News and Features

The Big Deal: Texas Ballet Theater Presents ‘Swan Lake’

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Swan

For your Big Deal pleasure, Art&Seek has secured five pairs of tickets to Texas Ballet Theater’s almost sold out season finale of Swan Lake. With its enchanting music by Tchaikovsky and romantic choreography, this ballet is a favorite in classic ballet repertoire. Adding to the mesmerizing performance for the night will be the live accompaniment of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.  Tickets will be valid for the June 1, at 7 p.m. performance at Bass Performance Hall.

After signing up for this Big Deal don’t step away from your keyboard. Sign up for our other two Deals this week – tickets to Mamma Mia! presented by Dallas Summer Musicals, or tickets to Always Patsy Cline at Casa Mañana.

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 see Swan Lake.

We have our winner! Thanks for playing!

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The Big Deal: Dallas Summer Musicals Presents ‘Mamma Mia!’

Mamma Mia! Have we got a Big Deal for you! Sign up to win tickets to see the ABBA inspired smash hit Mamma Mia! presented by Dallas Summer Musicals.  When a bride-to-be, invites her mom’s past boyfriends to her wedding it makes for more than a few awkward moments. No, when all is said and done it makes for a fun, toe-tapping, song filled extravaganza.

While you are signing up for this Big Deal now is the perfect time to browse our other offerings this week – tickets to see Swan Lake presented by Texas Ballet Theater at Bass Performance Hall, or tickets to see Always Patsy Cline at Casa Mañana.

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 and to take your chance on winning tickets to see Mamma Mia!

We have our winner! Thanks for playing!

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The High Five: Beloved Dallas Choir Teacher Performs Last Concert — At The Meyerson

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Five stories that have North Texas talking: Chipotle focuses on burritos, not guns; North Texas is a dangerous place for pedestrians; take a journey up Interstate 35; and more:

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Art&Seek Jr: 4 Family Friendly Events To Celebrate The Start Of Summer

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 weekly for kid-friendly events that are fun for adults, too.

I recently made an observation about the different way children view holidays verses their parents. Kids can tell you at any given time exactly how many days it is to the next holiday or school break. It’s like they all become calculation experts when it comes to vacation time.  Of course the downside to this is that the anticipation just about kills them. It doesn’t matter what holiday is just around the corner, the response is always the same– “it’s sooooo far away” or, “I can’t wait that looooong.”

Adults on the other hand, stay in a perpetual state of denial when it comes to holidays. We know that December 25 comes every year, but still around December 22 every year we look at the calendar and say, “OMG! Christmas is in three days! When did THAT happen?! Why didn’t anyone TELL me?!”

Just last week my two co-workers and I convinced ourselves that Memorial Day couldn’t possibly be this weekend. We had too much to do and after all, May just started, right? It wasn’t until a few days later when I was looking at the events on the Art&Seek calendar that I realized –you guessed it—Memorial Day is this weekend. When I informed my office mates of the error they shook their heads. No. No. No. Even after I pointed to my planner with the big red “Memorial Day” stamped next to the date they still backed away from me with looks of disbelief. I guess they thought if they denied it passionately enough it wouldn’t be so.  Ah well, that meeting can always be rescheduled to next week.

Speaking of the Art&Seek calendar and Memorial Day, there’s tons of fun to be had this long weekend. Here are a few ideas to help you and the teeny tykes kick off the official start of summer with a vengeance. Read More »

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The High Five: Some Jurors Aren’t Happy That Bernie Tiede Is Being Released Early

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Five stories that have North Texas talking: the dress code drama in Duncanville continues; Allen ISD is shutting down its $60 million stadium this fall; Texas A&M will help fight a devastating coffee disease; and more.

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UNT Writer Miroslav Penkov Wins Rolex Mentor Award

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Categorized Under: Books, Culture

penkov2You may recall Miroslav Penkov, the young Bulgarian author who teaches English at UNT and whose first collection of short stories, East of the West, earned raves and translation into 11 countries. Penkov’s stories have won him the Eudora Welty Prize and the BBC International Short Story Award. He happens to be the only Bulgarian author in America writing about his home country in English.

Well, now Penkov’s won something else, and this time he’s headed to Canada. Since 2002, the Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative has paired major artists in dance, film, literature and music with younger talents. Such masters as Toni Morrison, Sir Colin Davis, Brian Eno, Mario Vargos Llosa, Julie Taymor and Martin Scorsese have collaborated with relative newbies for a year. In Penkov’s case, he’ll be working with Booker Prize-winning Canadian author Michael Ondaatje (best known for The English Patient)  — and as Penkov explains, he’ll be working on his novel:

My main objective of the mentoring year is finalizing my novel, which I have been working on for four years. It has been bought by an American publisher. What I like about the mentorship is summed up in the saying “Give a man fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach him how to fish and he’ll never be hungry again.” So it’s not just about the novel; it’s about learning about being a writer for the rest of my life.

My novel is, among other things, about the desolation of Eastern Thrace, which borders Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, before, during and after the Balkan Wars. Part of the narrative also centres on a campaign by the Orthodox Church and Communist Party to make Bulgarian Muslims change their names.

I don’t look at my books individually. I perceive them as links in a single chain. I’d like the world to read about Bulgaria, its people, history and folklore. And I’d like the people of Bulgaria to start reading local literature again, something they’ve almost forgotten about over the past two decades of economic crisis. That’s why I write my books in English and in Bulgarian.

 

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The High Five: Denton To Go On A Hot Date With Sriracha Hot Sauce Company

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Five stories that have North Texas talking: Denton officials to meet with Sriracha officials; a Rangers fan’s act of kindness goes viral; a local student who struggles in college is profiled in The New York Times; and more.

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Undermain Theatre Goes ‘Round The World And Into The Future for Its New Season

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street signeditThe plays being offered include a life of Mary, the mother of Jesus — as written by an Irish novelist — a modern Russian fairytale, a world-premiere look at the future by a steampunk author and a Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about the ‘last picture show’ in Massachusetts.

In short, a typical Undermain Theatre season.

Here’s the fine print:

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Saturday Spotlight – Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival

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55560  For this week’s Art & Seek Spotlight, we’re headed to the Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival at Galatyn Park Urban Center in Richardson. This three day event includes a songwriting competition, a battle of the bands, and a petting zoo. You’ll also keep busy with art activities, strolling entertainers, and music by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and others.

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Creating A Legacy – And A Gallery – For Late Artist John Wilcox

wilcox bluing

“Bluing” By John Wilcox

John Wilcox painted diligently up until his death, from AIDS, 2 years ago. Now, his brother has converted the small studio in Exposition Park where Wilcox lived and worked into a gallery to show his paintings – and celebrate his legacy.  KERA contributor Joan Davidow paid a visit.

  • The studio-gallery at 824 Exposition Avenue No. 9 will be open Saturdays in May through June 7 from 1 to 5 p.m.
  • John Wilcox paintings are also on view at Barry Whistler Gallery in Deep Ellum.

Listen to the report that aired on KERA FM:

John Wilcox lived a reserved, private life as a committed artist.  After he died, his brother David decided to pay tribute to his work in the same quiet, respectful way John lived.

David Wilcox is taking a year sabbatical from his child psychology practice in Boston to tell John’s story. He’s collecting his brother’s writings and cataloguing his work. And he’s inviting friends from the art world to curate shows of John’s work.  Barry Whistler, the artist’s gallerist, curated the first exhibition, and David plans to select the next one. 

Critic and UT Dallas professor Rick Brettell curated the current exhibition of intimate works from the early 1980s.  Imagine full canvases of broad fields of one minimalist color, maybe imbedded with a simple floating image or a single word.  John Wilcox tediously spent months making his paintings; he delicately painted, one stroke at a time, to get broad fields of color, rich in their layering.  Texas minimalism with a twist; simple paintings with hidden secrets. The more you look, the more you see.

David Wilcox recalls finding work he’d heard about but never seen.  It was shown in New York at Fawbush Gallery, but never before in Dallas until the recent Dallas Art Fair.

I’m thinking of one piece,  “Bluing.”   It was in this little tiny storage room; And I’ll never forget  it was hot, in the summer, I pulled other paintings back & looked at it & was astounded by its simplicity & complexity. Again, that kind of duality John always had.

 

One large canvas on display in the gallery is called “Sane.” It depicts a spiraling orange shape floating in a field of shimmering bright blue.

wilcoxSane

“Sane”. By John Wilcox

Brother David found notes and a photograph in one of John’s sketchbooks. “I also found a Polaroid of a little flue handle for the fireplace in the bunk house and it’s a spiral shape just like this. So John had taken a very simple object and used that to build on in making this painting. And the reason they have these flu handles shaped like this, in a spiral metal fashion, is to dissipate and diffuse the heat. I think the title of this work, it’s all about, how do I stay sane? How does anyone stay sane? We have to diffuse the heat of life.”

This new attention makes John Wilcox work come alive in ways that sadly never happened in his lifetime.  He was a quiet man, and very private.  I sweetly recall how John appeared at Dallas Contemporary, wanting to volunteer regularly so he could mix with people.  He helped me install exhibitions and sweep gallery floors.

That privacy extended to his long struggle with AIDS.   He didn’t speak about it; he just kept painting.  Another young artist the disease took from us far too early.  His career ended at what should have been its midpoint.  But his brother David is making it possible for John Wilcox’s work to live longer in the public domain and maybe inspire others to initiate the public exhibition he deserved.

 

 

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