ANN CUSHING GANTZ
Honorary Life Member - 1978
Ann Cushing Gantz became part of the Texas Visual Arts Association when it was the Dallas Chapter of the Texas Fine Arts Association when she first came to Dallas in the 1950s. She has served the organization as curator of exhibitions, as juror for exhibitions, as board member, and as part of the Advisory Board. As a teacher of art in Dallas, she has encouraged her students to join the organization. She has worked with many TVAA members and celebrated their successes.
Ann says, “Even my earliest childhood memories are full of crayon, pencils, and chalk. I traded paper dolls for arithmetic assignments in lower school and high school. Saturday’s were spent at the Memphis Academy of Art. I worked with Hans Hoffman and Jackson Pollock. I earned a B.F.A. degree from Newcomb College of Tulane University in New Orleans. The visual arts of printmaking, drawing, and especially painting have always been a basic life force for me. Although my style has changed over the years, I’ve been involved in the excitement of surprise and the accidental. The physical sensuousness of the paint itself holds endless fascination – opacity vs. transparency – thick vs. thin – the intensity and meaning of color, shape and form bring a challenge of communication on visual levels. I aim to stimulate contemplation that seeks meanings that will differ from viewer to viewer – perceptions that refer to pleasure and treasures, relationships, memory and time.”
Ms. Gantz started her teaching career at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts in the 1950’s and went on to open the Cushing Gallery and the Cushing Studio and Atelier, holding classes and putting on annual exhibitions for her students and critique group. She has had high praise from art patrons and collectors for many years. She was given a 40-year retrospective at the Dallas Visual Art Center (now The Contemporary.) The Art Centre of Plano invited her for a one-woman show, a beautiful, very successful event. Ms. Gantz’s papers and works are included in the Hamon Library’s Bywaters Archives of Texas Art at Southern Methodist University, in the Library of The Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art, and in the “Who’s Who of American Art.”
Amongst the corporate collections that hold her work are: Texas Instruments, Raytheon, AT&T, Fidelity Insurance, Carrier Corporation, and The Retina Foundation. She has consistently donated paintings and special art works to her church, as well as organizations such as The Dallas Theater Center, the Libraries of SMU, the Dallas Opera, and the Dallas Arboretum. Easter Seals, Cerebral Palsy, The Heart Fund, The Cancer Society, The Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and The Kidney Fund have all been recipients of her generosity, as well as arts organizations such as the Dallas Museum of Art, The McKinney Avenue Contemporary, and EASL Mrs. Gantz has granted scholarships to worthy artists while donating work and time to the St. Michael’s School, Hockaday, KERA-TV, and SMU. She has been given 20 one-person shows and has been featured in many group exhibitions at galleries throughout the United States, and has been accepted in many juried exhibitions.