500X Alumnus Interview: Tim Best
500X: Tell us a little about yourself. What is your artistic background?
TB: In 1995, I received my BFA in Studio Art from the University of Illinois Chicago where I studied painting and photography. Fast forward about 6 years when I was living in New Orleans where I decided to dedicate my practice to photography and video. New Orleans nurtured my naissent career until I moved to Dallas in 2007. I applied to 500x after I moved in hopes it would introduce me to the art community in Dallas and it did. That is when I began with self portraits because it was convenient but I soon learned there was important work to be done about identity and representation. After I received my MFA from SMU in 2014 I specifically focused on sexual identity where I worked to disrupt the traditional model/photographer relationship. This has grown into the metaphor between identity/representation and the mask.
500X: What years were you a member of 500X?
TB: Fall 2008 until Spring 2010
500X: Were you ever a 500X officer? If so, what position(s)?
TB: I was the webMASTER… :-)
500X: Who were some of the other members with you?
TB: David Wilburn, Jim Burton, Natalie Macellaio, Leslie Robertson, Diane Sikes, Matt Clark, Christine Bisetto, Tom Feulmer, Rebecca Carter, Sarah Williams, Aqsa Shakil, Clayton Hurt, Joel Kiser, Scott Hilton,
500X: Tell us about your time at 500X. What was it like?
TB: It was great to meet all these artists. I still keep in touch with them today through social media and seeing them around town during openings. We were always trying out new things to get more exposure for the gallery and make a larger impact with our shows. It was good to see gallery owners come in to see the shows. 500x serves as a neutral ground where you could see multiple gallery owners, curators and writers from the press in the same opening. You can get that at a museum show but everyone was much more accessible at 500x.
500X: What do you think you gained from being a 500X member?
TB: The best part is working with and getting to know the other artists. We were all working really hard to set up a good program and stick to it. I think we were really successful in running the gallery like a gallery with innovative programming that allowed each of us to show our own work.
500X: How has 500X impacted your career as an artist?
TB: 500x established the most important relationships I have with Gallery owners and other artists that endure to this day.