Nasher Public

Nasher Public

A public art initiative for North Texas.

Nasher Public is a year-long, two-pronged public art initiative which aims to generate access to public art by North Texas artists at the Nasher and throughout the greater Dallas community. The project will launch first at the Nasher in a newly formed gallery, presenting monthly exhibitions over the next year, followed by an ongoing series of off-site exhibitions in partnership with area businesses.

Inspired by the success of the summer 2020 series Nasher Windows, which safely presented art to the public in the Nasher Sculpture Center’s vestibule while the museum was closed due to the pandemic, Nasher Public will comprise a series of monthly exhibitions, each presenting work by emerging and established artists in a newly constituted gallery space formerly occupied by the Nasher Store (which will reopen in late 2021). The new gallery fronts Flora Street and is directly accessible from the Nasher’s entrance foyer. For the duration of the project, the space will be open to the public free of charge during the museum’s public hours, and viewable through the windows during off hours.

Exhibitions

Nasher Public: Cameron Schoepp

at the Nasher

June 24 - July 18, 2021

For the past two decades, Cameron Schoepp has made work that compels viewers to reconsider the familiar.  Whether sculptural forms drawn from everyday life, likes hats, benches, or rugs, Schoepp’s treatment raises them from their utilitarian reference points to objects of esthetic and philosophical consideration.  He often combines and arranges these so that they create spaces of their own, a new kind of space that obliges one to consider it, and one’s own presence, on different terms.

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Nasher Public: Lauren Cross

at For Oak Cliff

June 19 - September 19, 2021

For her Nasher Public installation at For Oak Cliff, A Moment of Silence / Let Freedom Ring, Lauren Cross takes as inspiration the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Galveston, Texas, June 19, 1865, two and half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.  The spot at which slaves in Texas were formally informed of their freedom is now a parking lot, its significance indicated by a simple historical marker near a bench and a few trees.  The simple and understated marking of the site belittles its historical importance yet is consistent with the way the lives of African Americans in the United States have been overlooked and underappreciated.  For Cross, it also signifies the starting point of a journey that continues to this day.

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Nasher Public: Jer'Lisa Devezin

at the Nasher

May 27 - June 20, 2021

Jer’Lisa Devezin’s soft sculpture titled Beaucoup Shive / Madam C.J. Walker ain’t got nothin’ on me comprises millions of strands of discarded, found, and discounted synthetic and human hair in a towering monument to Black people and the residue they leave behind.

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Image announcing Nasher Public: Jer'Lisa Devezin

Nasher Public: Artstillery

at Lone Star Missionary Baptist Church, 323 West Main Street

June 18 - August 8, 2021

Artstillery, an experimental performance group based in the Dallas neighborhood of Oak Cliff, has been working for five years with the residents of West Main Street, a tiny neighborhood with a long history in West Dallas, documenting their stories and working to save important structures that are quickly disappearing due to rapid gentrification in the area.  The project, called Family Dollar (2016–2021), is an extensive archiving effort that includes documentary film, architectural preservation, and live, immersive, though socially-distanced performances that are also recorded for on-demand digital and VR experiences.  As part of Nasher Public, the Nasher Sculpture Center is partnering with Artstillery to support and amplify each layer of Family Dollar, helping bring awareness to the group’s important work and to the stories of the West Dallas community. 

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Nasher Public: Dan Lam

at the Nasher

April 29 - May 23, 2021

For the past seven years, Dan Lam has created a menagerie of amorphous sculptures that play with the line between beauty and ugliness, attraction and repulsion, the sensuous and the disturbing.  The artist broadly categorizes the organic forms under the monikers Blobs (wall-mounted mounds), Drips (piles that drip over an edge, such as shelf or table), and Squishes (mounds that seem to rise up on sprouted appendages).  Made of polyurethane foam, acrylic paint, and epoxy resin, the forms take on a kaleidoscope of colors—from day-glo pinks and yellows to neon greens, and from shimmering silvers to dark shiny eggplant purples—and are often studded with spikes of equally vibrant hues.  The works are inviting in their coloration and tactility, but suggest an element of danger or discomfort, like beautiful yet poisonous jellyfish or microorganisms grown to a disturbing size.

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Dan Lam, A Subtle Alchemy, 2021

Nasher Public: Melanie Clemmons

at the Nasher

April 1 - 25, 2021

The Nasher Sculpture Center presents its first exhibition of New Media art with Melanie Clemmons’s Likes Charge, Light Tear, a hybrid in-person/virtual installation for Nasher Public. Noting that “[we] routinely discover that our experiences with the internet and digitality mask horrifying structures that exploit and divide us” even as we increasingly rely on digital connections and online platforms in our daily lives, Clemmons seeks to use this very technology toward more positive and constructive ends by making it a conduit for healing and care.
 

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Nasher Public: Melanie Clemmons

Nasher Public: Shelby David Meier

A Part of the Whole

February 25 - March 21, 2021


Shelby David Meier’s Nasher Public installation, A Part of the Whole, invites viewers to consider the role everyday objects play in our lives and to reflect on our relationship with the things we leave behind.

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Nasher Public: Vicki Meek

at the Nasher

January 7 - February 14, 2021


Taking its title from a lyric of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” the Black national anthem, Vicki Meek’s Nasher Public installation Stony the Road We Trod offers a contemporary shrine dedicated to the Black community. Drawing upon the culture of Yoruba belief, Adinkra symbols of Ghana, and other metaphorical elements, Meek has transformed the Nasher Store Gallery into an uplifting space of healing and encouragement.

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Nasher Public: Vicki Meek

Nasher Public: Nyugen E. Smith

at the Nasher

December 10, 2020 - January 3, 2021

The work of artist Nyugen E. Smith examines the universal human experiences of memory, trauma, and spirituality through the multifarious impacts of colonialism on the African diaspora.  A first-generation Caribbean-American born in Jersey City, New Jersey, to Haitian and Trinidadian parents, and a Lecturer on Interdisciplinary Art at SMU in Dallas, Smith uses performance, found object sculpture, mixed media drawing, painting, video, photography, and writing to connect past upheavals with present political struggles.  For Nasher Public, Smith presents fourteen Spirit Carriers, a series of found object constructions that the artist began in 2016.  Suspended from the ceiling, the sculptures seem to float in the space, like eccentric, improvised air balloons.  Their characteristic shape derives from the crowns of Yoruba chiefs, whose beaded headdresses featured veils to shield the monarch’s visage from the public, thus also protecting viewers from the chief’s power.  Smith made the Spirit Carriers as vessels to carry and protect the spirits of unarmed people of color killed by the police, until, as the artist says, “the spirits can go where they need to go.”  This body of work can be seen as a conceptual and formal outgrowth of a larger series the artist began in 2005 called Bundlehouses—multimedia drawings as well as small- and large-scale found object sculptures—that recall the temporary shelters built by migrants with whatever resources they have at hand (usually what they manage to bring with them or find where they camp).  Both the Bundlehouses and Spirit Carriers speak powerfully and beautifully to the capricious circumstances and tenuousness and fragility of life in the contemporary world.

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Nasher Public: Nyugen E. Smith

Nasher Public: Giovanni Valderas

at the Nasher

November 12 - December 6, 2020


In the second exhibition for Nasher Public at the Nasher Store gallery, Dallas-born artist Giovanni Valderas’s Grit/Grind takes its point of departure from the American dream of freedom, mobility, and success that owning a car has traditionally represented. Valderas has placed a single object in the gallery—a large, brightly colored piñata he created as a full-scale replica of the 1986 Nissan Sentra that was the first car his Guatemalan mother bought and in which she learned to drive. Valderas’s project draws upon his memories of the independence having a car of their own granted to his family but offers reflections as well upon the more sobering consequences of life among working poor families. For these communities, a car may be emblematic of a transitory life of frequent moves when the rent becomes too high or may even serve as a possible dwelling itself when other options are exhausted. These layers of meaning are apparent in the work’s title, Grit/Grind, as Valderas explains: “The grit that we all have coming from working class families, we get it done no matter what. Our bills need to be paid, so we are going to figure out a way to do that. But it is also the grind that takes a toll on us through constantly driving or constantly working low paying jobs, and we see that reflected in our health and our socio-economic status. We have brown and black families that have shorter life expectancies than say a white family in North Dallas.”

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Nasher Public: Giovanni Valderas

Nasher Public: Bernardo Vallarino

at the Nasher

October 15 - November 8, 2020


For the first installation of Nasher Public in the Nasher Store gallery, Fort Worth artist Bernardo Vallarino will present an iteration of an ongoing project called Pedacitos de Paz (Little bits of peace), which combines installation with video and addresses the persistence of violence in our society. The central element—hundreds of white ribbons looped in the style of advocacy movements and installed as a pile on a table—speaks to the sentiments of  “thoughts and prayers” that often follow such atrocities as mass shootings yet remain empty refrains without concrete actions for change. Several times throughout the duration of the exhibition, the artist will sit at the table within the installation to make these ribbons, a performance the public may witness through the exterior windows of the Nasher building. Inspired by Vallarino’s childhood experiences in Colombia  and in the US, where his family emigrated in the 1990s, Pedacitos de Paz will continue to grow as a body of work as long as the violent issues that spurred it into being persist.

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Nasher Sculpture Center
2001 Flora Street
Dallas, Texas 75201
214.242.5100
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