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Help From Friends, A Nudge From Psychic, And A Gallery Opens

by Anne Bothwell 16 Oct 2014 5:20 PM

Erin Cluley recently left The Dallas Contemporary to open her own gallery, a sleek industrial space in West Dallas. She tells KERA’s Anne Bothwell that thanks to support from Trinity Groves developers – and a nudge from a psychic – she sees art in the neighborhood’s future.



Erin Cluley. Photo: Jenifer McNeil Baker


    • Erin Cluley Gallery’s next show, Jimmy Joe Roche, “Crimcraw,” opens with a reception Saturday from 6-8 p.m.
    • Baltimore in Dallas, a zine curated by Jimmy Joe Roche, will be placed in rooms and public areas at The Belmont and at Zoomos pop-up shop  in Bishop Arts
    • Listen to the radio interview that aired on KERA FM


Trinity Groves is probably best known for its restaurants at the foot of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. But the developers involved with that project regularly partner with artists, offering warehouse space around the West Dallas neighborhood for events and projects.  And now – an art gallery.  Erin Cluley left the Dallas Contemporary to start Erin Cluley Gallery. Her sleek, industrial-chic spot owes a lot to Trinity Groves developer Butch McGregor. And maybe a psychic.


Erin Cluley Gallery. Photo: Jennifer McNeal Baker.

On her location:

The Trinity Groves area was perfect for Cluley. The restaurant scene is attracting crowds, she loves the neighborhood. And at the Contemporary, she’d worked with McGregor, who offered warehouse and wall space for various projects. So when she decided to open her spot, she worked with him to find a good location.

“I’m a little bit off the beaten path. Fabrication Street runs parallel to Singleton. [The gallery is] an old diesel truck repair shop. It stands among houses that people are actually living in. Someone said they were driving over to the gallery and thought their GPS had sent them the wrong way. The building looked like it landed from Mars. It definitely stands out.”


On similarities among her 9 artists, based in Dallas, Baltimore and New York:

As I started to look at them as a whole, I found many of the artists have practices rooted in painting. I studied as a painter so I’m drawn to that craft.”

cluley first exhibit - trevino Kevin Todora

The gallery’s first exhibition, by Rene Treviño. Photo: Kevin Todora

On public work:

The Dallas Contemporary has done several public projects, and during her time there, Cluley worked on many of them: Mural projects by Shepard Fairey, Faile, JMR, Sourgrapes and Soner; Jason Reed’s video on American Airlines Center Plaza’s jumbotron.  She like that part of the job and plans to continue to launch “interventions” and work outside the gallery.

“It puts the artists work in a larger context,” she says.

First up: Jimmy Joe Roche. His show,”Crimcraw,” opens Saturday at the gallery. In addition, he’s curated a zine,  “Baltimore on Dallas,” featuring work of Baltimore artists, which will be scattered around town in “interesting places.”

“My goal with the public projects is for the public to stop and think.”

jimmy joe roche

“Root Faded Sun Dripper,” by Jimmy Joe Roche, whose show opens Saturday.

On consulting a psychic:

“I was in the Boston area for the 4th of July holiday weekend and we were in Salem Massachusetts. And it seemed there was a psychic on every corner.”

On a never-before, never-since lark, Cluley checked it out. “It came up that he saw me with my own space, representing artists. I joked that it lit a fire. The next week I made a meeting with Butch McGregor and Trinity Groves.”