When summer arrives, long days call up a feeling of wanderlust that can only be satiated by hitting the highway. Although there’s always a long list of essential local galleries, we feel this is the best time to wander a little further in search of visual inspiration — namely, galleries in Fort Worth, Waxahachie, and Duncanville, the latter small town being the site of a new and notable North Texas space.
“The Line” by various artists at Site 131
Reception: June 3, 6-8 pm
Exhibition dates: June 3-August 4
First, begin your adventure with a destination that’s a little more local: the critically beloved Site 131 in the Design District. For its summer exhibition, founders Seth and Joan Davidow are drawing a connection — literally — between the work of artists in California, Texas, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Italy.
Curated by director Joan Davidow, with the assistance of curatorial interns Stephanie DeLay and Pablo Sebastian Morales, “The Line” explores the singular methodology of drawing.
“I think [drawings] are the most intimate way to know an artist,” says Davidow. “It’s such a private thing. Drawing is like being a diarist, it’s just you and the paper and pencil.”
Or in the case of artist Kristen Cochran, a line of fabric draped on the wall.
Also of note are Ann Toebbe’s hyper-detailed interiors and the delicate geometric graphs of Lynn Woods Turner. With each of the seven participating artists taking a wall to show their work, the exhibit has a little something for every eye, including the Girls of Girls, Inc. camp, who will interpret their own style of drawing at an event tied to the show in late July. Site 131 will also highlight the work with a soirée during this summer’s gallery night on July 15.
“The Magnetron Parfait and Then Some” by Chuck & George at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center
Reception: June 2, 6-9 pm
Exhibition dates: June 2-30
For anyone who missed local art duo Chuck & George’s 2015 show “Magnetron Parfait” at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, here’s another opportunity to view this immersive installation on a larger scale in Fort Worth. Named after “the thing in microwaves that makes the radioactivity happen,” (according to Brian K. Scott, one-half of C&G, along with Brian K. Jones), the loony cartoony exploration of '70s kitsch co-produced by the Art Tooth collective features everything from pop art microwaves filled with sculptures to “melting parfaits of flattery” on canvas.
“We’ve done a painting called Beware of the Melting Parfait of Flattery four times,” says Scott. “Parfait is a magical world in our universe: we love the word parfait and we love the word beware. In all good movies, there’s always a knowing hobo madman who always tells us ‘beware,’ and sometimes Alice Cooper plays that person.”
Domestic accoutrements such as a gigantic wall socket and oversized wallpaper are a nod to Scott's Dallas abode, and this interpretation of the “Magnetron” also features a giant milk carton turned into a mini-sized gallery filled with smaller works.
“We want to have an exhibit that’s essentially our living space,” explains Scott. “That’s an idea we’ve had for a long time, to make an exhibit that’s either exactly our house or analyze the things in the house and make objects that equate them. The upside is the house would be empty and we could clean it really good.”
“A Plain View” by Jason Lee at Artspace111
Reception: June 2, 5-8:30 pm
Exhibition dates: June 2-18
Best known for his roles in My Name is Earl, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and the oeuvre of Kevin Smith, pro skateboarder-turned-actor Jason Lee is also an accomplished photographer, clearly illustrated in his current show at Artspace111 in Fort Worth.
Titled “A Plain View,” the exhibit encompasses highlights of images from Lee’s forthcoming book from RF Books and Film Photographic. Utilizing expired 4x5 Kodak color negative and positive films shot with a 1950s Graflex camera, Lee made the decision to focus on the rural Texas landscape in his current work.
“I had made photographs in Texas before on various photography road trips, which I love taking and have done quite a bit of over the years,” says Lee, who relocated from Los Angeles to Denton a few years ago. “But living here now has given me more desire to see more of Texas, and that’s what led me to this most recent series.”
Calling his process “pretty spontaneous,” Lee embraced the “Texas off the beaten path, its quirks and its small towns and the empty and forgotten sides of it in some ways.”
With the book currently in its editing phase and another one focusing on the West Coast and Southwest due in 2018, the photographer’s passion for this particular artistic endeavor shows no signs of slowing down.
“I’ve enjoyed very much that I’ve been able to skateboard, act, direct, make photography books. It’s all creative to me, and all different yet creatively fulfilling outlets. Photography, however, is no doubt the most important of these outlets and has been for 15 years now.”
“Culture Shock" by Legend d’Oro and Ali Akbar at Inner.Space Projects
Reception: June 10, 7-11 pm
Exhibition dates: June 10-July 1
Duncanville may not seem like the first logical choice for a new art enclave, but if musician, artist, and gallerist Scott Tucker has his way, this bedroom community 12 miles from downtown Dallas will have all the cool kids making the drive on the regular.
The former proprietor of Blow-Up Gallery on Park Lane, Tucker was in the mood to create something new in Dallas when an opportunity to take things a bit further afield arose.
“I was trying to open a gallery in Expo Park with [girlfriend and artist] Sarah [Martin], and with all the fire marshal stuff going on I said, ‘Screw this!’” laughs Tucker. “I’m trying to do something that’s meta-modern and more of a cultural melting pot. I like bringing culture from other parts of the world and dumping it into a tiny suburban community. As Dallas grows, Duncanville is going to grow as well, and my goal is to bring more art galleries and artists here.”
With the help of developer Monte Anderson and Duncanville Design Group members/residents Anne and Tim Perry, that dream may become a reality, starting with Inner.Space Projects on Main Street. Opening with the work of New York conceptual and graffiti artist Legend d’Oro and Bangladesh artist Ali Akbar, Inner.Space’s aesthetic has a “punk-rock ethos” Tucker finds lacking in some of the more established spaces.
“I want it to be accessible and fun, but have the work be interesting and have a message. I’m up for shocking people, and maybe a group of us could change the city and the way the city is perceived.”
Already booked through February of 2018, Tucker has Washington, D.C., artist Max Kazemzadeh slated for July, Sarah Martin in August, and the work of a notable local musician penciled in for September.
“Hinterland” by various artists at Webb Gallery
Reception: June 11, 4-7 pm
Exhibition dates: June 11-August 6
One of the best reasons to take a jaunt to Waxahachie, the Webb Gallery’s outsider art exhibitions are must-sees for any serious gallery-goer. Entitled “Hinterland,” Webb’s summer show is comprised of paper and fabric pieces that explore the areas lying beyond what is visible to the naked eye.
Viewers will discover Cameroon royalty Prince Zaar's “Trianglerism” scrolls exploring sacred geometry, Rich Cali’s subconscious autobiographic images translated into ink-on-paper works, Dan Philip’s floaty feminine gouaches, and an inked exploration of enlightenment from New Jersey tattoo artist Robert Ryan. Add in graphic and surrealistic paintings on fabric from New York-based Anthony Dominguez, and you have an apt interpretation of the worlds that lie within a creative’s inner space.
As always, the opening celebration has a sonic dimension, too, with a performance of Peruvian Chica music by Los Mosaics.