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Dallas Morning News

By Michael Granbury

As we have written about recently, art galleries are on the move. Cris Worley Fine Arts and the Holly Johnson Gallery moved from the heart of the Dallas Design District to Levee Street, farther north and west from where they used to be.

The Public Trust and Liliana Bloch Gallery moved to Monitor Street, not far from Worley and Johnson, and now even McKinney Avenue Contemporary is packing its suitcase. Its destination is the increasingly trendy Cedars, just south of downtown.

Many galleries have abandoned Uptown in recent years, most for economic reasons. As rents got higher, the Design District emerged as the hot new alternative. As rents there also began to escalate, Levee Street offered similar prices but much more space and far less density.

Perhaps the MAC will launch a trend of making the Cedars the new place to be for galleries. The current exhibition at the MAC, on view through June 27, will be its last in Uptown. The MAC hopes to reopen in the Cedars next spring.

In the meantime, you can see these three close out the MAC’s tenure on McKinney Avenue: DeForrest Judd’s “Paintings” is in the Large Gallery; Akirash: “Adittu (Puzzle)” is in the Square Gallery; and Angela Chestnut: “Syn-Aesthetic” is in the New Works Space.

Brian Cobble just opened a new show at Valley House Gallery & Sculpture Garden. As a friend of mine from San Diego commented on Facebook, “His pastels are luscious!” Indeed, they are, and Cobble’s isn’t the only show at Valley House.

Vera Barnett’s “The Painted Word” follows a fascinating premise. Barnett turns to the written word for inspiration — “quotes, poetry, literature, sayings” — and then uses plastics, cardboard and cloth to create figures and animals.

I especially love Barnett’s Idiot/Maniac, which she says was inspired by the George Carlin quote: “Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?”

“I am drawn to art,” she says, “that explores the emotional relationships between people, their environment and circumstances that they find themselves in. I wish to reconstruct these ideas through my own vision, my life and experiences.” The work of Barnett and Cobble can be seen through July 3.

Luke Dowd is the artist featured in the new show at Zhulong Gallery on Dragon Street in the Design District. Dowd’s show runs through June 20 under the title “My shoes, my stove, my life.”

Director Aja Martin is doing cool things at Zhulong. She’s also one of the guest curators in the Aurora show headed to downtown Dallas in the fall. Her fellow curatorial experts hail from New York and Berlin.

Photographs Do Not Bend is one of the venues that moved years ago from Uptown to the Design District, where it’s celebrating its 20th anniversary. The celebration continues with a special exhibition running through June 20, but even more is happening at PDNB. Michael Kenna’s “France,” featuring some very cool photos of Paris, Étretat, Mont Saint-Michel and Versailles, runs through Aug. 1.

The Cliff Gallery at Mountain View College opens a new show June 15 titled “A Certain Displacement.” It’s a three-artist exhibition featuring Rachel Rushing, Kristina Smith and Ashley Whitt. The venue is hosting a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. June 20, with an artists’ talk at 6 p.m.

Not to be outdone by its Mountain View rival, Brookhaven College is hosting the “Art Department Associate of Arts Qualifying Exhibition” through June 12. The artists are Allison Arnold, Jennifer Brandon, Julie England, Salvador Gonzalez, Hanna Kim and Mark Maxey.

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