Tom Ford is the man

August has ended which means summer is almost behind us here in Dallas – only a few more 100+ degree days. It also means that the September issues of fashion magazines are prominent on newsstands. Vogue September 2103 is 902 pages and Harper’s Bazaar weighs in at exactly 600 pages with SJP (Sarah Jessica Parker) gracing the front page.

In Dallas, the September issue of FD luxe, our primo go-to fashion and lifestyle magazine published by The Dallas Morning News, spotlights film maker and designer Tom Ford (in sunglasses, of course) on its cover.


photo: The Dallas Morning News | FD luxe magazine cover (September issue)

photo: The Dallas Morning News | FD luxe magazine cover (September issue)

The interview between Mr. Ford and Rob Brinkley, FD luxe’s Editor-in-chief, reveals the influence of the designer’s roots and early boyhood growing up in Austin, Texas.

Finding Tom Ford (2)

I’m honored because Rob chose one of the paintings from my “Emergent Series” to feature in the September issue of FD luxe. Why? Because it’s a tribute to Tom Ford who I greatly admire for his multi-dimensional creativity. He can do film, architecture and design. The title of my piece is “Emergent Series: Finding Tom Ford” (see image above). What I so appreciate is the way Rob captured the essence of my work through his talents as an editor and writer. Here is the article, titled “Tom Ford, times two: A Dallas artist immortalizes the fashion designer in her latest work, twice,” reprinted with permission of The Dallas Morning News:

FD blurb

Thank you Rob.

To autumn leaves changing color and fashion, Meg

Paintings – An Important Part of Designing an Interior

From earliest memory, I’ve been intrigued with set designs – in movies, TV shows, magazine spreads, the theater. As a kid, I lived for Saturday afternoon reruns of the classics and their stage sets: Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire tapping across polished marble floors, floating by perfectly placed art deco furniture and wall scones. Katherine Hepburn basking in the elegance of a Main Line home in the Philadelphia Story.

Fast forward to adulthood, I can lose time and sink deeply into the staged atmospheres of Woody Allen’s films (note: I can’t wait until Blue Jasmine opens in Dallas next Friday, August 9th), Nancy Myers’ directorial eye (I own the DVD Something’s Gotta Give because I want to live in that beach house) and any Merchant Ivory production.

So, it is no surprise that I’ve been intrigued with the idea of being part of a photo shoot. Through a recent body of paintings which explore using drywall plaster, handwritten text, drawn images and black-out color blocks, I recently was given this chance.

The very talented Dallas-based interior designer Joshua Rice, owner of Joshua Rice Design, Inc., called to look at my recent work and selected two paintings for a magazine shoot. It was fun and an honor to be part of his behind-the-scene team. Here is the finished dining room:

Interior: Joshua Rice Design, Inc. | Mid-century modern private residence  Photo: Robert Yu | 2013

Interior: Joshua Rice Design, Inc. | Mid-century modern private residence
Photo: Robert Yu | 2013

The larger, black-and-white paintings in the middle, which are mine, were inspired by a March trip to New Orleans and an artist who lives there. She uses drywall plaster troweled and layered over pages torn from old magazines, poster-sized cartoon figures, her daughter’s grade school drawings or other discarded images. Next with an electric sander, she grinds the dried surface until ghost images appear. My work started with this technique (it’s quite messy), and then I added a narrative story by hand-drawing images and writing text messages. The black-out color blocks may have been inspired by all the NSA stuff in the press these days, but I think this convention was borrowed from works by artist, Mark Bradford, who had a museum retrospective at the DMA in 2011. I love his work. Mark’s artist talk and larger-than-life, joyous personality got me thinking about recycling old paper, building layers of colored stripes, and then partially exposing hints of the under images by using an electric sander.

The painting, “Be Still. Sit. Create.,” seen below tells the story of Steven Sondheim’s creative process as he wrote lyrics to Act I: Gang Initiation Scene in the musical, Westside Story. The resulting song is still one of my favorites, “When You’re a Jet, You’re a Jet All the Way.”

Title: “Be Still. Sit. Create.” Plaster, acrylic, graphite, ink and newsprint on canvas | 18” x 24” Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick | 2013

Title: “Be Still. Sit. Create.”
Plaster, acrylic, graphite, ink and newsprint on canvas | 18” x 24”
Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick | 2013

A detail from the second painting “Vision Quest” is below – it’s a line drawing of hands holding the promises of a future. The text used in the painting came from an old ad:

  • “When your vision is your reputation, it‘s what gets your phone ringing.”
  • “Flawless execution is what keeps your phone ringing.”
  • “When your vision is your signature.”
Title: “Vision Quest” Plaster, acrylic, graphite, ink and newsprint on canvas.  Wax finish 18” x 24” Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick | 2013

Title: “Vision Quest”
Plaster, acrylic, graphite, ink and newsprint on canvas
Wax finish
18” x 24”
Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick | 2013

On view at the MAC (McKinney Avenue Contemporary on 3120 McKinney Avenue) in the members’ show is another painting (see image below) from this exploration. Look for “Searching for Big Tex” which uses red to build the color blocks. The inspiration for this painting’s story narrative and text was the accidental burning of our beloved Big Tex at last year’s Texas State Fair.

Painting detail from “Emergent Series: Searching for Big Tex”” Plaster, acrylic, graphite, ink on canvas 18” x 24” Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick | 2013

Painting detail from “Emergent Series: Searching for Big Tex”
Plaster, acrylic, graphite, ink on canvas
18” x 24”
Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick | 2013

On the Dallas cultural front, I heard Gabriel Ritter, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, give a gallery talk about “DallasSITES: Available Space,” the current show in the DMA’s Barrel Vault and adjacent gallery spaces. This is an historic event and a welcomed one, at that: 1979 – that’s 34 years ago – was the last time the DMA had a major exhibition dedicated to local artists! “DallasSITES” is a fun, interactive and informative representation of the current North Texas art scene and talent.

RBG banner DMA logo

Until August 18th, when this show closes, each week you can watch special videos featuring different Texas artists who focus on a different decade in the Dallas art scene. Don’t miss this exhibition – support one of our major art institutions’ efforts to showcase Dallas-Fort Worth talent.

To staying cool throughout August in hot Dallas, and experiencing more art.



“Communities Connecting” Painting | Mayor Mike Rawlings

Title: “Communities Connecting” Acrylic on canvas | 49” x 45” Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick | 2013

Title: “Communities Connecting”
Acrylic on canvas | 49” x 45”
Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick | 2013

The month of April just ended and began with a bold proclamation from our Mayor, Mike Rawlings. He declared the week of April 7 – 14 as “Dallas Arts Week.” Mayor Rawlings moderated a panel discussion with leaders in the visual, film and performing arts about ways in which the city can attract and keep aspiring and established artists + creative thinkers. The dialogue fittingly took place in the City Performance Hall, located in the Dallas Arts District which is the largest contiguous arts district on the country, with a campus of 68 acres.

Also of cultural significance this month was a program called “Architecture 360.” Every day for 30 days, the Dallas Center for Architecture (DCFA) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) organized or hosted 30 events about the built-environment.  April has been a wonderful celebration of great architecture and design in Dallas. Tonight closed “Architecture 360” and the month with a Grand Finale celebration on our new deck park, Klyde Warren Park, which has become our town green and meeting place.

“Communities Connecting,” a painting I recently finished, reflects the multiple intersections that interesting communities like Dallas foster over time to be culturally vibrant and attractive to creative thinkers and doers.

Detail of textures in painting, “Communities Connecting”

Detail of textures in painting, “Communities Connecting”

To the month of May and making more neural networks between people, ideas and place….Meg

Another Painting Commission – The Beatles this time

A young Dallas couple had seen a painting in my Emergent Series and wanted to commission a piece for a certain space in their home. We met to discuss the details and overall theme of images they wanted hand-drawn into the abstraction.  I hadn’t expected them to say, “We want The Beatles. We want a retrospective of The Beatles starting from when Pete Best was the original drummer to when the group disbanded” – an amazing 18 Grammys and 43 Rolling Stone covers garnered in their time together.

I was, and still am, a big Beatles fan starting with their performance on the Ed Sullivan show. Doing research for this piece was going to be a blast….I was clapping my hands with joy.

Emergent Series: “Being The Beatles”Acrylic on canvas | 60” x 84”Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick | 2013(photo: Meg Fitzpatrick)

Emergent Series: “Being The Beatles”
Acrylic on canvas | 60” x 84”
Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick | 2013
(photo: Meg Fitzpatrick)

I remember back to a Sunday night in February 1964. My family gathered with dinner trays and grilled cheese, tomato and bacon sandwiches in front of our TV – this was our weekly routine to wind down and get everybody (six of us) ready for school and work on Monday. Ed Sullivan came on and said, “Ladies and Gentlemen – Theeeeee Beatles.” Seventy-five million people viewed the charismatic mop-haired imports from Liverpool. Beatlemania officially hit the nation.

Playing the Emergent Series game, a viewer (if they stare long enough) finds hand-drawn images throughout. There’s even text on the side of the canvas which was suggested by my client and a new touch for me. Fresh ideas come from good collaborations, conversations and clients. Below is the painting in my studio with “Let It Be:”

In my studio, side detail from Emergent Series: “Being The Beatles”(photo: Meg Fitzpatrick)

In my studio, side detail from Emergent Series: “Being The Beatles”
(photo: Meg Fitzpatrick)

Below is a detail with George Harrison. I found, as I sketched all of them, that John’s and George’s faces and features morphed and changed the most over time.


And, here’s Sir Paul:

The Beatles released 205 songs through Capitol and Apple.Factoid:  John wrote 70 songs, Paul 52 and George 22. John and Paul co-wrote 52 songs.

The Beatles released 205 songs through Capitol and Apple.
Factoid: John wrote 70 songs, Paul 52 and George 22. John and Paul co-wrote 52 songs.

Here’s the lovely North Dallas couple with their commission soon after it was hung. They were very happy which makes me very happy.


The Emergent Series continues next with a “shout-out” to great American architects. I’ve been polling my friends about their favorite American architects. Here’s the list so far:Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Kahn, Louis Sullivan, Frank Gehry, Philip Johnson, H.H. Richardson, I.M. Pei.

I’m curious, who are the American architects you most admire? Let me know and they might be drawn into my next painting.

Until next month….


“Searching for Oscar” Painting

It’s been a while since I last wrote on my blog site and sent my holiday greetings to everyone. This year I’ll post more spontaneously, most likely once a month – still about art and the creative spirit.

Today’s post is timely since I watched the Academy Awards last weekend. Each year I try to see every movie eligible for an award, and look forward to watching the Oscars on TV with good friends (who cast a ballot predicting the winners) and eating a delicious meal together. Just call us film and food fanatics.

As a tribute to the many films that entertained me in 2012 and Sunday’s 85th Academy Awards, I recently completed a painting called, “Searching for Oscar.It is part of a body of work I named the Emergent Series. In one of my blogs, I described this creative process:

  • From many layers of under painting (up to 25) and canvas-length drips, spaces gradually start to emerge – at least to my eye. They’re like gaps in a colorful abstract universe that are asking to be filled. In these spaces, I draw faces and bodies. In this particular case, it’s all about images of the actors and directors from the nominated films.

Here’s the painting:

Emergent Series: “Searching for Oscar” Acrylic on canvas | 48” x 48” Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick | 2012 (photo: Meg Fitzpatrick)

Emergent Series: “Searching for Oscar”
Acrylic on canvas | 48” x 48”
Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick | 2012
(photo: Meg Fitzpatrick)

In “Searching for Oscar,” anyone can play the Emergent Series game. Try to locate:

  • Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
  • Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
  • Isabelle Allen who plays Cosette as a young girl, Les Miserables
  • Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
  • Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
  • Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook (my fave JenLa won for best actress)
  • Christopher Waltz, Django Unchained
  • Ben Affleck, Argo (so glad he won for Best Picture – a travesty Affleck wasn’t nominated for Best Director)
  • Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
  • Denzel Washington, Flight
  • Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
  • Adele, Skyfall
  • ….and finally, Golden Boy Oscar (of course)

Here’s the drawing of Steve Spielberg close-up:

detail from Emergent Series: “Searching for Oscar” (photo: Meg Fitzpatrick)

…and, another detail. This one of Jessica Chastain from Zero Dark Thirty:


detail from Emergent Series: “Searching for Oscar”
(photo: Meg Fitzpatrick)

Many thanks to the lovely North Dallas family who purchased this painting for their living room – perfect timing to watch the Oscars and enjoy “Searching for Oscar” which now hangs over their fireplace mantel.

Until next time…. Meg

“Stop the Glare” Debate Still Continues

Unfortunately, the mediated talks between the Museum Tower and Nasher Sculpture Center did not conclude with a mutually agreed upon way to fix the tower’s highly reflective glass and resulting glare into the Center’s galleries and sculpture garden.

Museum Tower glare seen from inside Nasher garden(photo: Brandon Thibodeaux | The New York Times)

Museum Tower glare seen from inside Nasher garden
(photo: Brandon Thibodeaux | The New York Times)

As a Dallas resident, I’m concerned the debate will linger interminably, damaging both sides and our city’s reputation. Since the gag order lifted, the debate has been taken to the public arena – both locally and in the national press. From this, we know the Museum Tower rejected adding retractable louvers to their building. We also know that the Nasher can’t redesign the barrel-vaulted roof because this step doesn’t address the garden and will reduce the interior ambient light to an unacceptably dim level for viewing the art.

Dallas sun is tricky and requires special attention and materials.  Architect Renzo Piano and his team studied the Nasher site and sun’s path for a year before designing the current unique roof which diffuses the naturally harsh sunlight into a uniform, soft natural light and protects the art. Now, glare from Museum Tower’s reflective mirror-like surface causes dappled, polka-dot light in the afternoons, as seen in the photo below:

Artist: Rodin | “Age of Bronze”photo: Brandon Thibodeaux | The New York Times

Artist: Rodin | “Age of Bronze”
(photo: Brandon Thibodeaux | The New York Times)

It behooves the developer and owner, the Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund with $200 million invested to-date, to propose alternative solutions to their building that the Board of Trustees and the Nasher find acceptable. If the Museum Tower’s solution is do nothing except delay that would be very good to know.

As we wait for the next round, I have these thoughts:

  • The Museum Tower, whose name derives from its proximity to the Nasher’s world-class collection of modern and contemporary sculpture, will have trouble credibly promoting itself as a champion of the arts.
  • The stance taken by the Tower’s owner – which is basically “We don’t have to do anything to change our building” – continues to make it difficult for potential buyers to seriously consider purchasing a condominium.
  • A positive return on the Pension Fund’s investment looks less and less likely. Maybe they have already written-off succeeding with this property and don’t want to sink any extra funds.

A few weeks ago, the Director of the Nasher Sculpture Center, Jeremy Strick, and a group of Nasher supporters began public dialogue and outreach campaigns to ask people, like me and others like you, to write or talk with City Council representatives and Trustees on the Dallas Fire and Police Pension Fund expressing our point of view. Museum Tower should fix their building design to stop the glare emitted by the glass materials selected to cover the yet-to-be-completed residences.

Please click on the link in Jeremy’s “Call to Action” letter below to easily find your City Council person to contact. Post your support in a sentence or two and the “Call to Action” link on your Facebook page and other social media and talk with your friends about Museum Tower fixing their mirrored glass façade.

Dear Friends,

“Yesterday, 11 prominent Dallas civic leaders lent their voices to an Op Ed published in The Dallas Morning News. (Read full letter here) These leaders expressed pressing concern about the damage Museum Tower continues to inflict upon the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Dallas Arts District and the reputation of the city itself. They called upon the leadership of Museum Tower to fix their building by adopting the louver solution without further delay. This practical 100% solution would eliminate dangerous reflected light at its source, protecting the Nasher’s interior and exterior galleries.

Over the past 14 months, as this issue became known and stories about the damage Museum Tower is doing to its neighbors have appeared locally and nationally, many of you have asked us what you can do to encourage a positive resolution. If you live in the city of Dallas, I would ask you to make your Dallas city council representative aware of your opinion, whether by letter, email, or telephone. (Find your representative here) If you live outside of the city and care about Dallas’ cultural institutions, voicing your support and opinion to our elected officials is also welcome. The leadership of Museum Tower needs to recognize their responsibility to our community, and your council representatives can play an important role in resolving this matter .

I’d like to reaffirm that we at the Nasher are advocates for the development of the Arts District and support the goal of Museum Tower to add residencies to this neighborhood. Ray Nasher has given our community an incredible gift by building an unparalleled museum in the heart of the Dallas Arts District and making his extraordinary collection accessible to all. The Nasher is an invaluable educational, cultural and economic resource for the people of Dallas and visitors from around the world and we need your support and your voices to ensure its future contributions to the region.”

With thanks, as ever, for your interest and support,




With this time of year full of travels, parties and activities, I’m taking a hiatus from blogging for the foreseeable future. I truly know it is the end of the year, because last week a Mother and Papa squirrel moved into my backyard “Wild Birds Unlimited” owl home to start breeding and a family. Happens every year like clockwork.

(photo: Meg Fitzpatrick)

(photo: Meg Fitzpatrick)

Have a wonderful holiday season and to a happy 2013.


Collage begets Painting

Taking the “Experimenting with Collage” class at MoMA reminds me of another “drawing with scissors” experience. This one happened at the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. The collage (currently hidden in a stack of stored art or long gone) was a study of my impression of the Gulf of Mexico. Only ten minutes from my home, I went most days at sunset and walked the white quartz sand beaches on one of the Keys. The waves had slow, gentle roll, unlike the Atlantic Ocean waves which had been my childhood point of reference. The waters were an exquisite aqua blue – so Caribbean. At the time, I was also immersed in the Miami-Cuban culture of the gallery owner who repped my art work. I never tired of trips to Miami because I love the local colors, a palette so vivid and intense and upbeat.

Below is a large painting inspired by my collage study. Curiously, this painting titled “Waves: Gulf of Mexico” hangs in a home overlooking the Hudson River.

“Waves: Gulf of Mexico” (2005)
Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick
Acrylic, charcoal, gesso on canvas | 60” x 48”

Here are close-ups of the charcoal line drawing, broken charcoal nibs (happy accidents always welcome) and acrylic paint.



Enjoy your week and have a Happy Thanksgiving.


Collage Paintings with MoMA

Back in 2010, I enrolled in a MoMA experiment which was interested in how well a studio art class could be taught online. The New York museum timed the painting curriculum and exercises with the launch of a major Abstract Expressionist retrospective.  The experience for all involved was successful. Still offered, I highly recommend “Materials and Techniques of Postwar Abstract Painting” for folks wanting to paint and learn more about the AbEx movement.

This October, I enrolled in another online MoMA class, “Experimenting with Collage.” I’d like to share one class assignment.

We were given instructions about “drawing with scissors,” which meant we were to follow a method Matisse used as he began to lose eyesight in his later years. He’d select brightly colored papers, cut lines and shapes, and then tell his studio assistant where to place each piece on a supportive surface.

My collage “paintings” from cut papers were inspired by…..

Bocce ball parties

Halloween, my favorite holiday

Fall season, leaves piled in my front yard

One summer season when my dressing style included a dainty, rhinestone flower toe ring

I’ll be back in two weeks, on November 18th, with a new post. Enjoy your week.


Sunday in the Park

This weekend was the grand opening of Klyde Warren Park. A visionary concept for forty years and under construction for the past three years, this 5.2 acre engineering feat spans over Woodall Rodgers Freeway and creates a walk-friendly green link between the Dallas Arts District and Uptown neighborhoods.

I went today – participated in events, ate lots of food, and watched a mass of people enjoy the weather and performances by talented students from Booker T. Washington Arts Magnet School.

The Dallas Center for Architecture hosted a game table upon which children collectively built a Dr. Seuss-worth city. Each started with a 4” x 6” plot of land, materials and their imagination. Here’s some of their work.

Others chose to learn knitting from the Shabby Sheep (2112 Boll Street) staff.

Master knitters covered tree trunks with their intricate handiwork.

Lots of parents strolled around with their kids.

Dogs and owners were in no rush.

This was the start of free yoga and tai chi classes in the park.

Thinking of Stephen Sondheim’s Sundays in the Park with George, there probably were many Georges present today. Georges Seurat would have been proud of the single-minded focus of many Dallasites who made this weekend’s opening a reality.

If you are interested in how Klyde Warren Park was championed, designed and built, visit an excellent exhibition on this subject at the Dallas Center for Architecture – runs through November 9th. The building is located on 1909 Woodall Rodgers, across from the northern edge of the park. Look for a blue-and-white lettered sign, “The Five Star Institute,” towards the top.


Hope to see you in the park. It’s fun to imagine you’re walking above a busy, noisy freeway completely oblivious to it being there, if you didn’t know otherwise.

Enjoy your week,


The Dallas Arts Community – It’s Pretty Fantastic

Looking back on last week, it reminds me once again that Dallas has matured into an interesting city with both breadth and depth in the arts – enriched by  a wonderful community of museums, galleries, philanthropists, developers, educators, artists and overlapping circles of networkers all of whom are open to sharing their talents. Here’s a snapshot….


Monday night was a déjà-vu event for two of my friends who are artists and aficionados of well-done independent or documentary films about artists.  Anita Horton recently wrote her weekly blog about the film gatherings she and others organized in the late 1990’s. She really missed these viewings. Coincidentally, another friend Elle Shuster, a jewelry designer and photographer, decided to organize a film group on Monday night. She wanted to see Spike Jonze’s The Fall again, and sent a viewing invitation which I extended (with permission) to Anita. More friends were made – the creative circle expands.



I’ve had this particular Tuesday Evenings at the Modern on my calendar for months. In case you can’t tell from my previous blogs, I am a big Lucien Freud fan and have been to the Modern many times to see his portraits. Well, last Tuesday several friends and I carpooled over to Fort Worth to hear Martin Gayford, the British critic, writer, curator and subject of painting, “The Man in a Blue Scarf” (see image above).

Gayford traveled 60 miles from his home to Freud’s studio one to three times a week for six months. Freud, being attuned to slight variations in color and a stickler for consistency, required that the same pink shirt, blue scarf and other clothing be worn for each sitting. Gayford owned two blue scarves which looked the same to his eyes; but on arriving at the studio one night, Freud knew the blue was off, and asked if Gayford had worn the wrong scarf. He had.

I whole-heartedly recommend the next talk at the Tuesday Evenings at the Modern where the artist Bruce Nauman, a pioneer in many multi-media disciplines, will speak on November 13th at 7:00 PM. It’s free – get your ticket when the front desk opens at 5 PM.

And, notice the large (you can’t miss it) sculpture at the main entrance. The artist is Brooklyn-based KAWS and the piece is called “Companion (Passing Through).”


The Dallas Center for Architecture (DCFA), located on 1909 Woodall Rodgers near the Northwest corner of the soon-to-be opened Klyde Warren Park, hosted another Wednesday Film Series. Women in the Dirt: Landscape Architects Shaping our World won Best Feature Documentary in the 2011 Columbia Gorge International Film Festival. The paths of seven professional women, who are the grand dames in the field of landscape architecture and trendsetters in California, were traced. After the movie, Greg Brown, DCFA’s energetic Program Director, facilitated an engaging discussion.



One of my favorite special interest groups is the Avant-Garde Society (AGS) at the Nasher Sculpture Center. The AGS mission is to provide opportunities to learn more about modern and contemporary sculpture and architecture in a welcoming and informal environment. Thursday was the second year for Art Y’All, the annual members’ party, which has – as the name implies – a Texas two-step, fun vibe. Once again, photographer Steve Wrubel was the entertaining auctioneer, selling three sculptures to raise funds for the AGS and innovative Sightings exhibitions. Curator Jed Morse asked three well-known, local artist couples to collaborate and make a sculpture to be auctioned. Couples from left to right in the image above: A big thank you to Tom Orr and Frances Bagley, Benito Huerta and Janet Chaffee and Terri Thornton and Cam Schoepp for their three pieces of art that warranted the evening’s competitive bidding.

For anyone who wants to join this group, the next event is December 5th at The Mason Bar for the annual Holiday Happy Hour. January 12th is an exclusive tour of the Art Warehouse owned by art collectors Rachofsky and Faulconers. And, on March 2nd, we’ll take a day trip to see collections and studios in the Big Easy City, New Orleans. Click here for membership information.


I’m a DCFA docent who’s trained in the history and architecture of the Dallas Arts District. On Saturday, I gave a special tour to three visitors from Denver who were a delight and very knowledgeable which is not surprising given the guests were Curtis Fentress, founder of Fentress Architects which won the AIA’s prestigious Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture, the CEO Agatha Kessler and CFO Colin Lewis who had previously worked for the City of Denver and on the growth of their Arts District. Mr. Fentress knew the Wyly Theater well because he was a member on the AIA Jury that conferred the 2011 Institute Honor Awards for Architecture on this innovative theater.

The four of us walked back to the Nasher where they continued with an audio tour; and I had lunch before a lecture in the Nasher’s 360 Speakers Series.

Dr. Catherine Croft, Adjunct Assistant Curator at the Nasher, presented the themes in her recently released book, An Audience of Artists: Dada, Neo-Dada, and the Emergence of Abstract Expressionism. She posed questions: Was Dada a movement or an attitude? Can an artist looking at and responding to another artist’s work create original art?

After Catherine’s presentation, I talked with Karen Weiner, gallery owner of The Reading Room, who had been a panelist at The MAC on Thursday night. Complementary themes were discussed by her panel titled, “The Anxiety of Influence,” a term coined by literary critic Harold Bloom. The panel explored Bloom’s tenet of creativity: Since we are all influenced by something, this phenomena can cause self doubt in a poet (or artist) about the possibility of making any truly original works of art.

“The Anxiety of Influence” was part of “Spin Off: A Series of Panel Discussions” sponsored City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs. The MAC (McKinney Avenue Contemporary) | 3120 McKinney Avenue

The last stop before heading home on Saturday afternoon was with Connie Chantilis, mosaic artist and owner of Two Sisters Catering, and her studio which was open to the public as part of the annual White Rock Lake Studio Tour. Her Little Forest Hills’ studio complex sits behind her custom-designed, eco-friendly contemporary home.

Enjoy your week…I’ll be back in two weeks on October 28th.