News and Features

The World’s Largest Art Show – Thanks, In Part, To The DMA

art everywhere times sqArt Everywhere US, the sticking-beloved-artworks-on-billboards-all-over-America project, launched yesterday. Fifty-eight works were chosen by popular vote from five US museums: the Art Institute of Chicago; the Dallas Museum of Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

The month-long gallery on some 50,000 static and digital billboards across the country began yesterday in Times Square. Here’s the full release:

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The High Five: Listen To Sarah Jaffe’s New Album

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Categorized Under: The High Five

North Texas’ Sarah Jaffe, pictured in 2010, is featured on NPR’s First Listen and will perform in Dallas later this month. (Flickr/Olivier Bourgi)

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Celebrate your pet by launching its remains into space; poverty in the suburbs has doubled over the past decade; George W. Bush and his wife to be featured at a White House event; and more.

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Remembering Filmmaker Robert Drew

Robert Drew, Anne Drew, Ed Carter, Grace Guggenheim

Robert Drew

Robert Drew passed away July 30 at the age of 90. Most people have never heard of him but he had a major effect on modern cinema.

Robert Drew is credited for inventing the modern form of what might be called direct cinema, Cinema verete, or observational cinema. Before Drew, documentary films existed but they mostly featured talking heads. In those days documentaries were thought of as educational films. Documentaries were informative, but boring. One problem: heavy, bulky cameras made shooting difficult.

Drew was working at “Life Magazine” and got one of those prestigious Neiman fellowships, which sent him to Harvard, to study how he could make a reality film more interesting. In an interview in 1962, Drew said he was looking for a form of documentary that would “drop word logic and find a dramatic logic in which things really happened.” It would be “a theater without actors; it would be plays without playwrights; it would be reporting without summary and opinion; it would be the ability to look in on people’s lives at crucial times from which you could deduce certain things and see a kind of truth that can only be gotten from personal experience.”

After his fellowship,  he formed Drew and Associates, and set about putting his vision into practice. He needed two things to get the films he envisioned: Smaller cameras and cameramen who could get what he was looking for. His ideas hit at the right time.  Smaller cameras could be adapted to help make a shooter less obtrusive.  These cameras (like all 16 mm cameras) shot 11 minutes of film and then need to be reloaded.

Drew also got a crew that went on to become the all-stars of early documentary filmmaking. Al and David Maysles, D.A. Pennebaker and Richard Leacock. Drew’s revolutionary idea was that the camera and sound men (they were mostly men in those days) would observe what they saw, be a fly on the wall, shoot a ton of film, and find the drama in the editing.  It would be heresy to ask a subject to move or repeat a line. This is a far cry from today’s reality TV or Ken Burns’ films or contemporary films that have animation and re-creations. Robert Drew got us to see what was there; there was a pureness in that.

His major work included “Primary,” which followed JFK in his bid to win the Wisconsin primary. It is the first political film where you really see what is happening. We observe Kennedy having his picture taken, talking at a rally and waiting for the results. We had never witnessed these moments before so closely, so intimately.

His next hit was “Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment (1963)” which followed the crisis of two African Americans trying to enroll in the University of Alabama. It followed JFK in the white house and George Wallace in the governor’s mansion. It had high drama, a story unfolding in front of the audience. Documentary films had not done this before. There is a great moment in “Crisis” where Bobby Kennedy, at home in Washington, is talking on the phone to Nicholas Katzenbach, his assistant attorney general in Alabama. It was amazing that cameramen were able to get it. The two are talking about the problem when one of Bobby’s kids picks up the phone and asks Katzenbach what the weather is like there – a real human moment in the middle of a crisis.


Another of Drew’s great films was “Faces in November,”  a short film of the memorial after Nov. 22, 1963. While other people were shooting the action and the majestry of DC, Drew’s cameramen only shot close-ups of everyday people showing their pain.

Over the years many critics and filmmakers have treasured Drew’s contribution to cinema, but to the public, he is mostly unknown. This has to do with the cult of the director. Drew was not a director or shooter; he was a producer. His disciples did go on to fame. The Maysles made “Salesman,” “Grey Gardens”and many other important works.  D. A. Pennebaker (known ans Penny) went on to make “Don’t Look Back,” “Monterrey Pop,” and “The War Room” among others. The basic aesthetic principal for all these films comes from Drew.

He will be missed.





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The High Five: Czech Stop Kolache Documentary Is In The Works

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A documentary about kolaches at the Czech Stop in West is in the works. (Credit: luna 715/Flickr)

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Mark Cuban on making a lot of money; an update on the Fort Worth doctor with the Ebola virus; a documentary about kolaches is in the works; and more.

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Crystal Bridges Selects 3 From N. Texas For “State of the Art” Show.

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Categorized Under: Culture, Visual Arts

Three North Texas artists have been selected for Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art’s mammoth “State of the Art” show.

Kim Cadmus Owens, Gabriel Dawe and Dornith Doherty will all show at the museum, in Bentonville, Ark.

Two Crystal Bridges Museum curators set out on the ultimate art road trip. They crisscrossed the country, visiting more than 1,000 artists in their studios and  logging 100,000 miles. The aim was to create a survey of the most compelling art being created now, in all regions of the US.

The result, “State of the Art,” is set to open on Sept. 13 at the museum, with works from 102 artists – 6 from Texas.

“The exhibition is a glimpse into the state of art in our nation at this moment,” said Crystal Bridges president Don Bacigalupi, in a statement. “By examining a wide range of works by artists from across the country, we can gain insight into our nation as a whole: our collective passions, challenges and concerns.”

A New York Times piece  emphasized the curators’ quest to make sure little-known artists were not overlooked in their exhibition. But Dawe, Owens and Doherty hardly qualify as obscure.

Owens is a painter and associate professor at University of Dallas. Her diptych, “Coming and Going,” will be in the show.

crystal bridges kim

“Coming and Going” by Kim Cadmus Owens

Here’s Owens at State of the Arts in 2013.

Doherty’s “Millennium Seed Bank Research Seedlings and Lochner-Stuppy Test Garden #2″ was also selected.

crystal bridges dornith2

“Millennium Seed Bank Research Seedlings and Lochner-Stuppy Test Garden #2″ by Dornith Doherty.


A photography professor at UNT, Doherty became captivated by seed banks around the world after reading an article in the New Yorker. She developed a process to magnify, x-ray and photograph samples from the banks. She explains in this episode of  Think TV.

And Dawe’s  contribution, “Plexus no. 27″ has already been installed at the museum. Dawe, originally from Mexico City, earned his MFA at UT-Dallas, and was a resident at Central Trak. He makes large, site-specific installations using sewing thread. You can see his work inside the 2100 Ross building just outside the Dallas Arts District.


“Plexus no. 27″ by Gabriel Dawe







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Saturday Spotlight – Art, Music, and Greyhounds at Southwest Gallery’s Summer Art Festival

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For this week’s Art & Seek Spotlight, we’re heading to Southwest Gallery in Dallas for the annual Summer Art Festival. Artists will be making art and displaying their work while GoGa performs everything from opera to rock. Get in on a game of art Pictionary with some special guests, and hang out with a greyhound from the Greyhound Adoption League of  Texas.


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Summer Cut: Two-For-One Tix For KXT/KERA Members

Membership at KERA and KXT has its privileges. And then there are the extra perks.

Members of all stations can get two-for-one tickets to Summer Cut, KXT’s annual Happy Funtime Fest on Aug. 15 at Gexa. Headliners Death Cab for Cutie will be joined by an eclectic lineup on two stages, including Iron&Wine, The Hold Steady, The Oh Hellos and North Texas faves The Unlikely Candidates, The Orbans and Valise. But act fast: This offer ends at noon on Monday. So get your tix now.

The Art&Seek team is looking forward to the show. When we’re not listening to music, we’ll be prowling around the Art&Seek Artisan Village, checking out the wares from folks like Ornamental Things, Dowdy Studio, Deborah Turner Designs, folksie, Haus of Growlers, Artistic Magic by Jennifer and The Neon South.  And the crew from Art Conspiracy will be helping us live up to the “Seek” in our name. More on that soon…very soon.

Hope you’ll join us.

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DMA Snags Only US Stop Of Jackson Pollock Exhibition

Jackson Pollock_Portrait and a Dream

“Portrait and a Dream” by Jackson Pollock, 1953

The Dallas Museum of Art will be the only venue in the United States for a new exhibition of works by the major 20th century artist Jackson Pollock.  The abstract expressionist is known for dripping and pouring paint across large canvases.   The exhibition is called “Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots.” It focuses on a lesser known phase of work known as Black Pourings. But it will also include some of his most famous paintings, as well as drawings and rarely seen sculptures. It’s the first show curated by Gavin Delahunty, who joined the DMA in May. Previously he worked at the Tate Liverpool, which co-organized the exhibition. The show is scheduled to open at the DMA in November 2015.

Jackson Pollock Number 14 1951

“Number 14″ by Jackson Pollock, 1951

Jackson Pollock - Yellow Islands 1952

“Yellow Islands” by Jackson Pollock, 1952




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The Big Screen: Celebrating Miyazaki In Fort Worth

BigScreen_logoSMALLOn Saturday, the Lone Star Film Society begins a monthlong Hayao Miyazaki retrospective at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. This week, we talk about the Japanese animator’s lasting legacy with Dr. Marc Hairston, a UTD professor who teaches a class on Miyazaki.

Dr. Hairston and fellow UTD professor Dr. Pamela Gossin will lead discussions following each screening. Details here.

Be sure to subscribe to The Big Screen on iTunes. Stream this week’s episode below or download it.

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Flickr Photo of the Week

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Categorized Under: Visual Arts

Flickr Post

Congratulations to James Neal of Keller, the winner of the Flickr Photo of the Week contest! James previously won our contest back in March; he follows last week’s winner, Joseph Haubert.

me-199x300If you would like to participate in the Flickr Photo of the Week contest, all you need to do is upload your photo to our Flickr group page. It’s fine to submit a photo you took earlier than the current week, but we are hoping that the contest will inspire you to go out and shoot something fantastic this week to share with Art&Seek users. If the picture you take involves a facet of the arts, even better. The contest week will run from Monday to Sunday, and the Art&Seek staff will pick a winner on Monday afternoon. We’ll notify the winner through FlickrMail (so be sure to check those inboxes) and ask you to fill out a short survey to tell us a little more about yourself and the photo you took. We’ll post the winners’ photo on Wednesday.

Now here’s more from James:

Title of photo: Red
Equipment: Nikon D700 and Nikon ML-L3 Wireless remote
Tell us more about your photo: The photograph of the lady in red is street photography and about a year old. It was taken in Dallas outside a convenience store I thought it was missing something, so recently I added a self-portrait as the faded poster behind her.

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