Dallas can be a difficult city to be proud of. I'm sure that statement brings with it numerous detractors who will verbally punt me back to wherever I'm from. I grew up here, just to be clear, and even moved back after very quickly falling out of love with New York. But when people ask what there is to like about Dallas, it's a difficult question to answer. "Big city opportunity, small town feel" has become my go-to answer. Look, I'm not an impassioned advocate for much of anything. I'm a doubter, a questioner, an all-things-are-gray kind of person. But anytime I'm returning to Dallas after a trip, I anticipate seeing the Dallas skyline in the distance. It gives me the same feeling that the smell of my parent's home does, or my grandma's perfume, or the embrace of a friend.
That small swell of pride, love, or whatever it is that seems to say "home," is the same feeling I get when looking at Justin Terveen's photos at Kettle Art Gallery.
Terveen is one of those photographers whose work can be seen all over town. He shoots for glossies, corporations, we've even used his photos in the Dallas Observer. And when USA Today was accepting votes for the Best International Skyline, the photo they were voting on was Terveen's. And his photos at Kettle Art, on display as part of the gallery's "Photography Month," are some of his best new work. He uses light to his advantage, capturing its movement to represent the speed of the city, or catching the sunset as it sets over Dallas, the color-changing city.
The less familiar photographer on display at Kettle, although arguably more well known in other parts of the world, is Richard Andrew Sharum. In this series of work, he's playing with the shadows, photographing pieces of architecture all over the world from new angles or less recognizable times of the day. In fact, in a guerrilla public art experiment, Sharum placed the Dallas photos directly in front of their subjects to draw attention the beauty in the unnoticed. They've been printed on archival aluminum for display at Kettle, which makes them irresistible. It's suddenly easy to see the beauty in the moments that caught Sharum eyes and also reminds the viewer that photography is specific to moments in time. The next time you walk by One Main Place, it won't look as mysterious as it does in Sharum's photo.
The odds that you are going to be in Deep Ellum on a Friday or a Saturday before November 2 are probably pretty high. So do yourself a favor and pop into Kettle Art (2650 Main St.) to see the spectrum of Dallas architecture. Gallery is open 7-10 p.m. Thursday/Friday and 2-10 p.m. Saturday.