The 10 Best Places to Meet an Artist in Dallas


OK so either you’re missing a certain type of person in your group of friends and you want to collect the set, you recently won the lottery and you’re tired of IKEA art on your walls or you’re set crush on someone new (and drink lots of wine while doing so). Well, you are looking for an artist.

The good news is that Dallas is home to some of the most creative people you can find. If you’re navigating the artistic waters of Big D in search of a new friend, here are 10 places to potentially meet your creative buddy.

Click to enlarge

An image from a recent 500X show featuring new local artists.

Narong Tintamusic

Gallery 500X
516 Manufacturing Street
Why not start with the basics? 500X Gallery is the oldest artist-run space in Texas and a great place to find new artists with brilliant BFAs from UNT, SMU and other schools. What’s cool about this gallery is that it’s a launch space where you can see and buy original pieces from artists before they have to wade through the troubled waters of the neighborhood. of Dallas commercial design to make a living. In Dallas, the 500X Gallery is to art what Whiskey a’ Go Go was to rock music in Los Angeles. Discover new artists before cynicism sets in.

Asel’s Art Supplies
2701 Cedar Springs Road
It’s another no-brainer, but whether you need a 15-by-10-foot stretched canvas for a painting or new scissors for a scrapbooking project, you’re in luck at Asel Art Supplies. From the eccentric staff who work there to the brooding dark-eyed patrons staring at Windsor Newton oils, this shop is often full of artists. Go out for a bit and chat with the staff. They are an entertaining group who are happy to fill you in on all the happenings in town.

Click to enlarge You can imagine why The Gibson Co. properties are popular with artists.  - SCOTT TUCKER

You can imagine why The Gibson Co. properties are popular with artists.

Scott Tucker

The Gibson Company.
820 Exhibition Avenue.

What better way to meet an artist than if he is your neighbor? The Gibson Co. in Expo Park is a property management company that leases historic properties around Fair Park and Expo Park. The houses are popular with Dallas artists, and the company has loaned one of its parking lots for art events. If you walk the 4000 block of Commerce Street, you can’t throw a rock and not hit an artist (please don’t test this). The lofts are cool, gentrification is minimal, and the neighborhood is the closest thing to Brooklyn. Walk around the neighborhood on a Saturday and you’re sure to come across an artist walking his dog. You can also take a look inside their studios.

Noble Coyote Roasters
819 Exhibition Avenue.
In the same part of Expo Park is the delicious Noble Coyote Coffee Roasters, which roasts its own beans and offers a niche coffee that perfects the pour. Opening around 10 a.m., they’re a favorite spot for local artists to enjoy their morning java before hitting the easel and hosting an exhibition or two of local art. Their hours are a little less than ideal for the 9-5 class, but if you’re looking for a performer, you’re sure to find one sipping a midday latte here.

Kettle Art Gallery and Deep Ellum in general
2650 Main Street
It’s no secret that Deep Ellum is known for its lively and sometimes unpredictable nightlife. What may not be so widely celebrated are all the daytime activities that take place. If you are looking to find a great muralist, take a walk along the main street. New murals go up almost every week as the landscape of the neighborhood changes hour by hour. The odds are high in favor of catching an artist in the act. Kettle Art Gallery anchors most art projects in this neighborhood. Start at Kettle on a Saturday afternoon for a safe bet.

Click to enlarge The bar at the Texas Theater sounds like the kind of place to find artists, doesn't it?  - KATHY TRAN

The bar at the Texas Theater sounds like the kind of place to find artists, doesn’t it?

Kathy Tran

The Texas Theater Bar
231 Jefferson Blvd.
It’s no surprise that most artists love the dark, the kitsch, and the goofy. The Texas Theater is the only place that consistently delivers it in the form of movies and patronage. The Texas Theater Bar opens 45 minutes before showtime and certainly offers an interesting scene of patrons. A special screening of David Lynch blue velvet is sure to bring out artsy cats.

living room here
9028 Garland Road
Lounge Here is owned by Julie Doyle and Tim DeLaughter, founders of musical groups Tripping Daisy, The Polyphonic Spree and store Good Records. Naturally, it oozes hip and cool. The restaurant is more or less an art installation in itself, and cocktail artist Heather Polie regularly brings the best concoctions in town to Lakewood’s established artsy crowd. The restaurant and bar are loud, but the conversations you can hear from the table next to you could be a glimpse of future DMA, Dallas Contemporary, or Dallas Arboretum projects.

Click to enlarge With its new pool, Lee Harvey's will truly be one of Dallas artists' favorite watering holes.  - ILLUSTRATION BY RICHARD KRALL

With its new pool, Lee Harvey’s will truly be one of Dallas artists’ favorite watering holes.

Artwork by Richard Krall

Lee Harvey’s
1807 Gould Street

The Cedars is another neighborhood full of studios and lofts for artists. Artists enjoy a good drink after a long day at work, and Lee Harvey’s has that perfect bar vibe everyone is looking for at the end of a hard day. If you like your whiskey neat and your artists grumpy, sit at the bar for an hour and you’ll meet a writer, musician, artist or general drinker.

Full City Cock
1810 S. Akard Street
If you’re in the Cedars area and maybe looking for a performer who leans more into ground coffee for their daily buzz, pop into Full City Rooster for a chat and your cup of coffee. This cafe is rapidly growing to become a staple in the neighborhood. The artists of Les Cèdres flock there daily to meet and drink coffee, always looking for their next client.

Click to enlarge You can find performers at The Power Station if you can land an invite.  - SCOTT TUCKER

You can find performers at The Power Station if you can land an invite.

Scott Tucker

The power plant
3816 Commerce Street.

If you can extend an invitation to one of these events/events/shows, you will definitely meet an artist here. Art can be tricky, so refresh yourself on the latest issue of Art forum or New American Paintings before you leave. The private gallery is located between Expo Park and Deep Ellum and features a nice mix of national and international artists. If you’re looking to meet an artist to share your in-depth thoughts, notes and analysis on curating the Venice Biennale over the past decades, this is the place for you. If you don’t have an invite, be careful, as they’ve been known to chase art party crazies.


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