Christopher Blay: KWTXR
UNT on the Square
109 N. Elm St., Denton
Opening reception 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday
The Denton Black Film Festival and UNT on the Square have teamed up to bring you KWTXR, an exhibition of drawings, photographs and video by Fort Worth artist Christopher Blay. The collection pays homage to African American victims of police shootings over the past few decades. It’s experiential, with a central thesis that involves time travel (Blay describes it as “fantasy narrative”), where the characters go back and reverse the outcomes of their experiences of victimhood.
A former artist-in-residence at CentralTrak Dallas, Blay now works as the curator of the Art Corridor Gallery at Tarrant County College Southeast.
Carlos Donjuan: Just Be
H Gallery at Eastfield College
3737 Motley Drive, Mesquite
Opening reception 6 p.m. Thursday
In Just Be, which opens this week, Carlos Donjuan ramps up his exploration of differing viewpoints of illegal immigration in America. At the core of Donjuan’s work is his experience immigrating to America from Mexico as a child. His story is one many who’ve walked a mile in similar shoes can relate to, particularly the stigmatization of being identified from a young age as an illegal immigrant. The fabric of his upbringing serves as a springboard for his creative identity, as he redefines and recontextualizes terms he heard as a youth into relatable art. His work is deeply personal, oftentimes invoking his family and friends. He represents his fears of not belonging with masked characters, a playful way of confronting what it means to be “alien.”
Benini: Alla Geometria!
The Museum of Geometric and MADI Art
3109 Carlisle St.
Ongoing through April 24
Italian-born Benini (just Benini) pulled an artistic about-face in the mid-’80s when, after painting quaint landscapes and still lifes for 20 years, he abruptly switched gears and decided to specialize in spheres, triangles and three dimensional cubes. Alla Geometria! (or Wing Geometry), which features paintings spanning several decades, is the 163rd solo exhibition for the prolific artist. It’s one of four such shows the highly specialized venue hosts annually.
Benini was well known in years past for assemblages he calls divertimenti, which were built of wood, steel and granite and varied in size from a few inches to more than 15 feet. Now he’s focused on painting shapes, whose vibrant colors pop from their canvases with occasional ribbons added for lyricism. His works are anything but sterile, and make you wonder if high school geometry wasn’t so bad after all.
Jennifer Hill: Water Into Line
1717 Gould St.
Ongoing through Jan. 31
The charismatic little shotgun shack appropriately named Shotgun feels like the perfect venue to complement Jennifer Hill’s latest exhibit. Subtitled House of Recurrent Dreams, Water Into Line is a series of large ink paintings that explore the intersection of sleep, hieroglyphics, love, angles and dreams. Hill says her work has shifted to a less conscious interaction of these concepts and the fluid nature of sign language. Indeed, to linger on a Hill painting is to teeter into the realm of that ethereal pre-sleep state.
Adam Palmer: Romantic Getaway – Palmertree Island
1501 S. Ervay St.
Ongoing through Feb. 4
Perhaps it was the vast remoteness of Monahans, the tiny West Texas town where he grew up, that inspired Adam Palmer’s proclivity to rely on his imagination. It certainly forced him to find ways to entertain himself, and he took solace in cheeky 1980s pop culture. Today he’s a sculptor and high school art teacher who cites Magnum P.I., Fantasy Island, The Love Boat and cheap vending machine toys as influences for Romantic Getaway, his exhibit running currently at Ro2. His sculptures, like his influences, are intentionally cheeky to their cores. This botanical, nautical hybrid gem of an exhibit aims to convey all his childhood idols in an abstract form. One lesson to extract is that you can grow up in the desert and still flourish.