Best of Dallas®

Best Of 2003

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Best Of :: Arts & Entertainment

Best Visual Artist

Although he's busy as an instructor at the University of Texas at Dallas, Greg Metz is still a master in the world of sculpture and installation. His art carries energy and a bit of controversy. To Deep Ellum regulars, his most public work is the set of faces that adorns the Club Dada building. To activists, his work is familiar and includes "Diner" (an Airstream trailer with the atrocities of the meatpacking industry on one side and a "last supper" incorporating famous vegetarians instead of disciples), a mobile exhibit that recently toured Europe, receiving praise most of the way. He's been arrested for his work (a sculpture downtown protesting the Silver Springs monkey testing), participates in Houston's Art Car Parade every year and often exhibits in gallery shows (including at UTD). Dedication to his art seems to be as much a part of him as his skin. And politics are a large part of his work. His latest statements include having two obviously foreign men dressed as guards frisk people as they entered the Touchy Feely show at Sydney Patrick Gallery. And the inaugural show for the Sallad performance series at The McKinney Avenue Contemporary was called "State of the Loonion," which Metz says is "a confrontational revision of this administration's new patriotic agenda." Greg Metz, we salute you.@choice:

Best Crafts Studio

This place is smashingly good fun in addition to bringing out the artist in folks of all ages. Using bits of broken glass, ceramics and tile (all tumbled to remove sharp edges), patrons turn frames, candleholders, coasters and vases into colorful works of art. Actually, the place has a threefold purpose: It's an art studio, a showplace for commissioning pieces and an art gallery. Owners Robin Franklin and Tracy Graivier are ready to help with ideas. If you prefer doing your smashing and gluing at home, they have take-home kits to get you started. Graivier has even written a book, Crazy Mosaic, which is filled with ideas and hints. So, if you happen to break a piece of Granny's china or knock over her favorite lamp, just scoop up the pieces and head on down. There's art in such disasters.

Best Fall Reading

If you like your reading fast and gritty, with lots of bad-guy chasing and a liberal sprinkling of sex with the scams and body count, Dallas' A.W. Gray is your man. He's been spinning best-selling mystery tales for years, beginning with his popular series about local private eye Bino Phillips (Bino, Bino's Blues, etc.). And here's a little secret: When you think you've read his complete body of work, there's plenty more. The prolific writer has several pen names. Want horror? Try Crossland Brown's Tombley's Walk. Jeffrey Ames (Lethal City, etc.) is a Gray crime fiction nom de plume. For his legal thrillers, look for the name Sarah Gregory (In Self Defense, etc.). He/she can be found in better bookstores everywhere.

Best Clog

Like Riverdance performed underwater by fat people, clogging has its own strange appeal...or not. If you just can't get your fill of mature ladies in sensible shoes making their skirts fly up over their panties, you could see a psychiatrist, or you could call the number above for the Texas Clogging Council and get specifics on next year's Texas Clogger's Rally, to be held March 5 and March 6. There's always a big audience. Maybe you know why.

Best Place to Meet Your Own Kind

Say you're a lonely Howard Dean supporter, a witch, a native speaker of French or a pagan (same thing), a John Kerry supporter, Web logger or Goth, and you want to meet others of your tribe. Meetups is the place to go. Operating by Web and all over the world, Meetups arranges get-togethers in local venues for people seeking their ilk, whatever that may be. Plans are still in flux, for example, for the next Dallas-area meet-up of people who are Elvis. But there are already 53 of him signed up. Hey, even if you're not Elvis, how could you miss? There's a movie in here somewhere.

Best Early-Morning Comedy Routine

If we were up for drinking games at 8 a.m., this would be the quickest way to get shit-faced. The rules would be as follows: One drink every time Scott Sams mispronounces and/or gives the incorrect name for a local charity, council member or day of the week. Two drinks every time he makes a blatant pass at the eternally uncomfortable Grecian Goddess of Mixmaster Traffic, Alexa Conomos. One drink every time weatherman Greg Field's voice cracks, and another swig any time any one of them tries unsuccessfully to create "colorful banter" after underestimating how much time they have left on the air before the signal mercifully switches back to Good Morning America. We've formed an addiction to Daybreak and watch it religiously before heading off to work. It's funny and gets us going. Don't believe us? Just watch. It's like Laugh-In with extended forecasts.

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Best Visual Artist: Greg Metz Cyn McCurry

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