Chihuly at age 14 to attend his Pilchuck Glass School was all the convincing she needed to pursue her passion, which she did at some of the nation’s most prestigious art institutions and around the world as an apprentice. Now she’s back in her hometown, a city that saw the Arboretum’s sold-out Chihuly exhibit extended due to popular demand. “Not only does that point to the enthusiasm about glass but the education about glass in Dallas,” she says. “It’s a huge trampoline for me to build on.”
Her work—which spans from vases to her signature “weavings”—is mostly custom, but some is available at Carlyn Galerie and Neiman Marcus. Having begun to offer classes in her 3,000-square-foot studio, her next goal is to expand her Art Reaching Out initiative, which teaches glass-blowing to at-risk and female students.