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Canvas Hotel’s New Exhibition, ARTCRUSH, Cements a Dallas Art Scene Trend

Dallas' Canvas Hotel will now be a part-time art gallery.EXPAND
Dallas' Canvas Hotel will now be a part-time art gallery.
Frankie Garcia

Out-of-towners aren’t the only thing checking into the Canvas Hotel in Dallas. Four Dallas-based artists will have their work taking up residence in the art-centric hotel as part of ARTCRUSH, a new exhibition running through April 5.

ARTCRUSH is the product of the Canvas Hotel teaming up with art consultancy SEMOSMAULDIN and FGIII Fine Art Productions to create a series of exhibitions showcasing local Dallas artists. The first ARTCRUSH will feature work from Christopher Bingham, Steph Renea, Alec DeJesus and Dallas artist allo. Each artist brings a different approach to painting, making for what should prove to be a visually exciting gallery of new work.

Oak Cliff artist Bingham has been painting for the last 15 years, bouncing around shows with traditional paintings, but in the last five, he has shifted his focus into mural work. Bingham's eye-catching creations can be seen all around the city; vibrant in color and imagery, his murals are elaborate and offer onlookers something new each time they stop to admire one of his creations.

The artist says it was the challenge of working on something so large that attracted him to murals.

“It was fun to go that big and see if you could conquer a piece of artwork that big,” Bingham says. “And once you do it the first time, you get the itch and you want to do it again. Something about it really intrigued me.”

Bingham will have 10 pieces on display in ARTCRUSH. He describes this latest series, all created in studio, as a new direction for his work. While these new pieces of Bingham’s won’t be of the scale the artist is known for, he doesn’t plan to sacrifice the depth he always strives to convey to the viewer.

“They focus on the tearing away of layers,” Bingham says. “A kind of revealing process. The sense behind them is where new contemporary art meets old art of an older age. Like sign painting and that sort of stuff that had a meaning behind it, and stuff that had a purpose. And so where those two worlds collide essentially.”

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Days away from reaching the one-year mark since its grand opening, the Canvas Hotel has made an impact with the artistic community by providing a spotlight for artists to promote their work and raise their profile within Dallas. Boasting 76 art-infused suites and guestrooms, the hotel uses every opportunity to incorporate work from Dallas artists in their motif.

The concentrated approach to using local art in higher-end projects is a recent development to the Dallas art scene — like in the case of the massive Virgin Hotel, which curator Lesli Marshall filled largely with local art — but artists like Bingham welcome it.

“I do think it’s a new thing, but I think it’s a positive thing,” Bingham says. “To give artists a new outlet. To take them out of a traditional gallery space and kind of give them a new space to show in and kind of give them new opportunities, and just new venues, you know? I think it’s always a positive thing when you bring stuff like that in.”

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