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E-mail the editor with positive, negative or other comments or feedback to anything on this site or in Dallas art. Tell what page you are referring to. Sign it or don't sign it or use a fake name, if you'd prefer. Note if you do not want your letter published, although simply not signing it is better for DallasArtsRevue, which thrives on opinions. Letters will only be edited for space and sense. If you're mean or stupid, we won't edit, at all.
December 6 2007
Didn't appreciate your email. Name calling is inappropriate and uncalled for. I've removed you off (sic) our constant contact list. This program is not intended for individual custom emails.
Texas Visual Arts Association
In this case, I am a publication, not an individual. I have never been in your constant contact or any other TVA list.
I've tried for years to get you to send your club's information about upcoming events, to zero avail. The few times I've got anything from you uh ... persons, it has been incomplete. Except for school-related exhibitions, DallasArtsRevue can not publish events listings without the names of artists (Most organizations want to promote their individual members) and an end date, since this Calendar is listed chronologically by end date.
Each and every time, I've written to you that I would love to list your events, but that I need certain specific information, I have never got that information, so I've given up on the TVAA. I had thought to join your merry band but I kept putting it off till you got your act together, which now seems an unlikely event.
J R Compton
I called them "bozos," and I stand by that characterization, although it is unfair to clowns, who work hard to provide their audience with what they need. Clowns try to be funny. TVAA is anything but.
November 26 2007
J R and Anna — just finished reading and looking over the report of the 2007 White Rock Art Studio Tour. I can't go on the tour, as I'm in it — but you have given me a chance to have a sample at least of at least [some] of the Tour for 2007.
Often it is said that artists are lucky if someone spends a full 3 seconds looking at one art work they create. You are an exception, you look, think, and reproduce artist's work year after year, seeing things most miss in the Art and in the simple environments near the art. Thank you for spending many more than 3 seconds taking a long look at the Art and more in this year's tour.
WOW, I just went thru the whole thing and I'll have to go back again. Your yearly reviews of our Tour have become a good history of this event.
I don't want people to assume we'll write about anything every time. We've already decided not to do a major White Rock tour story in '08, although we might visit a couple places. It's too much work to have to do it every year, and we don't want to have to do the same thing over and again.
3 seconds may be too long for a lot of what calls itself art out there.
November 23 2007
I like what you have been doing on the visiting new places and your blog ... not surprising you got bored with the routine stuff.
September 24 2007
J R my friend:
Maybe you need to tighten the cap on your PC Correction fluid, I think the fumes are making you a little too sensitive. At the very least, you might be losing your sense of humor.
When "the DMA's Dorothy Kosinski said that at the museum, she was known as the specialist in 'dead White men,'" you took that as "a particularly offensive and insensitive statement in a culturally diverse crowd, none of whom would qualify.'"
I instead hear a self-effacing joke joined with an astute comment on how women and people of color historically have been excluded in the art world, just as they've also been marginalized in pretty much every other vocation. But to anyone who wants to pout about history, I can only offer what Grandma Rutledge might have said: "You can get glad in the same pants you got mad in," because I don't think the DMA is perpetuating that old way of thinking, at least beyond what art history offers them, or what is their purview as an encyclopedic art museum to offer us.
(And while I don't feel it's the responsibility of the DMA to show artists just because they're local, you already do know that I feel they're not being intellectually honest in the position they took at the previous panel, that they both believe local working artists are essential to Dallas being a great city for art AND that they're doing everything they can to nurture that constituency. But that's another matter.)
Then, that "Kevin Vogel introducing Jeanne as 'the most attractive person on the panel...might not be offensive to a male heterosexual, but to others... I thought we got past that decades ago,'" I think for the most part we actually have, and I seriously doubt any of my gay friends OR yours were offended by Kevin's attempt at being gentlemanly, his particular "type" being his own business. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Remember how at the last DADA panel back in the spring, you complained about it being too early in the day for you? Maybe so.
And while I'm at it, to your speculations concerning Conduit Gallery and DADA:
"We were startled to discover Conduit Gallery closed and shuttered tight. Sat there in the car in quiet awe till I shot this. Wow. Big change in the world of Dallas Art Dealers. Must be a deep and troubling rift when important commercial galleries won't even take advantage of a free (for them, since they're not paying their DADA dues any more), highly publicized "gallery walk" many assume they're on and expect to visit, like we did and did not today. A blatant statement. No smiles."
You need to remember that while they were open earlier in the day the folks at Conduit closed so they could attend the evening's opening for two of their own artists — Susan kae Grant's retrospective, a very significant milestone in and of itself, and my own little show in the New Works Space. Sorry, no conspiracy here.
Hey, I got an idea. Maybe you could add a new page to the site: you and me doing Point/Counterpoint. Jane, you ignorant slut.
James Michael Starr
Jim's letter is in reference to my Dada unDada Art Walk story. My issue with Kevin Vogel's remark was that it was sexist. It is debatable which panelist was most attractive, and I'm a big fan of Lil Chvosta, but her importance to this community has nothing to do with her physical attractiveness.
As for the point and counterpoint. Jim wanted me to start it, so he could counterpoint. I suggested he start it so I could, and he demurred.
September 12 2007
Hello Mr. JR Compton.
I've been perusing your art collection online. It is wonderful. I love your eclectic taste in art. All the Georgia Stafford works and Lisa Lacey's Window View are my favorites so far. I'll keep looking. I just thought I'd drop you a line. I wish every art collector would post their possessions online for the world to see. Art is to be shared. Thank you.
Scott A. Spencer
August 15 2007
You are slipping! Not too long ago you asked if any artists in Dallas were thinking about the "war" other than Rita! That was a bit offensive. Now we have voiced opinions and you don't like it! Hummm.
Like bellybuttons everybody's got opinions. How they express them is what counts. I was not impressed with the expressions of the mass of artists in that show. Most seemed glib, depthless and unexpressive. I would have been overjoyed at well-expressed opinions pro or con the war. But I don't remember any. Do you?
You're probably right about the slipping.
August 6 2007
Just sent you the new WRL Artist Tour List but wanted to simply take a minute to say hello. I just read your comments about the MAC show. Yes, War & Peace is a hard subject right now it seems? Is it because we hear every single day that 20 or 26 or 59 or some number of people have been blown up in Iraq. And that 2, 3 or 4 or more American soldiers have been killed today and the next day.
You and I remember the protests of Viet Nam clearly like it was yesterday. Where is all that now? It seems we Americans here in a "safe" place drive around town, shop at Walmart, go out to eat and have a nice life without any the "war" touching us mentally or physically.
Why no open "outrage in the streets" about this war? Could it be no draft in 2007 and the draft was fully in effect in the 60s all through Viet Nam. With the Draft, everyone knew someone who might be personally involved in the war of that time. Maybe if I had done a piece for the MAC show, I would have used this phrase: "What War?" Seems that is the mindset of comfortable Americans ..... including those 70% or more that were behind Bush's war right before it began.
Well, JR, I meant to just say hello Friend and I got off on a diatribe. Like most, I'd rather think of pleasant thoughts, but
anger and blood pressure rises thinking of this mess we are in and it was so predictable from the beginning!!!
August 5 2007
It was nice to hear what you thought about Quin's documentary. I appreciate it. I'm looking forward to checking out Hiroshi Teshigahara's Antonio Gaudi. So far I only know his work through photos and books.
You have done a fantastic job!!!!!
You have explained in a "no nonsense" and "plain english" manner the very tricky task of photographing art work.
I am a photographer and teach at TAFE and university.
In my freelance work I have photographed art work and appreciate the difficulty in "getting it right".
Artists are very particular (as they should be) about having their work represented accurately.
Teaching my students (all art students) how to photograph their work is a very important tool for them ... I shall be passing on your notes and web site.
if i have a drawing on paint and would like to show it, where would i go to show it?
I asked if this were a knock-knock joke? It replied,
"hahah your a prissy art person... fa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa a get"
Funny stuff. I loved your quote 'I did not wish to weigh in then, except to notify him via return email, not among the me-too responses on the blog'. That's basically how I feel about weighing in here on your domain. Sorry I did not sign my short, succinct e-mail. Too busy on too many other things to notice, but since you and I tend to support local arts I thought it would be interesting to at least make you aware of this issue. It is funny however, that you chose to exploit this minor point to attempt making me sound devious.
As far as whining is concerned I defy you or anyone for that matter to come up with a direct quote of my dissatisfaction or objection to DART tearing down the tunnel prior to my disqualification. If anything you'll find in fact the contrary due to the replacement deal that I negotiated with them in 2002 during the DART Federal hearings. Oh and yes I agree the artwork on the tunnel was a truly mixed bag but before I got a hold of it it was just another unsightly underpass.
btw - I did not see Barry Whistler or Holly Johnson or any other gallery at any of these sessions... although the Meadows Foundation was always there protecting their future prospects.
The issue is “The biggest problem I've always had with Dallas is that it’s so busy trying to be an international city that it’s constantly bringing in outsiders as opposed to hiring from within. It needs to embrace what it is, not try to be something else.” That's all. Not entitlement...
I am not naive enough to believe I would get the commission, hell my stance cost them 1.5 more to do their deal. Would you hire someone that cost you more to complete your mission? Standing in front of a moving train / progress is never a good idea but by saying nothing, there would be nothing to show in return. At least this way there will be an art opportunity for someone, hopefully local rather than nothing at all.
Last but not least a media hound? Are you implying you are the media? No you're an artistic old guy w/ an attitude that desperately needs an editor, a lot like me. The fact is DART is a public agency. The voice of the public is something they should, but choose not listen to. I would not be suprized if the yet to be announced winner was preselected years ago. My point is again that saying nothing allows no input or guidance towards the overall big picture of our city's cultural future. I'd like to see this change and am fully aware that big city commissions won't include me. My bridges are burnt and I could care less, and my career is good as it stands w/ no complaints. But maybe by being critcal of big projects such as this, perhaps things will improve for qualified local artists. This is one aspect we can both agree upon now isn't it?
Now onto other things, keep up the good work,
June 5 2007
I've been meandering about your DallasArtsRevue site and have a couple of questions.
I didn't see a substantial amount of photography on your site, so I'm wondering if it is the appropriate venue for my work. I certainly wouldn't mind joining for the benefit of the exposure (absolutely NO pun intended) but want to be certain I'm in the right place.
I'm looking for a listing of 'shows' so I can figure out how to get the exposure I need. Any suggestions?
Any illumination you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
BTW: I like the way you write.
Warren Paul Harris
Our Calendar page lists exhibitions, lectures and other art events. See also How to Start Showing Your Work.
There's a photograph on almost every page on this site, usually several. Do you have your browser set to not show images?
You'd be welcome in our community. There are other photogs happy here: Sheila Cunningham (a pro photog), Donna Davis (pro), Fannie Brito, Paul Rogers Harris, Norman Kary, Marty Mitchener (pro) and me, (semi-pro).
The [then] current cover story is crammed with them. It is all about me, as a photographer, photographing an event. Throughout that story I discuss photographic issues and concerns. It was the most prominent story on the site and it's all about photography.
Every show that I've ever written about that had interesting photographs discusses them. My personal website has gobs of them. My nearly daily Bird Journal has and talks about them. How to Photograph Art discusses the topic extensively.
Traditionalist photographers may not find this art-related site an ideal fit, but for fine art photographers, it may be the only place in town.
; j r
March 10 2007 - J R Compton Photograph as of March 10 2007
March 19 2007
Knowing that to a certain degree you're just having a little fun, I hesitate to take too seriously your jabs at DART and their Deep Ellum Gateway project. But as I'm growing progressively weary of how hip it's becoming in general to criticize everything that moves, I'll pick on you. You're a friend (and you're J R) so I know you can take it.
I just last Friday submitted my own entry in the Deep Ellum Gateway competition, and I think you know I wouldn't waste my time on it if I didn't think it was worthwhile. I also have one project already in the works with DART, my inaugural experience doing public art, and they've mostly been fun to work with. I admit I've had my own frustrations trying to communicate with folks inside the agency – it can seem so much its own dwarf planet, in geosynchronous orbit around the rest of the world and incommunicado. But that's pretty much to be expected with a juggernaut like that, especially when mere mortals are at the wheel. I think it makes too easy a target. And besides, I'd prefer that anybody operating 40-ton vehicles around Dallas streets stay mostly focused on that.
And your scattershot criticism hits people of whom I'm sure you're not aware. The passage you called out to make fun of was not written by one of the "Dallas' Art Money Distributing Idiots" you described, or by DART, but by an artist who has worked with DART on their Art & Design program. He seems to me to be a sincere and conscientious guy, but very busy with his own relatively major projects, so I'd suggest that in writing that otherwise thoughtful and knowledgeable introduction, he may not have had the time to iron out such minor grammatical kinks.
As for the Tunnel, I'm curious as to why so many are going around in sackcloth and ashes over its demise, but few stop to think that it (along with its murals) is not an archaeological treasure there since the Middle Paleolithic period. Instead, the Tunnel was itself a "sign of urban progress", built relatively recently on another grave: as I understand it, Deep Ellum, and especially the 2400 block of Elm Street, was Dallas' own thriving Harlem and home to many successful African American businesses before the highways cut off cirulation from downtown. But we've elected to forget all that, and have chosen to mourn the loss of our precious spray-can art. I realize that to many it's a symbol of the counter-cultural personality of Deep Ellum, and a relatively sincere attempt at genuine creativity. But my point is that cities change and grow and whining about it is useless and juvenile.
Actually I'm being rhetorical, and not really curious about why there's so much wailing and gnashing of teeth. I know that it's great urban sport, especially among artists and other socially-minded folks, to complain about these things. And I've found it pretty funny as I've contacted a couple entities who have an expressed stake in Deep Ellum's future and who've complained about not having any voice in where things are going. In preparing my proposal, I wanted to have the benefit of input from members of the community and asked more than once for their ideas. But they've simply ignored that, apparently preferring to complain. Geez, what would Gandhi say?
And by the way, DART does have a downloadable pdf version of the five pages you mentioned on their web site:
James Michael Starr
J R's Diatribe as appended in James Michael's email (that was on the DallasArtsRevue Artists' Opportunity Page until the deadline passed).
Bury the tunnel so we can build a Gateway to Deep Ellum
and Hire some artist to build it...
I got five single-spaced typewritten pages from Dallas Area Rapid Transit Art and Design Program, announcing a design competition for The Deep Ellum Gateway Project as part of the extension of DART's Southeast Corridor light rail line.
What it is, is the hole where the Art Tunnel used to be that DARTS (not to be confused with this site, that's been called "DARts" since the Dallas Area Rapid Transit System was still all old, slow buses) filled up (NOT!) not long ago is going to be The Gateway to Deep Ellum (Again. When it was filled with wild art by mostly local artists, it was much more expressively a gateway to Deep Ellum. Now it's supposed to be gonna be a symbolic gateway to that same, dying area.). I didn't read all five pages, but I'm sure somebody will.
These dorks (DAMDI) the Dallas' Art Money Distributing Idiots) don't have a web page with the information, which is probably why I got five typewritten (Xeroxed) pages in the mail. But there's a phone number, so you can call to get your very own wad of paper sent in the mail.
It says here, "Questions: For questions regarding the competition process, please submit them in writing to: Dallas Area Rapid Transit / Attn: Valerie Wallace / PO Box 660163 / Dallas, texas 75266-7235 / 214 749-3846"
Preliminary proposals due March 16. Budget $1.5 million. The usual ornate goofy committee chooses a committee to choose a committee to choose a committee that chooses an artist or three, etc.
For all its bureaucratic insipidosity it's probably a great opportunity, except I liked the art tunnel that they recently filled up with dirt (NOT YET) just fine, and all this seems utterly ridiculous. And I'm not going to get serious about this opportunity. And these dorks really oughtta get a web site, so I don't have to type all this shit out.
Okay, one more quote from DAMDI that probably wouldn't get past the grammar police, and doesn't really make any sense, but it sounds very official, which is why I'm quoting it here to make stupid fun of it:
"This site has the ability to announce the district in a similar manner in which the tunnel once did.
Southwest of the rail station, at the juncture of Gaston and Good Lattimer, and in the site of the removed tunnel, this will be the northern-most element and the focal point from the Deep Ellum neighborhood and an opportunity to re-mark a sense of "Gateway" to Deep Ellum."
"In a similar manner in which the tunnel once did," indeed.
The tunnel's still there. It wasn't removed. It's just under a whole bunch of dirt (NOT!).
How does one remove a tunnel, anyway? A tunnel is a hole. I remember Bugs Bunny moving holes in a cartoon many decades ago. That seems a fit bidness for The City, which is at least as intelligent as Elmer Fudd. Nowhere as bright as Bugs Bunny — or for that matter, Pepé Le Pew, however.
I may already have said enough on this subject. But that rarely stops me.
The green comments above are my own. The large blue type is "emphasis added" to what was there already but perhaps missed by some.
The tunnel may still be holey there. I don't know. Like a lot of other folks, I don't go to Deep Elm much anymore, except to look at art.
The City Hoo-haws did not send me the website address, though perhaps my comments spurred them to create one.
My response to my friend James Michael:
I like the idea of a gateway to Deep Ellum, although it may be too late, since Deep Elm itself seems to be dying [again]. And I adore the notion of moving or removing a tunnel.
The art there was sometimes dreadful, and it had little historical, geographic or ethnic context. I suspect the new gateway will, but I don't trust most art selected by committees.
Perhaps the best aspect of Tunnel Vision was that its art was not preselected. It's wild abandon made its demise grief-worthy.
Then James Michael replied:
You're right, Deep Ellum as we know it is dying. But for better or worse, it will be renovated, which I think is one reason why DART is willing to allot $1.5 million just to this public art. The real estate agents and property owners are optimistic, and I think not unreasonably so, that the district will have new life breathed into it when outside developers start buying it all up.
This is kind of a nationwide trend, known to some as mixed-use development or "live/work/play", a return to urban living and the convenience of walking down the street to work and get groceries and most everything else you need. It was one of the original concepts for Victory, the district near West End surrounding the American Airlines Center, and also for the West Village. But I think neither of those has managed to achieve the human scale that's been seen with projects in some other cities.
At my last job, just before I was fired out of a cannon from the advertising & design business, I had a Manhattan-based developer client who specialized in that kind of thing, and they flew me to West Palm Beach, Florida and to San Jose, California, to study what they were doing. It really can be nice, but it's a delicate balance that seems easily to get thrown out of wack by competing agendas, I think those of the residents often being low on the totem pole. For Deep Ellum it could go either way, I'm sure, but the thing that's certain is that it will go.
And I understand your reticence to get excited about these kinds of projects. All I can tell you is that I think I'm past the most politically charged stage of my DART station in Carrollton, and I remain confident that it's possible to do interesting art for these projects, even with committees involved. The refreshing thing is that DART recognizes the artist needs to be allowed to do real art, and not just commercial art. We'll see how it turns out.
"new life breathed into it when outside developers start buying it all up" - JMS
Shudder - JRC
I must say, your photo of the Tunnel is one of my all-time favorite photographs of yours. It really captures something intrinsic, not only to that place, but to the experience of being in that spot. Congrats.
And thanks for understanding the tone of my letter and not getting all pissed off or something.
new Online vid about Tunnel Vision with nice visuals of the wildly diverse art that once graced the walls of the Good-Lattimer Tunnel and what that place looks like now.
March 5 2007
I know you deal with a lot of people (and a lot of boneheads), so not sure you'll remember me. I razzed you about your submission guidelines some time ago and enjoyed our exchange. Recently, I went picking through Google to find a good read on the history of the Texas Biennial. Wouldn't you know it, all roads led straight back to you — which I was delighted with, given your propensity to shoot straight (after asking questions).
For the sake of full disclosure, my husband has a piece in the second Biennial … and after wandering around the exhibits, I'm really hoping you are planning on reviewing it. Honestly, I'm hoping you'll tear it to shreds for the waste of time that I found the majority of it to be … argh!
I wish the organizers had learned something from your shrewd remarks stemming from the 2005 effort, but alas, we are still dealing with a show monopolized by the Austin elite and they still haven't figured out how to get the much needed exposure placed on young, budding new Texan talent. Once again, the exhibits consist of unidentified people and there is still no way to really link the artists wandering around in the galleries with their work. You'd think they'd do everything in their power to foster discussion and conversation about the pieces on display, but it's actually coming off as more of an extravagant coffee shop get-together with all the Austin chums palling around with coffee or beer in their palms, gabbing with each other about their lives and nothing to do with the actual work hanging on the walls!
Long story short: (and I repeat myself) I hope you are planning to review the 2007 Texas Biennial.
Hope all is well on your end.
March 1 2007
It is a waste to show your art work at the Tarrant County College South Campus in Ft. Worth. The guy in charge of the gallery managed to bumble and screw up nearly every aspect of my exhibition. He managed to send out the invites at the last minute. Everyone on my mailing list received their invites after the reception. Some invites were even postmarked the day before the reception. He denied this, all evidence to the contrary. The marquee sign in front of the gallery had the wrong time and date put up for the reception. At the reception, his behavior did not improve. He did not speak to the artists involved in the exhibition, nor did he mingle with any of the invited guests. He claims this is not part of his job description. The gallery hours printed on the invitations turned out to be bogus as well, as the gallery was locked with the lights closed during those hours. Art is clearly not a priority at Tarrant County College South Campus.
February 1 2007
I just visited the DARTs site and read your review of the 500x show. Unfortunately, I missed the opening because of a friend's wedding, and I haven't even stopped by to visit. I really like how Francis Colpitt jurored a show that was cohesive and seemed to flow together. Quite too many shows have a crazy, disjointed, almost schizophrenic feel to them.
To answer some of your questions (whether you wanted them answered or not): I didn't know a thing about Dr. Colpitt or her style. There was no calculating, I just submitted 3 slides, all different styles... as my work tends to be... and they accepted one. Its hard for me because the piece they accepted was one that I completed in my final semester of college. I was doing all these paintings on urban landscapes and how loud, unnatural, and overwhelming the city can feel -Like an overload to the senses. They weren't based on Dallas... To me, Dallas is tame. They were mostly based on Houston and DC.
I loved how you put it.... "Dancing around the concepts of mass, length, depth and time, incorporating all those markers in strange other ways." It does seem to dance and whirl a bit, doesn't it?
Anyway, as I was saying, it's hard when I submit an older piece that actually gets accepted, and then recieve critique on the execution of ideas that were born a year or so previously. My work now is completely different, but all this makes me pause and wonder if I'm going in the right direction or if I should backtrack just a bit and start anew. (I'm in an artistic funk right now and all my current ideas seem lame and stupid.) I enjoyed reading your thoughts on my work. They make me consider things from different perspectives.
Thats all for now,
I'm not sure everybody would agree that the show was visually cohesive. Just the images I liked and shot were.
January 22 2007
J R Compton,
I'm not a Dallas artist. Wasn't born in Dallas. Didn't go to school in Dallas. Never worked in Dallas. I'm from Coupland, Texas. It's nowhere near Dallas — and nothing like Dallas. But Coupland doesn't know what to do with me. Maybe Dallas'll have me? Probably not. I can be ornery.
Anyway, I wanted to send this information. Thought you might consider it for DallasArtsRevue:
The Umasi Collection - Blurring the Line Between Furniture and Sculpture by Wlls Mason at Lofty Concepts, 1135 Dragon Street, Dallas TX 85207. Show opens 6-8 Friday February 16, through March 24
Enclosed [was] a CD with the image of his piece we used in the calendar. ...
Also enclosed is a check in the amount of $35. Let's figure this payment falls into the "Just Want to Help" Category. In other words, I understand that this check doesn't guarantee that my information will be included in your publication (because of your very clear submission guidelines to that effect). I'm okay with that — just so you know.
Call or write with any questions.
Thanks for your consideration.
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