Best of Dallas 2015 Guide : Page 56

dallasobserver.com dallasobserver.com Best Storyteller Rawlins Gilliland “The Man Who Lived to Tell” describes 70-year-old storytelling master Rawlins Gillil-and. A former sales director for Neiman Mar-cus, now a KERA radio commentator, this Dallas native spent the past year regaling audi-ences with three shows full of stirring, soul-searing stories from his rich and varied life. In a series of standing-room-only nights at Sons of Hermann Hall and the Kessler Theater, Gil-liland shared brushes with death, encounters with great minds and adventures from a life-time of what he describes as “simply showing up.” He says his most recent show was his last, but we refuse to believe that. When and where Gilliland shows up next, we’ll be there. rawlinsgilliland.com Best Public Art Downtown PegASuS AT The oMNi SPORTS/RECREACTION | | stage NIGHTLIFE/MUSIC FOOD/DRINK CULTURE/PEOPLE | thread SHOPPING/SERVICES | Classified | MusiC | dish | Movies | Culture | | Night+day | feature | | sChutze | uNfair Park | the | CoNteNts | Richard Sharum’s Observe Dallas Project When East Dallas street photographer Rich-ard Sharum announced that he would install a series of enormous photographic prints on the outside walls of buildings throughout downtown Dallas, he described it as a “war” with the city. It was his way of giving City Hall the bird, he says, for not doing enough for marginalized populations. Sharum, founder of the real estate photography biz Shoot2Sell, put his epic-sized photos of homeless people and Latinos in prominent, impossible-to-ignore spots to force viewers to stop and see the faces of his subjects. His public gallery of gorgeous portraits honored people too many in Dallas would prefer re-main invisible. Best Artistic Middle Finger Tracie Louck Best Arts & Crafts Classes Oil & Cotton Since opening in 2010, this “creative ex-change” in Oak Cliff has become a haven for art makers and crafters. Pick up materials for a new project here, or take affordable hands-on classes with local artists and creatives. Founded by art conservator Shannon Driscoll and piano teacher Kayli House Cusick, Oil & Cotton has become one of the neighborhood’s most beloved small businesses. Current classes include lessons in watercolor, mac-ramé, calligraphy, leatherwork, enameling and tapestry weaving. If there’s an art to mak-ing people more artistic, they’ve mastered it. 817 W. Davis St., No. 110, 214-942-0474, oilandcotton.com nization has grown into a nonprofit commu-nity-wide charity that “conspires” to raise money and awareness for local arts pro-grams and social causes. Last year the an-nual Art Con party (sponsored in part by Dallas Observer ) benefited the Anita N. Mar-tinez Ballet Folklorico. The benefit of the benefit is what a great get-down the party is, with a hot mix of artists, musicians, social-ites and business titans moving and shaking for the right reasons. 3824 Cedars Springs Road, Suite 106, artconspiracy.org 5900 Bishop Blvd., 214-768-2516, meadowsmuseumdallas.org burg, the Meadows Museum on the Southern Methodist University campus houses one of the foremost collections of Spanish art out-side The Prado in Spain. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, this small but impres-sive museum, funded by Dallas oilman and philanthropist Algur H. Meadows in 1965, houses works by Velasquez and masterpieces from the last 500 years of Spanish painting and portraiture. sic by Justin Ellington, says this is still a work-in-progress. But the lavishly designed and visually stunning production directed by Ca-mille A. Brown, in its debut here, had a thrill-ing emotional pull. Its powerful take on “black lives matter” made for a wrenching commentary on what’s happening in the real world. Readers’ Pick: Book of Mormon DALLAS DALLAS OBSERVER OBSERVER Best Poetry Night WordSpace’s Pegasus Reading Series WordSpace, a nonprofit literary organization, has been a vital source for the Dallas literary scene for two decades. The new Pegasus Reading Series, arranged by WordSpace mem-ber and poet Sebastián Hasani Páramo, is a new forum where emerging and established writers and poets read new work. Happening monthly, in collaboration with galleries such as Kettle Art, the event includes an open mic after the featured readings, offering a safe space where words take wing. wordspacedallas.com Readers’ Pick: Perot Museum of Nature and Science 2201 N. Field St., 214-428-5555, perotmuseum.org Best Bridge Continental Bridge It was around dusk one evening during Dal-las’ monsoon season last spring, and clumps of people were sprinting off the Continental Avenue bridge, just steps ahead of a wall of fat raindrops. The downpour was expected, but the lure of standing above the swollen Trinity River and watching downtown Dallas enveloped by inky clouds had been too strik-ing to pass up. The bridge, which closed to traffic several year ago and reopened last spring as a pedestrian-only linear park, will never be as popular as Klyde Warren. It’s too monotonous, with too much concrete and too little shade to have that type of pull. But it offers majestic views of downtown Dallas and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, a sorely needed pedestrian connection across the Trinity River and a welcome splash of whimsy (Dallas turned a car bridge into a park?!?), all without the danger of being flat-tened by cars. Stagger Lee, Dallas Theater Center Best Musical Readers’ Pick: Painting With a Twist 5202 W. Lovers Lane, paintingwithatwist.com Best Art Party Art Conspiracy Originally intended as a one-night auction and party to raise money for Hurricane Ka-trina relief efforts, Art Conspiracy kept go-ing and is now one of the largest, rowdiest events for a good cause in this city. The orga-Best Museum Meadows Museum Next to a tree-lined boulevard, fronted by sculptures by Henry Moore and Claes Olden-10 56 Years in development at Dallas Theater Cen-ter, February’s world premiere of the musical Stagger Lee , written by DTC playwright-in-residence and Meadows Prize SMU writer Will Power, filled the Wyly Theatre with im-pressive talent — Cedric Neal (now living in London and starring in West End musicals there), M. Denise Lee, Traci Lee (Denise’s daughter), Akron Watson, Major Attaway, Ricky Tripp, DTC company member Hassan El-Amin, power-belter Tiffany Mann, Saycon Sengbloh and Brandon Gill — in a near-epic retelling of factual and mythical black history. Power, who wrote book and lyrics, with mu-S eptember 24-30, 2015 M onth XX–M onth XX, 2014

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