Visual Art

East Dallas Gallery Day Highlights Span Medium and Taste

By Scott Mitchell

Walking around the streets of Dallas Saturday afternoon at East Dallas Gallery Day spaces, you may have been getting a few mixed signals.

For starters, the area around Deep Ellum and Expo Park was dominated by the Elm Street Tattoo and Music Festival the entire weekend. So, it was likely you had been out the previous night enjoying a splendid balance of Jack and coke and Rockabilly - the balance of which likely upset Saturday morning.

But by Saturday afternoon (okay, late afternoon) the haze wore off and heaps of paintings, photographs, experimental videos, illustrations, and more was waiting to be appreciated.

And, despite the sheer amount of art--we're talking 14 galleries worth, here--the variety of the art was what really made this mild summer day shine.

If you wanted to see the widest variety of art and artists, for instance, the first stop would've been 500x in Expo Park. One of the few artist run spaces in Dallas the gallery hosted an open show for all its artists, Hot and Sweaty, which dominated every inch of free wall the space had to offer--and if you haven't seen 500x, that's a lot of space.

Maybe photography was more your fancy. In that case, a quick stop by the small space of Cohn Drennan Contemporary would reveal some good old fashioned 35mm film photography by Fort Worth native Dan Allen.

See also: Photographer Dan Allen on Chronicling the Punk Rock Scene in Dallas

A stop at Kirk Hopper Fine Art and feelings of childhood whimsy would be your reward, with unicycle sculptures and glass bubbles being blown from detached hands. The work of Sergio Garcia in his one-man exhibition It's Like the Beginning of That One Song brought your childhood memories to the forefront while distorting them into some sort of abstract dream.

Somewhere in the day, you probably needed a rest if you plan on seeing all 14 galleries. Once that sweat started pooling at your lower back, you could stop in at The Reading Room to partake in a book exchange. Because knowledge is a form of art, too.

There was more to celebrate than just the Gallery Walk. The Public Trust celebrated its ten-year anniversary Saturday evening with a throwback to its humble beginnings as an art zine and gallery called Art Prostitute in Denton. For Decade gallerist Brian Gibb selected illustrations featured throughout the past 10 years.

Other opening receptions took place on Saturday evening as well (you could mark them by the free alcohol). Over at Barry Whistler Gallery, the aptly named show One Night Stand, featured some of Dallas' most popular contemporaries: Sally Glass, Arthur Pena, Nathan Green and Luke Harnden,

See also: There's Nothing New Under the Dallas Sun, It's All About Perspective. And, if you were in the area late anyways for the tattoo festival, you could swing by Beefhaus and catch the experimental videos of Jeff Gibbons and Gregory Ruppe, part of a three-week series, :PURE DURATION: part one: a beetle on its back // A Beetle on Its Back.

In addition to these stand-outs, there were eight other galleries with exhibitions worth seeing. If you managed to make it to all 14 featured galleries, we salute you and your sweat-soaked shirts. Because here in Dallas everything is done big. Even the art apparently. Or so the city motto tells us.

See Pure Duration at Beefhaus (833 Exposition Ave) Thursday- Saturdays after 9 p.m. through June 28. See One Night Stand at Barry Whistler Gallery (2909-B Canton St.) through June 28.

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Scott Mitchell
Contact: Scott Mitchell