Perhaps one of the most magical aspects about the art world is its constant need to transform, transcend and ever challenge the known. The ultimate goal is to cultivate intrigue into the exploration of art and, more importantly, to successfully capture the message of the work itself from the artist’s standpoint. One masterpiece can easily evoke a sea of emotions, but to strategically curate an entire exhibition? Why, it could move mountains.
Circuit12 Contemporary, located in the Dallas Design District, is doing just that. Showcasing visionaries at the forefront of their field, this highend gallery offers emerging to mid-career artists the opportunity to actively realize even the most ambitious of proposals. As dynamic husband and wife duo Gina and Dustin Orlando describe, the “clean and considered aesthetic” fully enables artists to utilize the space solely based on their own proposed vision, which attracts the interest of collectors, patrons and artists alike.
Showcasing a comprehensive yet varied selection of contemporary artworks, it is no wonder that each and every exhibition at Circuit12 is thought provoking and memorable. At the same time, Circuit12 always seeks to challenge the constricts of traditional artistic practice while at the same time encourage active dialogue within the community. Typically, the gallery highlights pieces dated post-2000 that strive to defy the very bounds and limitations of media, genre and beyond.
Circuit12 Contemporary aims to showcase groundbreaking, innovative art practices and welcomes the use of video, sound and light techniques to further add dimension and content to these “conceptually charged installations.” In such a highly technologized world, the gallery’s hunger for daring experimentation and desire to stand apart, respectively, provide a refreshing take on contemporary art.
And it doesn’t stop with the art itself. Circuit12 has a reputation as the rebel of Dallas’ Design District, logging 24-hour workdays, employing the latest technology and even remodeling the gallery’s architecture—all in the name of creative expression. The Orlandos live to keep themselves and spectators constantly on their toes. “It keeps us fresh and invigorated in what can be a very jaded, cutthroat industry,” says Gina.
Just as the search for untouched imagination never sleeps, neither does the gallery’s endless determination to unearth new artists and introduce them to the world. In order to ensure its patrons, both seasoned and novice collectors alike, the most diverse and superb selection possible, the Circuit12 team travels far and wide to source new talent. With a vast network of connections and years of experience in the industry, the duo is able to spot upcoming artists and trends with a sixth sense, bringing an edge of exclusivity to the gallery’s roster. It’s the highly personalized and thoughtful approach to every step of the process that creates a truly one-of-akind experience at Circuit12. “Our goal is to grow with the artists we work with and serve as tastemakers for the state of contemporary arts, both in this region and beyond,” says Gina.
In addition to the main gallery space, Circuit12 Contemporary offers a bookstore, called Primer, within its walls. Inspired by the traditional museum and gift shop model, guests are welcome to shop the collection of retail books or peruse the occasional pop-up showcases brought in by local designers. As Circuit12 passionately emphasizes building community and life within the gallery, it comes as no surprise that its owners encourage clients to sit and read for a while and even strike up conversation with the many eclectic individuals inside.
Innovation, eccentricity and an affinity for the unconventional, that’s what makes this Dallas treasure hard to beat. All in all, the end game is very simple: Circuit12 Contemporary is “a space where directors, curators and artists all see eye to eye and work together to transform a vision into reality. We try to be predictably unpredictable,” Gina says.
Joanne Xu is a part-time freelance writer and blogger living in Frisco, Texas.