News and Features

The Big Deal: Passes To Dallas Art Fair

BD Dallas Art Fair 400x216

This is the sixth year for the Dallas Art Fair which runs April 11 through April 13. The Fair will take place inside the Fashion Industry Gallery next to the Dallas Museum of Art in the Dallas Arts District. Over 80 prominent national and international art dealers and galleries will exhibit paintings, sculptures, works on paper, photography, video, and installation by modern and contemporary artists. Be one of five fortunate Big Deal winners to win a pair of passes good for one-day admission during the three-day event. The passes will also include complimentary admission into the Nasher Sculpture Center.

And while you are signing up for this Big Deal, go ahead and sign up for our other two Big Deals – tickets to the Fort Worth Opera’s The Pearl Fishers at Bass Performance Hall, or tickets to Dallas Summer Musicals’ Evita at Music Hall at Fair Park.

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 your chance to win one-day passes to the Dallas Art Fair.

UPDATE:  We have our winners. Thanks for playing!

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The High Five: Where’s The Best Barbecue In North Texas?

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Five stories that have North Texas talking: Where’s the best barbecue in North Texas?; Keller police reveal where they’re tracking speedy drivers; NPR investigates North Texas’ Daystar Christian TV network.

  • What’s the best barbecue in Dallas-Fort Worth? We don’t mean to spark World War III. But some experts are chiming in. The Dallas Morning News’ BBQ Posse offers its list just in time for the Final Four fans who are in town. Among the Posse’s top picks in Dallas: Pecan Lodge, Lockhart Smokehouse, and the Baby Back Shak. Elsewhere, there’s Hard Eight BBQ in Coppell; Hutchins BBQ in McKinney; Meshack’s Bar-B-Que Shack in Garland. But, wait, there’s more. Check out the list for all of the locations. The Posse wrote: “One reader asked what may be the ultimate question this year for barbecue fans who also enjoy a little college basketball: Pecan Lodge or Hutchins? Our answer: Figure out how to eat at both. These are probably the two best joints in the area and among the top handful in the state.” Last summer, NPR’s Wade Goodwyn profiled Pecan Lodge: “It’s not even noon yet but every table out front of the Pecan Lodge in downtown Dallas is filled with veterans with barbecue heaped on their plates, smirking at the gobsmacked newbies. First timers are easily discernible by the stunned looks on their faces when they walk in and see the line. Half the people standing in line are not even going to get barbecue; it’s going to run out before they can order.”
  • Police in North Texas say the term “speed trap” is becoming a misnomer as they’re turning to social media to notify motorists where officers are watching for speeders. Police in Keller, which is near Fort Worth, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram they started using Twitter and other social sites to post the locations of officers with radar guns. They say the intention is to get motorists to slow down. Two weeks after starting the routine, Keller police added 1,113 followers on Twitter and 2,187 friends on Facebook. Dallas police began the practice shortly after Keller.
  • Flip on Daystar television at any hour of the day and you’ll likely see the elements of modern televangelism: a stylish set, an emotional spiritual message and a phone number on the screen soliciting donations. Based in a studio complex in North Texas, Daystar broadcasts to a potential audience of 2 billion people around the globe. The Internal Revenue Service considers Daystar something else: a church. Daystar and dozens of others call themselves churches, which means they not only taxes, but any requirement to disclose their finances. And, as NPR has learned, for the last five years churches have avoided virtually any scrutiny whatsoever from the federal government’s tax authority. (For the record, KERA sold one of its TV stations, KDTN Channel 2, to Daystar back in 2003.)  “All Things Considered” aired an investigative report on Tuesday’s program, as part of its week of Texas coverage. Part two continues this afternoon. “All Things Considered” airs at 4-6:30 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM.
  • Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings apologized Tuesday for the bumbling launch of the home-rule school proposal that could change the way Dallas schools are governed and run. Rawlings hopes to save the effort, which has faced harsh attacks from critics. He says it could free the Dallas school district of some state rules which would allow bad schools to improve faster. The home-rule proposal has been misunderstood and poorly executed, Rawlings told reporters. He plans for more meetings with residents. The Texas legislature approved home-rule charter districts 19 years ago. But no Texas district has ever passed it, perhaps because it takes a lot of signatures — 5 percent of registered voters — to get it on the ballot. After that, a quarter of registered voters must turn out when it’s on the ballot. A petition drive is underway. About 25,000 signatures need to be collected. If it’s successful, DISD trustees would appoint a 15-member charter commission that would create a governance plan over which trustees would have no power or control.
  • What inspires Mike Judge? The creator of Beavis and Butt-head and King of the Hill once lived in Richardson. Now he has a new show on HBO, Silicon Valley. Judge explained his cultural influences to Vulture: “These are the movies, TV shows, musicians, and cartoonists that inspired Judge during his own incubation stage.” They include Dazed and Confused, National Lampoon magazine, Willie Nelson and … Leave it to Beaver? Vulture says Silicon Valley “examines Bay Area start-up culture with all of the earnest solemnity you’d expect from the creator of Beavis and Butt-head and King of the Hill.” The piece appears in New York magazine.
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Art&Seek Jr: Grab Yourself Some Arts and Culture 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.

The other day my daughter and two of her little friends treated me to an impromptu show.

It had everything you look for in a concert; great seating (my comfy oversized chair), refreshments (chocolate milk and gummy worms), and cool tunes (Katie Perry was the soundtrack for the performance).  The Tres R’s (Rose, Reese and Ramsey) chose “Roar” as their opening number. They would have made Katie proud as they emerged from behind the stage door, aka the bedroom, with pink feather boas and flash light microphones in hand.

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The High Five: Conan Does Dallas: He Jokes About Big Hair And Whataburger And Licks Big Tex’s Boots

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Five stories that have North Texas talking: Coco is here!; NPR is here!; NBC is here!; and more.

  • Conan O’Brien aired his first Dallas-themed show Monday night on TBS. If you missed it, catch up on highlights here. The Dallas-themed shows air through Thursday from the Majestic Theatre. O’Brien burst onto the stage, squealing: “Yee haw! Hello Dallas!” OK, onto the jokes. He told the crowd: “So nice to be here. … Finally, I’m in a city where my hair is big enough to fit in. You guys invented this!” He also sucked up to the audience: “I’m going to try my hardest ever to give you people a great show. You know why? Because I know you’re armed.” Then he offered a history lesson. Dallas became a city in 1871, O’Brien told the audience. “That’s the year the founding fathers broke ground on the first Whataburger.” And he offered a nod to the NCAA. “It’s great to be here in Dallas for the Final Four. Of course, in Texas, the Final Four refers to the number of Democrats in the Legislature.” And speaking of sports: “Of course, sports isn’t the only thing you have in this town. Dallas is home to many incredible art museums. And while I’m here, I plan to drive by all of them.” And then crew members hauled out Big Tex’s giant boots. The 55-foot-tall cowboy from the State Fair of Texas was too big to fit into the theater. After the Lucchese boots were placed on stage, O’Brien knelt down and licked them. He declared: “Tastes like freedom!” O’Brien traveled to Johnson County to be trained to become a Texas deputy. Watch Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki give O’Brien a Texas citizenship test:

  • A former state legislator who was instrumental in creating many North Texas sports venues has died. Ray Hutchison passed away Sunday. He was 81. He died from heart complications. His funeral is Thursday. The Dallas bond lawyer helped with the financing of Cowboys Stadium, American Airlines Center, Globe Life Park and Texas Motor Speedway. Former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk once joked that D/FW International Airport should be renamed Ray Hutchison International Airport because of the role he played. In the early ‘70s, Hutchison led the negotiations to move the Washington Senators to Arlington to become the Texas Rangers. He was the husband of Kay Bailey Hutchison, the former U.S. Senator. Ray Hutchison was a politician himself, representing Dallas in the state house in the ‘70s. He ran for governor in 1978, but lost in the Republican primary.
    • When it comes to proposing at a Major League Baseball stadium, doing it at Globe Life Park in Arlington is a relative deal. It costs $200 to propose at the home of the Texas Rangers – and that puts Arlington in the middle of the pack. That’s according to, which reached out to every team to determine the cost of a proposal. Proposing at the L.A. Dodgers’ stadium will set you back $2,500. In Pittsburgh, it’ll only cost you $39. Five stadiums don’t allow proposals. Swimmingly reports: “The Indians’ fireworks proposal could be the most romantic option, but the Phillies’ four-ticket package is a surprisingly good value. Of course, if you’re feeling thrifty, you could always tuck a ring in your pocket, wait for a pitching change, then pop the question the old-fashioned way.” By the way, the Texas Rangers lost Monday to the Phillies, 14-10. By the way, have you seen this incredible photo from Louis DeLuca in The Dallas Morning News?

  • And it’s “lights, camera, action” today at Trinity Groves in Dallas. KERA’s Doualy Xaykaothao reports the NBC comedy pilot Two to Go is filming in Dallas – and they’re transforming a section of Trinity Groves into an L.A. farmers’ market. Trinity Groves, of course, is the hottest spot in Dallas these days: a 15-acre restaurant, retail, artist and entertainment spot at the base of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in West Dallas.
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VIDEO: On The Road at SXSW with Ásgeir

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Categorized Under: KXT, Music, South by Southwest

Icelandic artist Asgeir and the On The Road crew teamed up for a tuneful rendezvous at Green Pastures restaurant in Austin during SXSW performing his song  “Going Home.”

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VIDEO: On The Road at SXSW with Hozier

KXT’s On The Road crew took a breather from the chaos of SXSW with Irish artist and poet Hozier, which yielded this stunning performance of “Take Me To Church” on the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge.

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‘Nur’ – A Shining Light At The DMA


single page Qur_an BifolioOne page from The Blue Qu’ran, Tunisia, late 9th-early 10th century, vellum, ink, gold, silver and blue dye

The Dallas Museum of Art has opened its first, ever, major exhibition on Islamic art. The show is called Nur: Light in Art and Science from the Islamic World. “Nur” is the Arabic word for “light,” and the DMA is the only American museum to host the show. KERA’s Jerome Weeks sat down with Dr. Sabiha Al Khemir, the DMA’s new senior advisor for Islamic art, to talk about her favorite work – one that inspired her to write a novel.

  • KERA radio story:
  • Online story:

Weeks: Your exhibition, Nur, includes 150 items from some ten centuries, covering the range of Islamic expansion from Spain to India: everything from vases and windows to fabrics and beautifully detailed scientific illustrations. The great majority of the artworks have little directly to do with religion. But the one you chose to talk about is a few pages from The Blue Qu’ran. It’s a very rare, hand-written copy of the Qu’ran from the 9th century. So why this work and what does it have to do with the show’s theme of light?

Al Khemir: The Blue Qu’ran, as you know, is unique because it is the only manuscript written on blue-dyed vellum or parchment. And it’s written in gold, so, you know the gold is like light, shimmering light against the deep blue sky. In that sense, I think it’s a direct link with the subject of the exhibition. And it’s got an amazing, modern quality to it because the script that it’s written in is so graphically beautiful, it’s almost like the word becoming image. Imagine these gold letters against a deep blue background. It’s like light in a dark night.

Weeks: As you say, it looks very modern. That’s partly because of how almost geometric or abstract it looks. But of course, the geometric, the abstract, are very old, very strong traditions in Islamic art. There are plenty of human figures portrayed in the DMA exhibition, but geometric patterns, abstract shapes, turning the written word into an image: These really dominate.

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The High Five: Major Islamic Art Exhibition Makes Its American Debut In Dallas

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Five stories that have North Texas talking: Batter up in Arlington today; NPR invades Texas this week; Conan is visiting Dallas; and more.  

  • A major Islamic art exhibition is now open at the Dallas Museum of Art. It’s the only venue outside of Europe to show Nur: Light in Art and Science from the Islamic World. The exhibition, which spans more than 10 centuries, explores the use and meaning of light in Islamic art and science. It features 150 rarely seen objects, including rare manuscripts. The exhibition, which runs through June 29, requires an $8 special exhibition ticket. Learn more about the exhibit from KERA’s Art&Seek. The woman responsible for bringing the art collection to the DMA was featured recently in The New York Times. The DMA hired Sabiha Al Khemir in 2012 to create an Islamic art program.
  • Baseball fans, you know what’s up. Today’s opening day for the Texas Rangers – they play their first home game of the season at 1:05 p.m. at Globe Life Park. (You do remember the name change announced a few weeks ago, right?) The Rangers face the Phillies. Tanner Scheppers will be the Rangers’ Opening Day starter, replacing Yu Darvish, who’s on the disabled list and dealing with stiffness in his neck. If you’re not into baseball, how about food? The Rangers announced last week the new hot foods they’ll serve up to hungry fans. They include frozen beer, bacon on a stick and the “Choomongous,” which is humongous: a two-foot-long Asian beef sandwich. We have a roundup of the new foods right here. (Note: Better pack some Tums.) Did you know the ballpark marks its 20th anniversary this year? Game time forecast: Expect overcast skies and highs in the low- to mid-70s. Everyone sing now: Take me out to the ballgame … take me out with the crowd …
  • Sunday marked the one-year anniversary of the killings of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia. McLelland’s family continues to grieve the loss. “It’s just terrible,” his mother, Wyvonne McLelland, told The Dallas Morning News. “Our loss is something terrible.” His son, J.R., said: “You gotta put your boots on and go on.” Cynthia McClelland’s daughter is getting married this fall. Friends of Cynthia McClelland, who loved to quilt, are making a quilt to hang in the Kaufman County courthouse in honor of the family, the News reports. A former Kaufman County justice of the peace, Eric Lyle Williams, and his wife, Kim, have been charged with capital murder. McClelland had prosecuted Williams for stealing county computer monitors.
  • NPR does Dallas: NPR is invading North Texas all week long, broadcasting “All Things Considered,” the afternoon news magazine, from the KERA studios in Dallas. Host Melissa Block and a team of producers are taking over KERA to show off Texas – and report on how the state is changing – to the rest of the country. (We’ll see if they develop Texas twangs by the end of the week.) The network will be folding in lots of Texas-themed stories. The program airs weekdays from 4-6:30 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM. In other NPR news, it’s also kind of “NPR Week” on KERA’s “Think.” Host Krys Boyd will interview three NPR staffers this week: Nina Totenberg, the NPR legal affairs correspondent, at 1 p.m. Monday; Melissa Block at noon Tuesday; and NPR science correspondent Shankar Vedantam at noon Thursday.
  • Conan does Dallas, too: Conan O’Brien is in town, taping his TBS show at the Majestic Theatre today through Thursday. Tonight’s guests include actor Adam Sandler and comic Tig Notaro; Tuesday it’s actor Seth Rogan and singer Philip Phillips; Wednesday’s show features actor Simon Heiberg and Eli Young Band; retired NBA player Charles Barkley appears on Thursday. Tickets to O’Brien’s shows have been distributed, but standby tickets will be made available on the day of each taping.
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Jay McInerney on The Writers Studio Tonight. Plus Bonus Interview With Richard Price.

The Writers Studio starts up tonight at 9 p.m. on KERA FM. Art&Seek is pleased to present the six week series of interviews with great authors, all produced by The Writer’s Garret.

Tonight’s guest is Jay McInerney.  Your hosts are Catherine Cuellar and Randy Gordon.


Listen to the episode below:

Or download it. (Click File, then Save Page As and save as an .mp3)

Jay McInerney C Marion Ettlinger

Jay McInerney. Photo: C Marion Ettlinger.

McInerney is best known for the ground-breaking Bright Lights, Big City, which established his reputation as part of “The Brat Pack,” a new generation of writers that included Bret Easton Ellis, Tama Janowitz, and others chronicling urban life for young people during the Reagan era. A versatile writer, he also penned the screenplays for the film adaptation of Bright Lights, Big City, and for “Gia,” known as Angelina Jolie’s breakout role. McInerney also edited The Penguin Book of New American Voices and is the author of Ransom, Story of My Life, Brightness Falls, and The Last of the Savages. McInerney’s most recent novel, The Good Life, is described as his “most fully imagined…most ambitious and elegiac” by The New York Review of Books. His latest book, How It Ended, a collection of short stories spanning his entire career, was named one of the ten best books of the year by The New York Times.

BONUS: Richard Price.  

Listen to this episode below. (NOTE: The conversation includes language that some might find offensive)

Or download it. (see above)


Richard Price

Price is a novelist and screenwriter whose works are critically acclaimed for their stark, realistic look at the urban world. Several of his novels have been adapted for film including The Wanderers, Bloodbrothers, Sea of Love, Mad Dog and Glory, Clockers, and Ransom. In 1986, Price was nominated for an Academy Award for “Best Screenplay” for The Color of Money starring Paul Newman and Tom Cruise. He has also written teleplays for the HBO series The Wire for which he shared an Edgar Allen Poe Award and a Writers Guild of America (WGA) Award. His most recent novel is Lush Life.

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VIDEO: On The Road at SXSW with Flo Morrissey

On The Road: The young and talented British-based artist Flo Morrissey met up with KXT 91.7′s On The Road crew at the Plaza Saltillo Metro Rail station in Austin during SXSW. She recorded her song “Show Me.”


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