As part of their ongoing collecting practice of supporting local and regional artists, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) acquired works by eight Texas artists in 2021. The group of artists includes individuals currently living in the region, such as Ivonne Acero, Kaleta Doolin, Sam Gummelt, Anna Membrino, Arely Morales, Kazuya Sakai, and Danny Williams, along with an additional artist who has deep roots in the area — Margaret Meehan.
Anna Membrino draws inspiration from natural elements, including plants, rocks, colors associated with seasons, and light. Her paintings have a surreal quality, as she combines familiar shapes and forms in unexpected ways. She is represented by Erin Cluley Gallery in Dallas. In a press release, Ms. Cluley stated, “We are thrilled to have the support of the Dallas Museum of Art. Spall is a beautiful example of Anna Memrino’s work and we are proud that it will be in the permanent collection alongside so many great artists.”
Arely Morales’ work centers the Latino immigrant community in the United States. Born in Mexico, Morales immigrated to the U.S. as a teen. Her work is deeply personal and seeks to bring to light the humanity of people whose experiences are often invisible or seen through a politically charged lens. The DMA has acquired the artist’s 65 1/2 by 60-inch oil on canvas painting, María, of a woman laborer picking apples. The acquisition was made possible through the Charron and Peter Denker Contemporary Texas Art Fund. Morales is currently an adjunct professor at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, and a visiting lecturer for the University of Washington. She is represented by Talley Dunn Gallery.
Margaret Meehan, a longtime Texas artist, curator, and professor, relocated to Virginia in 2017. She continues to be connected with the Texas art scene and is represented by Conduit Gallery. Her research-based work is informed by film, music, popular culture, folklore, and traditional craft. Specifically, through a variety of media, she explores how society characterizes those seen as “others” as monsters. The DMA has acquired Sad Songs Say So Much, a 2020 sculpture the artist created in the midst of the extreme isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This work was part of Meehan’s 2021 solo exhibition After Laughter at Conduit Gallery. In a press release, the gallery acknowledged the benefactors who contributed to the acquisition: “Rodney and Stacey Rogers, Michael Wynne and Betsy Carter, John Reoch and Karen Cowden, and one anonymous donor.”