The Barona Bus Arrives, Ware:wolf:haus Departs and Printmaking Just Keeps Getting Bigger.
Welcome to Canvassing, our weekly look at the conversations that surround the Dallas art world. Pull up a chair. Stay with us for a while. The view's pretty nice from here.
One of the most talked-about mediums in visual art is social practice, an art form that uses creativity to address a social issue or help shape a community. Here, the social interactions are themselves the art, and an artist’s “work” or “project” can often span years and even decades.
This year, Leah Foster and Una Mulale launched a new social practice project called The Barona Bus. What's interesting is that, while Foster, a Texas native and recent MFA graduate, more than fits the traditional artist profile, her collaborator, Mulale, does not. Mulale grew up in the small southern African country of Botswana, and is a pediatric critical care specialist in Brooklyn. Barona, which means “ours” in Setswana, is the proposed name of the children's hospital that Foster and Mulale want to build in Botswana. It would be that country's first such institution.
Their Barona Bus project is currently on a cross-country tour meant to showcase what Foster and Mulale have learned thus far during their intercultural collaboration via intimate dinner parties and art workshops held on the bus. Foster tells Canvassing that her favorite stop on the tour thus far has been in Chicago, where she held a dinner party for 15 to 20 creatives who live in Pilsen, a Latino neighborhood. Foster was inspired by their work in the face of so much violence, and, after the fact, was able to make a return trip back to Chicago and do a workshop with area teenagers.
But it's not just young people who have enjoyed the bus: Some of the biggest names in the art world have stopped in to chat about the project as well, including Vito Acconci, Peter Sellars, David Ross, Rick Lowe, Tim Rollins and Mark Tribe.
You're invited to check out Foster and Mulale’s mobile cultural space for yourself this Friday at the University of Texas at Dallas' Art Barn, where the duo are hosting a potluck dinner from 7 to 9 p.m.
Speaking of cultural spaces: One of the most promising new spaces in Dallas, Arthur Peña's Ware:wolf:haus announced last week that it will closing its doors after a year. In a Facebook note, Peña thanks his audience for their interest in the “provocative, challenging and downright strange happenings that have occurred there.” In addition to teaching and making flyers for bands, Peña will stay busy preparing for an upcoming solo show at The Latino Cultural Center.
Elsewhere, Brian Gibb, director and owner of The Public Trust is gearing up to head to Houston in the first week of September for the Texas Contemporary. Gibb reports that he has prime spot for his booth, a great batch of artists and a piece made specifically for rapper Paul Wall. From North Texas, Gibbs will be joined by Cris Worley Fine Arts, Kirk Hopper Fine Arts and William Campbell Contemporary Art.
The Public Trust, of course, has also long been a promoter of printmaking in North Texas. And, this summer, printmaking has enjoyed an uptick in loca popularity with Red Arrow Contemporary, Cohn Drennan Gallery and Ro2 Art (Downtown) all having printmaking shows up right now. Cohn Drennan, which features MFA work from The University of Texas at Arlington curated by Erica Guajardo, and Ro2, which is an invitational show in collaboration with Iron Frog Press, both have receptions for their show going on this Friday evening, and both are worth checking out.
Finally this week, if you can find some time Saturday afternoon, I'd highly recommend that you check out either Ctrl + V at Kirk Hopper Fine Arts or Draped Up and Dripped Out (Part 1) curated by Giovanni Valderas at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center. Both are great examples of how a group show can be more meaningful than the sum of its parts.
Without further ado, here are this week’s openings:
• “Artpocalypse” by Richard Ross, Clay Stinnett, Mattson Plummer and Johnny Hawkins at Kettle Art Gallery. 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
• “PRINTS!PRINTS!PRINTS!” curated by Erica Guajardo at Cohn Drennan Gallery. 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
• “Of The Land… Of The Sea” by Jenny Hudson at The Encaustic Center. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
• “ALLURE” by RAW Dallas at Lizard Lounge. 7 p.m. to midnight.
• “Dallas Prints!” in collaboration with Iron Frog Press at Ro2 Art (Downtown). 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
• “Barona Bus Potluck” by Leah Foster at UTD Visuals Arts. 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
• “Design District Market” at The Dallas Contemporary. Noon to 8 p.m.
• “Split Seconds” curated by Marilyn Waligore and Emily Loving at Bath House Culture Center 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
• The Basement Live Auction Fundraiser presented by Artist DIY at The Basement Gallery 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
• “Satellites” by Christopher Blay at UTD's Centraltrak 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.