Fort Works Art

Fort Works Art

Candy Man is an immersive experience in pattern and color.

Candy Man

Exhibition on Display: August 2 - September 9, 2017

Reception: August 5, 6 pm - 9 pm

Artist: Ben Willis

Childhood fantasy and fun burst to life as Fort Works Art (FWA) welcomes the return of artist Ben Willis and his deliciously vibrant new exhibition Candy Man to Fort Worth from August 2 - September 9, 2017. This family-friendly exhibition/installation invites audiences of all ages to savor in Willis's one-of-a-kind artistic confections with the same excitement and sense of adventure inspired by Hasbro's classic board game. Candy Man is an immersive experience in pattern and color and designed to satisfy the artistic appetite of each viewer with its mouth-watering collection of bold abstractions.

A vivid venture into palette and texture play, each work is made distinct by Willis's imaginative use of materials. Having abandoned his early academic interests in oil painting and portraiture, Willis's Candy Man works feature striking geometric explorations of pattern through the creative layering of paint, iridescent pigment, and glitter in resin. Devoid of figurative narrative, this unique body of works emphasizes the universality of pattern and color - two common and recognizable natural elements that exist freely without the need for explanation -- and is meant to stimulate a primal emotional response in the viewer. And, just as in the board game, the Candy Man works will be organized by color story leading to a secondary exhibition titled Candy Castle - a specially curated exhibition-- housed in FWA's second floor gallery space.

Along with being a recognized artist in his own right, Willis has established his reputation as a preparator with an eye for assembling captivating artistic collections. Together with his own Candy Man exhibition, the talented Arizona-based artist, has curated the secondary Candy Castle show and populated it with works by a lineup of notable artists. A direct reference to the original board game, Candy Castle serves to house a treasure trove of "objects" that have proven especially compelling to Willis over the course of his career. With a special emphasis on sculptural works that help to balance the paint-driven pieces found in Candy Man, Willis states "All of the [Candy Castle] artists I have admired for some time now and I believe their work relates and can carry conversation with my pieces." Featured Candy Castle artists include, Derick Smith, Dan Lam, Christina West, Adam Hillman, Sean Augustine March, Sean Newport, Rachel Goodwin, Will Heron, and Kristina Drake.

A third component of this experiential exhibition includes painting by two highly regarded Metroplex artists, Drigo and Brennen Bechtol. The two artists will hand-paint title walls for the Candy Man and Candy Castle shows in their representative styles. Both dealing with signs in their own respective works, Bechtol and Drigo's colorful title walls will provide an additional installation element to the already vibrant exhibition. Like the nostalgia evoked by childhood memories of visiting a candy store for the first time, Willis commented "...I want this show to feel like oh my god, how did they get all of these wonderful things together in one space?"

Candy Land & Candy Castle run August 2 - September 9, 2017 at Fort Works Art. For more information, visit

Exhibition Details:
Candy Man & Candy Castle
Fort Works Art (2100 Montgomery St, Fort Worth, TX 76107)
August 2 - September 9, 2017

Opening Reception:
August 5 6 pm - 9 pm

2017 Fall Gallery Night
September 9 12 pm - 9 pm


Cordelia Bailey Cordelia Bailey: One Last Shot Feb 21 - March 18, 2017
Dontrius Williams: One More Shot Feb 21 - March 18, 2017
Photography show featuring local artists Cordelia Bailey and Dontrius Williams

28Grams 28Grams March 23 - May 20, 2017 (Reception: Sat, March 25, Noon - 9pm)
#28Grams is a blockbuster show featuring 28 of the most successful artists today culled from Instagram

Crystal Wagner Crystal Wagner May 24 - June 24, 2017
Crystal Wagner (b. 1982) creates sculptural paper works that mimic natural forms. Her work utilizes elements of craft and assemblage presented with an organic and fluid sense of being and movement.

Betsy Price High School Art Competition May 24 - June 3, 2017

Jay Wilkinson Jay Wilkinson June 28 - July 29, 2017 (Reception: Sat, July 15, 6 - 9pm)
Jay Wilkinson is a Fort Worth based painter and sculptor. This is his first official solo exhibition and the massive paintings and sculptures will comprise the entire gallery. Prior to the show, Wilkinson will complete a residency at Fort Works Art

Ben Willis Ben Willis: Candy Land Aug 2 - Sept 2, 2017 The bright colors and resin surfaces of Phoenix based artist Ben Willis are instantly recognizable. Willis investigates patterning through geometry, color relationships, layering and texture.

Candy Castle Candy Castle Aug 2 - Sept 2, 2017 Group sculpture show curated by Ben Willis will feature heavy hitters from around the country.

Friday Night Friday Night: Lights Out Sept 7 - Oct 14, 2017 (Reception: Sat, Sept 9, 6 - 9pm) A retrospective of the work of Greg Ploetz - Fort Worth artist and former football player whose life was cut short by CTE. Friday Night: Lights Out examines CTE and brings up questions about how the future of contact sports will change.

Knowledge Bennett Knowledge Bennett Oct 18 - Nov 25, 2017 (Reception TBD) Knowledge Bennett uses familiar pop references to create a new image making a statement about our culture.

New Pop Oct 18 - Nov 25, 2017 Tax Collection will curate an exhibition featuring a new form of pop art being dubbed New Pop.


FORT WORKS ART: Fort Works Art is committed to bringing life, vitality and energy to the art scene in Fort Worth, TX.  They are a resource for both seasoned collectors and the everyday individual.  Existing somewhere between a gallery, a cultural center and a museum, Fort Works Art strives to continually evolve into its' own entity, free from the traditional labels of the art world.  They exist to support the arts, to give back to the community and to inspire youth.

Mimi Clemons
Gallery Coordinator
O 817.759.9475 C 817.235.9656
2100 Montgomery St
Fort Worth, Texas, 76107