I'm looking for...



Happening:
Anytime
to
Near:
Anywhere
That is
Anything

‘Make Space for Art’ – The Insider’s Scoop


by Sarah Jane Semrad 5 Mar 2008

We have a special guest blogger today – Sarah Jane Semrad, executive director of LaReunion TX. Please welcome Sarah Jane and feel free to share comments. – Anne Bothwell Sarah Jane Semrad here and I’ll be contributing to this blog periodically. (Hey, that’s pretty cool!) Today? The insider’s scoop on an architectural dream project La […]

CTA TBD

We have a special guest blogger today – Sarah Jane Semrad, executive director of LaReunion TX. Please welcome Sarah Jane and feel free to share comments. – Anne Bothwell

Sarah Jane Semrad here and I’ll be contributing to this blog periodically. (Hey, that’s pretty cool!) Today? The insider’s scoop on an architectural dream project La Reunion TX (LRTX) opened to a worldwide audience called ‘Make Space for Art.’

‘Make Space for Art’ is a juried architecture program created by LRTX to generate ideas for a future zero-energy facility to be built on a 35-acre site in Oak Cliff. The facility will house artists from around the world for periods ranging from one week to one year. In exchange for this awesome opportunity, artists will be expected to give back to Dallas through collaborations with other local non-profits to create lasting social change.

The LRTX Jury at the LRTX site

Jury facilitator for ‘Make Space for Art’ is Mark Gunderson, AIA of Ft. Worth. He brought together a rock-star team that included Dr. Richard Brettell of UT Dallas, Louise Harpman of UT Austin, Max Levy, FAIA of Dallas, and Rick Lowe of Project Row Houses in Houston (pictured above). I was the only person allowed in the room and was instructed to not make any commentary about the entries as I showed them to the group. And stay quiet I did! Observing the chemistry in the room was enough for me!

Over 130 architects from 6 continents registered and 68 actually sent in entries. After getting a fabulous case of poison ivy from the LRTX Tree Carving just a few weeks before, sitting in front of two computers, an external hard drive and processing massive files off of mountains of cd’s while covered in calamine lotion was humorous to say the least. When the jury finally met on February 24, everything was in place for a fantastic day of art, architecture, and field trips to our site.

The jury had the difficult task of narrowing down 68 amazing plans from architects dreaming about LRTX from around the world. They chose the top three plus a special sustainable award. The job turned out to be rather difficult and at the end of the day, six more honorable mentions were also established.

{insert dramatic drum-roll here}

At a marvelous party Saturday night at PanAmerican ArtProjects, we finally announced the winner! And guess what? He’s local! Bang Dang of Cunningham Architects was our first prize. You should have seen the look on the faces of the jury. They had no idea after all, as all entries were anonymous. He was able to attend the party and let everyone congratulate him in person. The quirky cool sounds of Escalator Maintenance Society (below) filled the space and about 150 or so folks gathered to watch a slide show of the top 10 entries. Mark and Max, two of our five jurors, were able to make it. Lovely to see so many new and old faces alike – gathering to dream about what LRTX can be for our fair city.

Escalator Maintenance Society

Other winners for ‘Make Space for Art’ include Michael Pannacci of Brooklyn, Ontario, Canada; Ines Fernandez and Lucia Perez of New York City; Sofia Fernandes and Tiago Carvalho of Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Beside the cash prizes, the winners will be part of a touring exhibition in North Texas, which will include those who received honorable mentions: Simon Stahl and Emma Melin of Jonkping, Sweden; Delphine Borg of Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Brandon Woodward of Seattle, Washington; Chris Sano of Dallas, Texas; and Michael Hargens, Sophia Razzaque, and Teoman Ayas of London, UK; and Karl Benzon of Chester, New Jersey.

The tour of North Texas starts later this year. Stay tuned folks. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride has just begun!

Sponsors for ‘Make Space for Art’ so far include Preservation Tree Services, City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, Barry Whistler Gallery, and Perkins Will. Special thanks to PanAmerican ArtProjects, DRY Soda, and The Belmont Hotel. YAY team! More underwriting possibilities are available. Feel free to email.

SHARE
  • What a great project to be involved in! Make Space for Art took on a life of its own and look at the astounding results. Great job congrats to all involved. And Sarah Jane, thanks for keeping all the poison ivy fun to yourself from that day at LRTX last month! – Sharon @ Preservation

  • You know the day was a great success when all the architects on the jury wanted to design the project themselves!

  • What a nice surprise to read you here! This is just such an outstanding project. It’s going to be great to be able to remember what this all looked like before your dream became reality. Thanks for making our city a little cooler!

  • Pingback: AIA Retrospect at NorthPark Center()