News and Features

The Big Screen: Talking ‘Hellion’ With Kat Candler

BigScreen_logoSMALLIn the new movie Hellion, a teenage boy reacts to the sudden loss of his mother by acting out and rebelling against his dad, played by Aaron Paul. The film was written and directed by Kat Candler, who also teaches at UT-Austin. This week, we talk to Candler about how teaching makes her a better filmmaker.

Hellion opens at the Texas Theatre on Friday, and you can ask Candler all about her movie during a Q&A following the 7 p.m. screening

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

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The High Five: Phil Collins To Donate Texas Revolution Collection To The Alamo

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Categorized Under: The High Five
Phil Collins is donating his Texas Revolution collection to the Alamo. Credit:

Phil Collins is donating his Texas Revolution collection to the Alamo. Credit: Rob Wilson/

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Tracking Katharine the shark; Big Tex is America’s quirkiest landmark; Phil Collins is making a big donation to the Alamo; and more.

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Dallas Opera Appoints SMU Grad As Its New ‘Artistic Administrator’

ian smallIan Derrer, most recently with the Lyric Opera of Chicago,, will take the place of artistic director Jonathan Pell,, who started at the Dallas Opera 30 years ago in the same position as artistic administrator. Pell announced his retirement in April.

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Flickr Photo Of The Week

Categorized Under: Visual Arts


Congratulations to Cindy Higby of Dallas, the winner of the Flickr Photo of the Week contest! Cindy is a first-time winner of our contest.  She follows last week’s winner, Greg Westfall.

If 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.Cindy

Now here’s more from Cindy.

Title of photoRiding the Spinny Thing
Equipment: Nikon D610, AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm, f/8.0, 1/250, ISO 110
Tell us more about your photo:  The picture was taken on Father’s Day at a new urban park built on the Continental Avenue Bridge. That shot was taken in a section where they laid hard rubber and built a play area. The Continental Avenue Bridge is a pedestrian/bike friendly cut through to West Oak Cliff (an up and coming neighborhood going through a cool renovation). The bridge connects Dallas to Oak Cliff, and to the Trinity Levee bike trail, which will soon connect to other paved trails weaving through all parts of Dallas and the surrounding neighborhoods.

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The High Five: Ansel Elgort Chosen To Portray Van Cliburn In Upcoming Film

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Van Cliburn played in the third round of the 1958 Tchaikovsky Competition in the Great Hall of the Conservatory in Moscow. Credit: Van Cliburn Foundation

Van Cliburn played in the third round of the 1958 Tchaikovsky Competition in the Great Hall of the Conservatory in Moscow. Credit: Van Cliburn Foundation


Five stories that have North Texas talking: Wendy Davis marks the filibuster anniversary; the Wichita Falls drought is very bad; Van Cliburn the movie; and more.

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The Big Deal: ‘Life Itself’ Screening At The Landmark Magnolia Theatre

Roger Ebert was an author, Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic, social commentator, and one-half of the legendary film critic team Siskel and Ebert.  The Chicago critics from rival newspapers had viewers tuning in to their review show not so much to see if a film got two thumbs up or down, but to see the sparring match that preceded it. Later Ebert battled cancer for years. When he lost his speech, he became an influential cultural voice.  A documentary based on Ebert’s memoir Life Itself, will be hitting the theaters on July 4. Win this Big Deal and win a pass good for two to the preview screening on July 2, at the Landmark Magnolia Theatre.

And don’t pass up your chance to sign up for our other Big Deal this week - tickets to the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Concerts in the Garden: Old Fashioned-Family Fireworks Picnic at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

PLEASE NOTE: Only Art&Seek e-newsletter subscribers can win the Big Deal. If you are not a subscriber then take care of that first, then sign up below for a chance to win passes to Life Itself at the Landmark Magnolia Theatre.

UPDATE: We have our winners.

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The Big Deal: Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s Concerts In The Garden: Old-Fashioned Family Fireworks Picnic

Photo: Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

Photo: Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

Have you taken the kiddos to see a good fireworks show this year? I mean a real good, up close and personal, visual display of pyrotechnic marvel? There is no better place to take in a fireworks show than at the Concerts in the Garden: Old-Fashioned Family Fireworks Picnic at the Botanic Garden.  The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra does it up right for this Fort Worth tradition. The program is packed with patriotic tunes and marches, and the military salute to the armed forces will have you standing on your feet!  You have three nights to catch this family favorite July 2-4 at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.  But before you pack up the kids and the picnic basket sign up below for your chance to win lawn seating for four to the July 2 performance.

And after you sign up for this Big Deal don’t forget to sign up for our other offering this week - tickets to the preview screening of Life Itself at the Landmark Magnolia Theatre.

PLEASE NOTE: Only Art&Seek e-newsletter subscribers can win the Big Deal.  If you are not a subscriber then take care of that first, then sign up below for a chance to win tickets to FWSO’s Old-Fashioned Family Fireworks Picnic.

UPDATE: We have our winners.

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Art&Seek Jr: And Now For Something Completely Different

Art&Seek Jr. is one mom‘s quest to find activities to end the seemingly endless chorus of the “I’m Bored Blues” while having fun herself. Impossible you say? Check back on Tuesdays for kid-friendly events that are fun for adults, too.

Are you, or someone you know, reluctant about trying new things? I know my own sweet, nearly perfect child will balk at any food she doesn’t recognize and will go to great lengths to avoid trying it. She once tried to convince me that she was allergic to nuts so she wouldn’t have to eat chicken salad.

I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree because I remember being just like her at her age. It drove my poor mother insane. Then something happened that opened my eyes and broadened by culinary horizons. It happened when I was about 11 when my friend and I went to an international food festival in my hometown. At that stage in my life the most exotic “foreign” food I’d tried was bottled spaghetti sauce, so when I tasted Korean food for the first time it was like a party in my mouth. I had never tasted anything so good. It proved to me that it’s good to step outside your comfort zone and try something new from time to time.

Here are some out-of-the-ordinary events to help you do just that! Read More »

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$100,000 to Four Arts Groups Creating New Work in Dallas

(c) British Library; Supplied by The Public Catalogue FoundationHe would be pleased.

Four arts groups have received a total of $100,000 to create new work in Dallas, thanks the Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund.

Dallas Bach Society, Dallas Children’s Theater, Fine Arts Chamber Players and The Dallas Opera each were granted $25,000 to execute their project ideas.

Fans of kids literature can look forward to a musical about Skippyjon Jones, the cat that thinks he’s a chihuahua (see video below). Dallas Children’s Theater playwright-in-residence Lynda Daugherty will handle the story, and Nick Martin will compose the music. The project is a co-production with Oregon Children’s Theater, set to debut in Dallas January 23-February 27 at Rosewood Center for Family Arts.

Dallas Bach Society will collaborate with Contemporary Ballet Dallas to turn a previously choreographed duet into a full-length ballet. The subject is Joseph Bologne, an 18th century conductor known as Chevalier de Saint-Georges, and will incorporate his music performed on period instruments. It’s set for October 2015.

Fine Arts Chamber Players are creating a multidisciplinary work called Universal Language, based on the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights. World-folk ensemble The Obscure Dignitaries will join them for the performance Nov. 22 at the Dallas Museum of Art.

And the Dallas Opera’s grant will support the premier of Everest, a one-act opera composed by Jody Talbot and written by Gene Scheer, a frequent contributor to the opera. That’s scheduled for early 2015.

For now, here’s Skippyjon Jones:


Read more after the jump.

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The Fairmont is Family to Resident Artist Pamela Nelson

Gail Sachson owns Ask Me About Art offering lectures , tours and program planning. She is the former Chair of the Cultural Affairs Commission and former Vice-Chair of the Public Art Committee.


pamela nelson

Pamela Nelson. Photo: Gail Sachson

Until she was welcomed at the Arts District’s Fairmont Hotel as the twelfth Artist -in-Residence last month, recently widowed Dallas artist Pamela Nelson says, ” I didn’t even know I was lonely at home.” She is lonely no more. Until mid August, Nelson is enjoying a Penthouse bedroom view, abundant studio space on the hotel’s lower level and a light filled Akard Street lobby gallery space to show her work. And..oh yes… there are chef-prepared meals, Fairmont amenities, such as air conditioning, which she doesn’t have in her downtown loft and..most important… a family of new friends, from the housekeepers to the dining room staff to the hotel guests who peek into her glass enclosed working studio. Old friends visit  and peek as well. Girlhood friend Laura Bush  stopped in recently along with another artist, husband George.

The Nelson/ Fairmont union seems a perfect match. (The artist points out that one of her favorite artists, Matisse, also made art from a hotel room.) Even the casual viewer will notice the similarity in Nelson’s motifs of repeated patterning, which she calls “Improv Geometry” and the  patterns on the hotel’s upholstery, wall covering and carpeting.The rhythmic order and repetitive designs of scrolls and squares and circular elements encourage a restive response in the viewer-  composed, but far from comatose – appropriate to a hotel environment, as well as to an artist who meditates.

pam nelson studio fairmontBut Nelson won’t be looking down at the  floor patterns very much.  Instead , she will be looking out. She is mesmerized by the view from her 23rd-floor penthouse  and keeps her bedroom curtains open to awaken to the lights of the city. To the West she points out a number of above ground parking lots and traffic-congested criss-crossing highways. She hopes that area can be developed to look more like the view to the East,  in which she sees Klyde Warren Park, green spaces and roof-top gardens , newly  discovered from her high perch. She is inspired by the city view.

But inspiration from the energy of  our city is not new to Nelson. An ardent Downtown living advocate, she walks everywhere, works in her Harwood Street studio, volunteers at the Stewpot and shops at Farmer’s Market. When chosen as the  2008-2009 mural artist by the Dallas Catholic Foundation, she created “Magic Carpet”,  her tribute to a strong city, a golden glowing mural of the grid of the Arts District, a view, fittingly, she sees now from her bedroom window. “New City Planning”, a six panel work, is displayed in the Fairmont gallery and promotes in paint Nelson’s vision for Dallas: more green space, two way streets, park benches and trees.

Collage fabric works fill the gallery. Works on paper dominate the studio. The walls and tables there are filled with works in progress.”I love the immediacy of working with paper”, she says. “Piece of My Heart” is a four piece suite which is especially powerful and poignant. In it, Nelson has cut out pieces of past work,  as if they were pieces of her heart, after losing husband, Bill. She then painted them black and  reinserted them into new work, perhaps symbolically attempting a new life for the work and for herself.

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