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Inside the Artist’s Studio: Chance Dunlap

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Dunlap_2014_mama-took-one“At the bottom of this mind lies a big, big man.”*

By Derrick White

Every morning at the college you can see him arrive. He stands six foot six and weighs two forty-five.

He’s kind of broad at the shoulder and narrow at the hip and everybody knows you give him no lip.

Move over Paul Jones, there’s a new lumberjack in town. We recently hired a new, big, bad art professor named Chance Dunlap at Tyler Junior College to protect ourselves in case of an emergency, for example, should our building ever, inexplicably collapse. We feel comfortable knowing this giant of a man would hold up beams and bricks like a colossal oak tree allowing us to scramble to safety. Of course, I’m just joking (sort of). Dunlap joins the dynamic assembly of professors and professional exhibiting artists in the vibrant and energetic art department of Tyler Junior College. He is teaching Sculpture, 3-D Design and Art Appreciation. He doesn’t say much, he’s kind of quiet and shy, and if he speaks at all, he usually just says hi. But, I thought, for your benefit I’d ask him a few questions, pick his brain, see what’s on his mind, and allow our community to get to know him a little better. As it turns out he is a considerate, conversant, and attentive artist who didn’t once try to grind my bones to make his bread.

Dunlap_2010_jollyroger_bobber_kamikazeChance Dunlap earned his Master of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in sculpture from The University of North Texas, Denton, a BA from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant, and an Associates Degree from Grayson County College. Currently, he spends most of his studio time working with wood and paint, but he began by creating welded steel sculptures. “I started making found object, welded pieces, before taking art classes at community college. Welding was a process I learned in high school, so after I saw some sculptures in Denison, Texas, I tried it and then never looked back,” states Chance. In graduate school at UNT Chance became dissatisfied with welding and went back to the roots of his art-making to methods from when he was a child. Chance says, “My family built thousands of rustic birdhouses using old wood or scraps from cabinet shops. I love working with wood. It is very tactile and there are lots of unique power tools that one can accumulate.”

Dunlap_2015_fruit-cocktail-fishing-luregroupWhat else is on his mind? Fishing lures! “I started a project a couple of years ago that has become a major part of my practice, in making fishing lures. I had collected old fishing lures since I was a kid, but one evening in my studio I made one. In the past two years, I have created more than 200 and combine my interests in wood carving and metalworking to create distinctive singular fishing lures that are interesting, aesthetic, and functional. I also maintain a web blog focused on homemade and folk art fishing lures, and I am under contract to author a book on alternative lure forms such as duck, bird, gopher, and other creature or critter lures,” explains the artist.

Dunlap_2011_Dum-DumbsThe first exhibition Chance saw in an actual art gallery was in Denison, Texas (416 Gallery). Eric McGehearty embedded books in concrete and made steel armatures that restricted books from opening (with the intention of raising awareness for learning disabilities). Chance remembers, “Before I started taking classes my perception of art and artists was based on stereotypes found in movies and television. Growing up we were encouraged to be creative but never really considered anything we did art. Looking back there are many experiences that seemed to shape where I am now as an artist. One is that my grandmother always gave us blank paper to draw. She also bought weird vibrating pens from the Avon lady. Maybe my love of power tools is embedded in these objects? My other grandmother would hang cow bones from trees around the farm to frighten trespassers. Another major impact is that my parents would drag my brothers and me all over Texas seeking flea markets and yard sales. Most of our family vacations had the ulterior motive of being in the general vicinity of a major flea market.”

When asked about what art has brought to his life, Chance answers, “The best thing is meeting my wife Bobbie at a gallery. She was showing her work and I happened to go in while she was there. We have been together ever since. Another important thing is gaining confidence in my abilities and actions by making art. I was incredibly timid and introverted for most of my young life, but once I developed a voice with objects, I really came around.”

Dunlap_2012_Confection-No“The most frustrating part of being an artist is the general public’s perception. I have struggled with the concept of ‘artist,’ especially using the term ‘sculptor.’ I really avoid it. I think of a sculptor as somebody, like Michelangelo, who made gloriously skillful representations. I play with materials in a serious sort of way but relate much more to carpenters or people who have their yards full of junk. I like the term ‘painter’ because often a person will just assume you paint walls or something. If I reply that I make intellectual artsy paintings, that person will put me in some category of otherness. I do not really separate being an artist from my everyday activities. When I grill a steak, wash dishes, start a campfire, or make art, I find that many of my basic creative needs are met. As a teacher I try to get students to understand art is much more than what ends up hanging on a wall,” states Chance. His work is influenced by artist Chris Martin (Brooklyn, New York painter) whom he says, “I love how Martin incorporates found objects and ephemera into his art, and is not afraid to use materials.” Dunlap also enjoys the work of Thornton Dial (Alabama, self-taught assemblage artist), and Forrest Bess (visionary Texas painter).

Chance Dunlap recently exhibited his artwork at the Amarillo Museum of Art, the Bathhouse Cultural Center in Dallas, and 500X Gallery in Dallas. His art is represented by Ro2 Art Gallery of Dallas and they recently displayed Dunlap at the Houston Contemporary Art Fair.

For more information, go to www.ro2art.com.

The Fishing Lure Blog is at chancedunlap.blogspot.com.chancedunlap.blogspot.com.

*Shout out to country music legend Jimmy Dean.

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Art

Art Events Warming Up For Summer

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Events & Classes

First Saturday of every Month (10am-2pm) – Eastside Fiber ARTist Meeting – The monthly meeting will be held at the Tyler Public Library, 301 S. College Ave, Downtown Tyler. Please join the monthly meetings and participate in a variety of fiber arts from quilting, weaving, embroidery, knitting, crocheting, jewelry making, and mixed media and tons more. Guests and visitors are always welcomed. For more info go to facebook.com/Eastside.Fiber.ARTists. It is free to attend.

May 20th and June 3rd (10am-2pm) – Beginning Stained Glass Class – This beginner’s class will be held at Hobby Lobby, 1909 ESE Loop 323, Tyler. Learn all the skills necessary to create a beautiful stained glass piece with the copper foil technique. This is a beginning class and participants will learn how to work with patterns, cut glass, grind glass, copper foil, solder and much more. By the end of the class participants will take home their own art glass. No prior experience is required. All tools are provided for students use during class time. Tools and equipment are shared amongst students. Register at email pdonathan@ymail.com. Cost is $65 per person.

June 6th (6-8pm) – 6×6@110 Exhibit – The 6×6@110 is an annual art fundraising project to benefit Gallery Main Street in Downtown Tyler. The gallery is a City of Tyler facility operated with cooperation of the Downtown Tyler Arts Coalition, an all-volunteer group of artists who schedule and jury fine arts exhibits and organize projects. All of the net proceeds of 6×6@110 will go to support those activities. The name “6×6@110” reflects the fact that all artwork sold in the show will be 6”x6”, and will be shown at Gallery Main Street, located at 110 W. Erwin. You can pick up canvases at the gallery through May 30th.

June 16th (11am-11:30pm) June 17th (11am-4pm) – Junebug Art and Music Festival – Calling all artists! Junebug is an annual community Art and Music festival with an afternoon farmers market. This event encompasses art in its many forms. There will be teachers of weaving and soap making, along with hands on pottery wheel demonstrations. Attendees senses will be engulfed by the sights, sound, smell and feel of all that is to be offered at this very unique art event in a very quaint little artsy community. The show will offer up a stage filled with eclectic musicians, bands, and songwriters. Saturday there will be a community Farmers market where locals can sell their organic and/or locally sourced products. Vendor and artist applications are available at theforgebenwheeler.com. The family-friendly festival, which is located in the tiny art enclave of Ben Wheeler,TX, highlights the work of artists, musicians, and artisans from the Lone Star state. Headquartered on the three-acre park-like property surrounding the FORGE (a local restaurant, bar, and music venue), the festival will give attendees an opportunity to witness the creative process through “live art” displays as well as the chance to actively join in the process. For more information email junebugsummerfair@gmail.com

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Art

14th Annual High School Art Exhibition at TMA

This Month at Tyler Museum of Art:

14th Annual High School Art Exhibition on Exhibit

The Tyler Museum of Art (TMA) is located at 1300 S. Mahon Ave. on the Tyler Junior College main campus. Regular TMA hours are 10am-5pm Tuesday-Saturday, and 1-5pm Sunday. The Museum is closed Mondays and most major holidays. The Museum is supported by its members, Tyler Junior College, and the City of Tyler. For more info call the museum at (903)595-1001, tylermuseum.org, or email info@tylermuseum.org.

TMA’s 14th Annual High School Art Exhibition on Exhibit Through May 6th

An unprecedented number of aspiring artists from local schools will have their first opportunity for a full museum exhibition with the Tyler Museum of Art’s “14th Annual High School Art Exhibition,” continuing through May 6th at the Museum. The museum is located Tyler Junior main Campus is located at 1300 S. Mahon Ave. Admission is free.

What began in 2005 as a small showcase for 23 students from four area high schools has blossomed into a major exhibition and community event. This year’s juried competition tops the previous record of 2016, spotlighting for the first time the work of more than 100 students from a best-ever 14 high-school campuses in Tyler and nearby cities.

The community is invited to meet the participating artists, enjoy light refreshments – and cast their votes for the annual Viewers’ Choice Award to be presented at the exhibition’s conclusion. Ballots are available at the Visitor Services desk in the TMA lobby.

Participating schools in the “14th Annual High School Art Exhibition” include All-Saints Episcopal School, Bishop T.K. Gorman Regional Catholic School, Cumberland Academy, Grace Community School, John Tyler High School and Robert E. Lee High School, all of Tyler; The Brook Hill School, Brownsboro High School, Bullard High School, Chapel Hill High School, Elkhart High School, Frankston High School, Whitehouse High School and Winona High School.

Support for the exhibition is provided by Collectors’ Circle-Platinum Sponsor The Rogers Foundation; and Collectors’ Circle-Gold Sponsors Martha and Randy Key, McElfatrick Charitable Foundation and Myrtis D. Smith.

“Sticks and Stones: Works by Helen Altman”

Tyler Museum of Art celebrates the arrival of springtime with a quarter-century survey in the career of one of the most diverse and prolific contemporary Texas artists. “Sticks and Stones: Works by Helen Altman” continues through June 3rd in the museum’s Bell Gallery. Admission is free.

The exhibition, organized by the TMA and curated by Caleb Bell, features more than 40 pieces spanning a dynamic body of work by Altman, a Fort Worth-based artist noted for her ability to move between various series across an eclectic array of media.

“Sticks and Stones” focuses on her fascination with flora and fauna, which “have been a much-appreciated constant in my life,” the artist said. “They have been a constant source of joy and also a source of coping.”

Altman’s specific choices of media throughout her career – blankets, wire birds, egg editions, and torch drawings, to name just a few – also reflect a pronounced emphasis on exploring the unique in the everyday.

“Many of my works use commonplace materials and objects. I respond to ready-made objects that are often discards or flawed in some obvious way,” she said. “Alterations in these familiar things elevate them and draw parallels to our own human predicament.”

Altman received both her bachelor of fine arts and master of arts degrees from the University of Alabama, as well as her master of fine arts from the University of North Texas. Her work has been widely exhibited and is featured in numerous public collections, including the Art Museum of South East Texas, The Grace Museum, and Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego.

Support for “Sticks and Stones” is provided by Collectors’ Circle Platinum Sponsor The Byars Foundation.

Special events in connection with the exhibition include: Free First Friday tours at 11am May 4th and June 1st; and Family Days from 2-4pm Saturday, May 12th.

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Art

14th Annual High School Art Exhibit at Tyler Art Museum

This Month at Tyler Museum of Art:

14th Annual High School Art Exhibition and “Sticks & Stones: Works by Helen Altman” on Exhibit

The Tyler Museum of Art (TMA) is located at 1300 S. Mahon Ave. on the Tyler Junior College main campus. Regular TMA hours are 10am-5pm Tuesday-Saturday, and 1-5pm Sunday. The Museum is closed Mondays and most major holidays. The Museum is supported by its members, Tyler Junior College, and the City of Tyler. For more info call the museum at (903)595-1001, tylermuseum.org, or email info@tylermuseum.org.

TMA’s 14th Annual High School Art Exhibition on Exhibit April 8th-May 6th

An unprecedented number of aspiring artists from local schools will have their first opportunity for a full museum exhibition with the Tyler Museum of Art’s “14th Annual High School Art Exhibition,” opening Sunday, April 8th and continuing through May 6th at the Museum. The museum is located Tyler Junior main Campus is located at 1300 S. Mahon Ave. Admission is free.

What began in 2005 as a small showcase for 23 students from four area high schools has blossomed into a major exhibition and community event. This year’s juried competition, tops the previous record of 2016, spotlighting for the first time the work of more than 100 students from a best-ever 14 high-school campuses in Tyler and nearby cities.

Five outstanding works as selected by the jurors will be presented with “Merit of Honor” awards during the Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony from 2:30-4pm, Sunday, April 8th at the Museum.

The community is invited to meet the participating artists, enjoy light refreshments – and cast their votes for the annual Viewers’ Choice Award to be presented at the exhibition’s conclusion. Ballots are available at the Visitor Services desk in the TMA lobby.

“Merit of Honor” winners will receive gift certificates from Dick Blick Art Materials. All participating artists will receive Certificates of Participation and one-year student memberships to the TMA. To RSVP for the April 8th opening reception, call (903)595-1001.

Participating schools in the “14th Annual High School Art Exhibition” include All-Saints Episcopal School, Bishop T.K. Gorman Regional Catholic School, Cumberland Academy, Grace Community School, John Tyler High School and Robert E. Lee High School, all of Tyler; The Brook Hill School, Brownsboro High School, Bullard High School, Chapel Hill High School, Elkhart High School, Frankston High School, Whitehouse High School and Winona High School.

Support for the exhibition is provided by Collectors’ Circle-Platinum Sponsor The Rogers Foundation; and Collectors’ Circle-Gold Sponsors Martha and Randy Key, McElfatrick Charitable Foundation and Myrtis D. Smith.

“Sticks and Stones: Works by Helen Altman”

Tyler Museum of Art celebrates the arrival of springtime with a quarter-century survey in the career of one of the most diverse and prolific contemporary Texas artists. “Sticks and Stones: Works by Helen Altman” continues through June 3rd in the museum’s Bell Gallery. Admission is free.

The exhibition, organized by the TMA and curated by Caleb Bell, features more than 40 pieces spanning a dynamic body of work by Altman, a Fort Worth-based artist noted for her ability to move between various series across an eclectic array of media.

“Sticks and Stones” focuses on her fascination with flora and fauna, which “have been a much-appreciated constant in my life,” the artist said. “They have been a constant source of joy and also a source of coping.”

Altman’s specific choices of media throughout her career – blankets, wire birds, egg editions, and torch drawings, to name just a few – also reflect a pronounced emphasis on exploring the unique in the everyday.

“Many of my works use commonplace materials and objects. I respond to ready-made objects that are often discards or flawed in some obvious way,” she said. “Alterations in these familiar things elevate them and draw parallels to our own human predicament.”

Altman received both her bachelor of fine arts and master of arts degrees from the University of Alabama, as well as her master of fine arts from the University of North Texas. Her work has been widely exhibited and is featured in numerous public collections, including the Art Museum of South East Texas, The Grace Museum, and Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego.

Support for “Sticks and Stones” is provided by Collectors’ Circle Platinum Sponsor The Byars Foundation.

Special events in connection with the exhibition include: Free First Friday tours at 11am April 6th, May 4th and June 1st; and Family Days from 2-4pm Saturday, April 14th and May 12th.

 

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