Over the last 38 years, sporting and wildlife art gallery Collectors Covey has expanded from its original location in Highland Park Village to Lover’s Lane, and now to Preston Center.
The gallery officially reopened its doors on Sherry Lane Sept. 6 after a four-month transition. The converted bank space is more than twice the size of the previous location. The new gallery also boasts 70 percent more inventory, including Western art, a new addition.
In conjunction with the move, Collectors Covey’s original founder Bubba Wood passed on ownership of the gallery to a longtime friend and wildlife enthusiast, Joe Crafton.
Wood, an internationally accomplished skeet shooter, founded Collectors Covey in 1978. Since then, the gallery has grown from an art and print collection to a one-stop-shop for art collectors, homeowners, and sportsmen alike.
Wood has published over 20 sporting books, as well as hundreds of prints and conservation stamps. One of his proudest achievements was publishing the Texas state duck stamp for 35 years.
“We hope to continue the proud legacy of CC,” Crafton said. “Our slogan is, ‘Celebrating the sporting life since 1978.’ That is really what it is all about. We were all fortunate to grow up with it and we want to share this lifestyle and encourage others. I hope to encourage a new generation of sportsmen and collectors.”
The new owner brings with him a long history of involvement with Texas parks and wildlife conservation. Crafton co-founded Park Cities Quail with a partner. He is also a director of Texan By Nature, a director of the Rolling Plains Quail Research Foundation, and president of the Circle Ten Council of Boy Scouts of America.
“Finding the right location for our customers was not easy. We needed high ceilings, convenient location to the Park Cities and Preston Hollow, ample parking, and lots of space. We hired the best designers and contractors, and although we were closed from April to August, it was the best time to do it,” Crafton said.
The gallery’s major artists created new pieces for the grand re-opening. Crafton and gallery associates attended art auctions and sought input from patrons to determine the best new artists for the gallery.
The collection also gained hand-finished Italian shotguns made by Caesar Guerini, outdoor sculptures, and pieces by top Western-style artists.
“The new location is better in every way,” Wood said. “The changes have been extremely well-received by our longtime customers. Joe and [his wife] Amy are exposing a new generation of patrons to our gallery. In our business, you have to change over time. This is the old Collectors Covey on steroids and we are having more fun than we have had in our 38-year history.”