CentralTrak: Come Up and See Us (Tonight)

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By now, we'd expect that you're reasonably familiar with CentralTrak. The UT Dallas artists' residency in Expo Park jam packs a lot of dynamic programming into this city, from educational panels to visual installations, performance art jam sessions and auditory revelations. Our only complaint is that there's not something new to see/hear/play with every. single. day. It's a selfish request. And, an unrealistic one.

We don't know if absence truly makes the heart grow fonder, but when we got word about Open Studios tonight, we were feeling pretty damned fond.

Understand, this is not merely 'open gallery hours' or a reception for a new exhibition. This is a tour into the belly of the beast. Well, to be less dramatic - CentralTrak's residents are exposing themselves and their freshest ideas to your voyeuristic eye. Ten emerging artists - some graduate students at UT Dallas, others national and international artists honing their respective crafts in the haven of residency - and ringmaster (Director) Heyd Fontenot are inviting you into presumably the most intimate space imaginable: their home/studio.

For anyone who hasn't been to CentralTrak or who has only yet ventured into the gallery space, residents live in modest studio apartments of varying floor-plans designed to provide both living accommodations and workspace within relatively modest square footage. The arrangement requires organizational ingenuity and the ability to fully immerse in one's craft. There is simply no "closing the door" on a long workday or boxing out a bothersome project.

In exchange, however, we imagine these artists are spared the frustrating restraints of artistic practice within the bounds of the "normal" 9-to-5 tedium. Quite frankly, we envy them and eagerly jump at any opportunity to vicariously experience their (presumed) artistic liberation. Tonight is just such a chance to pick the brains of some of Dallas' (and the world's) most significant up-and-coming stars.

Visiting artists Nathan Green (Austin), Dominic Hawgood (London) and Brian Stinson (MS) will be around to discuss current and past projects (photographer Hawgood has exhibited a series on hypnotism, are you kidding?! Incredible.), and graduate students Danielle Georgiou and Hilly Holsonback (who perform together as "Slik Stockings") will talk about their upcoming joint show at New York's Horton Gallery.

Residents Val Curry and Ruben Neito will also be on-hand, as well as former and future residents, Cassandra Emswiler and Sally Glass, respectively, who have collaborated for the upcoming exhibition Sheet/Rock (officially opening July 14).

As you can see, CT is never wont for new ideas, faces, discussions and projects.

Stop in tonight from 7:00 to 9:00 at 800 Exposition Ave. Bring questions, openness and a healthy yen for cognitive exploration.

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.