Tag Archives: TSA

It is time for a World Class Performing Arts Center in Frisco, Texas

Many residents are still embarrassed about the great Frisco fumble at the goal line of the North Texas Arts Center project.  Many more would be if they realized what a massive fumble it was.  After leading a four city effort with millions in donations, including a spectacular piece of property, Frisco voted ‘no’ on its future.
See the  Collin County Arts story.  http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/2014/08/13/13745708/

That was nearly five years ago.  Many things have changed.  Frisco continues to be the second fastest growing city in the country.  Now a new group of citizens is raising the issue again.

In joining the conversation, I have three points I would like to make.

Point One – Timing can be everything
In the early 1990s I lived in Seattle and attended many Mariners ball games in the old King Dome Stadium.

I recall when the Mariners weren’t doing all that well and wanted a new stadium.  The King Dome was functional but not very spectacular; it was plain on the inside and downright ugly on the outside.  In fact, I used to drive past the King Dome every day and contemplate what could be done to make it less ugly.  I imagined all sorts of covering or additions.  Finally, I just decided that there was really no way to fix it other than to tear it down and build something better in its place.  I thought, ‘That will never happen!’

There was a lot of debate about public funding for the new stadium. Eventually, it was put to a statewide vote.  Voters decisively voted it down.

Then a funny thing happened.  The mariners started winning ball games.  Those were the days of Ken Griffey Jr, and Randy Johnson.  As the team won more and more games, public opinion suddenly began to change about the stadium.  In a short while, the pervasive sentiment became overwhelming that they should have a new stadium.  There was massive pressure on the state legislature to approve a plan that would provide some public funding.  Lawmakers found themselves in an odd predicament being pressured to approve a plan that had just been rejected by voters a short time before.  After some debate, they did and everyone was happy.   Call it fickle if you wish, but that is how it happened.

Kingdome replacement https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdome
Safeco Field https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safeco_Field

My point is that timing is everything.  In that case, the public sentiment changed due to the excitement of having a winning ball team with some star players.

In our case, here and now, it is the fact that Frisco is booming.  This is really different from how things were five years ago when the Collin County Arts Commission failed.

Five years ago, the economy was in a holding pattern at best.  Enthusiasm for spending money on anything was weak.  The Tea Party had a point.  Well, that was then.  Today, we have the Cowboys facility and the Six Billion (with a B) dollar mile.

Five billion dollar mile
http://friscoedc.com/5-billion-mile http://cheneygroup.com/6-billion-frisco-developments-shabby/

Development is accelerating all around us. The time is right to ask again about an arts center. This time the answer should be easy.  Really, the question should not be ‘If’, but the details of exactly ‘What, Where, and How’.

Point 2 – Appeal to a broader Audience
The Collin County Arts Commission seemed to be only about traditional performing arts, such as symphony and ballet.  I think that’s where they missed the boat.  Appealing to the wider citizenry means heralding a broader spectrum of genres.  Voters need to feel like there would be performances that they would want to attend.  Symphonies and ballet are fine but what about jazz, blues, and rock?  Many classic rock performers are touring these days, gathering large crowds.  The Verizon Theater in Grand Prairie is one example of a great venue for such events.

Point 3 – Make it something unique, something special
Great performers like to play in unique venues.  A few years ago, I went to see Leon Russell at Gruene Hall near New Braunfels, in the Texas Hill Country.  That old place is really just an old barn that is practically falling down.  But people love it. Artists love it.
Gruene Hall

Frisco has a unique mix of old and new.  We have technology companies relocating here and Frisco will soon be the home of a video game history museum.  The impact of technology on our culture is huge.  Frisco also has a very rich history.  Integrating visual art that portrays such a mixture of local history with contemporary tech culture imagery is just one of the ways that this venue might be unique.

My point is that there are other cities with performing arts venues. Let’s make ours special.

Thank you



MyPhoneHenge at BIG(D)ESIGN

Thank you to BIG(D)ESIGN 2012 for once again being a marvelous host to my art.  What a great crowd and venue for my brand of “Tech-Expressionist” Sculpture.  And thank you to all my Kickstarter supporters.  Bless You!!  It certainly eases the pain of birthing such a large hulk of metallic media innovation.

Following Big D, this work is going to the Gravity Centre Dallas to adorn the space of creatives. Now, I’ll be looking for others who would like something like this or MyFavoriteMachine to inhabit their offices.  Its an awesome conversation-starter, especially if your business is design-related, really especially if it is about mobile design!

– roger

More photos below. You can also see these as a Slideshow on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/belveal/sets/72157629935295106/show/


Tune in, Get Creative, and Share

The Texas Sculpture Association show at the Aloft Hotel Dallas is underway.  The artists’ reception was yesterday evening. Great time had by all.  It was fun meeting people and looking at a wide spectrum of styles.  I am proud to be displaying my work alongside these other artists’ work.

Some Observations:

  • Out of 90+ works in the show, there was only one that had anything directly to do with technology in subject matter or substance;  MyFavoriteMachine
  • Multiple people commented to me, not just that they liked MFM, but that they enjoyed watching other people engaging with it. Hmmm.
  • There were a few people who expressed absolute ecstatic excitement over MFM.  They happened to be the youngest people in the place.  They were Twenty-ish while most of the art crowd appeared to be in the age bracket of between fifty and a hundred years old.  Whadja say, sonny?
  • One young man told me he came to the show just to see MFM.  Thanks Justin.  It was great meeting you.  More important than my being flattered, it tells me something about the appeal of this art motif that I have invented.  Maybe anyone could have guessed it, but I like the way the evidence is stacking up.


  • All Young people get it.
  • Some older Tech savvy people get it.
  • People who are basically outside the box thinkers get it.

This is consistent with the response I have gotten so far already as it has appeared in various locations.

Who I don’t expect to get it:

  • People who are not current with technology, not that you must know how to operate it, but this art is about technology from an up-close personal and social/cultural point of view.   Art connecting to an expereince that they do not share would naturally be a like a dance to music they cannot hear.
  • Some Art establishment people. The reason is interesting and I am still figuring it out.  Ironically, while we think of artists as outside the box thinkers, the fact is they have their own boxes.   There are plenty of rules and conventions that must be adhered to in order to fit into the art world as we know it today.  MFM violates some of those rules.  I may elaborate on that later, but for now I’ll compare it to a Seattle grunge band playing at a swing / big band recital.  That Art world is about to change and MFM will help change it.  I clearly recall a similar thing happening in the tech world when the world wide web happened.  There were plenty of reasonably smart tech people that said it was “just a fad” and would quickly fade. I being a youthful analyst at the time got extremely excited as I brainstormed endless things that the web could be used to do. One of my collegues who I choose not to embarrass told me, “Roger, to a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail”.  Well, today, virtually everything is a nail.  In fact, there are far more nails in the world than ever I could have imagined.

What to do with this?  My experiment:

  • Where to go from here seems very clear.  In the words of my twenty-ish daughter, “Play to the young crowd”.
  • So, I will be looking for opportunities to display works from the MyFavoriteMachine series on college campuses and other locations where young people gather, any place where creativity is fostered.  Art and or technology departments of course would be targets, but also cultural anthropology, sociology, and really anywhere the cross-over between sciences and humanities is contempleted. If you have suggestions and contacts for such places that would be interested in hosting MFM, please let me know.  They can contact me at contact@belveal.com

“Timothy Leary is Dead” indeed and his legacy is a negative one.  Still, I’d like to latch on to the idea that he had of encouraging young people to expand their thinking, but take it in a positive direction.  I’ll reuse the first step, ‘tune In”  which now refers (not reefers)  to the technology culture and add my own second and third steps.

Tune in, Get Creative, and Share something good with others.

– roger

A great tune with a little time and age introspection built in by the Moody Blues

“Support the Art, See the Art”

Support the Art, See the Art!   $150 Pledge gets your ticket into BIG(D)ESIGN and a MyPhoneStone and a T-Shirt!  Limited to 30.  That’s 1 BIG(D)ESIGN Ticket + a MyPhoneStone + T-Shirt! A $300 value for $150! Amazing! Won’t last long!


2012 TSA Art Show at Aloft Dallas

Yes. It’s true!  My Favorite Machine and Javelin Man are both to be featured in the Texas Sculpture Association’s 2012 Show at the Aloft Hotel, downtown Dallas. Come on down and see these and many other awesome sculpture pieces by Texas artists.

Artist reception is May 18, which you may or may not know happens to be the anniversary of the great Mt. St. Helens eruption!   I’ll see see you there!

– roger