Outrageous Oral 15

Four story tellers added to The Dallas Way’s history project as they told their stories at S4 last night (Thursday, April 23).

Sheriff Lupe Valdez, who has been in office for more than a decade, talked about what it was like to become the country’s only Hispanic lesbian sheriff.

Former Dallas city Councilman Ed Oakley talked about his run for mayor and how the media (not us) sabotaged his campaign.

Kathy Bowser told her story of going from nun to lesbian fundraiser to pastor at Celebration on the Lake church in Payne Springs on Cedar Creek Lake.

Finally, Mark Shekter told funny stories about his years of fundraising for dozens of LGBT groups over the years and documented a group he created, Meals on the Move — MOM, which was the first group to provide daily meals at home for hundreds of people living with AIDS.

Steve Atkinson was Master of Ceremonies and Kay Wilkinson begged, pleaded and scrounged for money to help The Dallas Way continue its work documenting the LGBT community’s history. A fundraiser will be held on May 27 at the Rose Room in S4 with a special edition of Outrageous Oral documenting drag in Dallas.

—  David Taffet

PHOTOS: Six Dallas LGBT leaders tell their stories at Outrageous Oral 5


Six LGBT community members told their stories as part of The Dallas Way’s Outrageous Oral 5 on Thursday.

Candy Marcum began the evening with the story of how Oak Lawn Community Services came into being. She partnered with counselor Howie Daire to begin a counseling service for gay people. Without the Internet, they promoted their business by talking to bartenders who made many referrals.

Marcum said she ended up with many male clients because it would have been unethical for Daire to work with anyone professionally whom he had sex with.

Darryl Baker spoke about being prevented from entering the gay clubs without four forms of identification and Nell Gaither’s piece was about her work for the transgender community today.

Steve Atkinson mostly talked about his work to pass local and state legislation. But he told about death threats he got while doing that work and said it was the first time he told the story in public. The police took those threats seriously but were not able to trace the call in an era before caller ID.

Hardy Haberman told about how he became part of the leather community and Cordell Adams wrapped all of the stories together before telling his own story of growing up in East Texas and moving “across the tracks.”

The Dallas Way taped the presentation, which will be available on its YouTube channel. The organization is working with University of North Texas to preserve Dallas LGBT history.

More photos below.

—  David Taffet

Memories of the Gulf

Ted Kincaid’s digital art recalls a landscape before the environmental catastrophe

PIXEL SHTICK | Ted Kincaid, above, produced two works, right, for an exhibit celebrating the Gulf of Mexico before the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Ted Kincaid is in a somber mood.

The Dallas-based digital artist has for 20 years been recognizable for his uplifting, vibrantly colorful digital cloudscapes (one of his “thunderhead” clouds was shown earlier this year at the Dallas Museum of Art). But his latest exhibition, on display through July 17 at the Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans, resonates with a profound sense of loss and melancholy.

And no wonder. The images currently on display are based on the artist’s memories of the Gulf of Mexico before the BP oil spill.

Kincaid’s contribution, which consists of two hypnotically beautiful seascapes, is part of a 30-piece mixed media group exhibition that focuses on pre-Deepwater Horizon disaster representations of the Gulf Coast region. The exhibit celebrates but also mourns a world and way of life that are rapidly disappearing.

Kincaid, whose partner is local activist and Human Rights Campaign honoree Steve Atkinson, spoke about his art and the tragedy of the spill.

— M.M. Adjarian


Dallas Voice: A genuine passion for nature clearly underlies your work. But why did you specifically want to take part in an exhibition about the gulf before the BP disaster? Kincaid: Arthur [Roger] organized this exhibit as a protest of the tragedy that’s going on in the Gulf and invited me to participate because of the nature of my work.

Did your environmentalism play any role in your decision to be part of this protest show?
Absolutely. I think what’s going on down there is a tragedy like we’ve never seen in our lifetime and it will affect probably all us for the rest of our lives.

Do you remembe
r when and how you become aware of the artistic possibilities the Gulf had for your work? It’s part of a trajectory that’s been happening in my work over the past 15 or so years that involves the veracity of the photograph. So those images, though printed and presented as photographs, are in fact entirely digitally constructed pixel by pixel on my computer. For all practical purposes, they are digital paintings presented as photographs.

But you have traveled to the Gulf. Oh yes, extensively. That’s why it was so important to be involved in this. The two images that are included in the exhibit are directly influenced by the area at the mouth of the Mississippi.

The name of the series from which you chose the images is called The Only Joke God Ever Played On Me. Do you find that title ironic in context of the current exhibition? Absolutely. The title referred more to the sense that images such as cloudscapes and seascapes are fleeting. They’re never static and they’re never repeated. And by the time you’re able to turn someone around and get them to look at what you’re looking at, it’s changed. And it is almost like a joke being played on you.

Only in this case, the joke isn’t divine. It’s more a terrible joke that humanity has played on itself. Yes.

Your images are haunting, disturbing … It’s much like looking at photographs of someone that you love who’s recently died. It’s the memory of what’s not there anymore.

You’ve said that your work documents things that “exist or not… and can be seen or not.” That’s a chilling statement, given that what your images depict no longer exists. Has the oil spill impacted any part of your artistic vision? My work for a number of years has tended to focus on a yearning for what we are losing. And the new work that is currently being produced in the studio has much more of an acute awareness of this than before. It doesn’t have an arrow pointing to it saying “environmental disaster;” it’s more a sense of loss and memory, a sense of something that doesn’t exist anymore. And I think that this oil spill particularly is going to impact my work for the rest of my life.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 02, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas