Saturday, March 19, 2016

Year in Review

Trey Egan at Cris Worley Fine Arts - Wanna Be Forevermore, 2015, oil on canvas, 59 x 76 inches repost of my article.

Another exciting year in art for Dallas is in the history books. A great number of good shows and events occurred over the past year and one really sad moment as well. I am pretty blue over the closing of RE Gallery. Though I am happy that Wanda Dye is doing this out needing a change in her life and not out of bitter necessity.

Wanda Dye came to Dallas to teach design and architecture, but the Re Gallery and Studio project was something she developed while she was teaching. So, when the moment was right, she renovated a house for a gallery space. Unlike the typical white cube format, Dye chose to keep the walls rough and unfinished. She used the space as a lab for some personal projects around the city. It took about a year to complete for each project. However, the art gallery incorporated in the project increasingly took precedence, and selling art was challenging. Dye told me that she could have kept things going financially, but the urge to move back to help out with family in Alabama and the feeling that shows were getting repetitive contributed to her need to close. To me, it sounds like Dye had learned a great deal from the Re Gallery and Studio experience, but she is now looking for new challenges.

Galleries in town have gotten pretty diverse in their offerings during 2015. A heavy amount of conceptual work has come out of Cydonia Gallery this year. This is a real Idea gallery where her artists explore the edges of aesthetic investigation. I wrote about both Michael Just’s and Bronwen Sleigh’s shows, but I think I could have said something about just about every exhibition, because I had strong views after leaving each show. Public Trust will have a great program going forward in 2016 with the one piece concept. Brian Gibbs has already had a few shows with the concept of displaying just one piece for people to contemplate, but that concept is continuing. I am sure that this idea will grab some press. Speaking of press we couldn’t get enough of Francisco Moreno’s show at Erin Cluley Gallery. It was an epic show with all the flash and color I expect from the gallery. Zeke Williams was another show I enjoyed there. Simon Bilodeau’s show at Circuit 12 Gallery was a wakeup call for owners Gina and Dustin Orlando. Such an ambitious and impressive installation at the gallery convinced him to maybe stretch out his calendar a bit on shows to give more time for people to see the work.

Consistently good shows came out of galleries like Holly Johnson which was nice enough to host my own work. Cris Worley Fine Arts which hosted Trey Egan’s painting show that got me thinking about some trends in the art world, and Barry Whistler Gallery’s show of Tom Orr was particularly stunning, and Galleri Urbane had several shows I wrote about.

I am aware that I am exclusively talking about the commercial spaces, but a great deal of positive events have occurred in these spaces this year and without these spaces and our support Dallas would not have a real visual art scene. So, in 2016, get out and be consistent in seeing art and you will be richer for it.

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