FW show gives vintage tchotchkes their just desserts


IN WITH THE OLD | Antiquing partners David Medford and Johnny Valdivia abide by one rule in their San Antonio shop: Acquire only items they love, like the Janet Waldrop necklace, top, or the classic parrot chair, below.

Screen shot 2014-02-27 at 1.28.23 PMLet’s be honest: For many members of the LGBTQ community, a weekend spent sipping cocktails, listening to music and perusing antiques is as dreamy as a reunion of The L Word cast with special guest Cher. At Fort Worth’s well-known weekend-long antiques affair — called, simply enough, The Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art — antique experts and novices alike do just that.

Around since 1963 and held in the storied art deco halls of the Will Rogers Coliseum, The Fort Worth Show features a cash bar, a live jazz band, 100-plus vendors and, this year, a theme of “Mix It Up” — a nod to the current aesthetic of blending eras and genres — along with an easygoing, friendly attitude … and, of course, just a smidge of queer. And no vendor embodies all of those things as much as Johnny Valdivia and David Medford, proprietors of the San Antonio antique store reVAMP.

Partners in both business and life, the pair will drive up from San Antonio for the second year in a row to exhibit their wares.

“I think Jan [Orr-Harter, the show’s director] does such an amazing job at really curating the show and really mixing it up,” says Medford during a recent telephone interview. “She finds vendors with unique things, be they traditional or modern. It’s such a beautiful show — the variety is so great, but also the price points.”

A show featuring a reasonably priced mix of modern and older pieces falls in line with the couple’s approach.

When Medford and Valdivia began dating 11 years ago, each had dealt primarily in estate sales. But about a year ago, they opened a brick-and-mortar shop with a simple driving philosophy: “Our rule with each other is we buy things that we love, we don’t buy things that necessarily make us a million dollars,” Medford says. “When we go to Fort Worth and someone comes into our booth and sees something they’re excited about it … I love that feeling.”

That year’s worth of collection runs the gamut. Medford mentions the two favorite pieces in their store right now.

One is a Huang Dynasty bronze mirror.

“Just to hold that thing in your hand, I always think, ‘That mirror was around before Jesus,’” he says with awe.

The second signature piece is a 1970s Russell Woodard polished aluminum dining set, “which is just fantastic.”
Those two pieces might be in a higher price range, but Medford notes that The Fort Worth Show caters to most budgets.

“There’s a huge variety of people coming through,” he says. “Obviously there are people with limitless amounts of money, and then there are newlywed couples on a budget, looking for something for their first house.”

Danish modern and mid-century pieces are “obviously on the upswing,” Medford says, but many people are combining styles. “It makes so much sense, and it’s so beautiful, and it reflects people’s style so much better. An 18th century French table and a really beautiful piece of modern glass on top of it — it’s really personal.”

ParrotChairComing2014And personality is what antiquing is about.

— Jonanna Widner

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 28, 2014.