dallas-art-fair-student-sundayThe Dallas Art Fair in collaboration with Arts+Culture Texas magazine announces Student Sunday on April 17th, a day of free admission for students.

The Dallas Art Fair will be held Friday, April 15th through Sunday, April 17th. The Preview Gala on April 14th benefits the Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, and Dallas Contemporary. There will be additional programming with these institutions as well as the Goss-Michael Foundation and the Power Station.

Now in its eighth year, the Fair will host galleries from  Antwerp, Berlin, Bogota, Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Detroit, Dubai, Dublin, Guadalajara, Helsinki, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Marfa, Mexico City, Miami, Milan, Milwaukee, Newcastle, New York, Paris, Puerto Rico, Rome, San Paulo, Tokyo, Toronto, Turin, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Vancouver, Vienna, and Zurich.

The Dallas Art Fair’s Kelly Cornell talks with participating University of Texas at Dallas professors John Pomara and Greg Metz about the Student Sunday initiative and scheduled panel discussion.

Kelly Cornell: When we last met, we spoke about Student Sunday, a day of free admission for graduates and undergraduates. John, why do you think that this initiative will be important for your students?

John Pomara: The Student Sundays initiative is an amazing and generous offer, which allows students to see international art first hand. Most students do not have the means to travel while in school, and the opportunity to walk into the Dallas Art Fair and be immediately exposed to such a volume of international art, broadens their knowledge with a deeper understanding of contemporary art. The majority of our students have to view art on the Internet, and the experience of viewing first hand is entirely different. I have personally witnessed the excitement that this experience instills in students. The result is students that are more fully engaged in the classroom and with their own work as they address contemporary issues. Your generosity is akin to offering a mini scholarship in contemporary art to all the University students in the area.

I was originally approached by Noah Simblist, head of the Visual Arts Department at SMU, last year about participating with a group of MFA students in collaborative critiques and dialog across universities. The opportunity allowed students to meet and exchange ideas, not just about their various academic programs, but to also build friendships and working relationships with their peers. This year we have broadened the scope of the program to include four schools, and the workshop will culminate in a large exhibition that takes place on the Saturday evening of the Dallas Art Fair. Because this exhibition coincides with the Dallas Art Fair, students are given unprecedented access and exposure to a larger viewing audience. With your offer to conduct a panel at the Fair, the Consortium Program is also given an exciting public platform to explore the differences and similarities of local MFA programs. This type of event encourages young artists to see their valuable roll as emerging voices in the Texas art scene.

KC: Can you tell me about the panel discussion Advancing MFA Research: A Multi-University Collaborative Graduate Project?

JP: Since John Cage staged the first Happening at Black Mountain college in 1952, professors and students have come together to experiment with exciting new ideas about art. In this tradition, faculty and graduate students from Texas A&M Commerce, Texas Christian University, The University of Texas at Arlington and The University of Texas at Dallas, are pondering the current state of MFA curricula and the possibilities to advance contemporary art by combining practice-led research, manual labor and a vacant 30,000 s.f. warehouse. This effort culminates in an exhibition on view at 500 Singleton Avenue, Dallas, TX 75212. Greg and I will participate in the discussion and Suzanne Weaver will moderate the panel.

KC: Greg, I’ve enjoyed being invited to your classes to discuss the Dallas Art Fair — do you think that visiting the Fair will help your students understand how it functions in the regional and international Art Market?

Greg Metz: My ‘Contemporary Museum and Gallery Exhibitions Studies’ class at UTD, covers a broadband survey of operatives on what makes up the contemporary ‘Art World’.  Beyond visiting the DMA and a few galleries, this is an unfamiliar world to most students. Being that there is an endless supply of reading and theoretical study material on these various aspects of art world models and mechanics, it is essentially important that they can tie them into real world experience, meet the principal players, engage in dialogue with them and gain a connection to information that is not just referential but also experiential in scope.

In the past such student engagement has resulted in a more comfortable understanding of the applied practice quotient relative to real world enactment. It has proven to heighten interest and attentiveness to how comparable Dallas is to what we consider the more international venues. When they can see that here in Dallas we have art market enterprises and incentives like the Dallas Art Fair that are now on par with New York City’s Armory Show, Frieze in London, Art Basel in Switzerland and Miami, it makes them understand what an international cultural competitor our city is and that it is with in their reach of experi- ence and eventual participation.

Comments that I have received from past students typically range from “I had no idea of the art scene at this breadth and scale”, to “wow! It was just like the pictures I see in Artforum, YouTube, and The New York Times.” The experience makes it real, and much thanks to having both you and Chris Byrne sharing their ground level experience with my classes on the evolution of this model, its operations, and its blossoming role in securing Dallas’ global presence in the cultural marketplace, and also how it has stimulated regional interest and identity.

KC: How will Student Sunday be additive to your curriculum?

GM: This provides opportunities for students to participate directly in their own backyard and thus has enlivened the experience to further incentivize their engagement in the arts.  It’s an exciting adventure for students to have this experience, to meet international curators and gallerists, participate in the forums offered, to see how their own work stacks up, and to know that Dallas is no longer just a large provincial southern city previously overlooked by the international art market. This has been a critical, active partner in their educational experience in the arts!

APRIL 15-17, 2016

April 17, 2016
12 to 6 pm

Free admission to all students (grade school, high school, college, professors, etc). You may show your student ID at the door or go to: dallasartfair.com/tickets  (Select a ‘one day adult ticket’ and input the code: DAFStudentSunday)

At 1 pm – Advancing MFA Research:A Multi-University Collaborative Graduate Project

Please join University of Texas at Dallas professors Greg Metz and John Pomara for a panel discussion moderated by Suzanne Weaver, former curator of contemporary art at the Dallas Museum of Art and the Speed Museum, Louisville, Kentucky.