Monday, June 1, 2009

The Agenda's Best in Show for the...

D Art Slam at f.i.g.
May 29 - 31, 2009

Of the 150 artists at the first D Art Slam a handful rose above the throng. Each artist was given a twelve foot wall space to work from Friday to Sunday. There was a definite arts and crafts fair vibe, which was enhanced by the artists standing in front of their work. There were clear winners in my book, and two of the artists that I felt were standouts overlapped with the juror's award for the “New Dallas Nine”. Credit is due to the D Art Slam organizers for providing an opportunity to many
unknown artists as well as to chance to see a lot of work that is being made in Dallas. Below are my picks for best in show.

It was great to find someone that I knew, Sergio Garcia with what I found to be the most exciting space at the Slam. His area was less sales oriented which may have added to the appeal. A giant boom box filled the majority of the space and was ornamented with a bronze dog on a pillow perched on the boom box, a neon sign reading “For Those About to Rock” and only a framed painting of a payphone with a posted price. It was really a street-style installation.

a similar tack was a member of the New Dallas Nine, Shane Pennington whose wall was smartly assembled and fun. Using miniature figures very reminiscent of the snow globes of Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz three clusters of related objects were on view. Miniature figures climbed on the roots of the trees and were in Ball jars like captured insects.

Another member of the new Dallas Nine was Jennifer Jones with her mixed media work on panels. Pairing disparate images of objects on raw MDF there was an edge to the minimal work.

Perhaps the best strategy for actually selling work went to Blake Wright. He had a series of small, clever and affordable editioned works on paper that were hung on the wall in plastic bags with bulldog clips. I took home the one with Dear Uptight Prude written
in ornate filigree.

I left the fair wondering, was it successful enough for the promoters and f.i.g. to host the event again and become an annual event? Did the artists working their spaces for three days sell enough to make it worth their while? If it had been organized in some other way would more exciting artists get involved? There is potential to be realized.

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