Commerce gets the cash
It was slim pickins in the cash-awards category for the hometown artists, who will instead have to settle for getting their work into the McKinney Avenue Contemporary's "Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Texas Art." And that's no small feat, even though good exposure somehow pales in comparison to cold, hard cash. Juror Terrie Sultan of Washington's Corcoran Museum selected and presented the awards to four out-of-towners in ceremonies November 6 that coincided with the MAC's fifth-anniversary bash. Austin's Connie Arismendi won the $2,000 Tim and Nancy Hanley grand prize, donated by the well-known Dallas art collectors, for her "La Oracion (mas tiempo por favor), The Prayer (please more time)." Houston artist Patricia Hernandez won $1,500 for "Adolescent Paint"; Commerce-based Jill Judson Singletary won $1,000 for "Clouded"; and another Commerce artist, Kay Ford Ellis, won $500 for "G.I.G.O." Must be some creative juices in the water in East Texas -- or perhaps it's the under-recognized art program at Texas A&M at Commerce, which spawned gallerist Talley Dunn's favorite fresh new find Trenton Hancock, among others. Hancock's work, which debuted at Gerald Peters Gallery in June 1998, will be featured in one of Dunn Brown Contemporary's upcoming shows.
In addition to coughing up the cash for the jurored show's top prize, Nancy Hanley is putting in hard time as the MAC's "Blue Yule Artist's Party and Ornament Sale" co-chairman, along with Susan Matusewicz. Hanley says the MAC's third annual holiday fund-raiser will be a convivial good time for artists who come with or without an artful ornament. Still, she's encouraging artists to create a handmade bauble in any medium, and not necessarily blue, and get it to the art center by December 6. "Artists can attend no matter what," she says of the December 10 party, "but we hope they'll do a good deed for their favorite art space." MAC administrative director Mary Nicolett says that for added enticement, participating artists will receive a free MAC membership in exchange for a donated ornament. Hanley is an artist herself, and has lately taken to ethereal collages in cast glass. Look for an original Hanley on -- not under -- the tree this year. Another curiously strong artistic contribution could come from Dallas artist Susie Phillips, who makes crafty Altoids-tin creations for her own tree each year.
Annabelle Massey Helber