Arts & Culture News

[email protected]#K Brain Cancer, Indeed: Before He Got Sick, Artist Patrick Short Gave Himself to Dallas, so Dallas is Giving Back

Patrick Short didn't run off to the Yale School of Architecture because he felt compelled to reinvent a skyline or establish a high-end construction project. "He went into architecture so he could learn how to make better sculptures," says his friend and fellow Boston University alum, Joshua Goode. "He wanted to learn how to make things."

That driven, inquisitive nature was the whirling force behind many of Short's Dallas accomplishments, and it led to him to create the non-profit artspace Guerrilla Arts, which D Magazine christened Best New Gallery of 2011. The passion project wasn't an easy one. Squatters had to be shooed out, trash needed shoveling, and the work he chose to show was oftentimes unsellable. "He did a lot of installation work, which NOBODY was doing," says Susan Roth Romans, co-partner and owner of Ro2 Art. "And that's what he wanted to do."

"But really, he started it all."

After wrapping up his undergrad in Boston, Short bounced around -- New York, Austin -- but eventually he returned to his Dallas roots. "He saw a big need in the arts community here," recalls Goode. "There's so much potential and so much going on, but [these artists] needed a place to experiment, grow a little, but also show work that, especially at that time, didn't have a venue."

So he gave every bit of himself -- laboring in the donated, ramshackle building and visiting local artists in their studios to offer guidance and direction. His words, at age 23, proved invaluable. And the evidence of that legacy hangs on every wall of Ro2 Art's Downtown Project Space in a show dedicated, ever so lovingly, to easing Short's current load: At age 26, he was recently diagnosed with Stage Three Anapalastic Oligodendroglioma, an aggressive, and terminal, form of brain cancer.