Dallas’ (Actual) Original Mascot Returns to Downtown


The 2000 replacement, soon to be joined nearby by the original.

The giant rotating red Pegasus sign at the top of the Magnolia Hotel in downtown Dallas is the second one to fly in that spot; the first one, installed in 1934, was retired in 1999 and has since moldered away in a couple of different storage sheds until developer Jack Matthews and the late Jeff West decided to track it down in 2012 (they did) and refurbish it to the tune of $200,000.

The dimming, two-sided original was replaced atop the Magnolia Building (once the headquarters of Magnolia Petroleum–later Mobil Oil–and  in its day the highest skyscraper in town) with a brighter, shinier version in 2000, which is still in action. But finding the (appx) 40 x 40 foot original, restoring it and reinstating it downtown, this time on top of a 60-ish-foot high platform in front of the Omni Hotel, sounds just fine to us. It’s being installed over the next couple of weeks. The more Pegasuses (Pegasi? Pegusea?) around here, the merrier.



DMA’s New Art Ball Video More Flat Than Funky

The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) held its Art Ball fundraiser this weekend and, like it has in previous years, presented a parody video, chock full of DMA staff and supporters with cheesy product placements.

The 2013 video, “Downtown Artsy,” worked so well because the cast seemed to have a hilarious self-awareness of their own status as “gentry” allowing “the people” into the museum. (The DMA had recently announced its free admission/free membership policy.) The abundance of Art Ball sponsor product placements was so entertaining because of the anachronistic location in the pseudo Downton Abbey setting.

The DMA 2015 Artball Funk video (posted below), though, has none of that same cheekiness. It has a similar (and larger?) cast of rich Dallasites in a remake of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” and it comes off as geekier and unsettlingly embarrassing. Dallas socialites can only pull off so much funkiness and the product placements were just products placements. D Magazine’s Peter Simek agrees, adding, “as the DMA’s media relations will surely remind me, I am certainly not in the video’s target audience.”

Still, if you know the cast of characters and would like to rate their funkiness, that could be fun. And there are shots of Max Anderson in hair rollers!



Lawndale Art Center Announces Interim Executive Director

Denise FurloughLawndale Art Center has appointed Denise Furlough, currently Vice Chair of their Board of Directors, as Interim Executive Director. Furlough will begin serving in April, in advance of Executive Director Christine West’s departure in May. Furlough has been involved with Lawndale since 2008. Her areas of focus include fundraising, strategic planning, financial management, securing major gifts, proposal writing and public and media relations.

Currently, Furlough is a member of the Greater Houston Partnership Women’s Leadership Committee and Recording Secretary for The Twelve Days of Christmas, Inc. Houston Chapter. She is an inaugural board member of Houston Zoo’s Flock Young Professional Group and the John P. McGovern Health Museum’s Professional Circle. Furlough attended Oklahoma State University and is a graduate of Langston University with a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism with a double minor in English and Psychology.

Lawndale’s Board of Directors also announced some new members: Loren McCray is currently employed at Shell Global Commercial division as the Brand Manager of Jiffy Lube. She first came to know Lawndale as a Rice MBA Board Fellows Participant in 2010.

New members serving on the Programming Committee are artists Michael Bise, Chris Cascio, Lily-Cox Richard and Emily Peacock, and arts administrator and author Pete Gershon. Lawndale’s Programming Committee makes up one-third of the organization’s board and is responsible for the selection of exhibitions through a free open-call for proposals.

Houston Art League Announces 2015 Texas Artists, Patron of the Year

The Art League Houston has announced it’s honorees for its 2015 artist, patron and lifetime achievement awards.

Blakemore-PamAmy Blakemore is ALH’s artist of the year. Blakemore’s subtly curious snapshots, taken with a variety of funky film cameras and processed and printed by hand, cast a surreal but deeply humanistic eye on seemingly mundane situations and people. Blakemore has exhibited her photographs throughout Texas and internationally for the last thirty years, including participating in the 2006 Whitney Biennial. she is currently head of the photography department at The Museum of Fine Arts’ Glassell School.

forrest prince_repentForrest Prince was selected for ALH’s Lifetime Achievement in the Arts award. For more than forty years, his intense, didactic constructions have projected his idiosyncratic message of clean living and universal love.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker is to be this year’s Texas Patron of the Year. Aaron Reimer, President, ALH’s Board of Directors, said, “Mayor Annise Parker has done more for the arts than any mayor in Houston’s history.”

In 1983, The Art League Houston created the Texas Artist of the Year award in 1983. To date, thirty-one artists have been honored. In 1989, the Art League added a Texas Patron of the Year award for people whose efforts have helped advance the work of Texas artists. In 2013, on the the 30th Anniversary of its Texas Artist of the Year award, Art League Houston established the biennial Lifetime Achievement Award in the Visual Arts. The first recipient was Kermit Oliver.

Janine Antoni Lecture at UTA Later this Month

Janine Antoni UTA 4-27-2015The ever-interesting international art star Janine Antoni is coming to the University of Texas at Arlington on April 27 to give a public lecture (and to lead an MFA workshop). Those of you who’ve toured Rachofsky’s collection in Dallas should be somewhat familiar with her work–he’s clearly a fan; the Bahamas-born artist is well-known for her sculpture, performance and process art. She received a MacArthur fellowship in 1998.

The lecture will take place on Monday, April 27 at 7 p.m. in Room 148 of the Fine Arts Building, 502 South Cooper Street, Arlington. Just before the lecture is a brief reception (6:30).  This lecture is free and open to the public.

Update: The reception is now slated to begin at 6 p.m.

Free Bruguera! Dallas Museums to Re-stage Tatlin’s Whisper #6 on Monday

brugueraOn Monday, April 13, from 12:30-2PM, three Dallas museums have gotten together to re-stage Cuban artist Tania Bruguera’s participatory artwork, Tatlin’s Whisper #6, which allows members of the general public to come forward and speak freely for one minute about aspirations or politics. The event will be staged on Flora Street in front of the Nasher Sculpture Center.

Bruguera herself will not attend: she was arrested last December when she staged the performance in in Havana’s Revolution Square in her native Cuba, and the Cuban Government has branded her a “counter revolutionary.” It seems unlikely that participants in the upcoming Dallas event will face similar sanctions.

The Dallas staging of Tatlin’s Whisper, collectively sponsored by the Nasher, the Crow Collection, and the Dallas Museum of Art, is part of a nationwide show of solidarity: museums across the country will be re-staging the performative piece. MoMA, the New Museum, the Queens Museum, and the Hammer Museum are among the participating institutions, and Creative Time will re-stage the work in Times Square’s Duffy Square.

Dallas: Art and Champagne, FW: Art and Funnel Cakes

Photo via by Brian Luenser via Texas Meetings and Events

Photo via by Brian Luenser via Texas Meetings and Events

The Dallas Art Fair starts up tonight with its Preview Gala Event at the Fashion Industry Gallery from 7-10pm. It benefits the DMA, the Nasher, and the Dallas Contemporary so, if you’re rich (or if you can scoop up a free pass), go party and look at some art. Otherwise, you can still check it out all day Friday through Sunday.

If you’d rather stay in your shorts and look at art while eating a jumbo corn dog, scoot on over to Fort Worth for the Main Street Arts Festival, billed thusly: “The largest four-day event in the southwest brings the finest in art, music, food and culture together in an incredible urban setting.” In addition to tons of food and three stages of performers, there will be booths of 215 artists (selected from 1400 applicants). There is a full list of participating artists on the festival’s art page, as well as practical “Collecting Tips” for potential buyers. The festival starts this morning at 10am and lasts through Sunday night.

…And the 1990s Are Coming BACK to Texas


“Ginger Kittens,” an installation by Diana Thater, 1994

Ah, the ever-shortening nostalgia cycle. No sooner have we gotten a big 1980s museum show out of our Texas blood and now here comes the touring exhibition, Come As You Are: Art of the 1990s, to the Blanton in Austin in early 2016. Come As You Are originated at the Montclair Art Museum in New Jersey under the curatorial direction of MAM’s Alexandra Schwartz, and is on display there now.

You can guess some of the major players in the show: Matthew Barney, Doug Aitken, Felix Gonzales-Torres, Elizabeth Peyton, Ellen Gallagher, et. al. (actually about 40 others. Frankly, this work does not feel old enough to historicize but the wheels keep turning). According to the Blanton, the is “the first major American museum survey to historicize the art of this pivotal decade,” though NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star took place at  the New Museum in NYC in 2013 and covered some of the same ground, and Helter Skelter: L.A. Art in the ’90s took place at LA MoCA in the actual ’90s. Etc. Nonetheless, there are some good names here. It opens at the Blanton in February 2016 and runs through part of May of that year.



Busy Art Car Weekend Begins with Some Sad News

Young_sunflowerThis year’s Art Car Parade kicks off tomorrow morning (9am-1pm) with its Main Street Drag, allowing those that may be unable to attend Saturday’s parade an opportunity to preview some of the participating Art Cars and meet with the artists. This year, the Main Street Drag will run along four routes throughout Houston, starting from Memorial Park and stopping at schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and other locations.

On Thursday evening, Houston’s Discovery Green will host a Sneak Peak (6-10pm) of some of the cars, with a free performance by Aaron Neville. For those who want to shell out $25-30, the Art Car Ball takes place Friday night (6-11pm) at the Allen Center. The main event, the Art Car Parade, is Saturday (2pm), rain or shine. On Sunday (11am-2pm), the Orange Show will host the Awards Ceremony Brunch, open to all participants and their families.

On a sad note, the Artcar Nation website reports this morning that Sunflower Car artist Tim Young (pictured above in 2004) has died. The cause of death is not yet certain, but likely connected to a 2009 accident which left him paralyzed. He is survived by his wife Diane Iannucci. Artcar Nation suggests that Art Car participants and visitors wear a sunflower on their lapels or cars this weekend in his memory.

Quick Roundup of Very Varied Press on Dallas’ Art Week

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As we head into the primary art week in DFW anchored by the Dallas Art Fair, let us direct your attention to some local and national write-ups/musings on the season that offer some wildly different viewpoints on whether Dallas deserves the associations that go with terms like  “cultural center” or “cultural capital.”

Peter Simek for D Magazine’s Front Row.

Scott Indrisek for Modern Painters.

Astyaj Ghassemi for Artnet News. (This one is unintentionally funny.)

Rozalia Jovanovic for Artnet News.

Michael Granberry for The Dallas Morning News.

There’s more out there. (Feel free to post links in the comments as you stumble across them.) We’re off to look at some art now!




Artist Richard Phillips Named to Dallas Contemporary Board

PhillipsYesterday, the Dallas Contemporary announced that Pop artist Richard Phillips will be joining its board of directors. The New York artist has much history with the city and the museum. Phillips, who may be best known by Texans as the “Playboy Marfa” guy, has participated in a number of fundraisers for the Dallas Contemporary and, last year, he presented his solo exhibition Richard Phillips: Negation of the Universe at the museum.

“We welcome Richard as a new board member during our growth in this important contemporary arts city,” said Executive Director Peter Doroshenko. “His insight as an artist and his international perspective will be very beneficial.”

(Photo: Richard Phillips/Tumblr)

Heads Up, Emerging Artists of All Ages: Joan Mitchell Foundation Opens Up its Grant Options


The foundation’s namesake in her studio, 1957.

Up until two years ago, the national Joan Mitchell Foundation‘s primary grant for emerging artists was through its MFA Grant Program. In recognition of the homogeneity within such programs, the foundation has scrapped that grant plan and started over with a new initiative.

The Emerging Artist Grant Program, in its pilot year, will “award a diverse group of ten artists with an unrestricted grant of $12,000 per artist in addition to professional support throughout the year.” The foundation continues, “We will thoughtfully engage a broad group of emerging artists and prioritize diversity in all areas, including artistic practice, geographic location, gender, age, background, socio-economic level, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and all levels of educational attainment.” And there’s no age cut-off. The foundation will locate nominators nationally and an independent jury will go from there.

For more info, please go here.

Kimbell Curator Plucked by National Gallery of Art

dickerson1C.D. Dickerson, curator of European Art at the Kimbell Art Museum, has been named curator and head of sculpture and decorative arts at the National Gallery of Art, Washington. The Washington Post reports that Dickerson will assume his position, overseeing a collection of some 3,526 works of European and American sculpture, decorative arts, and medals, along with the associated exhibition program, on July 27.

Dickerson came to the Kimbell as associate curator in 2007 and became curator of European art two years later. He contributed to many exhibitions at the Kimbell, perhaps most notably to Bernini: Sculpting in Clay in 2012‒2013, of which Scott Cantrell of the Dallas Morning News wrote, “This first-ever comprehensive show of these models is a triumph for Kimbell curator C.D. Dickerson.” For those who think those internships don’t pay off—think again; Dickerson interned at the National Gallery 2004-2005. The National Gallery’s director states, “He has a great familiarity with our collection and brings fresh insights to exhibitions, acquisitions, and presentation of the art.”

At age 39, Dickerson is the youngest full-time curator in the National Gallery’s history.

Breaking: Crane Falls onto the DMA (will update)



photo via Dallas Morning News

photo via Dallas Morning News

Via the DMN: a crane fell over onto the roof of the Dallas Museum of Art around 9:30 am today, on the south lawn (narrowly missing the di Suvero); no art was damaged, though the crane operator was injured and taken to Baylor Medical Center.  The crane was being used to set up a tent for an upcoming event here in the midst of many, many art-related events in Dallas the coming week. The event, the Art Ball, is a big fundraiser for the museum and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

BIG News: Nasher Announces Massive Annual Art Prize

J2AUPmi_zSwaxUAwzrfSbY8h8gY7oJXLhQcjpD_WlrkExciting news. Today the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas held a press event to announce its new International Nasher Prize for Sculpture. Each year it will present the award to “a living artist in recognition of a significant body of work that has had an extraordinary impact on the understanding of the art form.”  The award includes a $100,000 prize.

For this inaugural year, the winner will be announced in the fall of 2015 and the prize will be awarded in the spring of 2016. This year’s heavy-hitter jury includes, as follows via the Nasher:

“Phyllida Barlow, artist; Lynne Cooke, Senior Curator of Special Projects in Modern Art, National Gallery of Art; Okwui Enwezor, Director, Haus der Kunst; Yuko Hasegawa, Chief Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (MOT); Steven Nash, founding Director of the Nasher Sculpture Center and Director Emeritus of the Palm Springs Art Museum; Alexander Potts, art historian; and Sir Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate.” Also: “The jury will evaluate nominations submitted by a larger group of their peers in a process moderated by Nasher Director Jeremy Strick.”

Our understanding of this initiative is that the award will consider the biggest names in sculpture (speculating, but on the level of Serra, Kapoor, et. al). Certainly the Nasher Prize and its attendant international press and events around it will further boost the profile of the city and region.

For more info, please go here.

Finally!!! Straight White Male Artists Get Their Due!

Alienated art viewers? Or special docents desperate to share their feelings? Photo by Benjamin Sutton for Hyperallergic.)

Alienated art viewers? Or special docents desperate to share their feelings? Photo by Benjamin Sutton for Hyperallergic.)

Hyperallergic reported yesterday that the Brooklyn Museum is launching White Male History Month in April, following Black History Month in February and Women’s History Month in March. Seemingly organized at the last moment, the only programs yet planned are closing the current Kehinde Wiley exhibition more than a month early and replacing it with a survey of artwork by white males over the centuries. “We thought it would be difficult to come up with enough work from our various collections to pull off the show in such a short time,” stated the managing curator of exhibitions, “but it was remarkably easy.”

The museum also plans to hire special docents for the month, who will be on hand to answer any questions visitors might have about what it’s like to be a white male. The online arts journal quoted outgoing Museum Director Arnold Lehman as saying, “The Brooklyn Museum has long been a leader when it comes to inclusion and diversity, and we intend to stay at the forefront.”

Then again, yesterday was April 1st and the article was tagged as “April Fools” and “LOL.” Good one, Hrag!

Slideluck: Art+Community Event Returns to Dallas

Slideluck-Dallas-Thorne-Anderson-6-950x633Fifteen-year-old non-profit outfit Slideluck, which started in Seattle and is now based in NYC, is a combo art slideshow/potluck dinner that franchises its concept to cities all over the world. It’s essentially a community building exercise. Thus far in Texas, Austin and Dallas have held a few Slideluck gatherings and Dallas’ second round will take place outdoors Saturday, April 11 in Annette Strauss Square from 7-11 p.m. Though submissions by local artists closed ten days ago, this iteration is curated by Leigh Arnold, the Nasher’s assistant curator.

My sense of this event is that it’s open to the public, anyone can bring homemade food to share, and there will be a some time set aside to watch a giant slideshow consisting of pictures of several dozen local artists’ work (as well as short videos). For more info, go here.

SAMA Has Room to Grow Thanks to Huge Land Gift

SAMAThe San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) is receiving a big gift of 3.5 acres of real estate, reports W. Scott Bailey of the San Antonio Business Journal. The space is approximately half of the real estate CPS Energy currently controls on Jones Avenue between SAMA and Camden Street. Although it remains unclear what will become of the other half of the space, SAMA Director Katie Luber told Bailey, “We are thrilled to get half of it.”

The museum plans to operate its administrative offices out of the old space and use the new space for its growing collection and increased programming. “This is a fantastic opportunity because we are so short on space,” stated Luber, adding that she is not sure when SAMA will take control of the new real estate, located near a redeveloped portion of the San Antonio River.