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Art Here Lately.jpg#22 maybe…

This page:   Celebration of Color at The Bath House    Art at The Continental Gin's latest open house
Retro-Matico Jose Vargas Retrospective   Vincent Falsetta & Jeff Baker at Conduit
older stories and reviews: 
Taking A Swat at Art @ the New 500X member show   How to Publicize Your Work 
Talking About the Nan Coulter show at Goss-Michael   Websites: Updated or Abandoned
The order of stories on this page is by which I saw & photographed first.

except as noted stories + photographs © 2017 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved.


Francene Christianson  In the Pool 1  2017   oil on board  6 x 24 inches  700

I don't go to all the Continental Gin Building — or any other — art open houses, because they tend to run together. So when I was personally invited to go yet again this autumn, I had to think about it. It'd been awhile, but I wanted to cherry pick the possibilities, which meant I needed to see what was behind every door — without oversampling all the cookies, cakes and drinks.

We always start and end our Gin open houses with extensive visits with Bob Nunn's art and conversation and Gin neighbors and snacks and friends and, this time, with Electra, Tom's new dog, who's a charmer with kids and adults. And I think of myself as a cat person.

But behind the vast majority of those doors were the same paintings up and down the wallspaces. Not the same paintings as by every other artist at The Gin, but the same image[s] by that artist. Little differences, maybe, but miles and miles of the same same. Very easy to dismiss all that sameness. And with that much over similarity, it's all bad. Takes just a few seconds to dismiss the lot.

Open Door. See wall-to-wall samenesses. Close door. And on to the next. Disappointing. But quick.


The Front Porch at the Continental Gin During Open House — Note all the empty
parking spaces cars were too timid to occupy. That's Anna with the camera
sitting by Marty Ray on the right.

Lotta new names this year, but lots and lots of sames, too. Even between artists. Arghhh! Don't these people look at the other artists' work here? Can't they see how same it all is? Does everybody believe that making the same statements in the same mediums in the same shapes make art original? I didn't take pix of all that sameness. In a lot of studios, I didn't take any pictures at all. Few years ago, I made a point of writing about at least one piece in every studio. Not this time. Wasn't enough good work.

But there were a few rooms where I went all the way through doors and started picking out visions. Darned few. But some. I guess the rest believe that if their work shows in The Continental Gin, they will be assumed to be righteous artists.


Connie Roschiau Ball - Satisfied

Connie Roschlau Ball   Satisfied   60 x 48 inches a on canvas
$2,800 each or 3 for $6,700

Somewhere upstairs I found this and two other (the ones I really liked) somewhat similar paintings — in the hallway outside the studios. A series of acrylic scribbles in one of the back halls that kept my attention — and Gin Artists rarely put their best work out there, so I wondered — and for a change, these were. The first two abstracts were the best work I saw by Connie Roschlau Ball — and most of the other artists' studios I attended.

I looked through her studio. Ball's hallway trio, all of which are 60 x 48-inch verticals were, left to right, predominantly yellow-oranges; red-oranges [above] ; and cyan; with the first two strongest, but by no means identical, though many of the strokes and painterly textures were. I liked them enough to look at the prices.


The first two — Satisfied and infatuated — are similarly strong and dynamic. That last — Relaxed — loses it to looseness and smears, but I know artists can't grow their styles by painting them all the same. We gotta keep trying different. And when we're tired, it shows, so we make fun of it. [See my The Iffy Progress of Altering Style essay elsewhere on this site.] Not sure there's an exact category for work placed in the hallways, but I noticed more this time, and I liked the trend. For both aesthetic and practical reasons.

Boy in Red Jacket

Boy Relaxing in Hallway

Another trend is having more informal rest spaces in the hallways. some of which sometimes approach artness on their own. The Gin is a big place — and it's nice to get to sit down and think from time to time. Maybe talk with someone I've never met. It's easy on the front porch or almost anywhere inside. It's a friendly place.

Okay. One more painting beforeI dip back into the works that took my breath away, one of which already tops this Continental Gin story and whose work kept my attention the longest on the tour. That even now, I would not mind returning and maybe even seeing more. I wonder what paintings she's added since …

Fannie Brito - respiracion

Fannie Brito   Respiración   2017   48 x 48 x 3 inches   oil, pigments & acrylic on wood board.

First time I saw this — and needed to photograph it for Fannie's Member Page, I balked. It was different from what I expected. It wasn't mostly blue, and I didn't see vague writing. Stupid, I know. But there I was thinking that. I only finally worked it up for this story, a month later. She's probably sold it since — and a couple more like it. A new series.

Now I love it. And I'm amazed I did not before. Gotta worry about me sometimes — I do. I guess we all get hit by that big "But it's not like what of theirs I'd slowly learned to love" truck. Lurching along in the art-crit rodeo.

The above painting is by one of the last few paid DallasArtsRevue Member Artists left.

Evening Swimmers by Francene Christianson

Francene Christianson   Evening Swimmers (final version)   2017  oil on canvas 30 x 48 inches   5200

Okay, now we can get down to a decent smattering of paintings by an artist who was new here when I stumbled into a door upstairs at The Gin, and fell for her several painting series. At first, I had this one at the top of this story, because it does in time and space all those things I had so recently appreciated about new Dallasite Francene Christianson's paintings.

But it belongs down here where I actually begin to write about her painting.

FC pool

Francene Christianson   In the Pool 2  2017   24 x 24   2200

I most appreciate the wet ones, although the few of her scenics I've seen have also a vibrant lushness about them.

And she has another series of what I think of as family life. People in a darkened room with little bits of the sorts of abstractions in the paintings I've shown you so far, but a lot, too, from the family-in-the-back-of-a-car piece that I'm still reticent to show you — I photographed it, but maybe I should just link it. Couple of guys on a porch.

She told me all her paintings use photographs (I think everybody does; almost every painter I've ever known has, does or did). Some more than others, but happily hers don't look it. And she told somebody else that she doesn't feel constrained by those photographs, and from what I've seen, that's almost always a good thing.

It's that same stop-and-have-to-think-about-it bugaboo when an artist we already appreciate suddenly changes their style or subject matter. And at this point, it probably behooves me to throw in this, another painting I so appreciated among the work Christianson showed in the late October Continental Gin Open House:

Blue Rim of the Valley by Francene Christianson - photo by Francene Christianson

Francene Christianson  Blue Rim of the Valley   oil on canvas   16 x 20 framed   1200
photo from Francene Christianson

Like almost all Christiensen's landscapes I've seen online or in her studio, it's distinctive and, beautiful. Somewhat realistic with a lot of abstraction we already understand thrown in. She's live from where she used to live at the bottom of the page here. And I'm looking forward to her showing her Dallas-area visions soon.

Francene Christianson - Connected

Francene Christianson   Connected   oil on canvas   24 x 48 inches   3500
photo from Francene Christianson

I enjoyed the amber hills and crimson trees, but it took me the longest time to tie the telephone wires into the title. How delicious. And how nice most of the painting is not wired.

See also The Continental Gin online.

sceneic view from the third floor

My scenic view of Downtown Dallas from the opposite viewpoint from The Gin's Third Floor


Etc: I have and have had the notion that I'd like to post the show Upstairs at 500X by Tabatha Trolli, whom I had most recently already written extensively about in the story down this page. No identifications, year dates, titles or anything on the pieces on the walls, floors and the in-between places upstairs at the 500, but Anna and I were blown away by their subtle simplicities and elegant shapes.

But after just having given so many words and pictures about her already recent work, I didn't have much more to say, except maybe, Keep them coming, please, Ms. Trolli.

Then again, it was a sprawling joy of remarkable and enigmatic work, and if I can find those shots again, I I should just present my selection of them maybe down here on this page, linked from the home page, with her name once, as it was in the show, then some photos.

I also really wanted to see and photograph and review Lorraine Tady - Sparklines paintings, drawings, print at Barry Whistler but I didn't make it to the gallery till they had the next show up, and all those lovely graphs in colors were gone …




Danny Rose - Rough Sleeper II

Danny Rose   Rough Sleeper II   enamel on canvas

When I first heard about this show, the names David Bates and Billy Hassell were the vocal promo. I always cringe when big art names are thrown about, as if that's who I really need to see more of, when my joy and deep-seated need is to find talented work by lesser-known Dallas artists and help make them a little better known — and maybe kinda understood. Last thing I want to do is present readers with yet another big David Bates bouquet that many of us already tired of a decade ago — or more, and that dozens — if not many more — of them had already been bought nearly to death.

If the curator is careful, some artists, even famous and semi-famous ones, will create something special for a show like this, instead of pulling big color pieces from their archives. Bates' two woodblock prints here are dated '07 and 08. And if artists can't show something new in these little shows, I'm not sure I should be bothered. Which category includes too many of what's in this show.

Another pity is there's no year dates on the I.D tags for many of these pieces. I always want to see new work in a new show. At least this year, even this late into it. I don't expect it, but I'm always joyed when I get to see what an artist is doing lately — this week, last week or month. What possibilities they're exploring. What they're up to.

I worry my photo of Rose's painting may be too densely colorful. I remember it as gentler, almost lilting. It was the first piece to catch my mind.

This careful selection of pieces, however, knock my lights out. Very impressive, some are even startling and surprising. Yum! I didn't measure them, and nobody bothered to include dimensions, sorry.

Julie Biehl - Free Play

Julie Biehl   Free Play   acrylic and watercolor

I don't know Julie Biehl, but I think I probably should find out more about her work. I looked for her name online and got completely lost. Julie Biehl dot com is apparently still available. But she must be on some gallery site I've yet to discover. She needs to be more easily found.

What amazing colors that seem to almost mean something. Just looking, though, is meaning enough.

Mark S. Smith - Glacier

Mark S. Smith   Glacier   acrylic on wood

Now here's some vivid color in several different and distinctive dimensions that holds together well into something I see as a disparate yet integrated whole. It makes sense that way. Somehow we can all see it's a unified vision — almost screaming with joy and cohesion.

Sue Benner - Flower Field #5

Sue Benner   Flower Field #5: Variety   textile art

This too, for that matter.

It's is a detail view of the third flower down the fifth column to the right of all warm-colored flowers on a variegated verdant field of leaves. All exquisitely sewn together with a quiet texture and loud, but well-tamed colors. I've even included the thread-bound right edge and a thin bit of the gallery wall. Because I can't really see the whole piece without wanting to get up close and personal with each of those colors that just seem to belong to each other.

It's a lot like dancing with brush strokes, which I love to do with my little camera at original Impressionists in museums at press openings, and this time I didn't even have to drive to Fort Worth.

Sue Benner has been a friend for decades, and I'm always keen to see what she's got up to lately. This — as are each of the two-dozen-plus-one, ever so slightly different and sames flowers in these separated fields of them — is gorgeous. Then, elsewhere in the main gallery, another vivid field of integrated flowers fairly shouts its holding-together and apart blossoms.

Speaking of which …

Billy Hassell - Trumpet Vine with…

Billy Hassell   Trumpet Vine with Hummingbird, Butterflies and Grasshopper   oil on canvas

But nearly nothing in that show has the form and color contrast and cohesion of this shout of super- and natural colors and shapes. I have honored Billy Hassell's work since late in that last century when I wrote about him as an up-and-comer in some regional art publication I no longer remember writing for.

And gloriously, the other one of his in this show, is dated 2017. I don't know when this one was done, but I'm glad it was.

Michael Tichansky - Air Turbine - acrylic on paper, canvas and wood

Michael Tichansky   Air Turbine   acrylic on paper, canvas and wood

I know Michael Tichansky, too, and I get to know him better every year. Which is interesting, informative and often inspirational. I saw some of these shapes in his home on my last visit, and I remarked upon them. I had cash in my pocket, but I couldn't decide which one to buy  … and I'm really glad to see so many of them joined up in this.

I made a second visit to the Bath House to better photograph this joyous multi-dimensional piece. It wasn't where I'd seen and photographed it opening night, but I was happy to find it had been moved back to the farthest corner of the main gallery, from whence it was utterly lost in the clutter of too many other — and lesser — works, away, to a place where it could be itself without getting jangled up in so many other garish shapes.

Truly a brilliant move.

Now I'm told this one didn't move, but there was another one near the front that was caught in a clutter of lesser works. This one is even better. Nice piece(s). Sorry my confusion.

The show continues at the Bath House Cultural Center through January 27, and the center has its own page, but it does not include open times or dates. It was curated by Susan Lecky, who included two of her own works prominently in the main gallery.




Jose Vargas - Dazantes

Jose Vargas - Dazantes   gelatin silver photograph   Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico   2001   360

Not nearly enough evidence of it in this show curated by Christina Medina, but José Vargas is a remarkably talented photographer. I'm sorry more of his photos didn't find their way into this carefully spare retrospective. I've remarked about them on others of these pages, but predictably can't find those words now. But I know it and feel little bits of it in this one: his heritage, and a careful composition dense with details.

Jose Vargas - He Enjoyed Wearing a Green Mask

Jose Vargas   He Enjoyed Wearing a Green Mask   acrylic on wood   2011   550

But he paints, too, and has for decades. I don't know who this is any more than I know who the next one down is, but I feel it in my bones that it's a Jose alter-ego. Again. This show is a personal retrospective, thus already about identify, and this helps.

Jose Vargas - Purple

Jose Vargas  Purple   1970   oil on canvas   NFS

When we first heard about this show among the hubbub in the crowd at the Bath House, many were recounting the guitars he's made into art. I wondered, but now I believe.

Jose Vargas - A Question of Balance

Jose Vargas  A Question of Balance   acrylic on wood guitar   2009  Tomas Bustos Collection  NFS

This next one is probably my favorite image in the show — subtly human yet overtly absurd.

Jose Vargas - Calaca con Watermelon y Milagro

Jose Vargas  Calaca con Watermelon y Milagro   print   2015   250

Calaca is skeleton. The big heart is the Milagro, usually a prayer in silent medal but only sometimes an expensive one. Besides visually echoing the pink and reds in its lower regions, the watermelon is one great hat. And almost more dimensional than its pasted-on body. And with those teeth, you could gain instant nutrition when you come back to life, and meanwhile, it'll keep the flame in your heart burning.

Retro-Matico is up through January 12, 2018 at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center.




Vincent Falsetta -

Possibly even larger than actual painting of edges of Vincent
Falsetta's painting #1 in his show in the front gallery at Conduit
This view is probably not too far off frome life-sized.

Vincent Falsetta's pallette-scrape paintings in the main gallery still thrill with his exquisite knives' turnings. My photographs just don't do them justice, though I have here included the edge of his painting while rendering the mostly white wall behind. If I'd extended that border farther right, there'd be a scribbled, penciled #1 matched on the price list.

More Falsetta paintings are on the Conduit Gallery website.

Jeff Baker - archival print on dibond

Jeff Baker   Untitled (Safetynet) 2017   archival pigment print on dibond   20 x 40  edition 1/5   sizes variable

Vincent Falsetta's scrape paintings were in the front gallery, but it was photographer Jeff Baker whose work in the back gallery stole the crowd and my heart and breath away with just the sort of photo realisms that curl me up and make me wish I could do that. I've sure tried many times. I've always been intrigued by the strong graphics of buildings' temporary exterior skeletons.

But Wow!

More Jeff Baker photographs on the Conduit website.

These shows continue through January 6, 2018.



Taking A Swat @ art in Four
up & downstairs @ 500X

Adriana Touch - Child Whip - photo copyright 2017 JRCompton.com  All Rights Reserved.

Adrianna Touch  Child Whip  cheese cloth, fly swatter, fabric  2017  $300

There's a lot of texture and geometry in the three (I'm not not sure I want to count that fourth one yet) shows in the various up- and downstairs gallery spaces of the venerable 500X Gallery, still Texas' first and oldest co-op art space.

But there's much else, too. Upstairs is this new co-op artist group's second (I thought it was going to be the first, but that was last month.), group show so I had visions of sugar plums dancing in my head till I figured out this was not the new bunch's first outing. Oh well.

I've watched these first few 500X member shows carefully since the mid 1980s, and there's always something to be learned, maybe understood, be alarmed about, toyed with, joked or worried about. There's also hope. And excitement.

And by the end of that group's stab at it, several years later when they quit this and go off and do something so much better, there has often been amazement. At their progress and development as uniquely individualist artists with a lot of new ideas of their own — and the ability to work with others. It's a fun ride to watch.

But we'll get to the members show upstairs in a bit.

First, I walked slowly and carefully through downstairs' Expo show that someone at the front desk said was of "selected Texas-based artists." I assumed there was some sort of dimensional limit, because really big pieces were absent, but these were probably easier to ship. The Pit [below] seemed more a pity with nearly nothing massive there to command our attention. Nothing large on those hallowed walls where the best work usually hangs in most shows. There was a smallish TV playing something, but all I remember were a few colors and having to step over stuff.

Online I found:

"500X Gallery, Texas’ oldest, artist–run, cooperative galleries, hosts one of North Texas’ most anticipated annual juried competitions, “Expo 2017 is open to all artists over the age of 18 living in Texas. All visual media are eligible, including drawing, painting, sculpture, installation and video … . All work must be ready to hang.”

Juror is Sara-Jayne Parsons. As the Director of the Art Galleries at TCU in Fort Worth, British curator Sara-Jayne Parsons drives the international vision of Fort Worth Contemporary Arts and promotes professional development of students and local artists through programming in Moudy Gallery. Her curatorial practice is informed by working in collaboration or close partnership with artists to produce new art works through commissions, exhibitions and artist residencies.”

More info from the Call for Entry.

I wandered up out of The Pit, past the bar and across the main space to inspect art on the adjacent walls and spaces, then back around the last wall into the little alcove on the left at the beginning of the long dark hallway, before I found anything I wanted to think through, photograph, post on this page, or write about. 

I liked Adrianna Touch's soft juxto [above] of textures, shapes, shadows and color — yellow, tan, transparent and just the hint of black dotting through the beige fabric as thread and the dark edges of the swatter's lining and handle.

I have been swatted, and I have swatted hundreds of flies and other critters inside a dozen homes and houses since. I don't swat outside. The two implements of swatting I have now are metal and screen. The plastic-faced ones slow the swish and create a wind that gives bugs half a chance. With my aim, I need more. I also appreciate the subtle, stringy and fringed shadows on the wall.

Lately I have been attending shows but not risking words about them, except aloud — only pictures. Now, with luck, a new enthusiasm and inspiration, I'm trying both for the first time in I don't really know how long. Awhile. Months, not years. But I don't keep track; I just keep coming back.

I posted a photo essay [below] with darned few words on the cover a week ago or so, just to try to get back the hang of intelligently thinking about art. And putting it back on pages of DallasArtsRevue.com.

Dad Helping Him Up The Stairs - Image Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com  All Rights Reserved .

Dad helping son up the front stairs

I was in no hurry up those stairs that I have often, over the last four decades, photographed from, through, up, down, and at, out and in the windows nearby. Nice to have humans there to interact with and watch. I had no idea what to expect from the members show above.

Some 500X member shows have been dreadful, but most are more fascinating as those artists figure out who they really are — especially together with fellow co-oppers, and go for it. It takes its own sweet time, but it's usually rewarding. It's also intriguing to see who gets inspired by which other members. And what eventually results. Almost everybody's art changes.

Some early shows are amazing good. Most later shows are.

Best of all for this placement in this story, this pic reminds me where my awareness of the downstairs shows briefly end, and where my words about the upstairs shows begin. And the next stairs shot [below] does the same in the opposite directions, when I came back down into Expo 17 from the member show upstairs.

Tony Veronese -

Tony Veronese   Just Look Up and Everything Will Be Fine   oil on canvas   2017   $600 

I still don't know what to think about this one. I had a clueless crew of asbestos abaters at the house who were wearing baggy whites like these, and they were dangerous, but that's just the first visual that came to mind from this odd amalgam of length, breadth, depth or height — and not.

There's an informality of textures in many of the works both up and down stairs that I admired, and I kept wondering whether all or many of the artists in these shows were already close and had been attending the similar classes and studied subjects. I doubt it, but trends are often subtle.

Here that textural looseness offers its own agitation. I keep being drawn back into the 'flat' areas and the more dimensional ones. Odd juxtapositions and definitions, especially as the over-flap of brown paper or plastic takes us up through the sky with wires and poles and a commensurately dimensioned sky, then back, at the very top, to wrinkled whatever. Odd bits stuck together in a puzzle of outlined and unlined spaces and objects.

Idiots in danger suits are always a warning.

Valeries Powell - On Being

Valerie Powell   On Being   acrylic & ink on shrinkable plastic   2017   $250

Here again, in miniature, are those same colors and some same textures. Similar, though thinner outlines, in nearly the same oranges and reds warning us of something subtly menacing. This and Powell's similar jelly-bean droplets look delicate like thin glass. And I imagined they'd stick to our fingers, although I dared not touch.

Kalee Appleton - Summer Valley I -  - Image Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com  All Rights Reserved

Kalee Appleton   Summer Valley I   inkjet on fabric   2017   $1600 

What with this and Roth Fairchild's Uncanny Valley (which may yet end up on the bottom of this page) and which I just could not make visual sense of, I more than once wondered whether some art departments had a standing assignment to abstract and/or texturize landscapes on multiple intersecting planes of textures … But maybe it's just a trend.

Kalee Appleton is the President of 500X.

Linné Bowman Cravens - Stigma  DASS transfer on paper 2016  $1,200  - Image Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com  All Rights Reserved

Lynné Bowman Cravens   Stigma   DASS transfer on paper   2016   $1200

Lynné Bowman Cravens had three-in-a-row: flowers, Escher-esque dimensional plates, and these leaves. So it took me awhile to decide which to rep the rest with. I chose this, because I could tell those were hands in the dark, negative space behind the leaves, and I couldn't figure what was back there in the other two. All are from 2016. Each is a multiplex of precise, shadowed and carefully creased white, nearly interconnected, same-shapes on dark, showing more depth than actually exist and so carefully hedged-in. But at least I could make visual sense of this.

Tabatha Trolli - You never owed it to them anyway  - Image Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com  All Rights Reserved

Tabatha Trolli   You never owed it to them anyway
Concrete, crutch, covered plastic rings, metal clamp   2017   $650

But not this. I stared enjoying it, wondering what I would say about this oddly-juxtaposed stack of rich colors building up toward what could be body parts. Or not. A crutch growing out of a cement block. Sure. At least I knew enough to photograph it.

Tabatha Trolli   Milk skin   2017

Tabatha Trolli   Milk skin  cotton/polyester, Sand, painted bra cup,
straight pins, shoulder pad, felt   2017   $425

Down to here, I've only given artists one shot each, but this one kept badgering me to be included also. Naturally, I photographed it soon as I saw and got it at the right angle. I like its lilting, spare colors, irregularly ordinary baggy self and matter-of-fact substance, textures and nearly muted colors too much to leave it behind.

Yeah, it's funny, but it's also way more serious than I first or second thought. Charming and rude in the same breath.

Barbara Cartier

Barbara Cartier   One sculpture in separate items. Three polyurethane separate sculptures.
One Marble and steel base   2016   27 .5 x 17 x 6.5 inches   $4000

Cartier's eleven, mostly three-dimensional pieces — one relief and a couple small mostly flat and nearly framed mixed medias on paper pieces — took me awhile to accept as art. They just look so slickly Easter-eggishly commercial. The space looked more like a jewelry store than a gallery, but I liked this one best, because of the vivid shapes and colors against that two-toned purple wall. I think I understand the slab the bottom nodule rests on — it separates the pastels from the purple, but I'm not convinced it's any kind of high art.

This end-space itself, I assume, was rented separately from the major, long upstairs hallway of members' work, and 500X has been advertising that availability for awhile, so maybe now the 500X can afford to replace some of the burnt-out lamps along the northern edges of the ceiling upstairs.

I didn't know if that was someone's job, and they procrastinated it till too late opening night, or just did not notice — or care. I might not have registered it myself, except I photographed most of the long set of work one-by-one down the line, and there were sudden noticeable darkenesses. But that surely should have been seen to before I got there.

We weren't early, just a tad after on-time.

Down 500's Stairs -  - Image Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com  All Rights Reserved

Down 500X's Front Stairs

Not many people, I assume because it was early, almost still light out. I prefer early, so I can see and photograph the art, and not get socially mobbed when I need to be thinking whether to photo some and not others and why. Especially difficult to determine is always why one piece speaks to me, and others don't.

Bunim Kim - Rosa - Image Copyright 2017 JRCompton.com  All Rights Reserved

Bunim Kim   Rosa (Eden)   thread and acrylic on wood panel   2017   $3200

Which brings us back downstairs to Expo's Texas-based artists again. This too-nearly informally displayed show was so much more alive and interesting than Craighead Green's latest New Texas Talent. I've seen several of Kim's exquisite threaded works, and I am still impressed every time I see a new one. Yum. Next time I'll get even closer.

Dario Bucheli - untitled

Dario S. Bucheli  untitled  acrylic and oil on canvas  3027  $400

So nice in so many physical and metaphysical and stopped and in-motion ways .…

And it and Bunim Kim (scrolling up this page) have such different takes on the neo geo that rages still through art circles and squares. But I liked this and wanted to see more. So I looked him up online and learned from Ro2Art that he's a grad from my alma mater, the U of Dallas in hillsome east Irving, and I think I can see the metaphysics at work in his art.

Dare I say a spirituality? But then I see the Holy Ghost in all the best abstraction. Especially if it seems to be moving.

And there's a smallish bunch more of his work that I really like on Saatchi Art and here, too.

Teresa Larabee - Blasted

Teresa Larrabee  Blasted!  stoneware, flashing slip, ^10 soda-fired  2016  NFS

You'd think this must be original, but I've seen David Kluksartis' sculptures in one of the smaller upstairs studios on the west end of The Continental Gin Building not far from 500X but closer to downtown Dallas. He does some of the same sorts of things with angry old men — and he has been doing them for years and years. But he doesn't mock just chess — and …

The juror probably hadn't seen Kluksartis' work, either. And she probably saw a context of others of Larrabee's work.

There's a Continental Gin autumn Open House coming up 6-10 pm October 20 and 2-8 pm October 21, so I'll check.

Ross Faircloth - Uncanny Valley

Ross Faircloth   Uncanny Valley   gelatin-silver print   2017   $500

I can't make visual sense of this mélange of materials — what's that stuff on top up to? But I'm pretty sure it's a range of mountains intersticed with objects and textures I cannot yet fathom. I don't like that feeling, but I felt impelled to place it on this page with those others that mostly I do.

Now I'm wondering if it's hung upside-down on purpose — or maybe just parts. A lot of photographs would benefit from that simple act.

There was one other showing in the one other project space downstairs. Of and by, it looked like, a show of work by a Black woman painter, that I was embarrassed to be in. All the same-looking Black women smiling huge vapid smiles in beachwear colors. Sitting there staring back at me with the same big smile on all of them.

I probably should have photographed them all smiling at me, but I didn't want to promote them.

Maybe the artist's intention was to make Whitey nervous, but there didn't seem to be that much intention apparent. When I was in that room, I was alone, and I didn't see anyone go in after I left. I'm mostly White, and when I spoke with another White person about it, I understood when they said they didn't want to be in there long. Another small shop-like installation. Not sure what they were selling, and I assume they paid for the experience. But to what end?

Not that making White People nervous is not a good thing…


My first art story in a long, long time, even if there's hardly any words.
The Editor, is after all, mostly a photographer, and he thinks he thinks in pictures.
For this story to look as it was designed, you may need to widen the window on your computer to about 1366 pixels.
But then everything else will look silly…

agalleryconversationabout the show calledNanCoulterSeptember14,2017@TheGoss-MichaelFoundation

front desk shoes etc image Copyright 2017 JRCompton  DallasArtsRevue.com/Yellow Bag image Copyright 2017 JRCompton  DallasArtsRevue.com/

invitational talk for an existential art (photography) show by Nan Coulter at Goss-Michael Foundation

barefeet n sandalsimage Copyright 2017 JRCompton  DallasArtsRevue.com/red bag discussion

this photographer's mind, then body, wandered. And I kept seeing & photographing shoes and feet — and fashion.

tripodimage Copyright 2017 JRCompton  DallasArtsRevue.com/black shoes white sandals image Copyright 2017 JRCompton  DallasArtsRevue.com/

I saw colors and textures and shapes and forms. Some of them connected. The stuff of photography.

questions image Copyright 2017 JRCompton  DallasArtsRevue.com/nan n profile image Copyright 2017 JRCompton  DallasArtsRevue.com/

I'd been photographing people. some of them had Questions …

Watching image Copyright 2017 JRCompton  DallasArtsRevue.com/tennys swash image Copyright 2017 JRCompton  DallasArtsRevue.com/

… and some had answers and most of them had shoes … a few even had fashion … and  Quin Matthews had his video camera.

Fingers Door image Copyright 2017 JRCompton  DallasArtsRevue.com/pinky image Copyright 2017 JRCompton  DallasArtsRevue.com/

David Quadrini and Frances Bagley and Nan Coulter and Justine Ludwig at the front desk under The Two Georges and Nan's photo of the famous painting of famous faces and artists and costumes she photographed with a bright light reflecting from outside . At least twice Coulter listed a long litany of famous people in the painting

smile image Copyright 2017 JRCompton  DallasArtsRevue.com/front under image Copyright 2017 JRCompton  DallasArtsRevue.com/

laughing and talking and shoes and shoes and shapes and shapes and colors and artists … I recorded most of it, so I had lots more words, but you really had to have been there.

White Purse image Copyright 2017 JRCompton  DallasArtsRevue.com/camera image Copyright 2017 JRCompton  DallasArtsRevue.com/


girls image Copyright 2017 JRCompton  DallasArtsRevue.com/

1366x768 pixels

I'm guessing the point of this story was What people wear to openings and art discussions.

I asked Goss-Michael how long the show would be up, but I got no reply. Maybe this was The Grand Closing…



How to Publicize Your Work
 by J R Compton

I keep getting publicity from artists who don't know how to publicize their work.

I don't always write back, but lately I've tried a time or two, and it's been difficult to convince young and/or inexperienced artists to include pictures of their work in email or other invitations. Especially those who've just got out of grad school and are full of gradspeak, so their promo is full of long, obscure text.

I keep telling them what I learned in Journalism 101 and other classes and experiences through my career as a writer, rewriter, PR Guy, Photographer, and art critic — since 1965.

First, and foremost, answer the Big W questions:
Who, What, When, Why and Where.

Who is probably you. Use the name you intend to keep using for decades — that nobody in your area — or anybody already famous — is already using. If someone famous is already using your name, change yours slightly, use a middle name or initial or a nick-name.

What is likely an art show, but it could be an opening of some business or just about anything, really, where they want to show your art.

When is a starting time and date and an ending time and date. If there's a reception, that's an important when.

Why probably doesn't always need to be answered, and if you try, it may get jiggy fast.

Where is wherever your art will be shown. Don't just list the name of the space. Include an address — and if it's complex there, where to park. Even a phone number or email address might help. And when it will be open for viewing..

Who, What, When, Where and Why can be stated as simply as:

Artist's work is in Art Show, opening 7-10pm, day, month and year.

The more complex you make that statement, the less likely anybody will read or understand it. Keep it in its own paragraph above everything else except the picture(s).

Include the year date, so when you look back at the poster, flyer, email or whatever decades from now, you'll know when it really was.

Whom you send emails and/or postcards or letters to, will probably already know what year it is, but it doesn't hurt to spell it out. It may even seem a little more important with a year date on it.

After you've safely and precisely answered the Who, What, When & Where questions, you can add a small pile Art BS, if you just gotta. But don't expect anyone to read, understand or care about it.

And that's all.

What I keep seeing instead, is lots of words and no, or nearly no pictures. Too often, if I see any pictures, they are in black & white. If you paint, sculpt or make art in color, show those colors off every chance you get. Those colors, lines and shapes are what make your art different from anybody else's. Color is more memorable than gray.

On the Internet and in Email, color is free. Use it.

Get somebody who already knows what they are doing to photograph your work. If you can't find or afford someone or even if you can, read — and heed the details in my How to Photograph Art — Or Just About Anything Else. Last time I had a hit-counter on it several years ago, it had garnered more than 210,000 international visits.

Pay special attention to their pictures of art. Are they in sharp focus, and are their corners square?

My How to Photograph Art story is long and involved, because it covers many possibilities. Pay attention to the details that pertain to you and your art. You don't need a studio or an expensive camera to start. You may not even need lights.

But you will probably need a tripod. Borrow one, if you have to. Have whoever owns it show you how to use it. It's important.

Make sure that every time anybody sees your art, that your pictures are directly associated with your name. When your art hangs in an art space or gallery, it's best to put your name, title, dimensions and price, on a white, typewritten card to the right and alligned to the bottom of the frame.

Some places cheap-out and save space by putting your information in the shadow of the frame directly under each work, where they will have to lean down to see it. You may not have any control over placement. But at least ask.

Make sure they can see and read your name, the title, price, mediums, size in inches — height first, then width, and if it has any, depth last, even if it's just a couple inches. And how you can be reached. Email is better than a phone number (shudder) or a home address.

Unless you've already got a gallery — so you have professional help pricing your work, keep your prices lower than you expect them to rise to later. Make sure you get enough from one sale to buy more paint or whatever you need to make more art. Even if you don't sell anything, keep making more art.

What you really want is for somebody — anybody, really — to look at your work. And remember your name.

It will likely not mean to them what you think it means to you. So filling the space you could be using to make your images bigger, with words describing your art is a waste of both your and their time. Do what you do best. Make art, and make sure your art or color pictures of your art (with your name close by) get seen.

If you put at least two, different samples of your best work, in every piece of PR (public relations — press releases — postcards, notices on community art lists in newspapers, radio or tv stations), whoever sees or reads it will have a better notion of whether your art will be worth their time or attention.

Not everybody will like or find it interesting.

If, instead, you lay Art Speak all over them and skip the pix, they may not understand a word. Most of us don't understand art gibberish anyway. But we all understand pictures. And pictures in color move us.

See also:

How to Start Showing Your Work
How to Design & Distribute an Invitational Postcard and
How to Photograph Art — Or Just About Anything Else


All websites are either being updated or have been abandoned. There really is no other state. Until October 2017, this site has been abandoned for about eleven months. Though it feels like longer. But I've been cranking it back up lately.

The first to go was The Calendar, which I loved having, but gradually learned to procrastinate making it happen. So I hired someone else to do it, promising that she'd get full command of it. Then I found some mistakes and odd features I'd always loved (but that probably didn't make much sense to other people.) missing, and I took it over without telling her, then tried to give it back as I'd changed it. So she abandoned it, and I very nearly abandoned this whole site, which, essentially, was based on info in The Calendar.

There's not a week goes by I don't miss opening it up to see what shows might be interesting to see.

Over the decades I've done DallasArtsRevue, first printed in ink on paper, later in full color online, I've had days, weeks, months and years of art ennui so bad I didn't want to face DallasArtsRevue again. But I often miss it. Especially lately & now.

I had a particularly pertinent conversation with someone intelligent very recently, and he insisted that Dallas still needs DallasArtsRevue. I knew it was needed it when I started it in 1979, and there weren't any, really, others around and again when I revivified it online just into this century (after the DARE debacle put me off dealing with art and artists and "art organizers" for several years), then there was a lot of movement (Finally, I thought.) to create other publications that sold lots of ads and kept coming out regularly. But those are different — and significantly less than, to my jaded vision.

I was never very good at selling advertising, although Allison (then Trammell) was very good at it when she tried it with DallasArtsRevue. She was, in fact, so good at it, she and the late Bob Trammell started their own organization for literature and poetry, which has since become much more active and is still called WordSpace.

Lately, we've been attending art openings again, and some of those, I find I have things I want to say about, but just a few things, and I haven't strung words and ideas enough to make whole stories of. So I haven't started.

Now again I shall…

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