North Texas Daily

Local art exhibit aims to connect artists through unconventional mediums

Local art exhibit aims to connect artists through unconventional mediums

Local art exhibit aims to connect artists through unconventional mediums
September 17
10:00 2021

A new, unconventional art space can now be found through The Art Orb, a Denton-based exhibit.

Started by Lora O’Shaughnessy, artistically known as Lora O, and Cynthia Jamileth Giron earlier this year, The Art Orb is a space for young or emerging artists to share their work on a larger scale and network with other artists.

O’Shaughnessy moved to Denton in 2016 after attending the University of Notre Dame. She met Giron in 2017 when Giron, from Houston and a UNT MFA alumna, commented on an Instagram post of O’Shaughnessy’s work.

“We really just hit it off,” O’Shaughnessy said. “Now, she’s my best friend.”

After collaborating on a few projects together, O’Shaughnessy and Giron decided to create an unusual art exhibit, and then, The Art Orb was born. In their first show, they featured artists of all forms, including those who create pop-art or poetry.

Despite being fully virtual due to COVID-19, Giron and O’Shaughnessy wanted to create a community of artists.

“We’ve both participated in virtual shows where your work just goes up there and maybe you find some artists you connect with, but there was a disconnect [between artists],” O’Shaughnessy said.

Giron said she wanted to showcase artists because of the pandemic. She also said it can be daunting for artists to show their work in an exhibit, especially for young artists who have to overcome large applicant pools and application fees to be in the running.

Through The Art Orb, she hopes to open doors for young or new artists.

“There are a lot of in-person and virtual art spaces, but specifically for emerging artists it is difficult to get into shows,” Giron said. “Emerging artists, especially young artists, are overlooked.”

The Art Orb features work that is unique or considered atypical within the art community. O’Shaughnessy said this was based partly on her experience starting out in the art world.

“As a person who makes art that doesn’t fit in a lot of spaces, [The Art Orb] wanted to reach out to artists who might not otherwise get featured,” O’Shaughnessy said.

With The Art Orb starting as a virtual platform, it has been able to feature local artists as well as artists across the world. Artists from the U.K., Berlin and Croatia have been featured in The Art Orb’s exhibits so far.

“It’s very exciting to see work from international artists and see them connect with local artists,” Giron said.

Claire Kennedy, a drawing and painting MFA candidate and creator of Rise and Shine, said O’Shaughnessy’s and Giron’s friendliness attracted her to working with The Art Orb.

“They made me feel super comfortable,” Kennedy said. “They seemed excited about putting together shows and making connections between new artists.”

Kennedy has plans to partner with The Art Orb for a future exhibition that is not yet named, but Kennedy said it will be all about food.

“It’s going to be really, really fun to see what people submit,” Kennedy said.

Whether it is through virtual or in-person exhibits, keeping The Art Orb accessible while still connecting artists through an intimate exhibit experience is important to O’Shaughnessy, she said.

“It’s nice to showcase artists, especially since we’re still in a pandemic,” Giron said. “There are some difficulties, like when we’ve had weird weather or internet issues, but it’s worked pretty well so far.”

The Art Orb is planning on hosting its first in-person exhibit this November with Rise and Shine, a Denton-based art exhibit. More information about The Art Orb can be found on Instagram, @TheArtOrb.

Photo courtesy Art Orb

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Hannah Johnson

Hannah Johnson

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