You'd think Frank Campagna would've learned his lesson back in 1993, when he took a merry band of fellow Deep Ellum artists to the streets and turned the Good-Latimer tunnels into a riot of visual art. "We took it from idea to execution in six weeks the first time," says Campagna, a board member of the Deep Ellum Center for the Arts, and again the volunteer ringleader for repainting the quarter-mile structure that is landmark to some, eyesore to others. "We have about 10 artists lined up to get it done on September 25," Campagna says, "but we need 35." Selection criteria? "They have to want to do a superhuman feat in a single day." Artists must furnish their own materials -- and won't get paid either. However, those selected will be invited to participate in the DECA's fall show. The Deep Ellum Association is co-sponsoring the event with DECA, which is working to get the city to close the street for the guerrilla art project, scheduled from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. "One day sounds tough," says Campagna. "But that's what I love about it."
The teacher as artist
The art scene's version of "Those who can't do, teach" goes something like, "I mean, have you ever seen good art in a faculty art show?" John Pomara, a part-time faculty member at the University of Texas at Dallas and working artist represented by Barry Whistler and Eugene Binder, finds himself in a position to disprove this rhetoric. His art sells well in Texas, and he was just promoted from senior lecturer to assistant professor of art at UTD. Plus, he and Greg Metz, senior lecturer in sculpture, have been given a budget by arts and humanities dean Dennis Kratz to revitalize UTD's snooze-fest of a campus gallery. "You'll see more provocative shows and a little more of a contemporary art focus," Pomara says.
Construction of the Dallas Visual Art Center's new building at Swiss and Texas is ahead of schedule, so DVAC's string of quasi-disasters this year may be over. The center's original Wilson Historic District location at 2917 Swiss Ave. came close to caving in last year, forcing closure of everything but its administrative offices. The Meadows Foundation stepped in, providing fast-track funding of a new, $3.5 million, 15,000-square-foot building. DVAC executive director Katherine Wagner says staff will make the move on August 23-24, and the annual fall "Legends" show will open in the new digs on September 18, featuring art by Austin's Melissa Miller.
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