Art Dirt: Is It Time for Texas Art to Get Hyperlocal?

by Glasstire April 26, 2020
Dallas Texas HOMECOMING! Committee art collective

HOMECOMING! Committee, 2013

Brandon Zech and Christina Rees take an optimistic view of a more collaborative future for Texas art, artists, and institutions, and their more appreciative audiences.

“There’s a lot of sweat equity that artists are willing to put into their own shows if you give them the space in a museum.”

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Related Reading:
Looking for Texas Art in Texas
Where is Our Made in LA?
An Open Letter to the Other 49 States
Context is everything: on bumping into art in small town TX


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Patrick Kelly April 28, 2020 - 10:02

Thank you for mentioning small and medium size institutions that champion and exhibit Texas artists and their work…the Old Jail Art Center has been doing this for 40 years now. In 2008 the OJAC began the “Cell Series” that focused even more on contemporary artists. A large portion of its success has been Glasstire’s recognition of the series. Encouraging art viewers to travel hours in order to visit rural museums often requires a concerted effort. Thank you Glasstire for your contribution.

Arthur Peña April 28, 2020 - 12:00

I appreciate Glasstire’s consistent belief in the potential for local empowerment. I’m not going to rundown my own record of involvement in the Dallas art community (even from afar) so I’ll just say that I have “experience”. BUT this conversation is ever present and seemingly the same as when I returned to Dallas in 2012. Remember ALL of the panels that covered (mostly) this same topic? I understand the circumstances have (in)definitely changed but it still and will always come down to financial support for a scene/community to thrive and break down the “local” barrier. The board of these institutions are making these decisions. Let’s not forget that Boom Town, the DMA exhibition you all mentioned and that I was a part of, was aligned with a broader presentation of the history of Dallas. It was not a stand alone exhibit that simply presented notable artists to stand on their own. Anyway, not going down that rabbit hole, but simply pointing out that IF all board members can see the talent in their own town AND collected these artists, things might be different.

On a different note, Christina, something that is practical and being overlooked with the hopes of unused buildings being used for art exhibitions (again, something I know a little bit about) is INSURANCE. Under no circumstance can I envision a building owner pre and especially post pandemic offering a building without event insurance. It was hard and expensive enough before, I can’t imagine what financial costs it would take to allow this to happen now. ALSO, Don’t think for a second that the Fire Marshal is done shutting down culture in Dallas, because they are STILL imposing “code” enforcement and will continue to regulate the DIY spirit of the city.


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