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Tunnel Vision?
Story + Photographs by J R Compton
All Photographs Copyright 2006 by J R Compton. All Rights that
can possibly be mine and not the Dallas Civic Opera's Reserved.

members The Continental Gin Building Annual Fall Open Studios "Tunnel Vision: Good-Bye, Good-Latimer" with work by Julia Alcantara, Donna Ball, Fannie Brito, Henry Dees, Michael Francis, Ricardo Paniagua, Andrea Guay, Anne Hines, Steve Larson, Karla Leaphart, Ty Milner, Marsha Moser, Bob Nunn, Caroline Shaw Ometz, Kim Cadmus Owens, Sally Pryor, Mark Quintana and Steve Tate November 10 & 11 at 3309 Elm Street

See more art by DallasArtsRevue members by linking to their member pages via the links above.

Bob Nunn - The End of the Tunnel, 2006 - oil on canvas

Last week, I wondered at the bottom of this page, why The Continental Gin artists would name their latest open house after the Good Latimer Tunnel art project.
I learned that they had just before we talked with Frank Compagna, who organized Tunnel Vision all those years (and now directs Kettle Art at 2714 Elm Street), and he didn't recognized any of the artists as ever participating in tunnel art. We were baffled.
All during Anna's and my tour through the Gin studios Saturday, I kept wondering why the name, hoping I'd find some display of tunnel art or something approximating it somewhere among all those studios and hallways.
After we'd visited friends, seen their new art, found a couple artists to gush over and others to push out of our minds, we walked down the long front dock and entered the last door on the far left of the old gin building.
Across the hall from a pleasant guy working at a table with his door open and almost nothing on his bright white walls was "the Revolution Gallery," with a short showing of some of the building artists' work marking the tunnel's demise.

Glad we made it that far. We were already late, and tired.


Carolyn Ometz - Progress, 2006 - mixed media

Looking at these pieces and remembering fragments of conversation with Donna Ball who'd just showed us her seriously diminished back yard, and Fannie Brito who'd emailed about it before, it finally dawned on me why.
The tunnel is close — only a few blocks away, the former gateway to Deep Elm. Plus, it's another extension of the same community. Visual artists — kinship.
When we'd driven through what was left of the tunnel earlier, it was literally being filled up and commercial real estated over. All that history and free visual art buried.

Marsha Oliver Mosher - Tunnel Vision, 2006 - mixed media collage

Last month, the fence along the back of the Continental Gin building was unceremoniously and without warning to the residents who used that space to rest and relax and recreate, bulldozed away, canceling what little security those artists had there. Where a medium-security fence had been, now was a cement moat.
Like I said, a certain kinship. —JRC