Dallas Observer: Your Guide to 14 of Dallas’ Lesser-Known, Outlier Galleries by Lee Escobedo

July 15, 2013

While we hear a lot about Dallas’ emerging artist movement, what’s less publicized, though equally compelling, is the emerging gallery force.


In the last couple years we’ve watched makeshift spaces spring up everywhere, many of which are artist-run or double as homes and studios. At these start-ups you’ll find folks doing critically engaging work in contemporary settings, tucked away from the bustle of Dragon Street or the more established Deep Ellum circuit of Barry Whistler, Kirk Hopper, Public Trust and CentralTrak.

Since most of these business’ curators and founders would consider themselves artists first, they’ve extended invitations to show each other’s work on their own walls, creating a reflexive, referential web that connects each smaller neighborhood hideout to a larger, more cooperative community.

Here’s a roster of newbies to the scene that are expanding the dialogue of “What is a gallery?” and taking that conversation into new directions, many without the aid of a formal gallery dealer alliance.

Studio Don’t Fuck This Up (DTFU)
The gallery’s name should be an open plea to all of us: fellow galleries, funders, patrons, landlords and the like. Artists, partners and S.C.A.B. members, Lucy Kirkman and Justin Hunter Allen founded the gallery last year as a manifesto on maintaining independence through low overhead and fostering a community of Dallas-based, artist-run exhibition spaces. Programmed from their living room in Fair Park, Studio DTFU thrives on risk-taking and a dedication to DIY aesthetics, while showcasing confidants, confederates and co-op minded artists working in experimental mediums.
Address: 842 1st Ave.

Homeland Security
I remember asking co-founder and S.C.A.B. member Kelly Kroener if she had ever received angry letters directed to the government’s Department of Homeland Security. She hadn’t, but agreed, “That would be pretty cool.” While those collected letters would make for a pretty interesting exhibition, Kroener and partner Eli Walker have been busy curating intimate and affecting shows at their gallery, which they also live in. Both Kroener and Walker have shown this year as well, with Walker exhibiting Regional Quarterly Vol.2 – CONCRETE JUNGLE at Circuit 12 and Kroener exhibiting next door for a solo show at RE Gallery.
Address: 1715 Gould St.

That That
S.C.A.B. members Alex DiJulio and Samantha McCurdy’s studio sits upstairs in a nondescript Expo Park building. Once inside, you’re prone to find a thoughtfully curated exhibit of Lucy Kirkman’s paintings, or perhaps the third issue release party forsemigloss. Magazine. But most of the time, you’ll find these two artists at work on their next project, like their recent Lite Brite sculpture that used food-colored water bottles as plugs. That That is a great example of the DIY spirit and its ability to blur the lines between work and home, creating an intimate and unique gallery setting.
Address: 3901 Main St.

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