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Blind Alley Lets Fort Worth Art Grads Put On A Show


by Gila Espinoza 3 May 2021 6:00 AM

The neighborhood drive-by gallery in West Fort Worth provides TCU students a space to showcase work in the absence of public thesis shows.

CTA TBD

Over the last year, artists have been in the frustrating position of not being able to show the work they created in public venues. That’s even been the case for burgeoning artists like the graduating MFA students at Texas Christian University.

Liminal Space 2021. Daylight hours. Through June 2. 3317 West 4th Street, Fort Worth. Details.

MFA students compile a body of work during their studies that they present at their thesis exhibitions. This year’s candidates, like last year’s candidates, were unable to show their work because non-students are still not allowed on the TCU campus.

Fortunately, TCU Professor of Art Cameron Schoepp and his wife, Terri Thornton, curator of education at the Modern Art Museum, had a solution. When the pandemic started, the two artists finished and launched their outdoor, drive-by gallery, Blind Alley Projects.

Liminal Space 2021 kicked off with the theatrical installation “Beastfingers” by Clint Jerritt Bargers, April 11—22. Photo by Blind Alley Projects.

Although the structure is small – just 8 feet by 10 feet – it stands out in the quiet residential neighborhood on the edge of the cultural district.

“Basically it’s a small box with a glass front so you know the whole space is exposed through this glass window,” said Schoepp.  “It’s almost like a storefront window. We also have a living roof, which I think plays an important role that has native prairie plants on it and stone walls.”

On view right now through May 6 is Ashley Stecenko’s ‘Half Way Home.’ Schoepp said the ephemeral drawing on fabric interacts and plays with the reflections of the front window. Photo by Blind Alley Projects.

The curated gallery space isn’t big enough for some students’ complete shows, but it allows for a concentrated representation of their work, an ambitious gesture to show what they were thinking as they came to the end of their degree, said Thornton.

“It’s not their thesis shows for sure, by any stretch,” she said. “But it does speak to the ideas that you can see represented in those thesis shows.”

Next week, Chris Wicker will have his solo exhibition, May 9—20. Schoepp describes it as a “digital intervention.” Photo by Blind Alley Projects.

Liminal Space 2021 is a series of four independent exhibitions by TCU MFA students that runs through June 3.

  • Clint Jerritt Bargers, April 11—22
  • Ashley Stecenko. April 25—May 6
  • Chris Wicker, May 9—20
  • Zeke Williams, May 23—June 3

“The title is Liminal Space, so it’s about that kind of space between and that speaks to kind of physicality of the gallery as well as for this exhibition,” said Thornton. “It speaks to this place where these graduates are.”

Without a beat, Schoepp picks up, “It’s this transitional moment. This space in between for these artists who are beginning their professional careers. Some are on their way already, but they still have one foot in academia, and then one foot leaving as they go out on their own soon.”

Zeke Williams solo exhibition, May 23—June 3. a large image mounted on the exterior of the gallery closes out Liminal Space 2021. Photo by Blind Alley Projects.

You can drive by, walk by, bike by Blind Alley Projects anytime during daylight hours. It’s located at 3317 West 4th Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76107.

You can learn more about Blind Alley Projects on their website www.blindalleyprojects.com and follow them on @blindalleyprojects on Instagram.

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

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