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There was an unusual scene at the Nasher Sculpture Center Wednesday night. A small group of North Texans sat around a dining table, sipping aged Japanese whiskey and eating cornmeal dumplings while a record of soul-singer October London’s “Colorblind” played.
Wednesday marked the Dallas opening of Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates’ food pop-up Afro Mingei, melding influences from Japan and the African American South in the small dinner and drinks menu with the art throughout the space.
Nearly everything in the pop-up has been touched, literally and figuratively, by the artist. Haikus written by Gates hung on the wall, selections from the artist’s vinyl record were on display and a massive ceramic vase he made was tucked into the corner. Bartenders poured drinks on top of a table that Gates made…