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The Latino Culture Center of Dallas

Photographs + Story by J R Compton

NOTE: This page is on the DallasArtsRevue site. To contact the LCC, go to their site.

New Cubism

Some buildings are more fun to photograph than others. Among my favorites are The MAC, D-Art and this vivid building, which has been open since 2003. Most of the photographs on this page were done then.  The next four, larger photographs were added in summer 2007.

Since so many people who have found this page contact me thinking I am the Latino Culture Center, I should point out that I am the Editor/Publisher of DallasArtsRevue (the big logo at the top of the page), not anyone having anything to do with the LCC. I only take pictures of the place from time to time and write art criticism.

LCC Front Collonade - Copyright 2007 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

The Collonade out Front

This Center should provide a strong art shot in the arm to everybody in Dallas. But especially to our largest minority, who soon will be our majority. Which only seems fair, since Texicans stole this state that was once its own country from its rightful Mexican owners.

With that much history on its side, we'd think it would be a place as fabulous and interesting as its archicture, which of course, it is. More exactly than we realize. The architecture is fake. These are not cool-holding thick adobe walls, and they were not constructed using time-honored traditional methods. This, the biggest of the City's culture centers, is made of the same materials all the buildings around it are.

In a city where there are already several extant Latino Culture Centers struggling to raise funds to continue operations, the Latino Culture Center takes a lion's share, yet all but ignores local, Dallas-area visual artists. The exhibitions in this glorified "Latino" building are almost exclusively traveling shows, whose artists do not even attend this Latino Culture Center.

To find out what the real Dallas-area cultured Latinos are doing, you'd have to go to the poorer parts of town, to the Ice House Cultural Center, whose building was donated and whose programs struggled (that have since been replaced by the Oak Cliff Cultural Center in downtown Oak Cliff). Go there and look around, then drive back up town to see the extraordinary riches of the LCC. The differences are amazing — and apalling.

Or drive north from the LCC's expansive, fake adobe-colored walls in the shadow of downtown Dallas to the less shabby but real community feel of the Bath House Cultural Center, if you want to see what the local Latinos — and everybody else — are doing with the visual arts in Dallas, Texas, USA.

Those are the real Latino culture centers in Dallas. There real Latinos from this enough-already benighted city engage in art, attend their own exhibitions and show their cultural selves. Or go downtown and watch the show.

Window with art - cpry

Window onto Downtown Dallas
 

I love the colors — although I'm a little skeptical of some of the materials. See White Adobe below. It's architecturally disingenuous to fake such a natural insulating material as adobe, when the place will probably be massively air conditioned most of the time.

LCC porch with art - Copyright 2007 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Inner Plaza with Sculpture

And it's strange that, in a 21st Century building, which occupies its own city block far enough from the shadow of downtown's skyscrapers and sun blockers, that although there's several bright and welcomed opportunities to let outside light in,

LCC Skylight - Copyright 2007 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Skylight Over the Little Gallery

there's no facility for using the abundance of solar energy immediately available, especially when the complex's brilliant colors are emblematic of our local star, and the building looks very much like a Temple to the Sun.

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From its tiniest details
 

Hard edges everywhere, LCC is a circle-free zone of angles, rectilinear shapes and extended, straight lines of gold, painted, unnatural materials and horizontal and vertical space.

to great, wide expanses of space and color

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brown & purple

and unusual juxtapositions in odd places and shapes,

 

this is a gorgeous building.

 

I'm hoping to photo the interior soon. I saw some gates down and long hallways beckoning last weekend...

Imagine my surprise when DallasArtsRevue's calendar announcing the opening date was the first of only two hits when I searched for Dallas + Latino Culture Center.  It still is, but they now have a site of their own.

The Latino Culture Center site is at www.dallasculture.org/latinocc/

 

White adobe?
 

Another mixed message anachronism.

 

Construction Color Test

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Looking like a pyramid going up
several centuries ago in Central Mexico,
LCC construction already looked like it was
dedicated to the Sun god.

finishing the roof in February, 2003

 

and polishing the details.

 

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July 2000 model
courtesy the Latino Culture Center

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All contents Copyright 2003, 2007 & 2008 by JR Compton
No Reproduction in any analog or digital form
Without explicit, written permission
from DARts Editor/Publisher JR Compton,
whoes email address is on the Contact Us
page linked at the top of almost every page


 

 since June 16, 2006, when I discovered that this page shows as #1 in some search engine searches for "Latino Culture Center." LCC does have its own site. To contact them, contact them.

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