5 Visual Art Exhibitions to See This Weekend

Categories: Visual Art

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John Pomara

Digital-Distraction at Barry Whistler Gallery
Put down your cellphone and see some art this weekend. For his latest work, John Pomara found himself interested in the way digital technology simultaneously connects us and disconnects us. Everyone has that friend who's in constant communication with everyone except the people in front of him. These communicative "visual distractions" were the impetus for his new abstract works that debut at the Barry Whistler Gallery (2909-B Canton St.) at 6 p.m. Saturday. See Digital-Distraction during the opening reception or through November 29. More information at barrywhistlergallery.com.

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No One Cares That You Don't Like Impressionism

Categories: Visual Art

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Musée d'Orsay, Paris
Edgar Degas, Family Portrait (The Bellelli Family), 1858-60

Everyone's seen a Renoir, most people know about Degas' dancers, or recognize Manet's Balcony. The ubiquity of Impressionism inspires films, fiction, and even credit card embellishment. "Two Girls at a Piano" reminds a father of his two daughters, so he finds a knock off online; an art student stares endlessly at Van Gogh's self portrait pondering the brushstrokes and the life of a successful artist.

But the overwhelming presence of Impressionist painting can also lead more than a few critics to beg for something different. Please, curator gods, not another Impressionist show! This month alone, Impressionism is on display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and San Antonio's McNay, and, no surprise, the Kimbell Art Museum -- North Texas' biggest proponent of the art movement.

But who can resist "Starry Night" or Renoir's Dance series? The consistent presentation of the art movement might be considered pandering or populism, if the paintings and the artists weren't so important to the development of modern art. And if you're going to see one of the numerous Impressionism exhibitions that have or will come through Dallas/Fort Worth, see Faces of Impressionism at the Kimbell, October 19-January 25.

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Kovacs Award Recipient Harry Shearer Talks Richard Nixon, Spinal Tap and Smart Comedy

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Photos by Danny Gallagher

The great comedians know that they don't have to create fiction, they simply have to pluck out the insane bits of a world trying to wrestle with its sanity and present it in the way a carnival barker would just before he pulls back the curtain to reveal some horrid mistake of human nature.

Actor and comedian Harry Shearer is one such performer, obsessed with presenting the raw, naked truth of politics and media whether it's the invasiveness of reality TV when he helped write director Albert Brooks' first movie Real Life or the inefficient preparation and inhumane response that led to massive flooding in New Orleans with his documentary The Big Uneasy. Even This is Spinal Tap, the seminal rock comedy movie that launched the mockumentary genre, sprang from real moments.

"We didn't make anything up in that movie," Shearer says atAMS Pictures headquarters in Dallas. "It was stuff that either happened to us or people we knew. Editing reality to get the good part is sort the ideal version of my job."

The Spinal Tap and Simpsons star recently turned his sharp eye for the satirical to one of American history's characters who always seemed to good to be real, former President Richard M. Nixon, for a new web series for My Damn Channel called Nixon's the One. He'll premiere the series tonight at the Angelika Film Center as part of the Dallas VideoFest where he'll receive the festival's Ernie Kovacs Award.

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Meet All of Your Fanboy (or Fangirl) Idols at the Dallas Comic Con's Fan Days

Categories: Geek-Offs

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Ed Steele
All fans of anything have lists in their heads of famous hands they'd like to shake -- those attached the faces and voices they've seen in their favorite movies and TV shows. There's just something about making that face-to-face to contact with the people you've worshiped from afar that makes them seem more real.

You don't just get to tell them how much you've enjoyed and been inspired by their work. You get to watch your favorite shows and movies in a whole new light. You're no longer just staring at a memorable face on a flat screen. You're part of their actual world. You're one degree of separation away from them. And as long as you don't try to obtain a lock of their hair or a skin fragment, you'll retain that beautiful memory for as long as you live or as long as the series doesn't veer down a weird path.

If you've got a particularly long bucket list of famous hands you wish to shake and faces to take selfies with, you'll be able to cross a bunch of them off of your list this weekend at the Dallas Comic Con's Fan Days Expo.

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Got Zombies on the Brain? Here Are Five Lively Undead Events for You.

Categories: Halloween

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The Walking Dead
A cottage industry has popped up to help sate the nation's unending appetite for the undead. Everything from brain shaped candy, to "Zombie Squad" customizations for vehicles are readily available for consumers who want to show that they're ready for the not really upcoming zombie apocalypse. Lucky for those North Texans with a taste for adventure there are a handful of events to hold them over until society's eventual collapse.


Dallas REI's Zombie Preparedness - Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse Class
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, October 16
Where: REI Dallas, 4515 LBJ Freeway

The outdoor retailer frequently offers classes for the urban adventurer in us all, and it being Halloween season they've jumped into the zombie game by offering up a zombie preparedness course that covers all the basics it would take to survive a zombie apocalypse. Lucky for attendees of the course many of the skills being taught would be invaluable in any disaster situation in a major urban area, so even if the dead do not rise, you're at least learning something you can use.


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17 Awesome Things to Do in Dallas This Weekend, October 16-19

Categories: Dallas Stories

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Adolfo Cantú-Villarreal, TZOM Films
The Weekend is Here, Praise the Gods!

It's here, finally. Well, if you count Thursday as the weekend. And we do. No need to slack off, get planning on how you'll make your fun this weekend. What's that expression? Oh yeah, carpe diem.


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How Seth & Shawn Magill, of Home by Hovercraft, Spiced up Shakespeare's Sonnets

Categories: Theater

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Yes. Collage Art by Shawn Magill. Original Art by Sarah Magill. Photography by Paul Westlake, Styling by Pan & The Dream.

Three years ago, Shakespeare Dallas launched a project called, "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare." The gist was simple: Over five years, the company's actors would recite every single word Shakespeare ever wrote in a monthly series of staged readings. This includes plays and poetry. According to the Folger Shakespeare Library, that's 884,647 words and 118,406 lines.

It's a huge undertaking that has been received with surprisingly large, attentive audiences (I mean, c'mon, Shakespeare plays are long even when they're edited down). They've performed uncut versions of many of popular works, like Taming of the Shrew, which has an opening scene often left out, which reveals Shakespeare originally intended it to be a play within a play. This week, the monthly series presents its first attempt at combining a few sonnets with music orchestration, provided by local band Home by Hovercraft.

With original music written by the band's front-couple Seth and Shawn Magill, setting the sonnets to the orchestrations like lyrics. They'll perform six of the "Sonnets with Sundry Music," along with The Phoenix and the Turtle. Shawn's also incorporated visual elements, with the help of local artists, turning this into what promises to be the most visually stimulating edition of Complete Works yet.


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Film Podcast: Dear White People, Go See Dear White People

Categories: Film and TV

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Justin Simien's Dear White People.
With the news that Paul Feig is going to reboot Ghostbusters with an all-female cast, we wonder on this week's Voice Film Club podcast what it would be like if they re-did another '80s classic: Young Guns. We then move onto the latest Brad Pitt World War II movie, Fury, which is ultra violent. Amy Nicholson of LA Weekly says, "I like a war movie where they talk about how war is just really awful...this is muddy in-the-trenches war movie." Joined as always by Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice, the trio then moves onto Justin Simien's much-anticipated new film, Dear White People (be sure to read our interview with Simien), and then to post-apocalyptic Western Young Ones, written and directed by Jake Paltrow.


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100 Dallas Creatives: No. 50 Dallas Arts District

Categories: 100 Creatives

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The midpoint of this list seemed the appropriate time to acknowledge the Dallas Arts District. Decades in the making, the Dallas Arts District signals not only the city's dedication to the arts, but is a significant promise to future generations. It's reshaped how Dallas thinks and talks about the arts, for both good and bad.

In this five-pronged edition of 100 Creatives, we chat with Catherine Cuellar, who runs a nonprofit named Dallas Arts District, which she describes as a homeowner's association of sorts. The neighborhood and its leaders have been shaping the arts scene, from the AT&T Performing Arts Center's interest in presenting both touring productions and local artistic organizations to the Nasher Sculpture Center's investment in the city with projects like Nasher Xchange, and of course the resident companies who are creating the art in the gorgeous buildings, like Dallas Black Dance Theatre and TITAS. It's this top-level leadership that provides a stronghold for the entire arts scene. We can blame it and praise it for things. What happens in the Dallas Arts District is not the only arts scene in Dallas. Hardly. But's an important component of the cultural landscape in Dallas and for that, we've included the neighborhood in this list.

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10 Best Costumes from Last Halloween. Good Luck Beating Them, Folks!

Categories: Dallas Stories

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Ed Steele
Pamela Anderson?

Last year, Dallas got down and dirty with costumes. And nowhere outshone the Cedar Springs block party. Of course, that's usually the case in this city. If you want to see Halloween in all its gory glory, you head to the gayborhood for a night of revelry. This year, with Halloween falling on a Friday, we're sure it will be bigger and better than ever. Although glancing back through last year's costumes, we're not sure it will be easy to top. Here are a few of our favorites. All photos by Ed Steele.


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