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todd camplin weekly...
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GIVING ART THANKS THIS SEASON...
by Todd Camplin

I would like to count some of the things I am thankful for in this season of celebration. I would, of
course, am thankful for my family, friends, and being in good health. For about 7 years now I have
been allowed to write a weekly article at ModernDallas.net. I am thankful for the DFW art scene
for continuing to grow and increasingly getting more interesting as the years go by. An art scene
that hasn’t heated up too fast and burned itself out by overextending itself to fast. I would like to
thank all the artists that grace North Texas with your talents. Sometimes artists fall flat on their face
with a show, but I think most people agree it takes some guts to get out there and show your work.
I would also like to thank the gallery spaces for hosting so many great shows and thank you for
even the bad ones. I would like to thank our local art museums. Some pretty fantastic shows have
been organized with guest lectures and community outreach programs. I have learned a great
deal from artist's’ process through the lectures. I am thankful for the curators out there, putting
together interesting exhibitions for people to see and for me to write about.
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Other players in the role of making the art scene run that I would like to thank is the universities
and colleges. UNT, TCC, UTD, UD, UTA, SMU and the community colleges are the lifeblood of
new talent. These places provide professors that show their work frequently and attract students
to come to the area to study under them. The alternative art spaces need a shout out. These
places get emerging artists feet wet, with less risk to their path of self-discovery. Lots of mistakes
can be made there so an artist can learn and work towards a better exhibition of their work.
I would like to thank all the other art writers out there that make Texas an important part of
your consideration when writing about art happenings.

We are participating in history that is being written. Get out there and visit the galleries, meet the
artists, talk to the gallerists and curators. The next Cool School documentary could be out a DFW
art hub. The next American Master could come out of North Texas. The next curated show
everyone is talking about could be just around the corner. Be in the moment and visit
places and people. Be a part of something that feeds your soul.
In this time of being thankful, I think it is also a time for reflection. We have had several artists pass
this year and I would like to recognize a few. A surreal, self-taught artist, Valton Tyler passed this
October. He created imaginative scenes organic and machine-like landscapes that look to
have come from another planet. Don Parr passed shortly after his show came down at Mary
Tomas Gallery. Parr took the stale genre paintings of the airplane and reinvented it into a
sculpture that looked like paintings. These objects looked to be torn right off an airplane.
Sleek, minimal, and just plain beautiful; Parr was a true innovator. Harry Geffert passed this
month. I saw several shows by Geffert at Cris Worley Fine Arts and a few in Houston as well.
He was a recreator of natural things. His sculptures played with what is real and what is
created. His scenes were packed with personal symbols and rich details. I can’t even
begin to fit his work in a category.  His life is being celebrated at the Nasher Sculpture
Garden on November 26th from 2 to 4 PM. Also this month, the ceramic artist Gregory
Miller passed. Miller’s art appeared to grow and take over walls. He showed at Carneal
Simmons Contemporary Art where he had multiple shows and artist talks.
Don Parr at Mary Tomas Gallery
Harry Geffert at Cris Worley Fine Arts
Valton Tyler at  Valley House Gallery