North Texas Daily

ARTHaus returns with new partnership

ARTHaus returns with new partnership

ARTHaus returns with new partnership
February 24
23:16 2020

ARTHaus, a creative community that joins artists of the local Denton area together, is back from hiatus, this time collaborating with Voertman’s to host galleries and workshops.

“Voertman’s and ARTHaus are teaming up and so now we actually have a space,” said Zhaira Costiniano, 24-year-old ARTHaus founder and Dallas resident. “We’re having our first exhibition in May.”

Costiniano brought her idea to life in September 2018 while attending UNT. Within a month, she found herself surrounded by people that wanted to devote their time to develop this community.

“It was always about building community, helping create opportunities and passing opportunities down,” Costiniano said.

In its first run, ARTHaus’s main focus was to hold a space for artists to gain experience. Costiniano realized students didn’t have a plethora of spaces to collectively share their art and that there was a disconnect between artists and professional development.

“Our main thing is accessibility to art,” Costiniano said. “Let’s not just host exhibitions. I think that only goes so far. Why don’t we build our greater community? Let’s help people get easier access to arts.”

After taking a hiatus, ARTHaus has readjusted. In the past, Costiniano utilized her personal home to host galleries. Since she has relocated and is no longer living in Denton, ARTHaus is now in search for a new location. They have began expanding their connection to the Denton art world by collaborating with Voertman’s, but they are also looking for their own permanent space to occupy.

“We’re quietly applying for grant money to try and solve the location issue,” Costiniano said.

Along with that change, staff size has also been minimized to alleviate responsibilities and pressure. The new staff now consists of a trio made up of Costiniano, studio arts junior Maggie O’Brian and drawing and painting senior Sarah Wuenscher. Collectively, they have decided to drop titles and simply focus on building relationships in the Denton art world. One way ARTHaus aims to build relationships is through social media. By using their Instagram (@dentonarthaus) and word of mouth, artists group and the community buzzes.

“We want to act as a platform for other art organizations to bounce off of because I still think that not everyone is communicating as well,” Costiniano said. “There’s not that much cross support in the arts in Denton.”

As an organization with a community behind it, ARTHaus is wanting to use their platform to share open calls, grant opportunities and any exhibitions that people are hosting.

The two staff members, O’Brian and Wuenscher, are also excited about the upcoming announcement.

“Right now, we have a group show in the works,” Wuenscher said. “I’m excited for that and I’m excited to get more experience curating. I was kind of sad when we all took that little break, but I’m excited for it to be something to put my energy into again.”

ARTHaus is working on gaining official nonprofit status as they try to gain funding. A community zine, podcast and future workshops are also being created to revamp the brand into more professional development in the community.

Costiniano contacted me a couple weeks ago and asked if I wanted to do this again,” O’Brian said. “I said, ‘Yes  I’ve been waiting. Let’s go.’”

Since reconnecting, they have been making plans to create programming that will bring everyone back for more professional development and community creation.

“It’s so strange, you know, we have this huge art building on campus and it’s filled with tons of students who love art,” O’Brian said. “But it’s still super easy to get disconnected with all of those people. I think just being able to be involved in a community is a lot easier.”

With their new collaboration with Voertman’s, the ARTHaus team is back and ready to launch their first group shows and workshops this semester.

Featured Image: Maggie O’Brian, Zhaira Costiniano, and Sarah Wuenscher, the trio behind ARTHaus, posing together on Feb. 17, 2020. Image by Bertha Angela Smith

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Bertha Smith

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