The art scene in Dallas has long been influenced by avant-garde women: From the The Betty McLean Gallery, which opened in 1951 as one of the first modern art galleries in Texas, to Valley House Gallery, founded by Peggy and Donald Vogel, to the visionaries of today who show no signs of slowing down.
Mayor Mike Rawlings recently announced that the city’s annual Dallas Arts Week would become Dallas Arts Month, starting on April 1. Its centerpiece, the Dallas Art Fair, now in its ninth edition, has become a symbol of the local arts scene’s impressive growth and increasing momentum.
When the Art Fair is imminent, the energy is in the air. Every gallerist in town saves space for a heavy-hitter show. And once the out-of-towners leave, the electricity remains, at least in the form of a young gun’s next chapter and the debut of a new Oak Cliff space with an open-door artistic policy.
“[The Dallas Art Fair] is an incredible way to reach out to the community at large because there are a lot of people in Dallas interested in contemporary art, but they don’t necessarily make gallery going part of their routine,” Worley says. “They get to see Dallas galleries by comparison to galleries from other countries, from other cities of the country, and I think that they find that they are quite pleased with what they have in their own backyard.”
It was a challenge to narrow down the 10 best contemporary art galleries for our Best of Everything series, but we chose established galleries that have helped solidify the city’s contemporary culture, as well as newer spaces by gallerists who draw the universal respect and support of their peers.