SALADO, TX — There's a magical place along Salado Creek where art, photography and the passion of Jess Mall runs wild.
"Having a positive experience with art or around art opens people up in a way they might not have opened up before," said Mall.
The new J. Genevieve Headquarters is more than a business, it's a brand. Life's little moments, the one's that pass so quickly you'll miss them, are what Salado artist and photographer Jess Mall captures best.
"What I want to remember were those moments in between. This is what that looked like in real time in real life. And if we missed that, then we miss one of the biggest gifts," said Mall.
Her life behind the lens clicked at 17 years old. She snapped a photo of her dad and grandfather connecting in a moment in Rockport, Texas.
"I saw this thing and all I knew is I have to photograph this right now," said Mall.
From that photo until now has been a process of self-discovery, an unleashing and letting go of what she thought life should look like, stepping out from the shadow and into her purpose, surrounded by a symbol of a dream coming true.
"How has art impacted you and taken you by the hand when you didn't see the light or didn't see the color?" asked KXXV Anchor Lindsay Liepman.
"I think it was a voice when I didn't have one and it always was there. It never judged me," responded Mall.
J. Genevieve HQ sits snugly between Salado Creek and Main Street as an art oasis, a community gathering place and a home for the heart's work.
"What do you want people to feel when they walk through the door?" asked Liepman.
"I want them to feel good but I also want them to feel like they're enough. I think there's something about the way our culture puts images out there that are contrived or airbrushed or staged. What that has done to us is make us think life and people should look a certain way. And that's the furthest thing from the truth," said Mall. "I want them to feel. I am free. I can breath. I am enough."
Grand opening festivities for J. Genevieve HQ will kick off October 1st. The HQ will be open for special hours from 12 pm - 8 pm October 1st through October 5th.
The official ribbon cutting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 1st at 5:30 pm.
The Grand Opening week caps off with the J. Genevieve UNLEASHED Art Bash at the HQ, located at 209 South Main Street in Salado, on October 4th from 7 pm until 11 pm.
The festivities included an interactive graffiti mural led by the artists of Laced & Found, complimentary tequila cocktails with a take-home cantarito, queso bar compliments of Hecho en Queso, eclectic record spinning by DJ Mitch of Belton and a silent art auction and local artist showcase.
Tickets to the Art Bash are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Children 12 and under are free. A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit Sirenafest's All Abilities Playground Project in Salado.
Full information about the Grand Opening week at J.Genevieve is available here.
Full information and tickets to the J.Genevieve UNLEASHED Art Bash are available here.
Questions about the events of the week can be directed to Jess at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Texas Voices" features the artists, creatives and musicians in our great state.