Constructive Criticism: “I’m not going to be able to outthink the art critics,” Coursey says. “I am an intellectual. I’m just not that bright, is the deal. So I figured I’d just go with what you know, as a man of ordinary smarts probably should. And what I know is what I can do.” Elizabeth Lavin

Local News

Tim Coursey Is the Quietest (and Maybe Best) Artist in Dallas

He's also a furniture and jewelry maker and, more recently, a writer.

I will admit I do not know all the artists in Dallas. I frequent (or did, back in Precedented Times) a number of galleries, but my interest is casual and my knowledge has giant gaps in it. But when it comes to writers, I’d like to think there aren’t many living in and around Dallas who have escaped my notice, at least not many worth knowing about. I read and write for a living and I read and write in my downtime. One way or another, it’s important to me to check out everyone with a pen and North Texas ZIP code.

Somehow, Tim Coursey—who counts as his friends and fans the bestselling author Ben Fountain (Billy Lynn’s Longtime Halftime Walk) and essayist David Searcy—got by me. At least he did until sometime last year. I saw a photo of him that Sofia Bastidas Vivar, curator at SMU’s Pollock Gallery, posted to her Instagram account, showing Coursey working on a book he was printing on the gallery’s Risograph machine. I was intrigued. Even more so when it turned out that what he was working on, a spiral-bound collection of his short stories, Driving Lessons: Thirteen Stories, was to serve as the basis for an exhibition at the Pollock.

It’s up now, through March 13, and I encourage everyone to go check it out. It’s where I met Coursey in December, a conversation that turned into a profile of the artist, writer, and furniture maker. It’s in the March issue of D Magazine, and you can read it here. As I followed him around the exhibition, which features his pencil drawings, broadside excerpts of his stories, and a new sculpture, Hope Chest, he spoke so softly that it barely registered on my phone recorder. So maybe that’s how I missed Tim Coursey.

He has mastered the art of hiding in plain sight, almost invisible even to me in an empty gallery.

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