What’s What: October’s Local Art Highlights

Blake Bathman
Mercury Staff

It’s midterm season, and let’s be honest: you’re looking for anything to distract yourself from school right now. There’s nothing like local art to help you reset and get back into your academic groove. Clear your mind with this month’s DFW art highlights:

1. Paulo Nimer Pjota

Every Empire Breaks Like a Vase”

Photo couresty of Paulo Nimer Pjota

With almost a decade of exhibition experience, Paulo Nimer Pjota’s reputation precedes him. The Brazilian native collages historical references with DIY sensibilities. His bric-a-brac tableaus reference street art and culture to unsettle the Western art canon. Cast-gourds and bloodied tapestries bring Plato to the present as Pjota weaves personal narrative and antiquity into his unique work.


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Oct. 22, 2021-TBD

The Power Station

3816 Commerce St., Dallas, TX 75226

2. Ciara Elle Bryant

Server: Love Ta, Love Ta Love Ya”

Photo courtesy of Ciara Elle Bryant

Pulling from social media, Black culture and popular music, there’s really nothing Ciara Elle Bryant has not referenced in her work. The fourth installment in her “Server” series, “Love Ta, Love Ta Love Ya” presents a love letter to Bryant’s upbringing and Black culture in America. As the gallery writes in a social media post,

“Bryant manifests her encyclopedic collection of digital ephemera from Black popular culture into large-scale installations. Social media posts, news stories, memes, viral videos, and the like are presented en masse, offering a physical space for Black identity and self-actualization to take center stage.”

Bryant’s newest exhibition embodies her nostalgia of her childhood and teenage years. Employing affective memorabilia, she taps into the inexhaustible source of appreciation for contributors to Black popular culture that continue to shape her and the rest of America.

Oct. 16-Jan. 8, 2022

The MAC

1503 Ervay St., Dallas, Texas 75215

3. Mountain View Campus Cliff Gallery

Tree With Half a Root”

Photo courtesy

Curated by local art veterans Kim Phan Nguyen and Narong Tintamusik, “Tree with Half a Root” brings together a powerhouse collective of artists. Highlighting creators of Asian or Asian-American descent, MVC Cliff Gallery’s newest exhibition reaches out and holds the viewer tight in an artistic serenity. According to the Gallery’s Instagram page,

“…[T]he gallery becomes a site of contemplation, meditation, and rejuvenation. Participating artists show places that protect us from harsh surroundings and open our imaginations.”

Works by Bumin Kim and Sangmi Yoo impart a technicolor calm upon the viewer. Kim’s colored fibers blend into a seamless gradient, stimulating the audience’s eye with its optical illusions. Using colorful paper, Yoo weaves tapestries that reveal monochromatic scenes on their rainbow background.

The rest of the artists engage with their work in similar ways, generating an exhibition dedicated to everything bright and jovial. In their latest exhibition, Nguyen and Tintamusik curate a show doused in peace and all the tranquility we could use about now.

Oct. 11-Dec. 3, 2021

Dallas College Mountain View Campus

4849 Illinois Ave., Dallas, Texas 75211 W Building W136

4. Cody Berry

Soldiers of Fortune”

Photo courtesy of Cody Berry

With a painting of the lesser-known fifth ninja turtle, Giotto, Cody Berry kicks off this month’s list in an irreverent tone. Berry’s Warhol-esque paintings bring contemporary Pop art to Dallas. In his Browder Street exhibition, Berry uses real and imaginary characters as parodic critiques of harmful masculinities. From Papa Smurf to The Simpsons, no popular culture reference is safe from Berry’s sardonic vision.

“‘Soldiers of Fortune,’ finds the artist riffing on Hollywood’s idea of America, seeking moments of wisdom and/or comic relief by lampooning the idea of the Soldier,” reads the show’s artistic statement.

Underneath the layers of neon paint and comedy, Berry’s work presents an interesting critique at the intersection of Hollywood and masculinity. Ultimately, he ensures you’ll never see your favorite childhood cartoon the same.

Oct. 23-Nov. 13, 2021

Browder Street

1400 Browder St., Dallas, Texas 75215


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