Have a Great Weekend

The plan was to put out a series of posts and a new newsletter before today, but the time all leaked away. In the interim, a shoutout to old and dear friends who decided to hunker down in New Orleans this weekend: we’re trying to watch out for you, and when you need help, at least one Dallasite will be returning 20 years of kindnesses with a lot of accrued interest.

Have a Great Weekend

All sorts of interesting developments: apparently the Triffid Ranch was mentioned obliquely in a discussion with Atlas Obscura for NPR’s Science Friday (hat tip to Amanda Thomsen of Kiss My Aster for catching that). A new Triffid Ranch newsletter goes out this weekend, so subscribe if you haven’t already, because those who remember my writing days are going to suffer severe levels of head explodey. This weekend and next are dedicated to getting the largest Triffid Ranch enclosure yet out the door, as well as engaging the scarlet trumpetvine surrounding the greenhousein a dinner theater production of Pacific Rim. Oh, and I almost forgot: music.

Enclosures: “Shackelford Gate” (2019)

Description: A specialized commission for a customer wishing to add his own selection of plants, this enclosure was inspired by any number of utility company and military projects. These installations surrounded equipment that didn’t and couldn’t justify constant upkeep but that still functioned perfectly well, even as paint flaked and seedlings turned into trees.

Dimensions (width/height/depth): 24″ x 18″ x 18″ (60.96 cm x 45.72 cm x 45.72 cm)

Plant: None

Construction: Glass enclosure. polystyrene foam, polyester resin, found items.

Price: Commission: not for sale.

Shirt Price: Commission: not for sale.

Enclosures: “Temporal Vortex Stabilizer” (2019)

Description: A specialized commission for a customer wishing to add his own selection of plants, this enclosure was inspired by any number of utility company and military projects. These installations surrounded equipment that didn’t and couldn’t justify constant upkeep but that still functioned perfectly well, even as paint flaked and seedlings turned into trees.

Dimensions (width/height/depth): 20″ x 24″ x 20″ (50.80 cm x 60.96 cm x 50.80 cm)

Plant: None

Construction: Glass enclosure. polystyrene foam, polyester resin, found items.

Price: Commission: not for sale.

Shirt Price: Commission: not for sale.

The Aftermath: Triffid Ranch Open House -June 2019

Three shows in three weeks, a weekend off for gallery maintenance, and then an open house to celebrate the end of June. Never mind that the “weekend off” combined a dead air conditioner in the house with a particularly pernicious bout of summer bronchitis, making any work that weekend other than slow suffocation impossible. It all still worked out, with even larger and more diverse crowds at the June open house than ever before. Combine this with the debut of two new commissioned enclosures and a whole load of very happy Cape sundews and Nepenthes ventrata pitcher plants, and everyone went home happy. Even the now-expected cloudburst was reasonably light and brief.

As for plans for July, this is a month to concentrate on getting through August, focusing mostly on a new commission that should be finished around the time of the Curious Garden carnivorous plant workshop on July 20. After that. It’s shows on August 3 and August 17, and then our fourth anniversary open house on August 24. We have a lot to celebrate then, so schedule your time accordingly.

Have a Great Weekend

Saturday is a day for the next Triffid Ranch open house, and you can tell from the sound of shoveling, hammering, occasional blasting, and a seemingly endless string of profanity from languages probably not of this planet and maybe not from this reality level. One of these days, I’m going to take a break just to develop a safe, effective, and cost-effective vaccine for sleep.

The Aftermath: 500x Gallery Hot & Sweaty 2019

All is said and done. The Hot & Sweaty 2019 open show at the 500x Gallery was a success on two levels. Firstly, the very enthusiastic response to the two enclosures put on display, particularly during the show opening, suggests that a deep dive into research on science art shows and exhibitions is something that needs to be done this summer. At the very least, the Hot & Sweaty proved that carnivore enclosures on display need two cards: one on the construction, and one on the natural history of the plant on display. I’m not ready to manage or curate a separate exhibition of science and engineering art, but it may be time to track down somebody who is.

And the other level? Something about the 500x was very encouraging to both of the plants on display. I’m used to Nepenthes ampullaria going through sudden growth spurts with little to no warning, but the Cephalotus pitchers on display in Antarctica in Decline just exploded. I don’t know if it was due to additional light in the new gallery, increased carbon dioxide, or the simple fact that Cephalotus are attention hounds and simply got their fill, but I’m going to have to try this again.

Have a Great Weekend

For the first time in a while, this weekend isn’t filled with shows and events, but appearances are deceiving. This is the weekend necessary to finish up a whole slew of projects in anticipation for the June Triffid Ranch open house on June 29, and the Hot & Sweaty show at the 500x Gallery (complete with two enclosures to fill the need for gonzo science art) ends Sunday. If you see me on the street and want to know my ears are packed with plastic dust, now you have an explanation.

Enclosures: “Eocene Survivors” (2015)

Description: An intriguing thought experiment on being able to recognize very ancient traces of extraterrestrial life and civilizations involves what is known as the “Silurian hypothesis,” which involves how to identify traces of industrial civilizations millions of years in Earth’s past. If, and this is definitely an “if,” terrestrial life had developed sentience millions of years before humanity, traces of these sentients’ technology and industry may not be recognizable as such, depending upon both geological metamorphosis and distortion and decomposition of metals and other artificial components. Another aspect is that, thanks to constant erosion of Earth’s surface and plate tectonics raising new mountains and plateaus, what were prime locations for cities during the Cretaceous period (145 million years BCE to 65 million years BCE) could have eroded to dust or been subducted into Earth’s mantle, destroying them forever. However, and this is another “if,” if an advanced civilization had existed on Earth in the distant past, its artifacts and relics  may still be preserved in a recognizable form, but were preserved in sedimentary strata currently covered with lava flows, buried under glaciers, or are otherwise inaccessible at this time.

Dimensions (height/diameter): 25 1/2″ x 14 1/2″ (64.77 cm x 36.83 cm)

Plant: Nepenthes hamata x platychilla

Construction: Acrylic. Resin, stone, glass, horn

Price: $200

Shirt Price: $150

Photo by Allison David

The Aftermath: Swizzle’s Waipuna Tiki Flea 2019

Hot, humid, and sticky. All three apply over most of Texas all year around, but it’s particularly relevant in Dallas in June. This changes rapidly in July, when humidity drops like a rock after the sun comes up and the south wind starts up, but we’re not yet to July. Combine that with an impending storm front that concentrated that heat and humidity, and Dallas on June 15 was, if you squinted hard, an analogue for Honolulu. What this meant was that it was an absolutely perfect day for the Swizzle’s Waipuna Tiki Flea show at the Industry Alley Bar just south of downtown, and nobody involved was going to let a little thing like geography get in the way of the fun.

As part of Dallas Tiki Week, the Tiki Flea is now a regular and much-anticipated event, and dragging out plants to next year’s show is a given. In the interim, Swizzle’s hosts an annual holiday gift show in December, and that’s where I expect things are going to get good and weird.

The Aftermath: 500x Gallery Hot & Sweaty 2019 Open Show

After years of little weekend shows and events, the Texas Triffid Ranch has arrived: enclosures exhibiting in an established gallery. The 500x Hot & Sweaty open show, at one of Dallas’s most famous galleries, had a wide variety of submitted art in different media and formats, but I was confident at the beginning that it probably wouldn’t have any science art or science-inspired art. At the Hot & Sweaty opening on June 8, not only did that make the two submitted enclosures unique, but the response suggests a combination of art show and museum exhibition, with either interactive displays or live provosts to explain the science side of displays for those unfamiliar with the background.

Hot & Sweaty 2019 ends on June 23, but don’t let that stop you from coming out during the week and weekend. The 500x is open on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5:00, and open during the week by appointment. If you’ve wanted to view a Triffid Ranch enclosure but haven’t been able to make an open house, here’s your chance.

Have a Great Weekend

Yet another busy weekend, what with the Swizzle’s Waipuna Tiki Flea at Industry Alley Bar just south of downtown Dallas on Saturday. And now a bit of underappreciated music from 30 years ago, before whiner rock took over everything.

The Aftermath: Garland Urban Flea – June

 The plan for the last year was to set up a tent at the first-ever outdoor Triffid Ranch show, and that plan also involved setting up at the Garland Urban Flea in downtown Garland, Texas. Part of the reason was because it was just down the road from the gallery, and part was because the Garland downtown with which I had been familiar in the early 1990s had changed beyond recognition. The roads were paved, the shops revived, and the central park had just finished a much-needed and very much appreciated renovation. Combine that with decent rents for vintage stores and unique restaurants, and every event in the park found an enthusiastic audience. The Garland Urban Flea was just one event, scheduled on the second Saturday of every month, but it seemed to be a perfect one with which to try conducting an outdoor show.

 Anybody regularly attending or vending at outdoor shows will tell you that the weather can go sideways very quickly, especially in Texas, and that was getting to be an ongoing joke with previous attempts to set up at the Garland Urban Flea. First time: pouring rain. The next time, the previous day’s temperatures promised a beautiful event, and then a cold front dropped temperatures to the edge of freezing, making too much of a risk to the plants. The next show that didn’t conflict with other events was in May, where the rain started up around 2 in the morning and didn’t let up until about the time the Urban Flea was expected to pack up. Oh, and the makeup rain day? Memorial Day Weekend, right after I’d scheduled another show. And so it goes.

 As it turned out, everything worked out. The next Garland Urban Flea ran on June 8, and the weather was GLORIOUS. Slight breezes, sunny but cool enough that everyone wanted to get out and do something before the summer heat hit, and the tent location was directly under two live oak trees, which gave extra shade all day. Combine that with cool neighbors and curious and excited attendees, and it was a great debut at the Urban Flea. Even breakdown was easy. It may be a few months until the next time the tent goes up (the Garland Urban Flea doesn’t run in August because of the heat, and July and September are just a little too warm for the plants), but October and November are perfectly reasonable if the weather holds.

 And why the emphasis on the weather? Well, despite having a tent with sides, there’s only so much rain that a typical pop-up tent can deflect, and that’s not counting winds that tend to turn show tents into parachutes. The very next day, the Dallas area was hit with a massive rainstorm with 70mph winds, which tore trees apart, ripped off roofs, and cut power for most of the city and surrounding suburbs for days. Had that storm hit 24 hours earlier, everything would have been a total loss: what the rain and wind wouldn’t have destroyed directly would have been smashed when a branch from one of those shading live oaks came down. And now you know why most Triffid Ranch shows are indoors.

Have a Great Weekend

This weekend is busy: between the Garland Urban Flea on Saturday morning and the 500x Hot & Sweaty gallery exhibition on Saturday night, as well as a photoshoot by Dallas photographer Allison David, there might be enough time to mow the lawn. That last is a priority: I’m not saying it’s overgrown, but the neighbors are complaining about the pandas.

State of the Gallery: June 2019

 It’s hard to believe what’s changed with the Triffid Ranch since 2015: it was four years ago this month that wandering through an ArtWalk at Valley View Center meant coming across a freshly vacated space at the dying mall that looked like a perfect place to start a carnivorous plant gallery, and everything snowballed from there. Four years of late nights, early mornings, mad dashes to the space after the Day Job was done, road trips for plants or gear, massive remodelings and rearrangings, and it’s all been worth the effort. The gallery isn’t absolutely perfect (I certainly wouldn’t complain about another 1000 square feet for growing area and a loading dock), but compared to where it started, it’s getting there.

The irony of the situation is that getting word out about the gallery requires leaving it. For all of the noises about online promotion and publicity, people have had nearly a quarter-century to get used to ignoring online ads, and nothing beats getting out for shows and events and letting them see what makes the Triffid Ranch unique. The plan all along was for the gallery to act as a base for shows throughout the area and the state, but who had any idea that things were going to get so busy this year?

As for those shows, things go fast and furious in June. The last Garland Urban Flea in downtown Garland, Texas was flooded out, and the makeup day was held at the same time we were already scheduled for an event in Denton. (Let us not talk about the event in Denton: there’s a big difference between an actual music festival and a gaggle of hipsters who decide “Let’s put on a show!”) The Urban Flea is getting back onto its normal schedule, though, with this month’s event on June 8 from 9:00 to 4:30, right in the middle of downtown Garland. And speaking as a proud resident for the last near-decade, if your sole impressions of Garland come either from passing through in the 1980s or that quip in the movie Zombieland, I think you’ll be nicely surprised. (As always, with any outdoor show, serious weather may delay or shut down the whole thing. The good news is that as of June 4, the Dallas area gets a lot of rain before and after, but Saturday should be absolutely beautiful. As always, though, we’ll see.)

In unorthodox events, right after packing up everything at the Garland Urban Flea, it’s time to head back to old stomping grounds in Dallas’s Exposition Park. The 500x Gallery on Exposition Avenue, on the approach to the north entrance to Fair Park, just celebrated its 40th anniversary, and its Hot & Sweaty show every year is famous for its opening to anybody willing to drag art through the front door at the scheduled times. While the show runs every day from 12 noon to 5:00 until June 24, the opening on June 8 runs from 7:00 to 10:00, meaning that it’s a perfect opportunity to come by and view two sample enclosures for those who haven’t had the opportunity to come by the gallery. Besides, speaking as a resident of Exposition Park in the early 1990s, it’s always good to get back to the neighborhood.

(And the work keeps coming, by the way: after the 500x opening, it’s back to the gallery to finish up a slew of commissioned works, and to allow official Triffid Ranch photographer Allison David to get good photos of the current enclosures for a portfolio going out for the official fourth anniversary in September. To steal from the famed comics artist Matt Howarth, it may stop, but it never ends.)

The weekend after this gets even more interesting, as it’s time to go back to the Swizzle’s Tiki Lounge in Industry Alley Bar just south of downtown Dallas for the Swizzle’s Waipuna Tiki Flea on June 15. Last year’s show was unexpectedly show by comparison, as I was told by organizers and attendees alike, probably due to the cold drizzle running all day and most of the night. This year, there’s  no excuse, weather-wise.

After that, it’s time to take a break for one weekend, if only to mow the lawn and brush the cats. That breath-catching is in order to finish up everything for the next Triffid Ranch open house on June 29 from 6:00 to whenever we kick out the last people. If you’ve been out already, you already know the drill, but for those popping into Dallas for work or fun before the heat really kicks in, this is the time to see the plants in air-conditioned comfort among fellow carnivorous plant enthusiasts.

Oh, and before I forget, one extra bit of good news. One of the many pleasures of this last May’s Texas Frightmare Weekend (and we’re already gearing up for the 2020 show) was running into Bunny Voodoo of Blood Over Texas in Austin, and Bunny had the particulars on this coming November’s Horror For the Holidays show. It’s still running the weekend before Thanksgiving, but because of its increasing number of vendors and attendees, it’s moving from Come and Take It Live to the Travis County Expo Center. That means that Horror for the Holidays runs for both Saturday and Sunday, this year, meaning both that attendees have more flexibility with their schedules and we vendors don’t have to set up and tear down just in one day. This means that you can expect a lot more surprises this November, but you’ll have to wait until then to find out what they are. This also means that the Triffid Ranch is moving further out of Dallas proper: between this and the Oddities & Curiosities Expo in August, this marks two shows per year in Austin, with plans to move to Houston and San Antonio as soon as venues and opportunities allow.

And on the subject of August, the Triffid Ranch will go a little quiet in July, partly because of the heat and partly because of the need for new enclosures after this sort of June. However, it’s going to be busy from the beginning of August all the way to the end of the year, so keep checking the event calendar. It’s going to fill up: mark my words.

Have a Great Weekend: The Anniversary Edition

A lot of anniversaries hit over the last month, mostly falling in the 30- to 20-year range, but one big one goes beyond that. On this date in 1984, I officially graduated from Lewisville High School in scenic Lewisville, Texas. (Not that I actually attended the actual graduation ceremonies: the best way to describe the dynamics was “Anton LaVey getting an invitation to the Pope’s bat mitzvah.”) I bring this up because I’m fully expecting an invitation to another class reunion any day now, and I’m looking forward to a singalong of the school’s fight song so long as everyone else remembers the lyrics:

The Texas Triffid Ranch Occasional Newsletter and Feedlot Clearance Sale -10

(The Texas Triffid Ranch Occasional Newsletter and Feedlot Clearance Sale is a regular Email newsletter, with archives available on the main TTR site at least a month after first publication. To receive the latest newsletters, please subscribe.)

Originally published on April 24, 2019

Installment #10: “Snappy Answers To Carnivore Questions”
 
By the end of April, spring is pretty much established in North Texas. The last surprise freezes and cold snaps are two weeks in the past, and we aren’t going to see any precipitation other than rain and hail for at least another six months. The temperate carnivores are either starting or finishing with blooming, and the tropicals respond to longer daylight hours with increased growth and the occasional bloom. Here at the Triffid Ranch, show season is underway: getting to an event no longer comes with the risk of everything in the truck freezing to death, and yet we haven’t hit the traditional “swimming through pools of molten concrete” heat of summer. Since we won’t see temperatures and skies like this until at least the beginning of October, we all rush out like the characters in the Ray Bradbury story “Frost & Fire,” acting as if we are born, grow to adulthood, and die of old age within seven days.
 
Because it’s show season, and because of the current boom in Dallas-area shows, a lot of people ask a lot of questions and make a lot of statements. The vast majority of these are ones I welcome and cherish: one idle conversation with a couple of Air Force airmen turned me (and subsequently a slew of friends interested in preserving them in the wild) onto a population of Sarracenia pitcher plants on the east side of the Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana. I’m constantly coming across improved growing methods, new techniques and technology, and fascinating new sources of everything from heat-treated flint to vacuform tables. And the questions…oh, everyone should get at least one question per week that leaves you cupping your chin and nodding “I don’t have an answer for you, but now I want to get one.”
 
Alas, while those great questions are the next best thing to a relaxing meal and 12 hours of sleep at the end of a long day at the plant table, these aren’t the only things tossed across the table. Anyone who has ever worked retail dreads that conversation from that individual who assumes that memorizing the complete dialogue to The Princess Bride or Pulp Fiction is a suitable replacement for a sense of humor, where an item at the register that doesn’t scan automatically gets a response of “Oh, I guess it’s free, then?” (The only thing worse than the dolt who laughs loudly at his own joke is the individual who’s deadly serious, especially in stores where the line to the register already runs through most of the store.) And if they don’t get a response, they keep repeating it, louder and louder, until they either get some kind of response or they flounce off, sniffing “Well, OBVIOUSLY someone doesn’t have a sense of humor.
 
The Mad magazine artist and writer Al Jaffee is probably best known for his Fold-Ins, where the inner back cover has one piece of art that has a completely different meaning when folded in half to hide the center of the illustration. However, my second-favorite feature of  his involved his “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions” feature, where the reader could pick between multiple responses to a particularly dumb question. (My favorite feature always involved his Rube Goldbergesque technology solutions, such as the range of razors that used flamethrowers, neutron radiation, or contour-following microrazors that eliminated facial hair without taking out moles, pimples, or his favorite catchall phrase, “Yecch.”) One day, I may make up a set of cards to be given out to answer questions that aren’t worth the breath, but until then, here are 29 answers I want to give and one I wish I could give:
 
#1: So far as is known, there is no such thing as a man-eating plant. It’s not completely impossible, but because of a direct confrontation with the square/cube law, finding one in the future is very unlikely.
#2: No, there’s no plant that will eat your ex. I’m sure that your ex wants an answer to that very question, too.
#3: No, there’s no plant that will eat your kids. Judging by the expressions on their faces, they’re not worried about being fed to a plant, but they’re already making plans for your senior assisted living facility. I sure hope you like rats.
#4: Yes, I’ve seen the video of the Venus flytrap biting that neckbeard’s tongue.
#5: Yes, I’ve seen the video of the Venus flytrap wearing a Santa hat and beard.
#6: YES, WE’VE GOT A VIDEO.
#7: Did you know that repeatedly screaming “Feed me, Seymour!” at carnivorous plants leads to cancer of the scrotum?
#8; No, go ahead. Scream it a little louder. Just know that the tumor has to get really big before the whole scrotum can be cut or burned off, so you might want to buy a wheelbarrow in a few days.
#9: Oh, I’m sure that you’ve seen a Venus flytrap that can close so fast on your finger that it draws blood. [CITATION NEEDED}
#10: The lids on North American, Asian, and Australian pitcher plant pitchers don’t close on insects that enter the pitcher. The lids on each genus are rain guards to keep the pitcher from filling with rainwater. Once an individual pitcher opens, nothing short of scissors or a scalpel will get that lid to close again. 
#11: Oh, I’m sure that you DO know of a pitcher plant that can close its pitcher after capturing insects, and that your uncle is raising them in an undisclosed location “so his discovery won’t be stolen.” [CITATION NEEDED] Is your uncle a baron, last name of “Munchausen”?
#12: No, I’m not offended when I explain how the pitcher lid works and you wander off with your kid, telling him/her “That guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” I can only suspect that you have the same attitude toward expert advice from emergency medical techs, tax lawyers, and federal prosecutors, and that you’re going to make a large fortune by investing your 401(k) in Theranos stock.
#13: Carnivorous plants are defined by their ability to attract, capture, and digest insect and other animal prey. Please note that there’s a big difference between “attract, capture, and digest” and “control.”
#14: No, one lone Venus flytrap won’t control your housefly problem.
#15: No, one lone Venus flytrap won’t control your cockroach problem.
#16: No, one lone Venus flytrap won’t control your mosquito problem.
#17: No, one lone Venus flytrap won’t control your bedbug problem.
#18: No, one lone Venus flytrap won’t control your problem with raccoons, opossums, armadillos, fruit bats, chickens, stray dogs or cats, or kids that won’t stay out of your yard. Have you considered land mines?
#19: No, smoking Venus flytraps won’t get you high. Let your best friend Beavis test this for you if you don’t believe me.
#20: No, cannabis is not a carnivorous plant. 
#21: No, I have no interest in raising cannabis alongside the carnivores.
#22: No, there’s not “a lot of money” in raising carnivores, but that’s not why I do it.
#23: I’m actually flattered that you aren’t going to pour your retirement fund into selling carnivores because “there’s not any money in it.” Might I recommend pouring that money into Funko POP figures?
#24: Yes, I know you disapprove of anybody doing anything where “there’s not any money in it.” Might I give your kids a few helpful suggestions on senior assisted living facilities?
#25: Yes, the tags on each plant specifically states “Rainwater or distilled water ONLY.” That means that you can only water it with rainwater or distilled water in our area, because Dallas municipal water is best described as “crunchy.”
#26: No, you can’t boil tap water to make it safe for carnivores. Rainwater or distilled water.
#27: Does your bottled water read “Distilled Water” on the side? It doesn’t? Then it’s not safe for carnivores.
#28: Does your bottled water read “Spring Water” on the side? It does? Then it’s not safe for carnivores.
#29: Just because you put tap water in a bottle marked “Distilled Water” doesn’t automatically make it safe for carnivores. If educational organizations were subject to the same lemon laws as auto companies, your high school and college would have to be nuked from orbit.
#30: Wait.  You…you just made a fictional carnivorous plant reference so obscure that I haven’t come across it before. Would you like a job?

Other News

Well, some of you may have heard about the latest addition to the Triffid Ranch board of directors, but for the rest of you, you’ll find out about the new cat Simon soon enough. Yes, Alexandria finally has a chew toy of her very own to replace Leiber: the only thing aggravating about having two black cats in the house is that they both go out of their way to stalk me as I’m heading out of the house first thing in the morning. And unlike Alexandria, who is constantly amazed that my night vision is much better than that of most humans, Simon knows exactly where he can hide in deep shadow without being observed. The next few months are probably going to be full of Simon stories, as he’s a lot smarter than he lets on. Because of his habit of staring up soulfully and stage-falling at your feet, he’s already received the nickname of “Critter”: those familiar with the Clifford Simak short story “Drop Dead” will appreciate the humor.

Recommended Reading

The wait was worth it, the new Redfern Natural History book Cephalotus: The Albany Pitcher Plant is now out, and it’s no exaggeration to refer to it as the definitive guide to this oddball carnivorous plant. It’s going to come off as controversial in spots (the discussion on Cephalotus cultivars will probably set off a few bar fights), but its relatively small page count compared to other Redfern carnivorous plant volumes says more about how little Cephalotus has been studied before now. (A small note: if you want a copy, snag it NOW. Most copies were preordered, the book will not be reprinted once the current run sells out, and I suspect that the only way most people will be able to snag a copy a year from now is by staking out estate sales.)

Music

Seven words: new Hatebeak single “Birdhouse By the Cemetery“. If telling you “Hatebeak is a metal band whose lead singer is an African grey parrot” doesn’t get you to download this puppy as soon as you can, then we really don’t have anything else to discuss.

Have a Great Weekend

And where was this song last April 26?

The Aftermath: Texas Triffid Ranch Gallery Open House -May 2019

Best-laid plans and all that: after the last few blowout shows, it was time to come back home and let showgoers see the larger enclosures and talk about commissions. No huge new enclosures to debut: this was going to be a quiet open house, with no drama or outside influences. We knew that we might get some rain, but we had no idea how much rain.

Shortly before the open house started, pretty much everything in a line from South Texas to northern Iowa was blasted with a line of thunderstorms that threatened to blast everyone in its path to Oz. (Well, everyone else was hoping for Oz: I had bets on Lankhmar, Imrryr, or Ulthar.) This, of course, followed a four-year tradition of open houses and ArtWalks scheduled months in advance that coincide with flash floods, so we were prepared. Not so much the rest of Dallas: half the city faced blackouts, mostly due to falling or flying trees, and we’re still cleaning up broken beleanches, downed telephone poles (are they still used for telephone lines, I wonder?), and mudflats.

Even with all of that, it was still an enthusiastic turnout, seeing as how we still had power and thus refrigeration and air conditioning. (After a storm of this magnitude, the general air quality in Dallas is best described as “too thick to breathe, too thin for waterskiing.”) Naturally, we welcomed anybody willing to brave subsequent storms, and a grand time was had by all.

With luck, the next open house will be past storm season, although surprises aren’t unheard of. After shows at Punk Palooza in Denton on May 25 and Swizzle’s Waipuna Tiki Flea on June 15, the next open house is officially scheduled for June 29. After that, well, we’ll figure it out if I don’t wake up after the next storm in the gardens of Dhamsawwaat.

Have a Great Weekend

And May continues to go out like a lion: everyone is cordially invited to Saturday’s gallery open house, and that’s just preamble for the shows closing out May and starting up June. Meanwhile, a shoutout to everyone working in tech, where we ALL know a Bartleby…