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SEE ALSO Short Show Reviews from 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 & 2008 and All Our Long Reviews
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2007 Short Reviews
unless otherwise noted
THIS PAGE: 24-Hour Bust Not That Funny Stories Josephine Oliver
The most recent stories are at the top below. Each is introduced by its listing from the DallasArtsRevue calendar including, when the institution has bothered to send us one, the full list of participating artists. I repeatedly request those lists, but some institutions just don't care about artists. Most of these short reviews originated on The Calendar Page though they originate from anywhere on the site.
This page of supposedly short reviews keeps getting longer, so there may be more pages. This page at this web address will then serve as the index, which will include longer reviews from this year, also.
Richland College's Photography Workshop in New Mexico with work by Jessica Woodward, Deborah Williams, Miguel Valles, Tambra Sanders, Elizzbeth Pecina, Rebecca Morgan, Devin McCullough, Sungjoon Koo, Mandy Keathley, Kelly Johnson, Andria Delgado, Brenda Cook, Mary Baker and instructors Roy Cirigliana and Wayne Loucas, in the Brazos (C140), June 15 through July 13
Koo's original didn't look much like the bright, contrasty print (scanned above) on the show's postcard invitation. It's dark, and in the opening night gallery light, low density. The Chama a bright path through a detailed but dull landscape, more subtle than startling. A fine photo, hardly needing exploitative beefing.
We hadn't been to a college show in too long. Quite the campus social affair, crowded. Darned few of the crowd old as us, except a few teachers. Lots of varied photographs around the room floating on the edge of Richland Creek.
Great munch and a marvelous fiddler in dark cowboy couture with lizard boots. A sweet western soundtrack.
Both our favorite was Wayne Loucas (he's the teacher, so it hardly seemed fair to have his work showing among students', but there it was)'s Black Dog, Cerillos, NM sepia print.
It, unfortunately had a glaring, space-occupying, image dominating 35mm border with sprocket holes, repeated Kodak logo and frame and half-frame numbers bold white on bold black frame all around it, fairly shouting, "I'm so cool; I'm not a digital print." A black silhouette, symbolic of anything dark and radiating. Its landscape a starburst of gravel off-kilter focusing on the featureless dark dog.
Outside The Lines with Claudia Caudill, J R Compton, Lori Ann Frazier, Nathaniel Glaspie, Bryan Gooding, Sarah Hauser, Ann Huey, Gerry Kano, Catherine Maratta, Melissa Marks, Jean Mccomas, Tina Blasa Medina, Carmelo Pampallona, David N. Rainey, Lynda Rhodes, Jennifer Spencer, John Spriggins, Jeff Whatley And Marco Zavala at the Bath House Cultural Center, through June 30
Don't know if I'll ever get around to writing about the rest of this show, but Kano's Cotton Candy photo was the best there. Sweet, with that wad of pink sugar so resembling a face replacing her real visage, hiding her identity, yet extending it.
That vivid, memory-laden hue a natural bridge from her lilac blouse to red hair. And all that cantilevered negative space darkness to set it off. A brave extrapolation from standard composition. A startling vision that smudges the edges of traditional photographic lines.
Almost directly across the hall from it, there's a collage of boards, called Panel Services zvl by Nathaniel Glaspie I liked enough to photograph and wish I could place here above this paragraph, but I managed to delete it, damn it. It another bleeding edger the jurors had the sense to select but not to prize.
I did not like what they prized top, and maybe they didn't either. Not one of the three jurors showed up at the awards presentation. When I co-jurred the show a couple years ago, neither of my compatriots did either. Nor did two of the three the year prior, when I netted an Honorable Mention.
Maybe that's another tradition at this supposedly tradition-expanding exhibition I may be too tied up into. Another line that needs outsiding. Like a judge who skips the sentencing, a juror who flees its awarding seems cowardly.
Kettle Art gallery owner Frank Campagna is a media hound. The time before this I read about him, he was whining to the City to give his Deep Elm commercial gallery additional real estate. That seemed excessive and aggressive, but as one who used to work my own bellicosity out in the media, I understand the sensation of entitlement.
If it had worked, which of course it didn't, I suppose we'd see Barry Whistler, Holly Johnson and other erstwhile gallerists jumping on the bandwagon. I mean, why should The City only give real estate to Frank Capagna?
Now, in a story on The Dallas Observer Blog UnFair Park, to which Mr. Campagna directed me with the suggestion, "Hi JR you may want to weigh in on this one..." unsigned, but with Frank's e-dress.
I did not wish to weigh in then, except to notify him via return email, not among the me-too responses on the blog, "Those city/real estate jackasses are hopeless. Seems only natural to have a foreigner do the re-de-gateway. Whaddya speck in Dollars, Taxes?"
Then, after slowly pulling my foot out of my mouth and engaging my mind instead, I began to consider what was going on. Probably why Frank assumed I'd be on his side in his little teapot tempest, is that I had waded in this murky situation on [The Art Opportunities] page when The City announced a competition to replace Frank's major achievement in a lifetime of skirmish controversies that has since been buried under dirt, re-chunked concrete and rebar.
Tunnel Vision was a noble experiment, a fun, if not always positive aesthetic experience which invited some local artists to cover the walls of the entrance to, the tunnel through and the exit back up to street level Good Lattimer on both sides, with paint. Each artist or team got similar square footage for whatever needed expressing.
There was no judgment. Anything went. Although in the judgment of many, there should have been more aesthetic consideration. Balancing major dips in visual intelligence, there were remarkable peaks. Many thought it was a mess. A visual travesty. I liked the notion but did not entirely endorse its lack of aesthetic guidance, although some especially awful pieces were eventually painted over. It evolved.
So Frank Campagna was one of the artists who submitted plans to redecorate "The Gateway to Deep Elm" in a City-Approved socio-economico-historico and maybe even aesthetic vision of that notion. Apparently he was not the one selected to execute the project. That honor went to a Canadian artist*, chosen by some official governmental committee.
As of June 21, Frank says, "the Canadian did not win nor did anyone else yet."
What earthly right does the art arm of the City of Dallas have to choose whose art is installed at a City-funded site? Yeah, well, duh.
And how dare they choose art for aesthetic value rather than political consideration? Which is what we all would rather have, of course. Right?
Wrong. The last thing I'd advocate is selection of public art perpetrators on the basis of politics. Frank's own tunnel vision leads him to believe only he can address this project's needs. The City Committee has deemed otherwise.
No artist likes not being selected as the winner. But we deal with it.
— J R Compton
This story is from our Art Opportunities page.
See also Feedback about the tunnel and the coming gateway on our Feedback page, where we've more recently posted Mr. Campagna's feedback about this article.
There's an Informative 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 late last winter.
24 Hr Art Blast noon Friday May 25 through noon Saturday May 26 will show work by the Contemporary members — in shifts. "It is an Art Party & Art Event with coffee throughout, and breakfast at 7."
The event was supposed to include a 24-Hour Online art exhibition (link finally correct) but as of 4:08 Friday afternoon, May 25 (the day it was supposed to begin), the page linked still only extended the entry deadline till May 10. By 11:12 Saturday morning, it did not exist at all, as if who's doing the site did not know you could leave a page at that address till they finished the new page, then load it over the previous one. For all its need to be called "The Contemp," that institution has yet to enter the Internet age.
Artists in the show reported that their pictures — the Contempt did not photograph work for their site, instead relying on the mixed abilities of exhibiting artists — were finally online and would be till August. Their art was there, finally, but names — if there even were any names associated with the images — were in the army-like, first-name last, last-name first confusion, no titles and no mediums or sizes. IDs for this the Contempt's first online show are a rude reminder of just how valued member artists — and their art — are to that institution.
For contrast, link to any of the DallasArtsRevue members from our Member Page Index. We don't got no fancy horizontal scrolling portfolio page, but we do honor the artists. Although we only put in each image once.
The Dallas Center for Contemporary Art originally planned to leave all members' work in this show online for just 24 hours, as if internet space were at a premium — DallasArtsRevue's first story from 1999 is still out there. We don't throw web pages away. But then we're a history channel. The Contempt is barely there one day at a time.
As of the day before, members "showing" at this "blast" were still confused when their work would appear. Indeed those who arrived on time to see their work in the second shift had to wait several hours more till the hanging crew rehung. Interesting concept badly implemented. Little attention to detail.
I already had deep misgivings about this show-in-shifts idiocy. Fun, fun, fun, yeah, well, maybe. It seemed like a lot of sound & furry in the hidden agenda pursuit of phasing DCCA membership shows out altogether.
If this event had been successful — and even though it has ingloriously failed, I wouldn't be surprised if next time, they put each piece up for twenty minutes. Wouldn't that be exciting? Call it The Amazing 20-minute Art Flash? Course we might have to wait a couple days between those 20-minute flashes.
More likely either the annual member show will disappear — or go strictly online, despite The Contempt's internet disability.
I'm certain that, despite what she says publicly, director Joan Davidow would love to eliminate the annual membership show altogether. Spend all her time on big time artists Girls/Guys from out of town (The dreaded BTAGsFooT syndrome I've long warned about). The board has insisted on keeping an annual physical member show. Not sure how long they can hang on to that dream.
"The Center" (what Joan called it throughout our interview two years ago, despite insisting everybody else call it "The Contemporary"), still needs members because collectors and big-ticket donors haven't picked up the slack. May never. Clearly, she does not want to do anything for local artists, except provide a gallery for contemporary art from elsewhere.
Before it was the Center for Contemporary Art, it was the Dallas Visual Art Center, and going back in time, D-Art and D'Art, whose original purpose was to show art by Dallas artists.
Read more about D-Art's early history
Clearly, however, nonprofit institutions' founding purposes are useful only for obtaining that all-important nonprofit tax status. Inevitably, once they get going, they jettison those lofty purposes with little worry about anyone enforcing their promises.
I hope the Dallas Center for Contemporary Art's board of directors will continue to insist upon an actual, physical annual membership exhibition, the institution's last vestige of that founding purpose.
On a lark, because we had an hour to spare — and were hungry, we visited the show around 5 Friday aft, and found it a pleasant show, with lots of inbetween space throughout the gallery. The sculpture they were still promoting in the "sculpture garden" had been there for months already, but the art inside was fresh, as was the sushi and the smallish crowd. We were too busy to go back for each of the subsequent shifts, but some of the lighting was already indifferent, and I suspect it only got worse in the inefficient rush. May 26 2007
Funny Stories and Absurdity at the Bath House with Elizabeth Amaro, Rita Barnard, Penelope Ann Bisbee, Kristine Byars, Jeff Cancelosi, Gabriele Castañeda Pruitt, Chris Cole, Kim Corbet, Ray-Mel Cornelius, Dan Dudley, Lori Dudley, Merry Fuhrer, María Teresa García Pedroche, Bryan Gooding, Niloo Halilvand, Juan J. Hernandez, Mirka Hokkanen, Ann Huey, Jeff Hukill, Cindy Kelley, Mark King, Evamaria Kutscheid, Jean McComas, Freddy McCoo, Julia McLain-Echols, Tina Medina, Elizabeth Mellot-Carreon, Sandra A. Moreno, Lupita Murillo-Tinnen, Sharon Neel-Bagley, Margaret Ratelle, Phil Roger, John Sealander, T. Stone, Jeanne Sturdevant, Chris Tinnen, Jose Vargas, Marilyn Waligore, Angilee Wilkerson, Kathy Windrow and Vladimir Zimakov through May 26
Not a great show exactly but one that meanders that vicinity. Lots to amuse, but darned few go as far as funny, though there's a smattering of both intelligent and idiot absurdity. Three umbrellas that don't work is probably two too many for any one show. Too, too many pieces are too dependent on stories posted. Almost always bad form to explain art with typewritten text.
Words in the art itself are as fair game as anything there, but tiny gray text on white flapping pages adjacent detracts from the direct visual experience. Either art is funny or it's not, and most of these image/story combos are too intricate to get as immediately as we get art.
As many have noted, if you have to explain art, it's already too late. Bryan Gooding's Drift is alive with texture, color and intricate with lush detail — I love the bubbles, and I have no idea only looking, what it's about, and it's not funny, but I don't care. It's fine.
A few others startle, amaze or delight, but the one that survives scrutiny is Ann Huey's simple, direct, cartoonish blue cold naked dream, about which there is no doubt
Earth & Sky - pastels by Josephine Oliver-Travis (1908-1991) at Valley House through May 5
"Josephine Oliver was born in Paris, Texas, in 1908, and moved with her family to Oak Cliff in 1911. In 1920, her family rented the main house on a property owned by Frank Reaugh, one of Texas’ most respected artists and teachers.
Reaugh quickly realized that 12-year-old Josephine Oliver had great potential as a fine artist and uncommon proficiency with the violin. She started taking art classes with Reaugh and in 1923, at 15 years of age, joined Reaugh and a group of his students on a month-long sketching trip to West Texas. Shortly thereafter, Oliver became Reaugh’s teaching assistant overseeing students who were expected to sketch up to 4 pastels a day on the expeditions.
By 1933, she had traveled to West Texas 8 times with Reaugh, sketching many of the region’s most scenic landmarks including Big Bend, Double Mountain, Tule Canyon, Blanco Canyon and Margaret’s Peak. On her last trip with Reaugh and company in 1933, she developed a friendship with Olin Travis, another well-established Dallas artist.
They were married two years later and Josephine turned her attention to the violin, eventually playing with the San Antonio, and then the Dallas Symphony Orchestras, until her retirement in the late 1970’s. She passed away in 1991 at 83 years of age." This exhibition travels to the Tyler Museum of Art from May 19 through August 19
When Valley House said there was a catalog, I told them I'd like to see it, and it's beautiful, but not as lovely as this remarkable show. Scrumptious long-term pastels by a woman who was dynamic and charming but who gave up her visual art to earn a living — she was also a superb violinist — for her and her famous Dallas artist husband, whom she was probably better than.
Reading her story, I keep getting lost in her delicious land- and flower-scapes that are wall to wall at Valley House only through May 5, then on to Tyler for a decent stay. Worth the trip to either.