19 Awesome Things to Do in Dallas This Weekend, October 15-18
Dress up for Comic Con Fan Days
Thursday, October 15
Bruckner's Fifth Symphony
One of the truly great symphonists, Anton Bruckner wrote symphonies in the grand philosophical yet personal tradition of Beethoven. Each symphony he composed stands as a richly detailed statement on the composer’s ideology and mood at the time of writing. Often referred to as the “Tragic” symphony, the 5th was written during a particularly stressful moment in Bruckner’s life, and in its own nuanced way, it shows. Subtly chaotic, expectedly ambitious and contrapuntally complex, the symphony speaks to both Bruckner’s love of the symphony as vehicle for intimate expression (in this 5th’s case: rejection and frustration) and as a platform for bold, purely artistic creativity (see the marvelous finale). Without question one of the most astounding works in the symphonic literature — and especially for fans of Beethoven and Wagner — Bruckner’s 5th performed by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra is not to be missed. Performances happen at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, at the Meyerson Symphony Center (2301 Flora St.). Tickets start at $19. More info at mydso.com. - Jonathan Patrick
Aurora: Light in the Abyss
Art and science have long intersected. Old books from the 19th century are filled with artistic renderings of fauna and wildlife, because visual artists were often placed in evolutionary biology laboratories as part of a mutually beneficial arrangement that challenged the perceptions of both scientists and artists about their subjects. French artist Loris Gréaud furthers this tradition with his long-term project The Snorks: A Concert for Creatures, which explores aquatic biology in the dark chasms of the oceans, considers bioluminescence as an art form and uses hip-hop artists Anti-Pop Consortium to conduct an interspecies communication project that imparts larger lessons about the means and effects of human communication. Gréaud will discuss his project during “Light in the Abyss” at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. He’ll be joined by oceanographer Adrien Goujard and local conceptual artist Frank Dufour. Admission is free, though RSVP is recommended. Call the AT&T Performing Arts Center box office at 214-880-0202 to RSVP. Visit dallasaurora.com for more.-Jennifer Davis-Lamm
Obviously, Aurora is bigger than ever this go round with activities before and after the main event Friday night. WAAS Gallery participates with a new media exhibition featuring both local artists like Eric Trich and Edward Ruiz, alongside other national artists for e.volv. The exhibition opens with a reception from 7:30 -11 p.m. Thursday.
Friday, October 16
Our self-designated “world class city” status has become something of a punch line over the past couple of years, adorning photos of gnarly potholes and other civic annoyances. But whatever you think about the way the city runs its business, there’s no denying that the arts community in Dallas absolutely oozes “world class”—with Aurora being one of the pinnacles of their efforts. The annual event serves up an expansive, immersive experience that flows through 19 city blocks, turning an urban landscape into an incredible participatory art experience. The founders of Aurora envisioned light, video, music and people all merging together for a wondrous spectacle—and their vision has become one of the most talked about art happenings in the city. This year’s version, starting at 7 p.m. Friday in the Dallas Arts District promises to be huge—blending impeccably curated large-scale works by local and global artists in a visually stunning experience for all ages. Admission is free—though you might want to invest in pre-paid parking for $10 at attpac.org. For more information about the Aurora experience, visit dallasaurora.com. - JDL
Dallas Comic Con Fan Days
Every summer, San Diego likes to rub the fact that it hosts the largest and most overblown comic book convention in the rest of the country’s face. There’s nonstop coverage of the latest, epic blockbusters getting their first public screening and the crowds of unwashed masses packing a downtown convention center. But San Diego isn’t the only city with a Comic Con. Our very own, Dallas Comic Con Fan Days, runs from Friday through Sunday at the Irving Convention Center (500 West Las Colinas Blvd.). Get autographs from and photos with movie, TV and comic book dignitaries such as Lucy Lawless, Michael Rooker, Uncanny X-Men writer Chris Claremont and the principal cast of the original Karate Kid. Or check out a full-scale replica of a T-47 Snowspeeder from The Empire Strikes Back. A three-day gold pass is $159; a regular three-day pass is $60; or you can get a single-day pass for $20 on Friday, $40 on Saturday or $30 on Sunday. To purchase yours and for more info, visit dallascomiccon.com. - Danny Gallagher
International Pop Panel
Name an artist from the Pop Art movement. The first names that come to mind are likely Warhol and Lichtenstein. Most of the artists who retained cultural prominence in Pop Art are from New York or London, but the movement, which challenged the strictures of fine art and embraced images of advertising and representations of everyday life, was far more global. International Pop, which comes to the Dallas Museum of Art (1717 N. Harwood St.) from Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center, explores Pop Art globally, examining Nouveau Réalisme (France), Concretism and Neo-Concretism (Brazil), The Art of Things (Argentina), Anti-Art (Japan), Capitalist Realism (Germany), Happenings and Neo-Dada. As part of Late Night, there will be a panel discussion of the narratives in Pop Art at 7 p.m. Friday. Curator Gabriel Ritter will discuss the exhibit with featured artists Eduardo Costa, Jann Haworth and Ushio Sinohara. Tickets are $16 to the exhibition; the talk is free. More at dma.org.
Brad Tucker: Decent, Recent Pieces
Austin-based artist Brad Tucker is clever. His work, much of which is abstract and colorful, seems to take on a life of its own. Perhaps it's because Tucker doesn't rest in a singular medium. In recent years, he's designed an art book for children, and he even completed a new, homemade record called Spare Changes, which is a series of living room recordings of original music and instrumental jazz pop standards. See the energy up close at RE Gallery, which opens an exhibition of his newest sculptures and wall reliefs, from 6-8 p.m. Friday.
That whole ebola thing in Dallas proved that modern medicine isn’t too shabby when it comes to saving lives. But ebola medicine isn’t what sells. Boner and diet pills — hopefully you don’t get those two mixed up — lead the way for Big Pharma, and they may be holding science back from inventing more interesting recreational medicines. In Michael Federico, Jeffrey Schmidt and Lydia Mackay’s Faust, Dr. John Faust hopes to use medicine as a tool to unlock the mind of God. In order to accomplish such a thing, he has to sink to the wastelands and sell his soul. Luckily, you won’t have to pay such a hefty price to attend The Drama Club’s presentation of Faust at Kalita Humphreys Theater (3636 Turtle Creek Blvd.) For $25, see the play at 8 p.m. Friday or through October 24. To purchase tickets or find more info, head to thedramaclub.org. -Lucas Buckels
Saturday, October 17
The taco is a delicacy that deserves to be celebrated. There should be songs and works of art exalting the taco, and national holidays that pay tribute to it. It is a glorious thing — a warm and spicy, wrapped meal that can be so many different things to so many different people: crunchy or soft, meaty or vegan; full of veggies if you like, or maybe offal if that’s what you’re into. The taco brings us together, metaphorically and even quite literally — especially from 4 until 7 p.m. Saturday during the Dallas Observer’s Tacolandia. Converge on City Hall Plaza, 1500 Marilla St., for tortilla-wrapped bliss offered by all your favorite taco vendors: El Corazon, Velvet Taco, Torchy’s, Tacos Y Mas — it’s a veritable taco who’s who. The event also includes a cash bar, live music and taco competitions. General admission is $25 and includes all the taco samples you can handle; VIP admission is $65 to $80 and includes beer and liquor samples. The event is 21 and up. See microapp.dallasobserver.com/tacolandia/2015/index.php for details. -JDL
Texas Veggie Fair
The Texas Veggie Fair is an improbable success story: a celebration of vegetables and plant-based lifestyles that sits squarely and comfortably in the last weekend of the State Fair of Texas. Though we love our corny dogs, pork chops on sticks and fried alligator, the Texas Veggie Fair offers us a slightly greener experience that has seen attendance grow to huge and hungry crowds over the past several years. This year, you can join them for a respite from midway madness and artery-fillers from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday at Reverchon Park, 3505 Maple Ave. The event is all about the food: There will be plenty to choose from, with vendors representing every craving you can summon up, from Asian fare to salads to baked treats. Food demonstrations will be offered throughout the day, plus there’ll be plenty of opportunities to shop for home goods, health and beauty wares, and clothing. Live music, games for the kids and educational workshops are also on the docket. Check out texasveggiefair.com for more on this dog- and family-friendly paean to produce. - JDL
Urban Bazaar on Bishop
Fall is peak shopping season: It’s that time of year when we’re free to buy stuff that makes us feel warm and cozy, and it also serves as the calm before the holiday retail storm. And in Dallas, it’s also the little span of time when all of the good indie shopping events take advantage of the cooler weather and come out to play. The Urban Bazaar on Bishop sets up shop(s) from noon until 8 p.m. Saturday in the Bishop Arts District (North Bishop at Davis streets) with a perfect blend of pre-holiday, outdoor autumn retailing and craft-fairing. Shoppers will find warm, handmade accents for their homes, hand-sewn goods, locally crafted jewelry, edible treats and so much more. Live music starts at noon, with sets from Spenser Lizst and His Disciples, Ryan Berg and Carter Davis throughout the day. For a list of vendors and more information about the free shopping event, visit facebook.com. -JDL
In 1992, artist Cy Twombly was working in Jupiter Island, Florida, a small town on a barrier island. An American-born painter and sculptor, Twombly lived in Italy for most of his life. But when he spent time in the United States, it was either brief stints in New York or coastal cities in Florida. Curator Lauren Fulton used this specific 1992 period, late in his career, as a starting point for a group exhibition she curated at Circuit 12 Contemporary (1811 E. Levee St.). Centered around themes of isolation, remoteness and anticipation of the unknown, she’s worked with eight artists from throughout the country, all of whom work in different media. See it all come together in the exhibition Jupiter Island, which opens at 6 p.m. Saturday. More at circuit12.com.
Lily Hanson, The Once Over Twice
This weekend, Conduit Gallery opens three exhibitions, but we'll likely spend most of our time in the Project Room near the wine, admiring Lily Hanson's The Once Over Twice. The Dallas-based artist embraces the disorderly, though her work is never messy. If the form of her mixed-media sculptures, made from foam, fabric and wood, seems inapposite or out of place, keep looking. There's more to her creations than a first glance allows.They are uncategorizable critters. The show, named for a song by LA punk band X, is described as taking its "fuck it, shitty shit happens, get over it " attitude from this kind of music. Of course, from what we've seen Hanson doesn't specialize in shitty shit. Quite the opposite. See the work, concurrent with exhibitions by Ted Larsen and Lance Letscher from 6-8 p.m. Saturday.
Curve of Forgetting
Look around your living room, or wherever you're seated or standing right now. How many objects have a story? There's the quilt from your grandmother, the snow globe from your first trip overseas, the picture frame holding the memory of your wedding day. These objects we buy and store not for their financial value but because they allow us to own moments, and they are the starting point for Fort Worth-based artist David Wilburn. For his latest show, Curve of Forgetting, he abstracts these domestic objects into collaged paintings and thread-based drawings as a sort of test to see how long it takes for even him to forget what the subject once was. He's interested in the short distance between remembering and forgetting. See the work in an opening reception form 6-8 p.m. Saturday at Galleri Urbane.
Latin Jazz at The Wild Detectives
Nothing will cool down this heat like the beats of Latin jazz. Saturday night, The Wild Detectives (314 W. 8th St.) hosts the Christian Valdés Quintet in its backyard. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. and will be followed by a screening of Calle 54, Oscar-winning director Fernando Trueba's documentary about Latin jazz greats.
Legend & Unicorn Party
If you see a bunch of unicorns roaming Jefferson Avenue Saturday, don't be alarmed. They're likely prancing their way to the Texas Theatre for a screening of Ridley Scott's Legend in 35mm, followed by a unicorn party/concert behind the screen. Movie starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10.50. Costumes encouraged.
Sunday, October 18
Oddball Comedy Festival
Put every hot comic in one place, add about 20,000 comedy nerds, and you get the Oddball Comedy Festival, courtesy of the Internet comedy gods at Funny or Die. Hosted at Gexa Energy Pavilion (3839 S. Fitzhugh Ave.) by Aziz Ansari (Parks and Recreation) with special guest Amy Schumer (Inside Amy Schumer), this festival of funny will be a whirlwind of major headliners, including Anthony Jeselnik, Jeff Ross, Nick Thune and many more. A sidestage hosted by Big Jay Oakerson will provide extra entertainment and a “roaming troupe of misfit performers” will wander around causing trouble. If laughing your ass off for an entire day sounds like fun, this is the festival for you. To see the full lineup, visit oddballfest.com, where you can also purchase tickets for $35-$135 each. VIP packages are available for $400. -Jane R. LeBlanc
Chit Chat: Ange Leccia
This weekend, in conjunction with Aurora, the Dallas Contemporary unveils a huge exhibition of the work of pioneering French video artist Ange Leccia. By huge we mean the art will be spread throughout downtown Dallas and impossible to ignore. You’ll find video art on the screens of the American Airlines Center and illuminating Reunion Tower, among other locations. It will all be visible for the first time Friday night, and if you’re looking for a bit of insight into what is on display, the artist will be delivering a remote talk at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Joule Hotel, 1530 Main St. Reservations are required and can be made by sending an email to email@example.com.
CADD FUNd Dinner
What could be better than slurping soup and supporting local artists? Nothing, we tell you, nothing! That's the idea of the CADD FUNd's annual dinner, which uses proceeds from ticket sales (tickets are $40) to award a cash prize to an artist for a new project. The six finalists selected by the jury will present their proposals at the dinner, and attendees will vote on a winner. Soup and beverages will be served at 5:30 p.m. at 3015 at Trinity Groves (3015 Gulden Lane). Tickets will be available at the door.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Dallas, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.