News and Features

Flickr Photo Of The Week

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Categorized Under: Uncategorized, Visual Arts


Congratulations to Michael Rumsey of Richardson, the winner of the Flickr Photo of the Week contest. Michael is a first time winner of our contest. He follows last week’s winner Bryan Varner of Midlothian.

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 Tuesday to Monday, and the Art&Seek staff will pick a winner on Friday 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 Tuesday.

Now here’s more from Michael.

Title of photo:  Pelicans Keeping Warm

Equipment:  Canon 50D and Tamron 200-400mm f/5.6 LD with a Tamron 1.4X multiplier

Tell us more about your photo:  It was a gloomy, cold, Friday afternoon when I absolutely HAD to test a used lens I’d received the night before. I was crestfallen that the weather was so uncooperative…the birds weren’t flying…the lighting was dull and flat…Then I noticed the way the pelicans were huddled together for warmth, and the wonderful texture of the white feathers offsetting the yellow of the area around the eyes. I spent the rest of my time there working to capture this image.

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Art&Seek Jr: 6 Events To Help Ease The Post Holiday Blues

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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.

This isn’t news to anyone, but the holidays can be exhausting. All that dashing through the snow (or in our case rain) can take the jingle right out of your bells. I found this particularly true last Christmas. The nonstop yuletide celebration (that started around the middle of  October) left me so drained that by Christmas day all I wanted to do was put on my footie pajamas, crawl back into bed and sleep until Groundhog Day.  It was about 3 p.m. Christmas day and I was trying to muster up the strength to reach for the TV remote when in walks Rose. She sashays up to the bed, props herself up on her elbows, looks up at me with her big, green eyes and says, “So what are we gonna to do today?” To which I replied, “I’ll tell you what we’re gonna do today. You’re going to go play with that army of Monster High dolls that Santa brought, and mama is gonna lay here and binge watch Orange is the New Black. That’s what we’re gonna do today.”

Not exactly magical, but hey, the Elf on the Shelf has got to go back in the box at some point.

Going from 60 to zero in one day can be a little off-putting for the tinies. They need to come down slowly from their cookie-eating, present-opening, candy-cane licking high. Here are some events to help make the holiday rehab go a little easier.

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The Big Deal: Concert Of Your Choice At The Granada Theater

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Categorized Under: Giveaways, Music
Photo: Granada Theater

Photo: Granada Theater

With the upcoming holiday we thought we might do the Big Deal a little early this week. Here’s another heads up – be sure to check your inbox on Monday because that is when we will be contacting our lucky winner.

Catch your favorite act at the historic live music venue the Granada Theater – for free. Win this Big Deal and receive one Granada coin good for one person, for any concert of your choice at the Granada Theater in Dallas. Just autograph the form below and maybe you’ll get to see Hayes Carll, the Dirty River Boys, A Hard Night’s Day, Ricki Derek and Casablanca, or maybe Meghan Trainor gratis!

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 a concert of your choice at the Granada Theater.

UPDATE: We have our winner. Thanks for playing.

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Critic’s Choice: 2014 Brought New Works And Offbeat Performance Spaces For’s Mark Lowry

shakespeare bar

Watching Shakespeare at Wild Detectives. Photo: Shakespeare in the Bar via Facebook.


  • TheaterJones’ Forward Thinkers series
  • Mark Lowry’s Top 10 will post on TheaterJones next week. We’ll link to it when it goes up.
  • Tomorrow: Manny Mendoza on the year in dance.
  • Listen to the report that aired on KERA FM:


You’ve been to some unusual places to watch theater this year. You’ve even been playing drinking games in a bar?


Mark Lowry, of

You can probably find me in a bar outside the theater too. But yes,  one of the exciting things that happened this year was a new event called Shakespeare in the Bar, they’ve done two of them so far at Wild Detectives in Oak Cliff.  The one I went to recently was Loves Labor Lost. And they truly were barely rehearsed. And they even made a drinking game out of it. If an actor calls, “line!” everybody drinks.

But what was exciting about it is I’m guessing there were over 200 people there watching. It was overpacked. There were people in the alley.  It was very, very well received.

Is that part of a bigger trend?

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Guest Blog: My City. My Trinity.

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“December on the Trinity,” by Brian Luenser.

Guest blogger Matt Oliver lives in Fort Worth and has been working for the Trinity River Vision Authority for over 5 years. Matt is the Public Information Officer and is responsible with informing the public about the Trinity River Vison which will create a vibrant, pedestrian oriented urban waterfront neighborhood adjacent to Downtown Fort Worth, expand Gateway Park into a park and enhance the river corridor with over 90 user-requested projects along the Trinity Trails.

The Trinity River and its tributaries ebb and flow through every corner of Fort Worth creating a unique opportunity for our city. Fort Worth was founded along the Trinity River because of the vitality the river provided. However, as time passed, the community turned its back to the river. The Trinity became something that the community quickly drove across or beside forgetting the prominence it once played. In recent years, the Trinity River has experienced a resurrection in Fort Worth as the community has awoken to all that the river can provide. Today the Trinity River is returning to its original glory delivering water needs, open areas for recreation in and along its banks and a place to escape the hustle and bustle of one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. A deeper understanding of this wonderful amenity has developed as the public realized that the Trinity River can serve as a link that brings our entire community together.

The My City. My Trinity exhibit at Fort Worth Community Arts Center  features works of art from members of our community who have embraced the Trinity River and all that it has to offer our city. One gallery within the exhibit features photographs from Brian Luenser and Gordon Henry, both Fort Worth based photographers. A second gallery features community submitted photographs, the public is encouraged to vote on their favorite image.

trinity water fall

“Airfield Falls After Heavy Rain,” by Gordon Henry.

Both featured photographers have a special connection to the Trinity River and Trinity Trails. According to Brian Luenser, his love developed after it became necessary for him to increase his exercise level which ended up leading him to the Trinity Trails and river. After that, he says there was no turning back. “I no longer think of the trails as an exercise place, though I get plenty of exercise on the trails, but my playground or the place for fun and a bit of nature in the middle of town,” said Brian. “It is also been a favorite target of mine in my photography.”

As for Gordon Henry, his appreciation for the Trinity River also developed from the need to exercise more. Gordon, a senior citizen and retired teacher and landscape worker, began walking an average of three miles a day in 2002 and sites his frequent walks along the Trinity Trails as one reason he is no longer diabetic. Soon after he began his regular walks along the river he took up photography as a hobby.

This shift in perception about our river would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of a select group of organizations. Thanks to water quality initiatives the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) has implemented over the last 20 years the Trinity River is the only river in a large urban area in Texas that you can jump in and embrace. The river is now enjoyed by kayakers, canoers, water skiers, tubers and swimmers alike. TRWD has also constructed a number of low water crossings and water access points for the community’s enjoyment. However, the amenity that TRWD is most appreciated for is its contribution to the beloved Trinity Trail system. TRWD has built and maintains over 58 miles of trail in the comprehensive Trinity Trails system. This system is connected to a strong on-street trail and park network provided by the City of Fort Worth which includes Trinity Park and Gateway Park. The full Trinity Trail system provides over 70 miles of continuous trails and connects to 31 neighborhoods.

A special thanks to Streams and Valleys who were the original stewards of the Trinity River and helped everyone appreciate what our river once meant to us. Our river community would not be here without their passion, commitment and continued fundraising efforts to support this effort.

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“Reflection,” by Gordon Henry.

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Saturday Spotlight – “Unsilent Night”

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Phil Kline in Washington Sq Park - credit Tom Jarmusch_500w

Phil Kline in Washington Square Park, 2013. Photo by Tom Jarmusch.

For this week’s Art & Seek Spotlight, we’re celebrating the Winter Solstice with “Unsilent Night.” Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth is responsible for this moving musical installation at Magnolia Green Park. Participants become part of the orchestra using boomboxes or smartphones to play the music as they dance through the park. Be sure to wear your sparkliest bling – the theme for the evening’s attire is “Festival of Lights.”

Phil Kline's Unsilent Night in NYC 2011 - credit Taylor Davidson 3_500w

Phil Kline’s Unsilent Night in New York 2011. Photo by Taylor Davidson.

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Could This Be His Last ‘Nutcracker’?

Tuzer Nutcracker 3editTanju Tuzer as Drosselmeyer, center, in the Tuzer Ballet’s The Nutcracker. Photo: Sharon Bradford

This weekend at the Eisemann Center, the Tuzer Ballet Company will put on its 30th anniversary production of The Nutcracker. But KERA’s Jerome Weeks reports the festivities have been clouded by the fact that Tanju Tuzer, the founder of the Richardson company, has been diagnosed with colon cancer.


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Bad Boys Sure, But Women Shine In The Modern’s ’80s Art Show


“I shop,” by Barbara Kruger.

New York City was a gritty and exciting place for artists in the 80s. The scene and its splashy artists – from Andy Warhol to Keith Haring — all appear at Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth’s exhibition Urban Theater:  New York Art in the 1980s.  But it was the women artists featured in the show who caught the attention of  KERA contributor Joan Davidow.

Urban Theater: New York Art in the 1980s runs until Jan. 4

Listen to the report that aired on KERA FM:

More of everything characterized the 80s in New York: the confusion and the excitement, once said art critic Peter Scheldahl. This exhibition, curated by The Modern’s Michael Auping, who lived through the 80s in New York, reflects that flamboyant spirit.
All the hotshot bad boy artists show up, such as Jean-Michel Basquiat’s raw, crude, street portraits and Jeff Koons’ funky single basketball floating in a fish tank. The exhibition also shows the dynamic women artists working at the time, who surprisingly matched the men and also changed the course of art history.

A lot of dynamic painting appears, but the women artists, such as Cindy Sherman attacked painting as irrelevant.

Sherman UntitledFilmStill_65

“Untitled Film Still #65,” one of several pieces by Cindy Sherman in The Modern’s show.

Sherman turned her camera on herself, developing a series of black-and-white photographs styled as film stills evoking popular movies and playing with Hollywood stereotypes. In Untitled Film Still #5, 1977, she’s opening what looks like a “dear John” letter from a former lover. It looks so real, so believable! She was her own actress, producer, director, and set designer. Sherman says she never thought she was acting; people believe photographs; it was conceptual art:  She made projects for herself.

The 80s’ hyper consumer culture shows up in the work of Barbara Kruger, a layout designer at a big publishing house in New York.  Kruger uses pithy statements to create moments of recognition and spark understanding.  Nothing could epitomize Dallas’ consumer culture more than her huge black-and-white photograph of a graceful hand holding a big red label with text, “I shop therefore I am.”
Another young artist, Jenny Holzer, came up with what she called, Truisms, a series of short, cryptic euphemisms — rules to live by — scrolling by in LED lights.  “Money Creates Taste,” proclaims one of the messages moving across a Times Square billboard in a 1989 piece called Survival. Holzer was the first woman ever to represent the United States in the Venice Biennale.

Of course, the 80s also brought the AIDS epidemic, a force that artists addressed.  Shockingly, by 1989 someone died of AIDS worldwide every SIX minutes! Photographer Nan Goldin showed us the underbelly of life in a New York resident hotel, taking color snapshots of her gay drug buddies, even showing herself battered and bruised by a lover, so she’d never forget that horror.

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“Black Eye,” by Nan Goldin.

The last wall in the Modern’s exhibition depicts documentary posters from the anonymous political group, the Guerrilla Girls, a pack of women artists who paraded in front of museum and gallery openings calling out the scarcity of women artists shown inside and demanding equal representation.

Thanks to Curator Auping’s first-hand experiences, his looking back at the ’80s in New York City makes it extremely poignant in today’s time: These history-making women artists are today’s grande dames, creating styles and setting trends still resonating today.

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Guest Blog: Jerry Saltz’ Pop-Up Art Magazine

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Guest blogger Harmony Witte lives in Dallas with her husband and menagerie. She works as an artist focusing on watercolors, digital illustration, photography, and painting murals. She is art director at a summer camp, teaches workshops, organizes art events, and curates shows.  This is her first post for Art&Seek.

Chances are that if you have read an art article from New York Magazine, you have read the work of Jerry Saltz. His contribution to the American art scene along with his masterful social media presence have made him a figure nearly bigger than life. Jerry is a self-taught critic who rose from long-haul trucking  to the role of head art critic and columnist for New York Magazine. Jerry’s most recent project is incredibly ambitious; it’s SEEN,  a thirty-three day pop-up art magazine  for New York magazine and Vulture that incorporates the work of dozens of bloggers and artists “exploring the arts full-time.” He was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about this project.

jerry saltz2

Jerry Saltz

How did SEEN begin and whose idea was it?I’ve been begging New York magazine to do an art blog since about 2009 — just looking for a way to get all those people on my Facebook, Twitter, and then later Instagram sort of channeled into one place; but, I never wanted to run this art zine, or art blog, or art magazine. Finally New York magazine somehow found funding for it and its now up and running and I don’t have to be the editor, so I’m really happy. Now I will get to use it for putting as much of my stuff as I might want to write up there, and it’s really thrilling to me.

That’s great. Why the blog format?It just seemed to me that I was seeing more shows than I could write about, I was thinking about more art than I had a chance to address, more issues than I could get into the magazine and I wanted to be able to have a place to write all of that. I’m just starting to do that now. It also occurred to me that it would be a place to put other writers to work since there are going to be fewer and fewer print publications for critics. It seemed to me to try to create more and more platforms for younger critics to write. There’s no money in it — it’s very, very little money. But there’s very little money in print criticism as it is. So its a wash in a way, its break even. You make the same, no money, for writing online or for print. I don’t have a contract. New York Magazine could fire me any time they want, there’s no pension, no nothing like that. I’m not complaining. It seemed to me that since critics are not being paid very much, they are totally free to say whatever they want. They are in a no-lose situation. There’s nothing to lose. So if they don’t like this show or that show, they can write it and they are safe. It seemed to me that an online magazine was an idea worth trying. If it fails that’s fine too.
If it is successful enough, might they extend it beyond the 33 days?Yes. I think that is their hope. Right now, honestly, it’s my hope. When I got into this, it really didn’t occur to me if it should go on and on because they are the ones who have to make it either make money or they will kill it. But now that its up and running I feel already addicted, so I hope that they get addicted too and if they can figure out a way to make themselves money on it, good. I do not get paid one more dime for writing for SEEN, but again, that’s just the way criticism is, and my feeling is, I want readers.Your first post for SEEN was about how the art world has become more conservative. When did you begin to suspect that things are trending more conservatively?

Its been going on, I would say, the last year or so. When I did not like Oscar Murillo’s chocolate factory at David Turner Gallery I was called racist. When I loved Kara Walker’s sugar sculpture in Brooklyn and said it should be pulled across the United States on a huge float as a reminder of America’s original sin of slavery, people came on and said I’m disrespecting Kara Walker, my former student. Luckily, she came online and said “I like what Jerry Saltz wrote.”  That did not stop all the attacks of racism. It goes on and on. I think that with more money in the art world and with fewer people getting that money, its made people cynical. That cynicism has helped create a situation where people are returning to a more politically stringent way of thinking that was common in the early 1990’s. I think people are returning almost in a nostalgic way to a kind of thinking they were used to 20 years ago. I’ve decided if people want to criticize me, they can. At first I was a little shocked at being called a “racist, a sexist, a bigot.” I’m always called “old and bald.” It’s the last one that hurts the most because I don’t see myself as bald. I always want to tell people “I have hair!” I’m just going to go for it. I don’t want to lose readers, but I don’t mind losing so-called friends.

harmony witte

Harmony Witte

What has been the response to that post?

SEEN told me that over 150,000 people read it, that’s a lot for an art post. It has been circulated, there’s been articles written about it, I think we are all experiencing it, aren’t you? How does it manifest in your world? You’ve had me do all the talking, I would love to ask you a few questions.

It feels like in Dallas people aren’t really willing to question things. It’s all straight-up either “oh that’s pretty” or “it’s not because it doesn’t match the couch”,or its purely for shock value. There is no middle ground, people aren’t really trying to explore ideas with their art, they are just saying “look at that, oh isn’t that shocking” or “isn’t that pretty”.

Good point. I get it. I think its a phase that we are all in because the art world has gotten so big. Its a system that has gotten too big not to fail. It’s too big not to fail and people sense that and with social media there is much more opportunity to police other people’s energy. I’m always amazed that people will spend their own energy to attack the energy of others.

You often respond to posts on your articles and to your followers on social media. It makes the conversation very inclusive to people who would otherwise not have a voice in the art world. Have you noticed this inclusion changing the tone of conversations around art? For a long time I loved being in communication with all readers. My fantasy was that instead of the pyramid with the critic at the top writing down, instead of the one writing to the many, my fantasy was that the many could speak to one another, coherently. I think that really mushroomed around this experiment that I was conducting as well as other writers. It made for an extraordinary, almost international conversation. I do think that with this encroaching conservatism and cynicism that this conversation has turned a little darker. I hope that it passes. In the meantime, it’s just a phase, and if that’s what it is, that’s what it is. Or maybe people are just sick of me, which is fair too. I get sick of me.

You are an art critic, but with projects like SEEN and your role as judge on the contest/reality show Work of Art you have increasingly become part of the conversation around art. Does that surprise you?

Eh. No. I understand. I would get pissed off too at some art critic dancing with Jay Z. I would get pissed off seeing an art critic on a reality TV/game show about art. I get that. I totally understand it. And yet, there was never any question in my mind when I was asked to do this TV show. It paid $900 an episode for a 9 week season, we ran 2 seasons so you can do the Math.I did not do this for money. I did it for something much more craven, pathetic, dark. I must have wanted to do this. Again it’s in a volunteer position. No one forced me. I understand how it makes some people creeped out.

Do you have any advice for artists in Dallas?

Stay up late every single night with other artists. Vampires must be with other vampires or else they will die. That’s my advice to artists in Dallas, in New York, everywhere. If you are with others of your own kind you will be fine. That goes for you too!

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The Big Screen: Why ‘Boyhood’ Is Best

BigScreen_logoSMALLWe’ve reached the season when Hollywood studios release the films they hope will bring home Oscars, Golden Globes and the like. This week, to put a cap on the year, we talk about why a film released over the summer has proved to be the year’s best.

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

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