Your Show of Shows

Dallas-Fort Worth galleries spring forth a new batch of indispensable art

Dallas-Fort Worth galleries spring forth new crop of indispensable art

Daniel Blagg
Starlite Motel by Daniel Blagg, at Artspace 111. Photo courtesy of Artspace 111
Will Heron
Dallaxy mural by Will Heron, of Wheron's Art House. Photo courtesy of Will Heron
Will Heron
Works by Will Heron, of Wheron's Art House. Photo courtesy of Will Heron
Jeremy McKane
Kryptonite by Jeremy McKane, at Level Gallery. Photo courtesy of Level Gallery
Lauren Silva
Blitz by Lauren Silva, at Circuit 12. Photo courtesy of Circuit 12 Contemporary
Daniel Blagg
Will Heron
Will Heron
Jeremy McKane
Lauren Silva

Spring has sprung, and along with it comes a collective of young talent, an essential stop in Fort Worth’s gallery night, a homage to environmentalism, an explosion of color, and — finally — a brand new venue to show off a Dallasite’s artistic vision.

Here’s what matters in the art world this month:

“That’s So Hot (An Invitational),” various artists, at 500 X Gallery
Exhibition dates: Through April 3

What’s so hot right now? Dallas is so hot right now, at least according to co-curators and 500 X Gallery members Sheryl Anaya, Lindsey Brown, and Rachel Livedallen.

Featuring new media work by Justin Ginsberg, Cassie Phan, Nick Bontrager, and Gregory Scott Cook, and the nontraditional paintings of Ricardo Paniagua, Valdez says this particular group of artists is turning up the mercury at this particular moment because they inspire other artists, and also because of their “work ethic and exhibition history. ... [They’re] artists who have gained enough public recognition to not only catch our eye, but to make this group of curators convince each other, we have to have this one in our gallery!”

Joining them are emotionally fragile sculptures by Justin Archer and a soft-sculptured seascapes from Lauren Kussro, both on view upstairs.

“Rambler: New Paintings by Daniel Bragg, at Artspace 111 
Reception: March 19, noon to 9 pm
Exhibition dates: March 19-May 7

There’s no doubt Fort Worth is on the rise as a destination, and the city’s gallery night — held each spring and fall by the Fort Worth Art Dealer’s Association — is the perfect time to get up close and personal with the city’s independent galleries and museums. One must-stop is Artspace 111, started by Daniel Blagg and his twin brother, Dennis, in the 1980s.

The latest collection of Daniel’s “urban realist” paintings is on view, inspired by the landscape surrounding the artist’s studio warehouse. Although abandoned buildings, decaying gas stations, and empty streets often crop up in his work, with the growth inherent in the Fort, he may have to search further afield for future exhibitions. For now, he’s expanded his oeuvre to include imagery of animals and humans in his pared-down landscapes.

The gallery also hosts a group exhibition of other Artspace talents with music from the Fort Worth National Band at 5 pm.

“The Platform,” Wheron’sArt House (410 Fabrication St.)
Reception: March 26, noon-9 pm
Exhibition dates: Ongoing from March 26

Any art fan wandering through Trinity Groves was no doubt familiar with the Pegasus-inspired mural just around the corner from Erin Cluley Gallery. This eventually demolished piece of street art, titled “Dallaxy,” helped spawn an entire installation in the form of the new Wheron’s Art House.

Born and raised in Big D, artist and muralist Will Heron is now taking over a 1,300-square-foot piece of property just off the West Dallas Rails. Titled “The Platform,” because it will allow him to explore “many new trains of thought,” the house will feature a working studio, showroom, and event space — all under one roof.

“We’ve done [the pop-up shop] El Mercado with Erin for the last couple of years, and my partners and I are in a phase where we are able to support this brand,” Heron says. “We’ve been talking to [developer] Butch McGregor, and he mentioned the people in this space were moving out.

“It seems just perfect for what we want to create. Ultimately we want to rent out the back house with artists or residents and have a fine art gallery with different exhibitions and a working studio in the front.”

Having already created a series of freewheeling pop-up events, the Wheron Art House will give Heron even more ways to share his creative process with the curious, as well as push the envelope on what a gallery space can be.

“We have three murals on the outside of the house and we can graffiti the kitchen. We have a botanist friend who is planting the bathrooms with flora culture and the laundry room is a mini-installation room—dreams we’ve never had a place for, we can make real.” 

“Cult of Color,” various artists, at Circuit 12 
Reception:
 March 26, 6-10 pm
Exhibition dates: March 26-May 7

Four years is an eternity in the years of a young gallery, and any space that marks that milestone has a bright future. In the case of Circuit 12, this is literal assumption, as they’re celebrating with a group exhibition devoted to the “Cult of Color.”

Bringing together a group of painters of both established and upcoming stature, the exhibition features artists from LA, New York, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, Maryland, and Sydney, Australia.

The latest in a spate of recent group shows that helped the gallery establish its new space, new artists, and new styles, “Cult” marks a shift in programming to solo and dual shows, with Mathew Zefeldt slated for May, Dallas artist and professor Marilyn Jolly exhibiting in September, and Clark Goolsby and Casey Gray on for October.

In the meantime, indulge yourself in your favorite hues, and make sure to pop by the gallery’s shop, Primer, for a peek at Dan Lam’s intensely colored — and delightfully textural — sculptural works. 

“FOUND/LUCiD,” Jeremy McKane and Ashley Baxter, at Level Gallery
Reception: March 24, 6-9 pm
Exhibition dates: March 24-April 23

Former WAAS Gallery owner Brandy Michele Adams recently decided to alter her vision by exhibiting artists that will bring in a “whole new level of discourse.” She partnered with curator Emma Saperstein for the newly rebranded Level Gallery, and the duo is taking on the heady topic of pollution and the environmental impact of humans by exhibiting the work of Jeremy McKane.

McKane traveled to the most polluted beach in America — Kamilo Beach in Hawaii — and what the photographer found inspired him to expand his repertoire to include sculptures created from marine debris. Collaborating with surfer and model Ashley Baxter, he paired these found objects with 11 prints, plus an art installation designed to harness the calmness of the human mind.  

The “LUCiD” portion of the show enables the viewer to literally create a trash-free ocean through a set of algorithms that processes brainwaves. Clean mind, clean ocean — if we change the way we think, we can surely change the planet.