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How to Look at Art

Story + Photographs by J R Compton

The MAC in Back - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

The MAC in Back

I was all for skipping this DADA (Dallas Art Dealers Association) Art Walk altogether. Anna wanted to go to their Chat & Chew, and if we were going to do that, why not see their sponsored panel discussion on How to Look At Art, too, so we parked at the first slot we found at the decrepit back end of The McKinney Avenue Contemporary too early that Saturday ayem, and this was the first thing I saw, so of course I had to photograph it immediately. I've been shooting that building for years, but hadn't noticed how badly The MAC's blue is fading.

Horned Owl - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

David Everett - Great Horned Owl, 2007
polychromed mahogany - 21 x 9 x 10.75 inches

Inside was art by, amazingly enough, all Dallas artists — as were the shows just before. I'm wondering whether they've changed directions, couldn't get a traveling show or couldn't afford a big time art guy (or gal) from out of town (The Dreaded BTAGSFOOT Syndrome). Or mayhaps their ongoing deal with local galleries was working out just fine. Whatever the cause, I'm pleased the organization I chose to be a member of this year is actually showing art by Dallas artists. Not hardly the struggling Dallas artists this organization (as opposed to the big blue building itself) was founded to show, but closer than it looked like for many years.

Maybe after they run out of galleried local artists, they'll settle for a few who have not made it yet. I can dream.

Bigfoot Pelk - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

David Everett - title unknown pelican

I've admired David Everett's exotic woods sculptures since he did carousel horses, though the birds here constitute a wider variety of shapes, so I was enthusiastic enough to tune in. Some readers may know that in my other life I'm bonkers for birds and have actually deconstructed a Great Horned Owl and take many detailed photographs of American White Pelicans when they're here for six months every year, so I know just how anatomically incorrect some of these objects are. Pelican peds are dainty small compared with their largish bodies and elongated beaks.

If an artist goes to the craft and exactitude to install a "nail" (not unlike a fingernail) on the tip of this pelican's upper mandible (beak) and what bird expert supreme David Sibley calls a "fibrous epidermal plate" that looks like a sometimes rounded fin (indicating a breeding adult of either sex), why not get the feet size right? I know, I know — I know too much, and nobody cares.

Edith Baker Table - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

The Edith Baker Table

Ever curious, I checked the main gallery, looking for art, which was scrunched into the middle and edges of the room, not removed and why I didn't photo David Dreyer's lilting sylphs of sculpture. The salon was filled with bistro tables settings, each labeled with a known someone in this art community's name and brief identification. Obviously where the Chat & Chew would be. I muttered something like, "That's crazy," when I saw this tiny table with only three other chairs where Edith Baker would hold her audience.

Someone behind me, turned out was Judith Garrett Segura, whose much larger table in the opposite corner had at least eight additional chairs, asked "What's crazy." Caught in the act of crit, I explained that Edith Baker would probably be the most popular expert in the room because of her bubbling personality and long and successful experience as gallery owner here, but there were only three chairs at her table, and so many more at others. Judith explained that it didn't matter, because lunchers would be redirected to a new table every twenty minutes, so everyone would get a chance at several. I shuddered at the notion of speed chatting but kept my mouth shut for a change.

Unfortunately, nobody told anybody else that plan until after the panel audience broke up, and we were ensconced in the chat & chew salon and had been for nearly an hour. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The Setup - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

The Setup

After waiting with others awhile outside the wrong room, I finally figured out where the panel already was (no signs or arrows), but all ten interlocking chairs in the two front rows were occupied. I studied the room several minutes, checking angles and visibility, and finally settled where I could see the slide projector and the large screen better than anything but could shoot over the projector (second image down) to the panel, which was dozens of feet away, angling away, with the quietest panelist the farthest, hardly promoting interaction with the audience, any subtle equalities or direct communication. More like a sit-down floor show.

An awkward seating arrangements in a black-out theater that two separate attendees later called "gloomy," and that distance combined into a remote panel experience. Took a lot of guessing to get the right exposure in there. I'd brought my wide angle zoom thinking the panel would be close to its audience in an intelligently intimate setting, but dark and far as they were, I should have brought my image-stabilized telephoto instead. I notched the "film speed" way up and kept shooting.

Lisa, Margaret,

Lisa Taylor, Margaret Robinette, Phillip Collins and Ben Breard

Dallas Art Dealers Association (DADA) Executive Director Lisa Taylor introduced panelists Margaret Robinette, Phillip E. Collins, Ben Breard and Benito Huerta.

Margaret Robinette recently retired from her job since 1984 as the Public Art Coordinator for the City of Dallas. But area artists knew and greatly respect her as the human face of the bureaucratic machine. If you had a question, Margaret was whom to ask. She not only knew its business (Yes, it is a business.) inside and out, she explained it intelligibly and in depth, making it possible for some actual humans to get what they needed from the City Art Program.

Born in Dallas and recently retired as the African American Museum's Chief Curator, Phillip E. Collins is now an independent curator. Also born here, Ben Breard established America's first fine art photographic gallery, The Afterimage, here in 1971. Benito Huerta is a longtime Texas artist, curator, teacher and Editor of Art Lies magazine.

Phillip, Ben and Benito - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Phillip, Ben, Benito, Flowers, Placards, Microphones and Slide Projector

After Lisa's introductions, the lights went out, then quickly back on so Margaret Robinette could read her text, which was barely audible but cogent and complete from a City Arts Program point of view, showing public art examples and explaining the community's part in the creation of art for the Art in Public Places program, neatly confusing as The City always does, the difference between a committee from actual members of the community, who probably couldn't care less. As informative and well-organized as her essay was, it had little to do with how to look at art.

Freshly out of the hospital with just two days notice of the panel, Ben Breard spoke informally, without slides, about how he looks at photographs — from the viewpoint of a conservator, dealer and collector, emphasizing what we should look for in a collectible photograph. He recommended looking at it in raking light, so its surface flaws become obvious. Then look at it in bright light to find dings, scratches and abrasions. Ben talked about the differences between film and digital, walking us through the new digital visual vocabulary of errors, emphasizing that whenever we had questions, we should rely on the seller's knowledge and explanations. Which advice is sound if we deal with an honest seller, forgetting that many are not.

Benito Huerta spoke about the conservation of works on paper, which should always be framed and exhibited in low light to almost dark and never in direct sunlight. Then he showed work of his and others — primarily Latino artists — in all media, stressing that the vocabulary of materials has opened up, and artists are much more free now to use a variety of mediums and materials to express their ideas.

Panel moderator Phillip Collins showed slides of three paintings of the Crucifixion from different eras and traditions by artists with differing intentions, styles and materials. Discussing paying attention to the visual details of composition and texture while understanding the story in the work itself, as well as how it makes us feel and our spiritual connections to it, Collins executed a carefully paced, educational tour of the three paintings, and by extension, anything else we might encounter in art. He was the only panelist who stayed on target and on topic throghout.

Members of the Audience - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Members of the Audience

34 people were in the dark theater first time I counted the crowd, and their number had increased to 41 just before we broke for the Chat & Chew. I recognized three artists among them but do not know if the audience were mostly artists, collectors or just people interested in art. I wonder whether they learned what they wanted to.

I pretty much already know how to look at art. My first pass is a quick one, often walking fast along a gallery's walls. If something — color, shape, idea, juxtaposition, composition, material, texture, movement or rhythm catches my eye or mind, I stop and pay more attention:
 

Didactic exposition

I've been known to dance to the rhythms of a painting or the textures of anything, flat or 3-D. Thick paint and brush strokes sets my mind to wandering. My body sometimes following along. I was chair-dancing with pent-up rock n roll energy, alternately bored out of my mind or mind-meld engaged during the panel talks. I had to stop, figure out how the chairs linked and and lift mine free, so I didn't shake the whole line of us.

Linnea Glatt -

Linnea Glatt - Harrow, 1992 - in Lubben Plaza across
from the Belo Building in downtown Dallas
my photo of Margaret Robinette's projected slide.

Everybody still has to walk all the way around sculpture, if we can. I prefer to amble, crawl or shimmy through to experience and engage the mass and form. Just looking is hardly ever enough. We got to engage our mind and body. Sit on it. Touch it. Smell it. Some sculptural materials leave an ambient taste in the air, as does some paint.

There's sound in more art than you might suspect; either it makes it itself or air over or through it vibrates, clunks or reshapes the waves. Rhythm is more than visual spacing, repeating shapes and patterns actually in the work. Watch for shadows and reflections, glares and imperfections in any dimension. And don't forget time; watch the light on it change. Acknowledge the work of joins and connectors, hinges and axles, anything that moves or shakes or rumbles.

Engage whatever you've got that wants to participate in what art has to offer. I've danced to eminently flat, quiet paintings, found tapping syncopations and counterpunctal synesthesias in abstract and wholly realistic visions. Tapped and blown on mobiles, watched and listened to the wind on or in or around art.

Black Box Ceiling Lights - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Black Box Ceiling Lights - Straight Up

Don't just look at it, see it. Go beyond seeing to feel it, and think about it later. Eyeing art is a tiny portion of the spectrum of the art-human interface. To be engaged by a piece of art is to be moved by it, but to actually be physically moved by it is amazing.

Linnea's piece — shown above in one of Margaret Robinette's slides projected on the blackout theater's big white screen — of the slowly rolling 24-hour screw clock that has startled homeless persons sleeping in the sandbox circle that contains its ponderous motion, can usually only barely perceptibly be known by anyone watching from those chairs. The circle tracks appear magically in the sand every day, smoothing out footsteps from the day before.

I haven't had conversation with it in decades, but at one time it rumbled and squalled internally as it turned, my ear nudged into its inching metal skin. Margaret talked about the motion and its imperceptibility. If she knows about the homeless, she didn't say.

Paid - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Paid Stamp

Everything you've ever known or learned or wondered about or felt or denied about art, artists, your self and everybody else who's ever thought about it or looked at it or wrote about it or talked about it or made garbled blobs of it in the middle of the night is gobbed up together in your mind and interaction with every piece of art and non art and whatever the hell it is before you challenging and stewed up in it, every single time you engage with art.

It's all in there all the time.

 

Art 101: How to Look At Art cost $10 before or $15 at the door. The Chat & Chew was $20 ahead or $30 at the door. Funds raised go to the annual Edith Baker scholarship (More about below). Anna and I got press passed in but paid retail ($6.99 each) for the boxed lunch, our choice from stacks of vegetarian, turkey or chicken from Cafe Express. I didn't count the chew crowd, but it was substantially smaller.

The food was good: a sandwich, bag of chips, fruit salad, stuffed pasta and some new dry drink whose nutritional values were too tiny to see. Anna chose rhubarb and I got lemongrass. Debora had tried those before and asked for something else. I heard nor uttered any complaints about the food, and the conversation was informal, ongoing and fun.

Debora Hunter - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Debora Hunter in the foreground; Judith Segura to her right
in the background with scattered sculptures by David Dreyer

I've known SMU Associate Professor of Photography Debora Hunter for years, may have started by borrowing slides for an aborted attempt to become KERA-TV's art critic. That harried producer called my impressionistic story about her work at Delahunty Gallery "[expletive deleted]" one hot day when the AC wasn't working on Wolf Street, so I published it in glorious black and white in an early on-paper edition of DallasArtsRevue. Later, I taught her Macintosh and often see her bicycling along the White Rock Trail while I'm photographing birds.

So when I saw her name on a table, we sat there, expecting and getting amiable conversation with her and digital artist Jeanne Sturdevant who joined us later. That chance meeting and me telling Debora that I was an awful framer, led Jeanne to impart in one quick sentence info that may revolutionize presentation of my work. So simple I never thought of it.

I used to get away with showing work without expensive mats. But not anymore, perhaps due to a cheapening change in Epson's substrata, but more likely to my blithering hope that the issue would go away. If I ignored it, couldn't everyone else? No. Of course not. My images are good, but matlessly framed, glassed over or not, they sag and wave and wrinkle like an amateur's. Very unprofessional.

Very embarrassing when you think about it, though I've tried not to for years. Jeanne's simple suggestion might return my exhibited work to a long-overdue semi-professional quality. It probably has much to do with the fact that I rarely sell any work. I'd so much rather just push-pin my photos to the wall.

Sarah Jane Semrad's Table - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

La Reunion and Art Conspiracy organizer
Sarah Jane Semrad's (center) Table

All of which comprise one of the several sorts of info-imparting that scattering local art experts in an ersatz bistro for lunch after an art panel was all about. I saw animated conversations booming all around, but almost every time I aimed a camera at one, they'd stop short, look directly at the camera and smile big into the sort of photographs I hate and that pointedly do not help tell a story, so I snuck up on these guys.

More than 20 minutes after we'd settled in at our table, the organizers finally announced that ours was a Speed Chatting & Chewing, then they immediately renegged, allowing more time till they just couldn't any longer. They rang the bell annoyingly and insisted we move to another table. We found an empty one and finished our lunch in peace.

Edith Baker, the very popular retired gallery owner after whom the DADA annual scholarship to a Arts Magnet High School student is named, did not arrive until well after the chewing and chatting. I didn't see her, but I heard she was profusely apologetic. Her eponymous scholarship usually goes to a graduating high school student who moves away to college never to return here to practice art.

MAC Owl - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Mac Back Owl

Fed up and arted out, we walked out into the natural warmth of sunshine and blue skies. We were comfy enough in the blackout theater, although I welcomed the breeze each time they turned on the slide projector, but it was unfathomably cold in the big gallery where we chatted and chewed. I was looking at the extensively faded multicolor MAC sign around back where we'd parked when I noticed these shadows and a rock steady owl, of the anatomically correct enough variety to ward off pigeons who scat on roofs. Click.

Woman Reading Book - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Janice Breard Reading Book in the Afterimage
Thanks for the I.D from Peter J Blackburn

Our second official Art Walk stop was at Ben Breard's Afterimage Gallery in the Quadrangle, where its precise location has bounced around over the decades, but it's always in there somewhere, and parking has always been a challenge, now even more difficult, although we eventually found one spot we'd initially passed up because of its large "Reserved" sign like the signs on every other empty slot all around the quad's lots, but turned out it was reserved for Afterimage customers. Directly in front of the gallery.

I didn't take pictures of the pictures there, though I could have and maybe should have. We spent a long time slowly watching photographs and books, gazing and paging. When I saw this woman — I don't know who she is, why she was sitting there reading a book, what book she was reading, or even why I felt need to take her picture, although I did so carefully and surreptitiously. Then we left. Something about seeing all those amazing photographs made it imperative I take one clean shot.

El Centro Cards - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Totally Unidentified El Centro Student Art

Next stop in our carefully crafted subset of the over-extensive Spring Art Walk was El Centro College's Student Art Show, where we could not find a single identifying name or number. When I asked for a list, the sitter said the hand-in sheets were so illegible they didn't even try to make up one.

Except this, the only piece I felt need to photograph, the work was plainly Student Work, derivative and disappointing. I've attended classes at El Centro mostly off but intermittently on since the early 70s and have seen many good shows there, several notably exciting, but this wasn't one.

Nor was I completely enamored of this extrapolated card shuffle installation. But it stood out, and except for the goofy, cop-out flat fingers, I mostly appreciated it and the more subtle portraits in each card's suit symbols, though I had to wonder why two aces of spades, although maybe that was the sly joke, if there was one — except that El Centro's gallerist chose this show to show off the glories of El Centro art and education.

Centro Circles - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Newer El Centro Circles

In the mid 70s I designed and produced a series of colorful catalogs for the downtown Dallas community college that most students never saw. One of the recurring graphic art games I played on those pages were what I thought of as Circle Games, finding and photographically exploring series of circline objects. One of those involved a film can, tape reel and phone dial, dating that book considerably. This campus began life as the Sanger Harris Department Store but has been architecturally extrapolated up, down and out often since.

Indians on the Wall - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Indians on the Wall
Signature Illegible - Painted by Barbara Murell

High on a wall that has since become an inside corner, so it probably can not be seen head-on from anywhere anymore, just outside the door nearest the gallery was this mural honoring American Indians, now so acutely angled and foreshortened it was difficult to read. I straightened it out in Photoshop to get a less distorted view, though I may not have rendered its exact proportions. More circles and another kind of circle.

Loop at El Centro - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Loop Sculpture Just Outside El Centro (top detail)

This circle loops around and rejoins like time and history do. It's on the concrete that passes for ground downtown, overlooked by the angled Indian wall and etched with symbols unknown, although another of the GA games I played in those long-ago catalogs involved the punches bus drivers clicked into bus passes. I doubt that's what these are about or why the loop is such a slender strip, but I liked thinking that briefly.

My shot of the whole object looked like it was overexposed, with a large area of pure light bouncing off the concrete, so we're stuck with this more eloquent detail view of the top. I looked for but did not find any identification on it, a running theme now at El Centro.

Hanging Photographs in a U-Haul Truck - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Last-minute Art Hanging

When we arrived at the parking lot around the corner from the sponsoring PDNB gallery on Dragon Street proper around 2 that afternoon, UNT photo students were still hanging photographs, and many had no I.Ds. The sign in the middle of the far wall above states "Save $25. Return clean and avoid service charge."

SHOW - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Show

We'd seen the group show at Craighead Green. Gerald Peters was closed as it has been every time I've been near enough its new space to want to go in. I've got Joel Cooner Gallery nearly memorized, since I'm irregularly employed there doing web and photo work, and we just didn't care enough about where else to park and go into.

We saw the University of North Texas photography students' first U-Haul show last year and definitely planned a camera-laden revisit. The show's offical title, "UNT Annual Parrallax (sic) Gallery Show" was misspelled in large letters on the side of two 24' Household Mover trucks and ersatz galleries, but we're suckers for student shows, count ourselves as photographers and appreciate alternative exhibition sites, so it was a natural.

Viewing the Gallery - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Viewing the Gallery

There's any number of ways to look at art. Attached to clamp clips linked to notebook rings around horizontal poles on the insides of a U-Haul truck is a quick and cheap one. It was actually darker than it appears in this photograph, but it's easy to see the work, although some of it was still unidentified when we left. Sell one and replace the space.

The one person I knew whom I saw in one of the trucks was long-time acquaintance and fellow art critic (He's more formal about it, and much better at it.) Dee Mitchell. I was so flustered at looking up and seeing him standing right next to me, I called him Charles, which was ridiculous, though his formal name is Charles Dee Mitchell. I've known Dee since the late 70s when we both worked on Texas Jazz, so I should have known better. I apologized.

Hairy Sink - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Ahmi Lee - Barber Shop Series - archival inkjet prints

Anna liked these two, especially the one of the hair in the brown sink on the left. I usually appreciate both The Mundane and sculpted bathroom fixtures, but I wasn't wowed by this one. I don't know what's going on in the image on the right — don't recognize the objects, but it's nice that the colors are similar in a series.

Sunhwa Jung - Angel Falls

Sunhwa Jung - Angel Falls - archival inkjet print

I figured this one quick. The stringy visual slur of falling snow, illuminated by low street lights in this time exposure (But then aren't they all?) was reminiscent of the slow-shutter motions in David Gibson's much larger black & white inkjets hanging just as loosely in the other big gallery at The MAC.

I prefer this one in this context, because it was the only there, not of a mob of similar shaped and composed and textured grayscale prints like Gibson's. I don't know what photographer Sunhwa Jung calls this piece, but the street name above the snow-stuck, dark red stop octagon on the right is "Angel Falls," a gentle falling joke.

I watched this print for minutes, enjoying the probably crunchy texture of pocked snow hardening over lawn; the cold, windswept angel haired indigo sky; the fireplug's sky-matching top and curved detail of chain; the nearly oblivioned street beyond the curb; receding silhouettes of houses hulking down the dark street; that high-contrast green snow-laden frozen tree; and the framing white-lined gold-brown frozen sidewalk. Then I tracked down the artist's missing name.

The day was about seeing art and I spent my sweet time with this one in an absent but observant reverie, never once thinking to ask its price.

Art Bird - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Art Bird

Toward the backs of the buildings lining the parking lot around the corner from the UNT-show-sponsoring PDNB gallery, I saw a large red sculpture and a small black bird, a close-up of which is here until after April 08. I shot it at the telephoto end of my wide-angle zoom here and at the much longer end of Anna's superzoom at the link. I'd hoped it would be some more exotic species but is what Americans call a European Starling, and Europeans call Asian. Common bird on an uncommon branch.

Kettle's New Gallery - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

HCG Off Dragon

After backing up Dragon and turning around and down a side street to find this door, we realized that though this largish building is on Dragon Street, HCG is not, though it's address — 1190 Dragon Street, Suite 190 — says it is. A couple other galleries have begun behind the glass windows along the front porch of this building between HCG, which is Kettle Art owner Frank Campagna's other, new space, and Dragon Street proper. Now that the bulk of Dallas' fine art galleries have moved to the Design District area collectively called Dragon Street, everybody wants to be known as being there, even if they aren't quite.

The work there was slicker and much less primitive than at the Kettle in Deepest Elm the other side of downtown. Neither this art nor the space itself is funky.

Down The Street  - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Down Howell toward Slocum

More galleries not quite on Dragon Street?

Jailbird Stripes - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Men In Stripes

After turning back toward downtown on Slocum Street, which more or less parallels Dragon, Anna saw and pointed me at this gaggle of guys in big bold untrendy stripes. Some of them saw us driving by clicking. Local color with an attitude.

Dahlia's Sunflowers - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Dahlia's Sunflowers

Unlike at The MAC's panel discussion table earlier, the sunflowers in Dahlia Woods Gallery did not obscure, they revealed. Don't think I'd seen a flower-decorated panel discussion table before. Out of place and in the way there. Nice flowers in both instances though. Exotic orchids on the chat tables. I'm always a fan and love photographing them.

Peter Ligon - Big Jim's

Peter Ligon - Big Jim's - ink and wash on paper

Another treat at Dahlia's is finding Peter Ligon's latest watercolors of odd bits of grayscale local color in down but not out urban Dallas. Dahlia's gallery was also showing work by Dahlia's father, Dahlia's daughter's and Dahlia.

Jesus' Back Stairs - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Jesus Chairez's Back Stairs

Entirely unrelated to walking art, my friend and fellow writer Jesus Chairez was selling everything and moving to Mexico City, so we visited his rapidly emptying home, where all the colorful Mexican art was gone early (to a restaurant), but I did manage to find two tourchiere lamps and a dainty little copy of a copy of a copy of a small lamp dangly with beads Made in China that I grabbed soon as I decided I had to have, even though I much later discovered it didn't even have a cord. $5 each.

A woman collecting kitchen items saw it in my fist and pouted "I wanted that." I told her "I did, too, which is why I grabbed it." She actually teared up and wept, but though she probably usually gets her way with the waterworks, I did not let go. Something to remember Jesus with.

The sign on top of the back stairs in the photo above says "not an exit."

Bath House Binox - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Children Playing with the Bath House Binocs

Anna wanted to go to the Spring Art Mart at the Bath House Cultural Center, but I didn't because I always feel guilty I never got it together to get into one of those bourses. I get my work in competitive exhibitions but rarely sell, and it might be that sitting in one of those booths in one of these shows might finally let me sell work, albeit for much less than I'd like. So I avoid the occasion. Too much thinking and too much guilt.

I brought my telephoto lens thinking I'd find birds and heard plenty in the trees above, but I saw few, and photographed fewer. So I rested in a chair  upright on the Bath House's back porch and photographed children playing with the high-power binoculars, before walking out past Linnea Glatt's ultra-simple, concrete block semi and circular A Place to Perform, finding an empty gridded metal picnic table and napping.

When I got up, there was a nasty jagged grid of bumps etched into the back of my head.
 

 

Dallas Art Dealers Association Spring Gallery Walk, Art Chat & Chew and Party. Saturday April 19 No time given for the walk; panel discussion on How to Look at Art: Art 101 and Art Chat and Chew, a lunch with professional artists and art professionsals 10:30-2 at the MAC Panel One 10:30-noon How to Look at Art with Benito Huerta, Margaret Robinette, Phillip Collins and Ben Breard; Panel Two Art Chat and Chew with Ben Breard, Phillip Collins, Benito Huerta, Eddy Rawlinson, Margaret Robinette, Debora Hunter, Vicki Meeks, Karen Garrett, Jose Vargas, Judith Garrett Segura, and Sarah Jane Semrad. $10 for Art 101; $15 at the door; $20 for Art Chat & Chew includes lunch, online or $30 at door. First come first served. Register at www.dallasartdealers.org or leave a message at 214-943-1099. Edith Baker Art Scholarship Party 8-10 at Gables Villa Rosa, 2650 Cedar Springs, $25 at the door $20 online

 

All Contents of this site are Copyright 2008 or before by publisher J R Compton.
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