"Oak Cliff in Transit:" A Portrait Exhibit That Shows Off The Real Odd Fellows of the Cliff

The artists: Rosie Lee, Orlando Sánchez-Lugo and Mathew Barnes
The artists: Rosie Lee, Orlando Sánchez-Lugo and Mathew Barnes

Find more photography exhibits at dallasobserver.com/calendar.

Unless you've been living under a rock, and unless no one came and knocked on your rock and asked you to go to breakfast at Oddfellws, than you've likely noticed that Oak Cliff has been in a cultural and business transition for several years now. Which is the idea behind a new art exhibition at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center opening on Saturday. It's by Orlando Sanchez-Lugo, Mathew Barnes and Rosie Lee, and it's called "Oak Cliff in Transit."

Barnes says he hopes putting the exhibition on will highlight how Oak Cliff is changing -- and leaving some people behind. One of his portraits is of Robert, a homeless man who walks along the streets of Oak Cliff. Robert would often panhandle near the areas where Barnes was working. "As I engaged him [Robert] in conversation, I realized that, somewhere in his life, something happened, and now he finds himself here," Barnes says.

Missed Transit, Mathew Barnes, 24"x36", Oil, Gold Leaf on Canvas
Missed Transit, Mathew Barnes, 24"x36", Oil, Gold Leaf on Canvas

The idea is to shine a light on the less known characters of Oak Cliff, Sanchez-Lugo says via email, and make everyone realize that they're as interesting and safe as places like the Bishop Arts District.

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"Oak Cliff has a bad reputation," Sanchez-Lugo says. "We are trying to change that [perception] by coming together as a community and artists to show that Oak Cliff is not as bad as people say."

Each artist will display three portraits of Oak Cliff residents. The exhibit will also feature a piece that the three collaborated on.

The opening reception runs from 7-11 p.m. On Saturday and is free. DJ JT Donaldson will spin; drinks will flow.

The Oak Cliff Cultural Center is located at 223 West Jefferson Blvd., next to the Texas Theater.


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