Marta Stafford gallery closing, but owner will remain in art scene
After showcasing artwork for over a decade, Marta Stafford Fine Art, 200 Main St. in Marble Falls, will close on March 31. The downtown gallery will begin returning artwork to artists after Feb. 14.
Owner Marta Scott wanted to spend more time with her husband.
“I thought I’d do this until I was 90 years old and laid my head down on the desk and passed away,” Scott said. “These last several years have reminded us who knows what the next day, week, or month brings. I am in good health and love my husband and want to spend more time with him.”
Founded in 2011, the gallery has served as a welcoming space for regional and national artists to showcase their work. Before opening Marta Stafford Fine Art, Scott was the gallery director at the now-defunct Riverbend Fine Art in Marble Falls.
“When (Riverbend owner) Jerry Owens passed away, I thought to myself, ‘If I don’t try to open a gallery myself, I’m going to always regret that I never tried,’” she said. “That’s how it started.”
Her working relationships with artists helped make the gallery a success, Scott said.
“I was in this privileged place because I could choose who I wanted to represent, because I had people who knew who I was and they knew I was honorable,” she said.
Scott carefully curated the gallery’s unique collection.
“My goal was to create a collection where no artist was competing with another artist,” she said. “I wanted to only do original work. I wanted to show people they could have contemporary things next to very traditional things.”
Above all else, Scott wanted the gallery to inspire young people to learn more about fine art.
“Most importantly, I wanted to make art accessible,” she said. “I have always felt like if you are not advocating for the arts, then it’s a great disappointment. Kids who are involved in the arts grow up to be community leaders. They have higher test scores, they’re problem-solvers. There’s lots of reasons why the arts should be thriving in a family or community.”
Over time, the gallery became a popular hangout spot. Scott hosted workshops and events, including piano nights, poetry readings, book club meetings, and art history lessons.
“One time, Marta had a milliner come in and we all made hats,” said Jody Avery, a longtime friend of Scott’s and a gallery customer. “It was so much fun.”
Though the business will close in March, Scott’s art journey is far from over.
“Art has been such a special, special, special part of my life that I’m really not able to give it up cold turkey,” she said. “I’ve had artists ask me if I’d be willing to be their consultant or business representative, so I’m going to maintain the business as an art representative.”
While Avery is sad to see the beloved gallery close its doors, she understands Scott’s decision.
“It’s had a wonderful history,” Avery said. “Like all lives, you come to conclusions and move to the next stage. I’m sure Marta will keep her foot deeply in art.”