The 12 Most Newsworthy Art Moments of 2012 for Dallas and Fort Worth

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9. 8-Bit Performance/Street Art, Straight from Nintendo World

It started with a voicemail left on the Observer's community inbox, teasing us that two dudes dressed like WaLuigi and Wario would be somewhere in Dallas, spray-painting a Nintendo mural. It took about three seconds and one tweet to find them, and when we got there it was simply magical.

Equal parts performance art and street art, Kid NES and Eder stayed in character throughout, in effort to "trap the real Mario." Just when we thought it couldn't get better, they made a time-lapse video, complete with break dancing and a guy dressed as Gumby running the turntables.

8. CentralTrak, Simply Killing It
This extension of UT Dallas has been a tremendous art incubator, and that Hara Kiri performance series, curated by resident Danielle Georgiou, still floors me. It's become a must-attend location, by giving temporary digs for important work we just can't see anywhere else. We experimented with time travel (Co- Recreating Spaces curated by Carolyn Sortor & Michael A. Morris featuring crazy German conceptual artists, e-team), played indie games at an art arcade (by the incredibly new collective, tiny thumbs) and introduced our dogs to the gallery.

Yeah, that's a mouthful, and it only scrapes the surface. There's a strong collection of current residents, and the space is under wonderful direction. I'd hate to think of Dallas without it; it's helped make everything so much more interesting.

Photo by Jay Barker
7.) Shepard Fairey Waz Here
A complete 180-degree turn from Kris Pierce's (non) payphones was the in-yo-face arrival of Shepard Fairey, for a highly choreographed, full-city overhaul orchestrated by the Dallas Contemporary. For a solid week that guy was followed by packs of adoring groupies and stalked by local graffiti artists. It was divisive, with some feeling those large murals, made by a celebrity, out-of-town talent, were too intrusive. Others, the first to feel pain when the images started falling, absolutely loved the things and thought they classed up their West Dallas walls. But one thing we can all agree on, based on his turn behind tables at an event celebrating the murals: he probably shouldn't be a DJ, unless he's working a wedding.

6.) Irby Pace's Stolen-ish Photographs
I'm still unclear why this story didn't get more attention locally. For his MFA show, UNT grad student (now an adjunct prof at a local college) Irby Pace saw the beauty in discarded images. They were left behind on iPhone and iPad camera roles at local Mac stores, and some were simply perfect. They had a life to them that you rarely see in posed photography, and that's because the individual who took them probably never thought they'd be seen by anyone else.

But Irby did see them.

Soon he was downloading the things by the thousands, sifting through the cast-off portraits in search of the most lively, intriguing subjects. His selections became his show. And after WIRED picked up the story, Pace's show became the subject of a global debate over artist's rights, property rights and authorship issues surrounding abandoned images. It was fun, tech-rich, high-stakes art, and I gotta say: it was some great photography, whoever's it was.

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Suhasini Yeeda
Suhasini Yeeda

Wow. These are the best Dallas art moments? Sad.

Justin 'Dub' Cook
Justin 'Dub' Cook

"Expanded Cinema" needs to happen at least twice a year. By far the coolest thing I saw all year.

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