North Texas Daily

Voertman’s LINEWORK gallery attracts hundreds

Voertman’s LINEWORK gallery attracts hundreds

September 10
19:01 2015

Matt Payne | Senior Staff Writer

Rewind to roughly a year and a half ago at Voertman’s College Store on Hickory Street. Through the double doors and across the art supply section to the right, you’d be greeted with a space sparsely filled with miscellaneous knick-knacks available for only a few dollars.

“We had a couple of older ladies who worked here for about 40 years who ran that section. The time finally came for them to retire, right around when College Bookstore of Texas came in,” store manager Augustine Cordero said. “We suddenly had this open space.”

Sidney Johnson | Staff Photographer

Sidney Johnson | Staff Photographer

More than 300 attendees walked through the double doors to fill that open space as the store hosted its third art reception on Sept. 3 titled “LINEWORK.” Replacing the old knick-knacks were designs, illustrations and prints accompanied by complimentary food and live music by local bands.

“I wanted a space available to feature all the artistic work this city has to offer, particularly for undergraduate students,” Cordero said. “Artists are very limited by the small number of venues available to display their pieces. We can provide the process of contracts, setting up, taking down and all the work necessary for fledgling artists to get their feet wet in this field.”

Several of the pieces featured in LINEWORK come from UNT graduates. Past and contemporary work of Michael Slack, a graduate of the university this past May with a degree in printmaking, appeared in the show.

“I’ve been with the shows since they first started organizing them,” Slack said. “Both playing in my band and having worked in the shows.”

Slack is a guitarist and vocalist for the avant-garde band Dome Dwellers. Along with playing at several different locations around Denton, he and his band members have provided live music for Voertman’s past art galleries.

“Ever since the store started curating these shows, the progress from their beginning has been apparent,” Slack said. “We’re getting more people walking through the doors. The appreciation is great, nonetheless.”

The galleries at Voertman’s are built upon a collective effort from the store’s staff and engaging supporters alike. Artist Michael Slack has attended the receptions since their onset.

Sidney Johnson | Staff Photographer

Sidney Johnson | Staff Photographer

Although the initial exhibits proved to be a challenge to establish and spread notoriety, Voertman’s has garnered the collaboration from local artists and new employees.

Olivia Brown, an employee at Voertman’s since the start of the summer, has collaborated with several local artists in efforts to make these galleries happen more often.

“I’ve been doing pop-up shows around town for a little over a year and a half,” Brown said. “We have people who dropped out of school, graphic designers, print makers and even interdisciplinary studies majors involved. Anybody who wants to have a space where their work can be appreciated can find it here.”

Brown has worked with an art collective called Temporary Name, which has set up pieces at several local venues including the The White House Espresso Bar and Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio.

Brown especially appreciates the rediscovered focus on local, indie art retail stores like the one Voertman’s has established.

“We’re encouraged to work on pieces during the downtime you find at any retail job when nothing’s happening,” Brown said. “These receptions are a great way to say to the community, ‘Hey, this is the art around you. Support it if you can.’”

Both Voertman’s staff and collaborating artists are eager to organize future galleries at a more frequent rate. With the climbing number of attendants, the store only expects positive reception moving forward.

“When we first started, the whole process was sort of hodgepodge and disorganized,” Cordero said. “After seeing how well the community has clung onto our simple idea, we all decided ‘Yeah, we should definitely do this.’”

The pieces featured in LINEWORK will continue to be on display and available for purchase through Sept. 16.

Featured Image: Sidney Johnson | Staff Photographer

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