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The Five Best Art Openings and Events in Dallas This Weekend

1. Friday music in galleries

Celebrator with Vulgar Fashion at Circuit 12 Contemporary — May 9, 6-10 p.m. 1130 Dragon St. Suite 150, Dallas, Texas 75207.

ArtCon(cert) with The Theater Fire at Kettle Art Gallery — May 9, 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.) 2650-B Main St. Dallas, TX 75226.

I’m cheating here – these aren’t really art openings. But Friday night will see two galleries hosting live music shows. As part of a two day opening for works by Circuit 12 Contemporary gallery intern Sean-McGee Phetsarath, the always engaging Vulgar Fashion will perform at the Design District space. And over in Deep Ellum, the organizers of the annual Art Con kick-off a new music series with Fort Worth’s The Theater Fire, a band that has been quiet for sometime. Art Con promises that it will be hosting more events like this throughout the year in an effort to expand what they do.

2. Margarita Think Tank #2 at Ash Studios — May 10, 3- 5 p.m. 3203 Ash Lane, Dallas, Texas 75226.

Again, more cheating. I’m not sure if this is an art event or not. It is being hosted by one of Dallas’ most intrepid art scene protagonists, Darryl Ratcliff, and it takes place in a gallery. But the event itself is a brainstorming session (replete with requisite free margaritas) aimed at coming up with ideas for Ratcliff’s “Creating Our Future” initiative. If this all sounds a little vague, keep in mind Ratcliff has been spending a lot of time hanging out with Rick Lowe in Vickery Meadows, so feel free to consider this a piece of art as social practice, community organizing around a loose knit agenda of open-sourced inspiration and creative camaraderie. Or just look at it as a way to score a few free drinks.

3. CADD Bus Tour #22 at Cris Worley Fine Arts (meeting) — May 10, 10 a.m. 1415 Slocum St, #104, Dallas, Texas 75207.

I double-taked when I saw that this was the twenty-second bus tour the Contemporary Art Dealers of Dallas has put on. It feels like the program just started. The local galleries can often get the slip when we talk about Dallas art these days. There’s so much grass roots activity, top-tier collector shenaigans, institutional ambition, and general striving, that the bedrock of the local art trade struggles to find a spot in the conversation. This is due, in part, to the fact that there are multiple conversations. What many of the galleries do here has a much more regional and commercial focus, which is reflected in their programs. But CADD’s Bus Tour is quietly serving a vital role, connecting new and old collectors alike to new and old art galleries, with a focus on bridging the divide between the art-interested and the art collector. And in an era of topped-out markets, art securitization, and James Franco, we need champions of middle, regional, and nascent art markets and collectors. After all, that’s part of how artists survive.

4. MAC@20 Part I: Featuring Artists from 1994 – 2004 at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary — May 10, 6-8 p.m. 3120 McKinney Ave. Dallas, TX 75204.

And speaking of champions, the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, a stalwart local art nonprofit that has seen its own share of highs and lows over the years, celebrates its 20 anniversary with a pairing of retrospective shows looking at artists who have exhibited at the art space. This first opening focuses on the first decade, 1994-2004, and will include a grab bag of heavy hitters, including: John Alexander (2002), David Bates (1998), Matt Clark (2000), Mark Cole (2000), Georganne Deen (2002), Judy Desanders (2001), Kaleta Doolin (2001), James Dowell (2002), Corbin Doyle (1997), Carol Flax (1998), David H. Gibson (2002), Linnea Glatt (2003), Alan Govenar (2001), Trenton Doyle Hancock (2000), Michael Henderson (2001), Ben Herrara (2000), Benito Huerta (2001), Otis Jones (2001), Pamela Joseph (2002), Brandon Kennedy (1996), Sant Khalsa (1996), Heidi Kumao(1997), Giles Lyon (1995), James Magee (1996), Tom Orr (2002), Aaron Parazette (1995), John Pomara (1996), Dan Rizzie (2000), Andrea Rosenberg (2000), Cameron Schoepp (2002), Ludwig Schwarz (1995), James Surls (2000), Barbara Takenaga (2004), Ellen Frances Tuchman (2004), Valton Tyler (2000), Daniel Wiener (1996), John Wilcox (2000), David Young (1997)

 

5. Deep Ellum Windows 4 — May 10, 7 p.m. – 12 a.m. 2642 Main Street, Dallas, Texas 75226. 

There was a while earlier this year when I thought Deep Ellum Windows was becoming a bit of a stray dog space, with no one to feed it, walk it, play with it, or teach it new tricks. Couldn’t have been further from the truth. After a string of recent shows, the vacant storefront pop-ups rage back this weekend with a number of shows ranging from experimental to off-the-wall. The one that has my attention is the Lee Escobedo-curated re-imagining of the “Hell House” horror shows staged by evangelical churches in the 1990s which hoped to scare the living sin out of young Christians. See the listing below for a full list of artists contributing to that project. Also exhibiting this weekend in Deep Ellum: Kate Helmes, Arthur Pena, Randall Garrett, and Art Beef.

Disclaimer: Apparently Lee Escobedo is writing for us now. I can’t keep up with this incestuous, multiple hat-wearing, role-doubling little art scene. I will still simply continue to recommend whatever I think sounds interesting regardless of perceptions of payola or plugola or whatnot. If you think we’re playing with funky fish, tell me off in the comments. That space is for you.

Here are all of this week’s listings:

THURSDAY

Celebrator at Circuit 12 Contemporary — May 8, 6-10 p.m. 1130 Dragon St. Suite 150, Dallas, Texas 75207.

FRIDAY

Celebrator with Vulgar Fashion at Circuit 12 Contemporary — May 9, 6-10 p.m. 1130 Dragon St. Suite 150, Dallas, Texas 75207.

ArtCon(cert) with The Theater Fire at Kettle Art Gallery — May 9, 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.) 2650-B Main St. Dallas, TX 75226.

SATURDAY

CADD Bus Tour #22 at Cris Worley Fine Arts (meeting) — May 10, 10 a.m. 1415 Slocum St, #104, Dallas, Texas 75207.

Margarita Think Tank #2 at Ash Studios — May 10, 3- 5 p.m. 3203 Ash Lane, Dallas, Texas 75226.

MAC@20 Part I: Featuring Artists from 1994 – 2004 at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary — May 10, 6-8 p.m. 3120 McKinney Ave. Dallas, TX 75204.

AYAHUASCA at WAAS Gallery — May 10, 6-10 p.m. 2722 Logan Street, Dallas, Texas 75215.

Carmen Menza at Illume Gallerie — May 10, 7-10 p.m. 4123 Cedar Springs Suite 107, Dallas, Texas 75219.

Deep Ellum Windows 4 — May 10, 7 p.m. – 12 a.m. 2642 Main Street, Dallas, Texas 75226. Including five shows:

– Sheer Speed by Art Beef

Indulgence by Kate Helmes (performance starting at 9 p.m.)

Performance Artifacts and Documentation by Randall Garrett

– nothing lasts by Arthur Pena at The Ruby Room 

– “It’s Living That’s Cursed” curated by Lee Escobedo including artists Milo Smith, Pierre Burger, Darcy Neal, Josh Westerman, Allie Lowe, Julie McKendrick, Thor Johnson, Michael Morris, and William Sarradet, hosted by Randy Guthmiller (three tours at 8pm, 9pm, and 10pm). Located at 2604, 2625, 2626, 2642, and 2810 Main St.