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SEE ALSO Short Show Reviews from 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2008 and All Our Long Reviews

THIS PAGE - Dead Dallas Galleries   Marty Ray   James Michael Starr   Keli Connell   500X Open Show

2003 Short Reviews

wherein we publish short reviews that usually originate on the Calendar page.

Sometimes ya gotta wonder whether invitations are inside visual jokes.

Here, we have a series of colorful, tall, essentially dark, cylindrical objects all standing at attention, by a male artist, ironically (?) juxtaposed with colorful, rounded, essentially light, vessels by a female artist. She's on top, and his name is Mast. -JRC early December 2003 


Brian Cobble - El Paso - pastel

The MAC's New Works Space features Albuquerque artist Brian Cobble's pastel drawings, and in the main gallery is Willie Varela's Crossing Over, a traveling exhibition of video installations and photographs organized by the University of Texas at El Paso and the El Paso Museum of Art through October 26.

The video "show" was dark, except for one TV monitor on which nothing much was showing although color flashed and rolled. I laughed at the joke of a room crammed with higher tech machines waiting, waiting, waiting for someone to come see them, but when I did arrive, they decided it wasn't worth the bother to turn themselves on... Okay by me.

detail of above

Brian Cobble's delicate, photo-realist drawings all around the big room next door are so luscious and rich, who cares about video. Many of his semi-industrial city-scapes seem to be about dusk and the reddish glow a big sky sundown dapples shaped shadows on.

I was envious. Here was just the sort of photograph I'd love to have had the intelligence to capture myself. Dark, dense, formal widescreen landscapes of normal, every day places — a gas station, some tracks next to an elevated highway — turned solemn and dream like in the mystical shapes and shadows. -JRC


City Views, an exhibition of works about a relationship to home by members of The MAC — the 9th Annual MAC Members' Invitational through August 31 

My camera's in the shop, so I don't have my usual, visual notes, but the show — though the opening was sparsely attended — was uniformly good — as was last year's self-portriat show. Before then, however, these membership events were spotty, at best.

As often at The MAC, the presentation was subtle yet effective, with remarkable quality. Whoever hangs these exhibitions has a marvelous touch and great skill. Brava!

The grouping criteria was diverse and only occasionally discernable, but when it was, wow. Gatheing pieces thematically is comparitively easy, but some of these were textural, by color and by criteria that was often beyond words. Sometimes I couldn't help but smile. Other times nodding my head seemed the only response.

The only really weird aspect of this show's presentation is that fact that many essentially 2-D works had their depth listed. My own photograph, for example, was listed as 1 inch deep. Very strange indeed. Otherwise, however...

Great job. -JRC


B.S. Artists' Opportunity...

Hard to believe they're serious. They must have sent out forms to all their friends and patrons, then, suddenly thought,

oh! gosh! ... the artists, we've got to pretend to let them in on our little game here. Yeah, sure, let's invite some artists. You say the deadline is tomorrow. Well, at least we can tell people we invited the artists...

I received the following press release. I'm putting it here in the small print it so richly deserves, reminding us once again, why we so rarely publish anything going on at the Irving Arts Center:

"Like Uncle Sam, the Irving Arts Center is looking for a few good men and women to serve on the newly created Advisory Grant Review Panel this summer. Those wishing to be considered as panelists may be nominated by others or may apply personally using the form and Conflict of Interest statement now available on the Arts Center's website. Deadline for submission is May 30, 2003.

The Advisory Panel will play an important role in the process through which the Irving Arts Board awards funding to area non-profit arts organizations. In FY 2002-03, over $375,000 was awarded by the Arts Board for projects that included symphony concerts, plays and musicals, art exhibitions, ballet and folklorico classes and performances, cultural conferences and more.

Applicants should have a demonstrated knowledge of the visual and/or performing arts as practicing artists, qualified arts consumers, and representatives from various cultural constituencies. Panelists volunteer their time as a service to the Irving Arts Center and the Irving arts community and will serve staggered two-year terms. Panelists will be expected to attend funded activities during their terms (tickets provided by the Arts Center). The panelists may include Panelists must be able to put aside personal bias and demonstrate objectivity in their assessments.

Panelists may not review applications from applicants with whom they may have a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest and must sign a Conflict of Interest statement as part of the Nomination Form. There will be a required orientation and training session prior to beginning service. Five panel members from the pool of candidates will be appointed with the advice of Arts Center staff and the approval of the Arts Board. They will reflect the diversity of Irving and include balanced representation of those with expertise, experience and knowledge of theatre, music, dance and the visual arts and must be residents of Irving.

Two additional members of the panel will be selected from outside the city from a list compiled by the IAC staff. They will be arts professionals recognized as experts in their given arts discipline or field, dedicated to the highest professional standards and a exhibiting a history of involvement in the management and/or artistic direction of a professional, community or emerging arts organization. The Irving Arts Center will provide per diem and travel expenses to these non-resident panelists. Panelists do not make funding decisions. They will review the grant applications, rank them as to their relative quality and merit based on other applications and assess the probability of each applicant achieving its proposed project goals.

The panel provides advice and guidance to the Arts Board. The panel may also provide guidance to the staff and Arts Board in working with applicant organizations in the future. For more information, please contact the Arts Center, (972) 252-7558.


Tech Talk - mediated images with Andrea Caillouet, Mark Cole, Keli Connell, John Cox, Robert Hamilton, Jin-ya Huang, Lawrence Jennings, Brandon Kennedy, Ted Kincaid, Reynaldo Thompson, Hilary Wilder, Danny Yahav-Brown and Abraham Zapruder's documentary of the Kenedy assassination through May 31, 2003 at The Dallas Center for Contemporary art

Keli Connell's work is thematically reminiscent of Linda Finnell's much earlier gender bender photography. Keli's are large-format, set-up double-image, self-portrait photographs from what appears to be real life, with lots of details, a few questions, but not many answers. Finnell's work often comprised head & shoulder self-portraits as male and female. Connell's much larger prints are almost environmental portraits, full figures, dressed in informal male and female dress but in similarly neutral poses. Overall, Connell's images are slick, sexy, intriguing and open-ended. -JRC

500X Open Show - Not sure when it's up through, or when it started, or what it's called. I saw the door open on a recent Saturday, went in to check out the gallery and ask when the Open Show was gonna be, and they said this is it.

They didn't do a mailing for this year's show, only announcing it on their website and in flyers to local colleges. So it's an exclusive, invitation-only, open show, and we were not invited.

May 2003


I toured the show upstairs and down but didn't see anything that excited me, except, of course, the bathrooms downstairs (mens room detail above), which have been installed for some time now.-JRC

Dead Dallas Galleries

Two more bite the dust. Karen Mitchell Frank, a name purchased from the eponymous former owner who retired to Santa Fe, showed suburban art and was tucked obscurely in a little shopping center just under Knox Street, in inner-city Highland Park. And Gallery VIII, a pro-am Plano gallery, which we'd never visited, has its last day on June 28. -JRC


More Short Reviews

Marty Ray, 2003

Ceramics artist Marty Ray and her painter husband Richard Ray have both recently resubscribed, so I've been shoootiing some of her new work for an update to Marty's Supporting Member page.

I shot this vivid plaque on the wall at what turned out to be Marty's very successful, recent show at Cidnee Patrick — I saw more than a dozen red dots. And we'll be updating Richard Ray's Member page later this month.

We've been watching Marty's work get more complex, colorful and dynamic in recent years. Her current show at Cidnee Patrick is a long step in that direction.

It's fun to watch someone so talented still learning and still flying.

The figures who populate her work are intersticed into increasingly complex environments fairly dancing with art, just like real life. Her still silhouetted humans — though now multicolored — are the work's unifying factor. -JRC


James Michael Starr - To Be Absent, 2002
clock cabinet, tintype photograph, roots,
book illustration, iron pulley wheel, wood and
brass finials and pencil, 13 x15 x7 inches

Then I realized that James Michael Starr also has a one-man show in the project room at Conduit through May 10. But he's a real go-getter self-starter, anyway.

See James Michael's work on his DARts Supporting Member pages.

James Michael Starr's show in Conduit's project room is a superb showing of what appears to be all-new work. This guy is amazingly prolific, and he keeps getting better.

We're big fans anyway — see our long, personal interview, but this show is exceptional. It's somber, serious, sensuous and more than a little dark.

His imagery is amazing, diverse, contextually textural and carefully crafted. His Christianity shines through, of course. But these boxes are very human and deep — three-dimensional in more than three dimensions. -JRC


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