Celebrate + Converge with WAAS Gallery

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In honor of their four year anniversary, Dallas’ WAAS Gallery will share “Converge,” a celebration marking the beginning of a week-long sale featuring work by artists the gallery has exhibited this year. The event will start Friday, September 18th from 8 pm to midnight, with performances from Uptown Goths and The Kid Cam. At 9:45, the gallery will show a screening of “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry,” a documentary about the 1960’s women’s liberation movement by Mary Dore and Nancy Kennedy.

The pop-up sale will continue through Saturday, the 19th from noon to 5 pm, with another performance from Alsace at 2:00.

Gallery owner, Brandy Adams and curator, Emma Saperstein are working together to focus on the future of the gallery and its place within the bustling Dallas arts community. In honor of the space and the anniversary, they answered a few questions about their latest work, collaborations, and some of their Dallas faves. Find out more about upcoming happenings at WAAS by checking out their website!

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With WAAS entering a fourth year, can you speak on some of the goals for the space?

Brandy Michele Adams: We are really excited to start 2016 off strong with several multi-faceted shows. With Emma as our new curator we hope to bring a wider range of international conversation and critical discourse to the gallery’s programming with regular panel discussions and events. I’m really proud of what we’ve done here in the past four years, and this partnership with Emma, and our mutual shared vision will build on everything I have accomplished. There’s a lot of good work in WAAS’ inventory, and I think our collection and roster of artists will only continue to develop in the right direction.

From a curating standpoint, what topics are you excited to start exploring and presenting to the community?

Emma Saperstein: Brandy and I are really excited to advance feminist discourse in productive and specific ways here in Dallas so a lot of our programming for next year will be championing conversation about that. My first show at WAAS will be in January 2016 and will be a highly ambitious show exploring the theme of oil and gas. I will strive to make it as neutral as possible – bringing on artists from around the country who are working thematically with issues of oil, gas and energy. I think it will be a particularly exciting show in terms of programming and conversation. Other ideas for the rest of the year’s programming include an all woman’s show and a Dallas history show.

Brandy Michele Adams: We’ve had a lot of great curators and curatorial projects over the years and I’m excited to continue in this trajectory. We’ve worked with Aja Martin, Lauren Fulton and Erin Joyce – all of whom have moved on from Dallas to Chicago, Flagstaff, or to different positions in the arts within Dallas.

How do you think your own backgrounds influence the way you seek our particular topics, artist and mediums?

Emma Saperstein: I think that all artists work is deeply personal, and that the personal is political. The work that I am drawn to as a curator stems from my own taste and aesthetic and my personal connection to a body of work. That said, I am particularly drawn to conversations about feminism, conversations about international justice and policy, immigration and issues of the city. All of this stems from my childhood in Central Asia, and my work in Chicago in the alternative activist and arts community.

From my perspective, the Dallas art scene has totally blossomed in the last few years. Can you share a bit on your experience in the city and how you think people in the community are responding?

Emma Saperstein: I totally agree!  I am absolutely fascinated by Dallas as a city, its growth and its cultural particularities. The cosmopolitan canvas that this city has to offer is at a fascinating moment for artists of all kinds – visual and otherwise. I am eager to contribute to the conversation happening here in Dallas and bring it to the rest of the country and the world. There is a lot of new money and support for the arts – which is really exciting – and I think the challenge for Dallas lies in making sure we have the creative workers (curators, journalists, gallerists) who are helping to bring good, smart, and relevant work from Dallas to the rest of the world.

Dallas favorites!

Coffee shop: 

Emma Saperstein: My side gig here in Dallas is that I am opening a coffee shop in Deep Ellum on Main and Crowdus in October! I can’t say for sure, but I’m pretty sure it will be my favorite coffee shop in Dallas.

Brandy Michele Adams: The Wild Detectives in Oak Cliff.

Artist you’ve probably never heard of, but should keep on your radar:

Emma Saperstein: Jim Dessicino is a political sculptor from Philadelphia whose work I absolutely love.

Band: 

Emma Saperstein: Colab! They play every Tuesday night for free at Three Links. Their energy is magic.

Brandy: I don’t get out to many bands since I’m a single mom and my son is the only music I need!

Dive Bar: 

Emma Saperstein: Louie’s on Henderson Ave. It’s so Chicago, I can’t even handle it.

Brandy: I don’t drink, and I find drinking culture to be an unproductive place for art.

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For more information on WAAS, Converge, or Brandy & Emma’s work, scope out the WAAS Gallery site and social media channels. Also, stay tuned for more on their next exhibition, Acid Rain.