A Sense of Place: Recent Exhibitions in Dallas and Galveston

by William Sarradet May 24, 2024
A brown horse stands in the center of the frame, behind a wire fence, benearth a blue sky with some clouds overhead.

Alan Govenar, “Horse farm, Teague, July 4, 2022.”

A hand-painted, sun-faded sign stands in a field of grass that reads, "LOVE THE LAME BLIND"

Alan Govenar, “Signage for The Church at Texas, Ferris, April 30, 2023.”

Seeing a World Blind Lemon Never Saw, Photographs by Alan Govenar at the African American Museum, Dallas, November 9, 2023 – May 30, 2024

Alan Govenar’s current exhibition at the African American Museum offers a unique perspective on Dallas, immortalizing its hidden landscapes and forgotten histories through the lens of photography. Rather than make a direct comparison to the growth of urban development in the city of Dallas, Govenar’s photographs capture the sublime in the ordinary, revealing the pristine beauty of the city’s uncharted territories.

At the heart of the exhibition lies the legacy of Blind Lemon Jefferson, a traveling musician who made his way to Dallas by 1911. Govenar’s modern-day exploration of Freestone County in North Texas, where Jefferson was born, illustrates how much things have changed since the famous blues musician’s heyday. Through meticulous research and photography, Govenar brings to light the hidden stories and rural outposts that depict Jefferson’s origins, before he was a fixture of Dallas’s rich cultural tapestry.

Accompanied by insightful wall labels, Govenar’s photographs offer a window into the past, illuminating the places and people that have left their mark on the city. From the quiet solitude of country roads to the bustling energy of city streets, each image invites us to contemplate the complexities of Dallas’s cultural history and the enduring legacy of those who came before us.

Don’t miss this opportunity to experience Dallas through a new lens at the African American Museum, where Govenar’s evocative photographs offer a fresh perspective on the city’s past, present, and future.


A fabric certificate with machine embroidered awards attached to the bottom

Annie Arnold, “Certificate of Achievement [travel, dolphins],” 2024, embroidery thread, embroidered patches, ribbon, and trim on canvas

A fabric certificate with machine embroidered awards attached to the bottom

Annie Arnold, “Certificate of Achievement [travel, Milan, Tokyo],” 2024, embroidery thread, embroidered patches, ribbon, and trim on canvas

Annie Arnold: Tourist, Tour-est at the Galveston Arts Center, March 2 – May 26, 2024

Annie Arnold’s exhibition, Tourist, Tour-est, at the Galveston Arts Center offers a witty exploration of our current travel culture. Through embroidered works on canvas and a captivating slideshow, Arnold humorously considers the influence of social media and the attention economy on how we approach and document our journeys.

In this new body of work, Arnold cleverly cross-stitches found text from aspirational globetrotting experiences, presenting them as homemade diplomas and certificates on raw, unstretched canvas, with trim reminiscent of varsity letter jackets. Arnold playfully explores ideas of credentials and accolades, highlighting the competitive nature of our conversations about travel.

The exhibition also features a series of new merit badges, which Arnold designed, that function as embroidered patches based on people’s social media posts. These badges reflect the desire for recognition and validation in our online lives, with a brilliance that can only be achieved through thread.

Accompanying the embroidered works is a curated slideshow of Instagram pictures posted by travelers visiting pyramids in Egypt, echoing the nearby Moody Gardens in Galveston. Drawing parallels between traditional vacation slideshows and the voyeuristic nature of social media, Arnold’s slideshow reflects on novelty, self-expression, and the evolution of amateur photography.

William Sarradet is the Assistant Editor for Glasstire.

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