As the thermometer edged past 100 degrees on Saturday afternoon, the West Dallas galleries welcomed steady streams of visitors for Design District Gallery Day. Presented by Madison Partners and organized by Public Trust owner Brian Gibb, twelve galleries opened their doors from noon to nine in an effort to draw people in during the typically quieter summer months.
“I’m enjoying seeing people that I don’t normally see,” said Danette Dufilho of Conduit Gallery on High Line. Attendance was helped by giveaways, free beer courtesy of Brooklyn Brewery, and several of the city’s favorite food trucks including Crazy Fish, Nammi Truck, and Bomb Fried Pies. The first 25 patrons to each gallery walked away with smartly designed t-shirts created by the Lunch Buddies.
Red Arrow Contemporary owner, Eddie Stafford, noted that his gallery experienced good turnout in spite of the heat. Stafford opened his space just four months ago; an exhibition of San Antonio based artists, Ken Little, Gary Sweeney, and Ricky Armendariz, closed Saturday. The opening reception for their next exhibit, Side Show, is August 4th, and will feature the work of Clay McClure, George Zupp, and Bill Amundson—three artists whose senses of humor are reflected by their work.
Saturday was also the last opportunity to see British artist Adam McEwen’s varying media works at the Goss-Michael Foundation. The Foundation has announced that it will be presenting a Linder exhibition this October, the photomontage artist known for her post-punk composites from the 70s and 80s that were adopted by bands like the Buzzcocks.
Circuit 12 Contemporary director Dustin Orlando was pleased to be able to participate in Saturday’s event. A former Miami-based gallery owner, Orlando’s first exhibition at Circuit 12, Dream Continuum, was rated by Complex Magazine as one of the top 25 art shows nationally thus far in 2012. Powered no doubt by artists such as Patrick Martinez, it will be interesting to see what else Orlando’s keen eye will bring to the Dallas art scene.
Matthew and Adu, visitors to Cohn Drennan Contemporary, said they hoped to see more events like these in the future for the “positive effect on the community” that they bring to the city. Indeed, even in the sweltering Texas sun, Saturday saw numerous art enthusiasts visit this group of aesthetically aligned galleries whose well-executed programming has helped Dallas earn its place as a thriving contemporary art market.