The Ten Best Contemporary Art Galleries in Dallas

by Bill Davenport March 24, 2013

As part of their “Best of Everything Series” Culturemap got contributor Kendall Morgan to list the ten best contemporary art galleries in Dallas; despite having “recently returned to Texas after a decade working in marketing and advertising in New York,” Morgan’s list isn’t too bad: long-established commercial galleries, Barry Whistler, Conduit, Talley Dunn, and Marty Walker; a couple relative newcomers, Cris Worley and Oliver Francis; two nonprofits, 500X and CentralTrak; Karen Weiner’s Reading Room, somewhere in between; and only one odd choice, at the end of her list: Valley House Gallery.  Maybe it’s a Google thing: a search for “Best Gallery in Dallas” turns of Valley House at the top of the results.

Top search result, also featured ad, hmm . . .

Top search result, also featured ad, hmm . . .

If you count them as a galleries, rather than as artists (who can tell these days?!) I’d add fly-by night collective Homecoming Committee, and curator-artist-instigator Cynthia Mulcahy to the list, along with occasionally brilliant spaces like Kirk Hopper, Ro2 art in its various manifestations, Photographs Do Not Bend, The Dallas Contemporary (mind the plastic surgery!), El Centro College’s H. Paxton Moore Gallery, under the direction of Plush founder Randall Garrett, and others, but I guess the trick is limiting it to ten . . .


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spelling March 24, 2013 - 22:26

*CentralTrak, Karen Weiner

Bill Davenport March 25, 2013 - 08:25


Arthur Peña March 25, 2013 - 13:26

hi……so, i love all of these people and i also think that the vogel’s do offer something specific to the dallas arts community, as im sure we all know. the issue that i have isn’t with the spaces mentioned but with the notion that we need a top ten list to inform the public of these amazing spaces. instead, can we simply say, “these places are awesome, culturally relevant to the dallas community and you should visit all of them.” obviously, a list form is inevitable and intrinsic to discussing anything in multitude but this idea cultivates exclusivity, the last thing dallas needs more of. ill start over by adding to this “list.”
*clears throat*
hi everybody! did you know dallas is amazing and full of highly motivated, super smart, extremely welcoming and critically engaged art spaces? here are some spaces you should go to after you get your mimosa buzz on after brunch or before you dance your ass off to 80s music at the ruby room.
*re gallery + studio & homeland security- two galleries for the price of one. located in the cedars and right next to lee harveys, this compound of creativity are literally houses that have been sacrificed to the art gods. the wonderful wanda dye runs re and lives in the back of her re-purposed home. eli walker and kelly kroener of the scab collective offer their home up as well to bring to us national painting shows and performances. go see them.
*not that im one to push dragon st. but 2 new galleries just celebrated their 1 year anniversary. red arrow contemporary, run by elissa and erin stafford, and circuit 12, operated by the super cool dustin and gina orlando, offer up a fresh vibe to the sometimes lagging design district. have you seen these 2 young galleries? are you interested in keeping new blood pumping on dragon street? great, me too. lets go together!
*why the hell is the goss michael foundation not mentioned? are we assuming that everyone knows about it? that’s not nice. giving their charitable program that offers scholarships to students, gmf should constantly be mentioned as a go to. also, gmf has recently been keeping up with the dallas community by offering workshops with dallas based and national artists, the most recent with andrew blanton, who currently has a solo show up at oliver francis gallery. and speaking of ofg, gmf was smart enough to hand over the well earned title of assistant curator to mr. kevin ruben jacobs. things are about to get werid…thats awesome.
*lastly, the powerstation is literally right down the street from the reading room and central trak. simply said, there is no other space like it here. but ive already said this:
hope to see you at ALL of these amazing gifts to this wonderful place that we occupy


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