What You Missed at Design District Gallery Day

Posted by    |    August 5th, 2012 at 5:50 am

Last Saturday, art lovers from around the city converged on the Dallas Design District for the city’s newest holiday celebrating all things visual art. After a successful East Dallas Gallery Day earlier this summer, the galleries of the Design District organized a gallery day of their own, and, judging from the success, it’s the start of a beautiful tradition.

Gallery Day Attendees at Cohn Drennan Contemporary

Thanks to Brooklyn Brewing Company, in partnership with the gallery owners themselves, the drinks were flowing and food trucks were plentiful as Dallasites, many of whom were spending their first day in the neighborhood, wandered in and out of Dragon Street galleries.

The spacious galleries at the Dallas Contemporary, home to the larger than life Erwin Wurm sculpture and the darkly atmospheric creations of Claude Leveque, were the launching point for a day of gallery hopping.

Patrons were overheard asking for directions as well as recommendations on which shows were can’t miss material. The answer seemed to be all of them, and, while only the most intrepid managed to hit the more than twelve participating neighborhood galleries, most made it to almost all, despite the heat.

Rickey Armendariz at Red Arrow Contemporary

Most galleries were nearing the end of their summer shows with a few galleries such as the Goss-Michael Foundation and Craighead-Green Gallery closing exhibitions over the weekend and many more, including Holly Johnson Gallery and Marty Walker Gallery shows closing next weekend.

While it would be hard to pick a favorite, during the late afternoon PDNB and new-comer Red Arrow Contemporary both seemed to draw the largest crowds. PDNB hosted a moving and symbolic exhibit of photographs by Russian photographers, entitled “From Moscow with Love.” Red Arrow Contemporary drew crowds its group exhibit, featuring wildly imaginative sculptures by Ken Little, and, my personal favorite, expressionist paintings by Rickey Armendariz. Across the street, Cohn Drennan Contemporary presented a group exhibit with work by four artists exploring various themes, including a fascinating site-specific installation by current Dallas resident M. Kate Helmes.

Misako Inaoka at Galleri Urbane

Conduit Gallery had attendees marveling at Gabriel Dawe’s mesmerizing and intimate needle and textile sculptures before wandering to the back room to encounter Rex Ray’s extraordinary collages — without a doubt the most colorful work encountered during the day.

The day concluded with banh mi from Nammi Truck and a peek inside Galleri Urbane and Cris Worley Fine Arts on Monitor Street. The playful, almost violent sculpture of Adela Andea at Cris Worley and Galleri Urbane’s current show exploring nature in a sometimes disturbing, always fascinating manner, was a fitting and eclectic way to end a day filled with art.

If you didn’t make it out for the festivities you missed out, but hopefully we’ll see you next year!