+ Photographs by J R Compton
Summer Show — works by members of the
Dallas Center for Contemporary Art with works selected by
visiting curator Dana Fris-Hanset for
possible exhibition in the Hall Walls solo series at DCCD through
Dana Fris-Hanset & Joan
Davidow announce Hall
Wall Showing winners from on a short pedestal
Show was beautiful. Made me want to be a member of D-Art again.
Although I had to wonder what they did with all the less-than
art these shows usually dredge up.
time around, with my MAC membership expired six months ago, and
always with an eye (the left one) out for something new and/or
interesting — and especially hoping for further exhibition
possibilities, I chose the DCCA.
I "entered" this
show, wondering if there would be some sort of jurying.
dreaded being trapped in
yet another D-Art Membership Show, yet was intrigued by the
possibility of winning a Hallworks solo there — MAC shows
offer no such potential, although they have been featuring
more local shows lately, although perhaps due to budget restaints.
DCCA Member show's notices simply stated that "Dana
Fris-Hanset, Executive Director,
Austin Museum of Art will select five artists for 2005 Hallworks
have to admit it, I
also joined to shock my readers, perhaps
help them rethink the possibilities of this up and coming (after
25+ years) art center.
not as opposed to D-Art as I used to think I was, but I understand
its unpopularity in some quarters, for frankly good reasons.
frankly good reasons
because it is led by a single dreamer/schemer (the inimitable Joan
Davidow), I think the place has a
chance of becoming amazing, even
if it steps on some tender toes along the way.
this member show had been anything like the last one, I wanted
to be in it. If not, it'd all be a big mistake ...
Terry Hays - Swimming
with the Alligators, 2004
acrylic on wood
the crowd favorite, furious with tiny, detailed obsesso-compulsive
daubs, more people I spoke with cited this as their favorite
than any other.
it was a big mistake.
I'm glad I participated and that I made it to the pomp and circumstance
reception with the juror, with whom I differed on almost every
selection — although it was nice that several of his winners
were young artists.
truly fine, too, to visit with him each winning piece as he explained
the whys and wherefores of his choices.
happened last year to get only the better works of art in the Members
show, was not allowed to happen again this year.
year's show was elegant and serene and some sort of exquisite and
would have been an honor to be in. I had an especially strong piece
this time, and I was confident I could have made the cut.
there was no cutting.
year's open membership event was just the sort of exhibition an
intelligent, quality-minded art center director would prefer to
avoid while they worked toward making a high quality, regional
art center out of a sow's ear.
John Breazeal - The
Garden, 2004 - paint, shrink wrap
The juror joked about the possibilities of
this winner's solo Hall Wall floor show.
show includes a
lot of dreck. And, in the long tradition of D-Art Member Shows,
a lot of the dreck is dreadful. Not the sort of work serious
artists wish to be placed next to.
dreck is almost certainly not everybody else's dreck. In fact,
I expect my choices will always be minority reports.
among the pieces in this show was work that was lovely, strong,
forceful, exciting, joyous, philosophical, thoughtful, startling,
intriguing, envelope-pushing, amazing, etc.
Christian Clark - Untitled,
2004 - polymer clay
Almost life sized, this small piece was easy
to miss in the mellange of the member show.
because there's no filtering, this show and maybe The
Open Show at 500X are the best annual local opportunities
to find new talent — despite the shows that call themselves
still miss the real Critic's Choice show.
Having some bonafide critic select work for a solo showing in the
back hall based on a single entry is nothing like the fun of being
selected on the basis of three entries (almost a body of work)
for a much higher overall quality regional exhibition.
this uncompetitive show, photography shone well along the inside
front wall. I appreciated my own piece's placement. And Joan even
complemented it, which made me think I had a chance.
Margaret Ratelle - Still
Standing, 2004 - Spit Bite Etching
After two complete
walks through the crowded exhibition, this was the first
piece that stood out in my mind. I think I've seen it — and
admired it — before. It was placed near the front door,
so I'm not the only one who likes it. Simple, direct, textural,
did any of the pieces I took note. It was difficult to find anything
in the clutter. My usual fast marching up and down a gallery's
walls till I find something to catch my eye and stop my tracks
method did not work with this much uh... variety.
there's anything this show is known for, it's the full spectrum
of quality and style and media and everything else.
of The MAC tend to gather a more cohesive and higher overall quality
show in their annual exhibitions. But The Other Contemporary's
member show does not include as many exciting new and different
work as this one.
inherent in the anybody, anything, anyhow, theme-free openness, is
the potential for knock-em-dead new art and forms.
Catherine Siri Nugent - Carbonated
2004 - handcut diet soda bottles (detail)
Cited by one of the Hall Wall winners as the best
use of materials,
and a piece that makes one think about our plastic socieity of
no-cal, non nutritional value consumerism, this woven plastic
piece almost out obsessives the alligator totem.
Post Show Comments
In mid-August, after the show came down, when I went
to pick up my work, I was surprised to find no one there except
in one of the galleries. They gave me no attention.
The big gate I'd never noticed before was
down, blocking my way into the main hall to the galleries, so I
went around the back hall.
No one anywhere. No one watching over the piled up
art. No one checking off picked up art. No one to say hello to or
talk about other opportunities at the group I'd just rejoined after
a long time away.
picked up my piece — in the A-B file, not the C file where I'd
the entire let-down experience. Kinda bewildering for a new member
of a community organization.
It's as if no one really wanted me or my art there,
It's not a show one would want to steal anything from,
but if one had wanted to, it would have been simplicity itself.