Sally Glass is an artist with a wicked sense of humor. There's a handmade sign outside her CentralTrak resident dorm that says, "Nevermind, I started my period." We've had a love affair with this chick since she burst onto the scene with her art zine, semigloss.
She just graduated with an MFA from University of Texas at Dallas and her thesis show wrapped last Friday. She's part of a group show premiering at Barry Whistler Gallery, from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday. We sat down with Glass to find out how she went from a psychology student at Texas Christian University to an artist, zine publisher, and total badass. Then, she broke our hearts a little bit by revealing plans outside Dallas.
What inspired the change from psychology/philosophy student to art? I graduated and was in the process of studying for the GRE so that I could apply to graduate programs in cognitive sciences and philosophy of mind, either that or clinical psychology, and then right in the middle of doing that I felt very demotivated. My GRE tutor said you don't seem like you're enjoying any of this why don't you do something creative? That's such a random piece of advice to take from a GRE tutor, but it struck a chord so I went back to the most recent creative thing I remembered liking and that was photography. I went back to my high school and apprenticed with my high school photography teacher and started honing my skills.
Then I started going out and shooting Dallas Nightlife on my own and was recruited by We Shot JR, a music blog in Dallas and Denton, to be their photographer. They were anonymous, but they needed someone in the trenches shooting shows, parties and art events.
Was that exhausting? Oh totally, but also energizing as well because I was learning so much about music and I worked with a great group of people.
How did that lead you to, "Okay, I'm going to go get an MFA?" Well, I started getting interested in contemporary art when my father started dating and subsequently marrying the director of the Dallas Contemporary so he started going to all these openings and he would invite my brother and myself. I began noticing a conceptual framework for some of these things that really appealed to me with my background in philosophy and psychology. I could attach meaning to it when as well as appreciating the aesthetic value.
What's next for you? Now that you've graduated, is semigloss a hobby or do you want it to be a business? The idea of business is really intimidating to me and all I want is for semigloss to remain a project that I get excited about. I really enjoy the process of collaboration, so if Bradly and I can keep enjoying collaborating with each other and collaborating with these artists then I don't need it to be anything other than that.
And just in your words, why did you guys start semigloss? We started it originally to preserve and document in physical form what was happening in Dallas because it felt like this new energy that was being produced and still is. All these artist run initiatives, projects, spaces - awesome stuff that's happening here in Dallas. We felt like it deserved to be preserved.
So to switch gears, what's a personal goal? My personal goal right now is more related to my art. I'm moving to Houston at the end of the summer.
Nooooo. I think it's a really important step, not just for me personally, but for my connection with Dallas The magazine is a perfect example because Bradly is moving down there as well, and we're going to start building connections between Dallas and Houston as art cities so grows together instead of having this exist here and that exist there without any connection.
I also want to concentrate on my studio practice and really grow that as an adult in a serious way.
And when you say work on your studio art, talk to the little writer, what is that? That's actually a really good question. It really differs between each artist and I've realized over the past three years in grad school that my practice is not necessarily a traditional studio practice like as if I were a painter or a sculptor. It's not about creating objects in a studio or working that way.
That's largely what my thesis exhibition is about it's coming to terms with the process of making things that isn't tied to materials, it's the time spent reflecting and collecting and thinking and paying attention to other things like influences that are happening around me.
What does success look like for you? This is going to sound really clichéd but success is on ongoing process. It's like little victories that build on themselves. It's not a lifelong huge goal but feeling fulfilled in general every day.
Whom do you admire? I admire everybody. You know I admire the people around me that are doing things in a different way and are taking risks. Patti Smith just embodied this fearlessness that didn't take into account how others feel about their work. She was fearless in what she said and what she did. Robert Rauschenberg. He was fearless in his approach to collaboration and materials.
What's your most favorite thing in the world to do? Talk to my friends on the telephone, sit on my now vacant studio space and watch House...and masturbate.
What bums you out? Internet censorship and people killing other people. White male privilege.
Finally, what would you say to younger you? My message from me to younger me would definitely be just keep going and trust yourself.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.