Monday, October 11, 2010

On Board the CADD Bus Tour

I would never dream of comparing myself to Julie McCoy on Love Boat, but after my experience as the Cruise Director for the first CADD Bus Tour I now know why she smiles so much. It is really fun to guide people through an adventure.

When Brian Gibb from The Public Trust asked me to be part of the CADD Bus Tour (Contemporary Art Dealers of Dallas), and was explaining that they needed someone on the bus to introduce each of the galleries and to help keep the bus on schedule, I was saying "Yes, This sounds like great fun" but I was thinking this sounds a lot like that TV show where they went on a tour, a 3 hour tour, and that turned out pretty badly.

Anyway, after saying yes, I hit the local websites and blogs to brush up on the galleries, artists and collectors that were on the tour. That was pretty easy because I always try to stay informed about local art and culture. What was difficult was the nights I spent dreaming about being on a bus filled with cannibals and a bus driver named Wrongway Feldman.

Eventually it was Saturday morning, I got up, channeled my inner Julie McCoy, drove over to Photos Do Not Bend Gallery, picked up my clipboard, and put on a smile.

The tour started at PDNB with coffee, donuts, and 3 photography exhibitions. I really enjoyed the iShow. But duty was calling, and it was time to get this crew of 25 art loving adventurers on the road. Our second gallery was in Oakcliff, at Mighty Fine Arts. The drawings on display by Erik Tosten turned out to be my favorite things on the tour, and I think some of the best work I have seen Erik produce.

Manet once said that art is best viewed on an empty stomach. That maybe true, but this bus was stopping by the studio/home of Brian Scott and Brian Jones for a little lunch.

The Library

A Cosy Fireplace
The interior of their small wood frame cottage was a feast for the eyes. Brian and Brian have been making and collecting art for a very long time, and they don't like keeping any of it in the closet. It was like walking into a 2 bed,1 bath art installation. It was full of color and humor. The culture clutter made for some insightful juxtapositions and great conversations.

After lunch, we drove back across the river to The Public Trust for a preview of the Blakely Dadson exhibit. There is an interview with Blakely in the October issue of Arts and Culture DFW. Brian Gibb gave out CADD gift bags and special edition t-shirts.

A few glasses of wine, and a quick drive through Hollywood Heights brought the CADD Bus to the home of Dee Mitchell. Dee is involved in multiple areas of culture. I know him best from his art reviews in the Dallas Morning News, Dallas Observer, and now at Arts and Culture DFW. If you Google his name, you will find several artists' websites that link to art reviews that Dee has written. He supports what he likes.
The Library

A Cosy Bedroom
Dee gave us a tour of the his home which Ron Wommack built to showcase Dee's art collection. The works on paper above the bed are by Thomas Nozkowski. I absolutely love them. On the bus ride back to PDNB, the contrast between Dee's collection and Brian and Brain's, generated lots of discussions about  collecting art, living with art, and personal styles.

As we pulled up to PDNB,  I asked for comments or recommendations about our first CADD Bus Tour. After a hardy applause, one person said they had a great time but wished the tour was longer. I pointed out that tour had lasted 4 hours and 15 minutes. Everyone was very surprised. When your having fun, time flies. Later, 2 couples said they were new to Dallas and that the tour was a great way for them to see galleries and meet other people interested in art.

After turning in my clipboard, I drove home with a big smile, opened a lovely bottle of Lexicon Malbec and raised a glass to the Dallas art scene, Rightway Charlie (our driver), and to a total absence of cannibals.

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