Hey, it's good to see you again. It's odd, isn't it? To take advice from a total stranger on how to fill your days. I often wonder who you are. Who are the people clicking on our little weekly awesome things to do list? Do they use it to find events? Do they share it on Facebook with their friends? Are they more likely to click on it if there's a photo of a cute pup or a photo of an eccentric, beautiful woman like hometown girl Annie Clark here, better known as St. Vincent? I ask myself all of these things as I type out descriptions of the things I'll be going to this weekend, or wish I had time to attend. And then I wonder if it's you sitting next me at the theater, or you I turn to at a gallery opening to remark about a fascinating work of art. No matter who you are, I'll keep making these lists for you. Hopefully you're out there enjoying Dallas with me.
Thursday, May 14 Kevin Beasley Artist Talk The Dallas Museum of Art's Hoffman Family senior curator of contemporary art, Gavin Delahunty, will lead a conversation with internationally acclaimed sound and installation artist Kevin Beasley. Even better, on the following evening in the DMA's atrium, Beasley will present his newly commissioned performance installation: "Black Rocker." An investigation and exploration of the physicality of sound and the cultural/racial notion of "blackness" in America, this work is set to deliver a quality of conceptual and political art the likes of which our city rarely sees. The Artist Talk takes place at 7 p.m. Thursday at the DMA (1717 N. Harwood St.), with the performance occurring in conjunction with 'Late Nights at the DMA' Friday between 6pm and midnight. Tickets to the artist talk are just $5. More information at dma.org. - Jonathan Patrick
CultureMap Dallas Tastemakers Do you imagine yourself as someone people look to for cultural guidance? Do hundreds of hungry Dallasites follow your Instagram feed, their eyes craving a glimpse inside the new, hip restaurant? It's entirely unlikely that this describes you, but if you want to turn up with the real Dallas tastemakers, there's a foodie event cooking up at the Empire Room (1225 N. Riverfront Blvd.) at 7 p.m Thursday. Eat your way through the CultureMap Dallas Tastemaker Awards, or Instagram your way through it and give your friends a taste of FOMO. Tickets start at $35 for young professionals and hike up to $100 for VIP. Available at dallas.culturemap.com. - LS
Yael Bartana's Inferno Keeping with the theme of Soluna Festival, Israeli artist Yael Bartana's film, Inferno, will be screened before a performance of Bernstein's Serenade and Symphony No. 3 conducted by DSO Music Director, Jaap van Zweden. The film investigates the experience of being uprooted from one's home country in a visually stunning way. See it at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Tickets start at $19.
B.Y.O.B Art History They say college students are like sponges; they're the right age to absorb a mind dump of information. I say, college classes would've been better with a beer in hand. Which is exactly how Kettle Art teaches their B.Y.O.B. Art History classes. Artist Justin Clumpner is joined by his fellow "Myth America" artists for an evening of discussion and imbibing. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. and like they say, BYOB. More at kettleart.com.
Friday, May 15 Radiolab's Jad Abumrad We fill our heads with so much garbage it's a miracle we can even spell it, but Radiolab's Jad Abumrad is offering a chance to sweep the cobwebs out yo' dumb skull. (See what happens with a head full of garbage?!) Abumrad is bringing a solo show, Gut Churn, to City Performance Hall (2520 Flora St.) for two shows at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Friday. Throughout the evening, he'll spill the beans on how Radiolab, the popular radio show and podcast about science and philosophy, got its start. Abumrad isn't some whiz kid who succeeded on his first or even second try. In fact, Radiolab was created precisely because Abumrad was stuck creatively and couldn't seem to shake it. He funneled that energy into "an exploration of the roles of uncertainty, fear and other negative emotions on the creative process." Damn, son, that's deep! (Again, garbage.) Tickets are $25. -Nikki Lott
Nasher 'Til Midnight Now that spring is officially here in Texas and we are finally having relaxing nights before the dreadful summer hits, why not fill one of those nights with multiple mediums of art? Nasher Sculpture Center will be presenting 'til Midnight, not to be confused with Comedy Central's @Midnight, on the 15th. The event will consist of live music from local musicians, Fox and the Bird, as well as a screening of Into the Woods featuring the original Broadway cast. It doesn't end there, in the six hours that this takes place, there will also be social media scavenger hunts, tours to check out special exhibitions as well as the permanent collection, and even the opportunity to participate in a reserve-ahead picnic for two provided by Nasher Cafe by Wolfgang Puck for $40. Admission is free and definitely perfect for a cheap date with ample amounts of culture. Go to nashersculpturecenter.org/tilmidnight for more information. -Lucas Buckels
my shoes, my stove, my life The contemporary photograph of one's life is polished. A beautiful plate of culinary creativity on a white backdrop signifies domestic prowess; a well-manicured hand shows off the lastest finds on a vintage shopping trek as a symbol of frugal stylishness; or a colorful arrangment of flowers on a pristinely organized desk says, "This woman has time for beauty and hard work." Of course, these are fully fabricated moments and unlike anything you will find in Luke Dowds imagery of everyday dwelling. His photographic arrangements for his upcoming exhibitino at Zhulong Gallery (1302 Dragon St.), my shoes, my stove, my life are interested in clear-eyed observation of the artifacts of the life around him. His digital works on canvas employ minimal photoshop tools, using digital maniplation only to subtly highlight aspects of the works. The work's simplicity becomes a reflection on the art that surrounds us. See it in opening reception from 5- 9 p.m. Friday. More at zhulonggallery.com. - LS
POSTPONED TO MAY 22: SDCC, Black Vision Film Series & PBS Present American Denial It seems the excuse often offered by people these days for not having an open conversation about race is a lack of forum. How, who, where, and why to talk openly are all questions that turn into excuses to ignore the subject. Not this weekend, thanks to the South Dallas Cultural Center, which will host a community conversation after a screening of American Denial, a film that explores how unconscious bias impacts equitable treatment of fellow human beings. Be there at 7 p.m. Admission is free. -LS
Kevin Beasley's Black Rocker In conjunction with the ongoing Soluna Festival, the Dallas Museum of Art commissioned a performance installation from New York-based artist Kevin Beasley. The new piece "Black Rocker" is described as a work that "emphasizes the physicality of sound and explores the sonics of how one arrives to some type of American-ness through a culture dependent upon notions of blackness." See it from 6 p.m. - midnight Friday, alongside spontaneous poetry from Austin-based Typewriter Rodeo, an African Art Sketching Party from 7- 10 p.m. and at 9 p.m. Montreal-based artist Jon Rafman hosts "Kool-Aid Man in Second Life Tours." Admission is free. -LS
Fork & Cork Get your ouzo shots lined up because Iron Chef Cat Cora will be in the house--or at least in Addison Circle Park, 4970 Addison Circle Drive--on Friday, May 15 for the first night of Addison Fork & Cork 2015. She'll be turning out some cooking demos, while Dallas boy chef Tim Byres mans the fire pit, and the rest of us our share of serious samples and pairings during the weekend's Epicurious event (21+ and $65 per ticket) from 6-11 p.m. Fork & Cork continues Saturday with more live demos, tasty samples, and live music from the O's and the Gin Blossoms (we recommend you send your friends who don't attend a "Hey, Jealousy" text at that time, because, of course). Saturday's tickets range from $15 (general, all ages) to $35 (hands-on grilling) to $100 (21+ Indulgence) depending on the type of experience you're looking for. But if the question you're asking is "Will there be a John Tesar sighting on Saturday?' the answer is corks and forks way up. Purchase tickets online through May 15 at addisonforkandcork.com. - Merritt Martin
Bronwen Sleigh: Northern Form Cydonia Gallery gives Glasgow-based artist Bronwen Sleigh her first solo exhibition in the United States with Northern Form, in which the artist explores disorienting architectural landscapes. Sleigh draws inspiration from new and unexplored landscapes, as well as ideas of utopia. See the exhibition in its opening reception from 6-8 p.m. Friday at Cydonia (167 Payne St.) or through June 19. More at cydoniagallery.com. -LS
Saturday, May 16 TITAS Command Performance Gala TITAS calls its Command Performance Gala the "definitive dance event of the year." And honestly, we're not going to scoff at that. When they bring talent like Yuan Yuan Tan of the San Francisco Ballet, MOMIX, Lil Buck, and even more exciting movers to the stage to perform the works--make that "newly commissioned works"--of choreographers the likes of Mia Michaels, Dwight Rhoden, Jessica Lange, and THE Twyla Tharp, our dance nerves get all tingly. The excitement is blending with dance nerdery and we feel like we could be watching Great Performances: Dance in America mixed with So You Think You Can Dance and a little White Nights and that Rag & Bone commercial and everything cool on stage in one night. That's what the names associated with TITAS' Command Performance Gala are doing to us right now. But this won't be on TV; it's live and in person 7 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. And that's way beyond better. Tickets are $12-$200. Call 214-880-0202 or visit attpac.org. - Merritt Martin
Strut Your Mutt Quite possibly the only thing better than running a 5K is running a 5K with your favorite furry friend. The 10th annual Strut Your Mutt race will help end animal cruelty. But if you're dog is too old or too far or too lazy or too ugly, you can leave it at home. You don't have to bring your dog to participate in the Family 3K. There are plenty of activities for the humans to enjoy. Local radio stations and entertainment will be there, great food, and of course Four Corners Brewing Co. ( 423 Singleton Blvd. ) and Trinity Groves restaurants and businesses. Registration is $35 for the 3K and $40 for the 5K. And forming a team can be even more fun. The event is at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Dogs must be leashed. More at strutyourmutt.org. -Paige Skinner
Who Are Our Own People? The Black Lodge is a small, "underground" venue in Deep Ellum notorious for hosting off-center music shows, and the occasional art show. This weekend, the space hosts what, to my mind, is its most interesting art show yet. Who Are Our Own People? explores concepts of marginalization and identity in a post-Obama America through performance art, drawing, photography and poetry. Participating artists include Lauren Cross, Roy Martinez, Fatima-Ayan Malika Hirsi and Herbert Moore III. Be there from 6 -10 p.m. Saturday. Address: 212 S. Walton St. -LS
Diamond Seat For the next exhibition at Circuit 12 Contemporary, two artists cast a meditative eye on aspects of spirituality. Before creating their individual work for the dual exhibition, Diamond Seat, Caris Reid and Amanda Valdez studied at length Robert Thurman's Mandala: The Architect of Enlightenment, a text that opens up the limits of how one can define the Sanskrit word, "mandala," translated as "center" or "essence." Thurman argues that anything circular could be considered a mandala, eventually leading to ideas of how human beings aren't just part of the enviroment, they are the enivroment. It's the kind of heady, philisophical we're coming to expect from Circuit 12, but here Reid and Valdez lead the gallery into a more sacred visual langauge. The work of Valdez manifests as constructions of fabric, embroidery, paint, and canvas meant to explore " the embodied shapes stored and felt through her body." Reid's work incorporates her longtime interest in figurative painting with the concentric geometrical designs typical of mandala, the output of which she hopes invites the viewer into the meditative or self-hypnosis practices she employed before their creation. See this fascinating work in an opening reception from 6-9 p.m. Saturday. It will also be the last show in the current Circuit 12 space at 1130 Dragon St. Ste 150 before the gallery moves to Levee St. More at circuit12.com. -LS
Olaniyi Rasheed Akindiya (AKIRASH)'s ADITTU (Puzzle) If visual art is the only art form without true linear structure, or a demanding relationship with the temporal world, it seems painters, photographers, or, in this case, a weaver, aren't just make colorful, or emotional objects, but they are freezing moments. Packing the temporary into the permanent. This is the focus of AKIRASH's exhibition at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, for which he explores different methods of weaving to create tapestry paintings. See the work in opening reception from 6-8 p.m. Saturday. -LS
Michael Kenna: France This weekend, Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery celebrates 20 years of hosting some of the city's most interesting photography exhibitions. The space also opens a solo show of landscape photographer Michael Kenna, highlighting images of France from his most recognized book of his work, Le Nôtre's Gardens. See images from Kenna spanning more than two decades and celebrate the gallery's anniversary in a reception from 5-8 p.m. Saturday at 1202 Dragon St. More information at pdnbgallery.com. -LS
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Sunday, May 17 St. Vincent with the DSO As part of the inaugural Soluna Festival, The Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the AT&T Performing Arts Center present a performance by hometown hero and grammy-winning artist St. Vincent. The critically-adored guitarist and singer, renowned for her eclectic sound and commanding presence, is set to perform alongside members of the DSO. Always looking to take pop music to serious, newly styled frontiers, St. Vincent makes a most appropriate addition to Soluna, doubling as an excellent ambassador for Dallas, and uniquely representative of the pioneering ambition that the festival aims to embody. The event takes place at 8:30 pm on May 17 at The Shannon and Ted Skokos Pavilion. Tickets are $35. More information at mydso.com. - Jonathan Patrick
International Museum Day It's International Museum Day! You love museums. You donate to museums. You take your toddler to museums at the hopes they will learn about history. You walk out of museums with a screaming toddler and shame but with greater knowledge of history and art and life. That is why we celebrate museums. On Sunday, Nasher Sculpture Center will celebrate by offering free admission, tours, and a scavenger hunt. At 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., you can participate in a drop-in tour by Nasher Museum Ambassadors. Scavenger hunts, family guides for installation and gallery kits will be available throughout the day at the admissions desk, and best of all, you can enter to win a Nasher membership. For more information, visit Nasher's website. - Paige Skinner
Uptown Ciclovia Most daytime spent in Uptown is spent behind a steering wheel and going three miles per hour. Lucky for you, the Second Annual Uptown Ciclovía is allowing you to go the same speed on Cedar Springs without the annoyance of traffic. On Sunday, Uptown Dallas in conjunction with YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas will host a one-mile long car-free route that will connect Klyde Warren Park and the beautiful Katy Trail. Whether you're walking, running, rollerskating, or pushing a stroller, enjoy this open street in a way that you may never have before. Take this opportunity as a chance to check out and support some of the local businesses too. It's open to the public and will take place from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. For more info, head over to uptownciclovia.org/. -Merritt Martin
Board Game Night We may have the most advanced video gaming technology in the history of the medium, but the board game will never die. They're way more immersive than an Oculus Rift headset can ever hope to be, and the most inclusive form of friendly competition. A board game can be deceptively simple and become ridiculously complex in a matter of minutes. Alliances are tested and rivalries are formed. Of course, booze always makes the experience better. That's why Glass Half Full bar and restaurant at The Alamo Drafthouse hosts a free, regular board game night at 5 p.m. Sunday. Players can enjoy a game of "Munchkin," "Settlers of Catan," "Say Anything!" or "Arkham Horror" or play a game from their private collections. The Alamo Drafthouse is located at 100 South Central Expressway in Richardson. For more information, visit drafthouse.com/dfw. - Danny Gallagher