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29.01.2008

Multimedia art show at UTD showcases critics' pick of little-known Texas artists

The UTD art and humanities department hosted the opening of critics' pix2 Jan. 18 in the Visual Arts building.

UTD art professor John Pomara organized pix2, the second show of its kind on campus. The show was comprised of local Texas artists selected by a panel of critics from publications such as "The Dallas Morning News," "Art Lies," "Art in America," "DallasArtRevue," "Glasstire" and "The Fort Worth Star Telegram

According to Pomara, the only criteria for the selection of artists featured were their ties to Texas, and having received as of yet little to no national recognition. He said this was an effort to expose the wide variety of talent residing in Texas. pix2 will be open to the public until Feb. 22.

Multiple critics can only mean one thing; variety in artist, art and theme. There in lies the greatest strength of pix2, a palpable air of creativity abounds, something for everyone can be found. From Cameron Schoepp's bronze cast totem "Institutional Memory" to Kevin Joseph Brown's gas filled plasma vessels pix2 represents a wide variety of media, interpretation, and skill. "A plurality of ideas and craft show us a microcosm of our area," Pomara said. The resulting show is a refreshing look at both the breadth of ideas finding form, and the apparent skill with which the artists perform.

This variety is often overlooked and neglected by the exclusive nature of an "art club" mentality in which individual schools of thought and product find precedence amongst the many number of valid artists operating at any given time. To illustrate; I ask whether Jackson Pollock's splatter paintings are more or less valid without art critic Clement Greenberg treatises on action, space and energy? Artists have been functioning and surviving outside the traditionally validating setting of galleries and critic based criterion, perhaps not regularly to preeminence and national acclaim, but to live while working just the same.

Pix2 functions more as a contemporary museum hosting a broad range of works that encapsulate a knowledge of historical art styles and themes while infusing each with contemporary means, and the ever present artist's dream.

Peter Calvin's photo journalistic style "record a robust segment of Dallas society…His portraits of shop keepers and residents depict people who as owners of their own businesses are participants in a fundamental aspect of the American dream. But what emerges as his overall theme is the fragile status of that dream as we move into the twenty-first century," writes Dee Mitchell, the juror who selected Calvin for pix2.

In stark contrast to Calvin's photography are the conceptual/textual work of Terri Thorton who "navigates the territory between physical presence and the ethereal nature of thought." as Noah Simbalist writes about the character of Thorton's contribution to pix2.


Both Josephin Durkin and Amy Revier's works capture attention with movement, whimsy and engaging sculptural elements activating the space in which they reside, and draw the viewer in to participate in the cycling narratives.

I believe Matthew Bourbon illustrates the strength of pix2 and the subjective variety in art when writing about his personal reasons for choosing the lyrical impressionistic narratives of Alan Reid. "I invited Alan… not because his work reflects something of my own mentality or because his work might fit as a fashion or supposed trend in contemporary art… He makes daring decisions that I find quirky, smart and at times poignant. There is comedy and unabashed impudence to his paintings that seems rare and from the seat of my own biases and desires-valuable."

Pix2 is a microcosm of "Art" in the whole. Subjective themes and personal goals are too narrow a view by which to be pigeonholed. Art has and always been about much more then a single show, a sequence of steps or given movement. Art is about history and our place in time and space, a fabric, a system, an exchange. Pix2 contains a glimpse of a living, breathing organism that isn't always pretentious, stagnant, or lost, but is in truth valid, multifaceted and here to visit with until Feb. 22. I'm anxiously awaiting pix3.

Noah Peters

Source: media.www.utdmercury.com

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