Anniversaries and fond farewells make for a memorable November on the Dallas art gallery scene. We bid adieu to an ambitious Cedars gallery, discover the beauty in the banal courtesy of a local photographer, and celebrate a Deep Ellum stalwart space’s 10th anniversary.
“The Instigators: Celebrating 10 Years of Kettle Art,” various artists, at Kettle Art
Exhibition dates: Through November 28
Deep Ellum has evolved from Dallas’ nucleus of bars and clubs, to a place only the brave go after dark, to the next neighborhood likely to be ruined by overambitious developers. Through the last decade, Kettle Art founder Frank Campagna has been around to roll with the changes, and he’s not going away anytime soon.
Focusing on emerging and mid-career Texan artists, Kettle celebrates a decade with work from Texas talent he dubs “the instigators,” the once-unrepresented stable of artists who launched their careers along with the space. For this anniversary, the likes of Sergio Garcia, Cabe Booth, and Erica Felicella are joined by newer talents furthering Campagna’s mission of bringing the neighborhood back to its artistic roots.
“When we opened in 2005, Deep Ellum was pretty much over from its boom of the 1990s and really had become empty and somewhat dangerous,” Campagna says. “The local art scene was bursting with creativity in what seemed like an endless stream of talent that had no decent place to show. It simply made sense to embrace both the neighborhood and our friends by opening a venue with a focus on proper presentation. Ten years later, this concept still thrives.”
We can’t wait to see what another decade will bring.
“Open,” Fredrik Broden, at Stage 404 Studio
Reception: November 7, 7-10 pm
Exhibition dates: November 7-21, or by appointment
Simple objects often hold complicated stories, even if we don’t discover them at first glance. Inspired by a collection of keys he purchased from a locksmith, Dallas-based photographer Fredrik Broden spent four years shooting his favorites until they evolved into modern relics.
“The idea was to find the most pedestrian-looking ones; some were too pretty or ornate,” he explains. “I wanted the key that you have on your keychain. To me it’s almost like a coin — you look at it and wonder how many pockets it’s been in.
“One key might have come out of a janitor’s belt and never gone outside of Dallas; another might have been on a businessman’s keychain and traveled the world.”
Blown up to an epic 3-by-4-foot size, the limited series images are being sold for a relatively affordable $750. “Open” is just the first in a series of shows in the Exposition Park space that typically serves as photographer Kip Lott’s studio. More Dallas talent will exhibit their work in ongoing pop-ups during 2016.
“Skeletons in the Closet,” Butch Anthony, at RE Gallery
Reception: November 15, 6-8 pm
Exhibition dates: November 15-December 13
A folk artist with a very distinct viewpoint, Butch Anthony’s work has drawn breathless profiles from the likes of the New York Times and Garden and Gun. There’s just something about his old family portraits embellished with skeletons or tattoos (a style he has called “intertwangelism”), his Seale, Alabama-based “Museum of Wonder,” and his now-defunct “Doo-Nanny” festival that lend themselves perfectly to the Sunday Styles section.
Inspired by a friend’s selling of a dashed-off drawing, Anthony’s first embellishment of a motel painting in 1994 led to a career that has taken him all over the world. For his exhibit at fellow Alabaman Wanda Dye’s gallery, Anthony is bringing about 20 big pieces and a “bunch of small,” all using “old photos and oil paintings that were just hanging on the walls in the 1890s — those spooky-looking ancestors. I scour junk shops and I’ve got people looking for ’em for me and I just graffiti over ’em.”
Sadly, Dye, whose 1920s shotgun shack in the Cedars helped cement the area as an artistic destination, is moving on to greener pastures, returning to her native Alabama after the close of Anthony’s show. “Skeletons” will be the last chance for admirers of her experimental aesthetic to pay homage to the space.
“Where You End and I Begin,” Frances Bagley and Ryan Burghard, at Cydonia
Reception: November 14, 6-8 pm
Exhibition dates: November 14-January 9. 2106
The subject of marriage is one rarely explored within the gallery walls. A loaded topic to be sure, the human need to connect and unite influenced the upcoming dual artist exhibition at Cydonia.
Portland-based Ryan Burghard has teamed with local legend Frances Bagley for a cross-generational exploration of the space where one person ends and the other begins. Through Burghard’s collages and Bagley’s installations, we have a call and response of what Burghard refers to as “a marriage of otherwise unrelated entities that feels accidental, yet inevitable.”
Says Cydonia director Hanh Ho, “Frances … is coefficient to Ryan’s work. I wanted her, uniquely her, to answer his call. The context of these two artists together is interesting. I wanted this show … to force people to really look at what lies within and between the objects and between the contexts of the artists.
“Finally the concept itself is interesting. Hardly anyone in contemporary art critically analyzes marriage.”
And through analysis, we just might find understanding. Bring someone you love.