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Arts & Culture

From family reunions to fine art: Prominent artist couple open doors of historic Fort Worth home

A large brown house with a big lawn.
Kinfolk House
Kinfolk House is the century-old home of Fort Worth artist Sedrick Huckaby's late grandmother, Hallie Beatrice Carpenter. The space's inaugural show, "Welcome," gets its title from Carpenter's maiden name.

Fort Worth artists Sedrick and Letitia Huckaby have transformed the century-old residence of Sedrick’s late grandmother into an art space for the neighborhood of Polytechnic

The oak-colored slats and vast, unadorned lawn of Kinfolk House just barely set it apart from the other family homes in the neighborhood of Polytechnic in southeast Fort Worth.

Co-founders Sedrick and Letitia Huckaby say that sense of familiarity is the point of their new collaborative art space. Stepping inside should feel like walking into a family reunion, Letitia said.

“That's our hope that we will carry on that feel of going to your grandmother's house and she just had some really great stuff hanging on the wall,” she said.

The Huckabys, one of Fort Worth’s most prominent artistic couples, have been busy restoring the century-old historic home of Sedrick’s late grandmother, Hallie Beatrice Carpenter.

"She would sit for the paintings that I was making,” he said. “I made a whole series of paintings about her, and I had a show called Big Momma's House.”

Currently, Big Momma’s house is full of Sedrick’s work: portraits of family members as tall as the ceilings, painted with his distinctive, thick brushstrokes. They’ll debut on March 5, when Kinfolk House opens to the public.

Letitia will also debut new work during “Welcome.” The aptly-named opening show borrows its title from the maiden name of Sedrick’s grandmother. Letitia’s new, large-scale landscape photographs follow the course of Big Momma’s life from her hometown of Weimer, Texas to Fort Worth.

“The images are printed onto fabric,” she said. “Some of them are quilted and some of them will be framed in these oversized embroidery hoops.”

While the opening show will focus on visual art, the Huckabys envision Kinfolk House as much more than a gallery space. They hope to host everything from concerts and poetry readings to film screenings and art classes for the neighborhood.

“[Polytechnic] is very diverse. We have a very eclectic group, just even right around us, but it's not an area that has a lot in the way of fine art opportunities,” Letitia said. “We're hopeful that the community will take ownership of the space and really take pride in it.”

The opening reception for “Welcome” is Saturday, March 5th from noon to 8 p.m. Kinfolk House is located at 1913 Wallace Street in Fort Worth.

Got a tip? Email Miguel Perez at mperez@kera.org. You can follow him on Twitter @quillindie.

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