Weekender: Fri., Sept. 11, 2009
If you’re not doing anything tomorrow night (Saturday), you really oughta gather up some of your smartest (drinkingest?) pals and hit Fall Gallery Night. From 2 ’til about 9 p.m., you can hop from gallery to gallery –– the big three museums are also open –– and walk past some new art while elegantly stuffing free hors d’oeuvres in your piehole (and perhaps your pockets) and drinking, nay, choking on the free booze. That’s right, kids: FREE mutha-effin BOOZE!
As it is every year, the party place this year will likely be Artspace 111. (Cue: “Every! Body! DANCE! Now!”) The contemporary gallery/studio/wedding reception place on the outskirts of downtown doesn’t skimp on the hooch or the food, and the vibe is always non-pretentious, welcoming, and cougar-rific. Oh, yeah. And by the way. On exhibit will be Thrashing About, new work from 111 co-owner Daniel Blagg. A photorealist fascinated by urban blight, Blagg renders ramshackle marquees and storefronts in dappled hazes, lending majesty and a certain dignity to places that are always on the peripheries of our lives.
Another photorealist who’ll be exhibiting is Fort Worthian J.T. Grant, whose portraits and landscapes have a haunting, Old-Masters grandeur but are tinged with the eerie, claustrophobic gloom of a David Lynchian nightmare. Grant’s exhibit, the ominously named Sin Eater, is at William Campbell Contemporary Art & Gallery, a Westside institution. Be very afraid.
A 111 cohort, Susan Harrington, will be exhibiting along with several other artists at Fort Worth Community Arts Center. A typical Harrington has the audacity of a children’s art project. Geometric illogic and subdued primary colors abound.
On a much more experimental tip, New World Ordered at Gallery 414 pairs El Paso’s Angel Cabrales with Fort Worthian Ian O’Brien. For the exhibit, O’Brien has created a parallel universe where he is mayor, architect, secretary … and sole inhabitant. His documentary-style photographs are Office-like in their brash artlessness. As Cabrales proves, you can’t eviscerate something without getting close to it. His pokes at consumer culture have a wry, Warholian charm.
Underground Fort Worth also shows out for Gallery Night. This year, all of the hipsters and yours truly will spending mucho time-o at Studio 5 (1018 W Shaw St by TCU, 817-504-9549), spilling cheladas, smoking menthols, and admiring new (and old) work by Calvin Abucejo, Greg Bahr, Phil Hemsley, Jesse Sierra Hernandez, Dave Mayer, Becky McMath, and Ray Liberio.
There’s music this weekend, too, of course. The big deal is Jazz By the Boulevard on the Kimbell lawn, with headliners George Clinton and P-Funk (tonight/Friday), trumpeter Chris Botti (Saturday), and gospel group The Blind Boys of Alabama (Sunday). The headliners will be joined by several locals, including Fort Worthian-by-way-of-New Orleans drummer and bandleader Adonis Rose (5 p.m. Sunday), blues-funksters Josh Weathers and the True+Endeavors (5:30 p.m. Friday), Arts Fifth Avenue Jazz Collective (4 p.m. Saturday), James Clay Tribute with Sandra Kaye (5:30 p.m. Saturday), and UTA Jazz Ensemble (6 p.m. Friday). The music is spread out over two stages spaced far apart enough to prevent overlapping sounds, which also will allow the performances to continue nonstop –– as one band will be finishing on one stage, another will be just starting on the other.
The event also includes work by artists and fine-craftsmen and –women, and some of town’s top specialty food vendors and chefs will be providing cooking demonstrations and offering samples. Wine seminars are also on, uh, tap.
General admission is $5 at the gate.
On the polar opposite end of the music spectrum are the two metal throwdowns tonight (Friday). One is at Rock Star Sports Bar (7120 S Fwy, FW, 817-293-2606), featuring Stone Axe, Bleed Down, Metavenge, Wo Fat, and Blood of the Sun. The other is at Lola’s Saloon-Sixth (2736 W 6th St, in the West 7th Street corridor, 817-877-0666), featuring The Great Tyrant, Caddis, Magnus, and The Me-Thinks.