Archive for the 'Arts District' Category

State of the Arts: Contemporary Artists

We’re kicking off our fall season with our first State of the Arts program, our collaboration with Art&Seek and KERA. Join us Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. for a discussion with three DFW artists: Devon Nowlin, Arthur Peña, and Darryl Ratcliff.
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Uncrated was able to ask them a few questions beforehand:
1. What is the most appealing aspect of being a working artist in Dallas?
Devon Nowlin (artist; founding member, Homecoming Committee): As an artist who also works full-time, I have had good employment opportunities in my field and see some good job prospects for artists in both Dallas and Fort Worth. Along with exhibitions, teaching opportunities, and other work-work, one can construct a patchwork of professional activities for one’s self here.
Arthur Peña (artist; founder and Director, WARE:WOLF:HAUS and VICE PALACE): The two very prominent aspects I can think of are pragmatic ones. First, it is extremely affordable to be a working artist in Dallas. It’s not unheard of to have an apartment and a studio for under $600. I don’t know what other major cities can offer that and also boast world-class museums and an established art scene. Second, the accessibility to the Dallas art world is shockingly overlooked. If one wanted, they could meet and shake hands with other artists, gallery directors, collectors, and museum directors at one gathering. And they would be cordial and welcoming. Try that in NYC and see what happens!
Darryl Ratcliff (artist; Community Engagement Associate, National Center for Arts Research & Initiative on Arts+Urbanism): Affordability and opportunity. The access one has to cheap space is truly unique in Dallas, and the general cost of living is far cheaper than in other major cities. Also, there is significant upward mobility in the art scene. There is a willingness to experiment and embrace new ideas and artists.

2. What is something you are thankful for in your art community/peers/scene and how it/they have contributed to your practice?
DN: I am very thankful for the Education Department of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. I have benefited greatly from their programs both as a participant and audience member over the years, and as an artist-instructor in their programs. They give professional, and yet experimental and creative, teaching opportunities to artists in the area, and I have cherished my experiences there. So that is one of the many things in my community that I am very thankful for.
AP: Quick story: The recently retired WARE:WOLF:HAUS operated on limited funds for every show and especially the last fall season. Because of its location, security was needed on top of insurance for liability purposes. Not once did I pay out of pocket for any of that. WWH was able to operate and host shows strictly through donations from my fellow artists and supporters. People would toss whatever they had into the donation bucket, or specific people in the art community donated large funds to keep the door open and allow shows to happen. Considering that WWH was not a nonprofit art space and people were throwing down hard cash, I find this willingness to support the artists and work as a truly collaborative effort inspiring.
DR: It is cliché but I am very thankful for my fellow creatives in this city. My work is collaborative by nature, so I couldn’t have had any success without the constant support and cooperation of literally hundreds of creatives and lovers of creativity over the last five years.

3. How would you improve the Dallas art community/scene ?
DN: In Fort Worth, we are also in need of the facilities and funding that Darryl would like to bring to Dallas. What we don’t have that would really help elevate the local Forth Worth scene is more critical attention in both print and online publications. If artists here could get some press, I think it could help push the dialogue in Fort Worth in ways that I see happening in Dallas. I am encouraged by a level of interaction that is happening among artists between Dallas and Fort Worth, though it tends to be a one-way street with artists going from Fort Worth to Dallas. I’d like to see us mix things up a little more!
AP: Besides the obvious need for an influx of funds either through more grants or private donors, I’m not sure how one could improve the community other than more involvement from the community at large. There needs to be a cultural and psychic shift here in Dallas, and Texas as a whole, when it comes to the arts. Without a steady stream of interest starting at the city’s top level, the city at large will continue to view the arts as pure entrainment rather than as an agent for change and critical thought. We need more artists—not just those who make but those who have the discipline and vision to want to transform this city. I don’t think it’s about improving, rather it should be about energizing, invigorating, and giving everyone a swift kick in the a**.
DR: I would create at least 500 units of subsidized studio/living space for creatives in five geographically diverse parts of Dallas, award at least two million dollars per year in small grant funding to individual artists/projects/collectives, and create an international curator-in-residence program to help top curators become familiar with Dallas-based talent.

Be sure to join us tomorrow night to hear more from these artists.

Liz Menz is the Manager of Adult Programming at the DMA.

Cities, Culture, and 170 Museum Directors in the House

The DMA was excited to host yesterday’s public program “Cities & Cultural Investment: A Snapshot.” Joining us for it were our special guests—170 museum directors from the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.

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DMA Park Rangers

It’s hard to believe one whole year has passed since our neighbor Klyde Warren Park  opened its gates. In honor of the first anniversary, we created a Park Rangers guide to the DMA.

The role of a ranger is to care for and protect the flora and fauna of the park and to educate visitors about them. As a former park ranger, I can personally attest that the jobs that we do here at the DMA aren’t entirely different! We just focus on works of art instead of nature. And, there is actually quite a bit of nature to be investigated within the Museum’s walls.

Come to the DMA and explore nature on the Park Rangers self-guided tour. Print it at home before your visit or ask a friendly gallery attendant—the DMA’s own version of a park ranger—for one when you arrive.

George Inness, Summer Foliage, 1883, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, bequest of Joel T. Howard

George Inness, Summer Foliage, 1883, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, bequest of Joel T. Howard

One tour stop is George Inness’s Summer Foliage, which shows the artist’s unique ability to bring to life a traditional landscape scene. After your Museum visit, saunter over to Klyde Warren Park to experience nature firsthand, right in the middle of the Dallas Arts District!Practice capturing your own landscape with a camera or a phone. Don’t forget to tag your photo #DMAParkRanger.

Andrea Vargas Severin is the interpretation specialist at the DMA.

Autumn in the Arts District

This October is going to be one of the most exciting I can recall – from the 15th anniversary of the Crow Collection of Asian Art and 10th anniversary of the Nasher Sculpture Center to the U.S. premiere of Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take at the DMA, and even (dare I say it?) the unveiling of a new Big Tex at the State Fair. Having spent most of my life in the Dallas Arts District thanks to my mom, Susan (a DMA docent since 1976), I am thrilled to serve my first year as executive director of the Dallas Arts District during the inaugural year of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Klyde Warren Park, and the Dallas City Performance Hall, and in the first year of DMA Friends (the DMA’s free membership program) and free general admission.

Image source: dbdt.com

Image source: dbdt.com

With the end of summer, the Dallas Arts District is in full swing again, beginning with a day of activities on Saturday, October 5. The Dallas Black Dance Theatre will kick off its 8th annual DanceAfrica marketplace and festival at Strauss Square with a pedestrian parade of dancing in the streets from the DMA to the AT&T Performing Arts Center. CBS Radio’s Fall for the Arts will have free family activities and three stages of performances from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. You can also catch a sneak peek of Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take at the DMA that day, before the exhibition officially opens. Additionally, the Crow Collection of Asian Art will celebrate its 15th anniversary with the grand reopening of its sculpture garden, which will include kids events and food truck lunch service.

Jim Hodges, and still this, 2005-2008, 23.5K and 24K gold with Beva adhesive on gessoed linen, The Rachofsky Collection and the Dallas Museum of Art through the DMAamfAR Benefit Auction Fund , © Jim Hodges

Jim Hodges, and still this, 2005-2008, 23.5K and 24K gold with Beva adhesive on gessoed linen, The Rachofsky Collection and the Dallas Museum of Art through the DMAamfAR Benefit Auction Fund , © Jim Hodges

The Crow isn’t the only institution celebrating a milestone anniversary this fall. The Nasher Sculpture Center is celebrating its 10th anniversary with Nasher Xchange, a three-day weekend of free festivities culminating in a ten-hour celebration on Sunday, October 20. Friday, October 18, will also include a free afternoon concert and tour at the Meyerson Symphony Center, TEDxSMU at the Dallas City Performance Hall, and the Arts District Fall Block Party. The Nasher, DMA, and Crow Collection of Asian Art will stay open until midnight for our fall Arts District Block Party, and light-based, site-specific new media and immersive art installations can be explored district-wide as part of Aurora’s Light of Convergence, presented by the Dallas Morning News.

Image source: dallasaurora.com

Image source: dallasaurora.com

A new class of first year students has begun their academic semester at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and a new crop of leaders is starting a new chapter in the neighborhood as well. Dr. Scott Rudes is Booker T.’s new principal; Tara Green started this summer as president of Klyde Warren Park; Doug Curtis is the AT&T Performing Arts Center’s new president and CEO; and The Dallas Opera welcomes its new music director, Emmanuel Villaume. Maestro Villaume will begin his inaugural season with Carmen on Friday, October 25, at the Winspear. The performance will be simulcast free in Klyde Warren Park – complete with a costume contest and singalong. Park visitors can also enjoy food and drink from the Park’s new restaurant, Savor, and their grab-and-go kiosk, Relish – both opening soon.

Courtesy of Dallas Opera

Courtesy of Dallas Opera

There’s far more to share, including new seasons of the Dallas Theater Center, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and Shakespeare Dallas, as well as newcomer Oral Fixation’s true storytelling series. You can enjoy a Pearl Cup Coffee or free Patio Sessions concerts in Sammons Park. To stay up-to-date on all the goings-on in our neighborhood, “Like” Dallas Arts District on Facebook, follow @DalArtsDistrict on Twitter, and subscribe to our weekly  e-blast here.

Thanks for supporting our new collaborative and inclusive programming, and I hope to see you soon in the Dallas Arts District!

Catherine Cuellar is the executive director of the Dallas Arts District.

New Additions to the DMA Archives

If you have stopped by the DMA recently, you will have seen a wall full of archival materials and ephemera displayed in the free exhibition DallasSITES: Charting Contemporary Art, 1963 to Present. The archival material also illustrates our new e-publication, DallasSITES: A Developing Art Scene, Postwar to Present, the DMA’s first OSCI project. But these items are just a tiny fraction of the papers, records, and collections acquired by the DMA Archives as part of the DallasSITES project. Below are a few of my favorites–hidden treasures that are not currently on view in the galleries.

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Watercolor sketch by Dallas artist Pamela Nelson, Florence, Italy, August 8, 2000. Pamela Nelson Papers.

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Flyer for the Texas Kid’s Studio Raisin’ event, November 10, 1990. Paul Rogers Harris Gallery Mailings Collection.

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Los Sons of Cain, 2008, an artist book by Dallas artist and gallerist Randall Garrett. Randall Garrett Papers.

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Hot Flashes, Issue 1, December 1985, an arts newsletter for Dallas edited by Bob Trammell. Charles Dee Mitchell Collection.

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Stamp art from the collection of Dallas artist Pamela Nelson. Pamela Nelson Papers.

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Stamp art from the collection of Dallas artist Pamela Nelson. Pamela Nelson Papers.

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Flyer for first Victor Dada performance, “The First Annual Ontopological Da Da Koan,” held at Tolbert’s Chili Parlor, September 20, 1979. Victor Dada Records.
Victor Dada was a performance art group active in Dallas in the 1980s.

Do you have materials documenting a North Texas-based gallery, art career, or arts organization? Please consider donating your archival collection to the Dallas Museum of Art Archives and contribute to the historical record of contemporary art in North Texas for future scholarship. For more information, contact me at archives@DMA.org.

Hillary Bober is the Digital Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Moving Day: Tamayo’s El Hombre Finds a New Home

After many years at the Museum’s Ross Avenue Entrance, Rufino Tamayo’s iconic mural El Hombre (Man) is returning to the Atrium, where it was first hung when the Museum’s Hamon Building opened in 1993.

Rufino Tamayo’s El Hombre (Man) being de-installed from the Ross Avenue entrance (left) and the rehanging in the DMA Atrium (right).

Rufino Tamayo’s El Hombre (Man) being de-installed from the Ross Avenue Entrance (left) and the rehanging in the  Atrium (right).

Tamayo, born of Zapotec heritage in Oaxaca, Mexico, was one of the most prominent Mexican artists of the mid-1900s, and a contemporary of Rivera, Siqueiros, and Orozco. His mural has long been viewed as one of the DMA’s most important works. The tumultuous story behind it, however, inspires further appreciation.

Rufino  Tamayo

Rufino Tamayo at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, 1950s. Dallas Museum of Art Archives

Rufino Tamayo was a good friend of Stanley Marcus, then the president of the Dallas Art Association. In 1951, while on a trip to Amarillo, Tamayo and his wife, Olga, planned to drive to Dallas to visit the Marcus family, letting them know that they would arrive at 5:30 that evening. At 10:30 that night the Tamayos finally arrived, looking disheveled and disillusioned. When Marcus asked them about the delay, Tamayo told him about a car accident they were involved in, in which a local from Amarillo driving a pickup truck ran into them from behind. When the police arrived, it was determined that Tamayo was at fault for the accident, despite his claims and that the evidence suggested otherwise. Because of this unsettling experience, Tamayo told Marcus he would never produce art for the United States. By coincidence, Marcus had for some time wanted to secure Mexican art for the Museum to showcase the significant cultural contributions of the country’s artists, and he offered to commission a large-scale mural from Tamayo. Despite the Museum having only enough funds  to pay one-third the normal price of his work, Tamayo accepted the commission as “a real gift of the heart from Mr. Tamayo to the museum.” He chose to focus his subject on the aspirations and potential of mankind.

Tamayo painting El Hombre (Man)

Rufino Tamayo at work, 1950s. Dallas Museum of Art Archives

When Tamayo completed El Hombre in the summer of 1952, he briefly showed it in Mexico City before shipping it by train to Dallas. Months later, however, the painting still had not arrived at the Museum. The search for the missing mural went on for over a year, when finally the stationmaster from a train station on the Mexico-Texas border called Marcus to inform him that they had found a large package addressed to him. The boxcar that the package had been traveling in had been shunted off the track on a spur, and had been sitting out in the elements all year. Fortunately, when the mural finally arrived in Dallas in September 1953, it was found to be in surprisingly good condition, and El Hombre was put in a place of honor so that every visitor to the Museum would see Tamayo’s depiction of Mexican culture.

El Hombre (Man), comprised of three panels, in transit to its new home.

El Hombre (Man), which comprises three panels, in transit to its new home.

DMA staff vacuuming the Atrium wall in preparation for Tamayo’s painting.

DMA staff vacuuming the Atrium wall in preparation for Tamayo’s painting.

This week, on its journey down the Concourse to the Atrium, Tamayo’s El Hombre traveled much more safely this time around. Be sure to stop by the Atrium on your next visit to see this iconic work for free.

El Hombre (Man) in the DMA Atrium

El Hombre (Man) in the DMA Atrium

Jasmine Shevell is the Exhibitions & Publications Intern at the DMA.

Have Fun While Staying Put

Staying in town for vacation? Spend a day or two in the Dallas Arts District experiencing the rich cultures of the world and have lots of fun while doing it! Here’s our lowdown for how to have a great “staycation” in the Arts District.

At the Crow Collection of Asian Art
Visit the Far East and the cultures of China, Japan, India, and Southeast Asia. The display of paper cranes is rotated annually and incorporates over three thousand hand-crafted cranes. Admission is free and the Museum opens at 10:00 a.m. on weekdays (closed on Mondays).
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At the Nasher Sculpture Center
Check out Berlin-based artist Katharina Grosse’s exhibition, including the interactive piece in the Lower Gallery. Katharina painted walls and mounds of dirt that visitors are able to enter and walk through. While carefully stepping through her work, one gets the feeling that they are out of this world–now talk about a vacation!
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At Klyde Warren Park
Stretch your legs and grab some lunch at the food trucks. There is something for everyone at the Park: ping pong, chess, jungle gyms, fountains, and an outdoor library. Located in the heart of Dallas and the Dallas Arts District, it’s just a short walk from the museums.
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Finally, walk over to the Dallas Museum of Art!
In addition to free general admission offered every day during Museum hours, the DMA is currently hosting two free exhibitions about art in North Texas. DallasSITES: Charting Contemporary Art, 1963 to Present is an exhibition celebrating the history of North Texas’s bold and distinctive art scene. Looking back over fifty years, DallasSITES examines the moments, people, and organizations that helped shape our area’s incredibly vital relationship with contemporary art. Be sure to check out the timeline wall (pictured) and the collage of posters at the opening of the exhibition! Did you know we have so many artists living and working in Dallas!
Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy is another show you won’t want to miss. This exhibition brings together the works of art installed in the president’s suite at the Hotel Texas during his fateful trip in 1963. The original installation, orchestrated by a small group of Fort Worth art collectors, was created especially for President Kennedy and the First Lady in celebration of their overnight visit to the city and included paintings by Vincent van Gogh, Thomas Eakins, Lyonel Feininger, Franz Kline, and Marsden Hartley, and sculptures by Pablo Picasso and Henry Moore, among others.
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From all of us at the DMA, we hope that you are having a wonderful summer, and we look forward to seeing you in the Arts District soon!

Hayley Dyer is the Audience Relations Coordinator for Programming at the DMA.


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