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These are the 5 best Dallas art gallery exhibitions this month

These are the 5 best Dallas art gallery exhibitions this month

Sam Shoemaker
A representative work by LA-based artist Sam Shoemaker, who will be showing at the Human Interest Group pop-up. Photo courtesy of Human Interest Group
Cynthia Ann Miro
A work from Cynthia Ann Miro's show at CentralTrak. Photo courtesy of CentralTrak
William Wegman
A whimsical photograph from William Wegman at Barry Whistler Gallery. Photo courtesy of Barry Whistler Gallery
 Lesli Roberston
The sculptural work Remnants, by Lesli Roberston, from the "Veiled Grace" exhibition. Photo courtesy of JM Gallery
Ashly Cooper
Black Girl Magic Series by Ashley Cooper, from the "Paper Weight" exhibition at Conduit Gallery. Photo courtesy of Conduit Gallery
Sam Shoemaker
Cynthia Ann Miro
William Wegman
 Lesli Roberston
Ashly Cooper

The dog days of summer bring pedigreed pooches perched on midcentury treasures, an ambitious pop-up space, and plenty of fabulous works on paper — just for starters. Here’s what to look forward to (and look into) in July. 

“Good Dogs on Nice Furniture,” William Wegman, at Barry Whistler Gallery
Exhibition dates: Now-August 13 

Anyone familiar with the whimsical photographs of William Wegman knows that he embodies his subjects — a series of pet Weimaraners — with a surprising amount of gentle humanity.

Barry Whistler had a connection to the photographer through Wegman’s friendship with Texas painter Dan Rizzie, and when Texas Gallery in Houston mounted a show of the photographer’s recent work, Whistler jumped at the opportunity to exhibit six of the oversized 44 x 34 prints. All created in 2015, the images aren’t Photoshopped in any way — Wegman’s poised pups are just naturally aligned with the spare midcentury tables, benches, and chairs he uses in his shots. 

“We have a dog that reminds me of one of his dogs,” says Whistler of the new work’s appeal. “I love the clean, sharp look and punchy colors [of the images]. We were looking at furniture for my new space and getting familiar with Eames and George Nelson, and here comes an artist using his dogs on them. It’s a double whammy.” 

Along with these hyper-pigmented images, Whistler will also be exhibiting “Works on Paper” from his stable of artists. “I wanted to show some of our artists we were working with in our new space — paper can be a photograph, a drawing, a collage, any of those things. It’s a nice combination [with the Wegmans].” 

“Paper Weight,” various artists, at Conduit Gallery 
Exhibition dates: Now-August 20

Also exploring the parameters of paper as material is Conduit Gallery with “Paper Weight,” a collective of drawings from current and recent students of artist and educator Stephen Lapthisophon. Culled from the University of Texas at Arlington and Southern Methodist University, these 10 rising talents explore everything from the issues of black identity and image to emotions conveyed in stark black and white.

Says Lapthisophon of the show’s scope, “This is an exhibition of … not necessarily drawings of things, but more drawings as things. Although the works in the exhibition address a variety of issues — language, power, home, race, and culture — they share an attention to scale and the reach of the body in making a drawing. The works are constructed, burned, rubbed, pinned, compressed, and arranged through an engagement with surface, space, idea, and the weight of paper.”

In other words, light materials may convey very heavy meanings, indeed. 

“Polymorphic Material Fog Rolls Over Their Morning Pathway,” Will Shea and Sam Shoemaker, at Human Interest Group, 2604 Main St.
July 7, 6-9 pm
Exhibition dates: July 8-14, 5-9 pm, and by appointment 

An ounce of enthusiasm is worth a pound of experience in our book, which is why the ambitious programming of Human Interest Group is so inspirational. Started by 24-year-old John Ross Gramentine, this “moving gallery” will take over unused and unexpected spaces across the city that its founder says “aren’t typical white-wall galleries.”

“It’s exciting, because each new space is a challenge for the artist,” Gramentine says. “There’s a locality focus to [the gallery]. It’s important that is uses spaces that are not seen as what they could be: I want to do a show outside, or maybe in a janitorial closet in a downtown high rise, or a soiree in an alleyway. It’s about developing art fluency and gallery accessibility.”

Although not an artist himself, Gramentine reps commercial talent for his day job. His first event last fall was held in his apartment in the Mitchell Lofts, and for the second Human edition, he’s showing the work of LA-based sculptor Sam Shoemaker and New York painter Will Shea in a 4,600-square-foot industrial space that used to be a nightclub.

Gramentine says he pursues artists he likes, although he does have advisors steering him in the right direction. Next up is a video show from William Warner in the Dallas-Fort Work co-working space on North Ervay in late July. Promising five or six shows a year, he’ll ramp up serious programming in the summer months, taking time off in the winter to plan the next series.

“I’m just going into it for the love of art,” he explains. “This is a labor of love.” 


“Reciprocated Salvage,” Cynthia Miro Saathoff at CentralTrak
Reception: July 9, 8-10 pm
Exhibition dates: July 9-23

The sacred geometry of mathematics can make for a very intriguing body of work. Drawing on her past experience writing code, artist Cynthia Miro Saathoff is also influenced by programming algorithms, mathematical formulas, and the art of the selfie. Using everyday apps such as Instagram and Pixlr, she “pushes the mediums to the extreme” to create images that are repeated, chopped up, and tuned in and out of focus until the visual distortion morphs into something completely new.

The first in CentralTrak’s series of summer senior MFA exhibits, her thesis show “Reciprocated Salvage” will include prints, video, and performance installation, utilizing the contributions of photographer Scott Wayne McDaniel, model/artist Jennifer Burrhus, and projection mapper/sound designer Mo Murphy to help Miro Saathoff achieve her vision. Sometimes it does take a village to make a work of art. 

“Veiled Grace,” Lesli Robertson and Shayema Rahim, at JM Gallery
Reception: July 30,  5-8 pm
Exhibition dates: July 30-September 10

Just over a year old, the One Arts Plaza space JM Gallery continues its focus of bringing in a mix of local and regional artists who work in mixed mediums and styles. For its show of the summer, two women with very different practices will share the space with the common theme of finding beauty in unexpected materials.

Utilizing broken concrete and textiles, Lesli Robertson, interdisciplinary artist and lecturer of Fibers at the University of North Texas, gives physical objects new life in a series of Remnants. Combining beeswax, resin, and pigment, the layers of painter Shayema Rahim’s works evoke the rhythm of music. Where the former feels organized and methodical and the latter more free-form and intuitive, the works share an emotional connection that is the hallmark of a successful female artist.