Get Up Close with Oak Cliff Artists at Visual SpeedBump Art Tour

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It's spring and art is in the air! To celebrate, some artists who call Oak Cliff their home, will be opening their front doors and letting you all into their private lives and studios for the 2014 Oak Cliff Visual SpeedBump Tour, this Saturday, May 17, from noon-6:00pm.

In 2011, two Oak Cliff artists started Speedbump on a lark. The Brians --that's Brian Scott and Brian Jones, who are collectively known as Chuck and George- were living upstairs from artist Dorothy Duvall and they jokingly brought up the idea of hosting a tour of historic Oak Cliff. But, instead of taking people to well-appointed homes, they would bring them around to the studios of the artists who inhabited the neighborhood.

That theme of guerilla action was maintained in the initial planning process, as the Brians evolved the idea into what it has now become--and I posit, what it was always meant to be--an opportunity for people to come and see art in its incubator. It's three years later, and the boys are still at it.

Each year, more and more artists join the fold, and what we can expect from SpeedBump is not easily classified. "There are a lot of artists in Oak Cliff, and their styles vary greatly," says Brian Scott, "you can expect to see very traditional materials and techniques like water color, oil and acrylic painting, to more contemporary assemblage, video, and there may even be a performance."

Plus, you'll be getting a personal view into the private domains of these artists. You'll get to see how they live and work, which for most artists tends to overlap. I know when I lived and worked at CentralTrak, the pieces I was working on were in very nook and cranny I could find. My favorite place to hang new work: above the toilet. Seriously, check out the bathroom at most artists' homes, you'll find a real treasure in there (get your minds out of the gutter, please). Bathrooms have great lighting, and usually white walls. They are the most underrated room of the house; yet, they are the most frequented, next to the kitchen, so why not hang some work in there?

Exposing your home in this intimate manner would surely scare some. Not the Brians. They were more than motivated to take this leap of faith. "We really like people, and always enjoy visiting artists studios and homes to see what they choose to surround themselves," says Scott. "We [Brian Jones and I] feel that our house is actually one of the major art pieces we have been working on for years. We work out our ideas on our walls."

Their home specifically is a Rococo masterpiece. Be sure to check out their salon when you arrive. Another stop you should definitively make is to Oil and Cotton. The hands-on learning technique and fun shop is great for everyone in your family unit. They offer art and craft classes, have public demonstrations, and you can take home the work you make there.

One more reason to check out SpeedBump: it's free. Now, you really have no excuse not to spend your day out in "the Cliff." The full list is available at chuckandgeorge.net and printed maps will be available at each stop.

The artists included in this year's tour are:

The Ant Colony

Chuck & George: Brian K Jones & Brian K Scott

Studio Kate Colin

Ray-Mel Cornelius

Deadbolt Studios: Nathan Green; Arthur Peña; Brian Ryden; Matt Clark

Erica Felicella

Gretchen Goetz & Scott Winterrowd

Teresa Gomez-Martorell

Chaitra Linehan

Leigh Merrill

MFA (Mighty Fine Arts)

Oil & Cotton & Kyle Hobratschk

Kim Owens & Lily Smith-Kirkley

The Safe Room Gallery

Erik Schuessler

Sour Grapes Studio

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