The MasterMinds Finalists: Part One

Categories: MasterMinds

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Winnowing down Dallas' growing, dynamic community of artists to three MasterMinds involved some tough choices. The process was like lining up at a vast buffet prepared by an outstanding chef: too many wonderful selections and too little room on our plates. On the way to naming the winners, our judges narrowed down the original list of 45 entrants to 10 tasty finalists.

Each day until the three MasterMinds winners are announced via our next issue Thursday, we're featuring those finalists (in no particular order) right here on the Mixmaster. Today, we're kicking off with four after the jump.

Sara Kerens
Frank Campagna stands with Kettle Art's Sweet Bullets exhibition.
Frank Campagna
Dynamic muralist, gallery owner, studio artist

A MasterMinds finalist for the second year in a row, Campagna is definitively Dallas, but not in way the city is typically understood. For many, Deep Ellum conjures images of the now-demolished Good Latimer tunnel, a gateway into the mysterious dimension of Dallas that is not all Hermes-and-Mercedes, but instead purple-haze-and-serious-guitar. Campagna, 55, acted as art director for that project -- the Tunnelvisions Muralalist project -- in 2002, and while those tunnels no longer stand, they remain imprinted in the minds of those who slipped away from home for that first taste of late-night freedom and grinding rock and roll. From 1997-2008, Campagna worked with full artistic freedom as the muralist for the Gypsy Tea Room, gracing its red brick walls with hundreds of ever-evolving 12-by-8-foot paintings, many of which are memorialized in photos on "Prolific" does not do Campagna justice; he paints as if his life depends on it, and it may well. But, today, much of his focus is turned toward Kettle Art gallery, which he co-founded in 2005, located on Elm Street in Deep Ellum. The Kettle is a nonprofit gallery space featuring primarily local and emerging artists, many of whom who have never shown work in a formal setting. The Kettle's walls are where you will find Dallas' newest and greatest up-and-coming talent, and Campagna is the man who makes it possible.

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