“J R, Happy” by my friend and painter Richard Ray
DallasArtsRevue Online Publication Interview Q & A
What is the name of your site? DallasArtsRevue.com
What is your name? J R Compton. I’m the editor and publisher.
How did DallasArtsRevue.com come about? In the 1970s, I was a staff photographer with the Dallas Times Herald, and before that I worked for smaller publications including the school magazine at my alma mater the University of Dallas. In the early 1970s I published Dallas NOTES from the Underground and later, HOOKA, which stood for the Humanitarian Order of Kosmic Awareness, both Underground Newspapers, so publishing is in my blood.
In 1974 I published a one-time-only magazine called armadilla with a song, a game, recipes, legends & lore, comix, historical and current cartoons and serious scientific research about dasypus novemcinctus (9-banded armadillos), and in that I promised that the next thing I’d publish would be about the other armadillos in the world, the artists of Texas.
I started publishing DallasArtsRevue on paper in December 1979 with Willard “The Texas Kid” Watson and his art Cadillac on the cover. I’ve long considered myself a fine arts photographer and I liked artists and enjoy writing about them, so I started DallasArtsRevue, “a fiercely independent magazine about Dallas artists.”
When D-Magazine called me “Dallas’ Best Local Arts Promoter” in 2004, they said I’d been writing about art in Dallas longer than anyone else.
How long has DallasArtsRevue been up? First published on paper in December 1979, it’s been online all of this century.
When you first started it what where you hoping it would become? Just what it is, a community publication by, about and for the artists of Dallas, Texas, USA.
Has it met your expectations? More than.
You have quite a lot of pages, how do you keep a track of them all? I have a variety of indexes and I keep the pages in subject-specific folders like Shows, Art Spaces, Art-Crit, etc.
But really, once they’re up, and I’ve changed and corrected them over the first couple of weeks, they become a part of the History of Art in Dallas. There’s DARts pages out there I haven’t seen in years. But they still have good information, although the pictures have got bigger over the years since, as modems get faster.
DallasArtsRevue is more of a history channel than a news channel.
There’s a couple of site indexes listed under “site” on the lower middle of the DallasArtsRevue page.
What’s your favorite page on the site, and why? Whatever stories I’ve written lately. Two current stories are a full-bull coverage of The Texas Biennial — the politics, history, art, people, spaces and great intentions of that giant show scattered around Austin, Texas that supposedly shows the best art in Texas. Read more of the story here.
My other current favorite story is in my ongoing “Art Here Lately” blog, this one about FWADA — The Fort Worth Art Dealers Association’s — recent Spring Gallery Night.
Probably my next favorite story will be my coverage of — we’re going to try to go to every single gallery on the upcoming DADA Gallery Run later this month.
Before, during and after my art stories, I love photographing birds at White Rock Lake and anywhere else. I have a suite of pages on my personal site called “The Amateur Birder’s Journal” that’s a near-daily blog about the birds I encounter.
Have you met lots of people through DallasArtsRevue? Yes. Artists are the best people in the world.
What is the strangest thing that you have encountered via your DallasArtsRevue website? According to one of a series of the late Dallas poet Roxy Gordon’s posters, Artmagic #23, which hangs in my hallway,
Everything exits and
Everything will happen and
Everything is Planned and
Everything is a Mystery and
Everything is dangerous
Everything is a Mirage
Everything touches Everything
Everything is Everything
Everything is very, very
by Roxy Gordon
Then again, maybe the strangest thing I keep encountering is that even though my site’s name is printed in big red and yellow letters on the top of every one of my more than 1,200 web pages in the site, many people still manage to misspell DallasArtsRevue.
Are you bored with this interview already? Not yet.
Do you go to Gallery Showings all the time? No.
I see you have supporting members, what does that mean and do they help the site run? Yes. They each pay $100 for the first year and $75 each additional year. For that they get a member page where they can show their work and links to them every time they let me know they’re going to be in a show or other art event. They are also eligible for membership exhibitions like our amazingly successful show last winter at the Bath House Cultural Center.
The Winter Show page includes everything about that show including a daily blog.
That show continues next January in the Bath House’s main gallery, and of course, there’ll be a near-daily blog about that one, too.
The DARts Member pages are often perused by curators and exhibition producers, and because of their prominence in Google Searches — thanks to all the links to their pages — many DallasArtsRevue Supporting Members have been invited to show their work in still more venues.
Are you an Artist and if so what is your medium? I have been a photographer for the past 46 years, and my photographs have been in more than 90 exhibitions.
I’ve also produced and/or curated 15 art exhibitions, so far.
My bird photographs — many of which have been exhibited in competitive and invitational art exhibitions — are on another series of pages on my personal website.
I have not met you, do you have a mustache? I had one once in the early 70s, but it took more than two weeks to grow, and I had to pencil it in with an eyebrow pencil for a big photograph, then shaved it off moments later.
Is there something that you would like to tell us about that I have not asked you about the site? I get really really tired of art sometimes (There’s even an index on my Art Ennui along with an index of the times I’ve explained how I don’t believe Objectivity exists, and even if it did, I wouldn’t subscribe.) although I have lots of art at home by friends that I never tire of seeing.
There’s a suite of pages about My Collection of Dallas artists online, and I need to update it with a bunch of new art I keep getting.
“Mumbling Aliens with an Affection for Pink” Me and Anna Palmer
photo copyright 2005 J R Compton. All Rights Reserved.
Single-use permission hereby granted to S