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Four Art Legends to be Honored at Dallas Contemporary

From Press Release

Dallas Contemporary will honor four art legends on Thursday, September 17, 2009. Honors include Vernon Fisher, noted artist, teacher; Nash Flores, area patron who led the successful campaign to build the Booker T Washington High School for Performing and Visual Arts, and philanthropists Arlene and John Dayton: John, serves as board member of the grand Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Foundation, and Arlene, president of Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas. Given annually for 17 years, Dallas Contemporary Legends 2009 Awards recognize individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the visual arts in Texas.

This year’s Legends recognize the tremendous impact these patrons have made on Dallas’ future as a cultural mecca. “How proud we are to honor these important Legends in our art community,” says Honorary Board member and past honoree Nancy Hanley.

To honor Legends artist Vernon Fisher, Dallas Contemporary will feature his bold-faced, text-filled paintings from September 17 through December 19, 2009. Critically acclaimed and internationally heralded Fort Worth artist, re-creates his personal experiences of the world to reconcile the extraordinary with the mundane, thus challenging the viewer to search for deeper meanings, connection and metaphors.

As campaign chair that successfully built a new Booker T Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in the Dallas Arts District, Nash Flores serves on its Advisory Board, and as long-time trustee of Dallas Museum of Art. He pursues an avid interest in contemporary art and holds various leadership positions with Harvard University, the Harvard Club of Dallas, Southwestern Medical Foundation and the President’s Research Council of UT Southwestern Medical Center. In 1995, He co-founded Ceres Capital Partners, a private equity firm.

Philanthropists and contemporary art collectors, Arlene & John Dayton enrich Dallas culturally: Arlene, past chair and life trustee of the Dallas Theater Center and Dallas Opera; and current president of Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, art haven to the international set. John, on the boards of Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Foundation; The Dallas Opera; Dallas Museum of Art; Advisory Board of the Booker T Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. He is also the current Director of the Hoblitzelle Foundation; the couple, as 2008 Dallas Historical Society awardees.

The Legends event raises $75,000 for exhibitions and education programs that benefit 35,000 visitors, which includes 8,000 underserved students.

Major sponsors for Contemporary Legends 2009 include Ewing Automotive, Baker Botts, LLP, POSH Couture Rentals, media sponsor Modern Luxury Dallas, Glazer’s Distributors, Freesia and Stella Artois. The annual affair takes place amidst the bold paintings of Vernon Fisher, a video room showing vignettes of the awardees by producer Quin Mathews and chef-inspired hors-d’oeuvres with wine and specialty drinks. From 6:30 to 9 pm, the event tickets are $125 members/$150 non-members and $600 for an entourage of 6. Special Friends of Legends are $2,000 for an entourage of 8 guests and Friends of Legends are $1,000 for a group of 4.

Dallas Contemporary, located in the Wilson Historic District one mile east of downtown Dallas, is always free and open to the public Tuesday ~ Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information, call 214-821-2522 or email

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Dallas Art News is art news, reviews, calendars, museums and galleries for Dallas, Fort Worth and around Texas.

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