When Artist Gary Sweeney Quit His Day Job, He Made Plans to Visit Dallas

Categories: Visual Art

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"Donated Artwork" by Gary Sweeney

Being an artist can be a tough gig, especially if your heart is set on living indoors and enjoying the occasional meal. Naturally most artists find themselves working more than a few odd jobs to keep the lights on. So when California native Gary Sweeney was given the chance to work as a baggage handler for airports, right after graduating from U.C. Irvine in the in the early '70s, he jumped at the chance. After 35 years that include numerous public art pieces and only a few damaged suitcases, Sweeney is quitting his day job.

"I've got 35 years with it and they're offering an early out," Sweeney says. "It's truly a hard job to give up."

One of his first stops as a free man? Dallas, where he'll exhibit some of his newest work in Problem Child at Red Arrow Contemporary September 6-October 18.


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Goss Michael Foundation Charts New Waters, Invites Dallas Along for Voyage

Categories: Visual Art

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Goss Michael Foundation

The first time I met Kenny Goss, he wanted to show me his art collection. We were meeting for an article about the annual fundraiser, MTV:ReDefine, but first, would I like to see his Damien Hirst?

While famously associated with the pop singer George Michael, the Goss-Michael Foundation is more or less the brain child of Goss and for years Michael's whispers are all but absent. But as it turns out, the art space deserves its own kind of celebrity. Behind the doors to the square, white building on Turtle Creek, you'll not only find imported British art, but local programming that charts new waters.

"We've always been committed to bringing in young British artists, but we wanted to come up with a way to get local artists involved," says Goss. "People know us for our British art, but we're also doing a lot more than that."


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Casey Gray Updates the Baroque With Emojis and Spray Paint at Circuit 12

Categories: Visual Art

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Casey Gray

In much of Casey Gray's art, there's a humorous tension between message and medium. Imagine if the 17th century Flemish painters had worked in spray paint. Conversely, picture Peter Paul Rubens on a skateboard. See? Funny. This was the crux of much of San Francisco-based Gray's early work, in which he explored the subject matter of Baroque still life using a complex method of layered spray paints and stenciling.

"I decided to start at the beginning with what is Art 101, like still life painting," Gray says. "I wanted to see how I could paint an apple, part of that also has to do with challenging the idea of tradition with non-traditional techniques in the face of artistry. But more so it was about developing an entirely visual language."

Lately, his work is a bit more true to his daily life, with beach scenes and digital media. It's these motifs that will be on display in his first Dallas solo exhibition at Circuit 12 Contemporary, Of Land and Sea, opening with an artist reception at 6 p.m. September 6.


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If You're in Dallas Saturday Afternoon, Meet Artist Liz Glynn

Categories: Visual Art

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Nasher 360 Speaker Series

The Nasher Sculpture Center gets a lot of things right. Jeremy Strick runs a tight artistic ship, with impressive exhibitions and thought-provoking programming. One of the most underrated programs is the 360 Speaker Series, which gives the microphone to world-renowned artists across a variety of disciplines. On Saturday at 2 p.m. this series turns its attention to LA-based installation sculptor, Liz Glynn.

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Circuit 12 Contemporary Plays with Gallery in Linescapes

Categories: Visual Art

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The Circuit 12 Contemporary gallery is constantly in a state of flux. Of late, gallerists Gina and Dustin Orlando have taken interest in playing with environment in exhibitions.
Not only have owners Gina and Dustin Orlando recently made some renovations to the space and added a fashion component, they've also made atmospheric use of their space. Recently the gallery mounted a show of Alexander DiJulio's work, Constellation Logic, in which the gallery disconnected the viewer from the outside world by having them walk a wood-planked deck into the space.

Currently to exhibit the work of street artist James M. Rizzi, Circuit 12 invited him to demonstrate his large scale work in a black and white color palette, alongside a small exhibition of framed work. Through the end of the month, visitors to the gallery find themselves immersed in his gestural mural art.

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Christopher Blay Built a Satellite as a Bridge Between Artist and Audience

Categories: Visual Art

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Central Trak

Christopher Blay's work functions on borderlines. If life is a Venn diagram, he's creating art in the overlaps. He wants to ask questions, start conversations, and challenge the viewer to see things "outside of their bubble." As it happens, earlier this year he built himself into a bubble for Deep Ellum Windows that forced the viewer to confront both him and his sculptural installation in a new way.

This idea of audience/artist confab is the focus of Blay's Satellites, which opens at Central Trak Saturday. But like much of his oeuvre, this sculptural installation lives beyond conceptualism, asking both art insiders and outsiders how to expand communication in the arts.

"The sculpture is a metaphor for communication," says Blay. "But I also created a video component that has people address the question in a direct way. I don't hope to find one right way for people communicate with art, I just want to recognize that there are these two clusters of people."


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Erin Cluley Didn't Need a Psychic to Tell Her to Open a Gallery, But That's What Happened

Categories: Visual Art

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Erin Cluley gallery

Erin Cluley, exhibitions director of the Dallas Contemporary, announced this week that she would be opening an eponymous gallery in Trinity Groves. And the narrative emerging (via CultureMap Dallas & Glasstire) is that we have a psychic to thank for the development. Certainly it's true that when Cluley sat down with a medium in Salem last summer, the prediction that she would open her own space was fortuitously timed. But Cluley had been busy lining up her own stars for a few years.

"Two to three years ago, I wouldn't feel as ready as I feel now," Cluley says by phone Tuesday afternoon. "Different things aligned personally. I had been building a relationship with Trinity Groves. There's a nice energy percolating over there."


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Who Would Want to Visit Dallas in August? Artists, Apparently.

Categories: Visual Art

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Courtesy Sally Glass
Dallas is the city everyone wants to leave. Well, artists at least. Most people dream of Los Angeles or New York City, or maybe Chicago. But the widely-belief is that anywhere is better than this city, especially during August.

Take Sally Glass, for example, who earned her MFA at UTD and is about to uproot herself and take all those hard-earned letters to Houston. Before she steals away, she's left us with a promise of collaborating across I-45, and this weekend she's curated one last exhibition: Personal Fantasies, LLC.

This two-part exhibition starts as visual display at Beefhaus Gallery Saturday night, followed by a performance at OFG.XXX (formerly known as Oliver Francis Gallery) Sunday. Oh, and she's united the more desirable parts of the country by featuring bicoastal artists.

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Houston Artists Invade Oak Cliff for Draped Up & Dripped Out

Categories: Visual Art

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Giovanni Valderes
A visit to Jane Eifler's studio.
What's that saying about tides and ships? As the arts scene in Texas swells, the opportunity for cross-city collaboration. Whether it be sending Dallas artists to Austin, or bringing Houston artists here, as is the case with Draped Up & Dripped Out, which opened at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center this weekend.

This two-part exhibition features 25 contemporary Houston-based artists, introducing Dallas audiences to the zeitgeist of our Southern neighbors, without the humidity. Work on display spans from abstract painters like Jane Eifler to the conceptual photography of Emily Peacock (recently seen in Dallas as part of Deep Ellum Windows). Peacock's won't be the only locally recognized name, as other participants in the exhibition include Kristen Cliburn, recently exhibited at Cris Worley Fine Arts, and Julon Pinkston, who had a piece in the CHAOS! show at Ro2 Art.


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Dallas Museum of Art Painting Vacations in the Big Apple, as part of Art Everywhere

Categories: Visual Art

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Dorothy has a feeling she's not in Dallas anymore...

Even paintings need to get out town for the summer. If you are driving through Dallas during the month of August, you might notice a few luminaries stopping by for a visit. Willem de Kooning is splitting time between Oak Cliff and the Cedars; Edward Hicks found a Peaceable Kingdom in Grand Prairie. Both Jasper Johns and Winslow Homer holed up in Arlington (sports fans?). It's all part of Art Everywhere, which launched Monday, replacing billboards, movie theaters advertisements, and wrapping buses in American paintings.

It's not just Dallas, either. With roughly 50,000 displays spread throughout the 50 states, pieces from the DMA collection visit Manhattan streets (like John Singer Sergeant's Dorothy (above)) and paintings from Los Angeles stretch across New Mexico billboards. This collaboration between Outdoor Advertising Association of America and five major of the country's major museums is a concerted effort to put American art in front of American eyes outside of the museum. The 58 works - chosen through a public vote earlier this summer - were selected from the DMA, the Art Institute of Chicago; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the National Gallery of Art; and the Whitney Museum of American Art.


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