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Dallas 500X Gallery Returns

by Mia Estrada 4 Jun 2020 4:14 PM

500X Gallery has found a new home in the Trinity Groves neighborhood.

500X members move to the new location on Fabrication Street in Dallas. Photo: Ashley Whitt

It’s known to be the oldest artist-run exhibition gallery in Dallas, established in 1978. In late February, the gallery announced that it would close its doors on April 13 after it received a notice from its landlord to vacate its long-time space at 500 Exposition Avenue.

The gallery was to host one last exhibition called 500Xit but canceled the in-person show, due to health concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, it hosted a digital show.

“We’re really proud that even though we were evicted, even though the pandemic came to Texas, to North Texas that we were still able to pick up the pieces and find a new space,” said Ashley Whitt, president of the gallery.

Tensions arose between 500X and Gibson Company, the building’s owner, in December over the “Queer Me Now: The Queer Body & Gaze” exhibition. It featured works by LGBTQIA+ artists that depicted gay sex and naked men. On Feb.8, the gallery announced it would host another show that featured LGBTQIA+ artists in response to the matter in December. A few days later, a notice to vacate came.

Photo: Ashley Whitt

Whitt said the new location will protect 500X artists from censorship.

“Now, that’s not going to be a problem,” Whitt said. “We’re going to be able to show work without the fear of it being censored, and that’s a huge step for us. It’s something that we hope can happen for more arts organizations and that there can be more voices heard throughout the arts community.”

Whitt said the mission of the gallery is to be an inclusive and progressive space.

“We recognize that there is a lot of work to be done there,” Whitt said. “We’ve been introducing new shows to bring in varied voices to the new 500X space and we want, moving forward, to have more of a diverse and community-minded gallery.”

What’s 500X planning?

The gallery will continue with two virtual exhibitions and is calling for entries to both.

The annual “Hot & Sweaty” show will close for submission deadline on July 5 by 11:59 p.m. Artists can submit up to 5 entries at the cost of $25, and will receive a free 500X shirt while supplies last. Hot & Sweaty 2020 is open to artists over the age of 18 who are living and working in Texas. All visual media are eligible, which includes drawing, painting, sculpture, installation and video.

The extended “LGBTQIA+ Show” is open to all visual media artists, and the submission deadline will close on August 23. The cost of entry is $10 for 5 submission pieces and will be judged by artists Brian Scott and Brian Keith Jones. The exhibition will run from September 12- October 4.

Both exhibitions will be shown on the 500X Gallery website.

Got a tip? Email Mia Estrada at [email protected]. You can follow her on Twitter @miaaestrada.

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