Dallas’ dynamic arts community is built on a foundation of creativity and collaboration and no group exudes this spirit more than the volunteer-based arts organization ArtLoveMagic. Founded in 2007 by Michael Lagocki, Justin Nygren, and David Rodriguez, the organization aims to develop local artists and talent through live events, gallery exhibits and mentorship, and expose them to a wider audience. Their first event, “Reach,” featured Dallas’ and Fort Worth’s most talented artists, creating art live for (and with) audiences. They have since held more than 100 live art events, featuring over 100 artists and performers.

Their next event is girlShow, to be held on July 23 at the Life in Deep Ellum (2803 Taylor Rd., Dallas, TX; tickets at artlovemagic.com), a one-night celebration of the area’s female artists, featuring over 50 musicians, poets, painters, and sculptors.

Co-founder Michael Lagocki recently discussed ArtLoveMagic’s work and the thriving Dallas’ art scene with CBSDFW.com.

CBSDFW.com: What makes ArtLoveMagic unique compared to other arts organizations?

Michael Lagocki: Three things make ArtLoveMagic unique: 1) We are not just about showing or selling your work. Every artist at every ArtLoveMagic event creates art live on-site. The audience gets a behind-the-scenes look to how these people create art and music; 2) We are intentionally positive, and; 3) We are fundamentally a relational organization. We collaborate. We honor someone’s personality as much as his or her talent. We cheer for each other. There’s a reason ‘love’ is in the center of our name.

CBSDFW.com What is ArtLoveMagic’s short- and long-term goals?

ML: Short term, we’re accomplishing them. Our short-term goals are to throw successful experiences and strengthen our community.

Long-term, our goal is to get our 501c3 finalized and be able to employ the people who are currently volunteering their lives to keep this thing going. On those goals, it’s been more of a challenge. The people who run ArtLoveMagic are all full-time creatives. [Getting] people who have passion and strengths around things like organization, accounting, and business involved has been harder.


(credit: ArtLoveMagic website)

CBSDFW.com: What do you think of the art scene in Dallas? Is it growing? Do you think the city or other art organizations need to do more to foster and encourage art in the communities?

ML: Dallas is on track to become a premier area in the country for underground street level art and music. These last five years we’ve worked alongside several other crews who have goals to unify this scene and make it more successful. It’s working. There are literally thousands of artists and musicians in this city who are now connected and on the same page. And we all believe that as a whole, we can rise together. There’s power in that that shouldn’t be underestimated.

CBSDFW.com: How has ArtLoveMagic partnered with other local organizations to promote artists and art?

ML: Our strength lies in live experiences and we’ve been proud to partner with dozens of other groups to produce unique events. We’re particularly proud of our partnerships with the local musician collective Hip Hop Helps Heal. They throw incredible music shows for charity, and we support them by supplying a team of live artists to surround the stage. Through them we’ve helped raise thousands for Toys for Tots, Genesis Women’s Shelter, Susan G. Komen, and the American Cancer Society.


(credit: Jenice Johnson/ArtLoveMagic website)

CBSDFW.com: Are there any Dallas-based artists you’re particularly excited about?

ML: This is just my opinion… but the name to watch right now is Jerod Alexander. What he’s doing for the community is amazing. He’s involved in EVERYTHING and he’s brilliant, whether it’s with a paintbrush or a microphone. Search him on Facebook or check out his blog.

Learn more about ArtLoveMagic by visiting their website or Facebook page. Their upcoming event, girlShow, a celebration of DFW’s female artists and musicians will be held on July 23, 2011, 8pm, at Life in Deep Ellum (2803 Taylor Rd., Dallas, TX).