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Paintings, Pastries And Pigs! Oh, My!

by Gila Espinoza 18 Aug 2020 6:00 AM

Every day on Art&Seek, we’re talking to people who have tips on art in the time of social distancing.  Share yours with us on Facebook, Instagram or @artandseek on Twitter. Click above to hear Cheryl Vogel with Valley House Gallery and Sculpture Garden share her tip with KERA’s Nilufer Arsala. 

Comfortably embedded on four-and-a-half wooded acres in North Dallas,  Valley House Gallery and Sculpture Garden is the oldest modern contemporary art gallery in Dallas.

Cheryl Vogel curator and co-owner of  Valley House says they are wearing masks, social distancing, and welcoming visitors back.

Luke Sides: A Gluttonous Past and Lindy Chambers: Obscura are on view until August 22.

Currently, they have two solo exhibitions by Texas artists going on in the Gallery and they have extended both of their runs until August 22.

Their sculpture show features work by Luke Sides. Sides is the sculpture professor at Collin County College in Plano and this is his first solo exhibition at Valley House.

Luke Sides, ‘Gluttonous Vortex,’ ‘Cupcake,’ ‘Lucky Cupcake,’ ‘Porous Pirouette.’ Photo by Ben Bascombe.

Luke Sides: A Gluttonous Past is filled with “pigs and puppies and pastries and peppers and portraits, and most importantly, puns,” said Vogel.

Luke Sides: A Gluttonous Past. Photo by Ben Bascombe.

“Luke has incorporated puns into his sculptures of pigs that are mostly rendered with pig iron, and some of his pigs are wrapped with slices of bacon.”

Pigs have been a subject of interest for Sides ever since he was a child.  He sees them as tenacious survivors, crude yet stable.

Lindy Chambers, ‘Ball Players,’ 2019.

In another part of the gallery, is their show of paintings by Lindy Chambers titled Obscura. Chambers is inspired by the pastoral setting of her Texas Hill Country home.

Obscure habitats, curious color combinations, and daily life scenes are thematic in Chambers’ work. She is drawn to the colorful trailers along dirt roads and her paintings depict life in the country – mowing lawns, children playing ball, family reunions, and going to the drive-in.

Lindy Chambers, ‘Street Volley,’ 2020.

After taking in the exhibitions, Vogel says visitors usually start down the paths that lead them to the Sculpture Garden. It’s a good place to picnic, read a book, or have a conversation with a friend all under the shade of very mature trees. If you have never been to the Sculpture Garden, Vogel paints a pretty picture.

“There are curvilinear paths that take [visitors] in different areas of the garden and wind around the residence that’s in the middle of the property. There’s a big pond in the back with an island in the middle of it. . . You can’t see the sculptures unless you are really winding around all the various paths that guide you through the property. It’s wooded, lots of big trees. And the island right now is filled with the Rudbeckia blooms. . .  It’s not perfectly flat. There are berms that give people vistas to the garden.”

From those berms, you might see sculptures by Deborah Ballard, David Dreyer, Michael O’Keefe, the Italian sculptor Alex Corno, and early modern Texas sculptor Charles Williams.

Virtual walk video of the Sculpture Garden by Quin Mathews Films.

Both Luke Sides: A Gluttonous Passt and Lindy Chambers: Obscura can be viewed on Valley House’s website.

At the end of August, Valley House will open their next show, an invitational exhibition called On Being Human. It runs August 29-October.  Vogel said there were some incredible works coming in for the show. Here are a few:

Deborah Ballard, ‘Sign of the Times,’ 2020.


Sedrick Huckaby, ‘Mary, Mary-Lu, Missionary Parker,’ 2013.


Sedrick Huckaby, ‘The 99%: Mr. Big,’ 2013.

Got a tip? Email Gila Espinoza at [email protected]. You can follow her on Twitter @espinoza_kera.

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