Wednesday, May 22, 2024 May 22, 2024
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The Best of Big D: Art

We pick the top cultural spaces in Dallas.
photography by Chris Plavidal

Best Art Space
The Reading Room

Karen Weiner’s explorations of the boundaries between text and art at The Reading Room have made Dallas’ art scene smarter. Exhibitions at the tiny Fair Park art space this year have included sculptures that print out phone messages from callers outside the gallery; videos of fishing trips set to the sound of gastrointestinal processes; and plenty of other delightful, perplexing, and almost always ingenious artistic projects.

Readers’ Pick: Dallas Contemporary

Best Museum Shop
The Lotus Shop

The gift shop at the Crow Collection of Asian Art recently got a bit of a makeover. As you might expect, you can find lovely Japanese tea sets, red lacquer bento boxes, and origami books for the kids. But there are plenty of items for folks who lack Margaret Crow’s passion for Asian art and objects. Cool cuff links, smart totes, and delicate jewelry will make everyone in your life happy. 2010 Flora St. 214-979-6430.

Readers’ Pick: Nasher Sculpture Center Store

Best Framer
Randy Murphy

We asked a certain notable local collector for input on whom he trusts to frame his fine art. His answer was immediate: Randy Murphy. Our collector uses words like “exacting” and “precise” to describe Murphy’s work and claims that the artistry of the frames sometimes rivals that of the artwork. Be prepared, though—Murphy may express strong opinions about your taste in art. So maybe save the framing duties for that poster from Spencer’s for someone else.

Readers’ Pick: Mann’s Art & Frame


Best Museum
Dallas Museum of Art

The dallas museum of art could have received a nod just for its free general admission policy, which, in January 2013, made visiting the museum’s permanent collection completely gratis. But under the leadership of director Maxwell Anderson, the museum has also taken steps to become a leading institution in its field, from launching international partnerships to endowing funds for increasing its holdings of Old Masters art.

Readers’ Pick: Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Best Art Gallery
Oliver Francis Gallery

Last year, we named Oliver Francis Gallery the Best Art Space, rather than gallery. The small DIY space was still just getting its legs under itself as an artist-representing, work-selling outfit. In the past year, though, Oliver Francis has done a better job of finding the most interesting local artists, mounting shows by important artists, and even exporting its represented artists via curated shows in New York.

Readers’ Pick: Valley House Gallery & Sculpture Garden