Members Only

It's kinda flawless what they do-o-o-o over there on Swiss Aveno-o-o-o. Many are singing the praises of the Dallas Center for Contemporary Art, and why not? It's an art- and artist-advocacy Mecca, with a tireless, committed board; a devoted executive director; and nearly 500 artist and patron members who actively nurture, promote, enrich, support and recognize Dallas' working visual arts community. The Contemporary puts on the annual Legend Awards to honor a local artist, patron/collector and an arts professional. Its Mix! series of exhibitions highlights ethnicity in art, and it hosts myriad networking events, classes and curated exhibitions throughout the year. Quintessential is the Contemporary's annual Members on View exhibition, an open show of artwork in every medium by members. "This is the way to see a large body of work by working Dallas artists," executive director Joan Davidow says. "The expanse of works attests to the pure joy of creation." More than 225 joyous artist-members have created one work to meet this year's exhibition criteria, established "to respect the dignity of the work and give it proper space," she says. Each piece conforms to a 96-inch external dimension, and Davidow's curator's eye creates "shows-within-a-show" by grouping landscape, still life, figure, abstraction and works on paper. The free and festive opening reception for Members on View will be held from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at 2801 Swiss Ave. A new twist: Five of the member-artists will be selected for solo shows during the year by Sara Kellner, director of Houston's Diverse Works. Call 214-821-2522. --Annabelle Massey Helber

Lights Fantastic

As if the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei, wasn't already a work of art, the grand concert hall of Dallas will be illuminated in a "light art" work in homage to Sun Microsystems founder Bill Joy. With dazzling lights bursting out of the building's glass facade, it should at least be worth a trip downtown for a drive-by. The fête set will want to attend the concert celebrating the flipping of the switch. The concert is Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. followed by the inaugural illumination at 9:15 p.m. The light show continues nightly at 9:15 through June 24 at the Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora. Concert tickets are $10 to $50. Call 214-692-0203. --Jay Webb

It's not soup cans and Marilyn Monroe, but it is vivid and colorful. It ain't jambalaya or zydeco, but it is from Louisiana. There's no black velvet or pressed vinyl, but you might see Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin. Give up? It's Baby-Boom Daydreams, a retrospective of Douglas Bourgeois paintings, which depict a bold mix of pop culture and social issues such as crime, domestic abuse, racism and the environment. The exhibit organized by David S. Rubin, curator of visual arts at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, focuses on 40 works produced between 1975 and 2001. Baby-Boom Daydreams opens with a reception 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. June 14 and runs through July 27 at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney Ave. Call 214-953-1212. --Michelle Martinez

Shaken or Stirred

Arlington's cultural scope has a bad rap. With the new ultra-hip and unique My Martini Wine and Bistro, there may be hope. The guys who brought us Piranha's Killer Sushi now own My Martini, sophisticated even though it shares billing with a gas station. They serve drinks such as the Saketini, a vodka and sake concoction garnished with fresh ginger. You might hear comments such as, "Only people in L.A. and New York would eat this," from fellow Texans perusing the eclectic menu, but who would have thought my mouth could water for wilted baby spinach? My Martini is located at 859 N.E. Green Oaks Blvd. in Arlington. To make reservations for the grand opening celebration June 13 and June 14, call 817-461-4424. --Jenice Johnson

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