Photo by Andrew Kaufmann / George W. Bush Presidential Center

Field trip alert: A new exhibition at the George W. Bush Presidential Center will display rare versions of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution of the United States, Magna Carta, Emancipation Proclamation, and more historically significant American documents.

"Freedom Matters" opens Thursday, March 2 at the museum on the campus of Dallas' Southern Methodist University. It will run through December 31, 2023. The exhibition also coincides with the 10-year anniversary of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

"Freedom Matters" will encourage visitors to "consider the pursuit of freedom throughout history, how the work of extraordinary and ordinary people has impacted freedom for millions of individuals, and what we all can do in our everyday lives to advocate for the blessings of liberty and a free society," according to a release.

The documents and artifacts going on display - such as a 14th-century copy of the Magna Carta - were used to inform citizens in an era before mass media and social media, the museum reminds. Also showcased will be books by philosophers John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

The pieces come from the collections of the Harlan Crow Library and David Rubenstein.

“The 'Freedom Matters' exhibit will be a real treat for our visitors,” says Ken Hersh, Bush Center CEO and president, in the release. “The Bush Center is honored to celebrate democracy and fundamental freedoms. I can think of no better way to commemorate the Bush Center’s 10th anniversary than with a tribute to our Nation’s foundational values.”

Beyond just displaying documents and artifacts, the museum promises to take guests on "an interactive journey through the experience of freedom itself, including where freedom comes from, what it means, the characteristics of free societies, and the role of the individual in protecting and spreading freedom around the world," they say.

The exhibit builds on the themes of the evolution, understanding, and pursuit of freedom throughout history.

During a section called "American Experiment," for example, visitors will consider how the United States has sought to live up to the ideals articulated in the Declaration of Independence and other founding documents.

"Case studies through moments in history – including the creation of the United States, the Civil War and Reconstruction, women’s suffrage, the Indian Citizenship Act, Japanese American incarceration during World War II, the Civil and Voting Rights Acts, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and marriage equality — are centered on primary sources, including the documents themselves and narratives and perspective of people of the time," the release says.

Admission to "Freedom Matters" will be included with the purchase of tickets to visit the Bush Center’s permanent exhibit, which includes steel from the World Trade Center and a full-scale replica of the Oval Office.

George W. Bush Presidential Center "Freedom Matters"

Photo by Andrew Kaufmann / George W. Bush Presidential Center

Rare versions of historic U.S. documents on display in "Freedom Matters" at the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

Photo courtesy of Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

9 heartwarming art openings in Dallas-Fort Worth this February


As our thoughts turn to love and Valentines Day, Texas artists get to show some real heart this February. Several exciting group exhibitions bring to life themes both familiar and novel. Meet the artists or simply view their work to warm your spirit as we wait for the arrival of spring. Here are nine must-see exhibitions to visit in February, in order of opening date.

28th Annual "El Corazón"
Bath House Cultural Center, through March 4
This longstanding tradition brings the work of local and regional visual artists to the Bath House Cultural Center each year in collaboration with Jose Vargas, who has been curating the exhibit for decades. Each work showcases an artist's individual interpretation of the human heart, and the show as a whole encompasses an eclectic collection of ideas, styles, and concepts.

"Out of the Fire"
Love Texas Art, through March 19
This group exhibition in the art lounge, gallery, and shop in Sundance Square brings the work of 17 ceramics artists into view. Each woman whose work is on display is based in Texas. With both traditional and modern references, works range from conceptual to utilitarian, demonstrating the varying perspectives of women's roles in life and art.

Grand Opening Event, "Roll up to The Rollup"
The Rollup, February 9 and February 11
The Rollup is a Texas-based artist incubator and art event producer, and its first show and sale is coming to Deep Ellum on Saturday, February 11. The exhibition will present painted skate board decks created by DFW artists. A pre-event VIP party will be held on Thursday, February 9 at 7 pm. Proceeds from both events will benefit 4DWN, a volunteer-fueled and skateboarding-centered Dallas area charitable organization.

"MVMTLS: Movement of Lone Stars"
South Dallas Cultural Center, February 10-March 24
South Dallas became a supporting character in this multimedia exploration of Black collective memory. Filmmaker Adriane McCray assembled a collection of interviews with South Dallas residents conducted during the pandemic lockdown of 2020. Each subject addresses childhood memories, with the assembled product a collage of home videos, aged photographs, collected archival footage, and present-day photography. The opening reception for the exhibit is Friday, February 10 at 6 pm.

"I'll Be Your Mirror: Art and the Digital Screen"
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, February 12-April 30
One of the most anticipated exhibits of the season, "I'll Be Your Mirror" surveys the impact of the digital screen on art from 1969 to present day. The works of more than 50 artists explore themes of liminal space, connectivity, surveillance, the repository, digital abstraction, the posthuman body, automation and the loneliness epidemic, ecology, and turning a mirror on ourselves. Curator Alison Hearst brings together a show that's described as one of very few "presentations exploring art and digital technology in the past decade at this scale."

"Joaquin Soto: Mestizo"
Gallery 2960 at The Epic Grand Prairie, February 13-24
Joaquin Soto explores his deep connection to native and European traits, and how they have blended to be part of his Mexican background, in this exhibit of sculptural and wall-mounted art. The display will run through March 3 with an artist's reception on Thursday, February 16 at 5 pm.

JD Miller’s annual Valentine’s Day LIVE painting
Samuel Lynne Galleries, February 14
A favorite Valentine's Day event returns to Samuel Lynn Galleries, with Dallas artist J. D. Miller painting live in the gallery. Miller, the founder of Reflectionism, will bring together color texture and shape to create his perspective of a floral arrangement provided by McShan Florists while incorporating the energy of those assembled in the gallery. The gallery will raffle off a signed copy of JD Miller’s new artist book, JD Miller: Reflections from Dragon Street, and Miller will sign copies after the live painting. The event takes place from 6-9 pm, Tuesday, February 14 with Miller's live painting to begin at 6:45 pm.

Modern Art Museum, "I'll Be Your Mirror"

Photo courtesy of Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

Hito Steyerl, How Not to Be Seen

"Deep in the Art of Texas"
Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery, February 18-March 25
Photographs from 29 diverse Texas artists make this show revelatory and undoubtedly eclectic. The photographs were taken as early as the 1940s to present day, and include landscape, documentary, portraiture, and abstract concepts. The opening reception for the exhibit is Saturday, February 18 at 5 pm.

"In the Shadow of Dictatorship: Creating the Museum of Spanish Abstract Art”
Meadows Museum, February 26-June 18
In 1966, artist and collector Fernando Zóbel opened The Museum of Spanish Abstract Art as the first museum in Spain exclusively for abstract art. Highlights from the museum's collection are making their way to the United States, many for the first time. Works in the collection represent a broad spectrum of abstract works created during Franco's dictatorship, 1930 to 1975.

Photo courtesy of John Wayne: An American Experience

John Wayne: An American Experience presents Marisa Wayne and Anita LaCava Swift Book Signing

Marisa Wayne, John Wayne’s daughter, and Anita LaCava Swift, the actor’s grandchild, will visit John Wayne: An American Experience to sign copies of the books John Wayne: The Official Cocktail Book and DUKE: The Official John Wayne Movie Book. Copies of the books will be available for purchase.

The signings will go from 1-3 pm. While the book signing is free, guests are invited to purchase tickets to tour the exhibit and get an immersive tour of the life of the late actor.

Patrons of the exhibit will have exclusive access to never-before-seen family photos and correspondences that have been curated by the Wayne family to give guests a holistic view of the icon. Guests who show ticket stubs from the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo get $1 off paid admission to John Wayne: An American Experience January 21 through February 4.

Courtesy of TPWD

Stunning new art exhibition celebrates 100 years of Texas State Parks

100 Years of Texas Parks

Texans love to get outdoors, and we're lucky to have 89 state parks, historic sites, and natural areas to explore across our great state. Totaling more than 640,000 acres, these public lands are reaching a major milestone in 2023 and one traveling exhibition is commemorating the event throughout the year.

Kicking off at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, "The Art of Texas State Parks"honors the Centennial Celebration of Texas State Parks with a stunning visual survey of more than 30 parks. Featuring works by some of the state's most celebrated artists, the display started at the Bullock on January 7 and run until April 30 before moving on to other cities later this year.

Several years in the making, the exhibition is the result of a collaboration between the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, and the Bullock Texas State History Museum. H-E-B provided additional support for the project as a presenting sponsor of the Texas State Parks Centennial Celebration.

“We are grateful for the partnership that is bringing 'The Art of Texas State Parks' to museums across Texas, spreading the message about these natural treasures that belong to us all,” said TPWD Executive Director David Yoskowitz, Ph.D., in a release.

In total, 30 Texas artists were commissioned to create works celebrating parks across Texas, all with the mission to increase public awareness of Texas parklands and heighten their popular appeal through their elegant and inspired works. Participating artists represent multiple regions across the state, including: Pat Gabriel, Billy Hassell, and Jim Malone (all of Fort Worth); David Griffin (Lubbock/ Dallas); Mary Baxter (Marfa); Charles Criner (Houston); Ric Dentinger (San Antonio/Santa Fe NM); Fidencio Duran (Austin); Brian Grimm (Fredericksburg); Clemente Guzman (San Antonio); and many more.

Along with the traveling exhibit, the project also includes a commemorative book published by Texas A&M Press, which is already available online through Texas A&M Press, the Bullock Museum Store, and Amazon. Proceeds from book sales and the sale of the artwork through Foltz Fine Art in Houston will be donated to Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation to benefit Texas State Parks.

“It was a real pleasure to see the passion these artists brought to this project, and we’re thrilled these works will be on display at prestigious museums across Texas,” said Andrew Sansom, co-author of the commemorative book and founder of the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, in the release. “It is our fervent hope that these works of art will inspire present and future generations of Texans to forever appreciate and protect their parks.”

After its spring stay in Austin, the exhibit will travel to the Houston Museum of Natural Science from May 26 to October 1 before heading to the Panhandle Plains Museum in Canyon from October 27 through February 18, 2024. The exhibit will also be displayed in 2024 in College Station, Albany, and Tyler.

Those looking to participate in the Centennial Celebration all year long can visit TexasStateParks.org/100years, which includes info on the ongoing partnership between Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation and TPWD, as well as details about special community events taking place at state parks throughout 2023.

Texas State Parks Centennial

Courtesy of TPWD

Billy Hassell, Red-bellied Woodpecker with Mallards, Daingerfield State Park, 2021, oil on canvas, 40x30 in.

10 eye-opening art exhibitions around Dallas-Fort Worth in January

Must-see art

From exploring and celebrating identity to sharing the dawn of a new day or a new year, Dallas-Fort Worth artists are jumping into 2023 with both feet and a lot of heart. Local art galleries and museums have shows ready to lead us to new discoveries and nourish our spirits. Here are 10 must-see exhibitions to visit in January, in order of opening date.

"The Miseducation of Boys and Girls"
Cris Worley Fine Arts, through February 11
In her playful yet powerful paintings for this series, Abi Salami borrowed from pop culture and her indigenous Nigerian religious experience to explore and question such concepts as femininity and masculinity, innocence and seduction, betrayal and desire. Her work uses humor and shocks of color as a way to prompt unasked questions and address (mis)education around these topics.

"Color is the dope"
Galleri Urbane, through February 11

After being included in Galleri Urbane's 2021 group summer show, RIPE, and showing numerous presentations across Europe, Hungarian painter Aron Barath brings his first solo exhibition in the United States to the Dallas gallery. His paintings, created using brooms, sponges, sprayers, and handmade tools, simultaneously display as transparent and impasto, creating a vibrant fusion of gesture, color, and light.

"Appropriated Portrayals"
Arts Fort Worth, through February 25
Artist Kelly Waller creates sculptural forms she considers self-portraits using mixed media including paper, printmaking, and fiber. For this display, Waller used materials found in antique or resale shops to fabricate works to illustrate that we are products of our own environment, the media we choose to consume, and the decisions we make in life.

The Punjabi Cowboy, mixed media and photo collage on woodThe Punjabi Cowboy, mixed media and photo collage on wood 2022 will be on display at Oak Cliff Cultural Center starting January 14.Usama Khalid

"Punjabi Cowboy"
Oak Cliff Cultural Center,
January 14-February 11
First-generation Pakistani-American Usama Khalid delves into memory, identity, food, immigration, terrorism, and Pakistani culture in sculptural self-portraits of collaged photographs and fabrics. Khalid brings together issues of identity and homeland in the exhibition and in a communal barbecue, fusing Texas brisket with Punjabi spices, he has organized for the opening reception. The reception and BBQ will take place 6-8 pm January 14.

“hasta que me muera”
500X Gallery,
January 14-29
In this exhibition, Fort Worth artist Christopher Nájera Estrada's drawings encased in resin honor cherished familial memories while acknowledging the gender roles and ideologies imposed onto him as a child. He explores the coexistence and acceptance of queer ideas alongside historical machismo culture with the intent to heal intergenerational trauma. There will be an opening reception on January 14 with a performance at 8 pm.

"Morning Light: Photographs of David H. Gibson"
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, January 14-May 21
Few of us will get to experience pre-dawn hours at Cypress Creek in Wimberley, Texas, or Eagle Nest Lake near Taos, New Mexico, but Dallas photographer David H. Gibson has been photographing those moments for decades. The 20 works in this exhibition demonstrate his expertise in capturing effervescent moisture and changing light, imbuing each image with mysticism and the quiet beauty of nature.

"Year of the Rabbit"
Laura Rathe Fine Art,
January 14-Februray 11
Born in a since-past year of the rabbit, Hunt Slonem has long been captivated and inspired by the symbol of good luck. His neo-expressionist paintings incorporate playful contrasts in color and texture in this solo presentation of his popular series of bunnies that fittingly celebrates another upcoming lunar year of the rabbit. The exhibition opens on January 14 with a book signing from 4:30-5:30 pm, a reception from 5:30-7:30 pm, and an artist talk at 6 pm.

Grand Opening
Art on Main,
January 21
A new arts facility with exhibition space for group or solo shows, private events, and art classes is opening in East Dallas. Art on Main (4428 Main St., Ste. 200) will celebrate its Grand Opening from 3-7 pm Saturday, January 21 with work on display by founder and principal Andrea Lamarsaude. The East Dallas Chamber of Commerce will host the official ribbon cutting at 5 pm.

Mark di Suvero: "Steel Like Paper" opening dayNasher Sculpture Center presents "Mark di Suvero: Steel Like Paper." Photo courtesy of Nasher Sculpture Center

"Mark di Suvero: Steel Like Paper"
Nasher Sculpture Center, January 28-August 27
Mark di Suvero's steel sculptures might be some of the most recognizable art in Dallas, with Ad Astra rising to 48 feet tall in NorthPark Center's North Court and equally monumental works in the Dallas Arts District. As the Nasher Sculpture Centers rings in its 20th year, the museum celebrates di Suvero's more than six-decade career with "Steel Like Paper." The exhibition gives us a glimpse into his studio work with rarely seen drawings and paintings, plus 30 sculptures of varying sizes.

"Connections: Frank Frazier, Earline Green, John Johnson, Gerald Leavell and Burl Washington"
Irving Arts Center, January 28-February 25
Irving's annual Black History Month art exhibition, presented by the Irving Black Arts Council, brings the work of local artists to the Irving Arts Center main gallery every February. This year's exhibition features work by Fort Worth painter Burl Washington, ceramics instructor and historian Earline Green, and the art of Frank Frazier, John Johnson, and Gerald Leavell. A reception for the exhibition will be held at 5 pm February 4.

Photo courtesy of Fort Worth CVB

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth presents Ando Building's 20th Anniversary

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the Modern’s building, visitors can explore the museum for free for one weekend. Tadao Ando’s “arbor for art” has become a beloved destination for Fort Worthians and people around the world since opening on December 14, 2002.

Visitors can experience the tranquil, light-filled spaces and restful pond that reflect Ando’s genius. The highlighted exhibition on display is "Modern Masters: A Tribute to Anne Windfohr Marion," and The Modern trees will be illuminated with an array of festive lights in celebration of the holiday season.

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'Yellowstone' stars to greet fans at Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

Yellowstone news

Yellowstone fans, get your comfy shoes ready - there'll be a long line for this one. Cole Hauser a.k.a. "Rip Wheeler" on Yellowstone, and Taylor Sheridan, the show's co-creator, executive producer, and director of the series, will meet fans and sign autographs at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

The event will take place from 4:30-6:30 pm only on Friday, February 3. Location is the 6666 Ranch booth near the south end of Aisle 700 in the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Exhibits Hall.

According to a February 2 announcement from FWSSR, "fans will have the opportunity to snag an autograph as well as purchase some distinctive Yellowstone and 6666 Ranch merchandise while also enjoying all the features the Stock Show offers."

The event is free to attend (with paid Stock Show admission) and open to the public.

It's the second year in a row for Hauser to appear at FWSSR; in 2022, he and fellow cast mates drew huge crowds.

Sheridan, a Paschal High School graduate, is no stranger to Fort Worth; he lives in a ranch near Weatherford and filmed 1883, the prequel to Yellowstone, in and around Fort Worth. Currently, another spinoff, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, is filming in North Texas.

The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is winding up its 2023 run on Saturday, February 4.

Netflix series Waco: American Apocalypse debuts with newly unearthed footage

Documentary News

Netflix has a new series on the tragedy that took place in Waco three decades ago: Called Waco: American Apocalypse, it's a three-part series documenting the standoff between cult leader David Koresh and the federal government that ended in a fiery inferno, televised live, with 76 people dead.

The series debuts on March 22, to coincide with the 30-year anniversary of the event which took place from February 28 to April 19, 1993. There's a trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scZ2x7R_XXc.

It's an oft-told tale and not the only new release to try and exploit the 30-year anniversary: Jeff Guinn, former books editor at the Fort Worth Star Telegram, just came out with a book in January, also described as definitive, called Waco: David Korsh, the Branch Davidians, and a Legacy of Rage.

Waco: American Apocalypse is directed by another "local": Dallas native Tiller Russell (Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer), who obtained never-before-seen videotapes of FBI negotiations, as well as raw news footage and interviews with insiders.

Those insiders include one of David Koresh’s spiritual wives; the last child released from the compound alive; a sniper from the FBI Hostage Rescue Team; the FBI Crisis Negotiation Unit Chief; journalists; and members of the ATF tactical team who watched colleagues die in the shootout against the heavily armed members of the religious sect.

The FBI videotaped inside the hostage negation room, thinking they'd be there maybe 24 hours, not 51 days.

"These are video cassettes that were sitting in somebody’s closet for 30 years, that show the mechanics of hostage negotiations in an intimate setting - not the hostage negotiation scenarios you see in films, but a team of people grinding, day in and day out, for 51 days," Russell says.

He also procured footage from Waco TV station KWTX, who had a reporter embedded in the initial gunfight.

While the standoff was broadcast live on TV at the time, much of it was out of camera range. The film uses 3D graphics to recreate the details of the compound.

Russell acknowledges that the tale of the cult leader who was also a pedophile, the debate over the right to bear arms, the constitutional limits of religious freedom, dredge up painful conversations that continue today.

"It cast a long shadow, pre-saging the Timothy McVeigh bombing in Oklahoma, the shooting at Colombine, and a growing distrust of government, but I think it's important to reckon with our past so we don't repeat mistakes," he says.

"So much of what’s roiling in culture today can be traced to Waco, a story about God and guns in America with all these children at the center whose lives were determined by the adults around them," he says. "There was no playbook for what happened, everyone was out on a limb, and people made mistakes. But almost everybody was trying to do their very best."

"I think this is a story that's often recalled in politicized terms, with finger-pointing on who screwed up and how did we get here, but there's a profound humanity to it all," he says.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods fizzles with lack of charm and odd villains

Movie review

Unless you’re a superfan, it’s next to impossible to figure out what’s going on in the DC Comics at the movies. There’s the biggest part, the DC Extended Universe, that has included Batman v. Superman, Wonder Woman, and Justice League. But the two recent films with DC characters that were best reviewed were 2019’s Joker and 2022’s The Batman, neither of which are considered part of the DCEU.

One that does belong is 2019’s Shazam!, which is finally getting a sequel, Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Billy Batson (Asher Angel), Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer), and the rest of their foster family who were turned into superheroes in the first film spend a lot of their time saving the day in and around Philadelphia. Billy – played in superhero form by Zachary Levi – is the most gung-ho about their adventures, with most of the others finding distractions in everyday life.

Without getting too deep in the finer details, a trio of ancient gods – Hespera (Helen Mirren), Kalypso (Lucy Liu), and Anthea (Rachel Zegler) – reclaim a staff that was broken in the first film, regaining powers that had long been lost. Now they’re hellbent on world domination … or revenge on Billy for breaking the staff … or, oh, who knows, just watch things blow up and hope the Shazam heroes can save the day.

Directed once again by David Sandberg and written by Henry Gayden, Chris Morgan, and Bill Parker, the film has sequel-itis in the worst way. Everything has to be bigger, which totally negates the charm that the first film had. That includes a (totally unbelievable) bridge collapse early in the film, big CGI battles, and the destruction of more buildings than you can count.

The unavoidable fact that the kids have aged has much to do with the change in tone, as the innocent wonder with which they approached their new powers is gone. The shifting back-and-forth between the kid and adult versions of the characters worked well in the first film, but they struggle to justify it here, winding up with a mish-mash that’s unsatisfying on both sides.

The villains also leave a lot to be desired. Some of it has to do with the bizarre teaming of Mirren, Liu, and Zegler, who just don’t work either as a group or individually. This lack of chemistry makes them inert as bad guys, too. Their wildly different personalities don’t mesh, so even though they do a lot of dastardly things, it’s difficult to feel any enmity toward them.

Levi remains the best thing about the film, portraying a level of giddiness that any kid who can transform at will into a superhero would probably have. The foster family works well when everyone is in kid form, but when they’re all superheroes, the actors don’t seem to belong together at all. Sadly, the foster parents played by Marta Milans and Cooper Andrews don’t get much to do this time around.

Shazam! was a rare bright spot for the DCEU, but Fury of the Gods misses the mark in almost all aspects. It’s serviceable entertainment for anyone who doesn’t expect much from these types of films, but it will be a disappointment for anyone who thought Shazam and company could continue to bring something bright and different to comic book movies.


Shazam! Fury of the Gods is now playing in theaters.

Adam Brody, Grace Caroline Currey, Zachary Levi, and Meagan Good in Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Adam Brody, Grace Caroline Currey, Zachary Levi, and Meagan Good in Shazam! Fury of the Gods.