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 Raynette + Vernon Do Dada

Raynette pointing at Dallas art

JR has been looking for contributing writers for a long time to relieve his writing burden on DARts. We got this letter and photos last week from Raynette Burgess in Slidell, Texas. She and her husband had come up to Dallas for the DADA Walk, and because they visited galleries we missed, we are sharing her letter and photos.

Hi, y'all!

ernon drove us up to Dallas last weekend for that DADA Art Walk to look for some art to buy. Ever since I started watching Trading Spaces on satellite TV, I've been interested in art. Vernon says he's sorry he and his buddy, Jerry Wayne, ever found that satellite dish one night when they were getting messed up, but I think Vernon and I need to expand ourselves.

Photograph by Vernon of Dallas art

I took these pictures of our favorite paintings and sculptures just like ya'll do. Vernon got five of those little throw away cameras at K-Mart's going out of business sale. Some of the photos came out kind of dark cause not all the cameras had flashes, but ya'll can get the idea.

We went directly to Pillsbury Peters Gallery first, cause they had four shows going on at once, and Vernon figured they'd have the best selection. Vernon likes landscapes, but there were none there this time, and Julie Speed's pictures of people with three eyes and burning hair almost did Vernon in before we got started.

managed to find Mr. Pillsbury himself and explain that we wanted to buy something. I think Vernon and Ted (Mr. Pillsbury) started to bond because when Vernon took him aside, Ted followed Vernon to the door. By the time I caught up with them Vernon was pointing to his blue Lazy Boy with our dog, Duke, laying out asleep in it in the back of our pickup and explaining to Ted that blue was the color of the painting we want. It must have been closing time for the gallery right then, because when I stepped out onto the porch I could hear Mr. Pillsbury locking the doors.


Pillsbury Peters' locked front door


We decided to find Valley House Gallery next. That's such a pretty name, and Vernon said it sounded like a landscape. It was cool and shady in their big ol' yard and I never saw so many different kinds of sculptures. Vernon wasn't sure he wanted to trust the pickup to the valet parkers so he parked it himself.

ou see, the pickup actually belongs to my son, Raymond, Jr., from my second marriage, but we're driving it until Raymond gets out of jail, which should be real soon because, that aggravated assault charge was just a big misunderstanding. Duke was dying to relieve himself by this time, and he really seemed drawn to that sculpture.

more Dallas art

ell, Vernon was disappointed again that Valley House was showing still life paintings instead of landscapes, but I wanted to look at them all. When we got back out to the truck we had to call Duke several times. He must have found some critters to chase down by the creek.

It was getting dark by the time we pulled up to Mr. Craighead Green's Gallery. Vernon found a parking place out front. We could see lots of people standing around inside and outside. The air conditioning in the pickup got busted by gunfire when Raymond, Jr. was picked up, so my hair was all blown flat by driving with the windows open, and I wanted to fix my hair in the side mirror, but I couldn't find my rat tail comb.


a photograph from one of the cameras that did have a flash that worked


hat Vernon is such a gentleman! He turned on the truck swamp lights so I could see inside my purse. Not every husband would do that. My first four sure wouldn't. Anyway, after awhile I finally got my hair back combed and we went in the gallery. I have to tell ya'll that Mr. Craighead Green must be a living saint, because when I saw all those people rubbing their eyes and bumping into each other I realized that he was showing his gallery to blind people! It's too bad they couldn't see Susan Sale's bright colored paintings.

Turns out that The Mulcahey Modern Gallery is way far away, but we sure were glad we found it when we got there. It's hard to tell what Miss Mulcahey is showing on her walls, but Vernon was certain that one of those pictures was of fur, specifically nutria fur. He has extensive experience as trapping and skinning swamp varmints is his Winter occupation. He wanted to tell Miss Mulcahey that he would send her a pelt, but no one knew where she was.

unidentified pelt

That's all we had time for that night. Vernon had promised to take me dancing so we left. I hope ya'll like my photos and I certainly liked the art. Vernon wants to go back to see Ted real soon, so I'll write ya'll another letter next time we're up here.

Artistically yours,
Raynette Burgess


We really appreciate Raynette's observations and hard work. Unfortunately, her gallery evening almost ended in tragedy. We later learned that Vernon took a wrong turn looking for The Debonair Danceland on Irving Blvd.

They ended up stopping by an after-hours party at a gallery in the Design District. According to witnesses, after looking at the art, Raynette remarked to those around her that some man there, who they described as looking like Claude Albritton, was Hot! And then she proceeded to bend over to show off her butt in her tight pants.

Her long bouffant hair got entangled in a Sherry Owens crepe myrtle sculpture, and the horrified onlookers spent over half an hour extricating her. Mercifully, Raynette was somewhat anesthetized by the six-pack she had drunk in the truck on their drive looking for The Debonair, and she didn't feel her hair being pulled out.

And luckily, Sherry was not there because she was working on her next installation, and someone was able to reach Art Shirer who said he could remove Raynette's hair from the crepe myrtle branches before Sherry could find out.

So there was a happy ending.


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