I learned one thing on the Oak Cliff Visual Speed Bump Tour this weekend and that’s to start early and pace yourself. Fifteen artists invited us into their studios to see how they create art and each host on the tour could not have been nicer. Everyone was willing to talk about the art and even give demonstrations of the creative process. So, out of fifteen locations I only made it to five.
The first stop was the home of Ray-Mel Cornelius. Ray’s work is vibrantly colored. You may have see his rooster on 7th street which he painted as part of the 7th street mural project a couple of years ago. I was drawn to a particular series he’s done where a found object is in the frame along with a painting of the location where the object was found. Ray has also painted a series of nudes which were beautiful to me because the women looked real, not enhanced and Photoshopped like so many women appear today.
Our next stop took us to West Dallas which surprised me a little since it was a tour of Oak Cliff artists. El Studio is the workplace for two extremely lovely women, Lilly Smith-Kirkley and Kim Cadmus Owens. Lilly runs Lilco Press and Kim is a painter.
Kim later explained to me that they both live in oak Cliff and that’s why they were included in the speed bump tour. Kim’s work is large and colorful. She captures architecture of a bygone era that feels fun and like a reminiscence.
Lilly uses antique presses and type creating a real handmade vintage feel to her prints. She was also kind enough to demonstrate the presses for us.
We entered Gretchen Goetz’s home and I was taken by the whimsical style of her art. I told her that it felt like children’s illustrations, very bright and charming.
She showed me a book she’s working on which has an adult theme, but is illustrated with her vibrant pictures. She mentioned that Edward Gorey is an influence for her and you can see it in the clean lines she uses.
Chuck and George
If the Addams family had cousins, they would be Chuck and George.
C & G is the collaborative team of Brian Keith Jones and Brian Scott. Part horror show fun house and part adult theme park, you want to blush…or giggle when looking at their paintings. What I love about the art is the playful, yet grotesque aspect of it. Don’t invite your grand mother into this studio.
Black is a series of large sculptural pieces using different geometric patterns consolidated by the color scheme. I was interested in seeing one of the gallery’s co-owners work. Art Garcia was kind enough to give us a tour of his design space.
Art feels very fortunate to be at a place in his career where he can concentrate on doing work that pleases him rather than just routine jobs in design. If you’ve seen the red wheel in the Bishop Arts plaza, that’s Art’s work. His sculptures are clean metallic pieces that will stand the test of time.
Bryan Gooding is a storyteller. Even though few words are used, each art piece he creates speaks volumes. I would describe them as shadowboxes, but they are much more complex than than. Bryan layers pictures and objects creating an icon celebrating the message. He also does an homage to tramp art by building cigar box ukeleles. His studio is full of curiosities waiting to find their way onto the stage.
I couldn’t find an online presence for Bryan, no website or Facebook page. So, you should watch for anywhere he’s showing because it will be a real treat to see his work in person.
When you go next year, bring cash – the art is for sale. If you can’t afford an original piece of art, several artists had smalls for sale like postcards. I regret missing so many of the studios, but there is always next year.
Click any of the thumbnail images to see a larger version. Photos by Rosie Lindsey.