On the Monday of New York Fashion Week, artist Samantha McCurdy slings open the door to her Deep Ellum loft dressed in a kimono, rolled jeans, and clogs. Five hundred miles away from the epicenter of the fashion world, her massive living space turned mixed-use studio sits blank, save for a small den. The TV has Girl Most Likely queued up on Netflix.
The space is called That That, and like everything in McCurdy’s life, it is an opportunity to create something out of nothing. Wood from 2013’s Chanel runway show in Fair Park, for instance, has been repurposed onto the walls of the bathroom and the third bedroom. After she graduated from Maryland Institute College of Art, McCurdy and her former roommate moved to Dallas together, found the space, and started fixing it up.
“I went to school for sculpture, and most of the work here was cosmetic, so we just started building walls,” she says. Her home gallery has seen everything from DJ events and “surrealist puppet shows” to magazine release parties and art openings.
McCurdy herself recently held an opening at RE Gallery in the Cedars. Samantha McCurdy Fall/Winter ’14—a nod to the show-naming devices used in the fashion industry—consisted of protruding spandex pieces that made use of three-dimensional space and tapped into the lighter winter palette of mint greens and candy pinks that she saw from designers last season. (You can find her work at Galleri Urbane’s booth at this month’s Dallas Art Fair.)
Fashion, as it happens, is just another medium for McCurdy, who also works in The Joule’s ultra-cool boutique, TenOverSix. “I love telling stories and I always title my outfits,” she says. Her favorite is “Nude Beach,” a neutral top, flowy island pants, and a sea necklace that she got on vacation.
“I went through this phase where I was creating black sand paintings, and then I would see a designer using these really textured black sweaters,” McCurdy says. “Maybe the two are directly independent from each other, but I always recognize the connections.”