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Broadcast/The Onion Principle

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By Nature Sargent

This holiday season when you are searching for something to do, an interesting place to go and your house is bursting at the seams with family, consider the South Dallas Cultural Center.  Tucked inside the Arthello Beck Gallery, are two exciting exhibits.  New works by local artist Mark Crow and Harvard educated Marisa Williamson are well worth your time.

Mark’s exhibit, The Onion Principle, shows scenes from the artist’s life.  He uses acrylic on canvas, wood and board with what seems to be pixels formed to create a variety of dynamic, bold imagery.  My personal favorite is Ascending Flower.  I am convinced it belongs in my living room!  Ascending Flower shows a woman with a peaceful expression, seated with her knees folded to her chest; Mark chose orange and green in square panels as contrast to her expression.

Two paintings of a boy in jail, with a transparency that includes a poem on one and the other has a Booking Form for County Jail.  The stroll through the gallery is short, but the art shows enormous talent and gives you something to discuss.  It is a great place to bring older children and introduce them to art as a discussion piece.  You may even choose to buy a piece for display in your home as all are available for sale.

Marisa’s exhibit, Broadcast, used multi-media and to me, suggested we live in a microwave society.  Everything is quick, fast and hurried, major moments in our collective experience that have been condensed to a media moment.  Marisa has microwaves on the wall and as you look through the window, you see a variety of images.

One iconic to this city, President Kennedy’s car, is rather surreal looking at Jackie’s pink, pillbox hat and knowing that in real time, long ago she was moments from an extreme act of violence, perhaps the most terrifying seconds of her existence and becoming the world’s most photographed widow.

Another image is from “Thriller”, Michael Jackson’s work that revolutionized the art of making music videos and inspired generations of musicians, directors, dancers and singers.  As you move from one microwave moment to the next, a television set is broadcasting images of Marissa, her words and those of iconic black women.  Sit, listen, and draw your own conclusions.

If you would like more information about Mark Crow, you can visit his website  For more news about Marissa Williamson, visit  Their work will be available from now through January 1, 2011.  The South Dallas Cultural Center is located at 3400 South Fitzhugh and has hours Tuesday through Friday from 1pm-9pm and on Saturdays from 9am-5 pm.  There is no charge to enter the Center; however, special events and programs may have a fee associated.  Check online or call ahead so you won’t be surprised.

Categories: The Arts, Visual
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