Sunday, July 5, 2009
A Whole 'Nother Country
I grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, during the 1980s and 90s. I remember thinking of cities like Memphis, New Orleans, and Dallas as distant metropolises full of glamour, neon lights, and general excitement. These were the places where my well heeled classmates would be taken by their mothers to shop for new school clothes or one-of-a-kind cotillion dresses, or would accompany their fathers to attend action-packed sporting events. Dallas had a special place in this starry constellation because a picture of it entered my family’s living room every Friday evening (in the form of J.R., Sue Ellen, and company on Dallas) and sometimes, with luck, on New Year’s Day (in the form of an Arkansas Razorbacks appearance at the Cotton Bowl). To my mind, Dallas, with its distinctive lit-up skyline and Neiman Marcus catalogs, was the epitome of a city; New York might as well have been on another planet.
Well, now I have the chance to learn about the real Dallas, to replace this childhood picture of it in my mind. For the next two months, I’ll be living and working at UT Dallas’ Central Trak artist residency, in the neighborhood of Deep Ellum. I’m looking forward to learning about a new art community and reconnecting with my Texas ties. I’ll be posting about my adventures here. Stay tuned!