Your Show of Shows

Art gallery picks of the month: Grand opening, Texas love and interactive anniversary

Gallery picks of the month: Grand opening and interactive anniversary

Erick Swensen
Scuttle (detail) by Erick Swenson at UNT ArtSpace. Photo courtesy of UNT ArtSpace
Howard Sherman
Sportsmanship is for Suckers by Howard Sherman at UNT ArtSpace. Photo courtesy of UNT ArtSpace
Dana Tanamachi
Dana Tanamachi at UNT ArtSpace. Photo courtesy of UNT ArtSpace
Red Arrow Contemporary exterior
Red Arrow Contemporary throws a second anniversary party on February 15. Photo courtesy of Red Arrow Contemporary
 Jeff Gibbons and Justin Ginsberg
Jeff Gibbons and Justin Ginsberg from "B" at Red Arrow Contemporary. Photo courtesy of Red Arrow Contemporary
Joe Ely
Joe Ely, Songwriter, c. 1980, mixed media, at Webb Gallery. Photo courtesy of Webb Gallery
Johnnie Swearingen
Johnnie Swearingen, Texas Hill Country Scene, 1978, oil on wood, at Webb Gallery.   Photo courtesy of Webb Gallery
Erick Swensen
Howard Sherman
Dana Tanamachi
Red Arrow Contemporary exterior
 Jeff Gibbons and Justin Ginsberg
Joe Ely
Johnnie Swearingen

In Texas, we do everything a little bit differently: a little louder, a little bigger and with a lot more heart. There’s much to love about living here — including our local creatives and the innate fondness they have for their state.

Below, some of the reasons to be proud you’re here this February:

UNT ArtSpace Dallas grand opening, various artists
ReceptionFebruary 8, 5-8 pm
Exhibition dates: February 8-March 15

The University of North Texas is known for bringing in boldface names to teach, as well as producing top talent as graduates. So having a centrally located space to showcase the work of homegrown nationally and internationally recognized artists was the next logical step for UNT’s College of Visual Arts and Design.

The institution revamped its former Fashion on Main exhibit space into UNT ArtSpace Dallas, and the grand opening this weekend features the work of five former students: Project Runway finalist Shirin Askari, video artist Brian Fridge, painter Howard Sherman, sculptor Erick Swenson and graphic artist Dana Tanamachi.

Keep your eye on this spot for further exhibits: ArtSpace Dallas will have at least five shows a year devoted to the work of exceptional alumni.

“Big Hair & Sparkly Pants,” various artists, at Webb Gallery
ReceptionFebruary 9, 6-9 pm

Exhibition dates: February 9-April 27

When Webb Gallery owners Bruce Lee and Julie Webb were conceptualizing their current show, they turned to what they liked best about the second-biggest state in the union.

“We really are Texas through and through,” Julie says. “We’ve never lived anywhere else, and we really love Texas culture — the people, the places, everything about it.”

The duo wrote three long paragraphs about their Lone Star loves (“big hair was definitely one of them,”) then approached some Texan artists to help create an homage to the Lone Star State. Even musician Joe Ely, a longtime pal, got involved.

Encompassing everything from the ornate wood sculptures by Marfa artist Campwell Bosworth to Western wear from Fort Lonesome and Rex Klingerhoefer to vintage Texan music posters, “Big Hair & Sparkly Pants” has a little something for everyone.

The exhibit kicks off its run with a performance by Matt the Cat Trio on Sunday, February 9, and it features a screening of the music documentary Dirt Road to Psychedelia: Austin, TX During the 1960s by Scott Conn on March 23.

Second Anniversary Party and “B,” Jeff Gibbons and Justin Ginsberg, at Red Arrow Contemporary
Anniversary Party
February 15, 4:30-9 pm
Reception: February 22, 6-9 pm

Exhibition dates: February 22-March 29

One of the most beloved contemporary galleries in the Design District, Red Arrow is known for its adventurous exhibitions that inspire — and require — audience participation. The gallery continues in this tradition with its second anniversary party, a fete that features a district-wide scavenger hunt revealing “hidden treasures” as prizes.

Also serving as the closing event for their current show, “Negative Capability,” the soiree (which is free to attend) features a series of text message hints for those willing to pony up the $20 to participate in the hunt. Whether you win or lose, you still get a T-shirt designed by artist Gary Sweeney.

And there’s no better time to snag that souvenir: Gallery co-directors Erin and Elissa Stafford are planning on closing Red Arrow to create a not-for-profit curatorial residency program.

Says Elissa, “Hopefully the move that we’re making is going to make us a solid fixture [in the artistic community]. We’re going to try to set in place an educational institution focusing on artists and their professional practice. We learned a lot in navigating the gallery world, so we’re going to give that back.”

There’s still another 11 months of envelope-pushing exhibits to look forward to before the Dragon Street space shuts its doors in January 2015. First up, “Negative Capability” curators Jeff Gibbons and Justin Ginsberg continue their two-month reign with a dual show opening later this month called “B.”