This summer, the art world is hotter than July. In case you’ve forgotten, July 20’s second annual Design District Gallery Day showcases the best of the best art in the ’hood, plus offerings from RE Gallery in the Cedars and Ro2 Art on North Akard Street.
With five more participating spaces this year, you’ll need every hour from noon to 8 pm to squeeze it all in, but come early to snag one of the 340 gift bags stuffed with collectible tees designed by organizer Brian Gibb.
More monthly must-sees? A closer look at the “selfie,” painterly progress and an artistically inclined peepshow.
“SELFI.E., various artists, at Womanorial.com
Exhibition dates: July 21-October 19
Agoraphobic art fans should revel in the curatorial skills of Womanorial.com founders Haley Kattner Allen and Jessica Jannuzzi-Garcia. The twentysomething duo founded their gallery site a year ago to focus on “cyber feminism,” using the Internet as a mobile space where talented women (and men) can show their female-focused art.
Their latest show highlights photographic, painted, drawn or video “selfies” from 28 artists the founders like to call “Womanorialists.” Some may call the current obsession of sharing self-portraits over social media narcissistic, but the Womanorial ladies feel otherwise.
“We’re interested in selfies as theme because it’s such a simple thing — the way people relate to their technology while relating to themselves,” says Kattner Allen. “It’s controlling the gaze of another though one’s own personal gaze.”
Patrons will be able to view the show beginning July 21 at midnight, and although the site doesn’t serve as a retail outlet, interested parties can purchase works by contacting artists through Womanorial.com.
PAINT, various artists, at Ro2 Art Downtown Gallery
Opening reception: July 20, 7-10 pm
Exhibition dates: July 20-August 18
Critics may periodically announce “painting is over,” but the seven participants in this group show beg to differ. Although one of the non-Design District participants in Gallery Day July 20, Ro2 is worthy of a stopover for its show focusing on this consistently maligned medium.
Ro2’s Jordan Roth and his co-gallerist and mom Susan Roth Romans found some of their favorite artists were currently working in paint, inspiring a collective exhibit of local talent, plus the work of Nigerian artist and current CentralTrak resident Olaniyi Rasheed Akindiya, a.k.a. Akirash. Akirash will also be on hand for the opening with a performance featuring pre-painted dancer Danielle Georgiou.
“We keep hearing people say, ‘Painting is dead,’ but that’s ridiculous,” Jordan says. “There’s all this focus on gifs and new media, but a lot of our artists happened to be focusing on paintings, so that was one of our motivations. Painting is alive and well!”
PEEP SHOW, vintage burlesque images and work by Bale Creek Allen and Allison Watson, at Webb Gallery
Opening reception: July 21, 5-8 pm
Exhibition dates: July 21-October 20
If you’ve ever wanted to snoop on your neighbor’s love life, Webb Gallery’s “Peep Show” is the exhibit for you. With a series of vintage girly shots and images from burlesque shows of the ’40s to the ’60s, along with collaborative work by Bale Creek Allen (son of musician Terry Allen) and his girlfriend, Allison Walton, “Peep Show” promises to be “sexual, titillating and true to the exhibit’s title.”
“The body of work they’ve done is very tongue-in-cheek, and things aren’t always as they look,” says gallery co-owner Julie Webb. “Everything in this exhibit is evidence of sex, but it’s presented as something beautiful. You’re going to be titillated, but you’re not really going to see anything.”
Further thrills are promised with a performance from The Bellfuries, whose rockabilly-inspired songs should provide an alluring soundtrack during the opening reception.