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By March 11, 2021No Comments

The Bright Stuff

By Connie Dufner

A formidable name in the light-as-art world and a Southern interior designer with equal star power both enter the retail spotlight, as RH Dallas and Arteriors focus on fab collabs that allow easy access to the magic and magnificence of inspired lighting.

Homecoming Queen

An artist’s journey that began in childhood has come full circle for Alison Berger, as her new retail collection arrives in RH Dallas, The Gallery on Knox Street, scheduled to open this spring. The Dallas native and longtime Los Angeles-based glass artist remembers riding her bike in the neighborhood. “I learned to blow glass in a funky shop on McKinney,” she says. 

The collaboration with RH — five collections featuring lighting, mirrors and side tables — marks the first time her acclaimed designs have been available outside the trade at this scale. (She was commissioned to design a few tabletop pieces for Hermès in the early 2000s and has been represented exclusively by Holly Hunt for more than 20 years.)

Glass artist Alison Berger’s Rain Round Chandelier captures the splashy drama of a downpour, $20,595, RH.

The collaboration with RH — five collections featuring lighting, mirrors and side tables — marks the first time her acclaimed designs have been available outside the trade at this scale. (She was commissioned to design a few tabletop pieces for Hermès in the early 2000s and has been represented exclusively by Holly Hunt for more than 20 years.)

Berger’s lighting is infused with the maker’s hand; artfully sturdy shapes, some evoking vintage designs, all but invite you to touch. She views her work as a practice, a constantly unfolding vision of light. “Light is about time, and glass is the medium to hold that light. It’s a golden thread that’s woven through everything we create.”

The relationship that has spanned her growth from featured artist to collaborator began with a chance meeting at a West Hollywood coffee shop with Gary Friedman, chairman and CEO of RH. “I walked over and said hello,” the artist recalls. “It was a slow kind of ‘getting to know you,’ and I was later asked to do a commission for the New York RH.” That commission, called “New York Night,” was an installation of 120 handblown pendants descending from a six-story well (created by an internal staircase) so as to emulate pouring rain. “I started to understand there was a level of artistry and respect in the company, and I wondered if that kind of energy could translate into a collection.”

The big question was “how to scale up the work without compromising on its quality,” she says. The answer: Stay with it. “I don’t just draw something and say, ‘Figure it out.’ This work was designed to excel in the manufacturing process, and that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a lot of trial and error.”

The result is an homage to nature, physics, beauty and mystery in lighting collections called Rain, Fulcrum and Pearl. The Ice line features side tables with glass tops; the Aperture, mirrors.

Berger revels in the success of the collaboration: “I’m so proud and excited about the combined power when two entities come together to create something that couldn’t be possible without the other.”

The Fulcrum Table Lamp is available in nickel, brass and bronze finishes, $3,595, RH. Photos courtesy of RH

Find the Beth Webb Collection Sea Island Pendant, $1,680, online at arteriorshome.com.  Photos courtesy of Arteriors

Creative sorts have a way of finding like minds. That’s why interior designer Beth Webb of Atlanta said yes when the opportunity arose to collaborate with her friend Mark Moussa of Dallas, the founder of Arteriors.

The Beth Webb Collection, with 35 pieces including lighting, accessories and accent furniture, debuted last year, marking the designer’s first home collection.

“I have long admired the designer collaborations that are an important part of Arteriors’ product assortment,” Webb says. “I knew I could offer a different point of view, too. It has been thrilling to see my designs in stores and in designers’ projects.”

Webb’s aesthetic also evokes a sense of place. “Being a Southerner, I cannot help but bring my Southern sensibility to everything I do, and Arteriors has that in their brand DNA as well. We like gracious living and entertaining, so a bar cart is a key part of this collection — and it quickly became a bestseller.” The lighting pieces find their inspirations from a diverse assortment of global influences, from Japanese ceramics to the art of sculptor Diego Giacometti to Roman glassware. They are a natural fit for a brand known for its legacy of contemporary lighting.

“I am keenly aware of the importance light plays in a room,” Webb says. “Lighting has the power to create comfort, romance and ease. Whether it is casting a warm, happy shadow or illuminating a passageway, your lighting should be layered and thoughtful.”

The Sea Island Pendant, with an open-weave rattan shade and an ivory-linen-wrapped interior, was inspired by the “humble yet complex architecture” of a wicker basket, Webb says. “It hangs like a birdcage from the ceiling and provides that layered light I love so much.”

From ethereal to earthy, the collection’s Tangier Lamp is gourd shaped and inspired by an Ethiopian string jar. Webb was drawn to its wabi-sabi, the Japanese philosophy of celebrating the beauty of nature’s imperfection. “It is both organic and architectural in feel and structure,” the designer says. “Particular attention was paid to achieve its unique, subtle finish, inspired by Japanese ceramics.”

Photo courtesy of Arteriors

THE DETAILS

Arteriors 1413 Dragon St., Dallas, 214-760-1741, arteriorshome.com