Sunday, February 09, 2014

Museum Hopping down I20 Texas


Angilee Wilkerson - River Rising article repost I did back in August 2013.

If you find yourself heading out of Dallas on I20 and you're not traveling 90 miles an hour like just about everyone else on the highway, then you might want to drop by some cultural spots along the way. No I am not talking about first Monday trade days in Canton, Texas. Though it has its appeal. I am talking about the three art museums (Tyler Museum of Art, Longview Museum of Fine Art and the Michelson Museum of Art) along the route to Shreveport, Louisiana.

Now visiting these East Texas art oases can be a bit of a gamble. You don't want to walk in cold Japanese Art Deco objects. Any designer that wants to enrich their aesthetics should make it a point to see this show. Deco is such a broad term, but basically it is a type of Modernism around the 1920's and 30's that uses clean lines with decorative accents. I have seen several European and American examples, but Modernism was a global phenomenon and a show like this can help to put that into perspective. The Tyler Museum of Art presentation of Deco Japan is part of a traveling show and this is the only stop in Texas.

In the past, I have traveled out to see shows by both Vincent Falsetta and Robert Jessup; two of my University of North Texas professors. An exhibition of Texas artists just came down. For whatever reason, I am not easily impress with photography, but Angilee Wilkerson’s images were hauntingly beautiful, sublime and sad. With her pictures stacked and pressed together in salon style display; I wish each picture was given more room on the wall so I could have meditated on each work. Every one of her images implied a story that drew you deep within the mystery that was unfolding before your eyes. September 14th, the museum will launch Tejano: Contemporary Hispanic Artists of Texas. Seeing Angel Cabrales’ explosive art would make the trip worth your while.

The Michelson Museum of Art in Marshall, Texas is a different creature altogether. Their collection of Russian/American artist Leo Michelson (1897-1978) has set the tone of what kind of artwork you might find in their exhibition spaces. Most art displayed there is relatively conservative, like their current show of American Legions: Our National Parks. This group of paintings are contemporary landscapes of parks done in traditional realist styles. But sometimes you get to see a real gem of a show, like back in 2008 when I ran into a painting show of Lilian Garcia-Roig. She is now having a show at Valley House Gallery and Sculpture Garden.

And last but not least, there is my studio in Jefferson, Texas. That is right, I am out in East Texas now, just north of Marshall. I know what you are saying, how can he keep writing reviews for Dallas. Well, I know it is a bit of a drive, but I somehow make it to Dallas once or twice a month on the flimsiest of excuses. So, I might not make all the openings, but I will still be lurking around to see every gallery and as many artists as possible while I am in town. for more images

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