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Art exhibit created by Visual Art Society of Texas opens at UNT on the Square

Art exhibit created by Visual Art Society of Texas opens at UNT on the Square

Junior Hudson Milton examines Trade Winds by Paula McClurg. McClurg's sculpture is on display at UNT on the square from June 16 to June 29. Cameron Roe

Art exhibit created by Visual Art Society of Texas opens at UNT on the Square
June 19
22:07 2017

Matt Harvey | Staff Writer

A new exhibit featuring art that spans from political commentary to water colors and landscapes opened Friday, June 16, and hosts work created by members of the Visual Art Society of Texas (VAST).

The annual Juried Members Exhibition is an art exhibit that allows members of VAST to showcase their work in front of a jury. The 14 winners were announced Thursday, June 21.

Angelia Ford, an artist at the exhibit, was awarded the “Honorable Mention 3 Fran Shurtleff Award.” She described her piece in the gallery as more political than her previous work. The piece layers President Abraham Lincoln’s face with President Barack Obama’s, in black, white and red colors.

Ford quoted Obama, saying our nation was founded on the bedrock principle that we are created equal and it is up to each generation to further that reality with changing times.

“I started thinking about what other president has done the most to contribute to that goal,” Ford said.

Aurora Cabrera is a member of VAST who also has a piece included in the exhibit. Her piece is untitled, but is part of a larger series she calls Me-MX, which celebrates Mexico’s textile culture and is on display at the Creative Arts Center on Oak Street.

“In Mexico, there are art galleries or a mural on every other street,” Cabrera said. “I miss that, but I’m glad to have this exhibit.”

Cabrera has been a member of VAST for around two years in various capacities. Previously an Artist of the Year award winner, she currently serves on the organization’s board of directors.

“Even when we didn’t live in Denton, during family visits I kept in touch and tried to attend a meeting or a workshop,” Cabrera said.

“Dotty Rosie” by Gail Williamson Cope is on display at the UNT on the Square art gallery. This exhibition is on display from June 16 to June 29. Cameron Roe

Diana McGimpsey has a piece on display as well. She said that her piece Cotton Clouds was aided by Jo Williams, a previous president of VAST and whom Cabrera called an icon of Denton’s watercolor scene. The watercolor piece depicts raw cotton stalks with blue and orange colors.

“Jo had us bring to class something from home that we were inspired to paint,” McGimpsey said. “She helped a lot with my piece.

VAST

VAST is a non-profit, professional organization dedicated to supporting artists and art lovers. The group is based in Denton and seeks to increase community appreciation for the visual arts, improve individual artistic expression and offer fellowship with people of similar interests.

Cabrera said she loves the group and its volunteer spirit surrounding the organization.

“VAST has been very embracing,” Cabrera said. “The group is very strong, and as an older organization everyone is willing to volunteer to help bring our work to the community. Whether it’s organizing events, maintaining the exhibits, or bringing food to galleries, VAST always has plenty of volunteers.”

The organization also collaborates with other artists of all kinds in the area to offer a wider array of programming.

“Merging Visions is another project at VAST,” said Ford. “Poets submit their work and are paired with visual artists who create content based on the poetry. This is a really unique opportunity for artists across all mediums.”

UNT on the Square

The Juried Members Exhibition is housed at UNT on the Square. UNT on the Square is a gallery that offers arts programming not only for the University of North Texas, but also for the Denton community. The gallery additionally houses the UNT Institute for the Advancement of the Arts (IAA), which seeks to “further the university’s reputation for nurturing artistic and creative expression.”

“It’s a great way and place for us to engage with community groups and community artists,” said Meredith Buie, the assistant to the director of the IAA.

UNT on the Square offers a way to bring the university’s arts programs to the wider community. Not all Denton residents are students, so not all are able to attend university-sponsored events. UNT on the Square bypasses the university and brings art straight to non-students in one of Denton’s most visited areas.

“There aren’t many art galleries in Denton so I’m glad we have UNT on the Square,” said Cabrera.

The exhibition is on display until June 29 and is free and open to the public during UNT on the Square’s business hours.

Featured Image: Junior Hudson Milton examines Trade Winds by Paula McClurg. McClurg’s sculpture is on display at UNT on the square from June 16 to June 29. Cameron Roe

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James Norman

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