Change can be inevitable, insurmountable, and occasionally incandescent. For the local art scene, the recent spate of closures, relocations, and evolutions bodes well for a very interesting 2016.
From new venues for three beloved galleries to an eye-popping performance at a local institution, here are the events to attend this February.
“30th Anniversary Exhibition,” Various Artists, at Barry Whistler Gallery
Reception: February 13, 6-8 pm
Exhibition dates: February 13-March 26
A longtime staple of the Deep Ellum Art scene, Barry Whistler Gallery is paying homage to 30 years of innovative exhibitions this month with a show that also marks the end of an era.
Following on the heels of a not-quite-mass exodus to the most populated gallery locale in town, Whistler will depart his 2909 Canton locale for new digs in the former Lab Art space at 315 Cole St. in the Dallas Design District which — once remodeled — Whistler promises to be a “dynamic, elegant exhibition space.”
“Part of the draw for me is it has something of a standalone presence,” says Whistler of his new digs, which will get a graffiti-free facelift in the coming weeks. “It has 4,500 square feet, so we can have a nice showing room in the back and be able to have space to have privacy with a client.”
The gallery plans to be up and running by the time the Dallas Art Fair opens in April, but in the meantime, they’re celebrating the last three decades with a show encompassing works from everyone to Nathan Green to Ellsworth Kelly, John Pomara to Tom Orr.
“The Universe Is a Room We all Live In and I Am a Modern Shaman and We Are All Aliens,” Jeff Parrott, at McKinney Avenue Contemporary
Performance: February 19, 8-10 pm
Exhibition dates: Through February 20 by appointment
One could never accuse Dallas-based artist Jeff Parrott of being shy in sharing his intent. The psychedelic talent puts it all out there in his latest exhibition and performance at the MAC.
Giving a peek at the artist in his natural habitat — the studio — viewers can get a look into the method behind that madness that begat his trippy, drippy, alien-filled canvases. In a method he calls “psyexpression,” Parrott adds sound and projections to his paintings and sculptures in two special performances (one still remaining on Februrary 19) in the MAC’s downstairs west gallery.
Because the MAC’s mission is to support experimentation and emerging artists, staging an event this free-flowing in a still relatively raw warehouse space seems like the perfect pairing of form and function.
Says MAC director Rachel Rogerson, “We only have use of the space as-is for a brief time; once it’s renovated, the atmosphere changes completely. When he approached me with the idea to utilize the existing architecture, I jumped on it. We’re proud to present his recent body of work in an experimental setting.”
As Parrott proposes, it promises to be an “intellectually contemplative, psychedelic trip,” and who doesn’t need one of those once in a while?
“Observations and Alterations,” Sonali Khatti and Scott Winterrowd, at Ro2 Art
Reception: February 19, 7-10 pm
Exhibition dates: February 19-March 18
Having also made a move from Deep Ellum to temporary housing in the former RE Gallery space, Ro2 plans to settle in for the next nine months in an old pharmacy building at 1501 S. Ervay St. With an eye to permanently reside within the MAC’s environs once its remodel is complete, Ro2 is keeping up the ambitious programming with a two-person show exploring a modern twist on classic landscapes.
Scott Winterrowd’s watercolors are a more linear homage to wide-open vistas of Los Alamos, New Mexico, while Sonali Khatti’s wet felted wool canvases combine color and form in an abstract exploration of nature.
Says Khatti of her textural process, “My landscapes combine the blending of color and tactile forms that are caught in flux, sometimes buried and often times unearthed. Collectively, the viewer is transported to a unique sense of place and atmosphere.
“Through an exploration of migrating color, stitched marks, and preserved forms, a story unfolds.”
“Next Chapter: 154 Glass Street,” various artists, at PDNB
Reception: February 27, 5-8 pm
Exhibition dates: February 27-April 23
Like Barry Whistler, the Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery is also getting ready for its next act at a new address in the Dallas Design District. PDNB is currently prepping the 4,000-square-foot Glass Street space for a show that blends the best of the past with a promising future.
Titled “Next Chapter,” it gathers together work from the gallery’s stable of artists, including legendary suburban historian Bill Owens, who will attend the opening reception. Other notable photographers with work on display include Geof Kern, Jeffery Silverthorne, Delilah Montoya, Bill Kennedy, and Philip Lamb.
“We’re paying homage to our artists who have created great work that we have placed in private, museum, and corporate collections,” says co-owner Missy Finger. “The images, sometimes challenging, offer a more stimulating environment for the public and private spaces they occupy. We’re proud to represent them.”
The homage continues in the coming months with a book signing for photographer Brad Temkin’s Rooftop, which captures the particular allure of aerial urban landscapes.