Roving Galleries on Dragon St.

Students From Two Universities Take Alternative Spaces To the Design District

Dallas, TX, 11/21/2011
published by D Magazine: Front Row

UNT's Art Rover-sign

Times of late seem ripe for taking to the streets, and last weekend, two Dallas-area universities did exactly that, though not in protest.

The taken street wasDragon St., that unofficial Dallas arts district, and the venue featured two moving trucks posing as art galleries. Lights ablaze, the alternative art venues signaled a cooperative stance of community inclusion by the area’s commercial galleries. Embracing these temporary venues fosters a symbiotic relationship between the local rent paying, bricks-and-mortar galleries and the fresh ideas and exploration of energetic students. Capitalizing on the sustained efforts of the gallery owners to draw a crowd, the student-initiated projects also provide the district with a quirky spectacle and infectious enthusiasm while further bolstering the already significant cluster marketing.

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REVIEW: Fresh Meat

500X Fresh Meat: College Expo
Jurors: Cris Worley and Erick Swenson
500X Gallery, Dallas, TX
Oct. 15- Oct. 31, 2011

published by D Magazine Front Row

Fun adverts, two hip art world jurors, and the 500x openness to experimentation has created an exciting college art exhibit. Jurors Cris Worley—owner and director of Cris Worley Fine Arts in Dallas— and Erick Swenson—international art star— selected 43 from 900 pieces, presenting a strong exhibit of what turned out to be primarily Metro-plex talent. Occupying both floors and resisting the “more is better” tendency, the show has a sprawling, spacious quality. The majority of pieces display a figurative inclination and graphic strength conveying resolved consideration, yet there are also several surprises including some accomplished ceramics.

Not surprisingly one work resembles Fresh Meat: chopped logs filled with silicon representing muscle, fat and sinew. Amputee by Rachel Muldez [UD] is an anthropomorphized and didactic reminder of our planetary destruction yet remains disgustingly, darkly humorous, overcoming it’s preachiness through craftsmanship and humor.

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“Carne-val” with the Cirkit of Mythos

Cirkit of Mythos presents “Carne-val” at the
Altered State Fair” (presented by MFA Gallery)
Saturday, Oct. 15, from 7-11 PM  @  Kessler Theatre, Dallas, TX

Cirkit of Mythos is a group of 5 Dallas/Fort Worth artists (including Ryder Richards). For this exhibit the group has developed “Carne-val,” a one-night-only performance playing with stereotypes and loss of dignity as a cultural ritual.

Carne-val as part of The Altered State Fair
—Carne-val STATEMENT —

Carnivals, sideshows, attractions, and bizarre decadence. You must be paying for the experience, because we all know cotton candy is 90% air and you threw up that funnel cake after a ride on the Whirligig. Oh, and don’t forget that $45 stuffed animal proving you can throw a baseball. Might want to throw it in the wash, there’s still a bit of funnel cake on it.

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Eric Eley, John Frost, and Ryder Richards

Ro2 Art-Uptown, Dallas
3699 McKinney Ave
Aug. 13- 28, 2011

Opening Reception: Saturday, August 13th, 6-9 PM.

Artists Talk: Thursday, Sep 1, 6-7 PM.

Ro2 Art hosts “import” featuring recent Dallas imports Eric Eley, John Frost, and Ryder Richards. A similarity of refinement and intellectual consideration unites the drawings and sculptures of the three artists. The works will be on display at Ro2 Art’s new space, 6399 McKinney Ave. in the West Village. Join us for the opening reception Saturday, August 13th from 6-9 PM.

Gallery artist Ryder Richards invites contemporaries Eric Eley and John Frost to exhibit with him. Richards stated that after finding aesthetic commonalities in the works, further conversations revealed biographical commonalities: each artist recently moved-to or returned-to Dallas. “We are all in our thirties, educators, seriously working on an art career and introducing ourselves to the Dallas art community,” says Richards. “As such, the city plays a role in our continued development.”

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“Shoot Your Mouth Off” Panel Discussion

“Shoot Your Mouth Off” panel discussion
hosted by Plush Gallery, Dallas on 5/21/2011
sponsored by CentralTrak, UTD
Moderator: Heyd Fontenot
Panelists: writer/curator Noah Simblist, artist Margaret Meehan, gallery owner Julie Webb, and collector Carl Niendorff

“Did anyone bring a gun?” asked Heyd Fontenot, moderator of the “Shoot Your Mouth Off” panel discussion last Saturday evening. That’s probably a smart question to ask when one is in a state that has legalized the right to carry concealed handguns onto school grounds. No one was packing. No one even talked about muzzle velocity or modified ejection ports. Instead, the discussion moved immediately into more complex topics as panelist Noah Simblist discussed how architecture frames violence and the assertion of power through the positioning of weaponry. Discussion followed about the beautification of weapons (such as “Hello Kitty” designer guns), the artist/writer William S. Burroughs’s gun fetish, and the practice of collecting of “tough art” as the audience and panelists jointly navigated topics of power, violence, and cultural norms that aren’t so normal.

The panel was the verbal companion piece to the “Gun & Knife Show” co-curated by Fontenot and Webb and held at CentralTrak. The art in the exhibit takes into account the fascination with guns and the ability of artists to re-contextualize the weaponry. Both the panel discussion and art show were an invitation to disrupt classic right/wrong notions about weapons, seeing them as both artwork and cultural icon in a region with a predominance of gun ownership.

Many audience members offered up stories, mentioning that they grew up with guns and art in the house. Which begs the question of how learned cultural behaviors replicate themselves, simultaneously furthering the appreciation of both weaponry and fine art in our society.

~Ryder Richards
Published by D Magazine’s FrontRow  (PDF)

Review: “Making a Killing” by Hugo Garcia Urrutia

“Making a Killing” by Hugo Garcia Urrutia
New Works Space, curator Charissa Terranova
McKinney Avenue Contemporary, Dallas_ on view through June 11, 2011

photo by MK Semmos

Towards the back of the project room at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, light projects through the bullet-perforated skin of Hugo Garcia Urrutia’s monolithic gold cube, spattering a constellation of illuminated patterns across nearby walls. Garcia Urrutia’s work, “Making a Killing,” we are told by the artist and curator Charissa Terranova in a statement, is a reaction to Mexico’s drug related violence. A metaphor for the country, its punctured skin referencing the death of innocents caught in a spray of brutality, light erupting from it’s confines. Across the room and lording over it all, there is an ornate, gold leafed empty throne. Seen in this way, the gold cube presents a portrait of a culture once closed and complicit in secrecy, no longer able to contain the atrocities committed.

Formally, Garcia Urrutia’s large aluminum piece references Judd’s architectural cubes, but subverts the minimalist notion through the incorporation of light and gold, materials which we can take as symbolic references to spirituality and money. Cordoning off the interior light-emitting space with golden barriers, the work isolates the audience, denying entry and assigning the role of outside observer. We may only view the aftermath of the violence, a staccato pattern recorded into the skin of the cube, which simultaneously creates a series of voyeuristic peepholes from which to view the internal workings.

Conceptually, the piece investigates complex issues related to segregation of the commons, architecture as site for violence, and the contradiction inherent in forcing secrecy. However, the piece is too pretty to develop a gritty activism or prolonged indignant anger. More importantly the use of light (reminiscent of several World Trade Center proposals) references those lost victims, obliging “Making a Killing” to function as a memorial, trading outrage for remembrance.

~Ryder Richards
edited by Peter Simek
Published in D Magazine’s FrontRow (PDF)

Construct: Curated by Ryder Richards


featuring Nathan Green, Jeff Mueller, Thor Johnson, Monica Vidal

March 10-27, 2011
Opening Reception:
Thursday, March 10, 4-7 PM


Richland College’s Brazos Gallery hosts “Construct,” featuring Nathan Green, Thor Johnson, Jeff Mueller and Monica Vidal. The exhibition contains undulating video patterning, meticulously crafted narratives, and spatial/perceptual inquiries. The vibrant and multi-faceted art works challenge and captivate viewers while avoiding prescribed methodologies. The exhibition will take place from March 10 through 27, 2011 with an opening reception on Thursday, March 10 from 4-7 PM.

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