Monday, March 03, 2014

Cadd Bus Tour

Jim Bowman, and Mary Lynn Devereux-Bowman, Studio // photography: Giovanni Valderas  
ModernDallas.net re-post of my article

The Contemporary Art Dealers of Dallas wanted to give art lovers a more intimate engagement with the art they see and a glimpse into the creative process, so in 2010 they started a bus tour that visited galleries, artist’s studios, art spaces, and even a warehouse of art. And for whatever reason, I managed to miss the tours or had my plans to go fall through. But this time the stars were aligned just right for me to snag a ride on the September CADD bus tour.

I arrived late, but I joined the tour at 500x where I met several of the active members of the gallery. 500x’s claim to fame is being the oldest, artist run, co op gallery in Texas. Our tour guides were even members of this historic Dallas institution. Our hostess was Elaine Pawlowicz. She was energetic and a disciplined timekeeper of the tour. Pawlowicz is a painter of very brightly colored and somewhat surreal landscapes. She had two bodies of work in the member show. Downstairs, she had these unassuming little canvases that looked cheerful and inviting, but on closer examination you find some unsettling elements. Upstairs were her large ‘planet paintings.’ Our host, Giovanni Valderas helped introduce and encourage conversation with questions to the artists we met on the tour. His work is a mix between collage, relief sculpture, and painting. Often personal in content, but not to a point that the work doesn’t hold some universally relatable themes. He also had a smattering of work in the member show.

After 500x, we rode the bus to the Cedars area of Dallas. An area just south of the convention center where the rent has managed to stay low enough for a thriving artist studio community. We visited the joint compound of Richard Maxwell, Jim Bowman, and Mary Lynn Devereux- Bowman. Maxwell was truly a fascinating artist to hear talk about his process. He told us his experience in bending and shaping wood to create his sculptures that looked like thick lines that flowed and meandered across his work benches and even one wrapped around a support beam. By watching Youtube, he discovered someone that processes wood without steam to make the wood bend easier. Maxwell even demonstrated how he bent the wood. I thought for sure the boards were going to split at any moment, but the odd shape stayed. These objects are clamped down for about 24 hours to keep the shape. When the Cedars Open Studios tour comes around in November, be sure to stop by his studio to see him and his work.

Jim and Mary Lynn are glass artists. They were in the process of rebuilding their equipment, so we didn’t get to see anything blown, but they were a pleasure to meet. The objects impressed my travel companions in the back of the bus so much, they took some pieces home. We left the compound for our last stop at Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery. Better known as PDNB, we sat down to some Central Market sandwiches, fruit, and wine. The gallery’s main show was William Eggleston and artists in his circle and other artists influenced by his color photography. Back when everyone was using black and white, because it was so much “more artistic,” William Eggleston and some contemporaries in the South started to prove that color photography had as much merit as black and white. Anyone lacking a bit in photography history could still appreciate Eggleston’s photos, because of the context created from PDNB curation of the show. I meet two friends on the tour that were teachers. I was told at PDNB that at the artist compound a cat attacked a lady’s foot. Finally, we took what Giovanni called “swag bags” full of cards, an art magazine, and a few little gifts.

ModernDallas.net  for more images.

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