Nine Reasons Why Art Con 9 Is Saturday's Best Party

Photo by Danny Hurley
This Saturday night Dallas gets more inventive, thanks to a little shindig called Art Con 9.

Organized by a legion of do-gooders, the event unites the city's fringe in an unassuming warehouse at 500 Singleton Blvd. That space has been converted into a fleeting party venue where a few thousand of your closest friends will hang out, bid on art and shake every piece of themselves on the dance floor.

We thought you should know exactly why it's such a big deal, so here's the evening's biggest draws, pre-cut into easily digestable bites. Now, let's dig in.

Film geeks. Video artists. Music nerds. Gallery kids. Office grinders. Dallas is a city of pocket communities. That isn't a bad thing, but as those trails are run increasingly deeper, time slips away. The visual artists see bands sparingly and the music scene rarely steps foot in the art spaces, even though the two are so intimately bound.

Art Con sticks everyone -- and I mean everyone, about 2,000 folks attend -- together. Then it shakes 'em up for a great cause.

My Possibilities
Collin County's first full-day continuing education program for disabled Texans who have "aged out" of secondary education, My Possibilities is a local treasure. Catering to our neighbors with Autism, Down syndrome, Asperger's, Prader-Willi, head injuries and other situations, MP works to advance critical thinking skill sets, teach pre-vocational curriculum and generally enrich the lives of all it serves. A big part of that includes arts education.

Through MPCreate students express themselves through painting, drawing, ceramics and photography. They also venture out to explore museums and art around town, learning the history of modern and classic styles.

Art Con 9 selected My Possibilities as this year's beneficiary organization, so when you buy a ticket, drink or auction item you're directly supporting art education in your community. That's something we can all get behind.

Jamie Laughlin
New Fumes
Daniel Huffman's one-man project flickers the visual with the sonic. He's an impressive artist in his own right, compulsively building and rendering work in his brilliant, oozy style. He creates sculptures, posters and performative accents here in Dallas and up in Oklahoma City, where he collaborates with Wayne Coyne at Womb Gallery.

You see all of that in a New Fumes set. It's a jarring, pulsating ride through psychedelia that leaves you simply elated. I should know, Huffman's is the first show I saw in Dallas that really floored me, and since then I've watched him open for My Bloody Valentine, tour relentlessly and still save a little energy for projects like this, right here on his home turf. He's one of the good ones, so don't miss him.

An electric flood of hard-wired femininity, Zhora is a master of balance. Tender vocals usher you through those flexed-up beats, all cannonballed into a pool of tripped-out visuals. I dare you not to spin-dance.

DJs Sarah Jaffe and emptycylinder
Jaffe takes a night off from laying tracks with Eminem to join Vinyl Fantasy record-digger, DJ emptycylinder, at Art Con 9. You already know Jaffe -- and you should know Nathan Johnson -- he's spun every party you were irrationally happy at. This pair's gonna maximize your fun quadrant.

That's how many artists were selected to make work for this year's Art Con. Now I'm no mathematician, but that seems like a lot.

Let's step back and consider that: Nearly 200 people spent last Saturday working in a warehouse together, creating original artwork to sell for charity. The next time you get down on Dallas, let that image pop into your head. You'll be smiling again in no time.

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