Dallas has an enviable arts scene that seems to have exploded in recent years. You could spend a whole day devoted to exploring art galleries and museums in this savvy city and you still wouldn’t be done with all that artistic Dallas has to offer. But where did it all begin? Where did this unquenchable thirst for creativity and innovative design come from? Well, we trace it back to the opening of the Dallas Museum of Art. Way back in 1903, an arts association was set up out of the Public Library with the sole aim of supporting visual arts permanently in Dallas. In no time at all, annual exhibitions were taking place in the library itself and the expansion of the association into the formation of The Dallas Museum of Art proved to be a huge success.
The Museum of Art features works from all cultures and periods, the only encyclopaedic museum of its kind in North Texas (and everything’s big in Texas, as we know). From Ancient Grecian sculptures to Texan art from the likes of Otis Dozier, the exhibits on display span over 5,000 years; so even the most confident art buff would have their hands full here. DMA is one of the leading arts institutions in the country and has its own exceptional, award-winning educational programmes too. As a result – and we can’t complain – Dallas is becoming more and more artsy by the minute.
With the success of the Dallas Museum of Art and an abundance of creative minds residing within the city limits, it seemed like a natural progression that Texas should have its very own Design District, a place that has grown and developed exponentially over the years. Within the Design District lies Dragon Street, a street overflowing with art galleries and design showrooms. If you’re going to take a walk down here, you could end up rubbing shoulders with those in the know at an art gallery opening, where the minds are sharp and the champagne is flowing. The Dallas Love Project’s recent exhibition on Dragon Street focused on John F. Kennedy’s legacy in Dallas, changing it from one of hate to one of love. The project displays artwork of unconditional love and is a prime example of the unique exhibitions that crop up here throughout the year.
Set on bringing everyone together to appreciate art, Dragon Street also has its Art Walk nights. Grab your friends, do some storeping and take advantage of the galleries that all come together to open their doors, graciously welcoming you in to their innovative lairs. Unlimited art, storeping and drinks with your friends? Sounds good to us.
Now, we can’t leave you without offering some more words of subway art wisdom. Emerging artists can be found left, right and center if you know where to look. Our tip: check out the tiny Oliver Francis Gallery on South Peak Street which displays work from local artists as well as works by artists from Berlin, New York and beyond. There’s also the secretive art group Apophenia Underground, who hold exhibitions in unused, empty buildings in Deep Ellum. With pop-up, innovative art to experience, Apophenia Underground injects a new interactive aspect to the Dallas arts culture.
It really is an exciting time for art in Dallas and we’re intrigued to see what else will spring from the creative minds that live there. Dallas arts scene is one to watch.