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Introducing Artopia 2013, the Observer's Annual Art Party, Curated by Pedro Alonzo

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Tickets just went on sale for Artopia, the Dallas Observer's experimental mash-up of the Party Arts. Happening on January 26, 2013, the Dallas Contemporary and your friends at the Observer join forces in the name of sensory immersion. (The video above is from last year's event.)

A $30 general admission ticket gets you food, beer, wine and liquor sampling to stimulate your more tactile senses, musicians who shake down the line between performance art and sound, and a fully produced runway show, featuring all-local designers. VIP tickets give you entry to special lounges and boosted party supplies.

Staged as an exhibition nestled within an exhibition, you'll weave through installations, discover new artists and generally experience the best night in Dallas, ever.

There's a couple other reasons why we're vibrating with Artopia 2013 excitement; We're giving money away, for one. An event cornerstone, we'll present the city's most engaging artists and culture champions with MasterMind awards, cash prize grants helping to further all the great work they do.

A special addition to this year's event came to us through a fortunate friendship. Guest curator Pedro Alonzo arrived in town last week, and has already begun tapping into our local talent network to instigate his Artopia masterpiece.

Expect bold and vibrant, as Alonzo plays within and around the Dallas Contemporary's January opening exhibition, Victory, a mixed-media and sculptural exploration of low-rider lust, appropriately tricked out and customized by Chicago-based artist, DZINE.

It's a natural collaboration. Pedro Alonzo and Peter Doroshenko (Executive Director of the Dallas Contemporary) go way back. They met when Alonzo was working in Monterrey, Mexico and Doroshenko visited, scouring the area for new talent.

Alonzo introduced Doroshenko to the area's forward-thinking street artists and soon, the pair became friends. Peter nudged Pedro out of gallery life, to explore his natural instincts for curation on a grander scale.

Now, Alonzo is a force, gliding through a global network of street artists to launch shows in major metropolitans, like his acclaimed 2010 downtown takeover with the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, Viva la Revolución.

His efforts have triggered skyrocketing attendance for galleries and museums, but if asked, he'll just say he believes in lacing worlds together. He does, too. He's a real wall-kicker. Alonzo likes to shake it up, extending major exhibitions outdoors to turn the community itself into a canvas. He gives interiors an equally affectionate sweep by creating urban landscapes as installations. Now, groups who hadn't previously merged have united through art.

He's had his eye on Dallas for a while, we're excited for him to get rowdy with us, visually.

We'll release more details as January 26th gets closer, but ticket prices climb along with the date. Do yourself a solid and get yours today. (GA goes to $40 in January and $50 at the door. VIP, which are $50 now, will go to $65 and then $80.)

Go ahead and make the first mark on your 2013 calendar for January 26.

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