Monday, October 11, 2010
Local documentary Dallas Art City features who’s who of the arts scene
Produced by the Dallas Art Dealers Association, the short film centers on the importance of community.
About 100 guests attended Sunday's premiere screening of a new documentary film about the Dallas art scene called Dallas Art City.
The short (45 minute) film — produced jointly by the Dallas Art Dealers Association (DADA) and You & Yours Productions — features interviews with local artists, dealers, patrons, journalists, and educators, all of whom express a commitment to keeping the Dallas art scene vital.
According to director/producer Colby Allen, he began the film project more than a year ago with the idea that it would be a historical piece. Before too long, however, it transformed into more of a story about the energy and supportiveness of the local arts community, which several of the interviewees identify as the primary reason they choose to live and work in Dallas.
Lisa Taylor, one of the film's producers (and acting director of DADA), introduced the event (held in the Horchow Auditorium at the Dallas Museum of Art) by recognizing the long-standing service to the local arts scene exhibited by retired gallery owner Edith Baker. According to Taylor, Baker's professionalism, accessibility, and encouragement of emerging artists over the years are the reasons that DADA's scholarship/endowment fund for visual arts students was named in her honor.
Following the presentation to Baker of an original art piece commissioned for her by DADA, Taylor introduced filmmaker Allen and his partner (who also assisted in the film's production), Emily Sieker. She then instructed the projection booth to roll the film.
Included among those interviewed on camera are artists Paul Booker, Vincent Falsetta, Tom Orr, and Sarah Williams (whose nightscapes of isolated buildings are somewhat reminiscent of Edward Hopper); gallery owners Brian Gibb and James Cope (Pop Up); Christina Rees and Thomas Feulmer (Modern Ruin); and Nancy Whitenack, who says, in regard to Dallas art buyers of the '80s: "They were clear about impressionism and they were clear about the Cowboys."
(The implication: In the intervening years, Dallas collectors have become more sophisticated, thanks in part to the thriving and cosmopolitan local art scene.)
We also hear from big money donors like Howard Rachofsky, and avid art collectors such as John Reoch. Vicki Meek, director of the South Dallas Cultural Center (and an artist herself) chimes in, as do Bart Weiss (Video Association of Dallas headman) and ex-journalist, current filmmaker Quin Mathews.
What we take away from the film most is an appreciation for the diversity of reasons given by the artists themselves as to why they make art. (That, and the fact that artists are — AHEM! — eccentric characters.)
According to Taylor, distribution and future screenings of Dallas Art City — which serves as a great introduction to the local arts community and its players — are still to be determined. She advises getting on the DADA mailing list, or just joining up.