SMU’s Pollock Gallery Presents COLLECTIVE

The Pollock Gallery of SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts will present “COLLECTIVE,” an exhibition featuring works by Dallas-based artists Fred Villanueva and Juan Cruz of Ash Studios, from August 22 through September 19.

COLLECTIVE is curated by Pollock Gallery Director Sofia Bastidas Vivar; exhibition design was a collaboration between the artists and the curator. Because of the pandemic, the Pollock, now located in the east campus of SMU, is open by appointment only. To arrange a visit, email or contact Fred Villanueva at [email protected].

Villanueva is co-founder of Ash Studios, a community arts center near Fair Park where artists and local residents collaborate, experiment, and explore cultural and political ideas. 

The show features four paintings by Cruz and 11 by Villanueva, along with two Villanueva sculptures that are prototypes for public art projects. Two of Villanueva’s paintings are accompanied by digital topographic prints on paper that represent Indigenous archeological sites. The works embody the artists’ interest in the city as a space for collective learning and creation, particularly the making of art that is scalable and architecturally relevant, including murals and public art projects. Their works at the Pollock reflect on geography, three-dimensionality, and accessibility.

Some of the design elements of the exhibition also recall Ash Studios’ space. At Ash, colored paper is provided for members of the public to use in art creation. At the Pollock, that same colored paper is hung on the walls as a backdrop for the mounted paintings; in addition, some of the paper is set aside for Pollock visitors’ art experimentation.

In a similar vein to Ash Studios, the Pollock Gallery provides a space for critical engagement with art and pedagogy. 

“The COLLECTIVE exhibition also acts as a working space where collective making is questioned and studied as a very primal instinct of building together,” said Bastidas Vivar. “It reflects on the possibilities embedded within the network of creatives who come in and out of the studio space as well as the gallery space, and what they can offer to the city around more scalable and long-term approaches to art.”

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Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, former deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order.

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