WATCH: Nehemiah Akbar’s ‘Thank God’

Nehemiah-AkbarThis week’s upcoming edition is our annual Music Issue, and in preparing for it, I’m gonna be posting some music-related stories dealing with the gay community on Instant Tea all week. (Don’t worry: The print edition will contain all different stories, so be sure to pick it up Friday.) We’re gonna start out with a little music video.

A little more than a year ago, I did a story on Nehemiah Akbar, an Oklahoma-based gay musician who was in town for Dallas Southern Pride. He’s a talented guy, and even better, a nice one. (And, it goes without saying, a handsome devil.)

He has a video, just up, of his latest song, “Thank God.” It’s terrific song and a nice video. Check it out after the jump … and watch it past the closing credits for a small surprise.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Omni sensual

New hotel’s artwork is as much a draw as its location

Omni

‘THUNDERHEAD’ | Gay artist Ted Kincaid’s largest-ever work dominates the new Omni Hotel’s lobby. He’s one of a number of local artists represented throughout the facility. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

“Did you see the gay clouds?” Jeff West asks.
Of course, the clouds themselves aren’t gay — they are, at most, bi-cumulus — but West (who works with Matthews Southwest, the lead developer of the new Omni Hotel in Downtown Dallas) knows that many gay art fans will know just what he’s talking about: The massive, distinctive digital wisps that are instantly identifiable as the work of Ted Kincaid.

Thunderhead 1111 is Kincaid’s largest work to date, and it dominates the lobby of the Omni — a great testament to the inclusion of local artists throughout the property.

Art, in fact, is a key aspect in the design of the hotel; the halls are decorated with unique pieces, as are the individual rooms. In most instances, pieces are for sale. It’s probably a natural progression from being able to buy a hotel robe or slippers, but still a nice one.

Especially because of the Omni’s attention to detail. Meeting rooms in the hotel are named after Dallas neighborhoods and landmarks (enjoy a conference in the Katy Trail room, a reception in the Oak Cliff), and the artwork reflects that, from photos of Deep Ellum to abstract paintings of Bishop Arts.

The building itself is dazzling as well, from the LED lights that decorate the exterior (but do not flood into the rooms) to the graceful lines in the Texas Spice restaurant. You can’t call it a museum, but the Omni is a gallery of a kind, and worth a tour even if you aren’t from out of town.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 2, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Gay artist Clint Mordecai holds parting show

We’ve liked Clint Mordecai’s paintings for a long time. Maybe it’s his bold use of color, or his witty visual playfulness or how effortlessly he weaves queer themes into everything from abstracts to portraiture. What we do know for sure is that we’ll miss having him around.

Mordecai is relocating to Boston next week, so his last local exhibit is a sad farewell as much as it is an opportunity to see his work one more time — or even buy it for yourself.

The Perfect Dose is Mordecai’s exhibition of 21 new pieces, which in some ways commemorate his time here in Dallas and his passage from native Texan to transplanted New Englander.

Mordecai will be in attendance at the show on Friday, which takes place at Ro2 Art Downtown. The pieces will be on display — and for sale — through Saturday.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

Ro2 Art Downtown, 110 Akard St. in the Kirby Building. July 8, 7–10 p.m., on view July 9. RoArt.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 8, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Art Conspiracy marks six years tonight

These are the good kind of Con men

The Art Conspiracy people call what they do street-level philanthropy. We call it greatness. This year’s lineup was filled in 13 minutes. That may be a record. The annual event raises money for nonprofits with this year’s proceeds going to Today Marks the Beginning which educates children on non-violence through art. If that’s not enough, then the reasonably priced art and local live bands will make the night more worthwhile. Local gay artist Robb Conover, pictured, is among the artists featuring work.

DEETS: Art Con Warehouse, 511 W. Commerce St. 7 p.m. $10. ArtConspiracy.org.

—  Rich Lopez

Dallas Video Fest goes a little gay, but just a little

For 23 years, the Dallas Video Fest has offered up a strongly diverse selections of work both local and from afar. These kinds of indie projects are prime territory for LGBT filmmakers, and the DVF, thankfully, doesn’t shy away from gay content. This year, though, the selections seem slimmer than in the past … though that doesn’t mean they are less interesting.

This crop of films have certain gay appeal whether it’s behind the camera or on the screen.

Ain’t I A Woman? — Brad Sanders directs this short which follows Lesley, a transgender doll during her transformation. In four minutes, Sanders takes a look at gender and the societal notions that come with it. (Friday at 10:30 p.m.)

Nothing Happened, pictured — This tale by Julia Kots about two best friends played at L.A.’s
OutFest earlier this year. Barb has a secret to tell Liza but they aren’t sure if they want to go there just yet. (Friday at 10:30 p.m.)

Deep Ellum Mural Project — When DART tore down the Deep Ellum tunnel for its new station, people were crushed. That turned around when artists teamed with DART and the new mural was born. Lesbian artist Cathey Miller is one of the locals with her work gracing the piece. (Saturday at 3:45 p.m.)

The Jeff Koons Show — The pop artist gives his own perspective on himself in Alison Chernick’s profile. Gay artist Chuck Close and painter/filmmaker Julian Schnabel also weigh in on his work which you might recognize as stainless steel balloon animals or the famous gay animals photography he did for New York Times Magazine this spring. (Saturday at 6 p.m.)

Fragments From Death Comes for Britney Spears! The Musical — OK, really, this has the three words needed for any gay man to come out and watch. Britney. Spears. Musical.  The DVF describes it though as a parody on the singer amid a world of gossip. (Saturday at 9 p.m.)

The t.a.T.u. Project — This doc by Jesper Nordahl looks at the pop duo from Russia and their marketing as a same-sex couple against a political background. (Saturday at 10 p.m.)

Seven Songs About Thunder — Jennifer Reeder’s film follows three women coming to terms with death, motherhood and even their sexual selves. Apparently one scene in which a mother calls and leaves messages on her dead daughter’s phone will leave you feeling creeped out. But that’s just what we hear. (Sunday at 4:05 p.m.)

Dallas Art City — Players in the Big D art scene open up with their memories and perspectives of visual arts and what they mean to the city. This is an excerpt from a full-length doc that will premiere later this year. (Sunday at 7:30 p.m.)

— Rich Lopez

The Dallas Video Fest runs through Sunday at the Angelika Film Center, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane. Passes $25–$75. For a complete schedule of films and events, visit Videofest.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 24, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

Free song download this week from Jeffree Star

Jeffree Star, Lollipop LuxuryLast week, Owen Pallett was giving away a downloadable EP for a limited time. We jumped on that pretty quick. And now, another gay artist gets on board.

Jeffree Star tweets that his “Lollipop Luxury” single is available as a gratis download all week long. We were a little hard on his album Beauty Killer late last year, but we’re never above hopping on the “free” bandwagon. Just click here, sidestep the pop-up ad and download away.

Fair warning — it’s explicit.

—  Rich Lopez