- THRWD celebrates its fifth issue at Red Arrow Contemporary Saturday at 8 p.m.
- Escobedo is starting a new project with Jesse Porter and Billy Lam called An LBJ Experience. Their first event, “Artist 2 Artist,” happens Nov. 21. Watch Facebook for details.
- Listen to the conversation that aired on KERA FM
What’s bubbling underneath the surface and emerging outside the mainstream in art, music and fashion in Dallas? It’s a question that fascinates Lee Escobedo. With Javier Valadez, Escobedo, 29, co-publishes THRWD, a quarterly magazine and web site, and throws a host of related shows from music to poetry.
THRWD’s audience is inspired by collaboration, cross pollination and DIY culture. Turns out, Escobedo isn’t just writing about it. He’s living it.
Here are excerpts and extras from our conversation:
On who’s reading THRWD:
It’s mainly a group of kids from inner city neighborhoods – Pleasant Grove, Oak Cliff, Irving, South Dallas. These are mostly minority kids. I say kids loosely, between the ages 17-23.
Kids who like to skateboard. Kids who like to make zines and listen to a wide variety of music, from punk and noise to hiphop and avante garde and jazz. Kids who aren’t necessarily plugged into what’s happening in Dallas contemporarily, but also are aware that something exists outside their neighborhood and they’re curious about that. And that’s evolved too.
Every time we have an event there’s always a small conglomerate of artists working within the Dallas arts and culture scene. But most important we want to be a mentorship program in a way, inspire kids to build projects and do projects much greater than anything we’re doing right now.
On growing with THROWD:
“One of the first people who came to our events, his name is Eddie Moran. He was at our very first event, poetry night Lucky Dog Books in Oak Cliff off Davis in 2013
He was just this kid, right out of high school He was like 19. He came, and he talked to me afterwards and he said, ‘I’ve never seen anything like this before, I didn’t know something like this exists in my neighborhood. Like this is two streets down from where I live’…
I said come to the next one, help out. So he started coming to everything we did. When we started growing, I saw him growing with us. So if I put on a noise show in west dallas, he was there….
He was taking it all in and absorbing it and figuring out what he wanted to do with his life. Until two months ago, he called me and was like ‘Hey, I’m managing this artist Jenny Robinson out of Denton and wanted to know if THRWD wanted to be part of her release party.’ And I was like, that’s it. Exactly. We have literally manifested this person’s interest into a career.
On the “compound” he calls home:
About a year ago Kevin Ruben Jacobs wanted to expand what he was doing. He was living above OFG, at that time called Oliver Francis Gallery [which Jacobs founded]. He wanted to have more of a community. He wanted to build almost a fellowship of like minded people who were all invested in some form of what Dallas was doing.
He picked Francisco Moreno who he went to college with at UT-Arlington.. Arthur Peña who he met at Rhode Island School of Design, when he went to visit Francisco. And then Michelle Rawlings, who lives in the house next door. And then next to her is Travis LaMothe.
So there are six of us, Travis, Michelle, Francisco and Art are all painters. Keven is a curator at Goss Michael. I’m a writer and publisher and booker of rad shows. We all kind of help each other out. If Francisco has an open studio, I bring the THRWD crowd out to visit him. Kevin lets me and Art both use his gallery [OFG] to book shows in. It’s cool. It’s a fun time
It’s nice to have people you can depend on, both personally and professionally. It’s cool to be next door and just chat about any idea or concept you might have. Oh, do you have a sponsor, Oh cool, I have a venue. Well let’s put together a show. It’s cool. It works like that a lot.
A few people and places Escobedo says deserve more attention:
Dallas Biennial (DB 14): Jesse Morgan Barnett and Michael Mazurek. “Needs to be some intense in-depth coverage of what they’re doing.”
Warewolf House (now defunct) and Vice Palace [roving music shows put on by Arthur Peña]. “That curatorial project is super interesting.”
Two Bronze Doors: “They provide a very nice DIY platform for concerts, various mediums… musicians, artists. It’s kind of a meeting grounds for the different scenes.”
Crown & Harp: “Probably the most important venue in Dallas period. Monday nights, Stefan Gonzalez, an avant garde drummer and part of Yells at Eels, and some other bands have this weird programing of performance art, experimental music and camp downstairs called Outward Bound Mix Tape Sessions. And then upstairs Tony Schwa and the Cool Out. One of the longest running DJ nights in Dallas. That’s on a Monday night you can find most of the far ranging spectrums of the music and art world come together. It’s a great combination of all the talent that’s working in Dallas right now.”