The top 10 Dallas art headlines of 2021 received applause in the comeback year


Publisher’s Note: After the coronavirus pandemic devastated the Dallas art scene in 2020, this year proved to be one of the comebacks for museums, theaters, musicians, and touring – even if it meant figuring out a “new normal”. The challenges continued: some venues were closed again as COVID cases rose and a winter storm ravaged a local amphitheater. CultureMap readers clicked headlines about these struggles and setbacks, but also gobbled up announcements of new exhibits and shows (especially about the painter Frida Kahlo, who appears twice on this list). Here are the top 10 most-read Dallas art stories of 2021.

1. George W. Bush’s new portraits of 43 immigrants show famous faces and everyday heroes. George W. Bush came back to the screen in the spring. On April 20, the former US president, a self-proclaimed “simple painter”, unveiled 43 new portraits of inspiring immigrants at the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University. “Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants” is a temporary exhibition of portraits of celebrities and everyday heroes that Bush painted to “remind us of the myriad ways America has been empowered by those who have come here” . Seeking a better life. “It was open just a few months before the Bush Museum closed again due to a surge in COVID-19. The museum reopened fully in October. The exhibition will run until 1/3/2022.

2. 5 fascinating works by Frida Kahlo are coming to Dallas for a limited time. Frida Kahlo’s Dallas fans got a rare treat last spring when a local museum displayed five privately owned works by the renowned Mexican painter. The Dallas Museum of Art presented “Frida Kahlo: Five Works” from March 7th to June 20th. The showcase contained four paintings and one drawing on loan from a private collection courtesy of Galería Arvil in Mexico City. It ran at the same time as “Devoted: Art and Spirituality in Mexico and New Mexico” with works from the DMA’s Latin American collection.

3. Dallas is going crazy right now with colorful outdoor statement murals. Dallas was crazy about murals in March. Maybe it was that we spent more time outdoors. Or maybe we were just about the gram. Or maybe we just went crazy after spending a seemingly endless pandemic-fueled sabbatical. But by early 2021, outdoor murals had become a legitimizing statement element that every business seemed to crave, whether it was a mall, mixed-use neighborhood, or chain of grocery stores.

4th Evil Opens in Dallas as the first post-pandemic Broadway tour in the United States. When Evil opened on August 3 at the Music Hall in Fair Park, not only signaling the return of the Dallas Summer Musicals, but also the first touring Broadway show in the country to open. “Evil shows us that there is no place like home – and we can’t think of a better way to welcome our Broadway shows home to the Music Hall than with this longtime, award-winning fan favorite, “DSM President Ken Novice told im May 5 announcement.

5. The Pocket Sandwich Theater was kicked out of Dallas after 3 decades. The Pocket Sandwich Theater, which housed a mall on Mockingbird Lane for more than 30 years, had to move after the center’s landlord refused to extend its lease, the Dallas Theater Group said in August. The Complex – Mockingbird Central Plaza, 5400 E. Mockingbird Ln. – was sold in 2020 as the theater struggled to survive amid the pandemic. After meeting the new owners, Pocket Sandwich employees were told that the theater did not match the new owners’ ideas for the mall and would have to vacate their corner space by the end of their lease in December 2021 announced their plans to move to Carrollton.

6. The Dallas billionaire’s Impressionist art collection raised a staggering $ 332 million at auction. Impressionist masterpieces by the late Dallas oil tycoon Edwin L. Cox valued at $ 200 million sold for a whopping $ 332 million at a November 11th Christie’s auction ever notched in a single evening – $ 751.9 million -Dollar. Cox, an oil and gas tycoon after whom SMU Business School is named, died on November 5, 2020 at the age of 99. His collection included works by Vincent Van Gogh, Gustave, Caillebotte, Paul Cézanne, and others.

7. Tragedy for Shakespeare Dallas as a storm ravages the park’s amphitheater. First came the coronavirus, then came winter storm Uri. The dangerous February weather that froze Texas and blew oh so many pipes was the latest hit for Shakespeare Dallas to perform at the amphitheater in Samuell-Grand Park in East Dallas. The park is basically “inoperable,” said managing director and artistic director Raphael Parry. Fortunately, they returned triumphant for the summer.

8th. Hamilton, Evil, and more major Broadway shows are in Dallas in 2021. Just a day after newly sworn in President Biden outlined a comprehensive COVID-19 plan in January, Dallas Summer Musicals were optimistic enough to announce a lineup for 2021 of live tours on location – including blockbusters Hamilton and Evil – reportedly coming to Dallas in August this year. It was an ambitious announcement as the Actors’ Equity Association was still mandating strict COVID standards for community spread and testing.

9. A new immersive experience will bring Frida Kahlo’s paintings to life in Dallas. As proof that Dallas loves Frida Kahlo, she made a second appearance on our Top Stories list in November. It has been announced that art lovers will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of the iconic artist at the “Frida: Immersive Dream Comes to Dallas” exhibition in spring 2022. The exhibition takes place from February 3rd to at least April 17th in the Lighthouse. instead of Dallas.

10. The Artistic Director of the Firehouse Theater resigns after the COVID-19 show scandal. Artistic and educational director Derek Whitener resigned from The Firehouse Theater in Farmers Branch, according to a notice briefly posted on the company’s website. The announcement was dated two weeks after the production of The Firehouse Back to the 80s! was suddenly canceled in October 2020 due to a COVID-19 outbreak and the theater lost its equity status from the Actors’ Equity Association. The theater tightened its security protocols and released a 2021 music season in April.


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