News and Features

Flickr Photo of the Week

Categorized Under: Visual Arts


Congratulations to Chris Bell of Dallas, the winner of the Flickr Photo of the Week contest. This is Chris’s first victory. He follows last week’s winner, Guy Reynolds.

If you would like to participate in the Flickr Photo of the Week contest, all you need to do is upload your photo to to our Flickr group page. It’s fine to submit a photo you took previous to 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 another 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 Chris:

Chris Bell

Title of Photo: DMA Late Night Dance Crews

Equipment: Canon G11 Aperture: f/3.2 Speed: 1/20 ISO: 1600

Tell us more about your photo: I attended the DMA 107 Birthday Celebration. This shot was in the atrium where they were having a contest for the best dance crew. This was my favorite shot. A photographer’s flash went off at just the right time on the other side of the room, making for a great effect.

chrisbell (2)

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Wednesday Morning Roundup

LOADED IMAGES: One of the focuses of the Amon Carter Museum‘s “Masterworks of American Photography: Popular Culture” is those Life magazine-type photos that remind us of simpler times. The ones where some boy who looks like Opie Taylor is trying to hang on to a squirming dog. Light stuff like that. The thing is, as more time has passed since we first saw those images, our ideas of what they represent have changed. “That’s the downside to universally appealing photographs,” Gaile Robinson writes in her review. “We bring so much of our own experience to them, or they have been co-opted into advertising messages so many times, that they no longer arrive without baggage.”

MORE MUSIC IN FAIR PARK: Except for the little use it gets during the State Fair of Texas, the Fair Park Band Shell mostly just sits and collects dust. That might be about to change. Unfair Park reports on a proposal to produce at least 10 events that will go before the Parks and Rec board on Thursday.

MORE WALL ART IN OAK CLIFF: At least half-a-dozen murals will be decorating the walls along Seventh Street in time for April’s second annual Oak Cliff Art Crawl. The immediate efforts are designed as  “grafitti abatement,” but according to, Kevin Obregon and Vanessa Neil with the Cube Creative Design Studio and Gallery are working to make it an ongoing program with professional artists mentoring students and painting public spaces for compensation.

BIG BUCKS FOR NTFB: If you attended one of the Dallas Theater Center’s performances of A Christmas Carol this holiday season, you had a chance to donate what ever extra cash you may have had on you at the time to the North Texas Food Bank. The DTC has finally been able to tally up all those ones and fives and learned that an awful lot of them were donated – $42,124 in all. “We are grateful for the Dallas Theater Center’s partnership and audience support during the holidays. The holiday season is our busiest, so this donation could not have come at a greater time,” NTFB COO Paul Wunderlich said in a news release.

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Lepperts Named Honorary Chairs of Dallas International Film Festival

The Dallas Film Society sends word that Mayor Tom Leppert and his wife, Laura, will serve as honorary chairs of this year’s Dallas International Film Festival. DFS also announced details today about its Circle of Stars membership program. For $2,500, the news release says you’ll get, “invitations to exclusive events, invitations to Premiere Screenings and other Dallas Film Society events, complimentary passes to the annual DALLAS International Film Festival, recognition in event programs and on the Society’s website.”

This year’s festival, which replaces the AFI Dallas International Film Festival, will be held April 8-18.

Keep reading for the full announcement:

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The Kimbell Goes Behind Closed Doors

“Street in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer,” 1888, Vincent van Gogh.
Private Collection, Fort Worth

More than 100 works of art from some of the state’s top private collections are on display at the Kimbell Art Museum. KERA’s Stephen Becker reports on how the show came together and what it says about the collectors:

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Nearly two years ago, Kimbell curator C.D. Dickerson put on his Indiana Jones hat and headed out across Texas searching for treasure.

But instead of the lost ark, he was looking for hidden art.

Sometimes it was easy to spot, like when he saw an Edvard Munch hanging in the entry way of a Highland Park home. And then there were times like when he found an exceptional Frederic Leighton painting near the back door.

Dickerson: “It was hanging above the dog bed with chew toys all below it. I don’t think the collectors quite realized what they had. I think they thought we were going to be taking a lot of different pictures – the ones over the fireplace and what not.”

Those trips ultimately produced From the Private Collections of Texas, a wide-ranging exhibition of European art that combines works held by other state museums with pieces on display in people’s homes. Dickerson currated the show with former Dallas Museum of Art Director Richard Brettell.

The show is both a fascinating survey of art in Texas and an insightful look into the people behind those collections.

Many early 20th Century collectors fell more into the Montie Ritchie mold. Ritchie was an aristocratic Brit who moved to Palo Duro Canyon to run a ranch in 1935. His aim was to fill his house with reminders of his European upbringing.

And it wouldn’t be Texas without fun characters like Margaret Batt Tobin. The San Antonio arts patron, who died in 1989, once reportedly quipped that she bought one of Monet’s waterlilies to cover a crack in her wall.

Today’s collectors aren’t necessarily looking to bring a piece of cultured Europe back to Texas. They can hop a jet to the continent any time they want to look at art or even buy it.

Instead, current art buyers often pick a specific area that interests them and focus their collections around it. That’s the approach the Barrett family of Dallas took in assembling the most important collection of Swiss art outside of Switzerland. Several of those paintings are included at the Kimbell.

On Lake Geneva: Landscape with Rhythmic Shapes, 1908, by Ferdinand Hodler. The Barrett Collection, Dallas

"On Lake Geneva: Landscape with Rhythmic Shapes," 1908, by Ferdinand Hodler. The Barrett Collection, Dallas

Richard Drake is a Houston collector whose interest is primarily in 18th Century portraiture. Among the paintings he loaned to the Kimbell are a portrait of Col. John Bullock and his dog by the British painter Thomas Gainsborough and a portrait of King George III’s brother by Italian painter Pompeo Batoni.

"Colonel John Bullock," early 1770s, Thomas Gainsborough. Private collection, Tomball, Texas

"Colonel John Bullock," early 1770s, Thomas Gainsborough. Private collection, Tomball, Texas

And while it’s obvious that the museum benefits by hosting his paintings, Drake says he had personal reasons to participate.

Drake: “To allow anyone that goes … to view the art that I love so much. If that makes them happy, then that’s great for me, also. Also, it doesn’t hurt to have your work exhibited at a museum for the provenance on it.”

Robert Edsel is a Dallas collector and art historian who loaned six works to the Kimbell, including an important landscape by Flemish artist Paul Bril. He takes the private collector’s duty to museums a step further.

Edsel: “One of the opportunities and obligations you have as a private collector is when requests such as this, arrive, it’s part of your obligation to support a great museum like the Kimbell and make works of art available for people to see things that they otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to see.

"Landscape with Tobias’s Return," 1601, Paul Bril. Robert Edsel Collection

"Landscape with Tobias’s Return," 1601, Paul Bril. Robert Edsel Collection

But Edsel also admits that the benefits can be mutual. He equates having part of his collection on display in a museum like the Kimbell with receiving the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.” And he says that sharing his art can be eye-opening.

Edsel: “When you have other experts’ eyes, trained eyes, sometimes untrained eyes, looking at your works of art, inevitably, you are going to hear comments which are going to be enlightening.”

The Kimbell show will be up through March 21. After that, the art will again be scattered across the state.

Dickerson, the Kimbell curator, says that as far-reaching as the current show may be, there’s still plenty of art that remains hidden in Texas.

Dickerson: “I’m sure there are many stones left unturned out there in the state. But the next generation can do this exhibition again and discover these treasures that are out there.”

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Tuesday Morning Roundup

MUSIC HISTORY UP IN DENTON: It stands to reason that UNT would have a top-notch music library, what with all the top-notch musicians produced by the school. But, as reports, this library is more like a music history museum. Among the items in the collection are 800,000 recordings, a first edition of Handel’s Messiah, Maynard Ferguson’s handwritten score to Rocky and a smattering of still-playable Edison phonographs. “Quite often, if we don’t have it here, we send people to UNT,” says Library of Congress music specialist Kevin Lavine.

MUSIC BITS: Dallas’ Spector 45 has released its first ever video. The clip is for an unreleased song called “Emulate.” (DC9 at Night) … Dallas rapper Big Hood Boss explains to Quick how he got his nom de plume ( … The five members of Denton’s Seryn tell the story of how the band came together. (

NEW THEATER REVIEWS: The title of Theatre Arlington’s The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 is a pretty straight ahead explanation of the show. Punch Shaw calls it, “a true killer of a comedy.” ( … Second Thought Theatre is staging the area premiere of Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s Hunter Gatherers, in which two couples take part in a very strange dinner party. “In Second Thought’s staging, directed by Jonathan Taylor, the outrageousness goes too far over the top in some aspects, not enough in others. Occasionally, it’s right on target,” Mark Lowry writes. ( … In Neil Simon’s Laughter on the 23rd Floor, the playwright looks back on his days as a writer for Sid Caeser’s TV show. Lawson Taitte says that in WaterTower Theatre’s staging, there are plenty of laughs, but they mostly come after intermission. (

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Track by Track: The Slack


“Track By Track” appears every other week 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 Folmer talking about his new album, The Roaring Twenties. This week, Paul talks with Chris Holt of The Slack about the band’s new album, The Deep End.

Click the player below to listen to the podcast:

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Also, be sure to check the Art&Seek blog during The Paul Slavens Show this Sunday as Paul blogs live during the broadcast.

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Monday Morning Roundup

NORTH TEXAS’ THEATER GURU: What do local theater fixtures Josh Glover, Shannon Kearns-Simmons, Jenni Stewart, Austin Tindle, Jeff Farrell, Cathey Ann Fears and Natalie Gaupp have in common? They all studied at one time or another under Fred Curchack. “I think of him as a cultural treasure for the city of Dallas and the country,” Undermain Theatre producer Bruce DuBose tells for a feature about Curchack, a prolific writer, actor and professor. Curchack’s latest show, Milarepa, hits the Bath House Cultural Center stage on Thursday.

QUOTABLE: “If you called up and asked where we were, I’d hang up. I figured, we’ve been Fort Worth for more than 20 years and if you don’t know where we are, I don’t want you.”

- J&J Blues Bar owner Jim Schusler, in an interview with The Fort Worth music venue will close its doors on Jan. 30 after 24 years.

COULD YOU SPARE A FEW MILLION?: Leading up to the opening of the AT&T Performing Arts Center, we heard time and time again about all of those gifts to the center of $1 million or more – 130 in all. Securing all of those pledges is quite an accomplishment, but it only counts if you are able to collect. The Dallas Morning News reports that $90 million has yet to be collected, but many of the pledges are scheduled to come in over the next 10 years. And of those 130 gifts, only a handful of them look like they may not actually come through. “I am very pleased and as comfortable as any conservative CFO could be about where we’re at,” the center’s Chief Financial Officer Randy Kurtz tells the paper.

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The Paul Slavens Show: Live Blog for January 17, 2010

Hey there everybody
Welcome, got some great music tonight.
This is where you can make your polite suggestions and comments. Leave a link to where we can find your song suggestions online.
New to me this week:
Don Byron
Zero 7
The Polyamorous Affair
tune Yards
Oscar D’leon

Liz Durrett “All the Spokes” The Mezzanine

Edwyn Collins “A Girl Like You” A Casual Introduction 1981/2001 -

The Best of Edwyn Collins and Orange Juice

The American Analog Set “I Must Soon Quit the Scene” The Golden Band


Woody Guthrie “House of the Rising Sun” Woody Guthrie – This Machine

Kills Fascists

The Polyamorous Affair “Babayaga” The Polyamorous Affair

Pat Boone “Moody River” 20th Century Masters: The Millennium

Collection: Best Of Pat Boone


Anita O’Day “Sweet Georgia Brown” Anita O’Day: Finest Hour

Animal Collective “Sweet Road” Sung Tongs

Don Byron “Powerhouse” Bug Music

Eddie Bo “Baby I’m Wise” Check Mr. Popeye


Mahalia Jackson“Didn’t It Rain” Mahalia Jackson Live At Newport


Pacifica Quartet “String Quartet No. 5: IV.” Allegro energico

“Carter, E.: String Quartets Nos. 1 And 5 (Pacifica Quartet)”

Zero 7 “Ghost sYMbOL” Yeah Ghost

Doug Neil “Like the Kids” Gravitylab

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Paul Butterfield Blues Band “Trainman” Sometimes I Just Feel Like


Tune-Yards “Little Tiger” Bird-Brains

Oscar D’León “Lloraras” 15 Exitos De- Oscar D Leon


Slack Truth And Fiction The Deep End

Meredith Monk [Voice] Wheel Do You Be

Mos Def Pistola The Ecstatic


Lali Puna “Faking the Books” Faking the Books

Bush Chemist “East Of Jaro” Dub Anthology

Ray Price “For The Good Times” Essential – (Disc 2)


Reed Easterwood “Lolita Lorene” Double Eagle

Sviatoslav Richter “Etudes symphoniques, Op. 13- 11. Variation post.

V” Schumann

Tom Lehrer “I hold your hand in mine” Songs by Tom Lehrer

M. Ward “Chinese Translation” Post-War

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Art&Seek on Think TV: The Arts of Africa at the DMA

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The Dallas Museum of Art has one of the leading collections of African art in this country — thanks, in part, to the early interest and continuing support of Margaret McDermott. For the 40th anniversary of the collection, the DMA has released a handsomely illustrated new book (through Yale University Press), The Arts of Africa at the Dallas Museum of Art. The book showcases 110 items in the museum — from fantastic masks and crowns to statues and clothing. The author is Roslyn Adele Walker, the DMA’s senior curator of the Arts of Africa, the Americas and the Pacific. Before coming to the DMA, Dr. Walker was the director of the Smithsonian’s  National Museum of African Art in Washington, D. C.

We talk to Dr. Walker about the collection, about the nature of African art and about her book. Tonight at 7 p.m. at the DMA, she’ll be signing The Arts of Africa and talking about her research and the items currently on display.

african art 21996_184_FA_AfricaCat09

Headdress from Guinea and the nkisi nkondi from the Congo

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Saturday Spotlight: Disco Inferno

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Categorized Under: Local Events, Music

disco-ball-70-200In the Art&Seek Saturday Spotlight, we’re reliving the 70s. The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra presents Disco Days and Boogie Nights tonight at Bass Performance Hall. The concert includes orchestral readings of the Bee Gees, Gloria Gaynor and other disco-era favorites. Bell bottoms and platform shoes are highly encouraged.

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