A Handy Guide to the Many, Many Art Openings Happening in Dallas on Saturday

Well Dallas, it's time to shake out your joints and do some deep lunges -- you don't want to sprain anything during Saturday night's flood of first looks. Yep, it's a big night for the Design District, and everyone's flexing their favorite talent to kick off 2013 after a sleepy holiday season.

Here's most of what's available, but do note that one show, Kris Pierce's Missed Calls, is happening away from the fray at the Reading Room. It's an interesting one, where Pierce turns data from his 2012 Fort Worth phone booth project into a log.

Missed communication as told through a spreadsheet? It's tougher to hang on the wall of your loft, but more interesting than much of what you'll see anywhere else. That opening runs from 7 to 9 p.m., just to jam your night up further.

"Be Still With Me" at Cris Worely -- In this show, MFA candidate Trey Egan paints without direct representation. Layered, blended and free-standing micro-environments exist throughout his abstract canvases creating, quite simply, beauty. From texture to dimension, Egan's work is unlikely to actually cause stillness as the show's title begs -- it's entirely too full of lusty motion to accommodate inertia. Meditations, however, could certainly latch hold.

"Visible Traces" at Red Arrow Contemporary -- Someone just dropped dynamite down the rabbit hole. This three-artist show dabbles with alterna-world perceptions of what we deem reality. I'm already struck by Aaron Muñoz's serigraphs -- they capture typically ugly moments at their most kinetic and beautiful, then freeze them that way for eternity. Padaric Kolander digs into communication's shortcomings in his collection of emotionally isolated muses. You'll eyefuck the hell out of Cary Hulbert's prints, which stretch into acid trip landscape territory. (I'm going to move there someday.)

"ENVIRONS," Ron Clark, Susan Perkins and Betty Sewell at Cohn Drennan -- This all-Texas show features built-up acrylics from Clark's "Impending Presence" series; minimalist paintings by Sewell; and some interesting woven sustainable fibers on paper from Perkins' "Luminous Impressions" collection.

Three Artist Show at Craighead Green -- You get work from Kenda North, Krista Harris and Kevin Box at this group gig, which runs from 5 to 8 p.m. Here's a thought: Should you find yourself in the Design District on Saturday night and you're on an awkward date, take them into Craighead Green. Walk past the strange underwater photography and jazzy acrylic art and go straight to this sculpture pictured on the right. It's a piece by Kevin Box titled "Conversation Starter." I think you should just point at it and say "Art." Or, "art?" Or "ART!" Any of those should work.

Regional Quarterly Volume 1: Cross Talk at Circuit 12 -- This brand new series kicks into gear Saturday night with the noble mission of bringing "together contemporary artists and visionaries throughout the state of Texas to share concepts and dialog with the Dallas market, providing a platform for regional artists to expose their works and network with other Texas based creatives."


I enjoy those words put together in that order. My question is this: Saturday is one of the biggest art opening nights of the season, and most of us are scrambling to squeeze everything into a quick few hours. Will there be time for dialog and concept sharing? Or is that code for "party?" We'll find out soon. "Clothesline" at Photographs Do Not Bend gives us unity through voyeurism in a lifetime assemblage of clothesline photos, by New York artist John Albok. Beginning in the 1930s and moving airily through time, the series is snapped from the rear of his tailor shop and home on Madison Avenue. We see connectivity in isolation in these black and whites. And with many dated to the Great Depression era, we also get a peek at iconic New York landmarks, shrouded in others' laundry. See it from 5 to 8 p.m.

"Surface Structures" Galleri Urbane Dallas flosses its East Texas ties with abstract contemporary work by former Chinati artist-in-residency Gail Peter Borden. While seemingly direct, there's nothing simple about these paintings. Borden is the Director of the Master of Architecture Program at the University of Southern California, and that understanding of an angle's ability to span time and build drama are decidedly present in these works. You'll also find yourself enamored the artist's division of hues, which nod both to the East Texas sunset and the warm glow of SoCal. See it from 5 to 8:30 p.m.

"Randy Twaddle: New Drawings" Holly Johnson Gallery shows off Texas artist Randy Twaddle and his unusual approach to capturing beauty where others see eyesores. Twaddle likes those points of friction where industry and technology intersect, like electrical transformers and their outstretched circuit line tentacles. He's been giving them voice in a new approach by blending brush-applied ink and coffee stains. The two mediums work to corral one another while creating tension within the works on paper. "Randy Twaddle: New Drawings" opens from 6 to 8 p.m.

"Cassandra" and "Pictures and Stories" at Conduit Gallery -- If you get nowhere else, check out the new shows by Robert Jessup and Rosalyn Bodycomb at Conduit. The former's oil paintings are a lively look at an unknowing audience. Although one, a rowboat blanketed with a yellow tarp floating isolated in a dark harbor, chills me to my bones. There's a childlike joy to Jessup's "Pictures and Stories," a collection of oils on canvas that will leave you hungry for ice cream and mom hugs. These shows open from 6 to 8 p.m.

"C4" at 500X -- This group show features work by Christine Bisetto, Colette Copeland, Clayton Hurt & Chancellor Page, although what each is showing is fairly vague. You have from 7 to 10 p.m. to figure it out.

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