North Texas Daily

Making art happen: Nonprofit organization works to support and unite Denton’s creative community

Making art happen: Nonprofit organization works to support and unite Denton’s creative community

April 02
23:35 2018

Who is an artist? To some, an artist is someone who paints or draws beautiful pictures on a blank canvas. To others, it may be a musician who creates harmonious melodies.

While those are all forms of art, artists often go beyond paintings and music: They are dancers, actors, sculptors, woodworkers, glass stainers and so much more. And they are all represented, supported and celebrated in Denton through Artists Enclave, a nonprofit organization.

In response to Denton’s diverse and growing arts community, Artists Enclave was created by co-founders Susan Carol Davis and Randall M. Good in an effort to bring different cultural arts together.

“We wanted people from different disciplines to find support in one another,” Davis said. “ I had no idea creating Artists Enclave would lead to such a broadening of my own life — it definitely is enriching.”

The nonprofit organization started in November 2015 when Davis came back to her hometown of Denton after living in Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting. When she returned, she wanted to find a place to belong as an artist and be surrounded by other artists in the area.

She met Good at one of his art exhibitions, and the two ran with the idea of creating a place for artists to come hang out and recharge their creative battery.

“Sometimes you just need to be around other artsy people who think the same way,” said Good. “At least for me at its very embryonic stage, Artists Enclave was just a way for artists to get together.”

Now, two and a half years later, the organization has many dedicated members and hosts six events each year. From pop-up art exhibitions to fundraiser events, everything Artists Enclave does give artists an opportunity to showcase their work and collaborate with other organizations in the area.

“We try to get the community aware that there is a vibrant arts culture here through these events,” Good said.

Along with celebrating artists in the community, another big part of the organization’s mission is doing charitable work through their events. The organization is built on the belief that it is good for everyone involved because the artists love getting to be a part of it while also being able to help out those in the community.

“It makes you feel good because you’re giving some of the money to a good cause,” Artists Enclave board member and local artist Kimberly Dietrich said. “It’s made me feel more confident as an artist when somebody buys my art.”

The presence of Artists Enclave in Denton is important to an array of local artists from all mediums and all ages. One of those artists is 62-year-old Brett Wallace who attended UNT in the ’70s and has been living in Denton for the past 27 years. He has watched the art community grow and become a thriving part of the culture in Denton.

“A lot of this is a fairly new thing,” Wallace said. “I think it makes Denton a much more interesting place and a lot more receptive, giving place for all sorts of artists.”

Wallace creates many different types of art, ranging from glass to sculptures to paintings. For him, Artists Enclave has been a place of opportunity for connections he would have never gotten to have otherwise.

“People can pursue their passion and feel like an artist no matter what their age, profession or skill level, and that is incredibly important,” Wallace said. “To meet other artists and to show my art if I want is an opportunity I appreciate.”

The increasing opportunities Artists Enclave is creating for artists like Wallace to show off their work in a judgement-free, encouraging way is turning Denton into a supportive, thriving artistic community. And for Wallace, that makes Denton even more special to him.

“For me, my goal is to spend the rest of my life making art and teaching art,” Wallace said. “To have an opportunity where I can do it right here in Denton is very meaningful to me.”

As Artists Enclave looks to the future of their organization and the arts community in Denton, they hope their message of support and celebration of the art community is embraced.

“I hope that as a new nonprofit, Artists Enclave can sustain itself financially in order to keep offering excellent free arts programming to Denton County,” Davis said.

Like many Artists Enclave members, both Davis and Good have high hopes that Denton artists will continue to be supported financially, and that the organization will one day have it’s own creative space to showcase local artists.

“I respect artists so much and what they do, so my goal is for artists to be compensated for their talent,” Good said. “We would love to have a space where we could put on performances. That would be the big pie in the sky.”

Until that day, Artists Enclave and those involved will continue to collaborate with the City of Denton and other institutions, like UNT and TWU, that make Denton what it is today. They plan on continuing to celebrate every form of art through their upcoming events and encourage artists of all ages to get involved and recharge with other creative minds.

“I’m focused on making art, they’re focused on making art happen in Denton,” Wallace said. “The more art that happens in Denton, the richer the art culture and the better it will be for artists of all types.”

Featured Image: Members of the Denton art community admire hand-crafted eggs by artists at Artists Enclave’s third annual EGGS-ibition event. Rachel Linch

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Rachel Linch

Rachel Linch

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