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New "Guerilla" Arts Group Launching


by David Ninh 15 Jul 2009

Full disclosure: Patrick Short makes really strong drinks. The outspoken twenty-three year old bartender at TMC on Cedar Springs has more up his artistic sleeves than concocting shots – he’s also an accomplished artist. Armed with an arts degree from Boston University, he came back home to Dallas after living in Boston and New York to […]

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Full disclosure: Patrick Short makes really strong drinks. The outspoken twenty-three year old bartender at TMC on Cedar Springs has more up his artistic sleeves than concocting shots – he’s also an accomplished artist. Armed with an arts degree from Boston University, he came back home to Dallas after living in Boston and New York to start GuerillaArts – a new non-profit forming in East Dallas that will assist emerging contemporary artists. His new program will include a “Guerilla Art school” an evening and summer program geared towards portfolio development for high schoolers planning on pursuing art degrees in college. He and his team hope to run a residency with art teachers, staff and studio spaces at a building on Haskell (near vintage haven Dolly Python). We briefly chatted with Short recently:

What is GuerillaArts all about?

GuerillaArts grew out of my own personal frustration with the Dallas art scene and my own experiences and dealings with the Texas art world after moving down here from Boston. Bottom line: there is very little support down here for the young artist. GuerillaArts is a solution for the young artist, from a young artist.

What’s wrong with the art community in Texas?

Texas has some of the most advanced metropolitan societies in the world and yet the support for the arts, especially concerning education, is insulting. To your average Texan, art is purely decorative. It’s primary function is to look nice with the new couch and drapes and impress everyone who comes to see it. Most people don’t understand contemporary art and no one is impressed by that which they do not understand, and very few people understand art as a harbinger of social progress. The few galleries that do show progressive contemporary art in Dallas, do so like they are in Chelsea in New York – which is high minded work, weighty price tags and a copious amount of attitude. How is this accessible? And how can the average person even relate to it? Good art challenges the viewer and the ultimate goal of art-making is to facilitate a profound reaction from your audience.

How will your group change that?

Through community involvement. We are going to have our messy little fingers in everyone’s pots. The space will not only be used for exhibitions, but for movie nights, artist talks, after-school programs, studio spaces, public art project headquarters and an event and performance venue. The kind of work we show may vary, but it will all have the continuity of being risky and thought provoking. There will be no gallery/artist split when work sells – buyers will get in touch directly with our artists and any sales will be in the artists’ hands. Phase Two is to open our 2,500 square foot sudio space upstairs from our exhibition room and offer studio residencies to local young artists. We aim to recreate the communal environment of making art in college and to keep talented young artists making work, learning from each other and reacting to relevant social issues. Phase Three  is to get the school up and running. The exhibition space is 1,200 square feet and we plan to use it for lectures, workshops and after school programs and portfolio building intensive for high schoolers planning on pursuing art in college. We want to create an environment where they are comfortable asking questions and are rigorously challenged.

What’s next?

The GuerillaArts launch will be epic in scale and happening some time in August or early September! I’m blind to any possible setbacks and challenges. The gallery space will open first and be easy to work out with new plumbing, electrical and some false walls. The other spaces require substantially more work and money and will be coming in later months.

For more information or to contact Short, send an email to GuerillaArts@gmail.com.

Stay tuned!

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  • I wish GuerillaArts the best of luck, and as a Dallas artist who is suggesting revolutionary changes in the arts – Dallas is all that and IMO worse for its artists.

    http://musea.wordpress.com/2009/06/01/musea-extra-summary-of-the-revolution-in-art-visual-arts/

  • brian halloran

    wow sounds amazing. Want to set one up in Austin? Fine Art is a bit secluded here. Can’t wait to see how it develops. I get the feeling like the pieces are in place for something big, well rounded and exciting.
    Big up

  • Max

    artist should be given a chance to show off their talents

  • Just what we need in Kingston, Jamaica! if you’re successful may i suggest a franchise?

  • Joe

    We are a local Heating & Air Conditioning Company and we would like to donate our services and any equipment necessary to your effort. Our son is a young artist, we are very excited about your future and want very much to be a part of this revolution.

  • Wav

    It would be nice if this interview had a link to Patrick’s website.

    http://shortpatrick.com/

    The site reaffirms his holier than thou attitude found above as well as spells out why he might be having a hard time with the galleries in Dallas.

    I wish this twenty-three year old “artist” the best of luck.

    • Hmmm

      Yes, the link to the artists website is very revealing.

      There is nothing “wrong” with the work displayed, but if one wishes to form an organization to nurture high school students, nude (self?) portraits with light BDSM gear and explicit overtones are not the best creations to showcase on a website.

  • Zach Bowman

    Well, thank goodness we have this civilized savior from Boston to come save us lowly, uneducated savages from our lack of culture. Apparently the rich, diverse, and progressive Texas art scene that I have spent almost my entire life in has been a sham all along.
    Look, I’m sorry Dallas isn’t as compressed in an urban sense as the cities of the East coast and segregated into little enclaves, but Dallas has a thriving art scene and very much supports the arts. I am also sorry that the “Dallas Art Ambassador didn’t greet you at the border and show you around. I’ll call her about that.
    Incidentally, since this posting, GuerillaArts is still an empty building and doesn’t intend to support any art other than video production, according to the contact my partner and I spoke to yesterday. So, painters, sculptors, performance artists, and all of you other artists of other kinds: Our superiors in Boston don’t think we’re real artists.
    And, finally, doesn’t anyone else think it’s rude to disparage the Dallas art community on a blog that is dedicated to it?

  • Zach Bowman

    Oh, and exactly what does “community involvement” mean. I live one block away from the old biker hang out GA is intending to turn into its headquarters, and I only know about it from seeing the name painted on the wall. Does that constitute ‘involvement’?
    Please go back to Boston… PLEASE. I grow so weary of people who move here from elsewhere and do little but talk about how much better it is where they’ve come from. If it is so horrible here and so wonderful, inspiring, and supportive of your lifestyle, then for crying out loud, MOVE BACK. I love Dallas for all its problems (and I dare you to find a city with none) and I think it’s time people stopped whining about it. Embrace it or go back.

  • Zach Bowman

    correction–“If it is so horrible here and so wonderful, inspiring, and supportive of your lifestyle *where you came from*, then for crying out loud, MOVE BACK”