This Saturday night Dallas gets more inventive, thanks to a little shindig called Art Con 9.
Organized by a legion of do-gooders, the event unites the city's fringe in an unassuming warehouse at 500 Singleton Blvd. That space has been converted into a fleeting party venue where a few thousand of your closest friends will hang out, bid on art and shake every piece of themselves on the dance floor.
We thought you should know exactly why it's such a big deal, so here's the evening's biggest draws, pre-cut into easily digestable bites. Now, let's dig in.
Community Film geeks. Video artists. Music nerds. Gallery kids. Office grinders. Dallas is a city of pocket communities. That isn't a bad thing, but as those trails are run increasingly deeper, time slips away. The visual artists see bands sparingly and the music scene rarely steps foot in the art spaces, even though the two are so intimately bound.
Art Con sticks everyone -- and I mean everyone, about 2,000 folks attend -- together. Then it shakes 'em up for a great cause.
My Possibilities Collin County's first full-day continuing education program for disabled Texans who have "aged out" of secondary education, My Possibilities is a local treasure. Catering to our neighbors with Autism, Down syndrome, Asperger's, Prader-Willi, head injuries and other situations, MP works to advance critical thinking skill sets, teach pre-vocational curriculum and generally enrich the lives of all it serves. A big part of that includes arts education.
Through MPCreate students express themselves through painting, drawing, ceramics and photography. They also venture out to explore museums and art around town, learning the history of modern and classic styles.
Art Con 9 selected My Possibilities as this year's beneficiary organization, so when you buy a ticket, drink or auction item you're directly supporting art education in your community. That's something we can all get behind.
New Fumes Daniel Huffman's one-man project flickers the visual with the sonic. He's an impressive artist in his own right, compulsively building and rendering work in his brilliant, oozy style. He creates sculptures, posters and performative accents here in Dallas and up in Oklahoma City, where he collaborates with Wayne Coyne at Womb Gallery.
You see all of that in a New Fumes set. It's a jarring, pulsating ride through psychedelia that leaves you simply elated. I should know, Huffman's is the first show I saw in Dallas that really floored me, and since then I've watched him open for My Bloody Valentine, tour relentlessly and still save a little energy for projects like this, right here on his home turf. He's one of the good ones, so don't miss him.
Zhora An electric flood of hard-wired femininity, Zhora is a master of balance. Tender vocals usher you through those flexed-up beats, all cannonballed into a pool of tripped-out visuals. I dare you not to spin-dance.
DJs Sarah Jaffe and emptycylinder Jaffe takes a night off from laying tracks with Eminem to join Vinyl Fantasy record-digger, DJ emptycylinder, at Art Con 9. You already know Jaffe -- and you should know Nathan Johnson -- he's spun every party you were irrationally happy at. This pair's gonna maximize your fun quadrant.
170 That's how many artists were selected to make work for this year's Art Con. Now I'm no mathematician, but that seems like a lot.
Let's step back and consider that: Nearly 200 people spent last Saturday working in a warehouse together, creating original artwork to sell for charity. The next time you get down on Dallas, let that image pop into your head. You'll be smiling again in no time.
Auctions Sure, lots of groups have art auctions. And yes, those can be stuffy. Forget that mess: At Art Con each piece starts with a chill $20 bid. Then, things get cray.
An energy flows through the crowd, hyped up by Con's celebrity auctioneers. Before long you don't just want a certain piece, you need it. Arms shoot up through the room, and you're texting your financial institution, asking details on that line of credit they keep pestering you about. If you don't have cash to blow, the auctions are an excuse to get caught up in the fervor, seeing how much your favorite pieces actually go for.
Pro tip: As booze soaks in, bidding gets looser. If you want to score a piece on a budget, get to Con early and hit up the first auction.
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Bar! There is one, so don't be nervous.
In fact, Art Con's touting a Beer Garden with craft pours straight from local breweries. Everyone knows beer gardens are the best kinds of gardens: They never require weeding, soil turning or really any work on your part whatsoever. Cool Haus, Easy Slider, Nammi and The Butcher's Son will also be there to help sop up that beer bounty.
Live Art Those mischievous conspirators always have something cooking -- they're also good at keeping said stew under wraps. This year's no exception. So far we know there will be live murals, allowing you to bask in other people's skills and processes while lamenting your lack thereof.
There will also be an interactive art space where you can leave your own mark on the party. (Remember, if you can draw nothing else, Calvin and Hobbes is always a crowd pleaser. Bill Watterson is everyone's hero.)