Dallas Medianale Wraps Up for 2015

Dallas Medianale

Last Saturday marked the closing program of Dallas Medianale, the experimental film festival that's been at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary since early January. The festival has featured seated screenings, video art installations and intermedia performances curated by an array of artists, art educators and curators involved with the Video Association of Dallas -- the organization responsible for Medianale -- including Michael A. Morris, Charles Dee Mitchell, Danielle Avram-Morgan and Carolyn Sortor.

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Dallas Artist Rob Wilson Creates Touching Tribute to Leonard Nimoy

Rob Wilson

Today, the world was dealt a sad blow. Leonard Nimoy, Spock of 'Star Trek,' died at 83. "Live Long and Prosper" popped up numerous times in my newsfeed, stories of Nimoy and Star Trek were everywhere, but one tribute caught my eye. Rob Wilson, local artist and graphic designer extraordinaire, created a simple, touching image with the caption, "Beam Him Up."

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Forget #TheDress, Here's What to Read on the Dallas Internet Right Now

Mike Daisey was interview by local performer John Michael on TheaterJones.

If you're tired of hearing about the dress of many colors, the Internet offers numerous alternatives. Lately, Dallas writers have flooded the Internet with words worth reading. And while I'm obviously biased toward the writing you'll find on the pages of DallasObserver.com, there are some articles out there about the arts that no one on our staff or in our bevy of freelancers has the expertise to write. Rather than waste your time with my take on their take on that one thing, I determined to bring back the artifacts from my last deep dig around the Dallas Wide Web. Here's your reading list for this blustery Friday.

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Lucky Dog Books In Oak Cliff to Close April 1


Well, this is sad news. The mammoth Lucky Dog Books location in Oak Cliff, announced via Facebook this morning that it has reached its final chapter. After a campaign last month to raise money via gift card sales and donations, the Oak Cliff Advocate reports that the used bookstore will shutter April 1. According to the store's post, it sounds as though the landlord didn't have the patience to allow the bookstore more time to raise money and has already rented the space to another tenant.

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Liliana Bloch Gallery, The Public Trust Add to the Gallery Numbers in the Design District

Letitia Huckaby
The first show in Bloch's new space will be Fort Worth-based Letitia Huckaby.

The number of galleries in the Design District continues to grow. Over the past year, new galleries like Zhulong Gallery and Cydonia have popped up in the neighborhood. Last month Cris Worley and Holly Johnson's eponymous galleries traded spaces, moving onto the main stretch of Dragon Street. Today, Liliana Bloch Gallery and The Public Trust, previously on Commerce Street in Deep Ellum, announced that they will be moving in next to Galleri Urbane on Monitor Street, at the northernmost tip of the Design District's boundaries.

"I wanted to stay in Deep Ellum, because I love the community," says Bloch. "But there are a lot of headaches, like parking, that keep people away. I'm excited to never get a parking ticket ever again."

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Francisco Moreno Reconstructs a 1975 Datsun Z In the Name of Art and All That Is Cool

Francisco Moreno
It's more than just doing donuts in front of a painting, but it's also that.

It's 4 p.m. on a Wednesday and I'm climbing into the body of a 1975 Datsun Z, receiving instructions that amount to "flip this switch and jiggle that one" with the warning that "just know, it will actually be quite startling." I'm sitting on a false seat in the driver's seat, when the entire car shudders and it lets out an enormous roar. I squeal. You would too.

This car, which is being built from scratch, is part of artist Francisco Moreno's WCD Project, part of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra's inaugural Soluna Festival in May. For the past few years, Moreno has been constructing the car as part of a performative installation that is a variation on the famous painting, "Washington Crossing the Delaware" by Emmanuel Luetze.

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AT&T Performing Arts Center Brings Broadway Blockbusters Matilda, Jersey Boys, and More

Joan Marcus
Jump! For Broadway!

For musical lovers, the hottest ticket in town is the season subscription for the AT&T Performing Arts Center Broadway Series. These are the people who have brought Book of Mormon to Dallas twice, and continue to book Broadway's blockbusters. Monday night, the theater announced its 2015/16 season, which doesn't disappoint.

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Finally! City of Dallas to Give Money to Artists.

Not quite this much money...

The rumors are true and the official announcement and link for more details are on the way, but this week Giovanni Valderas, Vice Chair of the Cultural Arts Commission for the city of Dallas announced via Facebook that starting February 27, artists will be able to apply for grants that range from $1,000- 5,000. These "Special Support Grants" might be a small, yet mighty step for the city to take, as it demonstrates a direct support of the artists who choose to call Dallas home.

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There Is a Street Poet in Dallas, Creating Beautiful Words by Request

Look for this typewriter.

On Valentine's Day, if you were wandering the streets of Deep Ellum, it's possible you saw a woman plucking at a typewriter outside Twilite Lounge. A closer look would've told you that this woman was writing poems by request for total strangers.

Fatima-Ayan Malika Hirsi has been setting up her typewriter in the Bishop Arts District almost every weekend since last May. A longtime writer and poet, she'd already been publishing poems daily on her blog flowerwordspoetry.com, before she borrowed the idea from a friend living in Austin, who supports herself financially from her street poems. Hirsi's ventures haven't been quite that lucrative, but she's written hundreds of poems about everything from long lost love, Jesus or someone's favorite vegetable.

"I wrote a poem about a potato once," she laughs. "That was a funny one, but I incorporated references to Into the Wild so it came out alright."

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Nasher Sculpture Center Shows Artists Love with Microgrants

Nasher Sculpture Center
It won't be quite like Oprah's Favorite Things, but equally squeal worthy.

If you're an artist in Dallas, chances are you feel undervalued. It's easy for this city to get lost in the mentality of proving one's worth with monetary value, or asking not what a city can do for its people, but what its people can do for it. Especially its artists. The stuffy conservative ideals of only giving out money where there's a foreseeable ROI just doesn't work in the art world. It's hard to put a price tag on creativity. But luckily for artists and for all the people who enjoy art made by artists (you know, any art), the institutions consistently take the leadership role in supporting a sustainable art community.

Last week, the Nasher Sculpture Center announced a series of microgrants for local artists. Twice annually, the Center will host an open call for small-sum grants, amounting from $250-1000. These grants will be available for artists working in any media, and valid proposals for use include studio rent or art materials. These are grants limited to large-scale projects, they're grants to assist with an artist's daily life -- the things that allow an artist to create.

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