Things To Do

5 Art Events for Your Weekend: December 16-18

Extreme Ornament Help-Create
Vetro Glassblowing Studio & Gallery
701 S. Main St., Grapevine
Ongoing Wednesday through Dec. 31

It’s like Etsy but saucier: Back by popular demand, the Extreme Ornament Help-Create series allows participants temporary immersion in the ancient art of glassblowing with a jolly, seasonal twist. Each participant selects colors from the color palette of glass before applying the colors to the hot molten glass. Participants then reheat the glass color in Vetro’s 2,000-degree furnace before watching a professional glassblower form the ornament into its ultimate shape. The cost is $50 for each hand-blown glass ornament. Reservations are required and must be made in advance online.

Screening: Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case
800 Exposition Ave.
7 p.m. Friday

Visiting artist Kankan Huang will present a screening of Dutch filmmaker Andreas Johnsen’s acclaimed documentary. The film begins as Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is coming out of 81 days of solitary confinement and put under house arrest as the result of a fake tax case thrust upon him by the Chinese government. He suffers nightmares and memory loss, cameras and police agents follow his every move and heavy restrictions from the Chinese authorities put a damper on his artistic morale. During his year on probation, he embraces the suck and adapts an evolved set of viewpoints where human rights and free expression are at play. The film also documents the creation of "S.A.C.R.E.D.," a new work depicting Ai's time in prison, which premiered during the Venice Biennale exhibition in Italy.

CLOSING: Primary Research
Saint Paul Place
750 N. Saint Paul St.
2 to 5 p.m. Saturday

Closing this weekend is Primary Research, a pop-up exhibition curated by Chelsea Pierce. The exhibit focuses on observation as a means of gathering information. Sean Cairns showcases his conceptual paintings; Linnea Glatt debuts two site-specific installations that interact with the building's architecture; and James Sullivan presents field notes in the form of sculptures.

Trinity River Project
— Artist Talk with Laray Polk

Liliana Bloch Gallery
2271 Monitor St.
3 p.m. Saturday

Dallasites have a long and complicated history with the Trinity River. They’ve never quite seen eye to eye on where it stands. Is the river the jewel in the city’s crown? Does it even matter? Should they turn it into an inland port, or ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist? Like any good relationship saga, it was only a matter of time until it would turn into the subject of someone’s art.

Marcos Lutyens and Laray Polk’s Trinity River Project is a participatory archive of what came before. The exhibition consists of Polk’s essays, objects found in and around the Trinity River, recorded meditations and a series of 10 paintings Lutyens has created in response to Polk’s writings. The show explores the virtues and drawbacks of progressivism as it applies to the environment. Whose responsibility is it to preserve history? Who can have access to that history? How much do we actually know in the first place? These are questions Polk’s essays raise. Lutyens’ paintings seem to suggest stillness is the answer.

Ecology in the Age of Inner Turmoil
833 Exposition Ave.
7 p.m. Saturday

The teaser for this exhibition curated by sos (society of something) speaks strongly for itself.

“Humanity flirts with its own extinction while it scrolls down its social media feed.”

“Like an Instagram pic of the anthropogenic sunset, which as beautiful and sublime as it looks, tells us that we are fucked, that our cap has been reached.”

“A place that we 'suppose' we know but that we constantly lose sight of, submerging it in a deep ocean of disregard … Do we notice the rapid, unprecedented climate transformation?

So, we can safely assume this one is about global warming. The exhibit features new works by Amara Abdal Figueroa, Sebastian Bellver, Cara Despain, Timothy Morton, Eduardo Restrepo, Kenny Riches and Agustina Woodgate.
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Rachel Williams is the social media editor for the Dallas Observer.
Contact: Rachel Williams