500X Alumnus Interview: Vincent Falsetta
500X: Tell us a little about yourself. What is your artistic background?
VF: I was born and raised in Philadelphia. I received my MFA from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and Rome in 1974. My first two teaching jobs were at Indiana University 1974-75, and the University of Utah 1975-77. In 1977, I moved to Denton to teach drawing and painting at the University of North Texas (North Texas State University). In the same year I was invited to join the 500 Exposition Gallery (500X) group of artists. I continued teaching at UNT for 40 years. Great experience, great students, great colleagues!
500X: What years were you a member of 500X?
VF: I was a member from 1978 to 1981. I exhibited in many members exhibitions, exchange exhibitions and a solo show in the downstairs gallery in 1980.
500X: Who were some of the other members with you?
VF: Tom Orr, Scott Madison, Becky Newson, Gilda Pervin, Frances Bagley, Mary Hatz, Christi Pate, Kathy Drake, Roy Cirigliana, Harriet Hearne and Will Hipps. Ron Lowe was appointed Director in approximately 1980.
500X: Tell us about your time at 500X. What was it like?
VF: I was not a founding member, but I may have been the first invited artist to join the group. It was an exciting time for me because I was new to Texas and all of a sudden, I was part of an experimental group of young Texas artists who kept up with each other’s work. From 1977 to 1981, most of the downstairs exhibitions were solo shows of members and the upstairs gallery exhibited mostly members group shows. This frequent upstairs exposure allowed the members to see each other ‘s work evolve and develop.
500X: What do you think you gained from being a 500X member?
VF: Being part of an exciting group of artists who were not just monetarily driven was the best part. Being able to have our work seen in an exciting venue was great.
500X: How has 500X impacted your career as an artist?
VF: Dee Mitchell wrote his first art review for the Dallas Observeron my solo show at the 500X in 1981. Bill Marvel wrote a review for the Dallas Times Heroldand Robert Raczka wrote the back-page review for the California based publication ArtWeek, January 17, 1981. After leaving the 500X in 1981, I was recruited by June Mattingly for representation at her gallery. At the Mattingly-Baker Gallery I had solo shows in 1982, 1983 and 1985.
500X: Is there anything you'd like to add about your experience of being a member?
VF: My experiences with the 500X continued long after I was a member. I was included in alumni reunion exhibitions in 1988, 1998, 2003 and 2008. Of particular note was the 20thanniversary show “Views from a Dallas Warehouse”, curated by Randall Garrett. This exhibition was shown at both the 500X and also at Richland College.
My wife Martha and I were included by Suzanne Weaver to participate in the exhibition she curated “Family of Artists” at the 500X in 1990. That was a good show. Many good artists participated.
I was also honored to have been asked to jury the “Expo 2003” exhibition.