Featured in the Community News of the White Rock Lake Weekly | Volume 6 | Number 27 | December 18 – 31, 2015
Pam and Hans Massar are second generation owners of Dutch Art Gallery, a neighborhood haven in Lake Highlands. This year they are celebrating 50 years in business.
By Shari Goldstein Stern
Lake Highlands’ Dutch Art Gallery, celebrating its 50th year in business in Northlake Shopping Center is a welcoming haven in the community. Its second generation owners, Pam and Hans Massar are valued neighbors and respected community leaders. In the first segment of their two-part story, we made some regretful errors that need correcting. This is how the first paragraph of the Dec. 4 issue’s story, “Dutch family transforms carrots to culture” should have read: “Two 9-year-old Dutch boys – twins – stepped aboard an ocean liner bound for America in 1964, with their parents, Ann and Ben Massar. It was a welcome three-week journey to a new life. The family was leaving its home in Delft in The Netherlands, where 20 years earlier, according to the family, Ann and Ben were survivors of the war. They both lost family members during this terrible time in history.’ As teenagers, Ann and Ben had endured struggles during the war, about which they wouldn’t talk until years later, when their family asked.”
Ann and Ben’s son Hans and his wife Pam Massar are second generation owners of Dutch Are Gallery, and they welcome us to talk with some of the artists who they represent.
Steve Hahn, a Bryan Adams (BA) ’69 alumnus made a promise to his wife, Leslie a while back; he said when he retired he would return to painting after a 40-year hiatus. The newbie artist cherished everything about the rugged Texas Hill Country, so its terrain became the inspiration for his oil paintings.
Hahn is grateful to have had his work on the Dutch Art Gallery’s (DAG) walls since 2012. In his unmistakable Texas drawl, Hahn said, “I had no aspirations for any commercial success, when I started painting and took some of my work into the gallery. Pam loved it. DAG and I have had a wonderful relationship. Not only do they represent my work, but the Massars and the gallery staff have become friends.”
Hans had his first solo show in Jan. 2015. The Massars said that they have found the quality of Hahn’s work remarkable for the short time he’s been painting, when compared to others who have painted for years.
Hahn is from a family of BA alumni, which includes Bonnie Hahn, BA 1967 and Bob Hahn, BA 1965 and himself, BA 1969. The artist holds a BFA in fine arts from SMU and worked as a graphic designer and art director for more than 30 years.
“I’m passionate about my art when things are going well. I throw myself into it. It’s perfect for me that the Massars represent me, which lets me spend my time doing what I enjoy,” he said. DAG currently has about 20 of his paintings on display.
Hahn said he looks at the gallery as something a little bit different. “There is every style. They’re an East Dallas business there to serve the community. It’s a destination that’s as much fun as going to the movies. It’s a special place because Pam and Hans make it special.”
Hahn retired early due to cancer, and said, “I’m not a cancer patient who can paint. “I’m a painter who happens to have cancer.”
Kyle Wood from Mesquite credits original, first-generation owner, Ann Massar, along with Pam Massar, and former DAG designer, Doris DeWoody, for having “impact on my artistic journey.” Pam Massar adds, “Doris worked for the family 38 years. She is still dear to our hearts.”
Wood was a framing customer when he became acquainted with DAG in the ’90s. He purchased artists’ greeting cards that would inspire him to paint. Over time, he attended trunk shows, became savvy in the industry and, in 2004, Pam and Ann Massar invited him to show some of his work.
“This opened a whole new avenue for gaining exposure, and I have been grateful for this opportunity. I was invited to a special exhibit at The Gaylord Texas Hotel in Grapevine, where DAG is one of the host galleries,” said the artist, who also paints miniatures.
According to Sharon Hodges, “Dutch Art sold my first painting in 1967. Mrs. Massar (Ann) accepted my painting and sold it for $50. Big stuff for a 12-year-old!” Hodges painted her Canyon Series in New Mexico and Arizona.
“I like the massive forms in nature and how strong and permanent the world felt in these places. I felt energized and I think you can feel that in the color expression of these pieces. The gallery has several beautiful examples, Canyons-Stained Glass, 24×18 [being one,]” she said. Currently the artist is painting pieces for the gallery’s three-woman “Kaleidoscope” show in February 2016.
In-house artist demonstrations are popular at Dutch Art Gallery. Kay Wyne presents them often.
Another DAG artist, Kay Wyne said, “It is very satisfying to be able to create a colorful and expressive painting, then display it in a gallery setting. Having a gallery such as DAG represent me and my art makes it possible for me to concentrate on the creative process in the studio,” she said. Wyne’s new works will also be unveiled at the February show.
“I usually paint several series of paintings concurrently abstract; floral landscape; still life; dragonflies; bovine; equine and roosters.” the artist said.
Now, when it comes to roosters, Wyne’s portfolio is a testament to inspiration coming from unexpected places. A few doors down from DAG is Gecko Hardware Store. A Buff Orpington rooster is the store’s two-web-footed mascot, who’s been lovingly named George, and customers, like the owners just love George. Wyne has painted portraits of George, one being for a painting demonstration at the gallery. The imaginative artist said, “George loves attention and is a pretty colorful model. Capturing his personality on canvas is fun and challenging.” She couldn’t resist the quip: “His paintings seem to fly out of the gallery!”
The Massar family has permanently painted its name on the history of East Dallas.
For more information about the Dutch Art Gallery, visit, dutchartgallery.net or call 214-348-7350.