My Piece of the Wall

My Piece of the Wall, Dallas Visual Art Center's 2001 membership show was free to enter for DVAC members, $50 to join. "Select an important piece from your current work done this year." Framed exterior dimensions ( and all sculpture ) not to exceed a perimeter of 96 inches ( 2 x length + 2 x width ), through December 31.  

Many artists are seeing red about this open show's size limitations. ( See DARts News page for a sampling. ) But I think it is a great idea.

I might have a different take on it, if my work was large- scale 3-D or giant paintings, but my photographs are smallish and tend to be dwarfed by big paintings and sculptures. The limit hardly affected me and my 11 x 14 photographs in 16 x 20 frames, although Kathy had to use a smaller frame. I appreciate the equality of the limit.

I also like salon-style hanging, with works jumbled up on walls, instead of the usual, sterile, standard of stringing them out in single file. And the fact that any artist who pays his dues gets in this show, thrills me, especially since I'd already paid the dues.

Many years ago, I attended a big, miniature show in Houston. That exhibition had much smaller size limits than this -- I think I remember 6 inches a side, and it was a gas. Lot of serious artists from all over the state were excited by the opportunity, and I saw many Dallas artists at the opening. Limiting pieces to a total 96-inch perimeter is an utterly egalitarian concept.

I'm also startled that many DVAC members are boycotting this show, when the main reason most of us joined was so we could show our work. As if holding back our work in an exhibition of at least 200 other works after paying our membership could somehow offend DVAC. After the fact, one friend suggested I submit something symbolically defiant, but I haven't done protest art since my underground newspaper days, more than 25 years ago.

I only have a few opportunities to exhibit my work each year, and I jump at those. I'm hoping you'll find my photo right next to Kathy's somewhere in the melange. - JRCompton


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