Your Show of Shows

4 top exhibits and one can't-miss tour make this a hot month for Dallas art

4 top exhibits and can't-miss tour make it a hot month for Dallas art

Daniela Cavazos Madrigal
I Came From Wet by Daniela Cavazos Madrigal explores immigration through an empathetic lens. Photo courtesy of Kirk Hopper Fine Art
Max Manning
A work from artist Max Manning, at Ro2 Art's annual group show Chaos!!!! Photo courtesy of Ro2 Art
Jessica Sinks
Imagining What My Skull Looks Like by Jessica Sinks at Beefhaus. Photo courtesy of Beefhaus
 Hellen Ascoli and James Sullivan
Mi Cuerpo Está Aquí / Mi Cuerpo non Está Aquí by Hellen Ascoli and James Sullivan at Conduit Gallery Photo courtesy of Conduit Gallery
Kyle Confehr
A T-shirt by Philiadelphia artist Kyle Confehr is being given away to the first 15 attendees of any participating space during Dallas Gallery Day. Photo courtesy of Dallas Gallery Day
Daniela Cavazos Madrigal
Max Manning
Jessica Sinks
 Hellen Ascoli and James Sullivan
Kyle Confehr

The seasonal slow down of summer allows gallerists to be a little more experimental in their programming, taking chances they might not normally. This July, immerse yourself in everything from a highly conceptual installation to a light and lively group show, or view the best of the rest of the local scene during the sixth annual Dallas Gallery Day. 

“Mi Cuerpo Está Aquí / Mi Cuerpo non Está Aquí” by Hellen Ascoli and James Sullivan at Conduit Gallery 
Exhibition dates: Now-August 12
Reception: August 5, 6-8 pm

Guatemala-based artist Hellen Ascoli and local talent James Sullivan have transformed Conduit for the summer with their four-channel installation Mi Cuerpo Está Aquí / Mi Cuerpo non Está Aquí. Including two architectural structures, video, and sound, the piece was originally shown outside in Antigua at the end of last year. Translated to the interior walls of the gallery, the “architectural intervention” created by the duo will evolve and change with extensions and revisions until the artists’ reception occurs in early August. 

One of a series of five collaborations to date and based on their work People Disappear All the Time, Mi Cuerpo mines the same larger themes the duo likes to explore, including the body, the loss of others, the dynamics of social removal, and the communication of intimacy. Throughout the month, viewers can take a moment of contemplation inside the installation while experiencing an artist’s thought process in progress.

“Chaos!!!! 2017” by various artists at Ro2 Art
Reception: July 8, 7-10 pm
Exhibition dates: July 8-August 19

The annual Chaos!!!! at Ro2 has a two-fold appeal. For the collector, it’s an instant way to see the work of all of the artists in the gallery’s roster, allowing them to hone in on styles or mediums they might like to explore in a larger piece. It’s also an easy way to get started on a gallery wall: ranging from under $100 to just over $1,000, smaller canvases or sculptures are both less intimidating and more affordable. 

For anyone who has attended the gallery’s booth at the Dallas Art Fair, the more-is-more approach can be a dizzying yet satisfying eyeful. Co-owner Jordan Roth says there’s a method to the madness of pulling so many aesthetics together in a single space. 

“[My mother and gallery partner] Susan did all the curating and decides where everything is going to go, and she has a definite knack for making it flow. It’s all about conversation — the fun part is arranging works so they’re talking to each other. There’s a real energy, something will draw you in from across the room and you’ll get closer and it opens you up to more. It’s kind of magical when that happens.”

Roth recommends dropping by more than once over the course of the show to take it all in: “You’ll inevitably find things you like or be attuned to an artist you haven’t heard of before. A salon style exhibition is just tons of fun.” 

“A Few Fictions” by Jessica Sink at Beefhaus
Reception: July 8, 7-10 pm
Exhibition dates: July 8-30

Throughout our lives, there’s the reality of the things that happen to us, and the emotions we assign to an event in hindsight. 

The playful, humorous drawings of local artist Jessica Sinks live in the space in between in her current show “A Few Fictions” at Beefhaus. Inspired by “true-ish” events, the works have a quirky, primitive appeal that belies their “little bit real, little bit false” subject matter. 

“I like dark humor and the weird situation that’s so bleak and terrible it almost becomes comical,” says the artist of the show, which is curated by fellow artist Randy Guthmiller. 

“Not in the moment, but farther down the line, when you retell the story and it's something’s so bad it’s hilarious. In everyday conversation, someone will say something horrible and there’s this nervous laughter, but they enjoy how insane that is. I look for moments like that, but I highlight and exaggerate them.” 

In other words, it’s funny 'cause it’s (sort of) true. 

Dallas Gallery Day, various artists and venues 
Exhibition dates: July 15, noon-6 pm
Closing reception: July 15, 6-8 pm at Site 131

Organized by the Public Trust’s Brian Gibb, Dallas Gallery Day is an annual highlight of the summer. In its sixth edition, the event is bigger and better than ever, with 30 participants spanning from Deep Ellum to the Design District to Trinity Groves and beyond. 

The event offers a great opportunity to catch up with what your local favorites have been up to or to discover a completely new space, and it features more goodies along the way, including a T-shirt by Philly-based artist Kyle Confehr given away to the first 15 attendees at each gallery during the day. Along with the shirt, gallery-goers will receive a raffle ticket making them eligible to win $1,000 in Visa cards redeemable at the participating space of their choice — just the thing to start a new collection. 

Utilizing Instagram’s Hyperlapse app, Confehr's show at the Public Trust is a must-see during the day. Documenting his process in 30-minute start-to-finish interims, Wayward Lines allows patrons to suggest elements for a customized drawing they can purchase on-site. 

To wrap the day up, an after-party at Site 131 featuring Brooklyn Brewery beer, bites, and a soundtrack spun by DJ Tony Schwa should send arty revelers off in a celebratory mood. 

Daniela Cavazos Madrigal, Analise Minjarez, and Sarita Westrup at Kirk Hopper Art
Closing Reception: August 12, 6-8 pm
Exhibition dates: July 15-August 12

The focus on immigration in politics is mirrored in a sensitive new exhibit at Kirk Hopper Fine Art. Featuring the work of three female artists, it takes a look at the illusion of the American dream through unconventional materials such as cement, wire, and discarded textiles. 

Says the gallery’s assistant director M. Giovanni Valderas, “Given the polarized environment we find ourselves in, Kirk Hopper Fine Art felt it was important to begin a dialogue that gives an opportunity to look at immigration through an empathetic lens. All three female artists bring individual nuances that highlight the path and trajectory of the everyday migrant.”

Laredo artist Daniela Cavazos Madrigal embroiders lyrics from popular Mexican corridos on discarded clothing, imprinting words of oppression and daily life on stand-ins for the human body. El Paso-based Analise Minjarez uses found objects and plastics to investigate Mexican-American identity and borderland life, while Sarita Westrup casts plastic water bottles and jugs out of cement, referencing the journey of the vessel alongside its hopeful bearer. 

“[The water bottles] can give life or become subtle reminders that there is an empty welcoming to the immigrant,” says Valderas. “The plastic bottles are usually left in dessert areas for migrant travelers that may need water, but others also sabotaged these bottles by cutting holes in them or worse, poisoning them.” 

Together, these thought-provoking works require the viewer to take a deeper look at the fallout from anti-immigration policies. Bring someone who voted differently from you to get the conversation started.