This year, I traveled to many exhibitions and saw many places, some new and some familiar. There is always so much to take in, it can be a struggle to fit everything into a review. As we close out the year, I am taking a moment to post a few outtakes that didn’t make it to publication.
Andi Flores performed at the opening of Queer-ltura y Queerpo at the Latino Cultural Center in Dallas in June, bringing her absurdist performance to a North Texas audience. She wore a body-sized flesh suit in iridescent fabric, and vividly emoted to the song “What’s Up” by 4 Non Blondes while writhing on the floor. Flores continues to perform in Austin at locations such as the Museum of Human Achievement, but it was especially nice to see her perform for an art crowd in Dallas.
There are times spent on the road when America’s many flavors blend with the brashness of Texas. In July, Jessica Fuentes and I trekked across the entirety of the Texas Panhandle. Glasstire trips can be long, whirlwind excursions. It can be difficult to stop and smell the rest stop food. At a gas station just north of Lubbock, I saw the holy grail of foods: deep fried pizza. The signage transported me back to the Texas State Fair grounds, where one can contemplate ill-advised food options amidst butter sculptures, carnival rides, and Big Tex. I’ll take a stab and guess that this image was taken at Allsup’s Convenience Store in Hales Center, in case you’d like to try a bite.
I had no plans to visit Times Square this year, and was surprised to see this mod-style sign for the headquarters of the Times Record News, a local newspaper in Wichita Falls. As Jessica Fuentes and I drove from the city to Dallas, I did a double take. The sign overlooks Lamar Street, adjacent to the Kemp Center for the Arts, so it will catch your eye should you visit the Center sometime soon.
This year, Greg Meza brought artists from abroad to Dallas for exhibition opportunities. They were always a delight, and I have to commend him for his good taste. Here, he is seen with Benjamin Scott before the opening night of his exhibition Contemporary Musical Life at PRP in West Dallas. Greg was wearing an F Magazine shirt, which I spotted several times this year across Texas. If you see someone wearing one, they are an art fan, and a friend.
Casey Callahan of Omaha, Nebraska taught me in a few short hours what it is like to be Nebraskan. There are the worries about the rains, the snow, and the subzero temperatures. She had an air so familiar: that of a young artist making sense of the world. My Texas plates must have turned heads as I drove us to dinner to discuss the state of the arts in Omaha. It is so necessary every once in a while to leave the Lone Star State to get fresh perspective on what artist life is like elsewhere. Over dinner, Callahan and I discussed the nitty gritty of thinking about an artist’s next move: where their studio will be, what kind of space is appropriate for their upcoming exhibition, and just how cold winter is going to get. Meeting new artists across the country is always a rewarding experience.
Jessica Ninci’s exhibition Window Shopping, at 2510 Market Street in Galveston, was an example of two things I love: facsimile artworks of other works, and mixed media painting. Ninci crafted recreations of tchotchkes she sourced locally out of clay, and then painted them to look like their reference materials. Books, a buoy, and seashells were all seen in this window display, on view during the day and night. There is also an accompanying catalog of the exhibition printed via risograph, with the assistance of local printer Dan Schmahl, which is an excellent addition to any art book collection.
The installation inside of Hollywood Candy in Omaha, Nebraska (which is just a couple minutes by foot from Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts) could be seen as an exhibition of the banalities of Americana, or perhaps as a free experiential installation subsidized by the sale of candy. At this point, I have too many pens, a byproduct of traveling a lot and acquiring pens to keep the flow of writing going. The store has the kind of kitschy malt-shoppe nostalgia for 1950s America. Among Omaha’s many qualities, a centering in American hegemony is among the most prevalent.
Morgan Kuster: rAt TraFfic at Invisible Genie was a delight to see this summer. Along with works that are designed digitally, Kuster has developed a figure which could appear as a character (a cartoon rodent with emphasized ears and teeth), but the many iterations of this design forgo any stable presentation. Especially elating is the drawing: gestures in ink marker compete for attention while managing to hold together some semblance of a form. Invisible Genie is a lovely local art space in Amarillo which must be seen.
Bottomland at Sweet Pass sculpture park activated place by engaging with the earth beneath it. Sweet Pass Sculpture Park pulled off something that would be challenging for even a storied institution: a full-scale fellowship exhibition which they operated from jury to closing. Hélène Schlumberger’s The Approach, The Descent, The Hole, The Climb, The View, seen here, was an experiential work as well as an open inquiry into memorial making. This collection of new work by a mix of Texas artists and artists from abroad was a welcome, reverential exploration of how Dallas fits into the world.
William Sarradet is the Assistant Editor for Glasstire.