ROLL CALL: 3 Dallas Group shows

I want to keep this simple. There is a core group of artists in Dallas making the rounds and putting interesting work into the local and national converstion and I just want to put this hard working  bunch of artists on blast. Below are a few images from 3 recent  group shows curated by Dallas based artists. Most of the artists in these shows, as well as the curators,  have links to their site. This, dear reader, is so that you can follow up on an artist or work you might find engaging. Everyone couldn’t get an image into this article so hopefully you will take a minute and click on the artists names to see what they got going on. So, please, take some time to get to know these artists as they very much want to get to know you. Arthur Peña, Dallas Contributor

1 copy
L to R: Bret Slater | Nightshift, 2013, 61" x 16" x 2" acrylic on canvas 2013, Thomas Feulmer| Corner Piece, 2013, barbell, four 25lb. weights, stack of magazines, desk lamps, bulbs, extension cords, Cruising Horny Corners" by Lance Laster, nail, and string, Nathan Green| H.D.A., 2013, mixed media, dimensions variable

MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE at University of Texas at Dallas

Kevin Todora took his curatorial cues from Stephen king, the master of horror. Maximum Overdrive was King’s one and only movie that was directed by the famed writer. Todora, a well-respected photographer who shows with Oliver Francis Gallery, didn’t want to further the “artist as curator” model. He gave it a shot and this is it. Maybe the knowledge of curating only once frees up the spirit. Todora would never claim to be a curator; in fact he might even say that it was selfish. What he would definitely say, and did, is that the show was more about pulling together artists who didn’t know each other, artists who hadn’t met. This is interesting given that the proposition, in Todora’s curator role and in Kings role as director, was never to repeat itself, Todora chose to highlight the root of “curator”; that is “to care.” Sappy, yes, but isn’t this all about introducing people in a community to each other and expanding the conversation? Participating artists: BLK JPG, John Dickinson, Thomas Feulmer, Nathan Green, Kevin Rubén Jacobs, M, Kerry Pacillio, Gregory Ruppe and Bret Slater (NAP #87, #102).

2 copy
L to R: BLK JPG | I DID VAPOR, , 2013 Acrylic on canvas 2.5” x 96”, Kerry Pacillio | Night Work II, 2013 1:14min. video
3 copy
M | As he lay bleeding in the snow, Eric Richey was having trouble believing what had just happened. It seemed impossible. He always thought he understood all of the dangers involved when living in the world of extreme skiing. Especially at night. As the flames spiraled around the strange happenings high above what used to be the top of the mountain, he decided to spend these last minutes to focus his mind upon a happy memory of his fiancée, Rochelle. Unfortunately, the only recollection of her that his damaged mind would allow was the unlikely combination of disappointment and fear in her eyes when he truthfully explained why he would not attend dinner with her parents tonight. It was at that moment that Eric realized he might be remembered as a fool. Why did he have to ski tonight? Who or what were those things? Would they all still be up there dancing in the morning? Did anyone else see them? What about the big thing? Who will be there to explain that this was not his mistake but an interruption of such inconceivable proportions? All of his life, his success, his accomplishments, forever brushed aside by this particular choice. And with that Eric Richey died of embarrassment under the gaze of a thousand eyes. (The Fantastic Death of a Hot Dog/Night on Bald Mountain), 2000-2013, bull horns, Casio MT-45, notebook paper, thumbtacks, graphite, hot dog, bun, mustard, ketchup, dimensions variable.

FRESH TRACKS at University of Dallas

Artists Kim Owens (NAP #78, #102) and Michael Francis utilized a spacious university gallery for their well curated painting survey show Fresh Tracks. As with Todora's Maximum Overdrive, university galleries, state and community colleges as well, are becoming a place for experimentation within artistic and curatorial practices. These venues offer a clean, well lit space while remaining neutral to any specific art world agenda. The energy stemming from these educational institutions with shows such as these provide not only a larger community with yet another space for viewing art but more directly the student body and MFA candidates. Fresh Tracks presents a mix of Dallas based as well as national artists. Participating artists: David Aylsworth (NAP #42), Trey Egan, Vincent Falsetta (NAP #6, #18, #60, #78), Nathan Green, Raychael Stine (NAP #78), Marcelyn McNeil (NAP #60, #72, #90), Michelle Mackey (NAP #60, #80), Brian Ryden and Eli Walker.

4 copy
David Aylsworth | Present Without Warning, 2009, oil on canvas, 72 ¼” x 72 ¼”
5 copy
Raychael Stine | Vision 4, 2012, oil and acrylic on canvas, postcard, 13”x 17”
6 copy
Vincent Falsetta |Untitled cv 10-1, oil on canvas, 60” x 60”
7 copy
Brian Ryden |For Example, It's filled up, 2010, acrylic on panel, 18" by 22"
8 copy
Marcelyn McNeil | Spoil, 2010, oil on panel

NINE ARTISTS at Blow Up Gallery

Francisco Moreno (NAP #99), who was featured here for founding his Fort Worth Drawing Center, pulled together a group show of 9 artists at Blow Up Gallery. This is from the press release:

The title of the exhibition suggests its premise—an antithesis of what might be considered a normative mode. By default, art exhibitions tend to favor specific associations and over-arching themes that categorize and amalgamate the artist into groups and concepts that fragment their individuality.  In this zeitgeist of the Information Age, it has become fashionable to cluster the expressions of people into dehumanized information. This exhibition, however, allows for a platform from which the artist can explore and manifest singular works irrespective of preconceived categorization. Nine Artists thus allows the possibility of disjunction and/or the materialization of an organic cohesiveness from its participants.

So, basically, we got an awesome space with some walls and hung work. Participating artists: Jesse Morgan Barnett, Cassandra Emswiler, Thomas Feulmer, Francis Giampietro, Kevin Rubén Jacobs, Michael Mazurek, Francisco Moreno, Arthur Peña, and Michelle Rawlings.

9 copy
Installation of Nine Artists at Blow Up Gallery
10 copy
Francisco Moreno | Adoration of the Shepherds, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 64” x 120”
11 copy
Kevin Ruben Jacobs | Proletarians!, 2013, neon, 48” x 5”
12 copy
Michael Mazurek | American Redoubt, 2013, lumber, barrel, chain hoist, Czech surplus gas, mask, mannequin head, FIBCs, brief case, photo on paper, Playboy magazine, pocket pussy, paint, and misc. dimensions variable (approximately 120” x 144”x 228”)
13 copy
Thomas Feulmer |Tired Rainbow, 2013, Plexiglas, Dartek, lighting gels, thread, tape, weights, dirt, hair, and DEMIGODS magazine, 48” x 96” x 24”
14 copy
Michelle Rawlings (L to R) | untitled, 2013, oil on canvas, 9” x 10.5” each, Anne Frank’s Poster, 2013, oil on canvas, 26” x 34.5”, Teenager, 2013, ink-jet print, 8” x 11”


Arthur Peña is an artist, writer and professor currently living and working in Dallas, TX.