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D Art Hits A Grand Slam


by Gail Sachson 1 Jun 2009

Guest blogger Gail Sachson owns Ask Me About Art, is a Commissioner of Cultural Affairs, a Dallas Public Art Committee member and a juror for the D Art Slam. So what is a slam? There’s slam clothing, slam sailing, slam wrestling and slam poetry. There’s SLAM, (the St. Louis Art museum) and Slam, the basketball […]

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pennington-400

Dallas artist Shane Pennington infront of one of his pieces.

Guest blogger Gail Sachson owns Ask Me About Art, is a Commissioner of Cultural Affairs, a Dallas Public Art Committee member and a juror for the D Art Slam.

So what is a slam? There’s slam clothing, slam sailing, slam wrestling and slam poetry. There’s SLAM, (the St. Louis Art museum) and Slam, the basketball magazine. A slam is described as a hit with great force.

So what was  this weekend’s D Art Slam? It was a forceful hit. It was an onslaught of art. It was a wake-up call to artists and collectors both to recognize the breadth and depth of Texas talent. A jury of five (of which I was one) chose 150 artists from more than 300 entries to show their stuff. The wall fee – $175. The chance to have one’s work seen by the Dallas art world’s movers and shakers, perhaps sell a piece or two  and perhaps be named one of the New Dallas Nine priceless . A big thank you to D Magazine CEO Wick Allison and Brook Partners CEO John Sughrue for organizing the Slam and celebrating our talented Texans.

The three day slam  in the FIG Building was a testimony to the diversity of styles, techniques  and subject matter of Texas art. Not a bluebonnet in the mix. Well … there were painterly Texas landscapes and photographs of cowboys and ranch hands. But Texans are well-traveled,  so there were also shots of Burmese natives taken by Jonathan Dedman Dietz and Cuernavaca flowers captured by photographer Sibylle Bauer.  Others posed provocative questions. Shane Pennington, named to the New Dallas Nine, asked us to contemplate the significance of life and legacy in his American Dream Series.”

Saturday saw the booths  and aisles jammed with customers, cruisers and kibbitzers. Prints, paintings, photographs, sculpture, glass and one lone video piece vied for attention, as collectors vied with each other to snatch up work that was priced to sell.  Art ranged from  about $115 to several thousand. A good eye meant a good buy.

And people came to shop. My hope is that the curators, collectors and gallery owners came, too. Not just for that good buy, but for the good of Dallas. I hope they shopped for the art stars of the future and for artists to mentor and to hire for workshops and demonstrations.

My advice to next year’s collectors, and there has just got to be a next time, is to come with cash. Artists prefer  paper to  plastic. And my advice to the artists is to be even more daring. Don’t be afraid to slam us  and wake us up with your art and your installation. Everyone needs a strong push- a slam- sometime.

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  • “Don’t be afraid to slam us and wake us up with your art…?”
    Yet you run screaming everytime anything about the art revolution that’s started right here in Dallas, is mentioned! Where is your coverage of that?
    Truth is no matter what you say as a blogger, you refuse anything really daring.
    Here is 3 short history making, world’s first, manifestos on the new art that “slams”. Apparently it slams too much to talk about in the local media.

    Revolution in Arts (Visual)
    http://musea.wordpress.com/2009/06/01/musea-extra-summary-of-the-revolution-in-art-visual-arts/

  • Andrew Douglas Underwo
  • I think the D-Art Slam was a hit. But it needs some tweaking – for sure. Not all spaces were created equal and there were really too many artists. Much of the work did not look precious due to the crowded conditions. Much of the free space in my little nook was taken up by tables that artists planted themselves behind in chairs like it was a 4-day book signing at Borders.

    And in reference to the New Dallas Nine Awards, It is my belief that the winners were predetermined – long before the show was hung. What was the criteria anyway? I’m fairly certain that no juror ever looked at my work, asked me any questions about it, what materials I used the source of inspiration – neither did anyone ask me how long I’ve been on the Dallas scene.

    I have declared myself one of the New Dallas 10. i had too many people come ask me about my work that said mine was the best in the show – the most polished and different.

    • Casey Gaffney

      haha monte your great man, ill be the new dallas 11 then if your in the dallas 10. ha . i have a feeling that even the placement of artists was rigged. but anywho, im just glad i was a part of it (being my first show and all, and selling a piece!) .

  • JLJensen

    Jurors who never saw the original art? Spaces that would not accomodate artist’s works? Poor attendance with poorer publicity? A ten year old doodler sharing space with fine artists? The Dallas nine would be turning in their canvases!

  • Anon

    I also thought it was a hit…the f.ig. & Rhodes crew did an incredible job for a first go-round. Didn’t see anything sell over a few hundred (hopefully in future yrs with a better economy, visitors won’t be so understandably frugal).

    Nothing personal to the kid; but agree having a youngster involved lowers the ‘esteem’ of the event. There’s enough skepticism in art as it is without adding that fuel to the fire.

    @ Monte. I did see a questionable choice or two and perhaps a shaft of at least one artist’s incredible work for selection … but it wasn’t yours IMO. Sorry, I don’t even recall yours and your site is ‘under construction’ which is very 90s and not polished at all FYI.