One Night, Two Gallery Walks, 10 Must-See Shows

Categories: Visual Art

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Kettle Art Gallery

This weekend promises beautiful spring weather, a plethora of events and on opposite sides of town two day-long art gallery walks. In the Design District, Dallas Art Dealers Association hosts its annual Spring bike swarm and gallery walk, during which visitors stop off at numerous participating spaces to see new artworks and curated shows.* Then, in Deep Ellum, the 15th Semiannual Gallery Walk features more than 15 stops throughout East Dallas, including the Continental Gin Open Studios, which offers a glimpse into the spaces of working artists.

With more than 50 spaces to choose from, and only 8 hours to visit (all the galleries will be open noon - 8 p.m.) it's going to be a long day, so we picked our top 10. Obviously these aren't necessarily the "best" just the ones that we feel we can look you in the eye and recommend. Whatever else you're doing Saturday, Shakespeare said it best, "Get thee to a gallery."

*Editor's note: Although these are billed as gallery "walks," actually walking from place to place is impossible.

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Five Low-Budget Horror and Sci-fi Gems Deep from the Bloody Heart of Texas

Categories: Film and TV

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Bloodsuckers from Outer Space: In Texas, family and friendliness are values shared by everyone, even the undead.

Texas has spawned dozens of low-budget horror and sci-fi films since the 1960s. Unfortunately most of them suck, although not in the ways most normal, well adjusted filmgoers would think. B-movie fans are some of the most forgiving audiences in the world and will gladly let glaring deficiencies in budget and plot slide provided the film delivers the entertainment goods, intentionally or otherwise. For the true trash connoisseur the only unpardonable sin is to be boring, and many of these regional nightmares have rightfully been condemned to languish in the hell of obscurity. It's a just sentence for tricking a generation of kids into renting them with their lurid box art and empty promises of entertainment. For every Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Robocop on the shelves of the local video store there were a half dozen horror movies that make Andy Warhol's cinematic oeuvre look positively frenetic in comparison.

Often released only on VHS, many of these films stand on the brink of oblivion thanks to the digital slow death of the mom-and-pop video store. In many instances this is no great loss to the world of cinema. Despite this high garbage-to-gold ratio the occasional forgotten gem still turns up in thrift stores and garage sales waiting to be picked like a psychedelic mushroom in a pile of longhorn manure.

In honor of the 2014 Texas Frightmare Weekend May 2-4 at the Hyatt Regency DFW (2334 North International Parkway) we bring you the best of homegrown horror and sci-fi from the '80s and '90s, the golden age of the VCR so often neglected by regional film historians. Although our standards and judgement may have been severely warped by prolonged exposure to Texas crude, the following films have been deemed worthy of rescue from the eternal cut-out bin, of interest to the discerning cinematic bottom-feeder or anyone curious to see what Dallas or Houston looked like before suburban sprawl fully set in.


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The Dallas Opera Announces Exit of Artistic Director Jonathan Pell. Sort Of.

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Jonathan Pell at the Winspear Opera House

You may not recognize his face, but if you've gone to an opera in Dallas at some point over the last 30 years, you're likely familiar with the result of his work. Jonathan Pell, The Dallas Opera's artistic director, has been the company's resident taste-maker for three decades, making important decisions about everything from which operas get staged to who stars in them.

This morning, TDO announced that Pell will be leaving the company at the end of this year. Well, sort of leaving. Pell asked to step down from his full-time position as artistic director to "do some other things that [he has] long wanted to do but for which [he] never had the time." But, at the request of the company, Pell has agreed to stay on as "artistic adviser" through the 2016/17 season to help with "artistic continuity."


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Klyde Warren Park Announces Classic Film Series to Start May 3

Categories: Film and TV

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The Big Sleep

You know what sounds nice? Lounging on a picnic blanket, with a couple of sandwiches from Jimmy's Food Store and a glass of wine, while watching good guy Humphrey Bogart suck face with Lauren Bacall. Apparently that's not just me, either, because the good people at Klyde Warren Park just announced its first annual (we hope!) film series and the line-up is pretty stellar. High-five, park people! (Full disclosure, I used to run the park's Facebook. You might remember my excessive use of exclamation points...)


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Don't Miss the Mandala Sand Painting at Crow Collection This Week

Categories: Visual Art

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On Saturday at the Crow Collection of Asian Art, the monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery ceremoniously marked the beginning of their creation of a mandala. This is part of a national tour they take regularly, introducing average Americans to the Mystical Arts of Tibet. Through Saturday, they will carefully brush millions of grains of sand into a colorful pattern at the center of the gallery. This process requires unrelenting patience and a steady hand, to create this intricate sand painting. At the end of the week, the monks will sweep the sand into White Rock Lake in a consecrated ceremony.


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Here's a Quick Guide to the USA Film Festival Opening Tonight

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Fading Gigolo

Just a few weeks after the Dallas International Film Festival packed up its reels and stuffed them into storage, the USA Film Festival has arrived, beginning today at the Angelika Film Center. Although, you may not remember it was happening there are plenty of movie screenings, talk-backs and events for you attend this week. Plus most of the film screenings are a mere $10, and some are free. The festival opens tonight with Fading Gigolo, which features an all-star cast, including Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, Sofia Vergara and John Turturro. The film will be followed with a talk hosted by Stephen Tobolowsky.

Here's the lineup for the rest of the week:

Tuesday, April 22
7 p.m. Fading Gigolo
7 p.m. Particle Fever chronicles six scientists while they launch the Large Hadron Collider. Director Mark Levinson will be in attendance.


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Oak Cliff Soap's Ariel Saldivar Comes Clean on Art, Business and the Worst Scent Ever

Categories: Q&A

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Dan Johnson
Ariel Saldivar, Renaissance woman.
I first became aware of Ariel Saldivar at Wigwam, the Oak Cliff holiday pop-up shop most recently hosted at Oil & Cotton. Her Oak Cliff Soap Co. soaps were for sale and I bought three. Fancy soaps are one of those rare treats -- like a bag of gummy bears, but less likely to induce a diabetic coma.

Handcrafted soaps are just one facet of Saldivar's creative work, though. Not long after our interview, she popped up in 5x6, short film that put five questions to six local, working artists, getting their thoughts about creativity, art and what it means to be an artist. Salidvar was featured for her national jewelry line, Olivia K. If you're keeping track, that's two crafts -- soap making and jewelry, but wait, there's more. She also sings opera, lent her vocals to Broken Social Scene and once had an impromptu lunch with Sir Richard Branson. She's currently the associate director of the Goss-Michael Foundation and blogs about art history in her spare time.

Why soap? At the time she was trying to come up with a fundraiser for Oil & Cotton, the creative exchange and art education forum in Bishop Arts. Soap was something she could make that would generate scholarship funds so little neighborhood Picassos could attend classes for free. Oak Cliff Soap Co. premiered at the third Wigwam and raised over $1,000 for students. At six bucks a pop, that's pretty impressive. Keep in mind this was the second business Saldivar launched and her years creating and marketing Olivia K certainly helped her avoid some earlier missteps.

"It's great to have big dreams and big visions, but the reality comes down to dollars and cents. There are things to consider that none of us really want to consider -- not just the cost for supplies, but the cost of branding, too."

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And Now, Some Adorable Pups from Sunday's Pooch Parade

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Catherine Downes
Each year, pups gather at Lee Park for the annual Pooch Parade (part of the Easter in the Park extravaganza). Here are a handful of dogs from the event, that we find especially adorable. You can check out the entire slideshow here.

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Learning the Ropes at Bondage Expo Dallas

Categories: Dallas Stories

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Catherine Downes
He loops the mustard yellow rope into knots, strong fingers pulling it tight around her skin. One hand grips her shoulder, the other drapes the rope around her chest, pulling it into the first of several harnesses for a full-body "takate kote." It's taken him years to master box-tie suspension, and women like Cherise come here to learn, to spend an hour in someone else's control, hanging from ropes as their body drifts into a zen-like state of numbness.

"We never have sex," says DallasKink, a local rope maker and bondage instructor. "People come here in couples or single to explore things they're curious about or to learn how to tie each other up, and I'm happy to teach them."

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Dragon Street's Zhulong Gallery is a Beacon for New Media Art

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Zhulong Gallery

Zhulong Gallery, with its glass fa├žade and dragon shaped gallery space, aims to be a new force in the Dallas new media scene, with international context, a public involvement component and a broad definition of new media that sparks conversations about how to define the popular genre.

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