This Season Marks New Beginnings for Texas' Oldest Art Co-op, 500X Gallery

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By Justin Hunt On Sunday, 500X Gallery concluded its first show of the season, Ripe Produce: 500X Members Exhibition. An annual tradition of displaying member works, this year's show introduced twelve new members into the sixteen-person collective. The newness of the 500X team was immediately present: upon entrance in to the nondescript warehouse space (located, eponymously, at 500 Exhibition Ave), a cacophony of color and creativity greeted viewers.

Works on display ranged from traditional painting to printmaking to performance art. The diversity of media offered something for every taste. Kate Colin's "Dimensional Inverse" series of bright canvases picked up elements from the other members of the show - grid structures, bold colors and collage-like elements. Of particular note, new member Syd Webb produced several letterpress creations, including a commemorative poster of the event - a tradition that 500X members hope to continue for future shows.

The only distraction of the opening night production was the constant thunder of M. Kate Helmes' "Pace" as the concrete-laden gown rumbled across the upstairs gallery. Not to detract from performance art, but this work may have been better suited for its own showing, so as not to take away from the viewer's interaction with the works of the other 500X members on display.

The energy of the dozen new members excites current 500X president, Diane Durant. "The new energy has challenged the existing members," she says. She went on to describe the renewed interest and activity within the shared studio space, a liveliness encouraging many late nights creating new works.

Likewise, new member H. Schenk, spoke of the revitalization of 500X's vision, that 500X will seek to become a vocal contributor to the local arts scene. Schenk's ideas include possible future ventures in curatorial work and possibly a gallery swap with other local studios. Schenk's passion is to introduce Dallas residents to the vibrancy of the local arts movement through fostering understanding and appreciation - ideas include future panel discussions and educational programs.

If there was one unifying concept amongst the artists of the 500X Co-operative, it was the idea of moving forward into new territory. From the collection of tree ring postcards by Jessica Fuentes, to Justin Strickland Hoff's "Sally Strychnyne Rides Again," to the "tear off and give to a friend" concept of Syd Webb's "Ash and Dawn" print, 500X is journeying forward to become a more vital and proactive member of Dallas culture and creativity.

500X Gallery (500 Exhibition Ave) presented Ripe Produce: 500X Members Exhibition from September 13 - September 21. Their upcoming juried exhibition EXPO will run October 4 - October 26, featuring Texas artists.

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