PaperCity Magazine

April 2019- Dallas

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Page 87 of 99

86 I n this era of fake news, polarized society, and social- media noise, it's refreshing to meet someone with a clear perspective. Thoughtful is a term I like to define as a noun — someone who shows careful consideration. Erin Cluley is thoughtful. Cluley is well known in the local, national, and international art worlds. In case you don't know her backstory, she ran a gallery in Baltimore, where she first honed her skills working with artists and finessed her understanding of the commercial art world. She moved back to Texas in 2009 and worked for Dallas Contemporary before opening her gallery in West Dallas near Trinity Groves. After close to five years in her warehouse-style space on Fabrication Street, Cluley's operation is moving to Riverbend — a new mixed-use development in the Dallas Design District. James Cope has a gallery, there, and the Dallas Art Fair has moved its offices and pop-up gallery into nearby spaces. M y first chat with Cluley took place last month, amidst the dust in the construction zone of her soon-to-open space. Her look is exactly what one might desire in an art star: a utilitarian trench coat worn over architecturally inspired separates and chic yet functional shoes. She is multitasking: delivering thoughtful guidance to one of her artists, Taylor Barnes; working with her contractor on lighting decisions; and delegating tasks to her gallery assistant. Oh, and all the while, she's telling me about her lofty creative endeavors. We discuss the love-hate relationship many now feel with art fairs such as Art Basel and the Armory to the need to weave more race and gender diversity into for-profit and nonprofit arts organizations. Cluley is fluent in all aforementioned topics and speaks as eloquently about her vision for the art world's future as she does about the industry's apparent lack of diversity, shifting conversational gears seamlessly and adeptly. FROM FABRICATION TO MANUFACTURING BY BILLY FONG. PORTRAIT ZACK PHILLIPS. Chul-Hyun Ahn's Three Circles, 2017

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