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Opening Reception - Krista Chalkley: Uncertain Beacons

Oak Cliff Cultural Center

The Oak Cliff Cultural Center is pleased to present uncertain beacons, featuring the work of Dallas-based artist Krista Chalkley. The exhibition runs February 18 – March 24, 2023 at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center and opens with a reception on Saturday, February 18, 6:00 – 8:00 pm. 

As human beings, we tend to cling to certitude– despite how miniscule we may be in the face of this vast and unexplored universe. Science aids in the search for answers, but even its regimented and controlled methods can be fallible and provide only a fragmented understanding of things. Artist Krista Chalkley’s work draws inspiration from such innate potentiality, utilizing it to critique intolerance and explore the queered boundary as it pertains to the expansive possibilities of existence.

In uncertain beacons, Chalkley considers perspective and its influence on our individual perception of reality. Referencing zodiac signs and their constellations, the works illustrate varying personalities and viewpoints through these widely recognized astrological categories. Each of the 12 signs, classified by the sun’s orbital location at the time of birth, also have strong associations to personal traits, tendencies, and values, and in some cases can even carry preconceived, biased connotations.

Although often disregarded today, the practice of astrology has endured throughout human history for at least the past 5,000 years. It was once a highly respected academic discipline that prompted concrete developments in our approach to other subjects, such as agriculture, astronomy, geometry, and philosophy. Through the intentional invocation of a contested field such as astrology, along with the underlying themes of subjective perception, the exhibition challenges attitudes of skepticism and delicately questions– can we really be certain of anything?

Embodied through queered materials, layered textiles, and various forms of sculpture, uncertain beacons will constellate as a large-scale interactive installation. To make the stars align, viewers will need to move through the space and physically position themselves into each of the differing perspectives established by the works. In this way, the exhibition is an invitation to examine our own perspectives and look through the eyes of another as we walk the expanse of the great unknown.

Krista Chalkley (they/them) is a multidisciplinary artist, curator, and arts administrator based in Dallas, TX. Krista received their BA in Visual and Performing Arts from The University of Texas at Dallas in 2018. Their work has been exhibited at local venues such as Arts Fort Worth, Ro2 Art, and the AT&T Showcase gallery in the Discovery District alongside works by Andy Warhol, Kehinde Wiley, and others. In 2022, Krista was awarded the Arch and Anne Giles Kimbrough Fund by the Dallas Museum of Art. Currently, they serve as the Assistant Director and Manager of Operations at Erin Cluley Gallery and serve on committees with Contemporary Art Dealers of Dallas and the Emergency Artists’ Support League.

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223 W. Jefferson Blvd. · Dallas, TX 75208