News and Features

Flickr Photo of the Week

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Categorized Under: Visual Arts

Flickr 2

Congratulations to David Hobson of Frisco, the winner of the Flickr Photo of the Week contest. David previously won our contest back in December of 2012. He follows our previous week’s winner, Mark Birnbaum.

D2If 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 David:

Title: Mics

Equipment: Canon T31 / Canon Ultrasonic 28-80 lens

Tell us more about your photo: This was taken at Shake Rag Music in Dallas. Shake Rag is as much a museum as it is a music and Guitar shop. I found a rare Freddie King album and was able to take some fun pictures as well. There are always so many great pictures in the Art and Seek group. I am very happy to have mine chosen as the photo of the week.

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The Big Deal: The Dance Theatre of Harlem At Bass Performance Hall


Dance Theatre of Harlem Photo: Rachel Neville

Dance Theatre of Harlem
Photo: Rachel Neville

The Dance Theatre of Harlem was established over 40 years and has become a multicultural dance institution. Founded on the principles of providing ballet and arts education, social awareness and artistic excellence, the ballet company has performed on stages around the world gaining global recognition.  The next stage the performing ensemble will grace will be at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth. 

For this Big Deal, sign up to win tickets to see the legendary troupe when Performing Arts Fort Worth presents the Dance Theatre of Harlem on Jan. 26.

And while you are signing up for this Big Deal you might want to sign up for our other Big Deals this week – tickets to the Kimbell Art Museum’s members-only screening of The Monuments Men, or tickets to catch Pleasant Grove with Crushed Stars at the Kessler Theater.

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 the Dance Theatre of Harlem at Bass Performance Hall.

UPDATE:  We have our winners. Thanks for playing.

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The Big Deal: ‘The Monuments Men’ Advanced Screening At The Kimbell Art Museum

Can’t wait to see The Monuments Men when it comes out in theaters in February?  You won’t have to, if you win this Big Deal. The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth will host a special advanced screening of the movie starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, and Cate Blanchett. The screening will be the first film shown in the new concrete and glass Renzo Piano Pavilion auditorium.

The film is based on the best-selling book by Robert M. Edsel and tells the true story of the group of architects, curators, art historians and other non-soldier types, whose mission was to protect and return artistic and cultural treasures stolen by Hitler and the Nazis during WWII. Clooney not only stars in the highly anticipated film but he also directed it. I know I can’t wait to see it.

This is a Kimbell Art Museum members-only event, but you only have to be an Art&Seek e-newsletter subscriber for a chance to win tickets for the Jan. 19, 1 p.m. screening. That’s this Sunday so everybody be sure to check your inbox Friday afternoon. You do not want to be reading our email first thing Monday morning.

And while we have your attention, you might also want to peruse our other Big Deals this week – tickets to see the legendary Dance Theatre of Harlem at Bass Performance Hall, or tickets to see Pleasant Grove with Crushed Stars at the Kessler Theater.

If you are not an Art&Seek e-newsletter subscriber then take care of that first, then sign up below for a chance to see The Monuments Men at the Kimbell Art Museum.

UPDATE:  We have our winners. Don’t forget to check your email before you leave today!

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The Big Deal: Pleasant Grove With Crushed Stars At The Kessler Theater

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Categorized Under: Giveaways, Music

pleasant grove bigThey’re back! After a “sort of” hiatus Pleasant Grove is back, says co-front man Marcus Striplin. Hear the alternative-country band Pleasant Grove when they take the stage at the Kessler Theater. The band named after the southeast Dallas neighborhood will be joined by another local favorite, Crushed Stars. Two lucky Big Deal winners will receive general admission for two to see the show gratis on Jan. 24.

And before you put that pen down, don’t forget to sign up for our two other Big Deals this week – tickets to see the Dance Theatre of Harlem at Bass Performance Hall, or tickets to the advanced screening of  The Monuments Men at the Kimbell Art Museum.

PLEASE NOTE: Only Art&Seek e-newsletter subscribers can win the Big Deal. So if you are not a subscriber you’ll want to take care of that first, then sign up below for a chance to see Pleasant Grove with Crushed Stars at the Kessler Theater.
UPDATE: We have our winners. Thanks for playing.

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The High Five: At The Dallas Museum Of Art, Beloved Pets Transform Into Works Of Art

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Categorized Under: The High Five

Five stories that have North Texas talking: employees differ on whether a Six Flags passenger was sitting safely in her seat; Dallas-Fort Worth is on a mountain cedar high; pets star as artwork mashups at the Dallas Museum of Art, and more.

  • The Dallas Museum of Art had some fun Tuesday, also known as Dress Up Your Pet Day. The museum did some mashups of employee pets featured in various artworks. “We not only love our art, but we also love our animals,” declared the museum’s Uncrated blog. “We couldn’t resist combining some of our favorite works from our permanent collection with some of our favorite pet pals.” George Costanza, a West Highland White Terrier, did his best imitation of George Washington, who was featured in a Rembrandt Peale portrait. “Like George Washington, George the Westie is courageous and fearless in the face of danger,” wrote Amanda Blake, a DMA employee. “He is an alpha dog and has been known to keep much larger dogs in line. Plus, I thought that he would look very handsome in a colonial costume.” Take a look at the whimsical depictions here.
  • Rangers Captain earned a dubious honor Tuesday: He’s one of the five creepiest Major League Baseball mascots. Regarding the Texas Rangers’ mascot, summed it up this way: “Tight pants on a horse-man. An unspoken horror of mascots is that their mouths are always agape. Stare at people with your mouth closed, and they’ll feel uncomfortable. Stare at people with your mouth open, and they’ll call the cops. No mascot, though, employs the horrible open mouth to better effect than any other mascot in baseball. …There’s probably a reverse-Godfather component to Rangers Captain freaking me out, too, like he’s going to wake up in bed with Nolan Ryan’s severed head.” It could be worse. The Cincinnati Reds’ Mr. Redlegs was deemed the creepiest: “It’s unbearable. It’s the eyes.”
  • There are more developments regarding last summer’s death of a rider who was thrown from the Texas Giant roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas. Court documents filed this week show differing accounts as to what happened to passenger Rosa Esparza, The Dallas Morning News reports. A Six Flags Over Texas roller coaster operator claimed she didn’t believe Esparza’s lap bar was properly secured. Despite those concerns, she didn’t stop the ride to check Esparza. But a ride attendant contradicted the operator’s statement, saying in a deposition that he made sure that Esparza’s lap bar wasn’t loose. A Six Flags spokeswoman declined to comment on the latest news. A park worker had told police the safety restraint was “a little high, or not as tight as it should be” on Esparza, The News reported. Esparza, a grandmother, plunged 75 feet to her death.
  • The husband of a pregnant North Texas woman on life support is suing the hospital to have her removed from life support. A lawsuit filed Tuesday in state district court asks a judge to order John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth to remove life support for Marlise Muñoz, a Haltom City woman who fell unconscious in November while pregnant. Her husband, Erick Muñoz, says a doctor at the hospital told him his wife is considered brain-dead. Doctors informed Erick Muñoz that his wife had “lost all activity in her brain stem, and was for all purposes brain dead,” the suit states. But hospital officials say Texas law prohibits them from following Marlise Muñoz’s wishes because she is pregnant.
  • Mountain cedar is baaaack – and it’s bad this season. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports: “A recent warming trend — Sunday’s high was a spring-like 74 degrees — coupled with strong southerly winds has awakened a seasonal monster.” University of Tulsa biology professor Estelle Levetin, who issues pollen forecasts, declared: “We could tell it was going to be a doozy.” Blame warm weather and high winds – it’s a bad combination. The pollen count reached 279 in Fort Worth on Monday, the highest for mountain cedar this season. But it could be far worse: The count has been in the thousands in Austin and San Antonio. Try to stay indoors on bad cedar days and take over-the-counter medications such as Allegra, Zyrtec and Claritin before the cedar strikes.

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JR Asks Us To Face Up

Inside outwideJR’s “Inside Out” at Dallas Contemporary. Photo credits: Jerome Weeks (above), Gail Sachson (below)

Guest Blogger Gail Sachson, former Chair of the Dallas Cultural Affairs Commission and Vice Chair of the Dallas Public Art Committee, owns Ask Me About Art, offering lectures, tours and program planning. She is leading the group bus tours for the Nasher XChange Public Art Project. Because of their popularity an additional tour has  been added for February 8. Contact Ester at the Nasher: 214- 242-5178

JR is the thirty-year-old French graffiti artist, filmmaker and photographer, whose larger-than-life paper portraits installed in public places all over the world have won for him the 2011 TED Prize (see his TED talk here).  To celebrate the opening of his show, “Inside Out,” JR held a conversation last week at the Dallas Contemporary.

Inside Out” is a variation of earlier projects in which he took photos, usually of the downtrodden of the world, in the Middle East, South America, Hong Kong and even the North Pole, printed them poster-size and pasted them, often under darkness, in buildings, on walls and on whatever unconventional surfaces he chose. “We were not supposed to change anything”, he said. “These were just art projects. Not social justice projects. We never forecasted the outcome. Art is the only job you can fail at,” he said, “yet still feel  successful.” The process itself was rewarding, and JR feels he got more than he gave. Yet he gave the voiceless a voice and a larger-than-life public identity.

The  surprising locations of these oversized portraits –  on rooftops, in half demolished buildings, on staircases and sidewalks — the incongruous pairings,  the  searing stares and the warmth of the subjects’ unexpected smiles often inspired others to a cause. Or at least were cause for reflection to passersby.

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Dallas Theater Center in Time Magazine: One of 10 Shows To Watch This Year

dtc-shows2This week, Time magazine listed 10 theater productions outside of New York City that bear watching this year. Number six is the musical adaptation of Jonathan Lethem’s bestselling novel, The Fortress of Solitude, which will makes its world premiere  in March at the Dallas Theater Center before it heads to the Public Theatre in New York next season.

Fortress is about two boys, one white and one black, growing up in Brooklyn in the ‘70s. Their friendship is expressed through comic books, graffiti art and music. Playwright Itamar Moses is a longtime friend of Theater Center artistic director Kevin Moriarty — the DTC staged Moses’ baseball drama, Back, Back, Back, in 2009. That’s how Moriarty heard about the adaptation and when he saw an early workshop, he said he’d do anything to produce it in Dallas. Turns out, the Public Theatre was interested, too — so the two companies joined forces, as they have previously on Giant and The Good Negro.

But Moriarty heard about the Time story the way many of us do these days: through social media. “Between Facebook and Twitter,” he says, “I suddenly felt like something had exploded. And I looked down at my phone and saw, Oh my goodness, we have one of the pieces that people across the country want to see this year.”

The Theater Center opens Fortress of Solitude March 7th – and novelist Lethem will be reading at the Dallas Museum of Art on Feb. 13th.


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Art&Seek Jr: 4 Places To Experience The Great Outdoors This Weekend

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.

After last week’s cold snap, most of the liddle kiddles in our area were more than ready to enjoy Sunday’s warm temperatures. True, we didn’t get piles of snow like our friends in the north did, but playing outside has been curtailed for longer than they would have liked and most have kiddie cabin fever about now. If you’re older than three, you know that Texas weather is fickle and it can change in the blink of an eye. When a beautiful day comes along, we get outside while the getting’s good.

If the weather sites are to be believed, more glorious weather is headed our way this coming weekend.  Here are a few tips to help you and the kiddos make the most of it. Read More »

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The High Five: Is Some Of The Country’s Best Theater Happening In Dallas?

Five stories that have North Texas talking: some of the country’s best theater is happening in Dallas; the Dallas Architecture Forum discusses the art of communication; Plano police investigate a 2-year-old’s suspicious death, and more.

  • Some of the best theater is happening way off Broadway – in Dallas, in fact. Time magazine came up with a list of the 10 best plays and musicals happening in 2014. It listed Fortress of Solitude, an upcoming musical at the Dallas Theater Center. It opens March 7. Here’s how Time describes it:Jonathan Lethem’s acclaimed 2003 novel, about two friends, one white and one black, growing up in Brooklyn in the 1970s, may not seem the most obvious subject for a musical, but some formidable theater creators are giving it a try, including busy director Daniel Aukin (Bad Jews,The Winslow Boy) and composer Michael Friedman (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson). It’s a collaboration with New York’s Public Theater, which plans to mount the show next season.”
  • The Dallas Architecture Forum is kicking off its first panel discussion for 2014 tonight. An informal reception starts at 6:15 p.m. and the panel starts at 6:30 p.m. The free event is at the Dallas Center for Architecture, 1909 Woodall Rogers Freeway, Suite 100. Architect Joe McCall will be the moderator, and the panel includes Michael Malone, principal of Michael Malone Architects. The topic: “The Art of Communication … Architectually Speaking.” “This will be a look at the technology and effectiveness of the many mediums – spoken, written and visual – through which messages are sent and received.”
  • A 2-year-old girl’s suspicious death Sunday is being investigated as a homicide. Grace Ford was found unconscious Thursday afternoon at a Plano apartment, and was transported to Children’s Medical Center. She was pronounced dead Sunday, just days away from turning 3. Plano police aren’t releasing many details. But a website set up to raise money for the girl’s medical expenses and funeral says that duct tape was placed on her face, cutting off oxygen. Child Protective Services is investigating. A spokeswoman told The Dallas Morning News that the agency investigates any time a child dies from abuse or neglect, but declined to release details.
  • Why did a Southwest Airlines plane land at the wrong airport in Missouri Sunday? The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the mistake. Meanwhile, Dallas-based Southwest said it has placed the two pilots involved on paid leave. Both have more than 10 years of experience with the airline. Flight 4013 from Chicago Midway was to land at the Branson Airport, but instead landed about 7 miles north at Taney County Airport, which has a much shorter runway. Southwest brought another plane to Branson for passengers who were continuing to Dallas Love Field. Scott Schieffer, a Dallas attorney who was a passenger on the flight, told The Associated Press that the pilot on touchdown “applied the brake very hard and very forcibly. I thought ‘Well, this is a very short runway, and this must be how he has to land.’” [USA Today]
  • The case of the Haltom City pregnant woman on life support has generated international attention – and stirred a political debate across Texas. The Texas Tribune reports: “A pregnant North Texas woman being kept on life support against her family’s wishes is stirring political debate in a state immersed in competitive primary races, and fresh off a legislative session in which lawmakers had tense debates over when life begins and how it can end.” Marlise Munoz collapsed in November and has been at John Peter Smith Hospital. The family says it’s been told she’s brain-dead, and wants her taken off life support. But the hospital says she isn’t dead. A doctor told the family she couldn’t be taken off life support since the state doesn’t allow doctors to cut off life support to pregnant patients. The Tribune reported that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the leading Republican nominee for governor, declined to give his opinion on the case, saying it wouldn’t be “appropriate to interfere with a comment.” State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, calls the case “an incredibly tragic situation and an intensely private matter for the family.” She said it’s a private decision that should be weighed by the pregnant woman’s family, in consultation with her doctors. Among the Republican candidates for lieutenant governor, incumbent David Dewhurst was the only one to weigh in on the case, saying that one life has already been lost and it “would be tragic to lose another,” the Tribune reports. ‘We recognize the tragic and painful situation the family faces,’ Lucy Nashed, a spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Perry, said in an email. ‘We must also remember a young life is at stake here and that state laws protecting that life must be followed.’”
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An Obie Award-Winning Playwright At Home With The Undermain

zobellPlaying tonight at Sister Fleeta’s Dollhouse: Michaela Krantz, Rhonda Boutte, Stefanie Tovar  in Abraham Zobell’s Home Movie: Final Reel at the Undermain Theatre. Photo credit: Susan Kandell

Playwright Len Jenkin, an Obie Award winner, has had a 24-year relationship with Dallas’s Undermain Theatre — beginning with Poor Folk’s Pleasure in 1990. This weekend, the Deep Ellum company opens its fifth Jenkin play – the world premiere of Abraham Zobell’s Home Movie at the City Performance Hall. And like the others, this show was designed by SMU grad and Tony Award-winner John Arnone, KERA’s Jerome Weeks spoke with Jenkin in the Undermain’s basement space.

  • KERA radio feature:

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  • Excerpts from the conversation with Len Jenkin. What did he make of the Undermain’s atmospheric but inconvenient basement space when he first saw it?

“I loved it. That basement has a lot of history in it. It’s got 30 years of theater-making going on in it. Look, it’s obviously a really challenging room. It’s got these damned columns in the middle of it. And I would like it if the ceiling was 15 feet higher. That would be nice [chuckles]. But it’s just got a nice feeling to it.”

  •  Abraham Zobell’s Home Movie — with its old man who’s just had heart surgery trying to get back to the beachfront boardwalk where he’d worked as a teenager and videotaping everything as he goes — certainly echoes Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape.

“Absolutely! I was halfway through and I realized that it had echoes of Krapp’s Last Tape. And I was nothing but pleased. I mean, Krapp’s Last Tape is someone sitting at a table, right? And there’s one voice. Here, there’s, like, there must be 30 voices, and it’s someone moving through a varied landscape. But the core effort, which is a kind of coming to terms with certain memories, with certain kinds of loss, that same thing is present.”

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