The Dallas Bath House Cultural Center is a diverse performing and visual arts venue nestled on the shores of White Rock Lake. It houses a 116-seat theater, three gallery spaces and the White Rock Lake Museum. Developed in 1981 as the city’s first neighborhood cultural center it is consistently named as one of the “Top 100 Attractions in the DFW Metroplex.” The restored historic Art Deco building is reason enough to visit especially to watch the sunset over White Rock Lake, however their art exhibits and plays offer so much more. Boldly living up to its mission of “enhancing the quality of life for all Dallas citizens” the Bath House is an energetic and creative environment.
Recognized for its nurturing of new work and as a place where artists and audiences interact the Bath House fosters an innovative, multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary exchange between artists and their audiences.
Dallas’ Bath House Cultural Center’s recent Fictional 3 Art Exhibition is an example of exciting creativity. A collaborative project between the Bath House gallery and the 14th Annual Festival of Independent Theatres (FIT) the exhibition presented artwork based loosely from the plots of eight one-act plays. The artists, without reading the plays, created their original work from phrases/blurbs/themes. The themes were intriguing and very open-ended for the artists.
The audience winner was a collage by Steve Danner entitled “Best Friends.” His artistic prompts were “The changing relationship between two people long married. A story of a couple questioning their love. The answer to the ultimate question: ‘Do you love me?’” He utilized a tree in a park as an analogy of their lives and roots. Sepia toned family photos depicting birth certificates, trips, military service, plus graduation and wedding photos surrounded the couple as they sat on a bench staring at the tree.
After announcing the winner, Enrique Fernández Cervantes Visual Arts Coordinator/Curator shared with all the artists, “First of all, I think you should know that every single piece in the show got votes. There were a few pieces that got many votes and, as of last night, we still did not have a clear winner. Those heavy contenders made this process even more exciting. We like neck-and-neck races to the finish line.”
The exhibition was diverse representing well-established artists and younger creative talents with different perspectives and life experiences.
Top 10 Finalists are listed below in alphabetical order not by their number of votes:
Elizabeth Bingham "Explosion of Nature" - Fused glass
Debbie Buie "Journey Home" - Oil on wood
JR Compton "The Sleeping Man" - Color photograph
Steve Danner "Old Friends" - Mixed media, acrylic, collage on wood and canvas
Angela Gallia "Homeward Bound" – Stoneware
Lynn McClain "Blue Fox - Reflections of a Long Marriage" - Wood, paper, mixed media
Freddie McCoo "Paradise Lost" - Acrylic on canvas
Tanya Joiner Slate "Authentic" - Mixed media on canvas
Marilee Vergati-Haynes "REM Shadows" - Mixed media on canvas with vintage fabric and acrylic
Marilyn Waligore "Caliban" - Ultrachrome cotton rag print
The creative prompts for Fictional 3 Exhibition were:
1. A sleeping man. Mysterious shadows in the dark. Mirrors and written notes.
2. A chance encounter with an urban coyote. Dreaming about a green island. Going back home.
3. Mayan prophesies. The end of the world. Bomb shelters.
4. Three Texas women. The book “Eat. Pray. Love.” A wild adventure to New York City.
5. A brokenhearted widow novelist. A womanizing portrait photographer. Suppressed feelings being released.
6. The transformative power of activism and tolerance. A young idealist woman in a world gone awry. Believing in the goodness of human nature.
7. Two young women who reject love. The complexities of human relationships. The difficulties of love.
8. The changing relationship between two people long married. A story of a couple questioning their love. Do you love me?
Events at the Dallas Bath House Cultural Center are year-round. Check their website calendar for more details. Sponsors include the Texas Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Bath House is also a member of Dallas Art Dealers Association (DADA).