Photo credit: Sara Kerens for ALG Collective.

Visual Arts

How To Spend an Afternoon in the Design District

A guide to how to spend a day—or an hour—in one of Dallas' most interesting neighborhoods

The Dallas Design District is certainly not lacking in things to do. Which can make it tricky to navigate. Even if you only have an hour, there’s plenty to see. While the neighborhood is known as a Texas hub for interior designers, it offers much more than showrooms and boutiques and tile warehouses. The area is saturated with art galleries, and with casual hangout spots like Bowlounge and Ascension in close quarters, it’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon gallery hopping. Here’s how to make the most of a few hours in the Design District.

Start out on the south side of Dragon Street at Cinq Gallery, which showcases up-and-coming contemporary artists. There are over 16 artists currently being shown, both local and international, each with their own unique point of view. The vibe is colorful, modern, and a little edgy.

Stroll down the block to Craighead Green Gallery, a longstanding Dallas institution which focuses on contemporary painting, archival pigment prints, and sculpture. If you like your modern art to have a bit of whimsy, you’ll like the selection here.

Samuel Lynne Galleries is next. The posh gallery opened by JD Miller and Phil Romano represents artists like Lea Fisher, Tyler Shields, and Art Fairchild. There’s an exhibition of David Yarrow’s dramatic photos on view through February 2020.

At this point, you may need a palate cleanser. Allow us to suggest popping around the block for a shopping break at Lula B’s or White Elephant Antiques. Both shops specialized in vintage furniture and home goods, but there is a limited selection of vintage fashion at Lula B’s. You can head back toward Oak Lawn and Hi-Line if you’re looking for a bite or a drink. That’s where you’ll find Oak, Meddlesome Moth, Ascension, Wheelhouse, and Sassetta. If you prefer to eschew the fine dining establishments, venture closer to the Trinity River for some barbecue at Slow Bone. 

After perusing mid-century chairs and teak credenzas, it’s time to get back to business. Onto the next block!

Laura Rathe Fine Art is an impressive, sprawling gallery that represents artists like Hunt Slonem, Zhuang Hong Yi, and Lucrecia Waggoner. There’s a healthy mix of painting, photography, and sculpture.

In the same building you’ll find the Latino Arts Project, a museum that features Latino art, culture, and history through their exhibitions and outreach programs. Their next exhibit, Metaphysical Orozco, opens in February 2020. Tickets are $12.

Before breaking for a snack and a cocktail at Wheelhouse, check out ALG Collective, which consists of four resident artists—glass artist Anna Curnes, pop artist Annie Griffeth, abstract expressionist Christi Meril, and sculptural oil painter Melissa Ellis. (This studio and gallery is only open on Thursdays.)

If you’re still hungry for more, keep heading north down Dragon Street. You’ll run into Christopher Martin Gallery, which showcases the self-taught artist’s large-scale reverse-glass paintings; Joel Cooner Gallery, which specializes in tribal, Asian, Oceanic, Pre-Columbian, and Ancient artworks; and Ferrari Gallery, owned by artists James and Debra Ferrari.

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