insider notes

April is the cruelest month, except in Texas, where it’s a month of firsts, festivals and other cultural wonders.

Never having exhibited or collected Islamic art before, the Dallas Museum of Art is becoming a leader in the field almost overnight. Devon Britt-Darby asks DMA senior Islamic art adviser Sabiha Al Khemir how that happened.

Claire Canavan tells us the tale of two festivals: Austin’s Fusebox and CounterCurrent 2014, the University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center’s inaugural festival of this kind. Nichelle Suzanne fills us in on the feast going on at the Dance Salad Festival this year. Jennifer Smart gives us the D’JAM rundown, Dallas’ hometown celebration of National Jazz Appreciation Month.  More celebrations can be found at Houston’s Brazos Bookstore, celebrating 40 years in Nicole Zaza’s story on building literary cities.

With the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts preparing to co-organize its city’s 20th annual national ceramics competition, Nancy Zastudil checks in on SAMFA and its fellow member museums of the West Texas Triangle.  Meanwhile, in San Antonio, Dan Goddard talks with Mary Heathcott, Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum’s new director.

As usual, we’re fascinated to hear about what’s on an artist’s mind. Rachel Adams chats with Marfa painter Leslie Wilkes about her new show at Austin’s Women & Their Work, while Charissa Terranova takes her art to go with Bettina Pousttchi, who’s bringing a Drive-Thru Museum to Dallas’s Nasher Sculpture Center.

We learn more about the amazing energy happening at Texas State University’s musical theater program though our visit with Kaitlin Hopkins, while Scott Andrews updates us on San Antonio’s renowned SOLI ensemble. I had a great catch-up with Motionhouse’s Kevin Finnan as he prepares to tour their spectacular mash-up of dance and film, Scattered, throughout the state.

Devon Britt-Darby has been blogging Texas visual arts for the last few weeks, and already he’s weighed in on the ongoing Rice University Art Barn controversy; drawn connections between the Meadows Museum’s Sorolla show and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s Sargent exhibition; and elaborated on some of the stories and reviews you’ll find in the April issue. Catch up on all his posts here.

Our website features long-form interviews, recent reviews and features covering Dallas international Film Festival, HGOco’s River of Light, the explosion of activity come from women in contemporary dance across the state and much more. Put some spring into your art stomp this month. There’s lots to see and do.

Nancy Wozny
Editor in Chief