About The MAC – Our Past

The MAC Mission
The McKinney Avenue Contemporary (The MAC) is a nonprofit organization that stands as a Dallas advocate for creative freedom offering the opportunity for experimentation and presentation of art in all disciplines. It supports the emerging and established artist’s role in society by providing a forum for critical dialogue with their audiences. This relationship is cultivated through education and innovative programming.

The MAC History

The McKinney Avenue Contemporary (The MAC) opened in October of 1994 as the first venue in North Texas where contemporary art in all disciplines could be explored under one roof. With exhibitions from regional, national, and international contemporary artists, The MAC’s intimate and flexible space presents art on a human scale. All visual art exhibitions, lectures and literary readings are free and open to the public. Performances are offered at a small admission fee. The MAC strives to make the challenging world of contemporary art relevant and accessible to new and continuing audiences.  Since it’s opening, The MAC has set an extraordinary record of presenting over thirteen hundred artists in the galleries, including our annual membership exhibition, with monthly seminars by artists and art professionals. In 2012, The MAC welcomed more than 14,000 visitors to the gallery making it the home of some of the most inspiring, challenging and riveting art in Dallas and North Texas.

The MAC is proud to share the facility with Kitchen Dog Theater, presenting full production seasons annually. Our exhibitions have been recognized nationally by Art News, Art in America, and the New York Times.  The MAC has also received local recognition through “Best of” and “Top Ten” awards from the Dallas Observer, the Dallas Morning News, and D-Magazine. Among some of the most internationally acclaimed contemporary artists that have exhibited their works at The MAC are James Drake, Mary Beth Edelson and Kara Walker.
The MAC is a member of the Dallas Art Dealers Association, Dallas Uptown Association and Luxury Marketing Council.

image courtesy Digital Photo Academy

The MAC Building

The MAC is located in an 18,000 square foot building in the former Potts Longhorn Leather Company in the Uptown area of Dallas, Texas.

The building was renovated in 1994 by architects Steve Lawson and Truett James into a handsome and flexible facility comprising a number of intimate and interconnected spaces. These include 3,700 square feet of visual art exhibition space, a 2,400 square foot black box theater, coffee shop and bookstore. In March of 2000, a 2,500 square foot theater, named the Heldt/Hall Theater, was added to the building.

Outdoor artworks by DFW artists have adorned the building including works by Frank Campagna, Billy Zinser, Laray Polk, and Laurel Canyon Art Co-Op.

Programming Partners

In a constant effort to be a vital part of the Dallas art community and to offer quality programming to our audiences, The MAC partners with critically acclaimed organizations and galleries including: Kitchen Dog Theater, Deborah Colton Gallery, Ro2 Art, MFAH Core Residency Program, The Writer’s Garret, Valley House Gallery, M.A.P. (Making Art with Purpose), Oral Fixation-Seasons one and two, 2012 Dallas International Film Festival, CASETA, and WordSpace.  Kitchen Dog Theater has been the recipient of numerous awards including the 1998 Rabin Award for best director and best production.  The Writer’s Garret was ranked by the Literature Sub-granting Panel for the Texas Commission on the Arts as the #1 Literary Project in the State.

The MAC is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation.

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