Your Show of Shows

Playful Dallas art-world tribute tops this month's gallery picks

Playful Dallas art-world tribute tops this month's gallery picks

Matt Bagley and Rusty Scrubby
Who's Afraid of Chuck and George? by Matt Bagley and Rusty Scruby, at CentralTrak. Photo courtesy of CentralTrak
Amy Cheng
Camu Camu by Amy Cheng, at Mary Tomas Gallery. Photo courtesy of Mary Tomas Gallery
Earlie Hudnall
Lady in Black Hat with Feathers, by Earlie Hudnall, at PDNB Gallery. Photo courtesy of Photographs Do Not Bend
An early 20th century anonymous photograph
An early 20th century anonymous photograph from the collection of Beverly and Jack Wilgus, at PDNB Gallery. Photo courtesy of Photographs Do Not Bend
Matt Bagley and Rusty Scrubby
Amy Cheng
Earlie Hudnall
An early 20th century anonymous photograph

We’re enamored by February’s gallery shows, which have the Dallas art community feeling the love all around. There’s an art-world tribute to two local talents, classic images from a photographer of the people and vivid paintings to take you into spring.

All this plus an opportunity to strike a pose on a paper moon. Isn’t it romantic?

Who’s Afraid of Chuck and George?, various artists, at CentralTrak
Reception: February 13, 8-10 pm 
Exhibition dates: February 13-April 4

Partnered creatively and romantically for 25 years, “The Brians” (Jones and Scott) live in a creative world all their own under the moniker “Chuck & George.” Beloved not only for their work, but also for their unique abode and legendary parties, the Dallas art scene wouldn’t be quite the same without them.

So when CentralTrak director Heyd Fontenot decided to honor the duo with an exhibition of work inspired by their “campy universe,” nearly 80 artists answered the call. It must be a bit surreal to see creative valentines to your own personas, but Fontenot says Scott and Jones eventually took it in stride.

“I think they were taken a little aback at first,” Fontenot says. “It’s like a roast, and you’re going to be up for interpretation and examination among your friends — sometimes that can be a shocking revelation. I think they got it very quickly. It’s just really fun, and you get a sense of all of these long friendships they’ve had.”

Calling the duo “the Pee Wee Hermans of Oak Cliff,” Fontenot says the Brians’ own art collection inspired the way the show was installed. “We painted the hallway walls to look like the walls in their living and dining rooms. It’s sort of like a play on period rooms.”

Studio Expo, at 500X Gallery
Reception: February 14, 7-10 pm 
Exhibition dates: February 14-March 8

An institution for more than 35 years, 500X continually nurtures the next generation of talent with its annual Studio Expo exhibition. Jurored in the past by artists Allison V. Smith and Erick Swenson and gallerist Cris Worley, the event is helmed this year by mom-and-son partners Susan Roth Roman and Jordan Roth of Ro2 Art. The duo is currently determining who will walk away with $300 in prize money, having already narrowed the field from 280 entries to just over 50.

“There’s a range of work, a lot of video, a lot of installations, a couple of kinetic pieces and a lot of paintings,” Roth says. “One of the things that was kind of difficult in narrowing it down is we’re working with the first floor of 500X, and it’s not the biggest space. We saw incredible entries that were giant, but there was just no room for them.”

Whether or not the pieces will be sold after the fact is up to the discretion of the artists themselves, but count on the opportunity to take home at least some fresh work from North Texas’ newest, best and brightest.

Color, various artists, at Mary Tomas Gallery
Reception: February 21, 6-9 pm
Exhibition dates: February 21-March 28

Spring brings a burst of vibrant shades, both outside and on gallery walls. Mary Tomas Gallery’s latest show features “colorful, explosive work” for the first time in the space, which typically deals in more muted paintings.

With talent sourced from New York, New Mexico, Texas, Tennessee and Italy, and featuring minimalist, abstract and figurative styles, “Color” was a year in the making. Interior designer Mary Anne Smiley was on hand to help place the works, and she’ll give a chat February 25, 5:30-7:30 pm, advising patrons on how to balance colorful art with their décor.

Earlie Hudnall Jr. at PDNB Gallery
Reception: February 21, 5-8 pm 
Exhibition dates: February 21-May 9

One of the most notable African-American photographers working today, Earlie Hudnall has been documenting the Fourth Ward, Fifth Ward, Trinity Garden and Hispanic neighborhoods of Houston for decades.

Capturing everything from kids headed the wrong path to churchgoing families, his thoughtful images have landed in museum collections from Chicago to Fort Worth. PDNB is staging its second one-man show for Hudnall, but this time as a retrospective with 40 photographs from the ’70s to early 2000s.

Explains co-owner Missy Finger, “He has this way of photographing people that transcends time. Their costume may be different, but these are true and wonderful portraits of humanity.”

In addition to this visual treat, PDNB is giving its friends and collectors something sweet: Pop by on Valentine’s Day solo or with your loved ones to pose in an iconic paper moon set provided by vintage photography collectors Beverly and Jack Wilgus. Popular at the beginning of the 20th century, paper moons were once ubiquitous in photo studios, carnivals and dances, and the Wilgus’ modern version is free at the gallery from 11 am-5 pm.

Simply RSVP here, strike a pose and you’ll receive a jpeg that’s the perfect way to say “Be Mine.”