F@#K Brain Cancer, Indeed: Before He Got Sick, Artist Patrick Short Gave Himself to Dallas, so Dallas is Giving Back

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Lithograph and wood cut by Lynne Allen
A stunning lithograph and woodcut screen print hangs in one of the showroom's corners. It carries a primitive, almost folkloric tone, washed in rich reddish pigments. Its detailed underworking glows through in layered bliss. It was made and given by two-time Fulbright winner and Director of the School of Visual Arts at Boston University Lynne Allen, and it's positively stunning.

It's easy to see why her work has been collected by the Whitney, the New York Public Library and the Minneapolis Museum of Art, to name a few. Here, it will probably sell for a fraction of its actual value, but that fraction could stave off a month or two of rent and/or grocery bills, cab rides to chemotherapy procedures or vulturous student loan collectors.

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Painting by Dana Clancy, done rabid injustice by Jamie Laughlin's cell phone.
There's a painting on the back wall that feels oddly at home, as though it were designed intuitively for this Dallas-centric moment. It gives a split-level interpretation of the Rachofsky House -- as remembered by a dreamy out-of-towner. It's a little voyeuristic, and puts the viewer in an interesting position of both familiarity and utter stranger danger distance.

The artist behind the piece, Dana Clancy, is an Assistant Professor of Art at BU and a one-time visitor to the famous piece of Dallas architecture. She had the opportunity to walk the property when in town for the 2008 CAA conference, and it seems the experience stuck. The work bridges geography, presenting both iconic Dallas with Bostonian friendship. It's beautiful.

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Home of future installation and performance piece by Leah Foster
One of the most interesting works on display is also one of the least tangible. The entire corner of the room has been remodeled to resemble a kitschy take on a grandmother's sitting room, so that performance and conceptual artist Leah Foster can present her own contribution. She'll sit you down for storytime (milk and cookies provided, naturally) and read aloud from a hand-painted book about a little boy and his goldfish. There's more to it than that, but we can't give all of the secrets away. Up for auction are both the book itself and a documented list of instructions so that you too may perform the piece of art.

But the shining jewel, the one that might be gobbled up in the greediest fashion, is sly, charming and created by the Head of Underground Painting at Boston University, Richard Ryan. Its subjects are resin-based, captured from a rear-view silhouette, and retold in a controlled explosion of very orderly paint. They've got a repetitive pop bent, a cooling tone and a freshly spectacular feel. This one, says Susan, would retail for $7,000. Bidding will start at a whittled-down price of $1,500 to $2,000.

Don't be intimidated if that's deeper than your pockets sag; work will also start off at the $50 or $100 price point, so your bidding and possible purchase might evolve into a holiday gift for yourself, as well as a phone bill, an Internet payment or a co-pay for Patrick Short. Considering the number of lives he's touched, prepare to bid aggressively for the honor.

Ro2 Art's Downtown Project Space is located at 110 N. Akard. Silent auction begin on Friday night at 7 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m.

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Izabela Wojcik
Izabela Wojcik

I had no idea... I would have loved to donate a piece. Our thoughts are with you Patrick.

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