Friday, September 30, 2011

The Seven Project

About a month ago I was approached to be part of The Seven Project, a collaborative art project that is the brainchild of Peruvian-born, Denton-based Visual Artist and Creative Director, Christian Millet.  This project is a revolutionary concept, and a new way for Artists to work together.  As solitary Artists we are often left to our own devices to toil away in the studio, struggling to explore and develop concepts on our own, all the while keeping our process under wraps. This project turns that upside down and introduces a completely new way to work together.

Here's the bare bones of it:

The Seven Project is a collaboration between 7 artists from different styles and backgrounds. The idea is to create 7 fine art pieces between 7 artists in 7 days each. 
Each of the 7 pieces will be a timed, rotational collaboratiosn between all artists. Considering that the 7 artists live in various cities throughout North Texas, this is a challenge in and of itself.

To make this even more challenging to the artists (and to the project itself), each artist has been assigned a different rotational process point for each piece created.

Once the compilation of all 7 pieces has been completed, we will mount an exhibition (to be announced) to benefit a local charity.


The most meaningful part of this project is that the fruits of our labor, these seven collaborative projects, are going to be auctioned off with proceeds benefitting  Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School. This DISD school is the first public all-girls' public school in Texas whose mission is to provide young ladies in grades 6-12 with a global education preparing them to be empowered leaders of tomorrow.

It has been an amazing journey thus far to work with such an esteemed group of Artists who are dedicated to producing quality work.  That's not to say this project has been easy: pieces have been tricky to transport, transportation itself all over North Texas has been a beast, artists have dropped off the radar as life gets in the way, and perhaps the biggest challenge of all has been maintaining a level of sophistication and depth in each piece.

The chemistry between our group is amazing, especially considering that many of us had never met before.  We are visionaries, caretakers, organizers, cheerleaders, creative directors, media mavens, workhorses...and together our collective voice offers a platform far greater than any of us could reach alone.
It has been exhilarating to work with such an esteemed group of Artists producing quality work and I am honored and proud to be a part of this team. 

We are unveiling the Project in Highland Park on November 5. Find us on Facebook. Follow our progress and support an original project undertaken for a good cause, the empowerment of young women. Stay tuned for details. It's going to be big...

Monday, September 26, 2011

DADA Fall Gallery Walk

The Dallas Art Dealers Association is an affiliation of established, independent gallery owners and not-for-profit art organizations in the metroplex. Through carefully chosen exhibitions, DADA members make an important contribution to the community.

Featuring 40 of DADA’s leading member galleries, museums, and nonprofit art spaces, Fall Gallery Walk was Saturday. Art lovers of every description socialized and toured a full spectrum of galleries and special exhibitions — all in one day. Here are some highlights:

 The photos above are from Craighead Green Gallery . I was so taken by Heather Gorhum's ethereal, hauntingly beautiful work. Here is a part of her Artist Statement that really resonated with me:

" In my work I try to take feelings and give them form, create a world that feels comfortable and real to me. My work revolves around the tangible interpretation of the everyday. A dreamy window into our own experiences and a compulsion to make those settled things, we all experience, strange. I use, interchangeably, human and animal imagery to symbolize both the best and worst parts of our human condition and our connection to our environment."

 A few shots of me and Mr. D at Samuel Lynne Gallery. The bold works of Phil Romano behind us always stop traffic. I was so glad to meet Co-Owner JD Miller, Janice and Courtney from the Gallery's wonderful team.  In the gallery's state-of-the-art 30-seat HD theater, they had a captivating film going about Co-Owner JD Miller's live painting. Miller is a contemporary Artist who combines painterly chromatic expression with a sculptor's physical application of paint to create multi-dimensional images on canvas. It was amazing to see him in his element.

 Artist David Hinske's piece, above, entitled BE, was a standout at Mary Tomas Studio Gallery.

Above is Artist Suguru Hiraide, whose show "Steel: Fun with Guns and Pachinko Machines" was a hit at Cohn Drennan Contemporary. Cathy Drennan was kind enough to introduce us to this fascinating man. We talked to Hiraide about his amazing use of metal sculpting and craftsmanship as a medium to address evolving yet ever-present concerns and societal issues of identity.  It was a pleasure to pick his brain--his rare ability to express himself through the use of science and art, or science AS art, was fascinating.
Until Next Time!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Third Child

The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to 
sit. ~Nelson Henderson

"The third child."
That phrase is used in our society as a euphemism for parental oversight, implying by the time you are on #3, that one practically is raising himself, with a little help from the older siblings.  Well, in our case it's sort of true. But as my husband and I have relaxed a bit with each of our children, we have noticed that, in turn, they have relaxed as well. 

And Mack is certainly the most relaxed of all. He is a little frat boy trapped in an 18 month-old's body...complete with the big gut, up-for-anything attitude and floppy curls.  So stinkin' cute, you can even forgive him for this little biting phase he's in right now.

My pregnancy with him changed our lives. After our previous "normal/boring" pregnancies with the other two (which is exactly what you pray for), we received devastating news at 20 weeks along with Mack about a rare birth defect in our unborn son's lung. At that point even his survival was uncertain. Weekly visits to the perinatologist and pediatric cardiologist for sonograms filled me with dread. His outcome, his survival, was in question each week. But as agonizing as it was, I am forever grateful for the experience of carrying this child and what it taught me.

I went to the canvas to process my feelings of anxiety, fear and maternal longing. I created profusely because I didn't know any other way to process what was happening to my baby. Today, by God's grace he is 100% healthy and full of life, our very own little Miracle Mack. 

But if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have returned to my art.  Those paintings I created with him became the jumping off point for me to start showing and selling my work again. In utero, he inspired me to return home to the canvas, and create, and he continues to inspire me each day. He teaches me to be present, to appreciate every moment. Because even though we are at the mercy of powers greater than us, God has a plan. Life is precious and beautiful.

I Hold So Much in My Heart for You

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Teach the Children Well

"Where the world ends and imagination and creativity begin."

This is Art Stop's motto. 

I could not think of a more wonderful, happy place to teach art to children.

For the sixth year in a row I am thrilled to be a part of the Art Stop magic. Now in its 13th year, Art Stop is a staple in Dallas' University Park.  

The Owner and Founder, Kathleen Alexander, is the heart and soul of the school. She has been instilling a love of creativity in children for over 25 years, and I am deeply grateful that she took me under her wing six years ago, when I was worn down and, frankly, a little bitter, after putting in hard time in the Corporate PR World, and brought me back to my passion. 

"Mrs. A" re-lit that creative fire in my heart and taught me how to teach art to children. Learning from her is like learning how to play football with Troy Aikman...the chance of a lifetime from a living legend. Now, I could not imagine my life without "Mrs. A", or my fulfilling career, in it.

My class just made the Fall leaves, above, and they are so lovely. What I cherish most about them is that they were created from a place of joy and freedom that can only be found in a child's heart. 

Art Stop offers a fun, relaxed environment where children can experiment, learn and discover the joy of the creative process, along the way building knowledge and skills.  Most importantly, they learn to love and appreciate art. I am teaching there on Mondays at 3:45.  Ages 5-7.  Our class is full, and I am so deeply grateful for that, but if you are interested in signing your child up for another time, please email for more info.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Origin Magazine

Arts+Culture+Conscious lifestyle. I truly believe this publication is going to change the world and I cannot express how deeply grateful I am to be a part of the Origin team. The Founder + Publisher/Head Ninja, Maranda Pleasant, is an amazing visionary. An Internationally recognized Artist based out of Austin, she channeled her passion for the arts and socially conscious living into a platform to give a voice to individual creative souls. 

Maranda is building bridges where there used to be walls. She is beautiful inside and out. Her intention is to inspire others to live in a more expansive way, and that has certainly struck a chord with me.

Origin is a visually stunning and contextually transformative.  The Art Section was founded on providing an innovative showcase for the presentation and promotion of strong visionary,contemporary and modern artists world-wide. We exhibit painting, photography,video, conceptual writing and sculptural installations.  This is where i come into play. The best part? While working collaboratively with others to give them a voice, I am discovering my own. My column covering the Dallas Arts Scene is on page 8. I believe in this publication. Click here to read it online or pick one up in Dallas, Houston or Austin galleries, museums and high-end spas and studios.

Link up with Origin on Facebook here.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

New Painting, "The Search for Simplicity"

In Search of Simplicity
New Painting
Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas
16" x 20" x 1.5"
"One day I will find the right words.

And they will be simple."

This painting was literally 5 other paintings before it was this one.
There was so much I was trying to say with this canvas, and the message got really jumbled in my head.
I felt like my ideas, my wishes for this one were in one of those stone tumblers that I used to long for as a kid,
those mysterious machines that took ordinary rocks, swallowed them,
and spat them out all shiny and interesting-looking.
Once I stopped trying to force the ideas and let the painting speak through me, speak to me, did it emerge.
That's how it always happens. One day I will learn...

Friday, September 16, 2011

San Miguel De Allende 2011

An end of summer hiatus in San Miguel. Third time was a charm. Long days, filled with family and friends from around the world. Watched our children run in the courtyards. Ate mango that tasted like heaven. Discovered curiosity after curiosity in the local markets. Captivated by artisanal handmade treasures. Danced to mariache bands and margarita sunsets. Gazed in bewildered awe at ancient cathedrals. Soaked the culture up in my bones.

Now we are home. Inspired. Renewed. Ready to paint, teach and write. Collaborating with others to give them a voice and in exchange find my own.

Gina Marie Dunn, Utopia Pkwy. Art Studio's Fan Box


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