CURRENT EXHIBIT


JOURNEYS: PUBLIC & PRIVATE
Work by Tarrant County artists commissioned for public works of art for D-FW International Terminal D
LINDA BLACKBURN, ED BLACKBURN, DAN BLAGG, DENNIS BLAGG, ANITRA BLAYTON, LINDA GUY,
BILLY HASSELL, JANE HELSLANDER, BENITO HUERTA, NANCY LAMB, JOHN HOLT SMITH


dfw_huerta_40.jpg - 5107 Bytes
Untitled
BENITO HUERTA
Terrazzo floor, DFW, 37' x 180'


dfw_jhsmith_300.jpg - 2733 Bytes
Limerock Sequence
JOHN HOLT SMITH,
Acrylic Enamel on Aluminum, 8' x 30'


dfw_hassell_300.jpg - 20083 Bytes
Early Morning Flight
BILLY HASSELL,
Mosaic Floor Medallion, DFW 20' dia.
 
 

Art can transform the most sterile space into a personally meaningful environment through its power to create associations and sensory experiences. Perhaps the acid test of that theory is airport art – specifically the art being incorporated in the new Terminal D now under construction at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. William Campbell Contemporary Art exhibits its own and other top local artists from among the many throughout the country who were commissioned to create ambient art for the project. The exhibition will include works from each artist's studio and provide a preview of the excitement of actually experiencing the full scale installations as a globe-trotting traveler who may find that this airport is becoming a destination in itself.

Benito Huerta is well recognized for his primarily figurative paintings and prints influenced by his ethnic background, history, and pop culture. In his enormous piece at DFW, Benito gives adventurous nomads the unparalleled opportunity to surf the length of a three hundred foot terrazzo hallway on the backs of vintage planes and jetliners that zoom along in a rush of changing colors. Huerta, who spent several months supervising the installation details, is a distinguished and prolific artist who is also very active in the public art arena. His work will be the subject of a fourteen-year survey at the South Texas Institute for the Arts, formerly the Art Museum of South Texas, in Corpus Christi in November.

John Holt Smith applies lines like contrails down aluminum surfaces in his abstract paintings. Using photographs as his starting point and computer technology, Holt creates a DNA signature of the light at that moment on that day, adding to his palette the element of time. Each of the several thousand distinct lines of color has been painted about eight times to get the precise tonality the artist requires. With a photo of the Texas hill country in the spring as his point of inspiration, Smith has created an eight by thirty foot mural for Terminal D at DFW.

Billy Hassell's paintings mirror the dynamism of modern times. Using nature and birds in particular, as his subject matter, Hassell gives an edge to naturalistic imagery by playing with the perspective or combining realism with abstraction. In his work for DFW, Hassell floats a mockingbird against an impossibly deep blue and green background in Early Morning Flight, a twenty-foot diameter mosaic floor medallion fabricated by a German stained glass studio. Coincidentally, long before Hassell became well known as a painter, he experimented with scraps of stained glass from a chapel, provided by his aunt who was a nun. The richness and luminosity of the DFW piece comes from a dialogue between the two mediums.

Jane Helslander makes getting there half the fun with her twenty-foot mosaic medallion titled Floating In Space (A Waltz). In her piece for DFW, a riot of blue and white circles and ovals on a joyous red and orange background, this abstract design could function as a diagram for the whirl of reunion, the cycle of seasons, or the aerial path of an incoming plane. This theme is continued in the paintings and works on paper shown in this exhibition. Dan Blagg is known for the subtlety of his cityscapes and urban landscape paintings that are a part of this exhibition, but he has put on a different hat for DFW. His swift, kinetic harmonies of clouds, diamonds, raindrops, and constellations extend three hundred feet down each of two terrazzo floors that take lucky pedestrians on a magic carpet ride.

Dennis Blagg often chooses the varied terrain of the Big Bend area for the subject of his landscape paintings. In his huge mural for DFW, The Boquillas Pass, looks as real as a window from a viewing distance of a hundred feet. At forty feet or so, however, it dissolves into another dimension like the proverbial looking glass, or like the ground that falls away after takeoff and recedes into abstract topography.

Nancy Lamb is never without her camera, shooting bird's eye view photos of people, capturing fragments of celebrating crowds. The resulting photographs become the inspiration for her paintings seen in this exhibition. For her DFW commission, a thirty by three hundred foot terrazzo celebration, "the largest hot pink floor in the world," floats a cloud of birds across clocks set in different time zones. A lyrical meditation on the freedom of travel, it also embodies today's energy on the wing.

Ed and Linda Blackburn, artists working together on a twenty-foot medallion, evoke the romantic drama of the film Casablanca in their rendition of Bogart and Bergman saying farewell in front of a hangar, with the airplane waiting and a mysterious man approaching. In this exhibition, Ed and Linda will exhibit their individual works. Linda Blackburn's paintings and works on paper depict dramas influenced by old movies, while Ed Blackburn's works are illustrative type images that fall apart as contemporary paintings, leaving an opening.

Anitra Blayton is recognized for her social commentary mixed-media works and installation pieces. She will exhibit new work continuing the themes of universality with references to interaction, either directly or indirectly. For her work at DFW, Anitra suspends a mighty sculpture, sixteen feet high and four feet in diameter, from the ceiling of the ticketing area. Standing Ovation, made of cast bronze, acrylic, and terra cotta, is a dense forest of life size hands paired in applause, a metaphor for greeting or farewell.

Linda Guy will be exhibiting her recent works on canvas that utilize digital processes with heavily reworked surfaces. In these mixed-media works, abstract images are used in conjunction with figurative references. For her medallion at DFW, Linda spins a vinyl platter and sets sedate business travelers in motion. Attaché cases flying about the twenty-foot floor medallion, they momentarily liberate themselves from the commuting grind as everyone has no doubt thought of doing at one time or another.

Each artist commissioned by DFW for the public artworks at Terminal D is unique, yet all possess a vision that extends beyond the horizon. The sheer electricity of their art runs like a slipstream through the new airport, lifting the hearts of the birds of passage who move through its gates.

Concurrently with this exhibition at William Campbell Contemporary Art, the Fort Worth Public Art Program in conjunction with DFW Airport will present an exhibition at the Community Arts Center of the Tarrant and Dallas County artists commissioned by D-FW Airport to create integral floor mosaics, each a massive 20' in diameter. Studies of each artist's medallion will be exhibited. A conversation with the artists will also take place at the Community Arts Center, 1300 Gendy St., on Saturday, June 25th at 4:30 pm and the artists' reception will be held from 4-7pm. Moderated by Bill Campbell, this dialogue will provide a glimpse into the artists' experience creating work for the public realm.

The public is invited to view both exhibitions celebrating the artists awarded these major public commissions.


Previous Exhibitions

 Kevin Tolman - PAINTINGS + DRAWINGS: May 14 – June 18, 2005

 Sevan Melikyan - ‘AFTER’ SERIES II: April 2 – May 2, 2005

 A FOCUSED VISION - Group Exhibition: February 11 – March 26, 2005

 Scottie Parsons - NEW PAINTINGS: December 3, 2004 – January 8, 2005

 J.T. Grant - BÊTE NOIRE: September 18 – October 23, 2004

 SURFACE - Group Exhibition: June 19 – September 4, 2004

 Judy Youngblood - NEW WORK: May 1 - June 5, 2004




image