Artopia Celebrates a Growing Community

For years, I resisted the pull of Big D. I was shored up in Little D, with a constant chorus of people who told me that Dallas "had no soul." There was no art or culture in Dallas, they said. No Flying Tomato, no subculture worth noting, no music scene that didn't pull heavily from Denton. But I came anyway, not expecting to find any sort of cultural utopia but grateful to have museums and galleries within blocks of my new home. Then something happened -- the Dallas art community got it together. They brought together neighborhoods and artists and mediums, and the scene here today downright thrives. In the space of a decade, people went from driving to Denton for all their fancy art collective gatherings to coming to Dallas for the massive Art Conspiracy; for shows at galleries in Deep Ellum and Oak Cliff; and for events like the Dallas Observer's own Artopia. With art curated by Brian Gibb, cofounder of the late, great Art Prostitute; fashion events by Salvage House and Wade College designers; and music from Burning Hotels (plus several DJs) it's the perfect marriage of everything ideal about Dallas' arts community. From 8 p.m. till 11 p.m. at the Dallas Contemporary, 161 Glass St., take in the sights, sounds and food that show just how far Dallas has come as an arts destination. Admission is limited to those 21 and up; tickets are $20 in advance for general admission and $45 for VIP access. Visit
Sat., Dec. 3, 8-11 p.m., 2011
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Jennifer Davis-Lamm