Inside, outside, all around Dallas…here’s the art you’re looking for RN
A city is only as vibrant as its street art, and judging from two new arty initiatives based in west Dallas, this particular town is getting a little more exciting. Get out and explore new murals and an outdoor sculpture park this month, along with envelope-pushing political works, new pieces from the godmother of neon, an art world darling’s homegrown space, and 18thcentury-inspired works on space-age aluminum.—Kendall Morgan
“Wild West Mural Fest,” various artists, Singleton Boulevard and West Dallas, ongoing.
Since Shepard Fairey created colorful murals in West Dallas in 2012, the area has been a street art epicenter. Support from developer Butch MacGregor helped the public art movement grow. Even though we’ve lost a few works over the years, local talent like artist Will Heron and gallerist Erin Cluley are helping to keep the creativity alive with “Wild West Murals.” Launched for the area’s recent fall Artwalk, the murals brought together ten local and national artists—including the Sour Grapes Crew, JM Rizzi, and students from the Uplift Preparatory School—to create colorful works along Singleton Boulevard, Sylvan Avenue, and the Belmont Hotel, among other locations.
“There’s been a culture of murals in West Dallas for a while, but with the development they kind of got lost,” explains Heron, who is a muralist himself under the moniker Wheron. “A huge part of my personal practice is putting it in public spaces for people to enjoy. I teach part-time at a high school, and I think students should be able to be enveloped in public art and visuals, not just graffiti and tagging. It’s so vital to any growing neighborhood.”
Delayed by our unseasonably weird weather, the murals are finally finished and ready for viewing. But, like most public works, they won’t last forever. Take a walking tour using our map and keep an eye on these spaces; Heron says he hopes the project to be ongoing, establishing the area as a street art epicenter a la Miami’s Wynwood Walls.
“Getgo,” various artists at Sweet Pass Sculpture Park, 402 Fabrication Street. Through December 12.
Taking over a one-acre lot in the same neighborhood as the murals, Sweet Pass Sculpture Park is an inspired collective of public works its founders hope will have the lasting power of New York’s 32-year-old Socrates Sculpture Park.
Founders Tamara Johnson and Trey Burns recently relocated to Dallas from Brooklyn when Johnson landed a plum gig teaching at Southern Methodist University. The duo saw a void for an outdoor art space, and, with the involvement of Butch McGregor, their dream came true in an empty lot on Fabrication Street. Sweet Pass now has a two-year lease with another round of programming planned for March 2019.
“We wanted to come south and show young and emerging artists,” says Burns, who is originally from Georgia. “The whole idea of the show is nested in the idea of beginning forms from the get-go, and we wanted to make a monument to first efforts.”
“Getgo” highlights Alicia Eggert’s textural work, Buster Graybill’s sculptural animal feeders, and Saki Sato’s sunset-inspired steps, as well as a Big Tex homage created by Johnson’s “Intro to Sculpture” class. Available through by appointment or during open hours—November 3 from noon to 3 p.m. is next on the roster. You can also hit up email@example.com to book some private time to walk around the art.
“Buttons/Crowns,” Keer Tanchak, Cliff Gallery, Mountain View College. Through November 6.
Canadian artist-turned-Dallasite Keer Tanchak got the local art world’s attention with her critically acclaimed 2017 show at the Dallas Contemporary. She further explores her cultural mash-up of art history and pop culture icons in “Buttons/Crowns” at Mountain View College.
With a rococo technique on industrial aluminum panels, Tanchak’s latest paintings draw their source material from Scandinavian cutouts, funeral crowns, historical portraits…even images of actresses Ruth Negga, Alicia Vikander and Gal Gadot. She includes a wry 2-D reference to Jeff Koon’s “Seated Ballerina” sculpture—a work Koons was criticized as copying from the lesser-known Ukranian sculptor Oksana Zhnikrup. Because the show is staged at a university, Tanchek hopes the work will influence the next generation to view it with a critical eye.
“This show is rooted in my personal history using historical images,” the artist explains. “I include references to French Impressionist painting and interior design images, but I also use actresses as characters. I wanted to reflect my vision of what’s happening in the world. This show is also about misogyny. I wanted it to be a true reflection of what I’m thinking about and give it to the (Mountain View College) students as a resource.”
“Complicit,” various artists, Carneal Simmons Contemporary Art. Through November 10.
Fractious times = inspired art, a fact that Carneal Simmons gallerists Alan Simmons and Lindsey Carneal took note of during their recent rounds of studio visits.
“It was interesting to see how many of our artists had bodies of work that processed the disappointment, anger, and feelings of loss of control (after the last election),” says Simmons. “They were exploring these sociopolitical issues, and we found it captivating.”
Through a wide range of aesthetics and methodologies, the artists in “Complicit” address everything from the disproportionate number of African-Americans and Hispanics in the U.S. prison system to gay rights—timely subject matter that Simmons hopes at least sparks conversation among viewers. “We’re hoping this creates a dialogue and gets people to get out and vote, regardless of your political affiliation.”
“The Significance of Light,” Lisa Schulte at Samuel Lynne Galleries. Through November 10.
Neon art can get a bad rap. For every Tracey Emin or Dan Flavin, there are dozens of artists willing to slap a tube of light onto a canvas to get a little more attention at the art fair. Which is why the work of “neon queen” Lisa Schulte is so important. With over 40 years experience working with light, Schulte has balanced the line between art and commerce her entire career. Her L.A.-based fabrication studio “Nights of Neon” has created custom neon for Chanel, Calvin Klein, Gucci, and Netflix, but her personal pieces are far more meditative and intimate.
The light artist other artists turn to when they need to incorporate neon (including Richard Jackson, Doug Aiken, Cleon Peterson, and Gregory Sif), Schulte pushes the boundaries of what monatomic gasses can do by approaching her tubes of light as a sculptural element. In her latest show at Samuel Lynne, works that incorporate driftwood sourced on Santa Barbara with warm white light are shown alongside colorful collages of tubing that convey a “binge of color” expressing the passionate emotions she experienced as her father was dying.
“(The work) is very personal to me,” the artist explains. “I’m trying to find the perfect harmony between the neon and the wood—the warmer I go, the sexier and subtler the piece feels. With the colored works, they’re very heightened. It’s similar to a painter—choosing a palette shows what we’re feeling inside. It’s pretty powerful what I can do with light. You have to trust me that I’m leading you to go in a direction of how I want you to feel.”
“Peek-a-Boob,” Bella Jones at Randy Guthmiller Center for the Advancement of the Arts, October 28-December 2. Opening reception October 28 from 11am-2pm.
Artist and curator Randy Guthmiller has done great work in his role of manager of visitor experiences at the Nasher Sculpture Center, but he’s taking his support of the arts further with the launch of the Randy Guthmiller Center for the Advancement of the Arts.
Located in his own home, the Center is Guthmiller’s way to share work he believes in without dealing with the local Fire Marshal’s draconian code enforcement.
“A lot has changed in the cultural landscape over the years, and the things that used to make this city very exciting for me to live in have started to disappear. I decided it was time for me to contribute in a greater way than just making my work, and the only way we can make sure our city is interesting is (to show art) in residential spaces.”
First up on his roster is Bella Jones, who Guthmiller discovered at the Vignette Art Fair in Fair Park this past April. Jones’ “trippy animation of penises going in and out of eyeballs” was Guthmiller’s favorite piece in the show, inspiring him to live alongside her videos and printed wallpaper through December. Patrons interesting in having their minds bent can contact the Center by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.