Artist, curator, educator, and writer
Arthur Peña is an artist and educator who helped lead the DIY art resurgence a few years back, both through art space WARE:WOLF:HAUS and the roving music venue and label Vice Palace. He currently is the visiting assistant professor in painting at the University of North Texas.
Date shot: July 9.
What neighborhood do you live in? The Cedars.
What did you want to show through your images? On the day I took my pictures, I was preparing to leave for New York for the month of July. This was the only day I could find the time to snap pics throughout the day. I was running errands, finishing up some reading, and finalizing all of my business before I headed to my studio in the Bronx. If anything, I wanted to capture the banality of the liminal space before one departs their home. The triple checking of unplugging equipment, watering plants, checking emails and, in general, all the maintenance that a busy life requires.
What do you feel people who don’t live in Dallas should know about it? I would have answered this question differently a few years ago. What I feel people should know about Dallas is colored through my experience as a working artist living and creating here. I travel frequently to see fellow artists, do studio visits, exhibit work, make paintings, and take meetings in order to further the creative culture here in Dallas. I used to champion the DIY efforts that a large city like Dallas cultivated, as seen in the golden age of artist-run spaces circa 2013 through 2016. This is not a “back in my day things were different” kind of conversation, either.
The city was literally different in terms of codes and regulations that did not seek to stamp out or prohibit creative freedom and expression through nontraditional exhibitions and venues. I think people should know that the city, fire marshal, and code enforcement department are actively working against the creative class, stalling the growth and momentum that was once celebrated.