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Dallas Is Getting A New Cultural Plan. Here’s Where We Are In The Process.

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Welcome to the Art&Seek Artist Spotlight. Every Thursday, here and on KERA FM, we’ll explore the personal journey of a different North Texas creative. As it grows, this site, artandseek.org/spotlight, will eventually paint a collective portrait of our artistic community. Check out all the artists we’ve profiled.

Photo via Dallas Cultural Plan

Photo via Dallas Cultural Plan

Dallas’ Office of Cultural Affairs has been working on a new cultural plan. It’ll shape how the city makes decisions about arts projects over the next decade. And on Monday, Mayor Mike Rawlings held a public panel about it. In this week’s Artist Spotlight, we fill you in on the plan’s progress and highlights some community concerns.

Mayor Mike Rawlings dances at the opening reception of Dallas Arts Month. Photo: Dallas Cultural Plan

Mayor Mike Rawlings dances at the opening reception of Dallas Arts Month.
Photo: Dallas Cultural Plan

Every year, during Arts Month, Mayor Rawlings hosts a discussion about important arts issues. This year, he chose to give a progress report on the new cultural plan. And he says he’s pleased with the community’s involvement in the process.

“I think what has been most exciting”, says the Mayor, “is [that] we’ve gotten thousands and thousands of people to input into this plan.”

Dallas began developing its cultural plan last July, when the Office of Cultural Affairs gathered some of the city’s artists, arts advocates and organization leaders to discuss the city’s creative future.

Insights 1“We felt it was important to make sure it was very inclusive,” the Mayor says. “We went to the small arts organizations, as well as the large ones, and really got into the neighborhoods where people feel that art is important to them.”

Nearly nine months since,and what are the results? Well, the city has narrowed its focus to six different areas that they plan to address in the plan. Things like, attracting cultural tourism, supporting equitable access to arts and culture and helping arts organizations sustain themselves.

Insights 2“One big ‘aha moment’ coming out of this plan is that Dallas needs to not focus on building buildings, but building an arts community,” says the OCA’s director Jennifer Scripps. She – along with several consultants – have been spearheading the project.

Joy Baily Bryant, from Lord Cultural Resources, is one of those consultants.

The OCA has organized 33 community conversations to survey Dallasites about the cultural offerings in their neighborhoods. That’s not the only way that they connected with residents though.

Culture“We actually partnered with the Parks Department and started showing up at regularly scheduled Park monogramming, especially with senior citizens and especially with programming that was in Spanish,” Scripps says.

That approach helped the OCA interact with people who didn’t know the Cultural Plan existed. Scripps says it provided a really rich citizen dialogue.

“And in some ways it was more candid and natural than the people who clearly came to meetings to advocate on behalf of,you know, issue X,” she says.

Speaking with thousands of people, means thousands of opinions though. Here are just a few of the things that came up Monday night:

No Limits Arts Theater Photo: http://@NLAT.org

No Limits Arts Theater
Photo: http://@NLAT.org

“I’m really hopeful and praying that if we can’t bring art education back into the schools – because our schools in the Southern sectors of Dallas are lacking in art education – that at least we can [have] programs outside the school that the children can go to and learn about art if it can’t come back into the school,” says Audrie Mills from No Limits Arts Theater.

“I can’t find spaces that don’t want to charge me a ton of money,” says Agostina Migoni of Das Blümelein Project. “I just can’t afford to create here.”

“I think we need more funding, more locations to provide the arts and another thing that I think is kind of important is transportation,” Phillip Slay from the Junior Players. “We have lots of students who have a hard time getting to rehearsals and we need to partner with DART.”

“I think the biggest thing for me and a lot of people that art starting newer organizations is just being able to have a person that can say, ‘Oh you need to talk about this. Oh you need to check this out. Oh you should probably meet this coordinator and ask about this,” says Sam Brukhman of Verdigris Ensemble.

Community meeting about the cultural plan. Photo: Brittney Dubose

Community meeting about the cultural plan.
Photo: Brittney Dubose

Joy Baily Bryant and fellow consultant Lizzie MacWillie from [bc] Workshop say they’ve heard a variety of voices and many many different concerns. But the most vital issues have a way of coming up over and over again.

“A good thing about a lot of the data points is there are so many that are the same,” says Bryant. “And that’s how things are starting to rise to the top as priorities.”

The plan should be complete in six months. The next steps? Evaluating a pilot program that placed artists inside city departments. And of course, lots and lots more research.

[post_excerpt] => Dallas' Office of Cultural Affairs says they're about six months away from completing the new Cultural Plan. This story explains what's being prioritized. [post_date_gmt] => 2018-04-12 23:15:39 [post_date] => 2018-04-12 18:15:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-04-12 23:15:39 [post_modified] => 2018-04-12 18:15:39 [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [guid] => http://artandseek.org/?post_type=spotlight&p=189436 [meta] => Array ( [Attribution Title] => Array ( ) [Source] => Array ( ) [enclosure] => Array ( [0] => ) [syndication_source] => Art&Seek | Arts, Music, Culture for North Texas [syndication_source_uri] => http://artandseek.org [syndication_source_id] => http://artandseek.org/feed/ [rss:comments] => http://artandseek.org/spotlight/dallas-is-getting-a-new-cultural-plan-heres-where-we-are-in-the-process/#respond [wfw:commentRSS] => http://artandseek.org/spotlight/dallas-is-getting-a-new-cultural-plan-heres-where-we-are-in-the-process/feed/ [syndication_feed] => http://artandseek.org/feed/ [syndication_feed_id] => 206 [syndication_permalink] => http://artandseek.org/spotlight/dallas-is-getting-a-new-cultural-plan-heres-where-we-are-in-the-process/ [syndication_item_hash] => Array ( [0] => 45a90b415566a5cb627d81d38cc9c9dd [1] => c1a6fc65147f3e34ab5d6e98b7a1daa9 [2] => e64c4fa5be3f721eadff94e0109ddc9f [3] => b3e81c62b2c63571e6ba485de095d2e4 [4] => 9a8fc93ff33ee3d2eb3f3f99f9dd4512 [5] => 10a8dbfffb2082895827420518174d21 [6] => a4236a4d4931ea364e603589b292d27b [7] => 8bd6c57ea6ee975dcba1d5d2ae6436b2 [8] => 83f0c60a233589ed0496462396fe522a [9] => 78f381a55aef9272ec12cfa7b8e9c2f1 [10] => 851bebf4de7a4e159378f97acfab40d9 [11] => c2a266f55d7fa2682aef2914be804464 [12] => 3462ab5a6088e7e8c0af8f47925f4bde [13] => dae79bb66c266521376f8e5a64daf523 [14] => ef87070ed626c9c976023f2e8226e224 [15] => 64d3e55d21aa341f09f8cfad28f5b583 [16] => 592a06dab2ea343b04310cbcb6b73ff1 [17] => e26e26981739cca35a6f59da0c13813d [18] => c5305c34ec6337844e44fca406e9303e [19] => 8ebbbb61d3404352862fc222663ba9d6 [20] => c08fc6e00769919adcfcc56d9150000a [21] => 54226f389dba6bc9181ea01cd03a007a [22] => 211971dc4faaf1633ae4a85fb5ddfc75 [23] => b33f4dd4193132acf47849254156f95e [24] => daa0bd636cf1bd8037d2e398f4d13f71 [25] => 0ebd600456a80e0c278a6b91f0a17571 [26] => 31a3c9cca8d879c1773935573ae1b23c [27] => 4b138bae384ff5cf2048d8194dbe9ef3 [28] => e3578f49de8a03cea931e5660a4d417e [29] => 51984527bb94e172bfa15e6b4e50d278 [30] => cc041096d491891231c6aa4a43a5e713 ) ) [post_type] => post [post_author] => 6216 [tax_input] => Array ( [category] => Array ( ) [post_tag] => Array ( ) [post_format] => Array ( ) ) [post_name] => dallas-is-getting-a-new-cultural-plan-heres-where-we-are-in-the-process )

Decide filter: Returning post, everything seems orderly :Dallas Is Getting A New Cultural Plan. Here’s Where We Are In The Process.

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Welcome to the Art&Seek Artist Spotlight. Every Thursday, here and on KERA FM, we’ll explore the personal journey of a different North Texas creative. As it grows, this site, artandseek.org/spotlight, will eventually paint a collective portrait of our artistic community. Check out all the artists we’ve profiled.

Photo via Dallas Cultural Plan

Photo via Dallas Cultural Plan

Dallas’ Office of Cultural Affairs has been working on a new cultural plan. It’ll shape how the city makes decisions about arts projects over the next decade. And on Monday, Mayor Mike Rawlings held a public panel about it. In this week’s Artist Spotlight, we fill you in on the plan’s progress and highlights some community concerns.

Mayor Mike Rawlings dances at the opening reception of Dallas Arts Month. Photo: Dallas Cultural Plan

Mayor Mike Rawlings dances at the opening reception of Dallas Arts Month.
Photo: Dallas Cultural Plan

Every year, during Arts Month, Mayor Rawlings hosts a discussion about important arts issues. This year, he chose to give a progress report on the new cultural plan. And he says he’s pleased with the community’s involvement in the process.

“I think what has been most exciting”, says the Mayor, “is [that] we’ve gotten thousands and thousands of people to input into this plan.”

Dallas began developing its cultural plan last July, when the Office of Cultural Affairs gathered some of the city’s artists, arts advocates and organization leaders to discuss the city’s creative future.

Insights 1“We felt it was important to make sure it was very inclusive,” the Mayor says. “We went to the small arts organizations, as well as the large ones, and really got into the neighborhoods where people feel that art is important to them.”

Nearly nine months since,and what are the results? Well, the city has narrowed its focus to six different areas that they plan to address in the plan. Things like, attracting cultural tourism, supporting equitable access to arts and culture and helping arts organizations sustain themselves.

Insights 2“One big ‘aha moment’ coming out of this plan is that Dallas needs to not focus on building buildings, but building an arts community,” says the OCA’s director Jennifer Scripps. She – along with several consultants – have been spearheading the project.

Joy Baily Bryant, from Lord Cultural Resources, is one of those consultants.

The OCA has organized 33 community conversations to survey Dallasites about the cultural offerings in their neighborhoods. That’s not the only way that they connected with residents though.

Culture“We actually partnered with the Parks Department and started showing up at regularly scheduled Park monogramming, especially with senior citizens and especially with programming that was in Spanish,” Scripps says.

That approach helped the OCA interact with people who didn’t know the Cultural Plan existed. Scripps says it provided a really rich citizen dialogue.

“And in some ways it was more candid and natural than the people who clearly came to meetings to advocate on behalf of,you know, issue X,” she says.

Speaking with thousands of people, means thousands of opinions though. Here are just a few of the things that came up Monday night:

No Limits Arts Theater Photo: http://@NLAT.org

No Limits Arts Theater
Photo: http://@NLAT.org

“I’m really hopeful and praying that if we can’t bring art education back into the schools – because our schools in the Southern sectors of Dallas are lacking in art education – that at least we can [have] programs outside the school that the children can go to and learn about art if it can’t come back into the school,” says Audrie Mills from No Limits Arts Theater.

“I can’t find spaces that don’t want to charge me a ton of money,” says Agostina Migoni of Das Blümelein Project. “I just can’t afford to create here.”

“I think we need more funding, more locations to provide the arts and another thing that I think is kind of important is transportation,” Phillip Slay from the Junior Players. “We have lots of students who have a hard time getting to rehearsals and we need to partner with DART.”

“I think the biggest thing for me and a lot of people that art starting newer organizations is just being able to have a person that can say, ‘Oh you need to talk about this. Oh you need to check this out. Oh you should probably meet this coordinator and ask about this,” says Sam Brukhman of Verdigris Ensemble.

Community meeting about the cultural plan. Photo: Brittney Dubose

Community meeting about the cultural plan.
Photo: Brittney Dubose

Joy Baily Bryant and fellow consultant Lizzie MacWillie from [bc] Workshop say they’ve heard a variety of voices and many many different concerns. But the most vital issues have a way of coming up over and over again.

“A good thing about a lot of the data points is there are so many that are the same,” says Bryant. “And that’s how things are starting to rise to the top as priorities.”

The plan should be complete in six months. The next steps? Evaluating a pilot program that placed artists inside city departments. And of course, lots and lots more research.

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FAF deciding on filters on post to be syndicated:

Hey! Look! It’s The ArtsCream Truck!

Array ( [post_title] => Hey! Look! It’s The ArtsCream Truck! [post_content] =>

Welcome to the Art&Seek Artist Spotlight. Every Thursday, here and on KERA FM, we’ll explore the personal journey of a different North Texas creative. As it grows, this site, artandseek.org/spotlight, will eventually paint a collective portrait of our artistic community. Check out all the artists we’ve profiled.

Arnoldo Hurtado sitting in front of his ArtsCream Truck. Photo: Hady Mawajdeh

Arnoldo Hurtado sitting in front of his ArtsCream Truck.
Photo: Hady Mawajdeh

Museums are looking for ways to get diverse audiences in the door and make new visitors feel comfortable. But painter Arnoldo Hurtado has another idea. In this week’s Artist Spotlight, Art&Seek jumps into a mobile art gallery aimed at bringing art to the people.

Arnoldo Hurtado is a man on the move. And he gets around in a big white truck.

Arnoldo Hurtado behind the wheel of the ArtsCream Truck Photo: Hady Mawajdeh

Arnoldo Hurtado behind the wheel of the ArtsCream Truck
Photo: Hady Mawajdeh

“Yeah, so we’re riding around it and (laughs) it’s a refurbished ice cream truck,” Hurtado says with a grin on his face and his hands on the wheel. “Before that, it used to be a mail truck, mail carrier. FedEx type.”

Instead of ice cream or packages though, Hurtado’s truck is filled with paintings.

“I got it in Pensacola, Florida,” he continues. “Found it on Craigslist, went and picked it up, and I’ve slowly turned it into a mobile art experience. I just take it to random corners of the city and open it up and share the art with people. It’s my art.”

He calls the thing his ArtsCream Truck. Inside, massive paintings and colorful tapestries hang on the walls and lights dangle from the roof. He places prints, tiny watercolor paintings and even little sculptures on small tables.

Hurtado says he’s a classically trained painter, “I did portraits at an early age. Landscapes, Texas landscapes with bluebonnets and all that stuff. But there came a point where I was like, ‘Ah!’ you know, ‘I’m done with landscapes.’

The 29-year-old Fort Worth native graduated from the painting and drawing program at University of North Texas. But he’s switched gears.

"VITAL BIRTH" - Arnoldo Hurtado

“VITAL BIRTH” – Arnoldo Hurtado

“And now I’m doing surreal works. So surreal landscapes, surreal creatures…Things I create in my imagination, so hybrid, sort of embryonic fruits. I do a lot of everything. You know, I don’t limit myself,” says Hurtado.

Hurtado’s evolved from a visual artist to an activist, or a social practice artist.

See, at first, the ArtsCream Truck was just a way for Hurtado to show and sell his work. He felt constricted by the gallery scene. Then, he took the truck to a Latino neighborhood in Austin. The reaction made him see the truck differently.

“They came up to the truck and they were curious and they asked me in Spanish, ‘What’s going on?’ I told them that I was part of the EAST Austin Studio Tour and they didn’t know what that was,” Hurtado says.

Those people had lived in the neighborhood for years. And the Studio Tour had been happening for years. But there was no interaction.

“They weren’t being reached,” explains Hurtado.

The ArtsCream Truck Photo: Arnoldo Hurtado

The ArtsCream Truck
Photo: Arnoldo Hurtado

That disconnect reminded him of home. Hurtado grew up on Fort Worth’s North Side in a working-class neighborhood of mostly Spanish speaking families. His street – Northwest 27th – had issues.

“There was a house right next to us that had fights all the time,” Hurtado says. ” [And there were] these piles of couches and trash all around, feces, people living in tents in the front. It was ridiculous. It was out of control.”

So three years ago, Hurtado began knocking on doors and talking to people. He realized others saw the same problems.

“And I was like, ‘Why aren’t we talking about this? Why aren’t we reaching out to each other?’” says Hurtado.

He started Comunidad 27 – a group of neighbors who plant trees, throw potlucks for the Fort Worth Police Department and host Latin Christmas Festivals.

Now, Hurtado says it’s time make the North side a cultural destination.

Hurtado leading a Comunidad 27 meeting. Photo: Comunidad 27

Hurtado leading a Comunidad 27 meeting.
Photo: Comunidad 27

“It’s like, ‘Hey! We can do this, too.’ If we’re not going to get funding or backing from the city to do this, we’re going to do it ourselves because we have that kind of power,” he says.

The ArtsCream Truck was Phase One. Phase Two is a mural project called, “Convivio: Murals of Community and Inclusion.” Hurtado’s convinced local businesses to fork over wall space. And he’s finding neighborhood talent, too.

“So the point is to really get the community involved and invested in their own community by participating in the murals,” says Hurtado.

Hurtado wants to turn the North Side into a kind of outdoor gallery, which shows off the talent of his neighbors. He knows the region’s finest art museums are just a few miles away. But he believes there’s room for more than one cultural district in Fort Worth.

A peek inside of Arnoldo Hurtado's ArtsCream Truck.

A peek inside of Arnoldo Hurtado’s ArtsCream Truck.

How does North Texas effect the production of your art?

Well, because I am so socially aware (laughs), I’d have to say I’m understand North Texas’ culture because, you know, it’s different than Austin or whatever. And I definitely respond the culture. It effects how I approach art, what I paint and even how I approach people.

I feel as though there are gaps that need to be filled – in terms of culture and art. I felt like accessibility to those things were missing in the area I was raised in, and so I’m the person who’s trying to take care of that. And I am talking with people about how they can contribute, too.

FWPD working with Comunidad 27 to plant trees in the Northside neighborhood. Photo: Arnoldo Hurtado

Fort Worth PD working with Comunidad 27 to plant trees in the Northside neighborhood.
Photo: Arnoldo Hurtado

Arnoldo, you’ve worked to unite your neighbors. You’ve founded Comunidad 27 and together you’ve cleaned up streets, planted trees and helped decrease crime. Now, you’re using a food truck that you’ve transformed into a mobile art gallery to bring artwork into underserved communities. Why? Why do you think the responsibility of an artist is to his/her community?

I can’t speak about what other artists should be doing, but I can speak for myself. For me, I have the knowledge of what I am good at and I know what I am actually able to do. I know my strengths. And my strengths are talking to people, getting to know them and making art. So for me, it was like, “Why not?”

We’re definitely living and working in an oppressive society. And I see that. I see the systemic oppression that people don’t want to talk about. But I call it out. I’m passionate about that. That’s why I am always talking about it. But beyond talking about oppression, I want to do something. You know? I think now – more than ever – is the time to start doing something.

I think more people can do this, too. People are capable. But I think we buy into narratives. We buy into the narratives that we need to work a certain amount of hours and live a certain kind of life… but you can write your own narrative. That’s what I’m doing for myself. And I hope that I am helping others to write their own narrative.

"VITAL GENERATION" - Arnoldo Hurtado

“VITAL GENERATION” – Arnoldo Hurtado

I’m sure that you’re asked about your social practice artwork all the time. But can you tell me about your paintings?

I do acrylic paintings, mostly on canvas, and I was classically trained. I did a lot of portraits and landscapes — lot of Texas landscapes with bluebonnets and such. But then there became a point when I was like, “I’m done with the traditional stuff.” And now I am doing surreal work. Surreal landscapes, creatures and things that I create. Think hybrid, embryonic fruits and a lot of nature that looks like that.

I also like to paint nature. I recently did a painting of red horses covered in moss. I think Texans were excited to see the horses. Even if they were covered in a red moss and a made up landscape.

I also do a bit of colorful abstract work. I paint a lot of everything. I don’t limit myself. I mean, I drive a truck around full of paintings. Some of them are cohesive and some of them are just random. And I’m OK with that.

Hurtado dons a cape as he welcomes people into the ArtsCream Truck. Photo: Arnoldo Hurtado

Hurtado dons a cape as he welcomes people into the ArtsCream Truck.
Photo: Arnoldo Hurtado

Arnoldo, you’re work is being shown inside of a truck. Some people show in a gallery. Who is the target audience for your paintings? And where would you like for it to be seen?

I think my artwork can be shown anywhere. But my work specifically can be in a gallery, but right now my calling is in the streets. And there’s a bigger audience in the streets. Probably not the kind that would go inside an art gallery and buy artwork, because galleries are very intimidating to people. They carry the stigma of being exclusive.

So I am approaching it from the this perspective: Let me make what I want to make. I’ll put it in the truck. And people want to walk up to the truck (which they do), they’ll see it.

How do you maintain balance in your life?

I have a lot interests. I love traveling. I love making art. I love meeting and interacting with people. And I’ve become pretty good at listening to myself. If I need to work out, be social or make art – I do it. So I just try to keep being aware.

When did you start calling yourself an artist?

I think I started thinking of myself and calling myself an artist four years ago. I was teaching and there was something about being able to communicate what I do [as an artist] to my students helped. You need to be able to tell people what you do. You need to be able to own it. It’s important.

I know there are people who don’t look at artists as people who contribute to society. And I think students are aware of that. So being able to explain my artwork to them and being able to talk with them really solidified it.

#popup #popupgallery at Expressions For Freedom in #fortworth @artscreamtruck

A post shared by artscreamtruck (@artscreamtruck) on

Are you creatively satisfied?

YES! I am SO SATISFIED. I am actually at the point where I am reaching for more.

So I’m satisfied in the sense that I’ve reached a level where I am happy. But I know there’s going to be more. Right now I am really, really, really happy. But I am excited for more.

Hurtado's "STEED CANYON" photographed in the Fort Worth Blackhouse. Photo: Fort Worth Blackhouse

Hurtado’s “STEED CANYON” photographed in the Fort Worth Blackhouse.
Photo: Fort Worth Blackhouse

Have you had to give anything up to be an artist?

I had to give up my job. I was giving 100-percent of myself to teaching. And I loved it. But I knew there was still more that I wanted to be doing. I wanted to be a student again. Just not necessarily in a higher institution. I wanna be out there on the road. I wanna be meeting people. And I wanna learn lessons. So that’s what I am doing.

What inspires you?

The people. The community. My family. Seeing how there’s a need for creativity, color, adventure and someone to show them how… that inspires me.

I think I am that example. I think I am adding color to my community. And I am happy. And I think that makes other people happy.

"COLORFUL STATIC 1" - Arnoldo Hurtado

“COLORFUL STATIC 1” – Arnoldo Hurtado

What makes you different from other artists in North Texas?

Look, I don’t pretend to know all the artists in North Texas. I’m a creature of habit, so chances are that I hang out with all the same folks in all the same places all the time.

But what makes me different is that I don’t think I am different. I think my mobile art gallery is different. And I think there’s a place for me here. I am putting myself out on the streets. I am challenging the ideas of institution. And I am bringing art to people who may not necessarily be seeing art. Maybe it’s because it’s not in their neighborhood or they think it’s elitist, but I am bringing it to them. And I don’t think anyone else is doing it exactly the same.

Interview questions and answers have been edited for brevity and clarity.

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Decide filter: Returning post, everything seems orderly :Hey! Look! It’s The ArtsCream Truck!

Array ( [post_title] => Hey! Look! It’s The ArtsCream Truck! [post_content] =>

Welcome to the Art&Seek Artist Spotlight. Every Thursday, here and on KERA FM, we’ll explore the personal journey of a different North Texas creative. As it grows, this site, artandseek.org/spotlight, will eventually paint a collective portrait of our artistic community. Check out all the artists we’ve profiled.

Arnoldo Hurtado sitting in front of his ArtsCream Truck. Photo: Hady Mawajdeh

Arnoldo Hurtado sitting in front of his ArtsCream Truck.
Photo: Hady Mawajdeh

Museums are looking for ways to get diverse audiences in the door and make new visitors feel comfortable. But painter Arnoldo Hurtado has another idea. In this week’s Artist Spotlight, Art&Seek jumps into a mobile art gallery aimed at bringing art to the people.

Arnoldo Hurtado is a man on the move. And he gets around in a big white truck.

Arnoldo Hurtado behind the wheel of the ArtsCream Truck Photo: Hady Mawajdeh

Arnoldo Hurtado behind the wheel of the ArtsCream Truck
Photo: Hady Mawajdeh

“Yeah, so we’re riding around it and (laughs) it’s a refurbished ice cream truck,” Hurtado says with a grin on his face and his hands on the wheel. “Before that, it used to be a mail truck, mail carrier. FedEx type.”

Instead of ice cream or packages though, Hurtado’s truck is filled with paintings.

“I got it in Pensacola, Florida,” he continues. “Found it on Craigslist, went and picked it up, and I’ve slowly turned it into a mobile art experience. I just take it to random corners of the city and open it up and share the art with people. It’s my art.”

He calls the thing his ArtsCream Truck. Inside, massive paintings and colorful tapestries hang on the walls and lights dangle from the roof. He places prints, tiny watercolor paintings and even little sculptures on small tables.

Hurtado says he’s a classically trained painter, “I did portraits at an early age. Landscapes, Texas landscapes with bluebonnets and all that stuff. But there came a point where I was like, ‘Ah!’ you know, ‘I’m done with landscapes.’

The 29-year-old Fort Worth native graduated from the painting and drawing program at University of North Texas. But he’s switched gears.

"VITAL BIRTH" - Arnoldo Hurtado

“VITAL BIRTH” – Arnoldo Hurtado

“And now I’m doing surreal works. So surreal landscapes, surreal creatures…Things I create in my imagination, so hybrid, sort of embryonic fruits. I do a lot of everything. You know, I don’t limit myself,” says Hurtado.

Hurtado’s evolved from a visual artist to an activist, or a social practice artist.

See, at first, the ArtsCream Truck was just a way for Hurtado to show and sell his work. He felt constricted by the gallery scene. Then, he took the truck to a Latino neighborhood in Austin. The reaction made him see the truck differently.

“They came up to the truck and they were curious and they asked me in Spanish, ‘What’s going on?’ I told them that I was part of the EAST Austin Studio Tour and they didn’t know what that was,” Hurtado says.

Those people had lived in the neighborhood for years. And the Studio Tour had been happening for years. But there was no interaction.

“They weren’t being reached,” explains Hurtado.

The ArtsCream Truck Photo: Arnoldo Hurtado

The ArtsCream Truck
Photo: Arnoldo Hurtado

That disconnect reminded him of home. Hurtado grew up on Fort Worth’s North Side in a working-class neighborhood of mostly Spanish speaking families. His street – Northwest 27th – had issues.

“There was a house right next to us that had fights all the time,” Hurtado says. ” [And there were] these piles of couches and trash all around, feces, people living in tents in the front. It was ridiculous. It was out of control.”

So three years ago, Hurtado began knocking on doors and talking to people. He realized others saw the same problems.

“And I was like, ‘Why aren’t we talking about this? Why aren’t we reaching out to each other?’” says Hurtado.

He started Comunidad 27 – a group of neighbors who plant trees, throw potlucks for the Fort Worth Police Department and host Latin Christmas Festivals.

Now, Hurtado says it’s time make the North side a cultural destination.

Hurtado leading a Comunidad 27 meeting. Photo: Comunidad 27

Hurtado leading a Comunidad 27 meeting.
Photo: Comunidad 27

“It’s like, ‘Hey! We can do this, too.’ If we’re not going to get funding or backing from the city to do this, we’re going to do it ourselves because we have that kind of power,” he says.

The ArtsCream Truck was Phase One. Phase Two is a mural project called, “Convivio: Murals of Community and Inclusion.” Hurtado’s convinced local businesses to fork over wall space. And he’s finding neighborhood talent, too.

“So the point is to really get the community involved and invested in their own community by participating in the murals,” says Hurtado.

Hurtado wants to turn the North Side into a kind of outdoor gallery, which shows off the talent of his neighbors. He knows the region’s finest art museums are just a few miles away. But he believes there’s room for more than one cultural district in Fort Worth.

A peek inside of Arnoldo Hurtado's ArtsCream Truck.

A peek inside of Arnoldo Hurtado’s ArtsCream Truck.

How does North Texas effect the production of your art?

Well, because I am so socially aware (laughs), I’d have to say I’m understand North Texas’ culture because, you know, it’s different than Austin or whatever. And I definitely respond the culture. It effects how I approach art, what I paint and even how I approach people.

I feel as though there are gaps that need to be filled – in terms of culture and art. I felt like accessibility to those things were missing in the area I was raised in, and so I’m the person who’s trying to take care of that. And I am talking with people about how they can contribute, too.

FWPD working with Comunidad 27 to plant trees in the Northside neighborhood. Photo: Arnoldo Hurtado

Fort Worth PD working with Comunidad 27 to plant trees in the Northside neighborhood.
Photo: Arnoldo Hurtado

Arnoldo, you’ve worked to unite your neighbors. You’ve founded Comunidad 27 and together you’ve cleaned up streets, planted trees and helped decrease crime. Now, you’re using a food truck that you’ve transformed into a mobile art gallery to bring artwork into underserved communities. Why? Why do you think the responsibility of an artist is to his/her community?

I can’t speak about what other artists should be doing, but I can speak for myself. For me, I have the knowledge of what I am good at and I know what I am actually able to do. I know my strengths. And my strengths are talking to people, getting to know them and making art. So for me, it was like, “Why not?”

We’re definitely living and working in an oppressive society. And I see that. I see the systemic oppression that people don’t want to talk about. But I call it out. I’m passionate about that. That’s why I am always talking about it. But beyond talking about oppression, I want to do something. You know? I think now – more than ever – is the time to start doing something.

I think more people can do this, too. People are capable. But I think we buy into narratives. We buy into the narratives that we need to work a certain amount of hours and live a certain kind of life… but you can write your own narrative. That’s what I’m doing for myself. And I hope that I am helping others to write their own narrative.

"VITAL GENERATION" - Arnoldo Hurtado

“VITAL GENERATION” – Arnoldo Hurtado

I’m sure that you’re asked about your social practice artwork all the time. But can you tell me about your paintings?

I do acrylic paintings, mostly on canvas, and I was classically trained. I did a lot of portraits and landscapes — lot of Texas landscapes with bluebonnets and such. But then there became a point when I was like, “I’m done with the traditional stuff.” And now I am doing surreal work. Surreal landscapes, creatures and things that I create. Think hybrid, embryonic fruits and a lot of nature that looks like that.

I also like to paint nature. I recently did a painting of red horses covered in moss. I think Texans were excited to see the horses. Even if they were covered in a red moss and a made up landscape.

I also do a bit of colorful abstract work. I paint a lot of everything. I don’t limit myself. I mean, I drive a truck around full of paintings. Some of them are cohesive and some of them are just random. And I’m OK with that.

Hurtado dons a cape as he welcomes people into the ArtsCream Truck. Photo: Arnoldo Hurtado

Hurtado dons a cape as he welcomes people into the ArtsCream Truck.
Photo: Arnoldo Hurtado

Arnoldo, you’re work is being shown inside of a truck. Some people show in a gallery. Who is the target audience for your paintings? And where would you like for it to be seen?

I think my artwork can be shown anywhere. But my work specifically can be in a gallery, but right now my calling is in the streets. And there’s a bigger audience in the streets. Probably not the kind that would go inside an art gallery and buy artwork, because galleries are very intimidating to people. They carry the stigma of being exclusive.

So I am approaching it from the this perspective: Let me make what I want to make. I’ll put it in the truck. And people want to walk up to the truck (which they do), they’ll see it.

How do you maintain balance in your life?

I have a lot interests. I love traveling. I love making art. I love meeting and interacting with people. And I’ve become pretty good at listening to myself. If I need to work out, be social or make art – I do it. So I just try to keep being aware.

When did you start calling yourself an artist?

I think I started thinking of myself and calling myself an artist four years ago. I was teaching and there was something about being able to communicate what I do [as an artist] to my students helped. You need to be able to tell people what you do. You need to be able to own it. It’s important.

I know there are people who don’t look at artists as people who contribute to society. And I think students are aware of that. So being able to explain my artwork to them and being able to talk with them really solidified it.

#popup #popupgallery at Expressions For Freedom in #fortworth @artscreamtruck

A post shared by artscreamtruck (@artscreamtruck) on

Are you creatively satisfied?

YES! I am SO SATISFIED. I am actually at the point where I am reaching for more.

So I’m satisfied in the sense that I’ve reached a level where I am happy. But I know there’s going to be more. Right now I am really, really, really happy. But I am excited for more.

Hurtado's "STEED CANYON" photographed in the Fort Worth Blackhouse. Photo: Fort Worth Blackhouse

Hurtado’s “STEED CANYON” photographed in the Fort Worth Blackhouse.
Photo: Fort Worth Blackhouse

Have you had to give anything up to be an artist?

I had to give up my job. I was giving 100-percent of myself to teaching. And I loved it. But I knew there was still more that I wanted to be doing. I wanted to be a student again. Just not necessarily in a higher institution. I wanna be out there on the road. I wanna be meeting people. And I wanna learn lessons. So that’s what I am doing.

What inspires you?

The people. The community. My family. Seeing how there’s a need for creativity, color, adventure and someone to show them how… that inspires me.

I think I am that example. I think I am adding color to my community. And I am happy. And I think that makes other people happy.

"COLORFUL STATIC 1" - Arnoldo Hurtado

“COLORFUL STATIC 1” – Arnoldo Hurtado

What makes you different from other artists in North Texas?

Look, I don’t pretend to know all the artists in North Texas. I’m a creature of habit, so chances are that I hang out with all the same folks in all the same places all the time.

But what makes me different is that I don’t think I am different. I think my mobile art gallery is different. And I think there’s a place for me here. I am putting myself out on the streets. I am challenging the ideas of institution. And I am bringing art to people who may not necessarily be seeing art. Maybe it’s because it’s not in their neighborhood or they think it’s elitist, but I am bringing it to them. And I don’t think anyone else is doing it exactly the same.

Interview questions and answers have been edited for brevity and clarity.

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Beychella Was a Celebration of Beyoncé’s Southern Black Culture - Dfwliving.com

Beychella Was a Celebration of Beyoncé’s Southern Black Culture

Beyonce Knowles performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California.Beyoncé Knowles-Carter is a black woman from Houston, Texas. She wants her audience to recognize that first and foremost, especially when she’s in predominantly white spaces. The singer increasingly chooses to display her connection with her blackness, her childhood in Houston, and her family’s Southern history—all of which was on full display during her stunning two-hour set at the annual Coachella music festival Saturday night. It’s inspiring for me to watch, not just as a Beyoncé fan, but also as a black woman who grew up in Texas.  Before a live audience of thousands in Indio, California and many more through the massive festival’s livestream, Beyoncé managed dozens of musicians on stage, performed a mix of old and new choreography, brought out husband Jay Z for “Deja Vu,”…View Original Post

The post Beychella Was a Celebration of Beyoncé’s Southern Black Culture appeared first on Texas Monthly.

[source: https://www.texasmonthly.com/the-culture/beychella-coachella-beyonce-southern-black-culture/]

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