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A history lesson in Lake Highlands art

Horses feature prominently in the work of artist Laurie Justus Pace, Lake Highlands native

©Laurie Justus Pace

The youngest artist featured at the Dutch Art Gallery is 13-year old Houston artist, Anton Zhou.

The oldest artist currently displayed in the gallery is Florent Baecke at 90.

Dutch Art Gallery owners, Pam & Hans Massar

The Dutch Art Gallery is located in the Northlake Shopping Center in Lake Highlands.

If you grew up in Lake Highlands, it's likely that your first exposure to art was at the Dutch Art Gallery in Northlake Shopping Center.

Opened in November 1965 by Ann and Ben Massar, the gallery has been going strong for 47 years, including four moves within the center.

After spending a month long vacation with family in Garland, Ann and Ben moved to Lake Highlands from Delft, Holland, where he ran one of the first supermarkets. (Hence, the name Dutch Art Gallery.)

The Massars always had an interest in art, and Ben believed that everyone should be able to afford to have at least one piece of art in their home.

In the beginning there were buying trips to Europe – but Ben also bought from local artists, often paying them up front because he understood how hard it was for them to make a living.

Up until the 1990s, the gallery had three additional locations: the Adolphus Hotel, Keystone Shopping Center and the Inwood Shopping Center. But the main store was always Northlake.

In addition to the variety of paintings, the Dutch Art Gallery has a successful framing business, which Hans Massar, Ben and Ann's son, calls "the gallery's bread and butter."

Pam Massar, his wife, has been managing the gallery for over 20 years and credits their success to the great service they provide, which has led to long relationships with their customers.

"I feel like we really know them. We have generations of families who have entrusted their memories with us."

The art, which in the early years came predominately from Europe, now hails from a large percentage of local and Texas artists – representing a majority of the 300 pieces that fill the 9,000 square foot showroom.

Currently, the oldest artist displayed is Florent Baecke at 90. The youngest is a 13-year old artist from Houston, Anton Zhou.

Sharon Hodges sold her first piece at age 12 and still shows with the gallery.

While a majority of the pieces are landscapes, Dutch Art is branching out with more contemporary artists including Laurie Justus Pace, who grew up in Lake Highlands.

Pace's amazing scenes with horses and wolves are incredibly popular.

Throughout the summer, the gallery is hosting workshops for artists to feature their techniques, and plans are underway for fall art classes.

This November, the gallery will also host the 2012 Artists of Texas Show, welcoming 75 artists from all over the state.



The Dutch Art Gallery is located in the Northlake Shopping Center at 10233 E. Northwest Highway, Suite 420.

Visit them online here and on Facebook.

Check remaining summer workshop dates here.

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