People are often talking about the vibrant scene in Dallas and DFW area. There are dozens of galleries having regular shows. You can almost count on at least one opening on every weekend. All four major museums in Dallas, plus three in Fort Worth, are mounting stunning exhibitions.
However, in this project, we look for improvement and self-criticism from the art community. Often, we found their perspectives unique.
Murray Smither has worked as a gallery owner since as early as the 1960’s. He not only gave some the earliest shows to Oak Cliff Four but also discovered many self-taught artists such as Clyde Connell and Frank Jones.
Here is what he said about Dallas museum scene:
As I said, museums like the Contemporary Museum in Houston and the one in Fort Worth and so forth, they were very important to the early gallery scene because they not only showed some of the same artists that we were showing, but they helped nurture collectors, and helped push them toward the galleries to support us. Right now, I don’t see the museum as affecting the artists as much as they used to.
Bob Nunn, who has been painting in the same artist studio building for the last 25 years, also gave us his input about what has been lost in Dallas art scene:
The art scene in the ‘60s and ‘70s was probably not as frantic in that you could go to a gallery show and: meet friends, see wonderful art, meet the artist, go out for dinner afterwards and discuss what you’d seen. Today, I don’t go out as much as I did, but it seems like so many of the shows are so full of people that are having such a good time and visiting and talking about everything except the art that’s there. There seems to be a whole lot of socializing involved, particularly with the younger groups that are coming in.
Through this project, we are able to document the dynamic social changes that are often overlooked in a younger generation. The interviews and visits are changing our own views about the very definition of contemporary art and how it relates to individual persons. Your contribution will help enrich others by preserving insights and memories into public domains.
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