United States

2801 Swiss Avenue
Phone: 214.821.2522
Fax: 214.821.9103
Website: www.thecontemporary.net

Dallas Contemporary

Dallas Contemporary presents art in a forum that cultivates artists, ignites learning, and inspires the community.

Since 1981, the non-collecting Dallas Contemporary has brought together the talent and energy of contemporary art and Texas-based artists. Presenting the work of emerging artists, Dallas Contemporary cultivates new audiences and rewards dedicated contemporary art enthusiasts. It has amassed a strong reputation in the community for its challenging exhibitions, dynamic programming and inventive educational program.

In an increasingly global culture where ideas and influence move quickly and in a city with an appetite for art and willingness to pioneer, Dallas Contemporary is broadening its focus to present a world-view of emerging contemporary art.

With a powerful vision for its future, Dallas Contemporary is engaged in a capital campaign for a permanent new home in an underdeveloped industrial area near Dallas’ Arts District.

Permanent Collection



The 5,000 square feet of pristine galleries are ever evolving with innovative contemporary art by emerging artists in exhibitions that rotate every two months. Theme-based group exhibitions, diverse artists, small focus shows and outdoor sculpture fill the space with lively responses to the 21st century.

2007 exhibitions included Reality Bytes: digitized narratives, featured wall projections exploring storytelling by 10 artists: 2 from Germany, 1 each from California and New York, and 6 were Texas-based. In the darkened galleries, the viewer saw multiple pieces projected simultaneously. In our commitment to follow artists’ burgeoning careers, German artist, Corinne Schnitt’s video showed concurrently at the Centre Pompidou.

World Views: diverse artists’ approaches [June 1 ~ August 18, 2007] features 9 artists exploring their cultural heritage, such as race, political turmoil, women’s roles and immigration. Each informs us about our perceptions, presumptions and our own self-awareness.

Previous Exhibitions

Former critically acclaimed exhibitions include Formica Formatted: artists using Formica; Pairings: artists’ selections from Dallas Museum of Art; Painting Attack: a splash of paintings; Constructions & Architecture: design and installations; Moving Pictures: digitized paintings; Piece Work: fiber & multiples; Tech Talk: mediated images; Siting Sculpture: site-specific installations; Wall Power: oversized paintings; Building Blocks: artists using multiples.

Texas-based artists who have shown in the galleries include: Frances Bagley, David Bates, Kelli Connell, Vernon Fisher, Harry Geffert, Linnea Glatt, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Benito Huerta, Bill Komodore, Annette Lawrence, Melissa Miller, Pamela Nelson, Nic Nicosia, Karyn Olivier, Robin O’Neil, Tom Orr, John Pomara, Linda Ridgway, Christian Schumann, Ludwig Schwartz, Julie Speed and Xiaxie Xie.

visit www.thecontemporary.net for information about previous exhibitions.

Exhibitions (10)

Click on the images to enlarge


Forthcoming exhibitions

May 30 ~ August 23, 2008
Chick Clix: photography by women
Mix! Inki Min; Hallworks: Shelley Hampe

September 5 ~ December 24, 2008
Joseph Havel: Two Sheets (to the wind)
Mix! Jesus "Chuy" Benitiez, photography
Hallworks: Terry Hays, scultpture



Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm

Getting there

Dallas Contemporary has 80 parking spaces in its own parking lot, and an additional 200 spaces in adjacent lots and on the street. The artspace is also accessible via the DART rail at Pearl Street in Downtown Dallas.


Dallas Contemporary is handicap accessible, and includes a baby changing station in the women’s restroom & first aid kit, accessible to all.

Museum internal and external photos (11)

Click on the images to enlarge

News and events

Dallas Contemporary Purchases New Home near Trinity Riverfront & Dallas Design District, June 27, 2007

A 1950's-era sheet metal plant will be transformed into a new home for Dallas Contemporary, in the first phase of a campaign to move the art space from its current location. The new art space will be housed in 12,000 square feet and the additional 24,000 square feet will be leased to design-related businesses.

National award-winning architect Edward Baum will oversee conversion of the old building, taking the structure from an industrial site to a modern art center. "His design takes advantage of this distinctly urban space, capturing the spirit of the neighborhood, yet keeping the whole project within a budget that's realistic for a relatively young institution, said donor and building committee advisor Dan Boeckman, partner, Museum Tower.

The Glass Street neighborhood, on the edge of the Dallas Design District and at the point where Industrial, Market Center and Oak Lawn converge, has recently gained new attention from developers. Old warehouses are being turned into loft apartments, contemporary art galleries and design firms to create a unique and eclectic neighborhood.

Luncheon on the Grass, Thursday, May 3, 2007, noon ~ 1 pm
An elegant luncheon in the art-filled galleries that engages the culturally-aware audience in Dallas Contemporary’s compelling story. With an eye to the future, we invite friends to become multi-year donors.

Contemporary Legends, Thursday, September 6, 2007, 6:30 – 9 pm
An evening of exhibition, cocktails and honors is the backdrop for this 15th annual celebration of the artist, arts professional and arts patrons ...+ [ Read all ]


Where are you located and how do I get there?
We are located at 2801 Swiss Avenue ~ 1 mile east of Dallas’ Arts District and 3 blocks east of Good Lattimer Boulevard in the shadow of Baylor Hospital.

I want to show my work in your space. How can I do this?
We accept artists’ submissions to be considered for theme-based group exhibitions the Director curates. Please send 10 color slides; a resume; and a self-addressed, stamped envelope, if you want slides returned. Address the information to the director. She reviews the work quarterly and will contact you, if interested. Rental space is not available for artists to show their work.

I would like to become a member. Can I join over the phone or online?
Yes, we invite you to join over the phone, or you can also join online on our website at http://www.thecontemporary.net/membership.php. Our membership coordinator will be happy to help you.

I would like to intern and / or volunteer. Who do I talk to?
There are many volunteer opportunities at Dallas Contemporary; the Operations Manager interviews interested volunteers and interns. It’s a perfect way to learn how a mid-sized museum operates. Please call 214-821-2522 or email operations@thecontemporary.net.

Do you offer Drawing classes?
Yes, for adults on Wednesday mornings and Thursday and Friday evenings. The cost is $20 for each drop-in session.

Can you give me info about "such-and-such" artist?
Unfortunately we are unable to research this information. Please try the Dallas Museum of Art library, the public library, or the Internet.+ [ Read all ]


The only program of its kind in America, Art Think™is an education program that serves the Dallas schools. In its unique approach, Art Think uses contemporary art as a catalyst for creative thinking and is the only multi-visit art program serving highschoolers in the Dallas school district. This inventive program, based on inquiry-based learning called Visual Thinking Strategies [VTS], is an antidote to the potentially catastrophic figures of high schoolers failing to graduate. By encouraging students to speak out, Art Think gives students a stronger sense of ownership in their education than the traditional lecture format.

Art Think offers a fresh collaborative approach, using the Socratic method to teach students how to look at, think and talk about art and their own lives. It is a powerful program that teaches the students and classroom teachers new skills, strengthens existing school and youth group activities and adds a new dimension to school programming. During seven class sessions, students view images that relate to teenage concerns, culminating in a Dallas Contemporary visit. A graphically designed Art Think Journal becomes the students’ first art history book and personal journal.

For general education and in concert with each exhibition, artists’ interviews on video help visitors learn more about what inspires the artists. Color brochures and adult and youth guides add to the visitor’s experience.


We host field trips throughout the school year and summer to engage even the youngest students in Art Think. Adult groups are also welcomed for Art Think tours to learn how to look at contemporary art with an open mind. A facilitator helps generate discussion by asking engaging questions. Area groups and collectors from visiting museums are welcome and come for tours.


Art Think™ now serves 55 schools in the Dallas area. In addition to the off-site program, tours for visiting schools are available, with opportunities for drawing in the galleries and hands-on activities in the workshop.


Art for the Family Days gather youth and their families quarterly to create personal and group art projects based on the current exhibition.


The Art Think Jr guide is always available for youngsters, guiding them on an arty treasure hunt through the galleries with an opportunity to draw their favorite piece on view and learn new vocabulary.


Art21 Teen Nite is a new program: a pizza night that includes viewing PBS’s Art21 videos of contemporary artists for discussion and camaraderie. A new student membership, donated by generous supporters, gifts Art Think students their own Dallas Contemporary membership. [Student memberships may also be purchased individually online.


We encourage guests to host an Art Matters Hour to invite up to 50 friends for an evening of smart art and conversation. The guests enjoy an insightful perspective on the current exhibition and experience the Art Think program first-hand, which engages people to think and talk about the contemporary art on view.


Student $25
Take part in Art21 art student programs

Minimalist $50
Bring a guest to all members’ openings, have art in annual art blast & get updates on events

Realist $100
+ Visit an artist’s studio

New Collectors $250
+ Tour collector’s home

Modernist $500
+ Come to the Holiday Party

Collectors $1,000
+ Receive an original artist’s print

Patrons $2,500
+ Become a letterhead donor


Sponsorship is available for each exhibition and fundraiser. Sponsorship levels begin at $7,500 and higher. Annual sponsorship is also available at $25,000.

Venue hire

Dallas Contemporary is the fresh, sophisticated setting for corporate gatherings, including luncheons, seated dinners, and cocktail receptions. Corporate membership starts at $1,500 and non-profit membership begins at $1,200.