Let's talk for just a minute about white shoes. Labor Day weekend has come and gone, and with it a time-honored ritual marking the change of seasons. Well-bred Southern ladies and gentlemen pack away their white shoes on Labor Day and don't get them out again until Memorial Day. They purge their closets of white clothes, too, straw totes and handbags, and anything made of linen. Unless you're a toddler, a bride or a nurse, we think you don't need white shoes ever. Let's toss them, Dallas fashionistas; and not for just the season. Let's make this city white-shoe-free forever. White shoes cannot continue to exist in our increasingly enlightened culture. They're ghastly, they make everyone's feet look big, they're always a tad dirty, and they draw attention away from your face.
What a relief to have that settled, and to get out of the closet and on to one of the best early-fall events in Dallas. You'll need a snazzy, casual outfit and hip, comfortable, non-white shoes for the Dallas Art Dealers Association's annual Fall Gallery Walk on Saturday. It's a see-and-be-seen extravaganza at 30 art venues around town, which stay open late for the occasion. The art, by artists at or near the top of their game, is especially goose-bumpy this year; and it's not because of the early cool weather. Exhibits feature wildly esoteric, energetic, technically complex and often raw work. Dallas gallerists put some thought into what and whom they want to show since this well-attended event officially opens the visual arts season. Some of them apparently also want to shake up the city by pointing out that artists will create sublime, beautiful, thought-provoking, remarkable and odd work, despite--or because of--our harsh and particularly troubled reality.
If you know the pockets of galleries around town, you can plan your art adventure with some walking and some driving. Individual galleries choose their own hours for the gallery walk, but generally all will be open from around noon to 8 p.m. Be comfortable at each venue, make it a point to meet gallery directors and staff, and meet the artists who usually attend and try to get brief personal commentaries on their work directly from the source. Leave your overcoat of intimidation at home--no question is silly or stupid if it's sincere.
Start your self-directed tour at Dunn and Brown Contemporary, 5020 Tracy St., where the represented artists are art stars of all ages and stages. Make it to Conduit Gallery if you can, 1626-C Hi Line Drive in the Design District, where director Nancy Whitenack has assembled three provocative exhibits: Annabel Daou's The Last Painting Show, Michael Tole's I Think I Prayed for You to Come, But Wasn't Prepared for the Reality and The Dark Matters and the Lingering Lightness by Michael Velliquette. The Dallas Center for Contemporary Art, 2901 Swiss Ave., is filled with a retrospective of Linnea Glatt's remarkable work in Lifeworld. Glatt was presented the Legend award for her career achievements on Wednesday. The perennially provocative Vince Wingate, director of Gray Matters, 113 N. Haskell Ave., is showing Polaroid photography self-portraits by Julie Ross, called Enough About Me.
Two side-by-side galleries within paint-filled balloon-throwing distance of the Crescent are each featuring strong two-person exhibits, with artists selected to be shown together based on both complementary and contrasting elements of their work. Cidnee Patrick Gallery, 2404 Cedar Springs Road, is pairing innovative painter Steven Hopwood-Lewis, who creates child-sized figures with adult faces, with clever and obsessive Tom Pribyl. Literally next door at Craighead-Green Gallery are interior scapes by Argentinean artist Pancho Luna and large-scale still-life paintings by Texan Gary Schaffer.
See all that you can see of the best art created by many local artists this Saturday. Keep them working by taking a personal interest in them at the gallery and, of course, buy something if you fall in love with it. As always, if you're haunted on Sunday and Monday by a painting you saw at DADA's Fall Gallery Walk, you need to go back and get it. You'll have some extra cash, anyway; think of what you'll be saving by never buying white shoes again.
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