Thursday, August 8, 2013


Tornado Gallery keeps on chugging. As the description says..."interactive space", that's what we love, interactivity with our friends. All our friends and if you're reading this you are one of them. Thank You.

We're constantly amazed by the folks who come down. First Friday, art and farmers markets, concerts everything that we do-y'all support. That is interactivity at its finest. To be able to meet and talk to you is a genuine pleasure, to get your feedback on work that we show, to talk about your work or simply to talk about the weather it's human interaction.

That's what art does, creates an experience, a reaction based on the viewing of a work that is common to all. We're all seeing the same work. How we feel about it is our individual response, the individual response to a shared experience. Regardless of the emotion it triggers, it elicits a response from everyone who views it. Some are silent, kept to themselves, some are vocal, creating a conversation on the work, positive and negative, passionate and indifferent, they vary according to the person. Art interacts with you personally. Next time you're in, interact with the artist speak to them of what their work means to you. They will appreciate the time you spent.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Way behind on this blog...

...But we're way ahead at the Gallery! June 2013-6 years and 2 months Tornado Gallery has been on the Lubbock radar and we aren't going anywhere.

 70 First Friday Art Trails, 45 Downtown Art Markets, 5 JesseFests, countless concerts, outstanding shows by artists of all genres and ages. This is a record to be proud of- and we are. The gallery is a little slice of special in downtown Lubbock, served up with great conversation by wonderful, dedicated folks, who truly enjoy what we do. I've told folks that first Friday is my favorite's true of everyone here at Tornado, the fine folks at Sandstorm Glassworks, it's a chance to get lost in colors, forms, themes, and such, while connecting with friends on the walk. A chance to show off downtown Lubbock, in it's true style-from the street.

Speaking of downtown Lubbock, we love it. It seems to be in the news for the wrong reasons, but we love it. It's one of those cases where the "crisis" is the news and the everyday are ignored. There are galleries, museums, restaurants, shops, salons, barbers, art markets and farmers markets in downtown Lubbock. Street shows, urban disc golf, runs and other activities, events that bring life to downtown They're down here, all the time, in the daytime. Entertainment doesn't have to start at dark. People want to remember downtown as a destination, I prefer to think of it as an experience, a new experience-downtown, isn't about RE-creating -the downtown I see is about CREATING a new experience. Downtowns should reflect a contemporary experience, folks just have to remember that contemporary evolves at the speed of "now". You don't go back and look, you look forward and aspire.

Thanks for listening y'all...see you at the Gallery
Larry Simmons

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Tornado Gallery has been here five years-five years of First Fridays, concerts in the garden, Art Parts Parties and who can remember what else. Five years of the best folks in the city, all hanging out in our gallery, in downtown Lubbock. That is so cool.
So now what... what do we do, to keep on keepin' on? We stay open, regularly, daily- at the gallery - showing the coolest locally, lovingly, produced art and craft work in Lubbock. We have it all and we will keep adding to our inventory. From the edgy plasma/neon work of Tony Greer, glass from Sandstorm Glassworks - Lee Ware and Bren Merritt, to traditional styles like Melissa Lee's incredible gourd work-Tornado Gallery will be the best destination for your artistic cravings. We strive to carry the finest in local Artists.
In addition Tornado Gallery will continue to host live performances of talented musicians that hail from the area. 2012 will be the fourth annual JesseFest, honoring blazing guitar player Jesse Taylor, Brian McRae returns in June and Anthony Garcia and friends in July. Even closer is the Great Scott;s BBQ Reunion Concert on June 2nd. celebrating Scotty and all the fine musicians who played there. Audible, foot-stompin', roof-raisin' Art.
This is your notice folks, that we are not going to rest, we have to move forward and we need your support. Come down and say hello to Heidi, she's the one who'll be in the in the gallery everyday, shop... maybe buy something. We'll show you locally done t-shirts, local CDs, and posters, and who doesn't want to buy local these days. Be our friend, tell folks about us, share this on your page-most of all let everyone know that Lubbock has just as much cool stuff to offer as any city in Texas and we do it friendlier...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

April 2012-5th Anniversary of Tornado Gallery.

That is a bold statement - 5th birthday if you will for this group of people and this concept. Five years of losing money and we haven't shut the doors. I call that a success. We, Tony, Jennifer, and myself-Larry-never deluded ourselves int thinking we'd make any money-Tornado Gallery has never been about making money-(breaking even would be nice, but thats another post) its always been about doing the right thing for the right people. We just did our 56th First Friday Art Trail, 56 shows and I've lost track of how many artists thats a record to be proud of-and we are. In these almost 5 years, we created the Downtown Art Market, welcomed Sandstorm Glassworks-Lee Ware and Bren Merritt to the art community, been fortunate enough to help the Lubbock Arts Festival-Thank You Elizabeth, and done countless other things that we are very proud of, 3 JesseFests, numerous other concerts and Art Parts Parties Thanks Lubbock for supporting us.
Coming to Tornado in April is a special event-that is the purpose of this post-our 5th anniversary will be a homecoming of sorts. Tony Greer and Lee Ware will be bringing their "Electric Glass" show home to Tornado. This show is currently at LHUCA, but in April it comes here- where it will continue to grow and prosper. Those who don't know-Tony's Father and Grandfather built these buildings in the 40s and now it houses Tony's neon shop-Special Effects Neon. That is truly a homecoming to celebrate.
This show, "Electric Glass" is unique, not just in Lubbock but anywhere. There are hundreds of glassblowers, probably hundreds of neon shops, but there aren't a dozen of both, together, under one roof. The results of this collaboration are spectacular, glowing, moving, luminescent glass sculptures that come to life. Folks you just don;t see this every day-not here in Lubbock- not many places in the country.
So consider this, be proud of the Art community in Lubbock, support them any way you can, talk about it, visit it, buy something if you can but whatever you do don't let these opportunities get away. Art is as fleeting as life sometimes, take advantage of it now.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

2011 The year ahead...

We are now a full week into the new year and past the First Friday Art Trail for January so this might be a good time to look ahead. Tornado Gallery has tried to be a leader in the art scene in Lubbock going on 4 years in April-4 years that is amazing. The support for our little project has been overwhelming, the crowds for the Art Walks are tremendous, the attendance and participation for the Downtown Art Market always amazes me. Now we have Sandstorm Glassworks, with artists Lee Ware and Bren Merritt, a fully functioning glass hot shop, right here in downtown Lubbock, not since Bill Bagley at TTU have we had this opportunity. Our little corner of the world just continues to get better. Watch for workshops and demos from visiting glass artists in 2011.

So what will 2011 bring well health and well being we hope, for all our friends. The return of the Art Parts Party, another summer of live events in Peggy's Garden,workshops from Sandstorm Glassworks are but a few ideas we are playing with. A new beginning for Plasma Art in Lubbock-a collaborative effort with Tony Greer and Lee Ware, this is a leading edge media and we are extremely proud of these two gentlemen for not only pushing that envelope but creating the envelope as well.

We'll have a presence at the 33rd Lubbock Arts Festival-that's a first for us and we are looking forward to that stellar event. 33 years folks that is a long tradition of showcasing the art here in Lubbock. This is the type of community event that brings all the arts together and showcases the talent here in the city. We are proud of the participation we've had and look forward to being more involved as a vendor.

The Downtown Art Market will stay a vital project from Tornado Gallery. We will be focusing on promoting the quality and diversity of handmade art from Lubbock and area artists. In addition during the farmers market season, July through October, look for more growers and a wider variety of Texas agricultural products to be on hand here. We'll be getting into our third year in May.

We would like to see everyone come down to Tornado Gallery during the year ahead and just say "Hello", bring the family and see what we have to offer you.

Thanks for a wonderful 2010...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

By combining furnace blown glass with the inert gases and colored phosphors usually found in neon tubes, a world of new possibilities opens up with internally illuminated sculptural glasswork. Sandstorm Glassworks, located behind Tornado Gallery, in conjunction with Special Effects Neon (soon to be also located behind the gallery) announce the colaboration of their studios with these first two successful blown glass plasma sculptures.

Visiting glassblower Colin Knowles crafted the hollow hand blown glass sculptures while he was here, specifically to be internally illuminated. Then Tony Greer, of Special Effects Neon, added colored phosphors and xenon gas to Colin's glasswork, turning it into a very unique piece of glass art that actually illuminates itself! Pictures don't show the lightning-like movements of the luminous tendrils darting around inside the foot tall hollow glass vessel, which can be very mesmerizing to watch.

Look for much more to come from these two studios very soon!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Until "I am" was spoken, Life was still . . . . .

Darren's spontaneous creative response to a statement challenging the underlying thought process.