Galleries Crop Up in X+

by Michael Westfried

The Kessler X+ area of North Oak Cliff is growing and being organized very quickly and this means great things for people who love art. On August 13th a new gallery, Gallery Bomb which is has focused on what might described as Lowbrow and Neo-Pop Art for the last two shows, opened it’s doors for the first time along with Tom Battles Custom Picture Framing.

Tom Battles had been recommended to me when it had existed in a different location as a good place to go to frame my own art for the Hunting Art Prize by an art professor friend whom I consider my mentor. A few months earlier, Incense & Peppermints had opened on the same side of the street with crowds pouring outside of the door to the point where it was kind of difficult to look around. I even spotted a large golden retriever wandering in the crowd.

Incense & Peppermints from what I understand, works in branding and printing and sells original artwork, posters, shirts, and vintage clothing, toys, books and more. The Davis-Tyler hub is really taking off and it’s a coordinated effort. The local businesses have converged and are cooperating to turn the Tyler Davis section of Oak Cliff into a great place to shop, eat and be entertained and are having block parties every other weekend. It’s all happening so fast.

The Tyler Davis block parties have a great vibe and pour out from the galleries into the sidewalks with almost all venues sharing wine and beer or music and food. The crowds are diverse, collectors, artists, young hipsters covered in tattoos, couples and art lovers of all kinds weaved past each other from one shop to another. I saw a fair amount of gorgeous women and a lot of friends who I have come to know through the art scene in Dallas.

Tyler Davis is home to one of my favorite galleries in Dallas which is also one of the gutsiest galleries in Dallas as well. Mighty Fine Arts  has been open for business since 2004 and represents and has shown some of my favorite artists from Dallas including Chuck and George.

My experiences showing art and visiting galleries in Dallas have led me to believe that Dallas is a fairly conservative city, even within the art world. Mighty Fine Arts isn’t afraid to show work that is brave and inventive that other more developed art cities “like New York” would embrace and is able to maintain a strong reputation amongst people who love art.

I am proud to be involved with the gallery and will actually be showing work there on Saturday the 17th of September along with Chaitra Linehan in a show titled For The Birds. Steve Cruz runs the space and is a respected artist and gallerist and has kept Mighty Fine Arts running strong for 7 years where the competition is stiff and many galleries have gone under and with the new development of the area things are looking even better.

I will be showing selections from a series of large drawings as well as several artist books while Chaitra will display new mixed media images. If you come around this Saturday you will also have a chance to check out Gallery Bomb, possibly The Cube Creative, Incense & Peppermints and if you are interested in perusing around the neighborhood there are plenty of interesting shops such as CocoAndre to investigate.


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