News and Features

Way-Cool Video Of Aurora

Dane Walters shot and edited this video capturing Aurora in the Arts District Friday night. Even for those of us who were there, it’s fun to watch, especially things like the umbrella-flickers of Peter William Holden’s AutoGene. But if you didn’t make it (I, too, suffer from Friday Work Burnout, so you have my sympathy), then enjoy. It’s still a pleasure just to watch.

Walking up and down Flora Street, I often overheard people who, shall we say, were not exactly regular arts patrons. Judging from the conversations of younglings, quite a few had no idea what this was, if it had ever happened before or what many of the less easy-access artworks were trying to accomplish. Besides, a number of the artworks were clearly designed to be ‘experiential,’ not deep. They could have been carnival rides, an excuse to gather and chat and eat (LOTS of food trucks) with something interesting going on nearby. People were just having fun. One woman I heard explained why it had been so hard to find her friends; she apparently had never been to the district before.

All of which was The Point, of course.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Photos: Index Fest 2013

Index Fest kicked off it’s second year in Deep Ellum this past weekend.  Art and Seek photographers Jim Riddle, Lacey Dowden, and Dane Walters were there to catch some of the sites:

Leave a comment

The High Five: ‘My Body Is Tired’ — Texas Ballet Theater’s Principal Dancer To Retire

No Comments
Categorized Under: The High Five

Five stories that have North Texas talking: a major figure at the Texas Ballet Theater is retiring, a look at the artsy Trinity River bridges in Fort Worth, Ted Cruz was back in Texas over the weekend, and more.

  • “My body is tired:” The Texas Ballet Theater’s principal dancer, Lucas Priolo, is retiring. “My body is tired,” he told TheaterJones. He said he looks forward to taking over his family jewelry store. Priolo joined the Fort Worth ballet in 2004. Priolo said his favorite ballet was Romeo and Juliet – because he got to dance with his wife, Julie Gumbinner. “I remember one show in particular just being one of those magical shows that had it all,” Priolo told TheaterJones. “The orchestra, the audience and the dancing just all came together and it was one of the most memorable shows in my career.” Art&Seek covered a 2009 performance featuring Priolo.

 

  • Along Fort Worth’s Trinity River, a “String of Pearls:” Fort Worth Weekly takes a look at the city’s award-winning Trinity River bridges – while slapping Dallas in the face for its own Trinity spans. Fort Worth completed three bridges in 13 months for $39 million and two of them have won awards, the Weekly reports. “Meanwhile … where prices and pretense tend to run higher, Dallas has just approved its second Santiago Calatrava bridge, budgeted at $102 million — on a part of the river that has minimal public access and few amenities. Ask your Dallas friends when they last strolled, cycled, or jogged along the Trinity in their town.” The Weekly describes one bridge on the Clear Fork that connects Hulen and Bryant Irvin streets: “The bridge, which opened Sept. 19, is a work of art itself but also includes murals at the pedestrian level and benches for walkers and bikers to rest and admire the river and the bridge.” So take that, Unfair Park (although, truth be told, Eric Nicholson’s post knocking Fort Worth’s spanning efforts actually mocks Dallas’ more than Fort Worth’s. Irony, you know).
  • Ted Cruz, back in Texas, vows to continue fighting Obamacare: The senator spoke Saturday at the Texas Medical Association’s conference in Austin. “Obamacare is the biggest job killer in the country,” he said, according to KUT Radio in Austin. Cruz chided fellow Senate Republicans who didn’t support House Republicans in their opposition to funding the Affordable Care Act. Cruz was criticized from both Democrats and Republicans for helping to start the government shutdown with no clear strategy to end it. But Cruz pointed to support from 2 million people who signed an online petition to show support for his efforts, The Texas Tribune reported. “You don’t try to pull back from an epic disaster like Obamacare and expect that it’s going to be an easy road,” Cruz said. He received a standing ovation from more than half of the audience at the University of Texas at Austin, the Tribune reported. “If the American people rise up and hold our elected officials accountable, that’s how we turn this around,” Cruz said.
  • A college degree for $10,000 in Texas?  Thirteen institutions in Texas now offer bachelor’s degrees that cost $10,000. But The New York Times reports that the relatively inexpensive degrees are “not for many students, not for many majors and not on the flagship campuses.” In most cases, students have to earn college credits “while they’re in high school, or at a community college, whose tuition may not be included in the total. Books are generally not included, either.” Texas is working with faculty at South Texas College and Texas A&M University-Commerce to “build from scratch a degree in organizational leadership that uses online resources and a competency-based approach,” the Times reports. In other words, students get credit for showing what they know rather than how many courses they take.

 

  • Someone in North Texas is $19.5 million richer. If you bought a lottery ticket in Southlake over the weekend, check your numbers – you could be a winner. A Southlake gas station sold the $19.5 million winning ticket for Saturday’s Lotto Texas jackpot, according to the Texas Lottery. The Dallas Morning News reports that the Shell station near North Kimball Avenue and Northwest Parkway had sold the drawing’s only jackpot-winning ticket.  No one at the store knows which employee sold the ticket with the winning numbers, 1, 7, 15, 35, 43, 53.
Leave a comment

This Week In Texas Music History: Big D Jamboree First Airs

Art&Seek presents This Week in Texas Music History. Every week, we’ll spotlight a different moment and the musician who made it. This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll recall a wrestling promoter who started a Texas musical institution.

You can also hear This Week in Texas Music History on Sunday at precisely 6:04 p.m. on KERA radio. But subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss an episode. And our thanks to KUT public radio in Austin for helping us bring this segment to you. And if you’re a music lover, be sure to check out Track by Track, the podcast from Paul Slavens, host of KXT’s The Paul Slavens Show, heard Sunday night’s at 8.

  • Click the player to listen to the podcast:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

On Oct. 16, 1948, the Big D Jamboree first aired on Dallas radio station KRLD. The brainchild of wrestling promoter Ed McLemore, the Big D Jamboree was broadcast live from a cavernous venue called the Sportatorium, which also hosted sporting events. Throughout the 1950s, the Big D Jamboree became one of the most popular radio shows in the nation, featuring such artists as Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, Wanda Jackson, and Carl Perkins.

Despite its tremendous popularity, the Big D Jamboree began losing its audience to television during the 1960s. The show finally ended in 1966, and the massive Sportatorium was completely demolished in 2003.

Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll celebrate a pioneering woman in country music.

Leave a comment

Saturday Spotlight — Lamar Street Festival

No Comments
Categorized Under: Uncategorized

For this week’s Art & Seek Spotlight, we’re celebrating the historic South Side Lamar Building at the Lamar Street Festival.  Head to the Interactive Art Zone for a musical petting zoo, a time machine photo booth, and a showcase by ArtLoveMagic.  The live music line up includes The Relatives, Carolyn Wonderland, and Erykah Badu, and you can start your own project for the short film competition.  As a bonus, Make Art with Purpose features the outdoor installation H U G.

Leave a comment

Track By Track With Paul Slavens: Kaela Sinclair

“Track By Track” appears regularly on Art&Seek. During the podcast, Texas musicians play their new albums and discuss what went into making them with Paul Slavens, host of The Paul Slavens Show Sunday nights at 8 on KXT, 91.7 FM.

You can download and subscribe to the podcast right here.

Paul’s previous podcast featured Denton’s Daniel Markham talking about Ruined My Life. This time, Paul talks with Denton singer-songwriter Kaela Sinclair about her latest effort, Sun and Mirror, which was produced by Midlake’s McKenzie Smith.

Click the player below to listen to the podcast:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Leave a comment

The Nasher (In Your Neighborhood)

1310_nasher_xchange_620_300

One of the biggest art shows of the fall might be taking place in your neighborhood. That’s because 10 public artworks commissioned by the Nasher Sculpture Center will be open to the public beginning Saturday. It’s part of an effort for the Nasher to have an impact beyond its downtown space

Click the map above to explore an interactive Nasher XChange map.

  • KERA Radio story:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Online version:

Dallas artist Vicki Meek is anxiously opening a wooden crate. Inside are the finished versions of a series of historical markers she designed.

“Wowie, zowie,” was her reaction upon seeing them for the first time. “Nice. Oh my God – yeah, they’re exactly as I made them.”

The poster-size collages feature important African-American figures in Dallas’ cultural and intellectual life. They’re not unlike something you’d see in a museum or gallery. But that’s not where you’ll find them.

Instead, they’ll be displayed on the campus of Paul Quinn College in Southern Dallas. The school is the former home of another historically black college – Bishop College – which closed in 1988.

“I thought it was significant to have the site that I’m referencing be the place where my project would take place,” she said.

That’s the idea behind Nasher XChange, which marks the Nasher Sculpture Center’s 10th anniversary. Each of the 10 public art pieces that make up the program are what art world types call “sight responsive.” In other words, they play nicely with the spot where they live.

And they’ll live all over town: at Fish Trap Lake in West Dallas, in the Oak Cliff Gardens and Vickery Meadow neighborhoods, as well as at the University of Texas at Dallas and Dallas City Hall.

Los Angeles artist Ruben Ochoa’s piece, Flock in Space, is a concrete-and-steel sculpture that will be at the Trinity River Audubon Center. Ochoa says he’s referencing the wooded spot’s history as an illegal dumping ground.

“I just hope when the work gets installed, it doesn’t get dwarfed by the amazing blue skies and all the forest here,” he said this summer when he was in town to unveil plans for the piece. “I’m not interested in consuming the whole space but just being a part of the space.”

Only one of the pieces – a sound sculpture by New York artist Alfredo Jaar – will actually be located at the Nasher. Getting out into the community is one of the pillars of Nasher XChange.

“It sort of invites a two-way conversation,” says Nasher director Jeremy Strick. “We can go out in the communities, we can invite people back here. If people have some sense of what we do where they live or where they work, perhaps they will be more interested or comfortable coming inside our museum.”

Vicki Meek, the Dallas artist who also manages the South Dallas Cultural Center, says that’s what she told Nasher officials when they consulted her about the project.

“I like the idea of an institution – an art institution – expanding itself beyond its four walls,” she said. “I’ve always loved the notion that if people can experience art in their neighborhoods, then they’re much more likely to support art institutions that are not in their neighborhood. When it’s in the neighborhood, things don’t seem quite as daunting, as intimidating.”

It’s the same idea that led Ray Nasher, the center’s founder, to display some of his collection at the shopping mall he developed, NorthPark Center.

“Ray Nasher liked to say that, ‘art is for everybody.’ But the sad truth is: not everyone gets to go to a museum,” Strick said. “More people have been exposed to significant art at NorthPark than anywhere else. 26 million people a year go through it – more than double the attendance at the Louvre.”

XChange pieces will be on display through Feb. 16, 2014, though Strick says some of the pieces may remain at their respective sites permanently.

Leave a comment

The High Five: In Dallas, A Big Weekend For The Arts

Five stories that have North Texas talking: The Nasher comes to a neighborhood near you, light bright in Dallas’ Art District, Big Tex marks a big anniversary, and more.

  • The Nasher comes to a neighborhood near you: One of the biggest art shows of the fall might be taking place in your neighborhood. That’s because 10 public artworks commissioned by the Nasher Sculpture Center will be open to the public beginning Saturday. The goal of Nasher XChange is for the Nasher to have an impact beyond its downtown space. KERA’s Stephen Becker reports that pieces will be located all over town: at Fish Trap Lake in West Dallas, in the Oak Cliff Gardens and Vickery Meadow neighborhoods, as well as at the University of Texas at Dallas and Dallas City Hall. Only one of the pieces – a sound sculpture by New York artist Alfredo Jaar – will actually be located at the Nasher. XChange pieces will be on display through Feb. 16, 2014. XChange was discussed on KERA’s “Think” earlier this week.

 

  • Dallas’ Arts District will flicker and shine even brighter than usual tonight. The Aurora festival is filling the district for the third year. KERA’s Jerome Weeks reports that works of art involving lights, computer images, video projections and performances will take over buildings, both inside and out. The goal is to present interactive new media artwork in “exciting and unexpected places.” Aurora 2013 has brought in several European artists, but the vast majority of the nearly 90 participating musicians, dancers, photographers and installation artists are from North Texas.

 

  • Where were you when Big Tex burned down? Saturday marks the one-year anniversary since the State Fair of Texas icon caught on fire in front of shocked fairgoers. Around Dallas-Fort Worth, we didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Relive the day here via YouTube videos, Dallas Fire-Rescue audio and KERA reports. The fire happened on the final Friday of the 2012 State Fair. Big Tex had been recovering from all of the 60th birthday celebrations thrown in his honor. Then, around 10 a.m., smoke started to climb up Big Tex. The smoke quickly turned into flames, which consumed his legs and arms. It ate his cowboy hat and then his face. Firefighters were called to the scene with this unusual dispatch: “Got a rather tall cowboy with all his clothes burned off.” The scene at Big Tex Circle was surreal as his metal skeleton was taken down and a canvas was placed over his charred remains. Big Tex was rebuilt over the summer in San Antonio and hauled back to Dallas in September, ready to greet the crowds on opening day of this year’s fair. You only have a few more days to see the new Big Tex before he spends the off-season in storage. The fair ends on Sunday.

 

  • A Rangers great retires – or was he forced out? Nolan Ryan, the legendary Hall of Famer known for his incredible fastball, is retiring as the chief executive officer of the Texas Rangers at the end of October, the team announced Thursday afternoon. Last March, the Rangers had stripped Ryan of his team president title, leading many to believe that he would leave the team. Many observers said he was being forced out. Ryan, who played for the Rangers from 1989 to 1993, threw a record seven no-hitters during his Major League career. After Ryan jumped on board in 2008, the Rangers made the playoffs in three consecutive years (2010, 2011 and 2012). The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Randy Galloway says that Ryan was forced out at home. “Fans are left to wonder whether the face of the Rangers franchise is truly, as he said, stepping down for more time with his family and ranching — or whether Thursday was the outcome of a well-documented power struggle between Ryan and Rangers president and general manager Jon Daniels,” The Dallas Morning News reports. A Morning News photographer shares pictures of Nolan through the years.

 

  • What would Houston and Austin look like if they were flooded? #Drownyourtown: What if climate change caused the sea level to rise so high that it flooded cities in the middle of the country? What would that look like? Andrew David Thaler, a marine biologist, tried that out this week, taking requests via Twitter for cities across the world.  He created quite a stir on Twitter as people used the hashtag #drownyourtown.  Thaler used Google Earth to develop the visualizations. Some looked quite dramatic, including the Statue of Liberty under water. With just a 10-foot increase in sea level, beaches in Santa Cruz, Calif., would be submerged. It would take dramatic increases in sea level to submerge most of Texas.

Here’s what Austin would look like if sea level rose 551 feet (aka sea level rise):

And here’s what Houston would look like if sea level increased 164 feet (aka sea level rise):

Leave a comment

Friday Conversation: Brooks Gremmels and Ben Wheeler Get High On The Hog

Listen to KERA’s Friday Conversation with Brooks Gremmels:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

reesandbrooks

Rese and Brooks Gremmels

When Brooks Gremmels and his wife Rese retired to Ben Wheeler about eight years ago, they bought and renovated much of the tiny unincorporated town.  They created art galleries, shops, two restaurants that both feature live music, and a library that gives away free books weekly to kids. They convinced selected artisans, including a hat maker, an embroidery expert and a master knife maker, to relocate to the town by offering them space, rent-free.  They’ve created a non-profit foundation for the town, and obtained a federal grant to install a sewer system. And they had it designated the Feral Hog Capital of Texas. Which gave them a good excuse to throw the annual Fall Feral Hog Follies, crown a Hog Queen and drive around in a pink school bus outfitted with a giant pig’s nose and ears.

Jerome Weeks first introduced us to Gremmels in a memorable story a few years ago. Today, if you ask Gremmels why he did all this, you might get a short answer. The Gremmels retired to Ben Wheeler, because it’s near Tyler, where Brooks grew up. And why fix up the town?

“I needed a place where I could go for a beer.”

In the Friday Conversation for KERA FM this week, though, Gremmels got serious enough to catch us up with Ben Wheeler. Some excerpts below.

What really inspired his effort:

PigFrontside (2)

All aboard the hog bus!

“Poor Ben Wheeler  had suffered the fate that so many towns had after the Second World War…  Some towns came out winners, some didn’t.  Ben Wheeler did not. The buildings were vacant, roofs were gone, doors were missing and weeds were growing in the sidewalk. We went to work to see if we could recapture the sense of community that must have existed before.  We started rehabbing buildings we moved buildings to town, we got liquor permits for our restaurants and set about dedicating, from that point,  a real effort to creating a town.”

Why the arts and music are key in Ben Wheeler:

“That’s everything in our vision, the arts and the music….You can find a little bit of everything an hour and 15 minute drive from Dallas. You just think you’re in another world. You come across this tiny little town that’s all new.You can hear music when you roll down the window and see art when you get out of the car.”

HogQueenGM

2012 Hog Queen, Mary Ramler, and Grand Marshal, Steve Stamps. Photo: Ben Wheeler Foundation.

The Fall Feral Hog Festival is coming up next weekend, Oct. 25 and 26, in Ben Wheeler. The theme this year is “High on the Hog.”  And maybe you, dear reader, would like to be the next Hog Queen:  

“It mostly takes a really good attitude. You gotta have a skit. And you gotta have a talent.”

(Rese Gremmels tells me later that one winner’s talent was Hula Hoop.)

Or at least, you could dress like a Hog Queen and march in the parade at 10 a.m. Oct. 26:

“Everybody is invited to be in the parade. We have room for you. You can ride in our pig bus which is a school bus, bright pink, with a 9-foot hog’s nose and ears.  You can ride on the Queen’s Float. We have room for about 35 children on that float. We will throw out to the crowd roughly 5,000 pigs noses. We expect people to wear these pig noses and they do.”

But seriously, what does Gremmels get out of this whole experience?

“I will say this has been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life. I didn’t expect to be given an opportunity to do anything along the lines of putting together a town. Who would expect that they would be able to do that?

“I’ve got some health issues that have come into play. As I look at that, I begin to understand why I was in such a hurry to get this stuff done. There was a real reason for doing this, I just didn’t understand it at the time. But as it is, it’s all just worked out really well.”

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Aurora Lights Up The Arts District Tonight

blueA projection from Blue by Dithernoise. Image outfront from Dithernoise in Rome 2012

Dallas’ Arts District will flicker and shine even brighter than usual tonight. The Aurora Festival is filling the district for the third year. KERA’s Jerome Weeks reports art works involving lights, computer images, video projections and performances will take over the buildings, both inside and out.

  • Dallas Morning News story
  • KERA radio story:

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Online radio story:

In France, they’re called son et lumiere shows – sound and light shows – and a whole evening of them is a nuit blanche, a white night. They’re more common in Europe than in America — synthesizer wiz Jean-Michael Jarre has been doing them for more than 30 years (he did one in Houston in 1986).

So it’s not surprising that for its third installment, Aurora 2013 has brought in several Europeans. The vast majority of the nearly 90 participating musicians, dancers, photographers and installation artists are from North Texas. But a pair of Hungarians, for instance, are on the team that’ll project images on the side of the Wyly Theatre (video below). They make it look as though it’s being dismantled. There’s also a Norwegian video artist and a British computer installation specialist who deals with ordinary objects, like umbrellas.

But boil down Aurora to its essence, and it might be Simon Longo (below) and the 10-foot-tall white cube that’s been put up outside the Dallas Museum of Art. Longo is an Italian audio-visual artist based in London who performs under the name Dithernoise.

longo1“I will make a projection on the cube,” he says. “And I have a database of sound clip, images, video clip and I mix and match on the spot.”

Each Dithernoise performance is unique, improvised both visually and musically. Longo’s sounds vary from spacey whooshes and bird calls to electronic throbs. He is interested in ‘pattern interference.’ And he especially enjoys recording the soundscape of an entire city, its low-frequency emissions: “Like going on a hill overlooking a city and taking the measurement there.”

So each city sounds differently? he’s asked.

“They all sound very different.”

Dallas? It’ll probably be sounding very different tonight.

Leave a comment
Page 50 of 904« First...102030...4849505152...607080...Last »