Five Random Arty Things That (Maybe) Deserve Best Ofs

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Our Best of Dallas 2014 issue rolls out this week. While we can modestly say it's the greatest, most comprehensive city guide ever created, Dallas is a pretty big place that's filled to the brim with best-ness. To cover all the good stuff we might have left out, Mixmaster will offer some tips about the other best things in Dallas. It's not that we forgot about these things. No, forgetting is not what happened. Assigning the right superlative was just difficult. Sometimes the language required for Best Ofs can be limiting. Certainly these things aren't the "best" things in the art world, but they are a meaningful part of the city's artistic growth and, we believe, an integral part of the future of Dallas art, in one way or another.

Dallas Art Fair The weekend of the Dallas Art Fair has become the busiest art weekend of the year. Nearly every gallery, art space, institution, and event thrower got in on the action this year, making it impossible to see it all. Even mayor aligned his city-wide initiative #DallasArtsWeek with the Art Fair weekend. This energy has become infectious and some of the gallerists I talked to over the weekend admit that of all the art fairs they attend, they've come to look forward to Dallas the most. Of course, it's really about selling art, but it's also a damn fine display of the growing art scene here.

See also: Dallas Art Fair Signals the City's Potential

Gavin Delahunty Earlier this year, Gavin Delahunty joined the Dallas Museum of Art as senior curator of contemporary art after success at Tate Liverpool as the head of exhibitions and displays since 2010. Why should you care? Because the DMA is a-changin' and Delahunty is bringing us into the contemporary art world, one exhibition at a time. First, he put together The Museum is History to remind people that the DMA's collection contains some pretty incredible works of art. Then, the museum announced the big get of a Jackson Pollock show for Fall 2015, thanks to Mr. Delahunty. If he keeps this us, we'll have even more reasons to be proud of our city's big museum.

Zhulong Gallery We gave the best gallery to Circuit 12 Contemporary, for its commitment to an aesthetic, its interest in local and national art, its ability to be a commercial gallery that's still accessible to the non-collector, and its interest in redefining the boundaries of a normal gallery.But since it opened in April, a visit to Dragon Street is no longer complete without a stop at Zhulong Gallery. The gallery's focus on progressive art given the Design District a contemporary update that it desperately needed. And it seems more interested in ideas than in selling, which makes those gallery walks a lot more fun.

Expo Park This year, Cohn Drennan Contemporary moved from the Design District to Expo Park, which seems like a small thing.... but it can also be seen as this small neighborhood's growth toward a new arts district. Just two weeks ago, Lily Taylor and Sean Miller lit up the windows in their live/work space with the interest in displaying video art nightly. Add those to the list that includes Beefhaus, 500X, CentralTrak, and we're predicting a future for this shady little hood. Sure, it's not the "best" yet, but if there were a category for "future best artistic neighborhood," Expo Park might take the cake.

NorthPark Mall "I think people in Dallas take NorthPark for granted," Thomas Heatherwick told me in an interview two weeks ago. I think Mr. Heatherwick is right. Thus far in my tenure as arts and culture editor here, I've pointed out that NorthPark Center "introduces young people to art" before a movie, allowing people to see their first Warhol without stepping foot in a museum. I don't love shopping, but I do love that place. But Heatherwick pointed out that in a city where air conditioning is a necessity, it's a beautiful meeting place of commerce and culture, or wealth and normalcy, and by god, it's a pleasant place to wile away an afternoon. Grab a smoothie and look at a piece by Frank Stella, if you feel like it.

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