Industry Mourns DMC’s Alden Clanahan
February 28, 2012 - 9:53am
Alden Clanahan
Alden Clanahan

Alden Clanahan, Dallas Market Center’s Vice President of Trend Direction and Design and the creative genius behind the ARTS Awards, died Feb. 5. He was 52.

“Alden’s untimely passing is a deep loss for our company family, for our city, and for the industries we serve,” Bill Winsor, President and CEO of the Dallas Market Center, said in a statement. “His keen eye and creative vision were an inspiration to every single person who walked through the Dallas marketplace. His intelligent expression and generosity will be deeply missed.”

For many years, Alden helped the Dallas Market Center and the Accessories Resource Team (ART) design the look of the ARTS Awards. ART Executive Director Sharon Davis describes Alden’s work as brilliant.

“He really cared about making things beautiful,” Davis says.

Alden also had an uncanny eye for trends, Davis says. For the last two ARTS Awards, the main color Alden chose for the theme became the next year’s Pantone Color of the Year.

“Alden’s passion for the industry and creative direction of the ARTS Awards came so naturally to him – it was refreshing,” says Lindsey Villareal, Director of Marketing at the Dallas Marketing Center. “I always appreciated his guidance. He will be sorely missed in many ways.”

Alden's career began at Sanger Harris in 1981, and over the next two decades, he worked as a production manager for Dallas-based fashion designer Sandra Garratt, a visual merchandiser for Neiman Marcus and a freelance designer for visual merchandising, store planning and store design. In 2001, he joined the Dallas Market Center's visual merchandising and events department, and in 2005, he was promoted to vice president. 

Aside from his work, Alden was also an active member of DIFFA (Design Industry Foundation Fighting AIDS), and served on the organization’s Board of Trustees for three terms. In 2005, the Metroplex Cadillac Dealers selected him as a "Texas Legend" for his generous work for DIFFA.

“Alden was at DIFFA’s side from its beginning in Dallas and to its benefit, remained steadfast in his commitment to the end,” says DIFFA’s Executive Director David Sheppard. “Alden was always looking for ways to paint a bigger picture, have greater impact and relentless in his pursuit of helping others.”

Alden is survived by his mother, brother and sister, as well as his Corgi, Bella. A celebration of his life will take place at Dallas Market Center on March 20 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to DIFFA or the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

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