Dallas Museum of Art Acquires Works by Eight Texas Artists

by Jessica Fuentes January 15, 2022

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.   

A rectangular painting with a warm red-orange background. On the left side of the painting are six individual flower petals placed vertically and also in hues of red, orange, and yellow. Toward the bottom of the painting, and in front of the petals is an organic shape with texture similar to a rock painted in light pink and purple hues. Artwork by Anna Membrino.

Anna Membrino, “Spall,” 2020, Oil and acrylic on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Charron and Peter Denker Contemporary Texas Art Fund, 2021.20 Image courtesy of Erin Cluley Gallery.

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.”

A painted portrait of a female laborer picking apples. She is dressed in a long sleeve shirt and wears a hat and scarf. Her hand is bandaged and appears to be bleeding. She holds a woven basket filled with green apples. Behind her are tree branches filled with green apples. Artwork by Arely Morales.

Arely Morales, “María,” 2017, Oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art,
Charron and Peter Denker Contemporary Texas Art Fund. Image courtesy of Talley Dunn Gallery.

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.

A photograph of a ceramic art installation. On a white table top, an owl sits surrounded by five small ceramic pieces that resemble a combination of talons and human ears. The owl's feathers are white, its talons are gray, and its beak and the areas surrounding its eyes are black. The eyes have been painted to look like human eyes and blue paint resembling tears drip down its face. Its chest and lower abdomen have spots of pink paint that also drip down its torso. Artwork by Margaret Meehan.

Margaret Meehan, “Sad Songs Say So Much,” 2020, Terracotta, porcelain, and magazine collage, 15 x 22 x 16 Inches, Image courtesy of Conduit 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.”

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