Take a Deep Dive into Performance Art with (Wo)manorial's New Exhibition Inside)(Outside

Categories: Visual Art

Inside)(Outside opens online Sunday at midnight.

Technically, a museum is a building. Attendants patrol the halls to protect the art, the white walls offer a distraction-free setting to look at paintings, which curators position and explain on placards, giving visitors an organized, insightful experience of an exhibition. But art -and the experience of it - has never been limited to a trip to the museum and in the information age, the Internet expands artistic output like never before.

One such output, with strong Dallas ties is that of (wo)manorial, an art collective that functions as an online exhibition hall for artists considered with issues of gender, the female experience and the subject of femininity. Exhibiting online renders three-dimensional objects into 2-d visualizations; although you aren't allowed to touch the art in museums, it's there just inches from your fingertips.

A new online exhibition, Inside)(Outside, exploring international variations of performance art concerned with topics of gender opens on the Web site, Sunday at midnight. Curated by local artists, Courtney Brown and Allison Starr, known collectively as Performance SW, the work exhibited is meant to challenge the ephemeral nature of performance art, as well as the performative nature of gender roles. And come August 16, participating artists will visit Oak Cliff in the flesh for what Brown calls a "Deep dive into performance art."

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Party Under the Influence of Art Thursday Night

Categories: Events, Fashion

Courtesy Elissa Stafford
Pick your poison...

Since its official launch in May, the Fashion Art Network has thrown "curated parties." They tempt partygoers with a fresh vibe, cheap tickets, and booze, then treat them to an evening of design, performance, and visual art - typically featuring artists represented by the part event-planning, part marketing company. On the one hand, it's a sneaky way to present art without allowing for value judgment; on the other, who can say no to music, booze, and art?

"It's a great time. It's a real creative time," says Dwayne Williams, co-founder of FAN. "We've thrown events with fashion presentations from different designers, allowing the designer to present different looks to the audience with art shows simulataneously, with artwork spanning from traditional art to new media."

Thursday's event breaks the mold of previous parties, because FAN invited Darryl Ratcliff to curate a party called, "A City Under the Influence." He's invited music acts Sudie and Ronnie Heart to provide the jams; Elissa Stafford will present video and performance art; Patrick Romeo created an installation piece; and Fred Villanueva teamed up with Cupcake Wars competitor Lauren Lee to create edible art.

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Forget the News, Just Follow This Dog on Instagram

Categories: WTF?


Last week, I was walking through the Bishop Arts District with my younger sister, who recently graduated from college and is living with me for the summer. She let out a squeal when she saw a Vespa with a sidecar parked in front of Oddfellows just yards from a big, fluffy dog.

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100 Dallas Creatives: No. 79 Behind-the-Scenes Teacher Rachel Hull

Categories: 100 Creatives


Mixmaster presents "100 Creatives," in which we feature cultural entrepreneurs of Dallas in random order. Know an artistic mind who deserves a little bit of blog love? Email lauren.smart@dallasobserver.com with the whos and whys.

The kids are our future. Eventually the students of today will be the teachers of tomorrow. At least, that's how it worked for Rachel Hull, the director of education and community enrichment at Dallas Theater Center, who was once just a middle school student interested in acting. Now, she runs one of the country's strongest theater outreach programs, Project Discovery. No, really. Last year, Hull was invited on behalf of DTC to accept the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, from the White House.

In addition to Project Discovery - which gives Dallas-area kids tickets to shows and buses them to the theater - since joining the staff of DTC in 2005, Hull has headed up the Stay Late program and built curriculum for specific shows. It's one of those behind-the-scenes jobs that gives the theater an even greater impact on the community. And in spite of the long hours, you'd be hard-pressed to find Hull without a sunny disposition and a warm smile.

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At the Dallas Costume Shoppe, the Clothes Aren't the Only Vintage Goods

Categories: Dallas Stories

Nicholas Bostick
In front of a weathered old Singer sewing machine, in the middle of one of the oldest costumes shops in the South, 83-year-old Fortunato Mata sits surrounded by costumes from nearly every period and place in time. The Dallas Costume Shoppe has been outfitting big time Broadway bombshells in decadent silk, frat boys looking for vintage togas and everyone in between since the early 1900s, and Mata has been there for most of it. It has been his home away from home since 1942, when he was adopted into the world of theater.

"I was one of four children who were orphaned in the '30s," Mata said as he set his work down to talk. "In '43 the war was still raging and my new adopted mother and father, the Worths [Hal and Edna], were in the theater, and they had this costume shop downtown."

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Dallas Filmmaker Jeremy Snead Captures the Video Game Industry on Film

Categories: Film and TV

Video Games: The Movie
Who knew this would lead to Call of Duty?

Dallas-based Jeremy Snead has a hot commodity on his hands these days. He's the director, writer, and producer of Video Games: The Movie, a documentary on the history of video games. With his production company MediaJuice, he successfully raised over $100,000 through a Kickstarter campaign, got Zach Braff to be its executive producer, got Sean Astin to narrate it, and he interviewed many of the pioneers of the industry for it. Coupled with interviews by high profile people like Chris Hardwick and Wil Wheaton, the documentary has a panache beyond regular people talking about video games.

Snead had two screenings of the film this past week at the Texas Theatre, but it's already available as a digital download through iTunes and game systems. We caught up with Snead and talked about how the film came together over three years of work, how he got so many people for interviews, and what he hopes to do next with the project.

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Alika Herreshoff on his Addiction to Painting: the Discipline That's "Died so many Deaths"

Categories: Visual Art

Alika Herreshoff

Alika Herreshoff is addicted to painting. It's the art form he can't let go of and he's not planning to try anytime soon.

In the early 2000's, Herreshoff was a member of Dearraindrop, an art collective that was based at that time in Virginia Beach. He worked alongside the other members to create works with different forms of media, using an aesthetic he describes as "a tidal wave of psychedelic and cartoon imagery."

Today, Herreshoff works alone. After traveling extensively and exhibiting throughout the world, his studio landed in Houston and he's earning a reputation as one of the notable painters in the state. Earlier this year, he was one of five Houston artists in a show at Ware:Wolf:Haus that was one of the better painting shows we've had this year, and certainly the most contemporary, which is where he connected with RE Gallery, which hosts his first Dallas solo exhibition this weekend.

His work in The Imp of the Perverse draws inspiration from literature to painting, to comics and psychology, referencing both Edgar Allan Poe and Rene Magritte. His use of vivid colors and fluid figures is tantalizing, which is why we wanted to peek into the studio. In anticipation of the opening at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 26, we chatted with Herreshoff about where he's from, how he uses inspiration, and what keeps him painting.

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Fun House Theatre and Film Puts Theater Critics in the Spotlight

Categories: Theater

There's a running joke among critics that the reason they are given aisle seats is that they are statistically more likely to die during a play than another audience member. On the aisle, the dead critic is more easily removed from the theater.

The death of the critic is something many actors have wished for, if only in jest. Conversely, there are plays that have made critics wish for their own swift demise. Critic as villain is a theatrical trope. For decades, playwrights have written critics into plays only to mock them, and occasionally kill them. Because before the Internet, the critic's pen was strong enough to shut down a show in a week.

In Jeff Swearingen's new play Stiff- which opens at Fun House Theatre and Film August 1 - the producer at Tin Box Theatre finds Mickey Blake, the city's most powerful critic, dead after a show's opening night. The producer, director and playwright don't want the critic to have died in their show, so what ensues is part Bullets Over Broadway, part Weekend at Bernie's.

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Our Five Favorite Pictures from the Austere Inferno Fashion Show

Categories: Fashion

Scott Mitchell

I'm not sure how you spent your Friday night, but we sent our photographer Scott Mitchell into the nine circles of hell, which apparently look like a fashion show, meets performance art meets a zombie cocktail party. The hybrid art collective and digital publication, Austere Mag's event featuring the work of designers from DFW, Austin, New Orleans, or Portland. The event bore this warning: "violence and hypersexuality." If you weren't in attendance, not to worry, we're here to indulge your inner voyeur.

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The Dallas Dance Fest Is Back, Bigger than Ever

Categories: Dance

Serkan Zanagar

The Dallas DanceFest is back. After a 10-year hiatus, the festival that began with outdoor performances at the Annette Strauss Square returns with the same premise but a new venue, the Dallas City Performance Hall.

Its original debut in 1985 started off small, featuring only three companies: Dallas Black Dance Theatre, and the now defunct Dancers Unlimited and Ballet Dallas. These were the main players in the city back then, with Dancers Unlimited being the starting place for many modern dancers and choreographers still working and creating now, and Ballet Dallas was the training ground for many dancers still performing today.

The festival grew to include the similarly growing dance community, and involved regional and national companies who were members of the Dance Council of North Texas - each group subjected to the same application and jury process. The festival quickly became a Labor Day tradition, had a name change in the middle of its growth spurt (you might remember it as The Dallas Morning News Dance Festival), and operated for 20 years, before calling it quits in 2004.

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